Thursday, March 29, 2012


News Links, March 30, 2012

Note to readers: This list of links is just a small subset of the news and analysis found at CollapseNet.

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurozone Retail Sales Contract 5th Consecutive Month, Year-on-Year Sales Decline 10th Month
BRICS flay West over IMF reform, monetary policy
"Leaders of the BRICS group of emerging market nations pressed Western powers to cede more voting rights at the IMF this year and flayed the rich world's reflationary monetary policies for putting global economic stability in jeopardy."
Rajoy to Unveil Deepest Spanish Budget Cuts in 30 Years
Small Spanish villages face big budget woes
Spain's general strike shows first signs of rebellion against austerity
"Austerity measures look set to become far more dramatic on Friday, when prime minister Mariano Rajoy delivers one of harshest budgets ever seen in Europe"
Greece May Have to Restructure Debt Again: S&P
Storm clouds gather over Monti's Italy reform drive
Middle East's richest find fortunes fell after downturn
"Many of the Middle East's wealthiest merchant families have lost as much as a third of their fortunes since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, according to a new report."
Poverty drives central Europe's great exodus
'Gov't policies widen gap between rich, poor' (Israel)
"Bank of Israel releases review of Israeli economy for 2011, says global, local trends led to social unrest. Fischer says economy could face trouble in 2013"
Gold is Manipulated (But That's Okay) (Chris Martenson)
13 East Asian countries agree to double size of currency swap arrangement
"The move reflects the bad experience that ASEAN countries such as Indonesia had with the IMF during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, when the IMF meted out harsh prescriptions to pluck them from their financial troubles."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
CAA's apathy Domestic airlines incurring fuel losses (Pakistan)
GMG suspends flight operations (Bangladesh)
"GMG Airlines, the largest private airline of the country, has announced suspension of its flight operations from Mar 30 for what it called 'strategic restructuring against rising fuel price and competitive global market'."
Brazil's second-biggest airline profit plummets
"São Paulo, Brazil - Brazil's second-biggest airline's net income tumbled 58.9% from a year earlier as a spike in operating expenses ate into profit.
"Reuters reports that GOL airline's total consolidated operating costs and expenses jumped 41%, with fuel costs rising 56.6%, personnel costs climbing 30.3%, and maintenance expenses increasing 147.8%."
Hawker-Beechcraft Readies for Bankruptcy, Are Other Aviation Stocks Looking Good?
United Passengers Vent Frustrations Through Social Media
IndiGo stands out as the only profitable carrier in India
SIA reviews flights to NY and Los Angeles
"Three years after a controversial launch, Singapore Airlines is reviewing its options to stem losses on its non-stop, all-business-class flights to New York and Los Angeles."
Singapore Airlines to put economy seats back in its epic polar express flights
"Singapore Airlines has signaled through a subscriber story in The Straits Times that rising fuel prices are causing it to consider re-introducing a premium economy cabin to its all business class ultra long range Airbus A340-500 flights to Los Angeles and Newark (for New York City)."
Lufthansa puts its JetBlue stake on the block
What Shrinking U.S. Air Service Means for Travelers Today

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
India,China to continue Crude Oil imports from Iran, other BRICS support
"MUMBAI (Commodity Online): India and China have flexed their muscles, supporting oil imports from Iran despite US opposition that both countries should reduce importing oil from the Middle East country. India and China are the two biggest oil markets for Iran, accounting for about 45% of Iran's oil exports."
Giuliani claims 'terrorist' MEK only chance for regime change in Iran
New security for U.S. troops in Afghanistan

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Two men torch themselves in Italy as hardship bites
Spanish general strike protesters clash with police
S Korean activists protest against Japan
""South Korean activists on Thursday burned pictures of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and scuffled with police in a protest against Tokyo's claims to disputed islands."
Israel braces for Arab protests on Friday
"Israeli authorities say thousands of security forces are making final preparations for a series of Arab protests expected Friday in Israel and along its borders with the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Arab countries."

## Energy/resources ##
South Sudan Prepares For Blackout as Fuel Supplies Dwindle
"South Sudan's capital is braced for a complete blackout in the coming days due to fuel shortages, local media reported on Thursday."
This Summer's Texas Blackout Avoidance Strategy: Diesel Generators and Voluntarily Going Dark
Nigeria in darkness over system failure
"Another system failure on Wednesday threw the entire country into fresh blackout despite the Federal Government's efforts to up generation of electricity."
Cabinet agrees to lease electricity-generating ships, build power plants (Lebanon)
Power rates up across Philippines
Power shortage causes prolonged brownouts (Philippines)
"MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – The Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (Buseco) was forced to implement a two-and-a-half rotational brownouts due to power shortage brought about by increased peak demands of from member-consumers."
For some refiners, the price of gasoline is too low (US)
"[Refiners] say that gasoline prices, particularly on the East Coast, have been too low for them to operate successfully. Already, two refineries there have shut down completely and a third has gone idle as prices for fuel haven't kept up with the surging cost of the raw material, crude oil."
Widespread power outage hits Kauai (Hawaii)
Blackout hits Bulawayo city centre (South Africa)
West wants Saudi Arabia to keep up oil production
"Oil consuming nations may seek reassurance from Saudi Arabia that it will not cut oil production and neutralize the impact on oil prices if consumer countries release emergency reserves, diplomats and industry sources said."
Saudi Arabia resorts to Jedi mindtricks
South Sudan Runs out of Time for Oil Transit Alternatives
Did Libya's Oil Bubble Burst Already?
East Libyans threaten to stop oil to press government
Textile mills close up shop as cotton shortage worsens (Tanzania)
The Peak Oil Crisis: Our Natural Gas Glut (Tom Whipple)
A sobering analysis of that natural gas dream. -- RF

