Wednesday, March 21, 2012


News Links, March 22, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Big retailers hammered (Australia)
Swedish equality fades away as rich get richer
If A European Sovereign Default Triggers CDS, Then US Banks Would Come Out On Top
Portugal to Follow Greece: Roubini's Das
Spain Faces "Increasing Risk of Debt Restructuring" Says Citigroup Chief Economist
Marc Faber: Where To Hide Your Gold
"'As you know, we had MF Global. What did the clients get? Less than what they had at the company,' Faber told Martenson. 'And I think eventually the financial system will be an MF Global, where you don't get your money back from the banks and the investment banks and from the mutual funds and so forth and so on.'"
Iran Says "Gold Is Money"
"End Of The Road" - A Teaser

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Emirates Says 'Whole Load of Airlines' Will Fail in Fuel Squeeze
"Emirates, the biggest airline by international traffic, said more carriers will go bust this year as fuel costs and sluggish economies undermine profitability.
"'We can reel off a whole load of airlines that are teetering on the brink or are really gone,' Tim Clark, the Dubai-based carrier's president, said in an interview. 'Roll this forward to Christmas, another eight or nine months, and we're going to see this industry in serious trouble.'"
Oil price to hit African airlines hard
3 Horrible Facts About the Airline Industry
Ethiopian Airlines Cutting Cost
3 Airlines to Raise Fuel Surcharges in Hong Kong
El Al Airlines swings to Q4 loss on higher fuel costs
US Airline Fuel Reaches Record High
"Jet fuel prices reached a record high of $3 per gallon on average in 2011. Fuel prices reached $3.30 on Monday, according to the U.S. Jet Fuel Index of Argus, a company that assesses global gas and oil prices."
Airline Industry Gives Up on Profits
PARCO halts jet fuel supply to PSO (Pakistan)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China Detains Vietnamese Fishermen in New South China Sea Dispute
"Chinese authorities have detained 21 Vietnamese fishermen near a contested island in the latest territorial dispute in the potentially oil-rich South China Sea."
INTERVIEW/ Patrick Walsh: South China Sea could be a new 'strategic pivot'
"The strategic balance in the South China Sea now has both regional and global ramifications and it could be regarded as a new "strategic pivot" for the Asia-Pacific region, retired U.S. Navy Adm. Patrick Walsh said."
U.S. to expand marine bases in W. Pacific
"The United States plans to spread bases of its Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) to a total of three locations in the western Pacific as part of the review of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.
"According to sources, U.S. government officials have proposed to their Japanese counterparts that the realignment of the Marine Corps' MAGTF, which is currently located only in Okinawa Prefecture, will also be sent to Guam and Darwin, Australia, as part of the realignment plan."
Destroy all churches in Gulf, says Saudi Grand Mufti
Thefts soar along with fuel prices (France)
"SOARING petrol prices have seen soaring numbers of thefts - and not just from petrol stations but from hauliers' yards, bus depots and even farmyards."
Mali soldiers attack palace in mutiny
"Mutinous soldiers attacked Mali's presidential palace on Wednesday in an apparent coup attempt in the West African country, defense ministry and diplomatic sources said."
Saudi Arabia pushing Bahrain to solve crisis, fears Syria effect
"Saudi Arabia wants Bahrain's government and opposition to resolve a political crisis that it fears could worsen because of the sectarian fallout of fighting in Syria and destabilize its Eastern Province, a diplomat and opposition politician said."
Gulf of Guinea Piracy Increases Amid Unrest and Rising Oil Prices
"In February 2012 alone, eight oil tankers were hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coasts of Nigeria, Benin and Cameroon – double the number from the previous month. A total of 13 attacks have been reported for 2012, almost half of those off the coast of Nigeria. Last year also saw a marked increase over the previous, with 64 reported hijackings in the gulf."
Russia to let NATO use airport as hub
"Russia plans to allow NATO to use a Volga region airport for transporting soldiers and military cargo to and from Afghanistan, officials say."
Al-Qaeda claims wave of deadly Iraq attacks
"Front group claims its "Sunni lions" were responsible for attacks that killed 46 people ahead of Arab League summit."
Afghan Villagers Were Threatened by US Troops Ahead of Massacre

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Greek state hospital services disrupted as doctors, staff strike over austerity
Italian union calls strike over Monti's job reforms
Japanese join S. Koreans in anti-nuke protests

