Wednesday, May 30, 2012


News Links, May 31, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Europe Is About to Implode... Are You Ready?
Bloodbath: All But Two Billionaires Lose Big Money On Wednesday
EU throws Spain two potential lifelines
"The European Commission threw Spain, the latest frontline in Europe's debt war, two potential lifelines on Wednesday, offering more time to reduce its budget deficit and direct aid from aeuro zone rescue fund to recapitalize distressed banks."
EU Throws Spain Two Deathlines; Spanish 10-Year Yield Tops 6.7%; ECB Rejects Madrid Ponzi Refinancing Scheme (Mish)
6 reasons Spain will leave the euro first
EU Proposes 'Banking Union'
"The 17 countries that use the euro should set up a 'banking union' that allows them to share the burden of bank failures, the European Union's executive arm said Wednesday, as worries grew about whether Spain has the financial strength to shield lenders suffering from a meltdown of its property market."
Germany Says "No" to Banking Union
IEA: EU to shell out record levels for oil
"The European community is on pace to spend more on oil imports in 2012 than the total amount of Greek government debt, the IEA said."
Iceland Property Bubble Grows With Currency Controls: Mortgages
"Iceland's crisis-management policies are creating the island's next property bubble less than four years after its banking meltdown threw the economy into its worst recession."
10-Year Treasury Yield Lowest Level in 60-Years; Spain 10-Year at 6.66%, Italy 10-Year 5.93%
Funds Cut Exposure to Euro Zone Banks
Euro zone expansion stalls as crisis rages
"None of the eight countries on the waiting list to join the euro currently meet the requirements to do so, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday - assuming, that is, that they still want to."
Slowdown signs - Chinese new ship orders slump
"The impact of the global shipping market continues to slump, 1 April, the development of China's shipbuilding industry suffered a severe test, three shipbuilding indicators fell."
French jobless claims highest since Sept 1999

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Chinese travelers share fuel cost burden with struggling airlines
Airline blames carbon tax for axing of routes

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US Completes Massive Military Exercise in Jordan
Officials Confirm: Obama Decides Who Lives and Who Dies

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests against blackouts turn violent in Punjab

## Energy/resources ##
German Power Grids Increasingly Strained
Spain Ejects Clean-Power Industry With Europe Precedent: Energy
"Spanish renewable-energy companies that once got Europe's biggest subsidies are deserting the nation after the government shut off aid, pushing project developers and equipment-makers to work abroad or perish."
UAE eyes June opening for pipeline bypassing Hormuz
Unavailability of land and water hold up iron ore pellet projects in India
'Bara has had 6 electricity blackouts' (South Africa)
Seoul stocking up on Iranian crude
"South Korean imports of crude oil from Iran for April were at their highest levels since late 2011, government figures indicate."
Rome Refinery to Cease Activities by End of Year
"Like many other refineries in Europe, the refinery has been affected by a drop in refining profit margins."
Occidental Bails On Bakken Shale Play Sending Mixed Signals To Oilfield Services Sector
"Hit by rising labor and other costs, Occidental Petroleum is moving some of its rigs out of the Bakken Shale Play in North Dakota. The retreat comes at a time when other explorers are flocking to the region attracted by high oil prices and looking to cut exposure to natural gas."

## Got food? ##
Poland Takes Agro Stand
"Recently in Warsaw, Polish Agriculture Minister, Marek Sawicki, took a giant stand against international agricultural conglomerate Monsanto and their genetically modified maize (corn) seeds."

## Environment/health ##
Massive wildfire becomes largest in New Mexico history

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Israel Hints at Role in New 'Super Virus' Spreading Across Mideast
'Anonymous' targets Montreal Grand Prix to back students

## Japan ##
Electricity, Gas Prices To Climb Again In July
Noda says reactor restart necessary once safety is assured
Noda says Japanese lifestyles rely on nuclear power
Paraguay offers Japan food in exchange for investment
Japan Brings In LNG From Far Away Brazil and Spain, A First

## China ##
China Buys Up Spain's Assets
China issues weather forecasts for disputed islands

## UK ##
Coryton refinery nears closure

## US ##
Would Calif. nuclear plant's backup power work after quake?
Veterans lose confidence in finding jobs: survey
Pending Sales of U.S. Homes Decrease by Most in a Year

And finally… IMF's Christine Lagarde: 'I Don't Pay Taxes, But You Should'


