Tuesday, July 17, 2012


News Links, July 18, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Australia, Japan Bond Risk Rises, Credit-Default Swaps Show
Spain royal family follows public sector wage cut
Moody's downgrades 13 Italian banks, cites weakening of Italian government credit profile
Portugal – Please Turn the Lights Off When You Leave!
Slowdown signs - Turkish motor vehicle sales down by 19pct in H1
Asset Reconstruction Firms May Benefit as Bad Debts Pile Up
Banks still seen as risky five years after start of crisis
Banks face billions more in Libor losses

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Efforts to tackle Somali piracy pay off: watchdog
"Last year, Somali piracy in the busy shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden and the northwestern Indian Ocean netted $160 million, and cost the world economy some $7 billion, according to the American One Earth Future foundation."
One wonders how much has been spent on deploying naval vessels and putting armed guards on ships. -- RF
Hillary Clinton: US will use 'all elements of American power' to stop Tehran developing nuclear weapons
Hey Hillary! What about Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons program? -- RF
Emergency Funds Running Dry In World's Largest Refugee Camp
Fleet of 30 Chinese fishing boats plies reef in Spratlys
Russia, Tajikistan strike outline deal on military base
"Russia and Tajikistan have agreed in principle to extend Moscow's lease on a military base in the strategically located country for another 49 years, Russian and Tajik officials said on Tuesday, ending bitter recriminations over a delayed deal."
Iran offers to insure foreign ships to skirt EU ban
Iran's Revolutionary Guards 'overseeing huge expansion of country's nuclear programme'
"Iran's Revolutionary Guards are overseeing a massive expansion of the country's nuclear weapons programme in an attempt to bring forward the date when the regime can produce its first warhead, according to a leading Iranian dissident group."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protesters torch National Insurance Institute branch (Israel)
New Pakistan protest at reopening of NATO supply routes
Spanish civil servants try to march on parliament, blocked as they scuffle with riot police
Protesters in UP torch vehicles, attack police (India)
"Angered over power outages and poor water supply, protesters clashed with police, vandalised property and vehicles Monday in Uttar Pradesh's Amroha town, around 370 km from here, police said."
Clinton regrets only wasted tomatoes in Egypt protest
"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday she was 'not offended' by protesters in Egypt who pelted her motorcade with tomatoes, calling the demonstrations a sign of greater freedom and anxiety, and mainly regretting what she saw as wasted food."
Yes, what a waste. Rotten eggs would have been better. -- RF
Egypt labour dispute triggers clashes in Suez
"An industrial dispute in the Egyptian city of Suez triggered clashes between the police and workers who broke into a government building on Tuesday, setting fire to furniture, security sources and workers said."

## Energy/resources ##
Con Edison reduces power voltage in parts of Manhattan
Iran takes oil business private
"Crude oil supplies from Iran will no longer be isolated to a single state-controlled entity, the country's mining and trade minister confirmed."
Mexico leaning toward oil privatization
U.S. court protects Iraqi oil contracts
Offshore Wind Slump Means No Firm Orders for GE, Siemens
"Sales of offshore wind turbines collapsed in the first half, a sign the power industry and its financiers are struggling to meet the ambitions of leaders from Angela Merkel in Germany to Britain's David Cameron."
World Energy Consumption Facts, Figures, and Shockers

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Lights out threat as metal thieves target Swansea street lamps
Telkom under siege from copper thieves

## Got food? ##
Corn Used to Create US Biofuel is Enough to Feed 412 Million People for a Year
Q&A: World food and fuel prices
The global implications of North America's drought
India struggling to sustain food grain output for 2012-13
Midwest drought threatens crops, livelihoods and food prices
$10 Corn and $20 Soybeans to Pit Food Against Fuel

## Environment/health ##
Solomon Islands 'launders' exotic birds
Arctic Ice Loss May Drive Unsustainable Fishing

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Another cyber espionage campaign found targeting Iran
"Security experts have uncovered an ongoing cyber espionage campaign targeting Iran and other Middle Eastern countries that they say stands out because it is the first such operation using communications tools written in Persian."

## Systemic breakdown ##
Declining Economic Growth due to Low Oil Supply Growth

## Japan ##
Red Debt Flags Across The Pond? No, The Other Pond
Ito-Yokado may close 10% of its supermarkets
NHK admitted birds are dying in Fukushima
Scorching heat continues in Kanto, other regions in Japan
Another Reactor At Oi Power Plant To Be Reactivated Wednesday

## China ##
Gory run continues in Chinese steel market in July
"Even a slight peek into the price graph of July unfolds a gory tale of mincemeat in the finished steel product market. Loss of 3% in rebar prices and over 2% in composite steel index is enough to raise eyebrows about the deepening gloom."
Companies Feel China's Slower Growth

## UK ##
London 2012 preparations are a shambles, says half of the nation
Street begging Olympic problem for Cardiff - retailers
Post office shake-up could leave one in five branches 'unsustainable or unsuitable'
Staff cuts and computer failures undermine border checks
U.K. to Use Government Guarantees to Kick-Start Infrastructure Projects

## US ##
Postal Service default appears likely
"The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service is within weeks of defaulting on a legally required $5.5 billion payment into a health benefits fund for future retirees."
Defaults on 401(k) loans reach $37 billion a year
How Bernanke will cause the next crash before 2014: Rich will lose 50% in massive wealth destruction
U.S. municipal tobacco bonds face downgrades from Fitch
Texan Shale Boom Leads to Increase in Drug Trafficking
IMF: Lift U.S. federal debt ceiling soon
"U.S. policymakers must lift the federal debt ceiling soon, for the sake of the U.S. and world economies, the International Monetary Fund said."
Gross Says U.S. Nearing Recession as Goldman Sachs Cuts Forecast
Goldman's golden egg turns leaden; bank plans cuts
"Goldman Sachs Group Inc's quarterly profit fell 12 percent as investment income plunged, reflecting the pressure the bank faces as demand for its services remains tepid and regulators clamp down on bank risk-taking."
Lockheed May Fire 10,000 Under Budget Cuts

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