Monday, February 27, 2012


News Links, February 28, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Capital Flight From Italy, Greece, Portugal Accelerates; Two Trillion Fantasy; Merkel Weaker Every Week; Crude and Geopolitical Risks (Mish)
Brazil Minister Says Global Currency War Is Intensifying
"A global 'currency war' will intensify this year as the world economy slows, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said, adding that Brazil is 'well prepared' to defend its currency against unwanted appreciation."
Maersk Says Container Line to Lose Money Again as Rates Drop
"A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S said its container line, the world's largest, will report a loss again this year, depressed by lower freight rates and slower market growth."
Shipping rates to be in deep waters for next few years
Credit squeeze forces shipping consolidation
South Korea Current-Account Turns to Deficit of $772.2 Million
Merkel scrapes win on Greek bailout, rebels grow
Greece Cut to Selective Default by S&P
Europe's Banks Are Addicted to ECB's Cheap Money
"The European Central Bank will give European banks another massive round of loans at bargain-basement rates on Tuesday, with financial institutions expected to borrow up to one trillion euros. The ECB is playing down the risks of providing so much cheap money, but critics say that banks have become too dependent on the flow of easy cash."
Lost oil billions leave Sudan's economy reeling
Thai Bank Chief Sees Economy Recovering From Floods
Soaring oil prices will dwarf the Greek drama

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia says it has foiled plot to kill Putin
"Russian and Ukrainian special services have arrested a group of suspects over an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia's state television reported Monday."
Vladimir Putin 'assassination attempt' seen as ploy to boost image
Iran halts crude oil shipment for Greece
Israel seen slow to dig in as Iran war talk simmers
"Israel's civil defenses are not ready to protect the population in a missile war, an opposition lawmaker said on Monday, fuelling debate about the feasibility of an attack on Iran's nuclear program."
Barak heading to U.S. for talks on Iran nuclear threat
Why Costco is preparing for the end of the world
Afghan Cabinet Members Cancel DC Trip as US Relations Sour

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Millions of Indian workers to strike on Tuesday
"Millions of workers of all political hues will go on strike across India on Tuesday to express their anger at soaring prices and to back demands for improved rights for employees, trade unions and political activists said."
Bill targeting Occupy Nashville will hit homeless
"The House will take up a bill on Monday that is designed to evict Occupy Nashville but could also be used to jail homeless people around the state."
700 form human chain calling for decommissioning of Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##
Blackout: Ghana in total darkness; ECG blames GRIDCo
"Ghana experienced a nationwide power outage for well over two hours on Sunday evening."
Fill up now - petrol tipped to rise tomorrow (Australia)
"Motorists can kiss goodbye to cheap petrol from tomorrow, with prices expected to hit $1.55 as world oil prices surge due to supply concerns in the Middle East."
Mindanao power crisis looming
"Former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri has warned of 'catastrophic brownouts' in Mindanao within five weeks, unless the government moves fast enough to fix the island's massive power supply deficit."
Kenya: South Sudan Oil Shutdown Hits Local Firms
The Darker Reality of India's Nuclear Power Goals
India can't even keep the lights on. How can offsite power be guaranteed to nuke plants? -- RF
Exxon Mobil Confirms Negotiations With Iraq's Kurdistan
Deep-water oil work started in Nigeria
Asian oil demand surging, EIA says
Mexico at 100 pct oil reserve replacement rate -president
America's oil boom - at a cost
"But oil production on that scale would come with trade-offs.
"There would be drill rigs off beaches up and down the East and West Coasts, as well as near the Florida Keys. Wilderness areas in national forests and Alaska would be crisscrossed with roads.
"Canada's oil sands, which critics are bitterly opposing on the grounds that they would exacerbate global warming, would be fully developed. Hydraulic fracturing would occur in watersheds nationwide."