News Links, May 30, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Ponzi Financing in Greece Continues; Greek Banks Receive €18bn Transfer
Greek Euro Exit Aftershocks Risk Reaching China
Greece's Brain Drain Has Begun
Bank runs spreading across Europe! What next?
Dangers Of Contagion: EU Banks Sitting On A Lot Of European Bonds
This Is The Report That Might Be Freaking Everyone Out About Europe Right Now
Spain's retail sales in record fall
Spain runs out of money
Spain Delays and Prays That Zombies Repay Debt: Mortgages
"Spanish banks are masking their full exposure to soured property loans while they continue to prop up insolvent 'zombie' developers, leading to credit-rating downgrades and plummeting share prices."
Global cuts 'will reverse progress on child poverty'
JPMorgan dips into cookie jar to offset "London Whale" losses
India IT Firms Hit A Wall
IMF urges emergency steps to stabilize Sudan economy
Wanted: Asian cash to rebuild Christchurch
Why We're Ungovernable: Gridlock and the Fiscal Cliff

## Airline Death Spiral ##
4 Reasons Lower Fuel Prices Won't Lift Airlines
Croatia Airlines Eyes Adria Merger

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Insight: Israel gas finds launch navy into troubled waters
Israel pours cold water on big-power talks with Iran
Kenya: Iran, Country Agree to Boost Trade Ties
In the South China Sea, two superpowers flex their muscles
US special forces go global
"United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) chief Admiral Bill McRaven and deputy director of Operations, Brigadier General Sean Mulholland, want to establish a worldwide network linking special operations forces of allied and partner nations to combat terrorism, it was recently reported."
U.S. Military Denies Parachuting into North Korea
US Drones Attacking North Waziristan at Growing Rate
US wades deeper into counterterrorism fight in Yemen and East Africa

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Peru emergency in Cusco region over anti-mine protests
"The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in a southern Andean province following seven days of anti-mining protests and the deaths of two demonstrators."
Migrant workers riot near Wenzhou over killed laborer (China)
Egypt protesters torch candidate's headquarters
Karachi unrest, 3 more gunned down

## Energy/resources ##
Fears of soaring fuel prices after refinery that provides 20% of South East's petrol closes down (UK)
Diesel shortage hits state-run bus services (India)
European debt crisis, alternative energy buffet Danish wind power giant
Across states in US nuclear energy is taking its chin say experts
Oman's oil exports to India drop 88% in Q1
"Indian imports of Oman's crude oil in the first quarter of 2012 dropped 88.1% compared to the same period last year, as India increased imports from Iran, a news report has said."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Stop water meter thieves (Malaysia)

## Got food? ##
Michelle Obama launches White House Kitchen Garden book
Growing poultry industry in India to spike Corn, Oil meal prices higher
North Korea faces worst drought in 50 years; South says aid unlikely

## Environment/health ##
Fukushima Radiation Seen In Tuna Off California
Unstoppable white-nose syndrome spreads to endangered gray bats

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Iran 'finds fix' for sophisticated Flame malware
Flame virus most powerful espionage tool ever, UN warns

## Systemic breakdown ##
Japan, United States among economies with talent shortages, study shows
"The United States and other large economies cannot find enough skilled workers, engineers and other in-demand employees, according to an annual study on talent shortages."
I've said it a hundred times, and I'll say it again: Energy is now too expensive to maintain and expand the base of skilled workers and engineers needed to keep industrial/technological civilization going at this huge scale. It's all downhill from here. -- RF

## Japan ##
In escape from Japan doomsday, capital takes flight
Automakers back on track in only a year, despite two major calamities
It's a recovery, right? Well, no. Overall Japan's economy continues its downhill slide, and keep in mind that the global economy continues to function even at the current low level only because governments keep taking on more debt. -- RF
Panasonic mulls cutting half of 7,000 headquarters personnel
See? The recovery is on track! -- RF
Japan jobless rate logs unexpected rise to 4.6% in April
Ishihara wants to buy Senkakus to keep 'burglar' China out
Panel drops idea of expanding nuclear power reliance
Fukushima update - May 29

## China ##
China stimulus may be CNY 2 trillion - Credit Suisse
China Has No Plan for Large-Scale Stimulus, Xinhua Says
China paying billions for oil deals in the Americas

