Thursday, November 29, 2012


News Links, November 29-30, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Bankia Details Deep Cuts, Sees EUR19 Bln Loss This Year
Spain Now Faces a Systemic, Societal, and Sovereign Collapse
EU to bail out four Spanish banks
France's Nationalization Threat Ignores Steel Glut
French Unemployment Highest in 14 Years (And It's Going to Get Much Worse)
Is Nokia Toast?
We have cash to fund mega projects - Dubai official
Rolls-Royce Cars Plans Expansion as Wealth Spreads
Russian minimum wage is below poverty lin
Energy glut takes toll on western coffers
"With oil backing up behind full pipelines and Canadian energy companies selling their most lucrative product at large discounts, corporate earnings are tumbling far below expectations."
There isn't an energy glut, but there is collapsing demand. -- RF
Gold to surge in 2013 as central banks print more money: Profit Confidential

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Propeller Planes Come Back Amid High Fuel Prices
Airlines cut First Class as demand "evaporates"
"First Class cabins on new aircraft are likely to become a thing of the past as dwindling passenger demand has seen airlines start opting for economy and business class-only seat configurations on new deliveries, leading aviation executives told Arabian Business."
Pakistan International Airlines losses soar to Rs154bn
Malaysia Airlines Registers Profit After Six Quarters Of Losses
Obama shields U.S. airlines from EU carbon fees
Tag, you're it: Airlines expand self-tagged baggage programs
Staff and Fleet Cuts at Iberia to Stop Financial Decline
Cathay Pacific COO stresses need to reduce costs further as business continues to stall
Cathay Pacific Plans First Passenger-Capacity Cut Since 2009
Airport outlook: Larger aircraft, but no new routes
Labour strife mounts for both US Airways and American as creditors weigh potential merger
Lenders Approve Turnaround Plan for Scandinavian SAS

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
A Second Wave of Genocide Looms in Congo, with Susan Rice on Point
Pakistan Test-Fires Medium-Range Ballistic Missile
Fighting Piracy Goes Awry With Killings of Fishermen
New Chinese Passports 'Counterproductive': Indonesia
Philippines will not stamp new Chinese passport
China Decries Attempts To 'Read Too Much Into' Passport Map Row
Chinese police plan to board ships in disputed seas
"Police in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan will board and search ships which enter into what China considers its territorial waters in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Thursday, a move which could raise tensions further."
Saudi diplomat shot dead in Yemen, al Qaeda blamed
Syrian rebels' arsenal now includes heavy weapons
Syrian rebels battle for airport; Internet shut down
US Considers Directly Arming Syrian Rebels
Bombs kill 30 in Iraq Shi'ite cities
UN defies US to recognise sovereign state of Palestine
Indian aircraft carrier: More costly, already delayed
Pentagon Sees Weak, Impoverished Iran as Threat No. 1

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tunisians wounded in Siliana clashes over unemployment
Burmese police break up copper mine protest
Protesters threaten operation of Western Libya's main oil refinery
"Protests outside western Libya's main oil refinery could shut down operations, causing a shortage of petrol in the country's capital, the deputy oil minister said."
Los Angeles ports disrupted by strikes
Four Chinese drivers charged over Singapore bus strike
Fast-Food Workers Strike in NYC
Peugeot and Renault factories in France hit by strikes
Milk farmers continue protest against production costs

## Energy/resources ##
Growth of ethanol fuel stalls in Brazil
Exxon Has an Oil Shortage
Chevron's Declining Oil Production May Prompt Increased Oil M&A
Analyst: Risk seen emerging for Libyan oil
"Political and national security concerns in post-revolution Libya, coupled with a shift to other forms of crude, may deter investors, an analyst said."
Bakken oil pipeline shelved
Just the other day I mentioned that it might not pay to build a pipeline for the Bakken. -- RF
Oil Markets Falling off the Cliff on OECD Concerns
South Stream Pipeline will Increase Gazprom's Control over Europe
Poland's Shale Gas Revolution off to a Rather Unimpressive Start
A Short Fuse For Fusion As Ignition Misses Deadline
Gas Shortages Fuel Tensions in Indonesia
Copper Shortage Seen Extending as China Accelerates: Commodities
India coal demand and production gap 185.50 million tons
Natural gas vehicles on back burner for now
Russian Oil Production to 2020
An analysis of World Energy Outlook 2012 (Kjell Aleklett)
"To summarise my analysis of the IEA's WEO-2012 report, I find it very hard to understand how IEA can smile and say 'don't worry, be happy'."
World Energy Report 2012 (Michael Klare)
"Given the hullabaloo about rising energy production in the U.S., you would think that the IEA report was loaded with good news about the world's future oil supply.  No such luck.  In fact, on a close reading anyone who has the slightest familiarity with world oil dynamics should shudder, as its overall emphasis is on decline and uncertainty."
An America self-sufficient in oil? Don't bet on it.
Major power outage hits Cambridge (US)
6,300 Hokkaido households still without power (Japan)
Egypt: Nation's Electricity Company Faces Liquidity Shortage
UN energy goals threatened by fossil fuel subsidies, campaigners say