## Got food? ##
Food supply target of new Occupy movement
South Plains farmers worried about rising diesel prices
"Spending hundreds of dollars a day on diesel fuel for tractors is a problem for farmers, who are already sometimes struggling to make ends meet. If the prices remain high through the harvest and on, that could also force the price of inputs to go up. Inputs like fertilizer, herbicides and other chemicals are often transported in trucks that use diesel."
Genetic changes threaten food production
Monsanto Prevails In Suit Brought By Organic Growers

## Environment/health ##
China Embraces Fracking in Seismically Active Province - Quakes to Follow?

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Wikileaks Pairs with Anonymous to Publish Intelligence Firm's Dirty Laundry
"In an unprecedented collaboration between Anonymous and WikiLeaks, the secret spilling site began leaking Sunday night portions of a massive trove of e-mails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that Anonymous obtained by hacking the company in December."

## Japan ##
Must read: Nightmarish scenarios of the coming financial collapse
And even if you are not in Japan, don't think this won't happen to you. -- RF
Report: Gov't "collapsed" during Japan nuke crisis
Fiscally hobbled Japan nears multiple-currency era: Is yen's demise nigh?
Belly-up: Elpida Memory Files for Bankruptcy After Chip Prices Plunge
"Elpida Memory Inc., the Japanese chipmaker facing an April deadline to repay debts, sought bankruptcy protection in the country's largest filing in two years as prices for its main product plunged to a record low."
Japan cities press utility to switch from nuclear
Is Japan Doomed? (The Atlantic)
Japan Weighs Merits of Casino Gambling
One Of Japan's 2 Online Reactors May Operate Longer

## China ##
Zoellick Predicts China 'Soft Landing' Even as Growth Model Unsustainable
They keep saying it, so it must be true: China faces tight power supply in 2012
"China will continue to face a tight power supply this year due to increasing demand and stagnant growth in new power plants, according to an electrical power industry association.
"The nation will face a possible shortfall of 30-40 million kilowatts this year, reflected in regional, temporal and seasonal shortages, said the China Electricity Council (CEC) on its website."
Builders Feel Bite in China
China to Be Largest Economy Before 2030: World Bank
If it doesn't crash before then. -- RF

## UK ##
Britain leads dash to explore for oil in war-torn Somalia
'Sheds with beds' are London's modern day slums (BBC video)
Britain begins preparations for Afghanistan withdrawal
Fire Rages At RWE's UK Biomass Power Plant
How do you find a million more farmers?

## US ##
Economy Squeezed as Debt Accelerates (Ron Paul at Financial Sense)
When the pump runs dry (Baltimore Sun)
"Iran is threatening action that could have shattering consequences for our oil supply; where is our plan for dealing with that crisis?"
Animation: America's Metamorphosis To A Welfare State
Philadelphia Fed president notices that Fed is rigging markets
Trucking companies feeling pain at the pump too
Homeland Security Dept. Pays General Dynamics to Scour Internet for Criticism of its Policies
Water bills expected to triple in some parts of U.S.
"Many consumers could see their water bills double or even triple, as the country attempts to overhaul its aging water system over the next 25 years.
"A new study by the American Water Works Association found that repairing and expanding the U.S. drinking water system between 2011 and 2035 will cost at least $1 trillion, an amount that will largely be paid for by jacking up household water bills."
The American bus revival
Gas prices climb for 20th day
Workers return to lower wages
Wine Cache Rescues Those Short of Cash
"Liquidity issues, or a cash shortage, can be found on most rungs of the economic ladder, the pawnbrokers said.
"'You'd be amazed by how many wealthy individuals have terrible credit ratings. And besides, if you go to a bank, it can take weeks or months to get a loan. When we make a loan, it's usually the same day,' said Jordan Tabach-Bank, head of Beverly Loan Co."
I shall pray for the rich tonight. -- RF
Extend & Pretend Coming To An End
U.S. Student Debt Rises to $867B: New York Fed
U.S. job quality is in trouble

And finally... Attending meetings lowers IQ: research

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