Saturday, May 05, 2012


News Links, May 4, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Societe Generale quarterly profits fall 20%
Piracy scourge and rising oil prices hit shipping industry
Greek crisis: economic misery forces workers from cities and a return to a barter economy
Warning Signs Rise for Big Lenders in Asia
Comments from Brazil on Brazil and China: Nonperforming Loans Soar, Recession in Brazil Arrived, China will Follow (Mish)
China, Japan, S Korea to boost cross-investment in bonds
East Asian nations expand, strengthen emergency program
"China, Japan, South Korea and 10 Southeast Asian countries agreed on May 3 to enlarge and strengthen their emergency liquidity program, while citing euro zone uncertainties and high oil prices as key economic risks."
Asian Steel and Aluminium sector will be hit in 2012: S&P
"Asia's metals sector is expected to come under severe profit contraction during the year, credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) said in their latest report."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
European airline crisis deepens
"The brutal shake up of Europe's airline sector continued Thursday as the pain of high fuel prices, rising taxation, and slack growth caused another airline to collapse while two others warned of more cost cutting to come."
Scandinavian Airline SAS Sees Q1 Loss Widen
"Scandinavian airline group SAS blamed high jet fuel prices and the economic crisis for a nearly doubling its losses in the first quarter of the year."
Lufthansa to cut 3,500 jobs to reduce costs
Air India Owes $23.4 Million in Salaries
Airlines to post Rs 10k cr loss in FY12: Ajit Singh (India)
Smaller cities in airline squeeze (US)
Korean Air To Focus On Profitability After 1Q Net Loss On High Oil Costs
Ontario airport looks awfully lonely
Bmibaby to stop Belfast flights from 11 June (UK)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran Embargo Impossible to Meet as Ships Need Its Oil
"Europe's oil embargo on Iran is having unforeseen consequences in the shipping market, making it almost impossible to determine if vessels are using fuel that violates the sanctions.
"Supplies from Iran are a "vital blending component" to make ship fuel, known as bunkers, according to Barclays Capital."
See? I've said repeatedly that the world cannot do without Iran's oil. -- RF
Beware the Rotten Fruit of AFRICOM Training
Egypt Brotherhood MPs in Saudi mission to ease crisis
"An Egyptian parliamentary delegation including top Muslim Brotherhood figures will head to Saudi Arabia seeking to resolve the worst in crisis in decades between states that were close allies under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak."
Russia says it could pre-emptively strike missile shield
Britain: Germany Needs to 'Get Over WW2,' Fight in More Wars
"Speaking today in Berlin, Britain's Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said he believes Germany has a 'huge potential' for fighting massive wars on NATO's behalf, if only they'd 'get over' World War 2."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Blasts in Russia's Dagestan kill four, wound three

## Energy/resources ##
Gyms to Convert Human Energy into Electricity for the Grid
This will excite lots of people, but it actually shows how desperate the situation has become. -- RF
Wind Farms do NOT Contribute to Global Warming
It doesn't matter. What's important is that renewables cannot propel the industrial growth civilization. -- RF
India's Traditional Power Sources on Razor Edge of Supply
Venezuelan confirms failures in major power plants
"El Universal reported that Mr H├ęctor Navarro minister of electricity of Venezuela confirmed that several Venezuelan power plants like Planta Centro, Tacoa and Termozulia thermal power units were hit by failures last week. As a result, energy service was affected particularly in peak hours."
Yemen: Shortage of refined oil products
Bihar government slams Centre over LPG shortage
"Reeling under persistent power cuts and shortage of kerosene oil, the people of Bihar are even devoid of kitchen fuel today."
Japan, Kazakhstan confirm start of oil output at Kashagan in 2012
So much money has been sunk into this field that Matt Simmons noted it is known as "Cash Is Gone." -- RF
OPEC's Badri says $100/b is comfortable oil price for producers, consumers
Yes, airlines can crash and economies can collapse comfortably. -- RF
IOC petrol pumps in State go dry (India)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thieves hit Modesto High's main building
"Metal thieves hit Modesto High's main building twice last month, destroying 11 air-conditioning units and causing an estimated $70,000 in damage."
Metal thieves causing East Surrey rail passengers "misery"

## Got food? ##
The return of heritage fruit and veg varieties (UK)
"There are signs that near-extinct varieties of fruit and veg, so-called 'heritage crops' are making a comeback."
Yes, you can become a millionaire farmer (Paul B. Farrell)
Trouble is, as food gets more expensive, lots of people will just decide they don't have to pay. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Over 30 Yangtze porpoises found dead in China as population nears extinction

## Japan ##
BOJ Facing Fresh Challenges in Convincing Markets
"Despite aggressive new steps to battle Japan's deflation, the Bank of Japan has made little impact in the markets, which are now expecting additional steps on a regular basis until the bank achieves its 1% inflation goal."
Japanese steel exports fell by 8.3pct YoY in FY 2011 - JISF
"The Japan Iron & Steel Federation said that steel exports contracted 8.3% YoY to 39.99 million tonnes in fiscal 2011, for the  first slide in three years."
Defaults on cell phone installment payments rise along with smartphone sales
Anxious Japan prepares for life without nuclear power

## China ##
80% of Chinese public back force in South China Sea: poll

## UK ##
Smelting the Family Silver (Bloomberg video)
Military begins Olympic security exercises in London
U.K. Economy Losing Momentum
US military-industrial giant KBR in bidding to privatize British police forces

## US ##
Parents spread out safety net for kids in tough economy
Report warns of weather satellites' 'rapid decline'
"The number and capability of weather satellites circling the planet 'is beginning a rapid decline' and tight budgets have significantly delayed or eliminated missions to replace them, says a National Research Council analysis out Wednesday."
This is part of the general decline of space programs that I have been warning about. -- RF
The 86 million invisible unemployed
"There are far more jobless people in the United States than you might think.
"While it's true that the unemployment rate is falling, that doesn't include the millions of nonworking adults who aren't even looking for a job anymore. And hiring isn't strong enough to keep up with population growth."

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