Monday, March 26, 2012


News Links, March 27, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Merkel signals readiness to compromise on firewall
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled for the first time on Monday that she was prepared to compromise on boosting the resources available for bailing out struggling euro zone states, paving the way for an increase in the bloc's firewall to contain the debt crisis."
Angela Merkel: Greek Euro exit would be 'catastrophic'
CDS Quotes On New Greek Bonds On Hold; Last CDS and 1-Year Bond Quote on March 9 (Mish)
"New Greek bonds are priced at roughly 22 cents on the dollar. Simply put, the market expects yet another credit event. Yet try buying CDS protection on the new Greek bonds. You can't."
Greeks Adopt Alternative Currencies as Economy Implodes
Sanctions against Iranian govt put cloud over global economic growth
BRICS to sign pacts for trade in local currencies
The U.K. Is Not O.K.
'Flabby and unproductive' - economy fails fitness test (Australia)
Ontario budget: Child benefit increase being delayed and social assistance rates frozen (Canada)
Gold gained 480% in 10 years

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Passengers stranded nine hours as airport eye-scanner fails (UAE)
Nigeria: Chaos At Airports As FAAN Resorts to Manual Check-in
Kenya Airways eyes $3.6 billion expansion in five years
Let's watch and see how far this plan gets. -- RF
Paying more for air travel, getting less (US)
Lufthansa says could give up freighter fleet - magazine
Budapest Airport temporarily closes Terminal 1, postpones Cargo City investment
US Airways chief: Unpopular fees here to stay
Southwest Airlines Raises Fares, Blames Fuel Costs
Ethiopian Admits to Pressure from Soaring Fuel Prices

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iranian leader says U.S. can no longer dictate policy
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday the United States could no longer dictate policy to the rest of the world and warned of growing instability in the West's relations with Pakistan.
"Ahmadinejad, speaking at a regional conference on Afghanistan, called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from the country and proposed that NATO use part of its military budget to help revive the Afghan economy."
Israeli spies 'step up missions into Iran seeking proof of nuclear plans'
Obama: Not Much Time Left for 'Diplomatic Solution' to Iran
US and Turkey look to provide Syrian rebels with 'non-lethal' aid
Turkey closes Syria embassy, Homs shelled again
Iraq tests regional muscle with Arab summit
"Authorities spent hundreds of millions on the summit, upsetting some Iraqis who still live with frail basic services and intermittent power supplies that force them to rely on generators during blackouts."
Iraq's ominous trendline of violence
Afghan in army uniform kills NATO soldiers
S. Korea Determined To Shoot Down Rocket
Japan to Deploy Patriot Missiles in Tokyo
Pakistani President: US Must Halt Drone Strikes

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tibetan exile sets himself on fire at anti-China protest in New Delhi
Transport unions ready to strike against gov't reforms
"Czech transport unions are ready to stage a strike against the government cuts and reform, Jaroslav Pejsa, chairman of the rail trade union (OSZ), told CTK Friday.
"The trade unions want the protest to be more massive than the transport strike in June 2011, Pejsa said."
Thousands at household tax protest
"Thousands of demonstrators have attended a protest rally in Dublin against the Government's controversial household charge."
Protesters stand vigil outside European Central Bank, critical of treatment of Greece
Parade route pits NATO protesters against Chicago
Pakistanis protest continuing energy shortfall
"Angry protesters burn the furniture of a gas station to condemn fierce power cuts in Lahore, Pakistan on March 26, 2012. Pakistan is suffering from an energy crisis leading to the closure of industrial units and causing long hours of load shedding."

## Energy/resources ##
March crude oil output loss at 1.2mbpd: Survey
"Crude oil output losses in March could add up to 1.2 million barrels per day (mbpd), a survey by Reuters shows. Current physical oil markets are tight in the wake of Iran sanctions and fears of an African supply disruption."
GMR halts work on Madhya Pradesh power project due to coal shortage (India)
Vestas Remains Top Wind Turbine Maker, Goldwind Is Second
"Turbine makers from Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the biggest, to Spain's Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA and India's Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL) have been buffeted by the loss of subsidies in three of the seven biggest markets. In the U.S., a cash-grant program ended last year and a tax credit expires in December, while Spain suspended clean-energy incentives in January and an Indian tax break for wind farms is set to expire on March 31."
Shale Boom in Europe Fades as Polish Wells Come Up Empty
Nuclear fusion and the "three years law" of scientific research
As Medvedev Meets Obama, Oil Trouble Grows In Russia

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper thieves targeting rail lines (US)
"The thieves are so brazen that they're stealing copper wire off poles in broad daylight, in sight of Montana's busiest interstate."

## Got food? ##
Looming power crisis to affect canned sardines production (Philippines)
'Pink slime' maker halts production at some plants (US)

## Environment/health ##
Trash flourishes along highways in ND oil patch (US)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Drug shortage: Ottawa offers to dip into emergency supply of medications (Canada)
Microsoft Seizes ZeuS Servers in Anti-Botnet Rampage
U.S. regulators push for online "do not track" system

## Japan ##
Only one of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors now running
TEPCO says Fukushima No. 2 reactor water level only 60 cms from bottom
"Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on Monday said the water level of the No. 2 reactor container at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is only 60 centimeters from the bottom, indicating a large quantity of water injected to cool the melted fuel is leaking from the vessel."
Eastern Japan Braces For Summer Power Shortages
Japan could give missile shoot-down order

## China ##
Beijing to intensify water conservation
Investors grapple with higher wages in "low-cost" China
Elderly nursing home bed crisis in Beijing
"Beijing's nursing home crisis has been highlighted in a report by Beijing News Monday revealing the capital's aging population face years of waiting for a bed."

## UK ##
Fuel tanker drivers vote for action
Nearly half of Game stores to close
"Almost half the stores run by collapsed retailer Game are to be closed this week, administrators said today, triggering 2,104 job losses."

## US ##
Food Stamp Use in L.A. Pauses At the Million Mark, Awaiting Oil's Next Move
State lawmakers push to take over millions of federal acres
"Another "sagebrush rebellion" is spreading through legislatures in some Western states with a series of formal demands that the federal government hand over title to tens of millions of acres of forests, ranges and other public lands."
California Farmers Feel Pain
"Sharp cutbacks in water for farmers threaten to trigger renewed layoffs in a large swath of California, eating into the state's $40 billion-a-year agriculture industry and damping its nascent economic recovery."
14 defining characteristics of fascism: The U.S. in 2012
Ad Spending Is Up as Economy Improves: CBS CEO
This is really encouraging. -- RF
Trickle-down consumption
States From Ohio to Florida Weigh Running Company Funds
"Six U.S. states, led by Massachusetts and California, are taking steps to put public pension overseers in charge of retirement savings plans offered to nongovernment workers, according to an advocate of the idea."
Obama Relies on Debt Collectors Profiting From Student Loan Woe
Obama adviser: tapping strategic oil reserve still an option

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