Saturday, June 30, 2012


News Links, July 1, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Lagarde assures Morsi IMF ready to help Egypt
3i Said To Shut Offices In Six Cities, Including Shanghai, Hong Kong
"Private equity firm 3i of London will close offices in six cities, including Shanghai and Hong Kong, in a cost-cutting move, the government-published Shanghai Daily reported today."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Turbulent Days for an Industry With a Lot of Baggage
Airline Fees: You Get What You Pay For Or Weapons In Travel Class Warfare?
House Votes to Boost Subsidy for Flights to Rural Areas (US)
A-I plans to cut loss-making routes in revamp
"Air-India may cut some of its loss-making routes under a new business plan it has worked out, sources in the civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Have Sanctions Against Iran Worked?
"In a word, no."
U.S., Israeli military drill set for October-November
"The United States and Israel are expected to hold a delayed, joint military exercise sometime around October or November, after postponing it earlier this year, the top U.S. military officer said on Friday."
Syria Masses Tanks on Turkey Border as Tensions Soar
US hosts world's largest naval exercises in Hawaii
Iran expects to equip Gulf ships with missiles soon
Ecuador quits former School of the Americas

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands hit streets in TA social justice protest (Israel)
Occupy protest set for July 4 in Philadelphia
Yemen rages over long power blackouts
Downtown street protest ends with arrests and injuries (Canada)
"A pot-clanging protest turned into a physical confrontation this week, as police arrested demonstrators expressing solidarity with striking Quebec students."
London 2012: East London residents march over missiles
US Coast Guard Creates 'Protest-Free Zone' in Alaska Oil Drilling Zone
Unionists protest against hiring foreign workers (Australia)
Police lock down Chinese factory town to suppress protests
Anti-Walmart rally in L.A. draws 10,000 protesters

## Energy/resources ##
U.S. sanctions may stop UAE from importing Iranian condensates
Desperate times: Trucking shale oil in North Dakota
"How desperate the oil supply situation in the US has become after global crude oil production started to peak in 2005 can be seen from how cumbersome it is to produce and transport shale oil to refineries."
MENA energy projects facing huge challenges
Ethanol makers idle plants amid high corn prices
"Ethanol makers are cutting production, and some are temporarily idling plants in the Midwest, as corn prices skyrocket and demand for gasoline falls because people are driving less."
Brownouts in India are bad for residents, worse for environment
"Now running in India's residential neighborhood: Millions of noisy, smoky, inefficient diesel generators. And the environment is paying the price."
Storms leave 3.9 million without power in eastern U.S.
Lights to go out over France to save energy
Sarawak DAP Wants Government To Address Frequent Diesel Shortage In Bintulu
HDMC mulls rationing water supply in cities (India)
World oil supply up but spare capacity tight: EIA
"World oil inventories have risen over the past two months, aided by increased output from Iraq and Libya, but spare production capacity remains tight, the U.S. government said on Tuesday."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thieves cause outage for WA traffic cameras, reader boards

## Got food? ##
Weak rains may hike India's food inflation rates in upcoming months
Crab shortage hits just as the big holiday approaches (US)
Corn Dries Up, Even As Farmers Try To Combat Heat (US)

## Environment/health ##
Extreme heat wave is taking its toll across the nation (US)
Southeast Asia braces for pollution, smog

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Army Preps Spy Blimp
Cybercriminals branch into fully automated bank heists
Cellphone Companies Will Share Your Location Data - Just Not With You

## Systemic breakdown ##
It's the end of the world we've known since WWII (updated status report)
AWS Power Outage Questions Reliability Of Public Cloud
'Everything good is down' -- storm knocks Netflix, Instagram offline

## Japan ##
Japan economy 'faces same risks as Europe'
"Japan faces the same risks that plague financially-embattled European states, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda warned Saturday, days after he pushed through a divisive tax bill to chip away at the country's mountainous debt."
I'm really impressed with the PM's perspicacity. -- RF
Hacker group: More to come / Anonymous says attacks to continue over law on illegal downloads
Even Noda startled by size of anti-nuclear protest outside his office

## China ##
China's Latest Bad News on Profits
Stingy credit and piling inventory pushes levels down in China (steel)
PLA's new Type 056 corvette to be deployed to Hong Kong

## UK ##
Alan Titchmarsh: students should ditch university and learn gardening
This is certainly one of the most sensible opinions I've heard in a long time. -- RF

## US ##
Stockton, California: The Bleeding Edge of a Scary Economic Trend
"Stockton's situation is hardly rare. Across the country, municipalities that tied their tax revenues to the real estate market are facing shortfalls. Some, like Vallejo, Calif., -- which filed for bankruptcy in 2008 -- were also tied down by tough union contracts, but plenty of towns and cities that didn't offer particularly generous deals to public employees are nonetheless now scrambling to make ends meet."
The muni-bond bust is inevitable. -- RF
Pentagon Asks Congress to Shift Billions in Funding
"The Pentagon asked Congress to shift $8.2 billion in previously approved fiscal 2012 funds to bankroll 'higher priority' items, including added fuel costs to resupply U.S. forces in Afghanistan."
Homeless Students Top 1 Million, U.S. Says, Leaving Advocates 'Horrified'
Bond funds could be on borrowed time
Heat wave prompts concerns about Freon shortage, home cooling costs
"Across the country, air conditioner repair companies are sounding the alarm about skyrocketing maintenance costs."
Gas under graveyards raises moral, money questions
In industrial civilization, only resources and energy are sacred. -- RF
Risk of foreclosure looms over 700,000 Californians
Half of loan modifications re-default within 18 months
Families brace for mental health cuts. Will other states follow Wisconsin?

