Saturday, March 17, 2012


News Links, March 18, 2011

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Container Shipping: Replay of 2009 Threatens as Carriers Face Twin Threats of Declining Demand and Overcapacity
S&P report:Shipping prospects sink on high costs, oversupply
"Bunker fuel, which constitutes the bulk of voyage expenses for shipping operators, is currently at a five-year high of about $720 per ton, compared with an average of about $630 per ton and a five-year low of $200 per ton in 2008."
Spanish Banks Account for 47% of ECB Credit in February; Spain's Real Debt to GDP Ratio is 110% Not Reported 68%; Spain Will Implode. It's a Wonder it Hasn't Already (Mish)

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Direct Air parent files for bankruptcy protection
"Just three days after abruptly stopping service and leaving travelers stranded, the parent of discount airline Direct Air has filed for bankruptcy protection."
SA airlines hit turbulence
"Oversupply of seats spells financial trouble. Rocked by high fuel prices, executive shuffles, cancelled flights, financial losses and layoffs, South Africa's airline industry is taking strain."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Power Struggles at the Persian Gulf - is Another Gulf War Imminent?
"The Yom Kippur War in 1973, the Iranian Revolution in 1978, the first Gulf War from 1980 onwards, and the first war at the Persian Gulf from August 1990 onwards all led to a decline in global oil production of 4-7%. As a consequence, the oil price increased by a minimum of 30% and a maximum of 70%. Each one of those wars was followed by a recession in the US."
Brent At $126 As Israel Security Cabinet Votes 8 To 6 To Attack Iran
Panetta Confirms US Involvement in Potential Israeli War on Iran
Strike On Iran, A Green Light From Washington
"After 30 years of various sanctions and hostile rhetoric aimed at Iran, for the U.S. to turn back now, it would have to admit defeat, thus sending a powerful signal that U.S. dollar hegemony is imminently unraveling. Allowing Iran to make the rules concerning payment for its oil will surely embolden other oil producers to follow in step—a step other OPEC members would gladly take if it meant ridding themselves of the hopelessly inadequate U.S. dollar as recompense."
US sanctions on India are rumours: Govt official
"A US government official has come out an rubbished recent reports that the US had threatened India with sanctions if the Asian country does not reduce its oil imports from Iran."
Up to 20 U.S. troops involved in Kandahar massacre — Afghan probe
78 Percent of Americans Oppose Invading Syria
Saudis begin delivering arms to Syria rebels – Twin suicide blasts kill 27 in Damascus
Syria training Hezbollah to use antiaircraft guns
S.American group rejects UK oil exploration in Falklands
"South American nations on Saturday rejected British oil exploration in the disputed Falkland Islands, as tensions between the United Kingdom and Argentina escalate before the 30th anniversary of their war over the archipelago."
Karzai says he's at 'end of the rope' with US over Afghanistan massacre

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Daring Saudi tweets fuel political debate
Russian opposition stages new protests, over 20 held
"Russian police detained more than 20 people near the Kremlin on Saturday as the opposition staged two new anti-government protests following Vladimir Putin's presidential election win."
Tibetans Protest in Northwest China
"Thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of a city in China's northwest Qinghai Province on Saturday after the death of a farmer who set himself on fire at a Buddhist religious site, according to Tibetan exile groups. It was the second large protest in Qinghai this week."

## Energy/resources ##
Massive Penang blackout caused by damages to main switch
Superior refinery briefly shut down by power outage this morning
Huge power outage darkens 22,000 homes in Walnut Creek, surrounding cities
Crude Oil Theft: Ghana Navy Detains Nigerian Vessel
U.S. natural gas drilling rig numbers drop to 10-year low
Zambia plans talks with miners to cut power usage
"Zambia, Africa's top copper producer, will ask big electricity consumers such as miners to cut back their energy usage after the country was hit by an electricity shortage, the state-run power firm said on Saturday."
Fuel shortages drag on in Cairo

## Got food? ##
US government approves Monsanto seed experiment across America

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
US e-voting system cracked in less than 48 hours
"Researchers at the University of Michigan have reported that it took them only a short time to break through the security functions of a pilot project for online voting in Washington, D.C. 'Within 48 hours of the system going live, we had gained near complete control of the election server', the researchers wrote in a paper that has now been released. 'We successfully changed every vote and revealed almost every secret ballot.'"
Nearly a Half Million Servers May Power Amazon Cloud

## Japan ##
'Idle' savings withdrawn as state, banks squabble
"Depositors are scrambling to withdraw their long-unused savings before the government embarks on its plan to seize billions of yen in "dormant" bank accounts for rebuilding disaster-hit areas and other purposes.
"Call centers of major banks have been flooded with inquiries about cancellation procedures since the government plan was reported in mid-February."
The government hopes that people will spend the money they withdraw, but most of it will no doubt be used by former depositors to beef up their cash positions (i.e., stuff mattresses). -- RF
Kawasaki disease in kids at record high
"The number of Japanese suffering from Kawasaki syndrome, an autoimmune disease that mainly afflicts children and whose cause and cure remain unknown, has been steadily increasing, a recent nationwide survey showed."
Fukushima: "Don't play in the park for longer than 1 hour a day"

## China ##
China government tells city to fall in line after Bo purged
"China's central leadership has moved to bolster control over the southwest city-province of Chongqing after ousting its contentious yet popular chief, Bo Xilai, with state-run media on Saturday telling officials and residents there to toe the line."
China to issue more local government bonds
Ordos: The biggest ghost town in China
Chinese microbloggers bemoan identity disclosure rule

## UK ##
Local diesel shortages explained
An Eulogy for the Industrial Revolution's Power Source
Hosepipe ban firms losing millions of gallons though leaks
"Nearly half of the water companies restricting home owners' activites from next month have been criticised officially for not doing enough to stop mains leaking."
Britain Will Keep Austerity With Unemployment at 16-Year High

## US ##
No Relief in Sight at Pump
"U.S. gasoline prices jumped 6% in February, and market experts predict they will climb higher because critical refining operations in the Northeast are shutting down.
"From New York to Philadelphia, refineries that turn oil into gasoline have been idled or shut permanently because their owners are losing money on them. Sunoco Inc. is expected to close the region's largest refinery in July, taking another 335,000 barrels per day in production capacity off the market."
Money Supply booming, seeds of the next Greater Recession
US investigates equipment failure at nuclear facility
Gas prices up for 8th straight day

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