Thursday, April 05, 2012


News Links, April 6, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greece again extends bond swap deadline for holdouts
European Stocks Drop a Third Day as Spanish Borrowing Costs Rise
France borrowing costs rise as eurozone debt nerves return
Destruction of Spain's Economy Duplicates Greece
This Is the End, Bull Friend
"The next economic downturn won't be a Great Recession; it will be a Great Depression."
Firm behind 'The World' is insolvent - developer (Dubai)
REVEALED: How the crash hit Palm property prices (Dubai)
"The value of apartments in one of Palm Jumeirah developments has plunged by as much 75 percent in the wake of Dubai's 2008 property crash, documents obtained by Arabian Business reveal."
Africa may have to get used to less aid
Donors themselves are running out of money. -- RF
Next Great Depression? MIT study predicting 'global economic collapse' by 2030 still on track
Except we won't have to wait until 2030. -- RF

## Airline Death Spiral ##
British Airways Zeal for Europe Empire Tested by AMR, JAL Woes
Air Berlin March passenger count drops 1.1 pct
"Air Berlin has been trying to shrink itself back to profitability by cutting routes, seats and delaying plane orders."
IATA: Rising Fuel Costs Eat Into Airline Profitability
Chinese Airlines Hike Fuel Surcharges To New High
Colgan Air parent co. files for bankruptcy
"Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines Corp., parent company of Colgan Air, has filed for bankruptcy. Colgan currently serves airports in Trenton and Presque Isle, though it will soon cease its service."
Have you heard the one about the airline that buys a refinery?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US State Department seeks a global drone fleet
U.S. to Send Combat Ships to Singapore for Exercises
Congo sends troops to east after mutiny and clashes
Pakistan and India to go to War over Water?
Amnesty warns Mali is 'on brink of major disaster'
"Mali is on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster following a coup and rebellion in the north, Amnesty International says."
Israeli architect of Oslo accords says Middle East peace process is over
Chinese ships seen near Senkaku Islands
South Korea's unloved chaebol
"South Korea's smartphones and cars may have won global acceptance, but back home Koreans are increasingly disturbed by the influence the chaebol have over their lives."
Israel Presses US for Another $700 Million in Military Aid
"Funding Needed for Missile Defense Israeli Military Felt Wasn't Worth Paying For"

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Police pepper spray Calif. students protesting new fees.
Greek retiree's suicide in main Athens square fuels anti-austerity protest
Protesters arrested after storming famed Montreal hotel (Canada)

## Energy/resources ##
Safety check backlog at UK oil rigs
"The UK North Sea's dwindling oil and gas reserves are pushing companies to tap unstable reservoirs at high pressure and extreme heat, while safety checks and maintenance are behind schedule, a North Sea rig auditor who works for the industry told Reuters. French oil major Total is battling to stem a 12-day gas leak at its North Sea Elgin platform after a series of technical failures that industry sources say reflect wider lapses across Britain's offshore industry."
Here it is: Peak oil and the decline of the oil/gas industry. As oil and gas become more expensive to extract, costs must be cut elsewhere. This article is long but a good read. -- RF
Why the US Cannot Extract Most of its Oil Reserves
Yes, there's lots of oil left. But much of it is not commercially extractable. -- RF
Diesel consumption rises 11.9% in February as industry switches from expensive petrol (India)
Fast and furious: India's diesel guzzling to cause shortage soon
Indian dream of clean gas-based power stations turns sour
"India's dream of providing clean gas-based power stations is turning sour. Three gas-based power plants, including Pragati, Bawana and Rithala in the NCR region, with a combined capacity of over 1,730 MW, have literally 'run out of gas'."
Indonesia 's Coal price hike threatens India's power sector
Subsidized fuel consumption up 11% in March (Indonesia)
Brent rises above $123 on supply disruption fears
"Brent crude rose above $123 a barrel on Thursday, after sharp falls in the previous session, lifted by growing concerns over Iranian supplies being disrupted due to Western sanctions."
Iran cuts oil to Greek firms over payment problems
Canadian oil sands output skids in March
"Production at Canada's biggest oil sands projects, run by Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) and Syncrude Canada Ltd, tumbled in March after unscheduled outages of major processing equipment, prompting investors to push the developers' shares down."
Power crisis in Assam, tea industry badly affected
Electricity supply to remain erratic (Cyprus)
Saudi oil shipper Vela books more tankers to U.S
"Saudi Arabia's state oil tanker company Vela has booked at least four vessels carrying up to 8 million barrels of crude for the U.S. Gulf in the past two days, tanker fixture data showed on Thursday."
Total gas leak: Team assesses leak at Elgin platform in North Sea
Russia coal export growth limited by rail problems
Bangladeshis Boil over Power, Water, Gas Shortage Amid Rising Temperature