Friday, June 29, 2012


News Links, June 30, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Laughable Text of EU "Memorandum of Understanding"
Why The European Car Market Is Headed For A Meltdown
European summit makes little progress on ways to deal with EU debt
Financial 'Armageddon' Will Happen Despite EU Deal: Rogers
Manufacturing sector continues to show signs of recession (Taiwan)
79% of Taiwan's public feel country is going nowhere: poll
Hungary cannot escape recession in 2012 -
International stock funds in a world of hurt
Is It Time to Cash Out of Global Luxury Stocks?
Buckle up, Australia: recession is coming
Black market for body parts spreads among Europe's poor
17 Reasons To Be EXTREMELY Concerned About The Second Half Of 2012
Iceland still needs years to lift capital controls
A weaker German economy could further slow Europe
Brazil Economist: Effects of Euro Crisis Were Underestimated

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Margin-hunting airlines may shed catering units
Airline sector to continue facing funds crunch: RBI
Emirates may invest in 'loss-making' Indian carriers if they get management control

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
In "Islamist" Egypt, generals still have final say
South Korea shelves disputed military pact with Japan
Troops have withdrawn from Iraq, but U.S. money hasn't
"The State Department is planning to spend up to $115 million to upgrade the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, already its biggest and most expensive in the world, according to pre-solicitation notices published this month."
Greek militant group claims Microsoft attack
Bomb explodes in Mexican city days before election
Tanzania must stop re-flagging Iran tankers: U.S. lawmaker
U.S., Israel map out joint missile plan
Brazil leads region in defense spending
"Ongoing and upcoming Brazilian defense programs translate into the highest defense expenditures in Latin America over the next decade."
Turkey Deploys Anti-Aircraft Guns, Rocket Launchers to Syrian Border
Israel Fears Rise of US-Supported Jihadists in Syria

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Lima University students clash with police in Peru
Protesters clash with police in Greece
Rioters in Sweden attack police
Sudan police teargas anti-government protesters
Tens of thousands protest Japan nuclear restart

## Energy/resources ##
Lower Oil Prices–Not a Good Sign!
It's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation. And that's one reason collapse is assured. -- RF
Electricity Cuts Cripple Yemen
Power outages hit Ottawa's south end
Mindanao faces power shortage anew
"The Mindanao grid is again under 'red alert' status, an official of a electric cooperative in South Cotabato said."
Power cuts temporarily complicate transport across Buenos Aires
Kazakhstan will start making oil from coal
Handicraft makers hit hard by rattan supply shortage
Budget Cuts Force U.S. out of the Nuclear Fusion Race
Mumbai, Delhi Lead in Need for Water, McKinsey Reports
Coal: The Ignored Juggernaut
Political turmoil could hurt Iraq oil plan
"Iraq is pressing ahead with its ambitious drive to boost oil production to some 12 million barrels per day and challenge Saudi Arabia as the world's top producer.
"But security problems, worsening political instability and fractures in the all-important oil industry could still throw the plan off track."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves collapse Durban bridge (South Africa)
KU: stolen copper leads to Nelson Co. power outage (US)
Ribble Valley thieves steal 6,000m of live power lines (UK)
Scrap metal thieves strike fear (Malaysia)
Metal thieves target public toilets (US)

## Environment/health ##
West's Wildfires A Preview Of Changed Climate: Scientists
"Scorching heat, high winds and bone-dry conditions are fueling catastrophic wildfires in the U.S. West that offer a preview of the kind of disasters that human-caused climate change could bring, a trio of scientists said on Thursday."
Wildfires rage in Utah
Parts of Arkansas now in 'extreme' drought
Floods swamp thousands of Indian villages, kill 27
Lots of Vegetables Found to Prevent Acute Pancreatitis

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
U.S. will be allowed to share Canadian border info under new privacy charter
How tiny drones offer a unique view

## Systemic breakdown ##
Money's retreat home threatens globalization
Russia's Creaking Infrastructure Is in Dire Need of Private Investment

## Japan ##
Must read: Massive Japanese Debt Monetization Is Coming, Yen to be Devalued
"I would keep a close eye on the JPY/USD exchange rate as an indication of how active the BOJ is likely to be in monetizing Japan's massive debt burden. Given a large portion of Japan's mountain of debt is maturing over the next two years we will not have long to wait."
Japan's Industrial Output Falls Most Since 2011 Quake
TEPCO plans to restart another nuclear reactor, the world's largest
TEPCO faces many difficult tasks / Utility's rehabilitation depends on obtaining massive funds, restarting reactors
Kansai Electric Releases 1st Summer Power Forecast
10 utilities plan sharp August electricity rate hikes to cover renewables' tab
Lawmakers call for immediate decommissioning of 24 reactors
Japan finds major rare earth deposits
At the bottom of the sea, 2,000 km from Tokyo. -- RF
Domestic murders on rise; experts say financial stability key

