Wednesday, April 25, 2012


News Links, April 24, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Europe pressed for action to end debt crisis
"Global finance chiefs pressed Europe in weekend talks to quickly put in place the economic reforms needed to finally extinguish its debt crisis now that newly increased financial buffers have bought some precious time."
The needed reforms would include giving up fractional reserve lending and infinite growth, but that's not going to happen, because more growth is seen as the solution. Collapse is inevitable. -- RF
Euro-Region Debt Rises to Highest in Currency's History
Europe Leads Global Selloff
Dutch government falls in budget crisis
China Manufacturing Continues Contraction
The Best Reason in the World to Buy Gold
"Beijing is planning to avoid U.S. financial sanctions on Iran by paying for oil with gold. China's imports of the metal are already large, and you can guess what additional purchases are going to do to prices."
Study: Major Shakeout Pending as Battery Market Rises Over $9 billion
"A recent study says the global battery market is due for extreme growth, to the tune of $9 billion annually by 2015.
"This growth will, however, be accompanied by massive overcapacity, says German strategy consulting company, Roland Berger. The study reiterates past predictions that many small battery companies will be either driven out of business, or left fighting over a comparative sliver of the market pie in just a few years."
Crime one of the world's "top 20 economies": UN
"Crime generates an estimated $2.1 trillion in global annual proceeds - or 3.6 percent of the world's gross domestic product - and the problem may be growing, a senior United Nations official said on Monday."
Be careful to distinguish this from System D. -- RF
Brazil's Bubble Trouble
Brazil Steelmaker Usiminas Posts BRL37 Million 1Q Loss

## Airline Death Spiral ##
US Airways Walks AMR Tightrope
China Passengers Storm Airport Tarmac After 15-Hour Delay
"The service across the whole aviation industry sucks."
Redundancies possible as Lufthansa cuts costs

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Turkey says Israel not welcome at NATO summit
"Turkey has refused to allow Israel to take part in a NATO summit next month because the Jewish state has not apologized for the 2010 killing of Turkish activists in a raid on a ship taking aid to Palestinians, a Turkish official said on Monday."
Japan Is Asked to Insure Iran Oil Shipments as EU Sanctions Bite
"Japan's government may insure tankers carrying Iranian oil, joining China and India in responding to European sanctions blocking private providers.
"The Japanese transport ministry held discussions with the Japan Shipowners' Association about providing insurance, Akimitsu Ashida, chairman of the group representing the country's shipping companies, said at a conference in Tokyo today. India is considering sovereign guarantees, and Chinese government officials also met to discuss ways to prevent sanctions from disrupting Iranian shipments."
Iran's Trading Partners Try to Avoid US Wrath
China policy battles boost South China Sea strains: ICG
"Jockeying by Chinese agencies over policy fiefdoms and budgets threatens to intensify tensions with China's neighbors over the disputed South China Sea, a respected think tank said on Monday, with China's military also warning of regional confrontation."
Wealthy Iranians spark luxury car boom
"Wealthy Iranians are fuelling an unprecedented luxury car boom despite sanctions hurting their economy, paying up to $360,000 for high-end autos, according to showroom employees and reports on Sunday."
Israel ready to strike Iran, Lebanon, Gaza if ordered, says military chief
Sudan launches major attack on South Sudan
Egypt turns down licences for US NGOs
Global pirate attacks down in Q1, Nigeria risk grows
"Vigorous action by navies including pre-emptive strikes helped cut global pirate attacks by almost a third in the first quarter of this year although Nigerian gangs escalated hijackings in West African waters, a maritime watchdog said."
Austria making military equipment cuts
"The Austrian Defense Ministry has reiterated its decision to cut its heavy equipment inventory by two-thirds."
Philippines Warns Neighbors on China's Territorial Claims

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Chicago condo residents warned to leave during NATO summit

