Friday, April 13, 2012


News Links, April 14, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spanish Banks' ECB Borrowing Hits New High
Investors brace for more pain in Spain
Spanish Property Prices Slashed
"Real estate markets in struggling Eurozone nations like Spain have been plagued with spiraling declines in value, and both countries have resorted to fire sales and distress auctions to move property out of foreclosure and off of bank books. Excess inventory still exists and now it is being sold at bargain prices along the Spanish costas."
Spain to Limit Cash Transactions to Fight Tax Fraud
India's Trade Gap Widens
"Although exports beat the government's target, India's trade deficit shot up more than 50% in the last fiscal year as a rise in crude oil prices and increased demand for gold pushed imports higher."
IMF funds drive caught in global power shift
Toronto's condo market continues to boom while warning signs mount

## Airline Death Spiral ##
India to Bail Out National Airline Carrier
No option but to hike fares (India)
Is JPMorgan About to Crash Delta Airlines?
American Airlines Fuel Surcharge Increase

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Obama Threatens More Iran Sanctions
Iran ships "off radar" as Tehran conceals oil sales
"Iran is concealing the destination of its oil sales by disabling tracking systems aboard its tanker fleet, making it difficult to assess how much crude Tehran is exporting as it seeks to counter Western sanctions aimed at cutting its oil revenues."
In Cuba, international businesses abound - just not from the U.S.
"The embargo, partially imposed in 1960 and fully in place two years later, is not a blockade. That's clear by the abundance of foreign goods and investment in Cuba.
"It is a blockade, however, in the sense that U.S. companies are blocked from doing business in Cuba. That hasn't stopped their international competitors from Canada, Mexico, Brazil and even China from setting up shop.
"It's striking when visiting the island just how much the rest of world now trades with, invests in and sends tourists to Cuba."
U.S. Risks Involvement in Regional Central Asian Disputes
Marines practice on Calif. oil platforms
Pakistan Calls for End to US Interventionism
"Drone strikes, troop incursions, and supply routes for NATO, among other things, must stop"

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Crowd control a concern ahead of NATO summit
"Police plan to use what's called a long-range acoustic device to keep crowds from getting out of hand."
Israel forces airline to cancel tickets of British 'flytilla' activists

## Energy/resources ##
What the EIA's World Oil Production Data for 2011 Tells Us About 2012
"On balance, it would appear that at best oil production in the near future will be virtually flat, leading to more spiking of oil prices and greater world economic problems. Another possibility is that world production will begin to decline. The likelihood of decline would appear to be increased if more oil exporters encounter political disruptions, or if the world enters a major recession leading to an oil price decline."
Total to spend over $300 mln on Uganda exploration

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thefts putting homeowners on edge (US)
Thieves target copper cables at Phakalane's 'dark city' (Botswana)

## Got food? ##
Zimbabwe's 2012 maize crop forecast cut to 1 mln tonnes
"Zimbabwe's maize harvest is expected to fall by 26 percent to 1 million tonnes this year after nearly half of the crop was written off because of a prolonged dry spell, an assessment from the agriculture minister showed on Friday."

## Environment/health ##
Study: Allowing More Salmon to Spawn Creates a Win-Win for Humans and Ecosystems
Not stated specifically here is that the upstream migration of anadromous fish is one of nature's mechanisms for returning nutrients from the sea to land. -- RF
Record Tornadoes & Weather in US, Severe Drought in Mexico and Europe

## Japan ##
Gov't says it is safe to restart two nuclear reactors at Oi plant
Fukushima governor rips restart of Oi nuclear reactors
"The governor of Fukushima Prefecture has lashed out at the central government's handling of the proposed restart of the Oi nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture."
35-ton device found in spent fuel pool at Fukushima reactor
"A 35-ton piece of machinery has been found at the bottom of the spent nuclear fuel pool in the No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said Friday."

## China ##
China Property-Sales Drop Shows Risk of Hard Landing

## US ##
Tax refunds being used to pay for bankruptcy filings
"More than 200,000 money-strapped households will use their tax refunds this year to pay for bankruptcy filing and legal fees, says a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research."
Will you need a job when you're 75? (If you are the 99%, yes.)
"Disappearing pensions, an uncertain economy and shrinking home values are keeping many seniors in the workforce -- or bringing them back."
10 Unbelievably Sh**ty Things America Does to Homeless People
Pennsylvania Town Seeks to Squash Scourge of Garage Sales
The coming nursing home shortage
"Construction of facilities is declining, and the federal government has cut Medicare reimbursement rates. As seniors increase in numbers, expect elderly care to suffer."
Stocks: Worst week of the year, S&P 500 sinks 2%
Railroad Traffic Continues Decline on Lack of Coal Shipments

Cheney, with new heart, to speak Saturday
Let's hear him speak on the witness stand. -- RF

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