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
NC Metal Thieves Turning Into Graverobbers In Rural Areas
"In addition to the manhole covers, fire hydrants, catalytic converters, street signs, and other items being stolen in the cities by metal thieves, rural areas across North Carolina are now being hit as well."
Thieves targeting metal storm drain grates
Thousands left without phone lines

## Got food? ##
Almost 70 Percent Of Pork In Stores Unsafe, Consumer Reports Says (US)
Ten Year Ban on Genetically Modified Seeds and Foods (Peru)
Tastier Winter Tomatoes, Thanks To A Boom In Greenhouse Growing
The article says nothing about energy consumption. And why should we eat summer veggies in the winter? -- RF
Rising Food Prices May Not Equate To Higher Profits for Farmers

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
New York Blackout Kills Phones, Revives Ancient Art Of Actually Speaking To People
Compassion Games -- Survival of the Kindest

## Environment/health ##
Deadly 'superbugs' invade U.S. health care facilities
As nations haggle, global carbon cut targets get impossibly deep
"As the nations of the world struggle in Doha to agree even modest targets to tackle global warming, the cuts needed in rising greenhouse gas emissions grow ever deeper, more costly and less likely to be achieved."
Sea level rose 60 percent faster than UN projections, study finds
Thawing Permafrost Threatens to Intensify Warming
The Inuit sitting on billions of barrels of oil
Despite Protection Efforts, Rhino Poaching Soars
After years of research, hog-waste disposal still reeks
2012 Drought Will Probably Last Through Winter In The Midwest, Says U.S. Monitor

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Anonymous threatens Morsy with cyberwarfare
U.N. summit may usher in more Internet regulations
Syria: Internet and mobile communication 'cut off'
The surveillance state high school

## Systemic breakdown ##
Construction industry faces worker shortage (US)
Sir James Dyson warns over graduate engineer shortage (UK)
Skills shortage constrains Norway's oil industry: study
Software engineer shortage pushes up salaries (UK)
Drug shortage dilemma: The patients (US)
'Drug shortages put thousands of Colombians at risk': chief medical expert
Truck driver shortage looming in Ohio, nationwide (US)
Oh, and did I mention crumbling infrastructure? -- RF

## Japan ##
Bank of Japan Posts Whopping ¥233 Billion Loss As Its Soaring Balance Sheet Hits Record ¥156 Trillion
Kepco's electricity bill increase has industries worried
Power Rate Hikes Would Lift Firms' Costs By Y870bn
"Businesses could face an added cost burden of about 870 billion yen if five electric utilities raise rates for corporate customers by around 20%, estimates Mizuho Securities Co."
Sony reportedly considers battery business sale
Abe: Let retired SDF warships defend Senkakus
"Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe proposed Thursday using retired Self-Defense Forces vessels to defend the uninhabited Senkaku Islands."
Norovirus epidemic signs seen
Japanese automakers' China output tumbles
Nakayama Steel to ask creditor banks to waive 60 bil. yen loans
OECD cuts Japan growth to 1.6%

## China ##
Indebted Dragon: The Ponzi Scheme Driving China's Construction Economy
China to tighten laws on land grabs in rural stability push
"China's cabinet vowed on Wednesday to tighten laws on the expropriation of farmland, warning that the problem risked fuelling rural unrest and undermining the country's food security."
NGO: China at the center of global illegal timber trade
Is China's Race to Build the World's Tallest Building a Bad Omen?
IMF paper: China investment excessive
Will electronics manufacturing leave China?

