Thursday, April 12, 2012


News Links, April 13, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
System D: Greek town develops bartering system without euro (must-see BBC video)
Villagers resort to barter trade (Zimbabwe)
Rats on Sinking Ship Scramble for Last Exit; Get While the Gettin' is Still Possible
"Like rats on a sinking ship, the Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos seeks his exit before the total and complete destruction of Greece."
Europe's banks beached as ECB stimulus runs dry (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)
"The European Central Bank's €1 trillion (£824bn) lending spree over the winter has stored up a host of fresh problems, leaving parts of the banking system more vulnerable than before as the short-term 'sugar rush' nears exhaustion."
ECB to Buy Euro-Zone Bonds Again, as Contagion Spreads?
Employers exploiting young trainees in 'widespread practice' (Australia)
"UNSCRUPULOUS employers are preying on young people desperate for a job by allowing them to work without pay for up to a year."
Federal job cuts strike border services, food inspection, Veterans Affairs (Canada)
Canada's trade surplus plummets
Death by a thousand cuts: Teachers, airline workers and Canada's public pensions
Euro-Zone Data Point to Recession
"Industrial production in the euro zone slumped in February by the largest amount in more than two years, Eurostat reported Thursday, adding to evidence that the common-currency bloc is in an economic recession."
Mubadala reports Dh4.2bn loss linked to global financial crisis (UAE)
Royal Canadian Mint to create digital currency
"MintChip will ultimately let people pay each other directly using smartphones, USB sticks, computers, tablets and clouds. The digital currency will be anonymous and good for small transactions — just like cash, the Mint says."
It sure as hell won't be anonymous. -- RF
As weather gets biblical, insurers go missing
"As weather disasters strike with more frequency, homeowners first get hit with the destruction or total loss of property. Many are then hit with the unexpected loss of homeowners insurance policies as insurance companies re-evaluate their financial liabilities."
The natural disaster rate climbs as industry reevaluates high risk areas.
Property insurance rates rising worldwide: Marsh
"Property insurance rates are on the rise around the world, solidifying a turn in the market after years of declines, insurance brokerage Marsh said on Tuesday."
Young and unemployed: the time-bomb bound to explode (Uganda)
Ivory Coast on track for debt relief in June: IMF
Vietnam goes nuclear on gold
IMF: Gold Is Scarce "Safe Asset" and "Growing Shortage of Safe Assets"

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Flights to Nowhere Cost Taxpayers over $6 Million a Year in Arizona
Direct Air bankruptcy goes to Chapter 7
Pinnacle Airlines pays flight crews erratically
More cuts by Ryanair at city hub
"Ryanair has announced further cuts to its services from Edinburgh Airport, axing eight routes from its winter schedule."
British Airways takeover will lead to 1,200 job losses at BMI
Chinese carriers post losses despite passenger traffic increases
Fuel headaches drag on for U.S. airlines in Q1

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Thinking The Unthinkable: Modeling A Collapse Of Saudi Oil Production – Analysis
"In this hypothetical scenario, the same anger, frustration, and pent-up demands for political and economic reform that has destabilized regimes throughout the Middle East also roils Saudi Arabia, which initially appeared to be immune from the Arab Spring upheavals."
Sudan mobilizes army as South claims key oil field
Iran offers oil at zero-percent interest
Iran sanctions causes friction in India and US relations
@DUBAI: Next door to Iran under sanctions, world looks different
A look at the sanctions, their impacts, and how merchants circumvent them. -- RF
Philippines sends second ship amid China stand-off
High-stakes brinkmanship on South China Sea

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Official reports downplay violence in Chongqing (China)
Angry travelers rush out onto airport taxiway (China)
China tightens 'land grab' rules to defuse unrest
Occupy Chicago Gears Up For May Day Rally

## Energy/resources ##
Drillers dropping diesel for cheaper natural gas
Electricity shortages 'chronic impediment' - Gigaba (South Africa)
"The shortage of electricity is a "chronic impediment" to growth and development on the African continent, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba says."
UBS Raises Oil Forecast On Likelihood Of Lower Iranian Exports
Obama, Sarkozy discuss oil reserves
"President Obama and French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy apparently discussed the possibility of tapping their respective oil reserves today, though neither side declared specific plans."
Russian Oil Output Hampered by Gazprom Offshore Delays, IEA Says

## Got food? ##
Fast Food America: Hospitals Serving Up McDonald's to Patients

## Environment/health ##
Radioactive Fuel Fires: Not Just a Japanese Problem
"The spent fuel pools at Fukushima are currently the top short-term threat to humanity.
"But fuel pools in the United States store an average of ten times more radioactive fuel than stored at Fukushima, have virtually no safety features, and are vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attacks."
Interior: Fracking doesn't cause quakes (US)
Scientists Link Rise In Quakes To Waste-Water Wells (US)
Keep in mind that these wells help underpin our industrial lifestyle. -- RF
Scientists call for global ban on bee-killing pesticides
Arctic oil rush will ruin ecosystem, warns Lloyd's of London
GoM: Shell claims 10-mile oil sheen is not from its wells

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
ACTA: The State of Play in the US
"In both process and in substance, it is a deeply undemocratic initiative that has bypassed checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens."

## Japan ##
Japan to Reconsider Nuclear Power in an Attempt to Guarantee Electricity Supply
"Japan is facing an electricity crunch this summer, potentially so severe, that companies such as Komatsu, the world's No. 2 maker of construction machinery, have said they will move factories overseas if electricity supply isn't guaranteed."
Japan's Cosmo Oil buys Saudi crude from Okinawa storage -sources
"Japanese refiner Cosmo Oil has bought 200,000 kilolitres (1.26 million barrels) of Saudi Arabian crude from storage in Japan to fill its spot requirements, industry sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday."
Running a bit short, are we? -- RF
Quake impact on Japan oil demand less than expected: IEA
No End To Japan's Deflation Concerns
7.7% of quake debris recycled / Rate remains low as firms fear causing anxiety among locals

## China ##
Non-performing loans hit 10-year high in Wenzhou
Gloomy solar industry leads to more layoffs in China
210,000 online posts removed in rumor cleanup
"China's Internet authorities have since mid-March removed more than 210,000 online posts and shut down 42 websites in their latest crackdown on Internet-based rumors, a senior official said Thursday."
New Yuan Bank Loans Surge, Point to Easing

## UK ##
Austerity nation: 'Decades' of cuts and tax rises ahead, economists forecast
"Britain faces decades of spending cuts and tax increases if the national debt is to be brought under control, economists have forecast."
Young homeless underestimated by Britons, says survey
Hours spent driving children about, AA survey suggests
"A third of parents spend between 10 and 49 hours a month per child ferrying their children about by car, a survey suggests."

## US ##
U.S. sees glut of natural gas, falling prices
"In a rush to avoid losses, producers are selling off assets and revamping investment strategies.
"'There's really not that many ways out of it,' said Alan Lammey, energy analyst for Weatherbell Analytics. 'They either have to change their game plans and start going after more oil-based plays, or they have to file bankruptcy or sell their assets.'
"Rigs are moving out of fields that yield dry natural gas, or methane, and moving into fields that produce crude oil and higher-value natural gas liquids. NGLs, like propane, butane and ethane, are used to manufacture plastics and other everyday items."
In other words, shale gas is a money-loser. -- RF
24 Outrageous Facts About Taxes In The United States That Will Blow Your Mind
Here's more of the bloat and overcomplexity that are bringing down industrial civilization. -- RF
Jobless Claims in U.S. Rise to Two-Month High
Ron Paul says he's not leaving the race

And finally… German man calls police over insatiable date

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