Monday, March 12, 2012


News Links, March 13, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greek Students Fight Stray Dogs and Despair Amid College Cuts
"In the universities of Athens, the city where Plato taught and Cicero studied, campuses are covered in anarchist graffiti, stray dogs run through buildings and students take lessons in Swedish with the aim of emigrating."
Petrodollar Exiting Through the Back Door?
Japan's Debt Disaster and China's Non-Rebalancing Act: Economic Toxic Brew Portends Currency Crisis (Mish)
Italy in recession, headache for Prime Minister Monti
"Italy is in recession, final data confirmed on Monday, underscoring the difficulties facing Mario Monti's technocrat government as it grapples with a shrinking economy dragged down by austerity measures and a debt crisis."
Iceland Will Adopt Euro or Other Currency, Prime Minister Says
India Car Sales Rise to a Record
"Car sales in India jumped to a record in February as customers bought more vehicles on concerns that the federal government may raise taxes on diesel vehicles in its budget for the next financial year."
Canada Dollar Declines as Slower Chinese Growth Weighs on Commodity Demand
Buy Gold Because A Currency Crisis is Coming (The Street video)
Brussels Presses Spain for Budget Details on How Spain Will Reduce Deficit to 3% of GDP; Threatens 2 Billion Euros Fine (Mish)
Portugal Yield at 13% Says Greek Deal Not Unique: Euro Credit
Financial Repression Has Come Back to Stay

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Taliban vows revenge against 'sick minded American savages'
"Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan have vowed to take revenge against 'sick minded American savages' following the murderous rampage of a U.S. soldier who shot 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children."
'Several drunk troops behind bloodbath, laughed on shooting-spree, burned corpses'
Israel-Gaza violence rages into fourth day
High Oil Prices Cushion Iran from Sanctions
"So far, high petroleum prices are helping Iran beat the new, 'crippling' US and EU sanctions. And, ironically, it is the Obama re-election campaign that is suffering most from the sanctions, not Iran."
Secret SAS squadron sent to spy in Africa
Vietnam to send Buddhist monks to Spratly Islands
"Vietnam is sending six Buddhist monks to re-establish abandoned temples on islands that are the subject of a bitter territorial dispute with China."
South Korea vows 'firm action' over China's claim on submerged rock
"South Korea said Monday it will take 'firm action' if China continues to lay jurisdictional claim to Ieodo, a submerged outcropping of rocks in the waters south of southern Jeju Island, according to Yonhap News Agency."
Russia and China block British attempts at UN to end Syria bloodshed
Home Invasions Strike Fear North of Baghdad; 16 Killed Across Iraq
Acapulco Drug Gangs Making Sare's $1.4 Million Condos Hard Sell: Mortgages

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Taiwan nuke protests mark Japan quake anniversary
"Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Taiwan March 11, calling for a rethink over the safety of atomic power while remembering the nuclear disaster that ravaged Japan one year ago."
Greek pensioner pours yogurt over Finance Minister Venizelos
"Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is the latest victim of a yogurt attack. A disgruntled pensioner attacked Venizelos by pelting him with yogurt, in the traditional Greek form of protest known as 'yaourtoma.'"
Indonesian students stage protest to reject increase in Fuel Prices
Angola anti-government protest triggered clash: police
Gunmen kill nine in Baghdad goldsmith shop heist
"Gunmen with rifles and hand grenades blasted their way into a row of Baghdad goldsmiths shops on Monday, killing nine people and wounding 15, and escaping with gold and cash, police said."
Thousands march for change in Bangladesh
Saudis to go on hunger strike against activist detention

## Energy/resources ##
60,000-MW plans run on empty (India)
"Across the power sector, alarm bells are ringing, threatening to short-circuit the already unravelling growth story. Manufacturing has pulled down to its lowest in three years, export growth is petering out, while rising input costs and a significant fall in capacity utilisation across sectors have stymied hiring and investment outlook further.
"At least five states have declared power holidays and another eight have load-shedding plans lined up."
Nigeria: Passengers Stranded, Flights Delayed as Darkness Envelops Lagos Airport
Tanzania: Power Cuts to Continue in Dares Salaam
Zero Energy Buildings: Closer Than You Might Think
Such buildings assume advanced building technologies and materials, and often the large "industrial scale." But as industrial civilization declines, our ability to construct such buildings will also decline. The basic answer is traditional folk housing from around the world, which uses local materials to build homes suited to local climatic conditions, and on a scale which local people can accomplish without resorting to heavy machinery and factories. New techniques can of course be added to enhance these designs, but the basics were discovered long ago. -- RF
Obama: War fears driving gasoline prices higher
But whatever you do, don't mention peak oil! -- RF
UAE oil reserves to fall nearly 6bn barrels by 2016: report
"The UAE proven oil and gas reserve will fall over the next few years due to increased production, said a recent report."
Iran wants to build refinery in Bulgaria
Zamcelco deeply concerned on worsening power situation in Mindanao- Castro (Philippines)
"The Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) has confirmed and expressed deep concern on the worsening power situation in Mindanao. Zamcelco Acting General Manager Engr. Jesus Y. Castro said in an interview, 'I would like to inform our member consumers especially in Zamboanga City that Mindanao brownout is worsening.'"
Suntech, JinkoSolar hit by charges as losses mount
S.Korea opposition party vows to stop new nuclear plants
LNG shipping boom not running out any time soon
"Freight rates for liquefied natural gas, the super-cooled commodity in red hot demand as the world struggles to replace lost nuclear capacity, will stay elevated and volatile at least through 2014, shipping insiders said."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Theft of copper wire remains city plague

