Monday, February 13, 2012


News Links, February 14, 2012

## Global economic meltdown/House of Cards ##
Moody's Cuts Sovereigns Including Italy, Spain
"Moody's Investors Service cut the debt ratings of six European countries including Italy, Spain and Portugal and revised its outlook on the U.K.'s and France's top Aaa rating to 'negative.'"
Europe Job Losses Accelerate on AstraZeneca-to-PepsiCo Cuts
"Global companies from NEC Corp. (6701) to PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) and AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) are chopping jobs more than three times faster than in 2011 as they brace for recession in Europe and a slowdown in China."
Cracks in Agreement in Greece, Finland, Germany, France; Of Duct Tape, Glue, Rubber Bands (Mish)
"The latest Greek deal is unraveling in multiple places already. The EMU wants to hold it together but can't. Cracks are wide, deep, and widening."
Norway Faces Severe Credit Shock as Household Debt Swells, FSA Chief Warns
"Norway faces 'severe' imbalances in its credit and property markets as households continue to amass debt at unsustainable levels, according to the head of the country's financial regulator."
Greece Becomes a Third-World Country

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Admiral Seeks Freer Hand in Deployment of Elite Forces (US)
"Even more, Admiral McRaven wants the authority to quickly move his units to potential hot spots without going through the standard Pentagon process governing overseas deployments."
Israel blames Iran after attacks on embassy staff
"Israel accused arch-enemies Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being behind twin bomb attacks that targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia Monday, wounding four people."
Iran presses ahead with dollar attack
As noted yesterday, this is why the US is so desperate to take down Iran. -- RF
Military Wants $3 Billion for a War It Isn't Fighting (in Iraq)
Nigerians living in poverty rise to nearly 61%
Rebels repel troops in Syrian town
Arab League Pushes for UN Invasion of Syria
Russia changes tack, signals open to Syrian intervention
Pirates murder ship's officers off coast of Nigeria

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Gunfights in Saudi Arabia Show Spread of Iran Tensions
Total Chaos; Riots Rage; Athens Resembles War Zone
Unrest spreads in new areas of Baluchistan
Is Syria's unrest spilling over into Lebanon?
London Occupy's cathedral camp gets week's reprieve
Clashes in Bahrain on eve of uprising anniversary
"Hundreds of protesters marched in the Bahraini capital Manama Monday, trying to retake a landmark roundabout and blocking a highway on the eve of the first anniversary of a pro-democracy uprising in the Gulf Arab kingdom."
Despite higher growth, South Korea in the grip of a winter's discontent

## Energy/resources ##
Global refining poised for massive shake-out
Indian refiners seek 2.6m bbl extra Saudi oil
"Indian refiners have sought at least 2.6 million barrels extra supplies from Saudi Aramco for March, according to sources familiar with the plan...
"The supply of extra barrels is yet to be confirmed by Saudi Aramco, said the sources."
Saudis Export One Million Barrels of Crude to Korea, Riyadh Says
Saudis Said to Ship All Committed March Oil to Japan, China
"Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will supply all its contracted volumes of crude to Japanese and Chinese customers in March, said three refinery officials who received notification from the world's biggest exporter."
Remember: The oil KSA is sending to Asia is not going to other places. KSA is no longer a swing producer, and world crude production has been stagnant for seven years. It's a zero-sum game, baby. -- RF
Refiners increase fuel prices by NT$0.4 (Taiwan)
"The nation's two oil refiners yesterday said they would raise domestic gasoline and diesel prices after international crude oil prices rose last week as global demand climbed amid a cold winter in Europe."
Blizzard cuts power in Balkans
"Freezing temperatures have left thousands of people stranded without power in the Balkans and elsewhere in Europe as the death toll rises."
Nabucco is over, analyst says
Study: Mandating ethanol wrong solution
South Korea utility coal demand seen at 73 million tonne this year - KEPCO
Funding Shortage Threatens Germany's Energy Revolution

## Got food? ##
U.S. farmers may fail in fertilizer face-off
As Xi visits, China's U.S. crop demand a balm for tensions

## Environment/health ##
Tesla SUV with wings or not, we should kill the electric car
Electric cars in China bigger polluters
Tar sands concerns spread beyond Keystone
Fracking's Toll on Pets, Livestock Chills Farmers: Commentary

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Sky is the limit for use of mini, unmanned planes (Canada)
Israel's Mossad is using Azerbaijan to spy on Iran: reports
Azerbaijan in row with Iran over 'Israeli spies'
Microsoft India store down after hackers take user data

## Japan ##
Japan Nuclear Crisis Pushes Plants to Limit
"Japan's nuclear-power crisis, which has cut power-generating capacity by nearly 25%, has left the country dependent on aging conventional plants that are being pushed well beyond their normal limits to keep the lights on and businesses functioning."
Japan Swings to Contraction as Yen Undermines Exports: Economy
A year on, only brief home visits for Japan nuclear evacuees
TEPCO blames high reactor temperature reading on broken thermometer
Nothing to see here, folks. Move right along. -- RF
Gov't OKs further Y690 bil for TEPCO, but wants say in running company
High level of radioactive cesium found in Okinawa noodles
"High levels of radioactive cesium have been detected in noodles produced in Okinawa, apparently because they were made with water filtered by ashes from Fukushima-produced wood."

## China ##
China's Emergency Crude Oil Storage Bases: Details
Trade Data: Is China Losing Its Steam?

## UK ##
Call for energy bill cuts as hypothermia deaths almost double
"Calls for energy bills to be cut intensified last night after it emerged that the number of people dying of hypothermia has almost doubled in the past five years."

## US ##
Police cracking down on diesel thieves
America's 'Food Stamp Nation' continues to grow
America's homeless resort to tent cities
Includes video of kids telling what it's like going to bed hungry. -- RF
Why Are Record Numbers Of Young Adults Jobless And Living At Home With Mom And Dad?
Obama Proposes Massive Tax Hikes, Still Comes Up With $1.33 Trillion Deficit; Obama's "Race to the Bottom" Education Proposal; Dysfunctional Congress (Mish)
Mortgage settlement is great — for politicians and banks
Bank of America, Citigroup Face Debt Downgrade: Moody's
Diesel average spikes 8.7 cents to $3.943

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