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Wire thieves wreak darkness on Sacramento streetlights

## Got food? ##
World food prices rise in March: FAO
"Global food prices rose in March for a third month in a row driven by gains in vegetable oils and grains, adding to inflationary pressure, the United Nations' FAO index showed on Thursday."
'We couldn't even eat the seeds': Drought affecting millions in Africa's Sahel

## Environment/health ##
Radioactive fluid leaks at French nuclear reactor

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Anonymous says it hacked Chinese government sites
"China was struggling Thursday to restore several government websites that international hacking group Anonymous says it attacked in an apparent protest against Chinese Internet restrictions."

## Japan ##
Radioactive water leaks from Fukushima plant
"About 12 tonnes of water contaminated with radiation has leaked from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
"Plant operator TEPCO believes most of the water flowed into the Pacific Ocean. It says the contaminated water leaked from a treatment pipe."
Gov't agency sought to raise Fukushima radiation exposure limit to 350 millisieverts
"The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) demanded the health ministry raise the allowable radiation exposure limit to 350 millisieverts effectively for emergency workers trying to bring the crippled Fukushima nuclear power station under control shortly after the ministry lifted the legal exposure limit to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts on March 14, 2011, it has been learned."
Toho Zinc To Halt Smelter This Summer Due To Power Rate Hike
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--Toho Zinc Co. (5707) said Thursday that it will suspend operations at its zinc smelting facility in Gunma Prefecture this summer due to the impact of an increase in power rates."
Diet passes Y90.3 tril budget, adding to Japan's debt mountain
"Japan passed a 90.3 trillion yen budget on Thursday, with about half the spending expected to be financed by new bonds that will add to Japan's massive debt mountain."

## China ##
Small wars loom large on China's horizon
"Broad hints have been coming out of China that the country might start small-scale military strikes over disputed waters that are believed to hold rich energy reserves. The consequences of such endeavors would be tolerable to Beijing, international experts say."
The Coming China Super Crisis
Salary cuts, layoffs widespread at Chinese securities firms
Shipping accidents rise as market falls
"As the world's shipping market slumped to its lowest point this year, ship owners have cut their spending on safety, resulting in a growing number of maritime accidents in recent months, maritime officials said."
Beijing raises domestic fuel prices 4.35%
"This is the third time the Chinese government has raised domestic fuel prices this year. Beijing increased domestic fuel prices by 1.43% and 3.48% to CNY7,465 per ton and CNY7,725 per ton, respectively, in February and March (ATW Daily News, March 8)."

## UK ##
Lights off to save cash
Birmingham bike sales rise 60 per cent after petrol panic buying

## US ##
Detroit narrowly avoids state takeover
Congress is so divided it can't even pass a highway bill anymore
Dysfunction is plaguing governments everywhere. Governments have become overly complex and bloated, depending on massive energy throughput to keep going. Guess what… -- RF
Yonkers Finances in Desperate Straits, Panel Warns
Should Muni Bonds Pay To Demolish Buildings?
"Two members of Congress from Ohio have introduced a bill to allow states to issue tax-exempt bonds to demolish buildings. Not to build them, but to destroy them."
Owe The IRS? Bill Would Suspend Passport Rights For Delinquent Taxpayers
Unemployment is not 8.3 percent -- it's 15.1 percent
Soaring battery prices "devastating" U.S. lead producers

And finally… Think tank founded by Gingrich files for bankruptcy

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