Tuesday, May 22, 2012


News Links, May 23, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
OECD Sees Risk of Spiraling Europe Crisis Hurting World Economy
Youth joblessness near crisis peak
Rupee plummets to new all-time low vs dollar
G8 steps up plans to aid Arab Spring economies: US official
"Industrialized nations have stepped up plans to help countries swept up in the Arab Spring rebuild their economies through more access to international credit markets, investment and trade, a senior State Department official said on Monday."
More access to international credit markets? Sounds like a capital idea! Come join us in accumulating massive debt that you can never repay. -- RF
Secret Central Bank Aid Props Up Greek Banks
"There has been no official announcement. No terms or conditions have been disclosed. But Greece's banking system is being propped up by an estimated €100 billion or so of emergency liquidity provided by the country's central bank — approved secretly by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. If Greece were to leave the eurozone, the immediate cause might be an ECB decision to pull the plug."
Germany Rules Out Eurobonds for 104th Time; Damned if They Do, Damned if They Don't
Vodafone profits hit by European weakness
Spain's Beloved Four-Day Weekends Are At Risk
Chemical tanker rates fall 13% on overcapacity
Brazil cuts more taxes to revive economic growth But...
Brazil Stimulus 'Unexciting' For Banks
Japan Downgraded; Clouds Over Europe
Spanish Regions Face €35.8 Billion Payments Year-End
Gold: The World's Friend for 5,000 Years

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airlines charging more for window, aisle seats
Gol Cuts Jobs for Elusive Profit Seen as Years Away
Ticket costs on upward slope, airline industry consolidating, expert says
American Eagle To Cut 100 Management, Support Staff Positions
Falling rupee spells fresh trouble for airlines
Sweden regional airline Skyways to file bankruptcy
MAS continues losses, but down from a year ago
Qantas to separate international business in turnaround plan

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Official: South Korea Has No Plans To Halt Iran Crude
No One Can Afford Another Round of Iran Sanctions
Could sanctions on Iran bolster the renminbi?
U.S. Won't Ease Oil Sanctions at Iran Nuclear Talks
Oil not on table for Iranian nuke talks
IAEA chief says nears deal with Iran ahead of 6-power talks
"The U.N. nuclear watchdog director said on Tuesday he expected to sign a deal with Iransoon to unblock an investigation into suspected work on atom bombs, potentially brightening prospects for big-power talks with Tehran to stop a drift toward conflict."
Russia denounces meddling from 'outsiders' in South China Sea
S.Africa's ANC says turning to China, India
"Western investors have to realise South Africa does not need their money since it can turn increasingly to fellow BRICS members India and China to fund its economic development, the Secretary-General of its ruling ANC said on Tuesday."
Panetta To Embark on Weeklong Asia-Pacific Visit

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Facing edgy vote, Egypt army hikes diesel imports
"Egypt's military rulers plan to spend close to $1 billion on diesel this summer, a spike in imports as they brace for a first free presidential election triggered by last year's uprising with a wary eye on renewed civil unrest."
Rappers provide anthems for Arab Spring
Spanish school and university protest at education cuts
NATO Protests Turn Violent in Chicago (slide show)
Masses protest across country (Pakistan)
Protesters Released as Blackout Marches Spread (Burma)

## Energy/resources ##
Israel's Undersea Gas Bonanza May Spur Mideastern Strife
Study: Lithium Overcapacity, Consolidation Coming
"After a year and a half of two mainstream electric vehicles hitting the market, I think it is safe to say that sales aren't panning out how  automakers had hoped."
ESKOM cuts power supply to SD
"Eskom, the South African power utility from which the company imports over 80 per cent electricity, indicated that its production was under a lot of pressure from within that country such that it could no longer sustain the amount of electricity it supplied Swaziland."
Power shortfall touches 5,000 MW (Pakistan)
Iran plans oil export terminal outside Gulf
Power shortages widen Tanzania's trade deficit

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal theft payouts costing insurers '£1m a week'

## Got food? ##
218 million Africans are malnourished - UNDP report

## Environment/health ##
Third of malaria drugs 'are fake'
High Concentrations of Toxic Mercury in the Arctic from Circumpolar Rivers

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
'Anonymous' hackers allegedly leak internal U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics data
Exclusive: Spy agency seeks cyber-ops curriculum
"The National Security Agency is trying to expand U.S. cyber expertise needed for secret intelligence operations against adversaries on computer networks through a new cyber-ops program at selected universities."
Ukraine plans Euro crowd control, prostitution a problem
"Ukraine will use fighters and helicopters to guard its air space and put security and health services on full alert during the European soccer championship, but officials said on Tuesday they could do little to stem a likely flood of prostitutes."
From the Olympics on down, big sporting events seem to be turning into more of a liability than an asset to the host countries. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown ##
The end of drug discovery?
"Half a century ago, in the drug industry's golden era, we were bestowed with countless pills to lower blood pressure, control blood sugar and get rid of infections. But today it costs about $1bn to bring a new medicine to market, a process that can take 15 years."
Pharmacists warn of drug shortage, call strike (Greece)

## Japan ##
Fitch Downgrades Japan
"Fitch Ratings on Tuesday delivered a surprise jolt to Japan's political leadership, downgrading the sovereign rating and blasting the government for taking a 'leisurely' approach to solving the country's spiraling debt problems."
Savings for average Japanese family top ¥16 million
What the article doesn't mention is that many Japanese keep a substantial portion of their savings in their mattresses. -- RF
Japan Retains Status As Biggest Creditor
Microchip maker Renesas reportedly to cut 6,000 jobs
Tonegawa's formaldehyde levels spike
Incinerating radioactive sewage sludge could contaminate environment

## China ##
Facing Up to Risks
"The report on China Economy and Finance Outlook (Q2 2012) released by the International Finance Research Institute with the Bank of China (BOC) on March 28 bluntly pointed out the top four risks to China's economy, namely, excessive production capacity, volatile position for foreign exchange purchase, shrinking credit growth rate and the real estate bubble."
Chinese domestic steel billet prices continue to crash
Beijing Sets its Sights on Central Europe
"In recent months, China has begun to invest more heavily in Central and Eastern Europe. The new initiative reflects both Beijing's desire to develop beyond the production of cheap goods and its goal of establishing a presence in the European market for those products. The investments could also deepen political ties with countries like Poland and its neighbors."

## UK ##
Gap years 'dying out' as students scramble for jobs
Nuclear plants earmarked for closure could stay open

## US ##
China fake parts 'used in US military equipment'
Kansas governor signs bill for massive tax cuts
Ron Paul Wins Delegates in Four States
Bonds Are NOT a Safe Place to Be – Here's Why
A bleak forecast for the Army's industrial base
Facebook Deathwatch: Another Day, Another Drop
Debt ceiling in play again

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