## UK ##
UK Government cuts 2020 Solar Targets from 22GW to 11.9GW

## US ##
Warning: America's new Age of Austerity starts now (Paul B. Farrell)
"Warning, tighten your belts, America's new Age of Austerity is already here, today. There I said it. I admit it. And you better too. Prepare now. Could be like the 1930s depression austerity."
Dewey files for chapter 11 in record law firm collapse
"The crippled law firm Dewey & Leboeuf LLP filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday night and will seek approval to liquidate its business after failing to find a merger partner, marking the biggest collapse of a law firm in U.S. history."
Military to Avoid Embarrassing Pictures by Banning Photography
More Key Banks At Risk Of Failing Stress Tests
Facebook shares plumb new depths, valuation questioned
On The Economic Ladder, Rungs Move Further Apart
Competition for McJobs Hits Teens: High-School Students with Jobs Hits 20-Year Low
Consumer Confidence in U.S. Falls to a Four-Month Low: Economy


News Links, May 29, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spain Bails Out Its Third-Largest Bank
Spanish debt costs spiral as crisis deepens
Spanish 10-Year Bond Yield Hits 6.5%, Spread to Germany Hits Record; Prime Minister Repeats Lie "Spain Does Not Need Bailout"; Backdoor Bailout or Ponzi Scheme? More Questions Than Answers
Spain May Use Its Debt Instead of Cash for Bankia Group
Spanish-German Yield Spread Widens to Euro Record on Bank Funds
25 Signs That The Smart Money Has Completely Written Off Southern Europe
Canada's demographic 'golden age' coming to an end
Spain's homeless squat in empty apartments
Nine killed in Zambia job-search stampede
"Nine people were killed in a stampede in Zambia on Monday when about 5,000 job seekers stormed a fishing company to apply for a handful of part-time posts, a government official said."
Bhutan charms, but "Shangri-La" is no paradise

## Airline Death Spiral ##
US senator asks airlines to drop seat fee for kids
Merpati to close down one-fifth of its routes
"Ailing state-owned PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines (Merpati) plans to close down 20 percent of its existing routes immediately in order to reduce the firm's losses, an executive has said."
Panel to rationalise Air India's loss-making routes

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Allies quit government as Nepal crisis deepens
Iran Looks to Reduce Reliance on the Straits of Hormuz with new Oil Terminal
Syria plunges towards civil war after Houla massacre
Politics, Gangs, and Big Oil Spell Disaster in the Niger Delta

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tibet capital sees first anti-China self-immolations: report
Morocco protests fill Casablanca streets
Excessive power cuts spark protests again (Pakistan)
"Over in Faisalabad, protesters turned violent and burnt tyres to block roads, besides pelting stones on vehicles. Factory workers in Ghulam Muhammadabad also protested against power outages and threatened to lay siege to FESCO offices if a schedule of load shedding was not announced."

## Energy/resources ##
Jordanian fuel price rises stun companies
"Industrial companies in Jordan have warned they risk being pushed to the wall by a rise in prices of fuel and electricity as the government seeks to stave off a fiscal crisis."
Pakistan's power crisis may eclipse terrorist threat
Acute diesel, petrol shortage grips Chennai
City on empty tank, motorists fight over every drop
Karachi Blackouts Worsen With Power Ship Idle in Harbor
Japan to provide emergency turbines for Burma blackout
Bahrain plans $79m spend to avert power cuts
"Bahrain is set to spend BD30 million ($79.6 million) this summer to minimise power cuts across the country, said Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza."
Gurgaon plunges into darkness, no relief in sight (India)
"Gurgaon residents are spending sleepless nights with power cuts stretching up to 10-12 hours in the city over the past few days. Unusually long hours of loadshedding have rendered inverters useless and even diesel gensets installed by high rise condominiums in the city have proved to be of little use, with many of them developing technical snags frequently."
Western oil firms pay Kazakhstan's oil field investment bill
"Western energy companies developing a giant oil field in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea have agreed to pay a £628 million investment that Kazakhstan needs to make into the project."
Of course it's Kashagan! -- RF
Global Scarcity: Scramble for Dwindling Natural Resources

## Got food? ##
Syria's shortage of grain imports may lead to bread crisis
Wheat Falls in Paris as Rains Seen Boosting Europe Crops
Marubeni nears deal to buy U.S. grain merchant Gavilon
On Dust-Bowlification and the grave threat it poses to food security