## China ##
Power generation investment falls
"Investment in coal power generation fell 26 percent in 2011, the first drop in the past five years, and it may lead to further power shortages over the next few years, analysts said yesterday."
Chinese Industrial Companies' Profits Drop for Second Month

## UK ##
UK recession even deeper than feared as Scotland stagnates
Welsh public bodies act over Spanish bank concerns

## US ##
Muni Maturing? Proceed With Caution!
The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America's Middle Class
"They had good, stable jobs - until the recession hit. Now they're living out of their cars in parking lots."
Investors exiting stocks at faster clip
Consumer spending stalls, morale at 6-month low
Overseas buyers seek shelter in U.S. real estate
Let's have them buy up some of that shadow inventory. -- RF
Midway Airport reopened after power outage
"Midway Airport was temporarily shut down Thursday night and early Friday after an electrical power outage blackened its airfield, city and federal aviation officials said."
Power Out As Temps Hit 100 In Ann Arbor
Second Hermosa power outage in two weeks raises questions
Southern Californians urged to conserve power
U.S. Postal Service Regulator Denies Bid to Stop Closings
"The U.S. Postal Service may begin closing mail-processing plants as soon as next week after its regulator denied a labor-union request to block the closings."
Professor Laurence Kotlikoff: The US Is Bankrupt−The Real Public Debt Is $222 Trillion
Economic Data from Chicago and from University of Michigan Sentiment Adds More Weakness
Defense Industry Aims a Weapon of Mass Job Destruction at Washington

Thursday, June 28, 2012


News Links, June 29, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greek president to fly economy class to Brussels
Asia's investment banks launch round of job cuts
"Investment banks and brokerages across Asia have launched a sweeping round of job cuts as Europe's debt crisis and China's economic slowdown bite into the region's financial activity."
Germany May Compromise on Joint Debt
"Germany may be willing to move sooner than expected to accept shared liability of euro-zone debt and would support short-term measures to deal with the acute financing problems facing some of the region's governments, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal ahead of Thursday's European summit."
EU Approves Jobs, Growth Plan With 10 Billion-Euro EIB Boost
Eurozone Retail Sales Drop 8th Month; Italy, France are Down; Germany Retail Sales Up, Outlook Down
Is France Next For The Bond Vigilantes?
Ford Warns of 2012 Being Dragged Down By S. America, Europe, and Asia
Global steel firms threatening to trigger a series of mini trade wars
German Unemployment Rose in June as Euro Crisis Started to Bite
Bad Day For Brazilian Billionaire
Small firms feel slowdown pinch, cut jobs (India)
Rio Tinto's Tasmania smelter to cut jobs
Central bank likely to impose curbs on gold coin sale (India)
Bankia Valued at EUR -13.635 Billion; Spain Becomes Sole Owner, Shareholders Totally Wiped Out; Entire Bankia Board Resigns

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Gol Plans to Cut Twice as Many Jobs by Year-End, CFO Says
"Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA (GOLL4), Brazil's second-largest airline, will cut 2,500 jobs to restore profitability, twice as many as it had planned last month, Chief Financial Officer Leonardo Pereira said."
Overcapacity could mean "devastating" profitability for freighter operators
Asia-Pacific carriers report continued cargo woes
"Freight volumes in the Asia-Pacific region continued their downward descent in May, falling 5.3 percent, year-over-year, according to Association of Asia Pacific Airlines statistics. This figure is on par with the region's numbers for the first five months of 2012, which showed air cargo traffic declining 5 percent, year-over-year, from January to May."
Airlines Lift U.S.-to-Europe Fares by Paring Seats
Cost of flying from Boston up 7 percent over last summer
Why Flying Is No Fun (And May Be More Dangerous)
"McGee's new book, Attention All Passengers, details how airlines are cutting costs through regional carriers, outsourcing airline maintenance, mishandling baggage and overbooking airplanes."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia Said to Endorse Replacing Assad in Turn From Ally
"Russia has endorsed a detailed United Nations road map for a political transition in Syria, a sign that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost the support of a key ally, according to three United Nations diplomats."
Turkey's army gathers on Syria border
"Bashar al-Assad was left facing the biggest test of the 15-month uprising against his rule on Thursday night as the Turkish army began gathering on the Syrian border and rebels struck again at the heart of Damascus."
Israel gives Ivorian migrants 2 weeks to leave
China, Singapore get exceptions to Iran sanctions
Pakistanis view US as the enemy, poll finds
China starts "combat ready" patrols in disputed seas
Russian Moves Compel Uzbekistan to Leave Security Bloc
"Uzbekistan on June 28 formally pulled out of a Russian-led regional security alliance after protesting Moscow's plans to deploy a rapid reaction force for Central Asia near its borders."
Admiral: US Supplies to Afghanistan Triple in Cost Without Pakistan Route

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Online and on the streets, Mexico youth protests grow as election looms
Spain: Violent Clashes As Police Evict Family

