Monday, October 29, 2012


News Links, October 30, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greece riskier for investors than war-torn Syria, survey of experts suggests
Fear of economic overheating in Qatar
Retail Sales in Spain Plunge 10.9%, Largest Drop on Record; All Pain, No Gain
The Spanish Bad Bank Emerges, Confirms Spanish Real Estate Absolute Disaster
U.S. Margins Stagnate for Longest Stretch in Three Years
"Chief executive officers in America are finding fewer costs to cut, sending profit margins into the first 12-month contraction since 2009 and leaving investors increasingly dependent on economic growth to boost stocks."
EU Bureaucracy has Lost Control of Italy; Social Mood Turns Black
Bank of Israel Unexpectedly Cuts Rate, Limits Mortgages
Turkish Banks Go for Gold to Lure $302 Billion Hoard
Profits Collapsing at Buffett-Backed Chinese Automaker

## Airline Death Spiral ##
China Southern Airlines' third-quarter profit falls by a third on yuan weakness
Industrial action looms at Aer Lingus
Kansai Airport opens new terminal for low-cost carriers
World's airlines collecting $36 billion in a la carte fees this year, report shows

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Europe's Crisis Spawns Calls for a Breakup—of Spain
Iran naval task force 'docks in Sudan'
Hacking the President's DNA
"The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace."
The new threat to the euro – disintegrating nations
US military chief in Israel to oversee countries' largest ever joint maneuvers
Former Official Dennis Ross: Obama's Israel Ties 'Without Precedent'

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Eurozone crisis could provoke violence and push people towards extremism, says Tory cabinet minister
Southampton Ford Transit union action 'not ruled out'
Turkish police fire tear gas at banned secularist march
Police halt anti-KKNPP protest, 1,800 arrested
China steps carefully with protesting middle class

## Energy/resources ##
Denmark Won't Support Vestas Through Financial Hardship
"The Danish government won't provide direct support to Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) should the world's biggest maker of wind turbines need a bailout to stay afloat."
Putin Strengthens his Grip on World Energy with TNK-BP Deal
Nigerian Crude Oil outage only adds to supply pressures: Barclays
Egypt secures vital oil supplies for rest of year
"Egypt has secured oil supplies for the rest of the year, despite fears about its ability to make payments, from a small number of Western suppliers who have agreed to deliver unusual grades of crude for hefty premiums, market sources said."
Why Energy May Be Abundant But Not Cheap
Remember: The quantity of a resource means absolutely nothing. Quality is everything. -- RF
10 Easy Ways to Save on Energy at Home

## Got food? ##
Storm damages crops in Haiti, fueling food price woes
Grain monopolys tighten grip, food prices increase
Empty shelves at food bank a severe problem
Seeking a New Startup Idea? Try Farming
It's important to keep Big Capital out of farming or we'll end up with an aristocratic landowner class and a serf class. My warning about neofeudalism stands. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Two-thirds of Australians 'obese'
After Smoking Is Banned, Heart Attacks Drop
Meningitis outbreak spreads to 19 states with case in Rhode Island

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Use stronger snooping powers against fly tipping, watchdog urges (UK)
"New powers to snoop on all emails, web visits and phone calls could still be used to combat minor crimes despite Government assurances, the watchdog who oversees them has said."
Will Amazon's Servers Be Ready For Sandy?
The Next Weapon Of Mass Destruction Will Probably Be A Thumbdrive

## Japan ##
Honda lowers profit forecast amid China-Japan dispute
Methane Hydrates Found In Waters Of Japan's EEZ
Without a doubt, this is a low-quality energy resource. After all the costs and subsidies are factored in, it might even have a negative energy yield. Pardon me if this evokes a yawn. -- RF
Noda says Japan will boost coast security
Japan auto industry bodies calls for abolition of auto tax
KEPCO considers rate hike after record loss
"Kansai Electric Power Co. said Monday it is considering a rate hike after it booked a record group net loss of 116.7 billion yen from April to September, against a profit of 20.4 billion yen a year earlier."

## China ##
China's natgas consumption seen at 230 bcm in 2015: NDRC
China Telecom Earnings Fall as Costs Rise
BYD profit drops 94% on weakness in car sales
Cloudy future for China solar panels
Has Hong Kong popped its bubble? New property tax another sign of currency-peg stress

## UK ##
Five million paid less than Living Wage, says KPMG
Poor farmers 'face worst crisis since foot-and-mouth'
"Struggling farmers are facing the worst poverty crisis since the devastating outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001, according to an agricultural charity which has seen a 50% rise in calls to its helpline."
Ash dieback: 100,000 trees destroyed to halt spread

## US ##
MF Global Problems Started Years Ago
Oil refineries shut down as Hurricane Sandy nears
Hurricane Sandy May Score a Direct Hit On Spent Fuel Pools at Nuclear Plant
Sandy knocks out power to more than 2 million
Hurricane Sandy Threatens $20 Billion in Economic Damage
U.S. Comptroller Warns on Banks' Loan-Loss Reserves
"The U.S. could stop banks from boosting their earnings by cutting back on reserves held against future loan losses, a top bank regulator said Monday, arguing that the economy remains too rocky for financial institutions to lower their cushions."
Junk oil: America's First Tar Sands Mining Site (slide show)
Gasoline Climbs, Stocks Fall as Sandy Shuts U.S. Markets
Savings Rate Plunges To Lowest In One Year As US Consumer Once Again Tapped Out
Warning of an 11% Unemployment Rate

And finally… Highways of horror: The world's most haunted freeways

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