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Fidel Castro, spy master, bedeviled U.S., says former analyst
"For almost three decades after Fidel Castro took power, Cuba's budding intelligence service fielded four dozen double agents in a world-class operation under the nose of the CIA, according to a new book by a veteran CIA analyst."
Flame: Massive cyber-attack discovered, researchers say
Face-reading software to judge the mood of the masses
Drones Pose a Threat to Americans' Privacy (Cato Institute)

## Japan ##
Fukushima farmers decontaminate soil, plant rice, praying for radiation-free harvest
Japan's Kansai Elec halts oil-fired unit after problem
A New Era for Bankruptcy in Japan
Kansai Electric urges Noda to OK restart of Oi reactors
Japan Oil Firms To Continue Imports From Iran: Industry Chief
"The oil industry will work with the government to ensure Iranian oil imports continue flowing smoothly into Japan despite sanctions against the country by the U.S. and Europe, the new head of the Petroleum Association of Japan told a Monday news conference."
If you listen closely, you can hear more heads exploding in Washington. -- RF
Tokyo government offers assistance for purchase of storage batteries
"In a move to counter expected power shortages in this summer, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has begun a program offering 100,000 yen in assistance to households buying storage batteries."

## China ##
Hong Kong Fashion Chain I.T Sees "A General Slowdown" in China's Consumer Spending
Monday Market Monitor - China - WEEK 21 - Rot deepens
China to start Crude Oil Futures this year
China Poised to Revive Cash-for-Clunkers Program, Official Says

## UK ##
Petrol costs end Britain's love affair with the car

## US ##
As An Encore to Bailing Out the Big Banks, Government to Backstop Derivativees Clearinghouses … In the U.S. and Abroad
Now the rich are tightening belts
"The U.S. luxury sector, a bright spot in retailing for the past two years, is struggling to maintain momentum as shock waves from Europe's sovereign debt crisis spread across the Atlantic."
150 square-foot mail-order home (CNN Money video)

Sunday, May 27, 2012


News Links, May 28, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Austrian finance minister: No to eurobonds
SNB considers capital controls if euro falls apart
"Switzerland is drawing up plans for emergency measures including capital controls in case the euro collapses although it does not expect to need them and will continue to defend a cap on the franc in the meantime, the head of the central bank said."
Markets have lost $2-trillion since Greek stalemate began
Greece Public Finances Face Collapse as Money Stuffed in Mattresses; Swiss Eye Capital Controls as Money Pours into Switzerland; Understatement of the Month
All pain, no gain: the Irish backlash that could mean a 'No' to Europe's austerity plans
Jordan hikes gasoline, power prices to ease budget deficit
"Jordan has raised the price of gasoline and electricity for major mining firms, hotels and banks, to ease its worsening budget deficit that could reach $4 billion this year, officials said on Saturday."
Bank of Russia To Buy "Considerable Figure" Of Gold Tonnage in 2012

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Turbulence ahead for airlines despite oil price drop

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pirates or hawks: Who hijacked Chinese boats?
Anarchist group vows to wage 'low level warfare' on Olympics
"An anarchist group has vowed to wage 'low level warfare' against Britain, sabotaging financial institutions, transport, and the military in the lead up to the London Olympics."
Shangri-La Talks to Tackle South China Sea Crisis
US Official Denies Israel Has Pushed Obama to a Harder Line on Iran

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
10,000 protest county merger in Chongqing district (China)
Moscow police arrest dozens at Occupy-style rally
Tens of thousands join anti-government protest in Georgia

## Energy/resources ##
Refinery Upkeep Will Be More Costly In Coming Years-Tyco
Asian Gasoil Crack Set for Fourth Weekly Decline: Oil Products
"Asia's gas oil [diesel] crack spread narrowed, heading for a fourth weekly decline, signaling widening losses for refiners making the distillate fuel."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
New law 'to halt scrap metal trade' after church and memorial thefts (UK)
Over 1,100 metal fire hose heads stolen in 3 prefectures (Japan)

## Environment/health ##
Gold Boom Spreading Mercury as 15 Million Miners Exposed

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Dept. of Homeland Security Forced to Release List of Keywords Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites

## Japan ##
Gov't turns to AKB48 to sell bonds
"Japan's cash-strapped government is turning to wildly popular music group AKB48 to help it sell government bonds, as interest in the low-yield paper wanes."
Rubble hinders decommissioning work at Fukushima No. 4 reactor

## China ##
China Industrial Companies' Profits Declined 2.2% in April
The Chinese resource supercycle slows down
Chinese Aluminum smelter cutbacks gaining momentum: Barclays