## Energy/resources ##
BRIC's Achilles Heel - Energy
Germany needs new power system by 2015 - industry
Report warns of brownouts and blackouts this summer as waterways heat up (US)
"A new report by the River Network says if river drought conditions continue it could curtail power plants' electricity production causing brownouts or blackouts."
Emirates, Saudis pump oil to bypass Hormuz
India grapples with coal shortages
Burning Desire for Efficiency
Thirst for power: How coal, nuclear and gas waste our water
Growing water shortages will do as much as anything to kill the industrial economy. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Farmers Hop on Soybean Bandwagon
Grain futures rise on dry spell
Weak rains may hike India's food inflation rates in upcoming months
China Tightening Ties With S America In Search For Food
More Bad News on US Corn Crop

## Environment/health ##
'Epic dryness' feeding Western wildfires (US)
'Oven-like' conditions on their way to Southern Ontario
Massive dust storm rolls through Arizona
"A major dust storm estimated to be 3,000-foot high swept through Arizona on Wednesday night, with near-zero visibility reported in some areas."
S. America cattle outbreak threat lingers
"Latin America remains high on the list of region where recurring foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks are upsetting the best laid plans for economic development."
England cut off from Scotland as rail lines shut off by flooding and landslides
War on drugs 'unsustainable,' ex-justice Louise Arbour says

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Operation High Roller Targets Corporate Bank Accounts
"Two security firms said Monday that a new type of cyberattack is targeting corporate bank accounts. The attacks began in Europe but have spread to Latin America and the United States. So far, hackers have attempted to steal at least $78 million in fraudulent transfers from accounts at 60 or more financial institutions, according to a report by Guardian Analytics and McAfee, a subsidiary of Intel."
Internet cloud creates new range of security issues

## Systemic breakdown ##
Europe's debt crisis: Greek health system feels the pain of austerity measures
Drug shortage hits patients battling cancer (UK)

## Japan ##
Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor
Sales tax hike insufficient / 10% considered too low to carry out fiscal reconstruction
Households face staggering rises in social welfare costs
It's an unsustainable system. Watch it fall apart. -- RF

## China ##
Warren Buffett-Backed Chinese Automaker BYD Said To Cut Pay Amid Slow Sales
"BYD, the Chinese auto maker 10% owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, is cutting payments to workers between June and September as it struggles with weak sales and profits, Chinese media reported today."
China dairy recalls hundreds of cartons of tainted milk
"China has struggled to rein in health violations in the unruly and vast food sector despite harsh punishments and repeated vows to deal with the problem. The country is notorious for its food safety woes, with frequent news reports of fake cooking oil, tainted milk and even watermelons that explode from absorbing too much fertilizer."
In a Shift, Chinese Exporters Cling to Dollars
"Many Chinese exporters are starting to hoard the dollars they earn, betting that the yuan is unlikely to appreciate much more, a shift in strategy that is having a ripple effect throughout the country's financial system."
Bank of China opens 1st branch in Taiwan

## UK ##
UK economy shrank more than thought, say official figures
"The UK economy shrank by 0.4% in the final three months of 2011, compared with previous estimates of a fall of 0.3%, official figures show."
Are NHS walk-in centres on the way out?
"Walk-in centres are rapidly becoming a casualty of the tougher financial climate in the NHS in England."
More teenagers Neet - not in work or education
Number of graduates in basic jobs doubles in five years
"The number of new UK graduates working in jobs like cleaning or bar work has almost doubled to 10,000 in five years, according to government statistics."

## US ##
Ron Paul's Federal Reserve audit approved by House committee
Heat wave: 1,000+ records fall in USA in a week
Roche to Cut Jobs, Close R&D Center
"Swiss drug giant Roche Holding AG ROG.VX -0.49% said it would close a research site in New Jersey, resulting in the loss of about 1,000 jobs, in another sign that the industry is cutting investment in labs that haven't produced enough new drugs."
Stockton, Calif., Prepares for Bankruptcy. Are Other US Cities at Risk?
Largest City Bankruptcy Ever: Stockton Will Not Be Alone
"Too much borrowing and spending will doom other municipalities"
Rolling Blackouts: a Black Eye For Texas?
Summer power shortage, heat may trigger rolling blackouts
"With the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station out of commission, energy conservation will be key this summer to avoid the possibility of rolling blackouts when the mercury rises."
Delaware to allow online gambling
US inner cities booming as young adults shun suburbs
BlackBerry Maker RIM Posts Loss; Cutting 5,000 Jobs
Nevermind Bidding Wars In Eden Prairie, Housing Depression May Not End Until 2015
Jobless Claims in U.S. Hovered Last Week Near 2012 High
J.P. Morgan loss may reportedly hit $9 billion
A Perfect Storm Drives Record Gun Sales

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


News Links, June 28, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Shipyards bankrupt due to sluggish demand (China)
In Vietnam, a shipping line raises alarm over debt
"Today, it represents all that has gone wrong since then: a bloated behemoth with 18,000 workers, a fleet of loss-making ships and $2.1 billion in debt."
Chinese steel mill profits plunge nearly 50pct
India spends 50% of exports earnings to buy Oil last fiscal
GM India, Tata Motors to Suspend Production This Week
"Tata Motors Ltd. and the local unit of General Motors Co. will suspend vehicle production at their factories this week to avoid piling up stocks amid tepid demand in Asia's third-largest automotive market, executives at the companies said Wednesday."
Spain cannot afford high rates for long, Rajoy says
Chris Martenson on Shadow Bank Runs and how Central Banks are Missing the Boat! (video)
Rising Chance For ECB Rate Cut
Laugh of the Day: "No Risk of Housing Bust" says Australia Central Banker
Heart of Marrakesh feels impact of euro zone crisis

