Wednesday, February 08, 2012


News Links, February 9, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
China May 'Move Shortly' on Aid for Europe, Academic Says
It's Time To End the Greek Rescue Farce (Spiegel)
Greek rescue sees fiscal measures of 13 billion euros: sources
Greece: 'There's no more left to cut'
In Greece, the crisis is making people ill (literally)
Greece Draft Cuts Minimum Wage 20%
European villages on offer for rent from $60,000 a night
Irish Urge Children to Leave as Export Gain Masks Lost Jobs
The Dark Side of Germany's Jobs Miracle
Why Is Global Shipping Slowing Down So Dramatically?
European business beggared by banks
"European governments are not the only players struggling with debt. With European banks reluctant to lend to businesses in need, a majority of the region's companies are also scrambling to pay their bills.
"The result: companies will be forced to take drastic action, further weighing on the European economy."
Banks run out of cash In Zimbabwe
"SOME commercial banks in Harare have run out of United States dollars, sending shock waves within the business community."
Dubai Group Said to Propose Paying Debt Over 5 to 10 Years
Hey, I thought there was no more debt problem in Dubai! -- RF
Air France to cancel 40 percent of long-haul flights
Nokia to carry out 4,000 job cuts
Get some assets outside the banking system, von Greyerz tells KWN

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. Planning to Slash Iraq Embassy Staff by Half
"Less than two months after American troops left, the State Department is preparing to slash by as much as half the enormous diplomatic presence it had planned for Iraq, a sharp sign of declining American influence in the country."
Higher speeds, hired guns drive Somali piracy cost
"Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean costs the global economy some $7 billion a year, a study said on Wednesday, with ships forced to travel faster over longer routes and increasingly hire armed security guards.
"'The question for the shipping industry is how long this is sustainable,' said Anna Bowden, program manager for the research by the U.S.-based One Earth Future foundation."
Argentina to Protest U.K. 'Militarization' of Falklands to UN
Russian Foreign Minister Is Nobody's Fool
"Sergey Lavrov has reaped massive criticism for Moscow's veto of the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, but the Russian foreign minister remains unmoved. The top diplomat, who met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Tuesday, has a track record of standing up to the West."
An Iran-Israel war will be main market mover in 2012
Embassies in Israel Scramble to Prepare for War
Support Grows for Easing of U.S. Export Controls
Exclusive: Malaysian exporters halt palm oil supply to Iran
"Malaysian palm oil exporters have stopped supplying Iran with most of the 30,000 tonnes of the food staple the Middle Eastern country buys each month, or about half its demand, as Western financial curbs on Tehran stymie payments, two trading sources said."
U.S. military beginning review of Syria options
Syria: Homs under 'heaviest' shelling yet
Israel seeks Cyprus base to guard gas zone
"Israel is reported to be seeking to deploy fighter aircraft in Cyprus, its partner in developing a natural gas bonanza under the eastern Mediterranean, to protect the vital energy resources. Turkey is seen as one of the main threats."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Greek strike protesters burn German flag, chant 'Nazis Out'
Violence in Bahrain escalates ahead of February 14 anniversary
Talks to end Brazil police strike in Bahia break down
Gas loadshedding: 74 arrested for pelting trains with stones (Pakistan)
Maldives Protests Spread After Leader Ousted
Clashes in Senegal between police, protesters
In Russia, Punk-Rock Riot Girls Rage Against Putin

## Energy/resources ##
Iran crude oil: EU ban impractical, Greece likely to opt out of EU
"The European Union decision to ban oil imports from Iran will haunt the region. In fact, the dateline of July 2012 is so impractical that the EU will find that it has no alternative option, believes Sam Barden, founding partner at the SBI Markets DMCC, a Dubai trading advisory."
Toronto Hydro's equipment so old, they're named after dinosaurs
Old and decrepit equipment: the story of many power grids. -- RF
Israeli Company Promotes Shale Oil and Natural Gas Production, Protests Ensue
China Look to Take Advantage of Iran's Situation by Negotiating New Oil Prices
BP plans to drill deeper than ever
"British energy company BP is exploring technology that would allow it to drill oil wells deeper than ever, the company's chief executive said.
"BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley was quoted by The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London as saying his company was looking into technologies that would help in 'drilling deeper wells and overcoming the challenges of developing and exploiting ever higher pressure resources.'"
Struggling to heat freezing Europe
Fresh Hike of Fuel Oil Prices Likely (Bangladesh)
Blackout: Major power breakdown hits Gilgit (Pakistan)