## UK ##
Rothamsted: Security increased at GM wheat trial
"Security around an experimental crop in a Hertfordshire field has been increased to prevent any damage during a day of action by opponents."
Lloyd's 'has plans for euro collapse'
"The insurance market Lloyd's of London is preparing contingency plans for the possibility of the euro collapsing, its chief executive has said."
Only one in three pensioners stop work at retirement age

## US ##
Jobs: The number of baby boomers retiring is holding down the unemployment rate
"President Obama can thank baby boomers at least in part for the drop in the U.S. unemployment rate with the first post-World War II generation hitting retirement age at a rate of 10,000 a day."
Bank Profits Hit 5-Year High
Average Joe CEO Made $9.6 Million in 2011
War Pigs – The Fall Of A Global Empire
Trade War Looming as China Rebukes U.S. Support for Solar
Colleges must do more to rein in student debt: Poor job prospects are just the start of financial woes

And finally… Couple split over wife's 550 cats

Saturday, May 26, 2012


News Links, May 27, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
No German money for Greek ''bottomless pit'': minister
Harsh Language from Lagarde: "IMF Has No Intention of Softening Terms"; From Head of Deutsche Bank: "Greece is a Failed Corrupt State"; Purposely Inflammatory Statements to Force Greece Exit (Mish)
Brazil Facing Its Own 'Sub-Prime' Lending Problem
Moody's downgrades three big Nordic banks
British Plan To Keep Greeks Out, As Euro-Crisis Nears End Game
Asian Stocks Fall for Fourth Week on China, Europe Debt Concerns
European mess deepens as economy slumps, bank capital hole grows!
Marc Faber Guarantees A Global Recession
Escalating Bank Runs, Many Banks Will Not Survive
Eurozone strains intensify as 'massive shock' looms
Dubai rolls out incentives for staycations during slow summer

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Desi airlines' like KFA, IndiGo, losses may hit $1.4bn in FY13
Bhutan Airlines wants to bow out for a while

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran nuclear talks a 'complete failure,' says Iranian diplomat
Iran has enough uranium for five bombs: expert

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tunisian Salafi Islamists riot, clash with police
"Hundreds of Salafi Islamists attacked bars and shops and clashed with security forces in a Tunisian town on Saturday in the latest incident to raise religious tensions in the home of the Arab Spring uprisings."
Mass arrests and detentions in Azerbaijan ahead of Eurovision Song Contest
Quebec protests adopt a Latin flavour
Student Strike Prompts Québec to Suspend Civil Liberties
UAE continues crackdown on activists

## Energy/resources ##
Indian Petrol price hike to benefit OMCs, increase dieselisation: CRISIL
Diesel shortage in Chennai to continue
Fuel Scarcity Taking a Toll in E. Kalimantan, Businesses Complain
"Companies in East Kalimantan are on the verge of collapse as their production plummets amid an acute fuel shortage gripping the province, a business lobby warned on Wednesday."
Electricity shortage said to eat into Mindanao firms' revenues
"About 84 percent of the businesses in Mindanao have been incurring severe declines in their revenues, reaching as high as P50,000 for every hour of power outage, according to French energy specialist firm Schneider Electric."
Shell Spent $4 Billion in Campaign to Open the Arctic for Oil Drilling

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Nottinghamshire Police warning over catalytic converter thefts

## Got food? ##
Wheat Fields Parched By Drought From U.S. To Russia
"Droughts withering wheat crops from the U.S. to Russia to Australia will probably spur the biggest reduction in global supply estimates since 2003 and drive prices to the highest in almost a year."
Little rain in N. Korea affecting farms

## Environment/health ##
Natural Cooling Strategies
"Who needs air conditioning? These design strategies can help you keep your home cool without it."

## Japan ##
Chip Maker Renesas to Cut Up to 14,000 Jobs, Sell Plant
Japanese fossil fuel imports to increase 17% over next 5 years
Japan says Fukushima spent-fuel risk contained
Actual Fukushima worker "In case of the major aftershock, all the reactors will be in crisis"
Prices climb but no deflation end in sight: analysts
Japan, China to begin yen-yuan direct trading as early as June
BTMU lifts freeze on Iranian assets following N.Y. court ruling
"The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ has lifted its freeze on the accounts of the Iranian government and central bank after a New York State federal district court ruled that the freeze, ordered by the New York State Supreme Court, was invalid with regard to Iranian assets outside the United States, sources familiar with the matter said Friday."
Japan and China are bypassing the dollar in bilateral trade, and a major bank unfreezes Iranian assets. And as we saw a couple of days ago, Tankers from Iran may get reinsured. No doubt there are lots of exploding heads in Washington these days. -- RF
Japan Gas Binge Ties Third-Biggest Economy to One Fuel

