Thursday, March 22, 2012


News Links, March 23, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Ireland back in recession as global slowdown hits exports
"GDP fell 0.2% in the final quarter of last year to put Ireland officially into recession, alongside Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and Greece."
"Eurozone Slides Back Into Recession" Says Markit PMI News Release; Sharp Decline in German Export Business; Misguided Decoupling Theories (Mish)
Spain may be euro zone's next source of contagion
Future housing market warning – Negative equity becoming a killer
China: PMI/Japan point to slowdown (FT)

## Airline Death Spiral ##
AMR to cut as many as 600 jobs at American Eagle
Lufthansa to Raise Prices, Cut Costs
Extra Fees Won't Save Airlines From High Fuel Prices
Facing bankruptcy, Pinnacle execs get big pay raise
Grab what you can as you head for the exits! -- RF
Rising Fuel Costs Could Hurt Frequent Flyers
CAL in $60m debt to Airports Authority
Global aviation sector commits to support a sustainable future
I'm speechless. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Calls mount for waivers on Iranian sanctions
"The UAE last night joined a chorus of countries hoping to be exempt from US sanctions against Iran."
Surprise, surprise. Yet another country says it must have Iranian oil. -- RF
Iranian smugglers thrive as sanctions tighten
Iran seeks 3 mn tonnes of wheat from India, to expand trade ties
Iran war could cause 30% increase in oil prices says IMF chief
"If the flow of oil from Iran is cut, this may cause a surge in crude prices of up to 30%, dealing a serious blow to the world economy, warns IMF chief, Christine Lagarde."
US Navy's Tiniest Warships Could Lead Assault on Iran
Beijing defends stance on Iranian oil
Work at Iranian nuclear power plant remains on schedule: Rosatom
Sarkozy announces crackdown on Internet hate sites
"President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday that France would make it a crime to consult Web sites that advocate terrorism or hate crimes and would toughen a crackdown on people who went abroad for ideological indoctrination."
Dispute with Egypt triggers fuel crisis in Gaza
"Egypt insists on sending fuel through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing, citing old international understandings which limit the use of Egypt's Rafah terminal with Gaza to the movement of passengers only.
"Hamas objects. It is opposed to giving its foe Israel the opportunity to block supplies in times of tension and wants direct trade with Egypt, a move that could strengthen Gaza's economy and Hamas's popularity."
Gen. Allen: Pakistan a 'Threat' in Terror War
Dozens reported killed in Syria as troops shell opposition areas
Russia, China join UN demand for Syria peace move
SIPRI Arms Report Highlights High Asian Activity

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
No one is getting off: youth gang's train rampage (Australia)
Portugal faces general strike in test of austerity
Montreal students stage rolling protests
Occupy activists pitch tents in Oakland park
"Occupy Oakland activists have set up a new encampment in a park north of downtown, calling it a response to the recent arrests of protesters in New York and the shooting death of an unarmed Florida teenager."
Dozens of NYPD cops oust 300 Occupy Wall Street protesters from Union Square Park

## Energy/resources ##
Yet another power outage plunges entire country into total darkness (Ghana)
Ground water 'may run out in 55 years' (UAE)
U.S. Intelligence Sees Global Water Conflict Risks Rising
Electricity shortage grips Mindanao
Aramco to import more fuel on supply shortage
"Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia's state oil firm, is expected to import higher-than-usual volumes of gasoline and gas oil."
Fuel shortage in Aden
Nigerian oil exports set to rise to 9-month high
AEP Formalizes Plant Closures, Power Grid Trouble Ahead? (US)
"AEP further noted that these retiring units were required to run to meet peak demand last summer and it warns that there is little new generation is scheduled to come on-line prior to the retirement dates that will replace the lost capacity."
Electricity rates to rise 9% in April (Israel)
"Household electricity rates will increase 8.9% in April, to 51.11 agorot per kilowatt-hour for households before VAT, the Public Utility Commission - Electricity announced yesterday.
"The state will also provide support for the Israel Electric Corporation, which is facing severe financial problems. The company will also be required to take efficiency measures and cut operating costs."
Prolonged blackouts loom in Metro Manila (Philippines)
"A key transformer broke down last night, rendering a huge part of Metro Manila without electricity that could last for days, the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said."
South Korea would support oil stock release
Don't plan for gas-based power projects, Govt tells developers (India)
Gasoline shortage hits Egypt, drivers lose tempers waiting in long lines at stations

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Bronze deer sculptures stolen in Texas

## Got food? ##
Monsanto 'Biotechnology Book for Kids' Caught Brainwashing Children
GMO Drought-Tolerant Corn Over-Promises: Plant Scientist
"Utilizing biotech 'drought-tolerant' corn to boost global food production would be a less-effective tactic than planting conventional corn and improving agronomic practices, a veteran plant scientist said on Tuesday."

