Tuesday, February 28, 2012

 

News Links, February 29, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Dutch parliament backs Greek bailout, reluctantly
'Europe is Pouring Money Into a Bottomless Barrel' (Spiegel)
The "bottomless barrel" could also be expressed as "somebody's pockets." -- RF
Sharpen the Mower: Spain Needs Triple the Budget Cuts and Tax Hikes to Meet EMU Imposed Budget Targets (Mish)
Irish Vote on EU Treaty Due, Could Alter Europe's Future
Japan may be bailing out Europe in secret, economist Mosler says
The Post-2009 Northern & Western European Housing Bubble
Power cuts threaten to snuff out SMEs (India)
"The Federation of A. P. Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (FASMME), a newly-formed organisation has said unless the power situation improves, small enterprises will collapse."
There's the C-word! -- RF
Dow closes above 13,000, first time since crisis
Wall St. cheers while Main St. rots. This illustrates the total disconnect between the stock markets and the real economy. -- RF
World Bank warns: China is a ticking time bomb (Paul Farrell)
"Will Super Rich in China or U.S. be first to trigger meltdown?"

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Germany finds itself back in power in Europe
"Germany is the unquestioned boss amid Europe's debt crisis and economic woes. But the turnaround has inspired discomfort among its neighbors and among Germans."
Israel says it won't warn U.S. before a strike against Iran
Iran Moves Further To End Petrodollar, Announces Will Accept Payment In Gold Instead Of Dollars
China keeps gasoline supply flowing to Iran
Insight: Conflict looms in South China Sea oil rush
Japan, India To Hold Naval Drills As Early As Summer
"Japan and India are in talks on holding their first-ever joint naval exercises this summer, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.
"The drills are intended 'as a check against China and its increasingly active maritime forays,' according to the official. That country is causing friction with its neighbors over ocean rights in the South China Sea, a crucial sea lane between Japan and India."
Japan cabinet bills seek to strengthen coast guard
"The coast guard would be able to investigate illegal landings on islands and have more powers to eject ships."
Piracy threatens West Africa oil expansion
"Piracy is a growing threat to West Africa's plans to double oil production over the next decade and is already having a devastating impact on ports, the UN Security Council was warned Monday.
"A growing number of attacks are being recorded in the Gulf of Guinea and entries into some ports have been cut by more than two-thirds as insurance premiums skyrocket, ministers and officials told a council debate on piracy."
Germany preps Israeli super-sub for tests
NATO Members Plan for Smaller Defense Budgets
Russia to modernize iconic Kalashnikov rifle
Missile system in Turkey on track: US

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests rock Pulwama over power shortage (Kashimir)
Day of student protests planned in Oakland, Sacramento
Occupy London protesters evicted from St Paul's site
Unrest Leads to Talk of Third Intifada
In once-quiet Jordan, air of unrest looms

## Energy/resources ##
Hybrids' Unlikely Rival: Plain Old Cars
Copper supply is already tight and demand is rising
"The London Metal Exchange, the world's largest metals exchange, reports that copper stockpiles from the U.S. to China are already at 2-1/2-year lows and poised to decline for the fifth month in a row. The news has awakened the slumbering copper bulls to move speculation, sentiment and pricing to the highest level in two months."
Tamil Nadu 'power'less; power shortage hurting biz
"The industry is literally powerless in Tamil Nadu with the state electricity board (SEB) sunk in debt. With the state falling short of 4000 MW of power, the situation is going from bad to worse, reports CNBC-TV18's Swathi Narayanan."
LNG at risk if Hormuz blocked
"'The stark reality is that global LNG supply is at much greater risk than global oil supply,' analyst Pavel Molchanov of Raymond James & Associates in Houston noted in an industry brief last month."
Gaza Only Power Plant Closes Again Due To Fuel Shortage
Fuel crisis hits Mansa again (Zambia)
Namibia: Country Faces Electricity Shortage

## Got food? ##
20 Signs That Dust Bowl Conditions Will Soon Return To The Heartland Of America

## Environment/health ##
As Fracking Boom Hits Ohio, Deceptive Industry Practices Squeeze Landowners

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Tanzania: Isles Investors Cry Foul Over Dwindling Social Services
"Zanzibar — FILTHINESS, water shortage and frequent shortage of fuel, unreliable electricity supply and security threats are some of the problems facing investors in Zanzibar, officials from the Zanzibar Association of Tourists Investors (ZATI) have said."
Australia's engineering shortage will get worse
"Most engineers are too polite to tell you this but our country has a real problem on its hands. It affects you now but it is about to get a lot worse.
"Engineers tend to keep it secret because they make it their job to fix problems, to keep systems going. That's just part of being a professional engineer. But if you ask them about it directly they'll tell you that in recent times this problem has turned into an ever-increasing crisis."
The worldwide shortage of engineers keeps worsening. And it's affecting the oil industry, too. Engineers and skilled workers are the people who keep industrial civilization running, and they're getting to be in short supply around the world. -- RF
Google's Schmidt warns of 'digital caste system'
Hard-drive shortage hits servers in Q4, Gartner says