## China ##
China top aluminium province Henan idles capacity as demand slumps
Power supply to remain tight this summer despite cooling economy

## UK ##
Spain financial crisis: Sun setting on expats' Costa dreams

## US ##
IRS To Close Offices In Attempt to Cut Costs
The Rise of the Occasionally Daily Newspaper
Disneyland announces plans to raise ticket prices by up to 30 per cent
As Commandos Raid Tampa, US State Dept Demands Power to Declare War?
Ron Paul's Push For Full Fed Audit Slated For House Vote
44% of Cook County homes with a mortgage are underwater
Are U.S. Nuclear Plants Ready for a Fukushima-Like Meltdown?

And finally… Police called to reports of bloodied man find crew shooting zombie film

Friday, May 25, 2012


News Links, May 26, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spain's banks may need $130B
Bankia, Catalonia pile on Spanish debt worries
Spain to Inject $24 Billion Into Bankia, Lender Says
S&P Downgrades Bankia, Other Spanish Banks, to Junk
Crisis dims dreams for Europe's poor east
"Five years after joining the European Union, this town 13 miles outside of Romania's capital is still waiting for the jump in living standards its politicians said membership would bring."
Police Urging Greeks To Stop Stuffing Mattresses
Bankia shares suspended amid bailout request reports
"ECB Will be Insolvent and Costs May Exceed 1 Trillion Euros" Says IIF Director; If the ECB Prints, Would Germany Exit the Euro?
Bad Debts Rising In Brazil
SocGen Search for Funding Takes Bank to German Car Buyers
Australia, China to Push for Europe Stimulus At G-20
"Australia will back China in using next month's Group of 20, or G-20, summit in Mexico to push for Europe's struggling economies to change direction and focus on growth instead of austerity, the country's Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Friday."
Bleak future for indebted euro zone, warns S&P
Little room for policy manouevre: Nigeria central bank
The Staggering Scale of Oil Theft in Nigeria
Asia-Europe Spot Rates Slide for Third Straight Week
New Greece suicides; Spain mulls superbank
More big gold purchases by central banks reported to IMF
GM concerned about overcapacity in Europe: report

## Airline Death Spiral ##
BA owner IAG records £211m loss
Airlines say carbon law cutting EU off from growth

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Brotherhood man promises Islamic law in Egypt
Interactive: World nuclear club

## Energy/resources ##
Europe set to Spend a Record $500 Billion on Oil Imports this Year
China's Cotton Planting Drops 10% as Labor Costs Increase
Statoil hails Brazilian oil success
700 million barrels. Fantastic! That would keep the world supplied for about eight days. -- RF
Drill, Baby, Drill! More Drilling Doesn't Necessarily Mean More Oil
"The United States has a problem. An oil problem. No matter how many wells are drilled oil companies just can't seem to raise production to anywhere near the figures required to reach the holy grail of energy independence."
Australian shale gas still 10 years away from substantial output
Total sees need for further 1 million b/d of European refining closures

## Got food? ##
Food security issues on the table
"GCC countries are trying to be more realistic about what they grow, with Saudi Arabia planning to give up growing wheat in 2015 and Qatar looking to hydroponics.
"But with falling water tables and some of the highest levels of water use in the world, the GCC is struggling to make ends meet when it comes to food."
Raising Goats on a Backyard Farm

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
FBI quietly forms secretive Net-surveillance unit

## Systemic breakdown ##
Need A Nurse? You May Have To Wait
Humanity is Reaching its Limits - Oil, Debt, Population, etc.

## Japan ##
Tankers from Iran may get reinsured
"The government is considering legislation that will allow it to effectively reinsure tankers carrying crude oil from Iran to Japan, sources said.
"The legislation, if enacted, will allow Japan to continue importing oil from Iran even after the European Union bans the region's insurers from underwriting reinsurance covering tankers carrying Iranian oil as new sanctions against the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program come into force, the sources said."
Three-quarters of Japanese firms oppose nuclear power
Japan eyes 15% of electricity needs from nuclear power
TEPCO's post-mortem shows No. 2 reactor main source of radiation
Edano creates stir with suggestion gov't could partially bear nuclear decontamination costs
Major gas, power utilities to raise monthly rates in July
Japan must solve power shortage to host Games
Despite Olympic shortlist, Tokyo citizens not very interested in hosting
The agony of Japan Inc.