## Energy/resources ##
WestLB is the First Bank to Refuse Finance to Offshore Oil Rigs in the Arctic
Water plan needed to tackle scarcity, says GCC chief
China to see more blackouts this summer
"Some parts of China will experience severe blackouts this summer as the result of an electricity shortage of 30 to 40 million kilowatts, according to an industry report published on Monday."
Four Japan utilities see power shortage in summer
Rotating brownouts stretch to 4 hours (Philippines)
Italian Eni Gas Company Enters Arctic
Iran oil minister warns of new sale cuts to Europe

## Got food? ##
China Grows Its Dairy Farms With a Global Cattle Drive
Food shortage looms after poor harvest (Kenya)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Web surveillance plans create 'nation of suspects' (UK)
If You Have a Smart Phone, Anyone Can Now Track Your Every Move
Iranian oil terminal 'offline' after 'malware attack'
FOIA Docs: US Cities Plan Spy Drone Fleets

## Japan ##
Japan headed for summer power shortage
Kansai Electric may have biggest power deficit in July
The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Over
"Spent reactor fuel, containing roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at Chernobyl, still sits in pools vulnerable to earthquakes."
No evacuation plans for 4.42 million residents near nuclear plants
Fukushima air to stay radioactive in 2022
"A decade from now, airborne radiation levels in some parts of Fukushima Prefecture are still expected to be dangerous at above 50 millisieverts a year, a government report says."
Group files injunction to stop restart of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors

## China ##
Summer shutdowns as city bids to save power
"SHANGHAI'S office buildings and department stores will be asked to turn off air conditioners at peak periods this summer as the city faces a potential shortage of electricity, the city's power supplier said yesterday."
New rules to tackle water shortage in Beijing
"China's arid capital is short of 1.3 billion cubic meters of water this year, following successive droughts in the last 13 years, the Beijing-based Legal Affairs Evening News reported Monday, quoting sources inside the Beijing Water Authority."
Water and will in short supply in China
"Across China, the signs of the country's distressed water supply have grown increasingly severe over the past several years. In February, Vice Minister of Water Resources Hu Simi publicly stated 'The situation is extremely serious in many areas. With overdevelopment, water use has already surpassed what our natural resources can bear.'"
Behind a Chinese City's Growth, Heavy Debt
"A Wall Street Journal analysis of Chinese rating-company reports shows that 10 major investment vehicles the city used to fuel its growth accumulated more than 346 billion yuan ($54 billion) in liabilities, as it recapitalized banks and built highways, bridges and other projects that boosted growth and helped attract global companies looking for an entry into China's booming inland markets. In 2007, when Mr. Bo became Chongqing's party chief, its top post, those vehicles had total liabilities of 162 billion yuan.
"Those debts likely represent only part of Chongqing's obligations, analysts say, because state-owned enterprises and property developers have liabilities of their own. The figures also exclude a number of smaller investment vehicles."
China Manufacturing Contraction May Spur More Easing
"China's manufacturing may shrink for a sixth month in April, maintaining pressure on officials to adopt more policies to stimulate economic growth, a survey of companies showed."

## UK ##
UK Govt. Seismic Fracking Report Certain to Sharpen Debate
Scottish unions warn on youth unemployment

## US ##
Report: Immigration From Mexico To U.S. Comes To Standstill
Fresh Round Of Job Cuts On The Way For Wall Street
The Top 1% Saw Their Incomes Rise 8 Times,1979-2007
Hospitals suffer from drug shortages
Resin shortage threatens to shut US auto plants
Appendix removal: Huge sticker shock in hospital study
The average was $33,000. Can you afford that? -- RF
Layoffs more familiar than ever
"A record number of U.S. survey respondents indicated they know someone who has lost a job in the past six months, a Gallup poll indicated Monday."
Trustees Warn Social Security Faces Bleak Future
"The trustees in charge of nation's Social Security program said a sagging economy has hit the program hard. The program's trust fund, which goes mostly to retirees, said the trustees, will run dry by 2033."
It won't last until 2033. -- RF
Illinois 'Treads Water' as Unpaid Bills Top $9 Billion
"Illinois's backlog of unpaid bills has risen to more than $9 billion because of pension costs and falling federal aid, leaving the state "essentially treading water," Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said."
Epic Fail - Part One
FDIC: Bank failures will cost $12 billion by 2016

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