Saturday, October 20, 2012


News Links, October 19, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Cost of Four Euro Exits? $22 Trillion: Study
Stiglitz: Greece and Spain are 'in depression'
Up to 50% of Greek Workforce Strikes; Tipping Point Nears
"As European Union leaders prepare to meet in Brussels on Thursday, Greece's workers aim to make their voices heard by holding a 24-hour strike bringing the country to a halt. With the economy in the fifth year of a recession, the lost production could prove counterproductive and cost the economy 100 million euros ($131 million), according to one expert."
U.S. to Get Downgraded Amid Fiscal 'Theater,' Pimco Says
Italy borrows record amount with inflation-linked bond
Moody's downgrades world's oldest bank to 'junk'
More Australian Miners Cut Back
New SME finance tools launched amid worsening gloom (EU)
Degrowth Offers Alternative to Global Consumer Culture
Nobel Peace Prize Spells Economic Desperation

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline Executives Urge Airport Security Overhaul
"Airport security needs to undergo a radical overhaul or else passengers will become further disgruntled, lines will grow and terminals will be overwhelmed, airline executives said Tuesday at a global aviation conference."
It won't happen easily because IMHO one of the original purposes of onerous security procedures is demand destruction. -- RF
Profits of Chinese airlines down due to forex losses
JAL fuel surcharges to rise 500-5,000 yen

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pirates Commandeer Another Oil Tanker Near the Niger Delta
US, Israel Deny Defense Exercise Aimed at Iran
US-Led Iran Sanctions Putting Millions of Lives at Risk, Iranian Charity Says
India's aircraft carrier hits more troubled waters
Israel approves more expansion of settlement near Jerusalem
Australia commits to Poseidon development
China to conduct naval exercises in East China Sea

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Greeks go on strike over austerity as EU meets
Hungarian far-right stages anti-Roma show of strength
Killed over a parked car? Riots break out in Sichuan
World Food Prize protesters arrested
"Five protesters affiliated with the Occupy Des Moines movement were arrested Wednesday afternoon when they tried to enter the World Food Prize building in downtown Des Moines, where agriculture, nonprofit and government leaders were meeting for a conference."
Lonmin miners strike again in South Africa
Man sets himself on fire outside Italy president's palace

## Energy/resources ##
Kazakhstan's Gigantic Kashgan Oil Field about to Begin Production
A good illustration of the challenges the world faces in keeping the oil flowing. -- RF
Ghana: Fuel Shortage Hits Police Administration
Six weeks left to bring back reactors says EDF
"French state-owned utility only has six weeks left to ensure its troubled fleet of nuclear power reactors is capable of producing enough electricity to cope with winter demand, the French power grid's head said on Wednesday."
Another Solar Company Bites the Bankruptcy Bullet

## Got food? ##
More trade, investment needed to meet food demand: report
"More investment is needed to increase food production in Africa and Asia as rising demand and scarce resources leave millions of people vulnerable to hunger, a corporate-backed report said on Wednesday."
I've got a better idea: More farmers and less destruction of farmland by "development." But let's not stop there. Because industrial agriculture is ultimately unsustainable, let's start getting back to more labor-intensive farming that does not use chemical fertilizers or toxic pesticides. Also, farmland should be owned by those who work it, not by rich investors. -- RF
Idle crop lands in China point at unprofitable wheat crops
"About 20,000 acres of farms in China's northern province of Hebei lie idle this autumn, an unconventional sight for the country's main granary. The rising cost of wheat cultivation has forced farmers to let their productive soils go to waste, reports Chinese-language news agency China News Service."
Africa, Asia May Face Food Shortages by 2050, Group Says

## Environment/health ##
Four more die in fungal meningitis outbreak
FDA finds fungus in steroid shots, meningitis toll rises
The Dying Salt Marsh

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
New "Surveillance-Proof" App To Secure Communications Has Governments Nervous
"Silent Circle promises to make encryption easy for everyone."
Northrop building Australian cybercenter
The inevitable blowback to high-tech warfare
Cyberattacks 'Huge Security Issue' for the US: PNC CEO

## Systemic breakdown ##
U.S. on the verge of water anarchy

## Japan ##
Japan and the Exhaustion of Consumerism
DJ: BOJ May Consider Fresh Easing After Failing To Hit Price Goals
Cesium above new limit in Miyagi beef
1 in 5 seawall gates not up to par / Over 3,000 floodgates, other facilities on Pacific coast unready for tsunami
Much Urayasu liquefaction damage awaits repair / Areas near major roads restored, but tilted houses, rippled pavement, broken pipes still widespread problems
Much or even most of this broken and dilapidated infrastructure will never be fixed. -- RF
Government to bail out troubled Renesas Electronics
Carmakers fear lingering downturn in China due to Senkaku row

## China ##
China Life may see 55% dive in profit
"CHINA Life Insurance Co, the nation's biggest insurer, yesterday said profit for the first nine months of this year may fall 55 percent on lower investment yields and bigger impairment losses."
China's Growth Continues to Slow
China Refineries Expand to Escape Crackdown
China's Economy Slows, Power Output Falls to Four-Month Low but Premier Upbeat on Economy; Enormous Headwinds

## UK ##
Mali unrest increases terror threat at home, security minster to warn
Human trafficking to UK 'rising'
UK experiences 'weirdest' weather
Fuel poverty feared
"PENSIONERS' groups say recent energy bill increases are 'disgraceful' and many now face living conditions akin to poverty-stricken Russia in the Twenties."

## US ##
Brookings Institute On Looming Fiscal Cliff: Little Room for Optimism
States diverting housing settlement funds to fill budget holes
Medical malware 'rampant' in US hospitals
Note to Mitt: More Drilling Will Not Lower Gasoline Prices
The Presidential Debates Are Nothing But Scripted Beauty Contests
"The 'spontaneous' questions from audience members are actually pre-screened, and even the moderator is forbidden from asking follow-up questions."
Oh! Amerika is grreeaat democracy! -- RF
Google results miss; shares dive after premature report
Winter Outlook: Drought Likely To Persist
To Shrink Rents, S.F. Considers Shrinking Apartments
AMD Cutting Staff 15%
Philly Fed Rises But Details Very Weak; Future Expectations Plunge
Homeland Security graduates first Corps of Homeland Youth (FEMA Corps)
US unemployment aid applications jump to 388,000
One U.S. industry that can't fill jobs fast enough: Companies confronted with a shortage of truck drivers
Considering that the whole socioeconomic system would start to collapse in a matter of days without truck deliveries, this is a very serious development. -- RF
Is Prepaid the Future of Plastic? Fee-Hungry Banks Hope So
Student Loan Debt Hits Another New Record: Study
Nine States with Sinking Pensions

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