## China ##
Rot deepens in Chinese Steel market

## UK ##
Scots launch campaign for a nation again
"With rousing speeches, patriotic music and support from actor Sean Connery, supporters of independence for Scotland launched a campaign on Friday which they hope will lead to the demise of a 305-year-old union with England and the breakup of Britain."
Free banking should end, Bank official says
Theresa May: we'll stop migrants if euro collapses

## US ##
Investors may be headed toward 'fiscal cliff'
"Investors are reeling from Europe's deepening economic crisis, but they may soon find themselves battered closer to home as the U.S. economy closes in on another debt-ceiling debate and teeters toward the edge of a 'fiscal cliff.'"
U.S. banks in quarter earned $35.3 billion
Homeowners 'underwater' by $1.2 trillion
Half of metro Atlanta mortgages underwater
Co-Owner Of Pentagon Propaganda Contractor Admits Attacking Journalists
Real federal deficit dwarfs official tally
"The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA TODAY analysis finds."
Tycoons are dumping their superyachts

Thursday, May 24, 2012


News Links, May 25, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
European business activity falls to near three-year low
Euro-Zone Woes Deepening, Data Show
Containment Theory Blows Sky High: German Manufacturing PMI Plunges to 45; French Manufacturing PMI Plunges to 44.4, Sharpest Contraction in 3 Years
Fearing Eurozone Exit, More Greeks Stop Paying Taxes
Pensions: Bankrupt In Paradise
Lehman-Type Megashock Looming
Putin Faces Chaos If Greek Turmoil Sparks Slump, Study Says
French Business Confidence Drops for Second Month on Crisis
Spain Plans to Merge All Nationalized Banks Into Gigantic Bad Bank
Fitch: Non-resident investors pulling out of Spain, Italy
Nearly one million young Canadians not at school or work, StatsCan says.
BDI down by 27 points on May 23 2012
Analysis: Argentina faces deficit for first time in years
The E.U., Neofeudalism and the Neocolonial-Financialization Model

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airlines' revenue from checked bags on the decline
Spirit, Other Top Airlines Drop As Travel Fears Trump Falling Fuel Costs
If You Have to Invest in Airlines, Don't!
"How do you become a millionaire? Make a billion dollars and then buy an airline." -- Warren Buffett
El Al Airlines quarterly loss narrows on cost cuts
Jet Airways' Loss Widens
Plane makers in golden age or bubble?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Insight: Iran's "Great Game" in Afghanistan
"With most foreign combat troops set to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, Iran is using the media in the war-ravaged nation to gain influence, a worrying issue for Washington."
U.S., allies may drop demand that Iran completely halt uranium enrichment
"The United States and five other major powers exchanged extensive proposals with Iran on Wednesday over that country's nuclear program amid signs that the U.S. and its negotiating partners were dropping demands that Iran completely halt the enrichment of uranium."
Western Leaders Reject Iranian Proposal for Wider Access for UN Inspectors
Yemen Set to Implode as AQAP Steps Up Offensive Amid Struggle to Control Oil
China to deploy Type 094 nuclear subs at Sanya naval base
US Senate mulls unprecedented aid to Israel
Winds from Syria unrest blow into Lebanon: Clashes spark fears of another war

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Anti-African street violence surges in Israel
400 arrested as Montreal police kettle demonstrators
Nearly 700 people arrested in Quebec protests
Myanmar police move against spreading power protests

## Energy/resources ##
Energy policies will lead to diesel fuel rationing in Europe
Diesel shortage worsens in Hyderabad
OPEC Has Lost the Power to Lower the Price of Oil
Greasing the Wheel: Oil's Role in the Global Crisis
Petrol: India may have to endure another price hike in 2012
'Chinese funds needed' to reach Brazil offshore oil
Electricity industry is in for a big shock
Blackout for 17 hours in parts of Muzaffarpur

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Nuneaton metal thieves admit causing delays to 58 trains
Copper Thieves Hit Substation; 3200 In Dark

## Got food? ##
Home Canning Guide
Food Price Shock Is Next
Pollutants Mucking With Food Production

## Environment/health ##
Indonesia's rapid deforestation continues?
Los Angeles bans plastic bags in supermarkets

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Eric Schmidt: government censorship and cybercrime pose biggest threat to the web
U.S. hacks Al Qaeda websites in Yemen
RFID Locator Chips Embedded In School Uniforms Keep Track Of Students In Brazil
Apple-0-7: Is Siri Spying on You?