## Got food? ##
Egypt: Wheat reserves enough for 5 months
Vegetable prices soar 30pc after hike in fuel rates (Pakistan)
"Vegetable prices have increased by 30 percent following the increase in petrol and diesel rates this month, while tomato and onion prices have doubled, said one trader on Wednesday."

## Environment/health ##
A Healthier Hearth, A More Efficient Fireplace

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Spying on Europe's farms with satellites and drones
OH GREAT: Smart Grids May Stupidly Leave Power Grid Open To Cyber Attacks

## Japan: circling the drain ##
Rising temperatures at Fukushima raise questions over stability of nuclear plant
TEPCO struggles to cool Fukushima plant's No. 2 reactor
Scientist: Cesium sank 20 cm in Tokyo Bay mud
"Radioactive cesium likely from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has sunk more than 20 centimeters deep in the mud of the seabed in Tokyo Bay, according to a scientist."
Govt asks Fukushima to restrict rice planting
"The government has asked local municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture to refrain from planting rice this year in districts where radioactive cesium exceeding the government's new limit was found in last year's harvests, according to government sources."
Current account surplus falls record 44%
"The nation's current account surplus plunged 43.9 percent in 2011 from the previous year to 9.63 trillion yen, the largest-ever decline, surpassing the 33.9 percent drop in 2008 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday."
Japan secretly spent 1 trillion yen to curb yen's strength
"Japan secretly intervened in foreign exchange markets to stem the rise of the yen, selling about 1.02 trillion yen ($13.3 billion) over four days from Nov. 1, according to Finance Ministry figures released Feb. 7."
Dec Core Machinery Orders -7.1% On Mo; Expected -5.0%
"Japanese core machinery orders fell 7.1% in December from a month earlier, as firms remained cautious about boosting orders amid the strong yen and a slowdown in global demand.
"The result, released Thursday by the Cabinet Office, was worse than the 5.0% fall predicted in a median forecast of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and the Nikkei."
S&P cuts Sony rating, warns of further downgrade
1 in 3 women living alone are in poverty, as are 1 in 4 men
Diet passes Y2.53 trillion 4th extra budget
Japan tells U.S. it will keep nothing off the table in TPP negotiations
Of course nothing will ever come of this. We have the WTO, we have all sorts of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, and still world trade is collapsing. -- RF
Japan sets April date for restart of first nuclear reactors since disaster

## China ##
Spotlight China: Electricity Consumption Drops Sharply; Central Bank Vows Housing Support; Oil Imports From Iran Fall Again; Asia Real-Estate Bull Turns Bearish
China to help first-time home buyers
A desperate bid to keep the bubble pumped up. -- RF

## UK ##
Ability of U.K. to Conduct a Future Libya-Style Campaign Questioned

## US ##
Government assistance expands
"More than one in three Americans lived in households that received Medicaid, food stamps or other means-based government assistance in mid-2010, according to a new report."
Gas Prices in All 50 States Back Above $3 a Gallon
As Mortgage Refinancings Surge, Banks Struggle
Banks Paying as Much as $35,000 Cash to Homeowners in Short Sales; Why and How Many?
Which brokerage will be the next to fall?
The iPhone is a nightmare for carriers
"The iPhone may be great for consumers, but takes a nasty toll on wireless carriers' bottom line.
"The price of Apple's (AAPL, Fortune 500) iconic smartphone is heavily discounted by carriers. Those subsidies almost single-handedly devastate profit margins for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint."
Student Debt Could Be Next 'Bomb,' U.S. Bankruptcy Lawyers Say
S&P Threatens US With Another Downgrade In As Little As 6 Months
Why Our Currency Will Fail (Chris Martenson)

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