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Crude Drop May Hit Airlines Bottom Lines
Air France to cut 5,000 jobs
Uruguay takes over bankrupt national airline

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Turkey Send Tanks to Syria Border, Threatens Attacks
Russia May Fly Military Cargo to Syria: Report
Vietnam Protests Cnooc Move in South China Sea
"Vietnam late Tuesday launched a formal protest against China National Offshore Oil Corp.'s move to offer nine blocks in the South China Sea for joint operation with foreign companies, stating that the blocks are in Vietnamese waters."
Manila says Chinese boats back in disputed lagoon
Bombings in Baghdad leave 11 dead
Latin American Defence Procurement Pushing Ahead Despite Global Recession

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Migrant workers clash with police in south China
"Hundreds of Chinese migrant workers rioted and clashed with police this week in a fresh outbreak of social unrest in the economic powerhouse of Guangdong."
Gunmen set fire to Microsoft's Greek headquarters
TEDGlobal: App offers safety in a riot
"A smartphone application, enabling people in the middle of riots to find safety, has been shown off at the TEDGlobal event in Edinburgh."
Police quell student protest in E.Sudan: witnesses
Student protest march is announced (UK)
"The National Union of Students (NUS) is urging members to take to the streets of London in November in protest at rising fees and reduced employment."
S Korea, Japan to sign first military pact
"South Korea will soon sign a military agreement with Japan, officials said Wednesday, in what would be the first such pact since Tokyo's brutal colonial rule ended in 1945."

## Energy/resources ##
Exxon's Natural Gas Confession Bad For All; Maybe An Earnings Warning?
"At a meeting in New York this morning, Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) CEO Rex Tillerson said that his company is "losing our shirts" on natural gas production. Did he just notice that prices have fallen below the cost of production?
"And Exxon is not alone. The other top producers of natural gas — Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK), BP plc (NYSE: BP), Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN), EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG), Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC), Ultra Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: UPL), and Questar Corp. (NYSE: STR) — are suffering from an identical problem."
Well, surprise, surprise! Shale gas is a money loser. If you still believe all that hype about how shale gas and shale oil are going to save our energy future, you haven't been paying attention. -- RF
Saudi Arabia seeks Red Sea energy resources
Electricity bills to go up 24.15% from July 1 in Delhi
Pak railway runs out of fuel
Affordable electricity ''is a long way off'' (UK)
Sri Lanka power crisis deepens, losses mount from purchasing thermal power
Lebanese swelter in summer as long-term power cuts continue
China moving closer to Middle East oil
"A series of moves in the international sector has pushed China closer to the Middle East in terms of its oil demand, an analyst said."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Air Conditioner Copper Theft and Temperatures Are on the Rise -- Seven Tips for Business Owners

## Got food? ##
Drought May Rival 1980s U.S. Scorcher That Cost $78 Billion
"The drought in the U.S. Midwest that has pushed up corn prices 28 percent since June 15 may eventually rival a dry period in 1988 that cost agriculture $78 billion, a government meteorologist said."
India may lose huge quantity of wheat on slow procurement, strengthening rains

## Environment/health ##
Hundred dead, 250,000 stranded in Bangladesh floods
Floods, Evacuations As Debby Storms Florida
Colorado fires: Tens of thousands flee 'monster' blaze
Union Carbide Wins Dismissal of Suit Over Bhopal Plant

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Every mobile phone user in the UAE must re-register SIM card
Japan probes website attacks by Anonymous hacker group

## Systemic breakdown ##
Outline on Collapse End Game
"Many are the events, signals, and telltale clues of a real live actual systemic failure in progress. Until the last several months, such banter was dismissed by the soldiers in the financial arena. But lately, they cannot dismiss the onslaught of evidence, a veritable plethora of ugly symptoms of conditions gone terribly wrong and solutions at best gone awry and at worst never intended in the first place."
Europe Going Back To The Middle Ages
U.S. blood supply dips to 'emergency' level: Red Cross

## Japan ##
Japan Sales Tax Risks Growth Grinding to Halt in 2014: Economy
9 utilities reject all shareholders' anti-nuclear appeals
Utility shareholders meet / Nuclear power decried; TEPCO's de facto nationalization OK'd

## China ##
China's slow rot or dramatic crash?
"In a country where information is tightly controlled, the size and extent of the underground economy can only be guessed. When this part of the economy goes bust, the landing will be very hard indeed."
Direct local govt bonds halted
"Legislators halted plans on Tuesday to allow local governments to issue bonds directly, as policymakers increase their scrutiny of regional debt risks and call for improved fiscal management at the local level."
Steel trading companies in Shanghai cry out for help from banks
China has no imminent auto stimulus plan