## Environment/health ##
Mysterious 'zombie' disease afflicts thousands of Ugandan children
Flash floods: Torrential rains bring danger to six states (US)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Report: Hacktivists Out-Stole Cybercriminals in 2011

## Japan ##
Fukushima Pref. deleted 5 days of radiation dispersion data just after meltdowns
Radioactive cesium detected in submarine organisms in waters off Fukushima
Construction of resource exploration ship completed
"Japan on March 21 unveiled a 6,283-ton exploration vessel that will search for rare metals and other natural resources in waters around the nation."
The situation is getting desperate. -- RF
Japan escapes Iran sanctions blacklist, but is not out of the woods
Daiwa House to market self-contained 'veggie factory'
This has got to be one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. -- RF
Tohoku region reports sharp drop in children attending elementary schools
Support grows for expanded Japanese military role, poll finds
All 52 major Japanese cities to boost care insurance premiums
"Nursing care insurance premiums for people aged 65 or older will be raised from April in Japan's 52 major cities to cover the increase in nursing care service users in the aging society, a Kyodo News survey showed Thursday."

## China ##
Beijing On Edge Amid Coup Rumors
China Manufacturing Contraction May Worsen, Data Show
China: No longer the factory of the world?

## UK ##
Budget 2012: People will default on mortgages 'unless economy grows faster'
"Millions of households will default on their mortgages if Britain's sluggish economic state continues for another three years, the Institute of Economic Affairs has warned."
Angry UK police to seek right to strike
Hundreds of thousands could miss out on work pensions
Pack sizes shrink but prices remain the same, Which? finds

## US ##
U.S. Bank Lending Below Depression-Era Levels: S&P
10 Signs That America Is On The Verge Of A Horrible Municipal Debt Crisis
Dallas Fed: Top five U.S. banks hold over half of industry's assets
"In its annual report for 2011, issued on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released a startling report revealing that 52 percent of all the assets held by the entire banking industry have now become aggregated into the hands of just five companies, and the top 10 institutions have swollen so large that they possess wealth that equates to roughly half of America's annual gross domestic product (GDP)."
Millionaires add to their ranks
"The number of millionaire households rose by 200,000 to hit 8.2 million in 2011, according to new research by the Spectrem Group. These folks had at least a million dollars in assets, not including their primary residence."
IRS may share tax info with police to fight fraud
"A surge in tax refund fraud and identity theft has prompted the Internal Revenue Service to consider sharing more tax return information with police, a senior official told a congressional hearing on Tuesday."
Bernanke says U.S. consumption still too weak
You know what you must do. -- RF
Feeding The Homeless BANNED In Major Cities All Over America
After Massacre, Army Tried to Delete Accused Shooter From the Internet
"The scrubbed material included photographs of Bales from the military's official photo and video distribution website, along with quotes by the 38-year-old sergeant in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord newspaper regarding a 2007 battle in Iraq 'which depicts Bales and other soldiers in a glowing light.'"
T-Mobile USA to Cut 1,900 Call-Center Jobs, Close 7 Offices
Credit Swaps in U.S. Rise by Most This Year on Global Concerns
Ben Bernanke: Inflationist Jackass, Devoid of Common Sense, and Clueless About Trade, Debt, History, and Gold (Mish)
Atlantic Magazine Cover Proclaims Ben Bernanke "THE HERO" (Mish)
"If you are looking for the most nauseating cover possible on Ben Bernanke, please consider the April 2012 issue of The Atlantic."
Are the Good Times Never Coming Back? (NYT)
Geithner: Amount Needed to End Debt Ceiling Debate So Large "It Would Make You Uncomfortable" (video)
More than 40% of Americans Say Energy Situation is "Very Serious" — Gallup
Inequality gap widens in home ownership
Colleges slashing tuition, offering 3-year degrees
"A growing number of colleges are taking extreme measures to attract more students by cutting tuition or speeding up the rate at which they graduate."

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