## UK ##
Thomas Cook reports £17m loss after disastrous attempt to cash in on London 2012
Government accused of forcing consumers to subsidise some of Britain's biggest corporations after Energy Bill is published

## US ##
Moody's cuts HP long-term debt rating to Baa1
U.S. Army Chief: 16,000 Soldiers To Be Involuntarily Separated
Obama Urged to Declare Emergency for Mississippi River
"Shippers and lawmakers are pressuring President Barack Obama to declare a federal emergency along the Mississippi River, citing potential 'catastrophic consequences' in the Midwest if barge traffic is curtailed by low water on the nation's busiest waterway."
Sales of New U.S. Homes Fell 0.3% in October
"Builders in the U.S. sold fewer new homes than forecast in October and purchases were revised down for the prior month, highlighting the hurdles facing a rebound in the industry at the heart of the financial crisis."
Retailers' November miss raises holiday stake
Chart: What Black Friday's $59 Billion Really Tells Us
Peabody to close Illinois coal mine
"Mining firm Peabody Energy Corp. said it would close a coal mine in Southern Illinois, citing diminishing returns and safety concerns."
Tiffany Misses, Trims Outlook
Detroit seen as bankruptcy-bound
Cities are (Still) Dropping Like Flies
Citigroup Securities Unit Said to Cut Bonuses, 150 Jobs
Modified mortgages re-enter shadow inventory – By next month the housing crisis will have cost 5,000,000 Americans their homes via foreclosures. Distressed inventory still above 5,000,000.
Nuclear expansion cost overruns overshadow elections
Southern's New Nuclear Reactors May Be Delayed Until 2017, 2018
LivingSocial: Things are going to get worse
$19,000 Worth of Macy's Watches Stolen in 13 Seconds
Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Weakens To Worst Expectation in November
Is the Student Loan Debt Crisis Worse Than We Thought?
Allstate: $1.08B in October Catastrophe Losses from Sandy
Ethanol Mandate Costs Chain Restaurants Billions

And finally…
The importance of checking references: Ukraine Sign $1.1 Billion LNG Deal with the Wrong Man


News Links, November 27-28, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Euro zone, IMF reach deal on cutting long-term Greek debt
Fed's $2.6T Payments System Risks Paralysis As Judge Orders Argentina To Pay Defaulted Bonds
Ottawa boasts about slashing VIP jet fleet
Phase one of $2.7bn Dubai theme park to open in 2014
Dubai Tries to Revive Its Construction Boom, but Can It Find the Cash?
OECD warns of further weakness in Europe
"Europe's economy will contract next year and the United States will see slower growth than previously forecast, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Tuesday."
Market Yawns as Greek Debt Deal Finalized; Deal? What Deal? Why Does it Even Matter?
Behind the Scenes, Germany is Already Preparing For a Grexit
Argentina Rating Downgraded by Fitch on 'Probable' Default
French Unemployment at 14-year High

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Rules of the game have changed for the European airlines
Cathay Pacific notes significant increases in cost-base, fuel costs in 2012 exceeding budget by 6%
Struggling Indian airlines line up foreign investment
Airport leans more on taxpayer funding after Allegiant's departure
US Airways: Sandy cut profits by $35 million
China's airport construction takes off
"Li admitted that most of China's airports are now running at a loss. Of the 180 airports China had in 2011, 130 were in the red, with a combined deficit of about 2 billion yuan. In a recent report, the Beijing Evening News said that almost all of the country's feeder airports are posting losses."
IAG's Iberia Faces Pre-Christmas Strike as Unions Fight Job Cuts
Filton Airport closure date is confirmed (UK)
Airport to close, become solar farm (Japan)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
White House seeking formal rules on drone strikes: report
Spanish company embroiled in nuclear smuggling scheme with Iran
Two Iranian navy ships to visit Sudan again
Gazans say "Thank you Iran" after Israel conflagration
"Gazans offered very public thanks to Iran on Tuesday for helping them in this month's fight against Israel, when Iranian-made missiles were fired out of the Palestinian enclave towards Jerusalem and Tel Aviv."
US Can Deter and Contain Iran, Brzezinski Says
"Former White House national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said Monday [Nov. 26] that the United States has 'no implicit obligation to follow like a stupid mule' an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear sites and that a US or an Israeli attack on the Islamic Republic would be 'the worst option' should negotiations fail."
China starts new infrastructure projects in South China Sea
Car bombs kill 23 Shi'ite Muslims in Iraqi capital
U.S. to raise passport map issue with China
"The United States will raise concerns with China over a new map in Chinese passports which details claims to disputed maritime territory, alarming some of its Southeast Asian neighbors, the State Department said on Tuesday."
China Turns Attention To Military As Economy Cools
France Will Support Palestinian Bid For Status At United Nations
DigitalGlobe: Images Suggest Looming N. Korea Missile Test
Iran in Position to Threaten Oil lanes