## UK ##
Lights out — and worse — to nail third tax freeze (London)

## US ##
Colorado wildfire of 'epic proportions' displaces 32,000; tests firefighters
California begins mapping future without nuclear power
Repairs continue to Vt. nuke plant cooling pump
Hanford waste plant sees new costs, delays
"A new cost estimate and construction schedule for a massive waste plant being built at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site will be delayed at least a year as workers try to resolve serious technical problems raised by whistleblowers about design and safety, the U.S. Department of Energysaid Tuesday."
Natural gas gold rush: Is your state next?
Older Workers in U.S. Drive Competition in Labor Market
'Heart-wrenching' Catch-22: Homeless families who turn to city for help find no rooms, risk child welfare  inquiry
No 'Bath Salts' Drug Found In System Of Face-Eating Attacker
Peter Madoff, Bernie's Brother, to Plead Guilty
Everyone knows that if you kill one man you'll go to prison, but if you slaughter millions you'll be a hero. Similarly, if you run a small-potatoes Ponzi scheme you'll go to prison, but if you run the greatest Ponzi scheme of all time — the global "growth economy" — you're regarded as the savior of humanity. -- RF
Stockton CA Bankrupt
Diminished earnings expectations
"The warnings are starting to pile up. Some come from the companies, some from the analysts. But they all point toward a batch of second-quarter earnings reports that are going to fall short of expectations formed just three months ago."
Obama to allow more Arctic drilling

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


News Links, June 27, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Cyprus rescue package may equal half its economy
"Cyprus, the fifth euro zone country to seek emergency funding from Europe, may need a bailout of up to 10 billion euros, over half the size of its economy, officials said on Tuesday."
Nomura downgrades top three Greek banks
Spain Poised for Downgrade to Junk as Default Swaps Near Records
Spain's economic crisis turns middle-class families into illegal squatters
Spain Has Budget Deficit of 3.41% of GDP Through May (Not Counting Regional Governments); Target for Entire Year was 3.5%
Steel overcapacity to spur output cuts and plant shutdowns - Colakoglu Metalurji
"Arab News reported that the director of Turkish steelmaker Colakoglu Metalurji expects steel production cuts and plant shutdowns in the United States in Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere as margins get squeezed by weaker demand and oversupply."
Shipping Bears Are Ascendant as Fleet Growth Swamps Cargo
Steel giant Tata may delay relighting blast furnace No 4 (UK)
"Tata Steel says it may delay the start of production at one of its rebuilt blast furnaces in Port Talbot if the steel market remains subdued."
Has hosting the Olympics become ruinous?
"With the cost of hosting the Olympic Games soaring, the economic benefits of the sporting extravaganza have been called into question as the global economy faces a slowdown in growth."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Extra, extra! How airlines will make you pay
Even An Indian Billionaire Can't Save This Airline
Airlines face pilot-availability shortfall

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Mystery of Explosives at Swedish Nuclear Power Plant Deepens
South Korea says to halt Iran oil imports from July 1
Texan police aim to stop Mexican drug cartels' 'splashdown' with machine-gun speedboats (BBC video)
Four presidents propose power of eurozone authorities over national governments
"European leaders have drafted a radical plan to turn the 17 countries of the eurozone into a full-fledged political federation within a decade in an attempt to placate the financial markets by demonstrating a political will to save the single currency in the medium-term."
Massive US-Israeli Military Drill Set for October
Four More US Ships Arrive in Gulf as Iran Feels Pressure

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Nabatiyeh residents go on strike against water, electricity shortage (Lebanon)
New clashes in Bolivia over police mutiny
Striking Bolivian police battle workers in La Paz

## Energy/resources ##
Professors argue against fracking
"Hydraulic fracturing to access natural gas should be slowed and eventually stopped, two Cornell University professors said during briefings for U.S. lawmakers."
European Refineries Shut, Jet Fuel Purchases Reach Highest Level
Swat facing complete blackout for 4 days (Pakistan)
ERCOT Asking Consumers to Conserve Electricity from 3:00-7:00pm (US)
Israel Electric plans 3 bln shekels bond issue
"State-run Israel Electric Corp (IEC) plans to issue 3 billion shekels ($763 million) in government-backed bonds to help manage a financial crisis exacerbated by a recent shortage of natural gas, officials said on Tuesday."
Coal-Plant Plunge Threatens Billions in Pollution Spend
"The coal-fired power industry in the U.S. is facing the biggest plunge in asset values in a decade, risking billions of dollars in pollution-control spending by utilities such as Exelon Corp. (EXC) and American Electric Power Co. (AEP)."
LDK Solar Swings to Loss
"LDK Solar Co. swung to a fiscal-first-quarter loss as the solar-product maker continued to battle industrywide oversupply and price declines."
Norway holds oil summit amid strike
"The Norwegian government said delegates from the international energy sector are in the country to discuss the resource potential in the arctic."
French uranium plant attacked
Government urged to impose energy emergency (Pakistan)
Texas electricity demand sets another June record, boosts prices to the limit

## Got food? ##
Both Koreas suffering worst drought in a century
"North Korea has dispatched soldiers to pour buckets of water on parched fields and South Korean officials have scrambled to save a rare mollusk threatened by the heat, as the worst dry spell in a century grips the Korean Peninsula."
As 'Hungry Season' Nears, Yemenis Struggle For Food
China's Wen signs accords, eyes Argentina's corn
Indonesians find campaign to curb rice hard to digest
Hot Weather Threatening US Corn Crop
"The projected US corn crop is currently in worse condition than it's been in since 2002, which were then the worst since 1990. Only 56% of this year's crop was judged to be in 'good' or 'excellent' condition last week. That's a drop of 7 points from the week before."
Swarm of locusts threaten crops in post-Gaddafi Africa

## Environment/health ##
Research: Gulf Shrimp Widely Contaminated With Carcinogens
Swine Flu Deaths May Have Been 15 Times Higher Than Reported
This makes sense if for no other reason than the simple fact that many cases of any disease outbreak go unreported for various reasons. -- RF
Fire near Pikes Peak blackens 4,500 acres
Wind Energy Creates a Warming Effect, Study Finds

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
MI5 fighting 'astonishing' level of cyber-attacks
"MI5 is working to counter "astonishing" levels of cyber-attacks on UK industry, the organisation's chief has said."