## Energy/resources ##
Oil Declines as Emergency Crude Stockpile Release Studied
"Oil declined from the highest close in two days in New York after France said that industrialized nations are considering releasing strategic crude stockpiles to counter rising prices."
Talking down the price of oil. -- RF
Jatropha: A Green Fuel Awash in Red Ink
Oil shutdown disrupts Nigeria's economic growth
Illegal logging makes billions for gangs, report says
Green Energy Must Dodge 'Valley of Death'
Atlanta's Water War Is First in a Gathering Flood
Is Saudi Arabia Losing Control of the Oil Market? (Bloomberg video via Financial Sense)
"Saudi Arabia is losing its control over the oil market. It's not a pretty thing to watch."
The Peak Oil Crisis: Parsing the Bakken (Tom Whipple)
Brazil files criminal charges against Chevron, RIG
Brazilian Crude Reserves Could Double to 30 Billion Barrels
Offshore deepwater fields? Which will be developed when, and at what cost? -- RF

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Rendlesham villagers cut off by cable thieves (UK; + video)

## Environment/health ##
Study confirms oil from Deepwater spill entered food chain
New report links an increased public cancer risk with fracking sites
Stubborn drought expected to tax Mexico for years
"A severe drought in Mexico that has cost farmers more than a billion dollars in crop losses alone and set back the national cattle herd for years, is just a foretaste of the drier future facing Latin America's second largest economy."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
NSA Chief Denies, Denies, Denies Wired's Domestic Spying Story
CYBERCOM Arming U.S. Combatant Commands

## Japan ##
Feb Trade Surplus Y32.9bn; Expected Deficit Y110bn
No, it's not a "recovery." The overall trend is still down, as we'll see in succeeding months. -- RF
Megabanks To Give Kansai Electric Y250bn Credit Line
"The western Japan utility is facing roughly 136 billion yen in bond redemptions that year. The company is also likely feeling the need to beef up its cash reserves because it may have to use more fossil fuels if public opposition keeps the company from restarting idled nuclear reactors."
Japan closes its embassy in Syria amid violence
Buddhist federation speaks out against nuclear power
"The Japan Buddhist Federation has called for a society that does not depend on nuclear power not to repeat the mistake Buddhist organizations made during World War II by silently following government policies, its president said."
Japanese manufacturers hit hard by falling profits due to plunging prices
TEPCO to seek billions more for Fukushima compensation
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. is expected to ask the government for an additional 700 billion to 900 billion yen ($8.4 billion to $10.8 billion) to pay compensation to victims of the Fukushima nuclear accident, bringing the total to more than 2 trillion yen."
China's military buildup breeds distrust

## China ##
China's 22-Day Moving Average for the Cost of Crude Rises 0.19%
China Reins In Bo Xilai Chatter Online

## UK ##
RAC Reports 20% Increase in Motorists Running Out of Fuel as Petrol Prices Soar (UK)
Council considers street light switch-off
"TOWNS could be plunged into darkness under plans to switch off street lights overnight to save money."
Another MF Global, Only Smaller: WorldSpreads has 13 Million-Pound Shortfall in Client Money

## US ##
Fresno works to keep street lights on
"The city of Fresno is working on a permanent fix to keep street lights on and away from thieves.
"Streetlight boxes are constantly being hit, so the city is working to cement them closed. Each day 150 are sealed for good to stop copper wire theft."
Mitt Romney Proposes $8 Trillion Welfare Program for Defense Contractors; Prepare for Two Wars if Romney Wins
Pentagon: Trillion-Dollar Jet on Brink of Budgetary Disaster
"The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the supposed backbone of the Pentagon's future air arsenal, could need additional years of work and billions of dollars in unplanned fixes, the Air Force and the Government Accountability Office revealed on Tuesday. Congressional testimony by Air Force and Navy leaders, plus a new report by the GAO, heaped bad news on a program that was already almost a decade late, hundreds of billions of dollars over its original budget and vexed by mismanagement, safety woes and rigged test results."
Afghan Murder Suspect Bales 'Took My Life Savings,' Says Retiree
Analysis: More drilling hasn't lowered gasoline prices
"Analyzing 36 years of gasoline prices and U.S. oil production, the Associated Press finds no statistical correlation between how much is pumped out of the ground and how much is paid at the pump."
Threat of Refinery Strike Could Push Gas Prices Higher
General Mills Profit Dips on Rising Commodity Costs
The New Suburban Poverty (NYT)
"In many of America's once pristine suburbs, harbingers of inner-city blight — overgrown lots, boarded up windows, abandoned residences — are the new eyesores. From the Midwestern rust-belt to the burst housing bubbles of Nevada, California and Florida, even in small pockets of still affluent regions like Du Page County, Ill., the nation's soaring poverty rates are visibly reclaiming last century's triumphal "crabgrass frontier." In well-heeled Illinois towns like Glen Ellyn and Elgin, unkempt, weedy lawns blot the formerly manicured, uniform and tidy landscape."
Anti-Iran Embargo Exacting a Heavy Price on US Companies

And finally… Dutchman flies like a bird with homemade wings (+ video)

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