## Japan ##
Missing money: 880,000 pensions hit by Japan investment scandal
"A growing scandal around an investment company that has lost $2.3 billion has affected pensions for up to 880,000 people, Japan's government said Tuesday.
"AIJ Investment Advisors has reportedly been lying to clients for years, boasting of annual returns of up to 240% while in fact 185 billion yen in pension investments has melted away."
Fukushima: Japan leaders feared "devil's chain reaction"
"Japan's prime minister ordered workers to remain at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant last March as fears mounted of a 'devil's chain reaction' that would force tens of millions of people to flee Tokyo, a new investigative report shows."
Fukushima, a year on: 3,000 workers take on the twisted steel and radiation
"Out in the evacuation zone, cars lie abandoned and groceries sit untouched – but the mangled nuclear plant is alive with activity"
Fukushima nuclear plant still vulnerable, says director
"The tsunami-hit Fukushima power plant remains fragile nearly a year after it suffered multiple meltdowns, its chief said Tuesday, with makeshift equipment—some mended with tape—keeping crucial systems running."
Another Fukushima Casualty - Japan's Fast Breeder Reactor Program
Elpida Failure's Ripple Effect Reaches Creditors, Investors
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--Elpida Memory Inc.'s (6665) bankruptcy filing is having a widening impact on creditors and investors.
"A number of leasing companies, including Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. (8593) and IBJ Leasing Co. (8425), announced Tuesday that they either cannot recover the money owed to them by Elpida or could face delays in getting it back. Elpida leases semiconductor manufacturing equipment from these firms, and it owes Mitsubishi UFJ Lease 8.9 billion yen."
Japan loses out in global chip war as Elpida bows out
Nuclear-Free Summer Looms Over Japan's West in Risk to Growth

## China ##
Shanghai Pushes to Become Financial Hub
"Commodity futures are also on the drawing board. Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said in January that the regulator will seek to roll out more futures products and financial derivatives, including silver and crude-oil futures.
"'The launch of silver futures will be relatively easy, but oil futures will be more difficult, given the size of the oil market, the broad interests involved in it, and intense international competition,' Mr. Fang said. Still, with China responsible for '40% of incremental consumption of crude oil,' it has more potential than any other country to start a competitive oil-futures product, he said."
Millions thirst in Yunnan drought
"A drought in Yunnan province has left 3.19 million people and 1.58 million livestock short of drinking water, the provincial government said Monday.
"Some plants had to halt production due to water shortage, costing rough losses of 10 billion yuan ($1.6 million), vice-governor Kong Chuizhu said."
China's Electricity Consumption to Grow 8.8pc Per Year 2011-2015
China Takes New Step on Yuan Liberalization
"In a new move to promote the international use of China's currency, banks in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen have been given approval to launch cross-border yuan-remittance services for individuals, according to people familiar with the matter."

## UK ##
Fuel poverty deaths three times higher than government estimates
"Some 7,800 people die during winter because they can't afford to heat their homes properly, says fuel poverty expert Professor Christine Liddell of the University of Ulster. That works out at 65 deaths a day."
11,000 homes hit by power cut
Record diesel prices in South Wales
Occupy eviction: St Paul's Cathedral protest displaced
"Many anti-capitalist protesters evicted from St Paul's Cathedral have moved to a nearby camp - with one activist warning there is 'more to come'."
Occupy protesters 'will be back' (BBC video)

## US ##
Seattle mayor declares 'public safety emergency'
"Nobody's ready to start talking about the 'mean streets' of Seattle. But an alarming spike in street violence in this usually mellow city has everyone running scared. Mayor Mike McGinn, calling the increase a 'public safety emergency,' pledged Monday to beef up police patrols and urged citizens to help combat lawlessness in their neighborhoods."
Gasoline prices create rough road for mobile small businesses
High Gas Prices Could Hurt Las Vegas Tourism
Gas hits $3.72 per gallon, up 30 cents in month
Facing costly fuel, airlines push fares higher
Thief steals $500 in fuel as truck driver sleeps
U.S. report: Fuel markets 'significantly impacted' by refinery shutdowns
Durable goods orders drop by most in 3 years
1 in 5 older Americans scrimp on health care to save money
IBM Cuts More Than 1,000 Workers, Group Says
Ohio Fracking Opponents Push Environmental Safety as Republicans Tout Jobs
Chu Says U.S. Considers Oil Reserve Amid Iran 'Concern'
"The Obama administration is considering the option of tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve amid concerns that Iran will interrupt oil supplies and push gasoline prices higher, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said."
MotherJones: Why Does the Military Love Ron Paul?
More customers leaving big banks
More buyers paying cash for homes




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