## Systemic breakdown ##
The ultimate Zen Koan? Your retirement
"Yes, I am dead serious. Overpopulation. Resource wars. Pandemics. Famine. Starvation. Water shortages. The Pentagon says by 2020 'warfare will define human life.' Unpredictable black swans, catastrophic events that will set off more global revolutions."
It's important to realize that collapse isn't just a matter of energy. The global economy is a huge, complex system, and it's deteriorating day by day, crushed under the weight of its own demand: growth. Population, consumption, debt, pollution, "development" — they're all growing because they must do so under a system that demands never-ending expansion. -- RF
Disaster manager says infrastructure decay is a growing trend (Canada)

## Japan ##
Carmakers trimming domestic production
Nuclear redress will never approximate losses
Japanese official who leaked information about North Korean missile found dead
Patches of higher-than-average radioactivity found in Tokyo park
Kyoto to close its buildings to save power
"To save electricity, the Kyoto prefectural government has decided to close one of its three main office buildings on weekday afternoons on a rotational basis from July 23 to Aug. 2."
Scientists warn of 3 faults under soon-to-restart reactors
Japan tax hike to juice spending until '14: report
"With Japan's Diet having just approved a major sales-tax hike, economists expect a sharp pick-up in spending ahead of the increase, followed by a similarly sharp drop, according to a Nikkei news report Wednesday."
It's possible that the hike will never happen, and that the immediate aim is to get people to spend. -- RF

## China ##
China's luxury car market hit with extra inventory
Drought leaves 4.3m people short of drinking water
China gloom hits Macau casino stocks
China's Banks Target Australia
Coal inventories in China hit new highs
"A majority of coal storage yards have been closed due to extreme pressures. Qinhuangdao Coal Exchange market, a barometer of the energy market, has exhibited extreme quiet. One coal dealer said that he has not done business for more than half a month."

## UK ##
Polluted legacy: Repairing Britain's damaged landscapes
"The Industrial Revolution, which made Britain the powerhouse of the world in the 19th Century, may have been consigned to the history books but it has left a legacy of environmental problems."
Digging up the dead
"Thousands of graves will be dug up and moved to make way for the new high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham."
UK public borrowing higher than expected in May
UK homes getting more hungry for electricity

## US ##
Stockton, Calif. to take up bankruptcy budget plan
"Stockton, California was poised on Tuesday to take a major step toward becoming the largest U.S. city ever to file for bankruptcy after talks with its creditors on Monday at midnight."
Why I Am Chopping My U.S. GDP Forecast to 1.5%
Detroit to lay off 164 firefighters
Water: CDC advises storing 14 days' worth
PC Units Could Drop 5%-10% In Q3 From Yr Ago, Analyst Says
Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market
"Members of the law-school class of 2011 had little better than a 50-50 shot of landing a job as a lawyer within nine months of receiving a degree, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of new data that provides the most detailed picture yet of the grim market for law jobs."
Sinking Under A $10,000 Monthly Mortgage Payment
"The nation's housing crisis has touched countless people. Increasingly, the well-off are among them."
Supply Chain Slowdown Signals US Economic Slump Ahead
Forty Million Houses in the US That No One Needs?
Congress to Defense Industry: We Can't Save You
Defense industry sounds alarm on sequestration
Gallup Economic Confidence Index Continues Slide