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Bahrain police break up march after Ashura memorial service
"Bahraini security forces used tear gas and stun grenades to scatter hundreds of youths who tried to march towards the centre of the capital on Monday after annual Ashura services marking one of the holiest days in the Shi'ite Muslim calendar."
Chinese bus drivers in Singapore in rare labor protest
" At least 100 Chinese bus drivers in Singapore refused to go to work on Monday to protest against changes to their employment terms, media said, in a rare show of defiance in a city-state where industrial action is almost unheard of."
Passengers attack railway offices (Pakistan)
"A violent protest was sparked at the cantonment railway station on Monday, as almost every passenger train scheduled to leave Karachi was delayed for hours due to an acute shortage of fuel."
Thousands protest in Bangladesh, blaze draws U.S. scrutiny
Kuwait to allow protest march on eve of election: PM
Brazil oil revenue: Mass protest in Rio de Janeiro
Tibetan students protest, as four more self-immolations reported
Protesting farmers spray European Parliament with milk
Egyptians pack Tahrir Square for anti-Morsi protest
Police clash with protesters in Tunisia who want more development funds, 14 wounded

## Energy/resources ##
Saudi Arabia warns domestic oil use growing at 'frightening level'
The Red Queen Syndrome
Dust a major challenge hindering Qatar's solar ambitions
"One of the main challenges hindering expansion of Qatar's solar energy sector is the build-up of dust on the panels and the need for them to be constantly cleaned, a leading energy official has said."
The rise and fall of the U.S. wind industry, in one chart
Pemex Announces Another Large Oil Discovery
Thorium To Be Tested in a Working Nuclear Reactor
Yemenis fret over oil shortages
Iran aims to increase oil storage capacity
Oil Watch - OPEC Crude Oil Production (IEA)
Nation's power situation looks bleak (India)
India's peak power demand faces steep rise
Kalimantan Fuel Shortage Conflict Prompts Locals to Flee (Indonesia)
Zimbabwe: Massive Power Outage Hits Bulawayo
South Korea finds more nuclear parts with fake documents

## Got food? ##
Growing food in the desert: a solution to the world's food crisis?
A longish but quite interesting article. The originator of the idea is right to stick by his principles and keep everything as simple and unmechanized as possible. The high-tech version, on the other hand, is doomed to fail, as none of this will work for long in a collapsing economy. One other really big problem is that there is virtually no market in the desert, which means that the produce will have to be shipped to cities in refrigerated trucks. Also, nutrients and other supplies have to be trucked in. How sustainable does that sound? The key to food production is to stick with systems that are low-tech and do not rely on the industrial economy. -- RF
Hungry For The Holidays: 20 Facts About Hunger In America That Will Blow Your Mind
The Fundamentals of Root Cellaring
Unlike high-tech greenhouses, it's low-tech, and is completely free of the industrial economy. Here is a valuable component of the system we need to ensure we are eating even when the supermarkets close. -- RF
Higher Prices Wipe Out Gains to U.S. Farm Income
Delayed Argentine corn crop to buoy world food prices
More food price inflation expected, according to 2013 forecast
Record drought leaves food banks dry
Food shortage threatens 51 countries: Al Attiyah

## Environment/health ##
Smoking 'rots' brain, says King's College study
Video: NOAA scientists on high alert for 2013 solar maximum
Air Bubbles Threatening Forests

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Feds seize 132 domain names to stop knockoff sales
US Power Grid Vulnerable to Just About Everything
Palm scanners get thumbs up in schools, hospitals
In the Ultimate Media War, Governments Target Reporters
The Kill Switch Comes to the PC
"Kill switches are a standard part of most smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. Google, Apple (AAPL), and Amazon (AMZN) all have the ability to reach into devices to delete illicit content or edit code without users' permission."
Cambridge researchers to study Terminator-like scenarios
Discover tests fingerprint payment system
The U.N.'s Internet Sneak Attack

## Japan ##
Sony at greater risk than Panasonic in electronics downturn-Fitch
Storm blacks out 41,000 homes in Hokkaido
Noda orders new ¥880 billion stimulus
Extra budget must top 5 trillion yen
"A supplementary budget exceeding 5 trillion yen is needed for Japan to cope with the current tough economic situation, a senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker said Tuesday."
Former airport to be huge solar plant
"The municipal government of Makurazaki, Kagoshima Prefecture, said Tuesday it will build a huge solar power plant after demolishing a local airport in March."
The important news here is not the plan to build a solar farm there, but that an airport opened in 1991 is already closing at the end of this year. -- RF
Helium shortage keeps balloons grounded at Tokyo Disneyland
X-day – when Fukushima plant discharges millions of tons of contaminated water to Pacific ocean
NHK: One person stops working at Fukushima plant each day — A serious problem, conditions deteriorating (VIDEO)
Rebuilding projects not linked to disaster halted
Rice prices soar despite plentiful harvest / Increase in higher-priced premium brands squeezing cheaper varieties out of market
Rate hikes likely to further hit firms / KEPCO's plan to increase electricity charges seen as damaging struggling businesses

