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

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