Monday, June 25, 2012


News Links, June 26, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
EU aid shows rare drop as austerity bites: report
Moody's Downgrades 28 Spanish Banks on Sovereign Risk
Spain formally requests a bailout for its banks
And then there were five: Cyprus seeks EU aid
Harder Times Coming For Brazil, Says Bank For International Settlements
"Brazil is not going to escape the onrushing collapse of the developed economies, warns the Central Bank of Central Banks, known as the Bank for International Settlements."
BRICs Biggest Currency Depreciation Since 1998 To Worsen
Panamax oversupply to suppress ship rates - Commodore
Germany fears eurozone collapse would decimate country's economy
Gimme that old-time religion: Breaking News: Regulators to Classify Gold as Zero-Risk Asset (US)
"In what might be the most underreported financial story of the year, US banking regulators recently circulated a memorandum for comment, including proposed adjustments to current regulatory capital risk-weightings for various assets. For the first time, unencumbered gold bullion is to be classified as zero risk, in line with dollar cash, US Treasuries and other explicitly government-guaranteed assets. If implemented, this will be an important step in the re-monetisation of gold and, other factors equal, should be strongly supportive of the gold price, both outright and relative to that for government bonds, the primary beneficiaries of the most recent flight to safety. Stay tuned."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Baghdad Snubs Biden over Oil 'Diplomacy'
"That Washington was willing to set Vice-President Joe Biden up to be snubbed by Baghdad demonstrates how serious the north-south war over Iraqi oil and gas is and how the country is being carved up into the Iranian-controlled south and the Western- and Turkish-controlled north…
"The US has spent over $1 trillion on the war in Iraq essentially to lay the foundation for Iran to wield the majority of influence over the central authority in Baghdad."
Egypt's Morsi 'to rethink Israel pact, build Iran ties'
"Egypt's Islamist president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, wants to 'reconsider' the peace deal with Israel and build ties with Iran to 'create a strategic balance' in the Middle East, according to an interview published by Iran's Fars news agency on Monday."
Blaze at Sufi shrine triggers violence in Kashmir
"Fire gutted one of the most revered Sufi Muslim shrines in the Indian part of the divided Kashmir region on Monday sparking clashes between police and angry Muslim protesters, witnesses said."
William Hague warns of intensified Iran sanctions
"Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday that the European Union will "intensify" sanctions against Iran over coming months if there is no progress in nuclear talks."
India allows use of Iran ships for oil imports
"India has allowed state refiners to import Iranian oil, with Tehran arranging shipping and insurance, from July 1, keeping purchases of over 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) flowing after European sanctions hit insurance for the cargoes, government and industry sources said."
Iranian oil tankers change names as EU ban looms
"Iran has given new English names and changed the flags of many of its oil tankers, two of which are steaming toward Europe with an EU ban on Iranian oil imports just a week away, ship tracking data shows."
Chinese vessel rams Philippine boat near Scarborough Shoal: Duowei
"A Chinese vessel is said to have 'accidentally' rammed a Philippine fishing boat near the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, killing one man and leaving four missing, reports Duowei News, a US-based paper that has reported rumors that are difficult to prove."
Kuwait government submits resignation: government sources
African extremist groups linking up: U.S. general
Syria shot at second plane, Turkey says
NATO in Syria: Will Turkish Plane Become the New Excuse?
US and Israel to hold largest ever joint military exercise
Libya: Africom Forms Military Relationship With Libya
Canada Ramps Up Arctic Arsenal
Minesweepers arrive in Gulf to protect shipping routes

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hong Kong Protesters Vow to Stay as HSBC Seeks Eviction
Anti-government protesters demanding PM's resignation clash with police in Nepalese capital
Hundreds protest Haiti gov't plan to destroy homes

## Energy/resources ##
In hours, caustic vapors wreaked quiet ruin on biggest U.S. refinery
"In the end, all it took was a small chemical spill -- perhaps less than a barrelful -- to bring down the newest, mightiest oil refinery in the United States."
UAE Bypass the Straits of Hormuz with New Oil Pipeline
Norway's oil production halts as workers strike over pensions
Udayapur cement industry halts production (Nepal)
"The largest cement factory of the country, Udayapur Cement Industry, has stopped production for past three days due to lack of coal."
Tech Talk - Saudi Arabia and Production from Safaniya
Chipata runs out of diesel (Zambia)
"Chipata district has run out of diesel causing panic among residents just two weeks after the entire country experienced fuel blues."
Power companies battle coal squeeze
"The shortage of coal is keeping power plants on tenterhooks and consumers may have to go through more blackouts this summer.
"According to the latest figures of the Central Electricity Authority, as many as 37 power plants are down to seven days' supplies in their stocks while normal supplies should be at 20 to 30 days to ensure smooth generation of power."
Quick Summary of My Main Personal Take-home Messages from ASPO 2012 (The Oil Drum)
Saudi Aramco Said to From Venture Firm on Drilling Tech
"Saudi Aramco, as the state-owned producer is known, wants to adopt the latest techniques and expertise for boosting output at older oil fields and fracturing rocks in underground reservoirs to speed the extraction of crude, the person said, declining to be identified because the project is confidential."
Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn (Automatic Earth)
A good read. -- RF
Vestas Wind Systems to stop output at China plant, cuts 300-350 jobs

## Got food? ##
Garden on the bay plots agricultural revival (Japan)

## Environment/health ##
Hog wild: Feral pig population explodes in US

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
U.S. plans more drone flights over Caribbean
UK hackers admit plotting attacks on CIA, firms
Iraq Orders Mass Closure of Media Outlets

## Systemic breakdown ##
Iraq to shut down government for much of the summer
Three police die in Mexico City airport drug shootings
Foreclosures leave empty eyesores

## Japan ##
Japan's Car Exports Face New Pressure
Japan sells first Fukushima seafood since nuclear crisis
"The sale was limited to octopus and marine snails, as other species cannot be sold yet because of contamination."
Tokyo Residents: Don't Touch the Black or Blue Dirt
Japan eyes oil diversification / Accord with Russia meant to reduce reliance on Middle East

## China ##
China Stocks Drop to Five-Month Low

## US ##
Blue Chips Lose 138 Points
Coming 'fiscal cliff' in Congress affects hiring, even firing
Poll: 28 percent have no savings at all
Long-haul truck drivers in short supply
Can You Afford To Die In America? An Infographic
Americans now value their cars more than their homes

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