## Got food? ##
French Village to hand out free waste disposal units — Chickens
Why can't more people be this sensible? -- RF
Build This Predator-Proof, Portable Chicken Coop for Your Backyard

## Environment/health ##
Pesticides hit queen bee numbers
"Some of the world's most commonly used pesticides are killing bees by damaging their ability to navigate and reducing numbers of queens, research suggests."
Orangutans In Indonesia's Aceh Forest May Die Out In Weeks
"Forest fires and land clearing by palm oil firms could kill off within weeks about 200 orangutans in a forest in western Indonesia, an environmental group said on Wednesday."
Rampant Water "Pillage" Is Sucking Yemen Dry
Guerrilla gardeners take on Irish ghost estates

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
FBI's top cyber cop admits that hackers are winning
Microsoft censoring Windows Live Messenger chats for copyright infringement

## Japan ##
Foreigners Turn Heavy Sellers of Japanese Bonds
Yen Slides As Bank of Japan Policy Speculation Hits Fever Pitch
"NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--The yen weakened broadly Tuesday, as traders reacted to speculation of more monetary easing from Japan that could further erode the currency's value."
Name value: Naming rights for Osaka Pref. city may go on sale
"Any company presidents that have dreamed of putting their firms on the map may now have their chance, after the municipal government proposed selling the naming rights to this city."
Tepco asks for another ¥1 trillion injection
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Thursday requested an injection of ¥1 trillion from a government-backed entity to avoid insolvency."
Kyushu Electric Power is planning to slash its outlays by ¥120 billion
"Kyushu Electric Power Co. says it will cut about ¥120 billion in investments and expenses in fiscal 2012 in the face of expected cost increases for fuel purchases, nuclear safety measures and borrowing."
TEPCO isn't the only electric utility in trouble. Grid failure is just a matter of time. -- RF
Government tells TEPCO not to cut power to companies refusing to pay higher rates

## China ##
Turmoil builds in China's Tibetan regions
China Shipping Container swings to loss on costs
"China Shipping Container Lines Co. said Wednesday it swung to a 2011 net loss due to rising fuel costs, while overcapacity in the shipping industry also weighed on freight rates."
China Cosco Posts $1.7 Billion FY Loss on Shipping Slump
"China Cosco Holdings Co. (1919), Asia's largest container-shipping company, slumped to a worse-than- expected 10.5 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) net loss on higher fuel costs and a plunge in freight rates caused by overcapacity."
PetroChina's Annual Net Falls 5% on Refining Losses

## UK ##
Will More Britons Buy Dishwashers?
I don't think it matters anymore, does it? -- RF
Nuclear giants RWE and E.ON drop plans to build new UK reactors
David Cameron accused of presiding over 'shambles' on fuel as panic buying gets worse

## US ##
Geithner Wants to Throw Still More Taxpayer Dollars Down the Fannie & Freddie Toilet
Gasoline, diesel fuel prices increase for a 9th week
Patterson fears Detroit is headed for bankruptcy, unrest
Pentagon sees mass layoffs if budget cuts prevail
"The Pentagon said on Thursday it would expect hundreds of thousands of layoffs across the defense industry if lawmakers did not take action to avert an additional $500 billion in defense budget cuts that could take effect in January 2013."
Virginia First State to Sell Naming Rights to Roads
"Having become the first state to sell off the naming rights of its rest stops, Virginia is going one step further by naming roads and bridges after anyone ponying up the necessary cash."
Bill would commercialize California rest stops
Stocks Hit a Wall—And May Need the Fed After All
Egyptian Opposition to US Aid Hits 82%; So Why Did Obama Restore Aid, and Why Did Hillary Insist Upon It?

And finally…
Beam me up! Doomsday 2012: Thousands queue for UFO rescue at Pic de Bugarach
"Thousands of 'New Agers' are flocking to the village of Bugarach in France to prepare for the end of the world on December 21. The people are expecting that aliens will come to save them from doomsday apocalypse by beaming them aboard their spaceships."
Rubber Chickens & TV Sitcoms: Cost of Laughing Rises
I suppose rubber chickens too are made with oil. -- RF

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