## Systemic breakdown ##
Half of Detroit's Streetlights May Go Out as City Shrinks
Chris Hedges "Brace Yourself! The American Empire Is Over & The Descent Is Going To Be Horrifying!"

## Japan ##
Spreading contamination of tritium
Fukushima radiation higher than first estimated, TEPCO admits
Japanese Buyers Line Up For U.S. Shale Gas
Flat-screen TV shipments plunged 71% in April
'Secret meeting' on fuel cycle was like gathering of 'nuclear villagers'
All-electric homes may hobble electricity saving efforts

## China ##
China Manufacturing PMI Softens Again, In Contraction For 6 Months; Defaults and Deferrals on Commodity Contracts
Bear in a China Shop (Foreign Policy)
"It's not the booming economy that's about to burst -- it's bigger than that. Social discontent and, yes, income inequality could rip China apart at the seams."
China factory data signals weak first-half growth
Get ready for hard times ahead, says Foxconn CEO

## UK ##
UK economy shrank more than thought
Neet figures: More young people without work
Britain fears 'lost' generation of jobless youth in Europe's crisis
Many NHS trusts 'rationing cataract surgery'

## US ##
Rising Temperatures Expose Cities' Vulnerable Electrical Supplies
Groups Concerned Over Arming Of Domestic Drones
Retired couples' healthcare costs: $240K
Fidelity, Knight problems add to Nasdaq's Facebook woes
Facebook Investor Spending Month's Salary Exposes Hype
How Facebook could destroy the U.S. economy
Chesapeake Plans to Shed More Assets
Ron Paul Gets 12 Of 13 Delegates In Minnesota 2012 Presidential Race

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


News Links, May 24, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurozone warned 'severe recession' looming
Hewlett-Packard to cut 27,000 jobs by the end of 2014
75 mn youths to be unemployed in 2012: IlO
Singapore Inflation Accelerates
"Singapore's consumer price inflation accelerated in April, mainly because of higher housing costs as rents continued rise, leaving the central bank to balance control of rising prices against support of sagging economic growth."
Flight to Safety: German 2-Year Bonds Yield Hits Zero; Eurozone Officials Tell Countries to Prepare for Greece Exit
Germans Afraid of Greek Anger Avoid Vacations in Blow to Economy
Macroeconomic indicators - Morgan Stanley cuts India growth forecast
S&P cuts Tunisia to junk with two-notch downgrade
20% of MENA banks may need fresh capital

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Entire contents of airport for sale (UK)
"The airport was closed in December due to a lack of business."
SAS weakened by Skyways bankruptcy

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China cancels high-level military visit to Japan
Kurdish Oil Pipeline Could Split Iraq

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Russian protest fines could soar
"Fines for participating in illegal demonstrations in Russia could increase from $160 to as much as $9,600 under a measure in the State Duma, or lower house."

## Energy/resources ##

## Environment/health ##
Scientists Studying the Link between Fracking and Recent Earthquakes in Texas
Chelsea Flower Show 2012: Protests as pesticides cause bee numbers to plummet
"Campaigners dressed as giant bees have been protesting outside Chelsea Flower Show against the use of pesticides as a new report warned increasing use of the chemicals is already reducing the number of insects in Britain."

## China ##
China to Allow Smaller-Company Bond Issues From June
"China will allow small and medium- sized companies to sell bonds through private placements starting next month as part of measures to broaden financing channels for businesses struggling for funds."
Shadowy China "X-Men" stoke social strains: report
China's economy weighing on region

## UK ##
Exclusive: 40,000 lights set to go out across our streets
"MORE than 40,000 street lights are set to be switched off at night in Yorkshire plunging parts of the county into darkness as cash-strapped councils look to save money."
National Security Council considers plan for Israel strike on Iran
"Ministers have considered contingency plans for how Britain would respond to a crisis in the Gulf triggered by any Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities."

## US ##
US 'risks recession' if tax rises and spending cuts hit
"The US could fall off a 'fiscal cliff' if tax rises and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of 2012 are not avoided, auditors have said."
Such stupidity is one reason the US is going down the tubes. -- RF

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