## Got food? ##
Farmers Battle Water Scarcity as Food Demand Grows, UN Says
"Farmers will need 19 percent more water by 2050 to meet increasing demands for food, much of it in regions already suffering from water scarcity, according to a United Nations report."
High diesel prices hitting farmers hard
Beef Prices Rise as Barbecue Season Fires Up

## Environment/health ##
Water Pollution From Farming Is Worsening, Costing Billions
"Water pollution from agriculture is costing billions of dollars a year in developed countries and is set to rise in China and India as farmers race to increase food production, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said."
Climate, Food Pressures Require Rethink On Water: U.N

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Sri Lanka to censor news alerts about military, police
Darpa Director Bolts Pentagon for Google
For Russia's Troubled Space Program, Mishaps Mount
DMC Central facing fuel shortage (Pakistan)
"The District Municipal Administration (DMC), Central is facing acute shortage of fuel due to which it is unable to dispose of heaps of garbage accumulated in the areas under its authority, it is learnt on Monday."
This is how systemic failure looks. -- RF

## Japan ##
Japanese High Tech's Five Circles of Hell
Rethinking, Not Just Rebuilding, Japan's Northeast
As I've said time and again, trying to recreate what existed before won't work. -- RF
Very little stirring in nuclear ghost town
"They used to raise premium beef cattle in Iitate. But a year after Japan's nuclear disaster it is an irradiated ghost town and those who used to call it home have no idea when they will be able to return."
Few signs abroad of lifting of import restrictions on Japanese food products
259 citizens file suit to block restart of reactors in Fukui

## China ##
Tough medicine and a hard landing for China
Base metals may crash as China records biggest trade deficit since 2000
New Rail Setback Hits China
"A section of new high-speed rail line in central China has apparently collapsed two months before it was scheduled to go into use, in the latest blow to the nation's already troubled high-speed rail ambitions."
Chinese deficit widens as exports slump

## UK ##
Demand for engineers 'growing'
"Engineering vacancies for permanent and temporary jobs have increased since the start of the year, especially in the energy sector, including oil and gas and renewables.
"Firms in other sectors such as aerospace were reporting skills shortages, according to the study by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies."
Hosepipe bans to be imposed as drought worsens
U.K. Banks in Hot Water Again in Derivatives Suit

## US ##
Meredith Whitney was right
"Laugh at her all you want, but then try this: go find one person who says their local taxes are falling or their municipal services have improved in the past year or two. I wish you luck in your endeavor."
Of course she was right! That's what I've been saying all along. And this is CNN-Fortune talking. We've come to the point where even the mainstream publications are admitting it. Rest assured, municipal financial woes are just getting started, and the massive sh*tstorm of muni bond defaults is on the way. Meredith, baby, you have always been right! -- RF
Collapse Coming–Not Recovery
Wall Street Bonuses May Surge 20% This Year, Consultant Says
Marine fuel prices make waves in South Florida economy
"Higher gas prices are rippling through South Florida's marine community, raising fears that regional spending will contract as boat owners idle their vessels or budget more on fuel."
The Pentagon is a gas guzzler
"The Pentagon spent $17.3 billion on oil in 2011, a 26 percent increase from 2010. This despite the Pentagon's public efforts to 'go green.'"
Student loans seen as potential 'next debt bomb' for U.S. economy
Shop 'Til It Drops: Take a Virtual Tour of a Dead Mall (gallery)
How symbolic of the decline of the consumer culture. -- RF
Gas prices top $3.80 a gallon
Gasoline and diesel prices continue rising
"In the last week, the average price of a gallon of regular gas increases 1.8 cents in California and 3.6 cents nationwide. The average for diesel is up 2.9 cents in the state and nationwide."
Fed Bank Stress Tests Out–Assume An Apocalypse

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