## China ##
Gloom Over China Stocks Deepens; 4-Year Low
"China's main stock index closed at its lowest level in almost four years Tuesday and slipped below a key  psychological level, indicating deepening investor worries over the health of the nation's public equity markets."
Chinese banks rush to issue bonds for more funds
China Cosco Plans $1 Billion U.S. Bond
"Shipping giant China Cosco Holdings Ltd. said it plans a $1 billion, 10-year U.S. dollar bond offer for the general corporate purposes of its offshore units and affiliates."
China Approves $26 Billion for Infrastructure in November

## UK ##
Work Programme: 70% still unemployed after one year
"Seven out of 10 unemployed people have failed to find jobs despite being on    the government's flagship back-to-work scheme for more than a year, according to figures released today."
London property is about to collapse
The pound is heading for a big fall
UK energy deal triples renewable subsidy by 2020
The great British wind scam

## US ##
Black Friday: The Excuses Begin
Black Friday Mirage Hides U.S. Retail Depression
US 'sees biggest Cyber Monday sales'
14% Of S&P 500 Earnings Is "One Time Write Off" Vaporware
Chart Of The Day: Continued Collapse In Capital Goods New Orders Confirms US Is In Recession
Stocks dead, bonds deader till 2022: Pimco
Ten Reasons to be Wary of US Energy Independence Claims
New York, New Jersey put $71 billion price tag on Sandy
Texas Schools Teaching Boston Tea Party As Terrorist Act
Chicago Fed: Slower Economic Activity In October
Drilling on Campus
"Oil and gas drilling is increasing on college campuses across the nation as cash-strapped schools turn to exploiting their  resources in order to balance their budgets."
Do You Live In A Death Spiral State?
Why Is This Story Not Front-Page News Every Day?
"That number is $87 trillion, and it is the present value of America's future financial obligations—in plain English, what the country owes and, as things stand, cannot remotely hope to pay."
Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt
Drought-Parched Mississippi River Is Halting Barges
Failed Bankers Should Be Paid Like Civil Servants: Taleb
"Bankers who take government bail- outs to stay afloat should be paid no more than the civil servants who saved their business, said Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of 'The Black Swan.'"
The Scariest Chart Of The Quarter: Student Debt Bubble Officially Pops As 90+ Day Delinquency Rate Goes Parabolic
Are we living in the Hunger Games?
CME Declares Force Majeure Due to "Operational Limitations" on NYC Gold Depository
More Downside for Steelmaker
Watch As Wal-Mart Customers Nearly Riot For Smartphones On Black Friday

And finally…
Science fiction: SpaceX Billionaire Elon Musk Wants A Martian Colony Of 80,000 People

Sunday, November 25, 2012


News Links, November 24-26, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Maersk Container Vessels Sailing Slower Than 1870s Clipper Ships
Mechel (MTL) Temporarily Halts Steelmaking Facilities in Romania, Ukraine
"Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL), a Russia-based integrated mining and steel company, reported a temporary suspension of steelmaking facilities in Romania and Ukraine due to unfavorable conditions for raw materials and finished steel products."
Italy's Lucchini to halt steel furnace temporarily
"Lucchini, Italy's second largest steel producer, will temporary shut down its Piombino blast furnace in December due to weak market conditions, the debt-burdened company said on Friday."
The above two items remind one of the mass blast furnace shutdowns after the crash of 2008. -- RF
450,000 Businesses Shut Down in Italy; Non-Performing Loans Jump 15.3%, Write-Downs 21.6%
Vietnam's November Inflation Accelerates to 6-Month High
Vietnam Empty Office Towers Show Dreams Turned to Rubble
Dubai to have 'new' city and world's biggest mall
Just imagine the fallout when Dubai crashes. When this bubble pops, the bang will be heard around the world. -- RF
448,000 Saudis unemployed
"Labor Minister Adel Fakeih yesterday disclosed that there are about 448,000 unemployed Saudi men and women in a country that hosts 8.4 million foreign workers."
India finance minister - economy probably grew 5.5 percent in July-September quarter
India's gold imports may touch 800 tonne in 2012: WGC
Russian parliament backs cut in pension savings
Argentine bondholders fear U.S. court ruling could trigger default
Big Banks Use the Shadow Banking System to Commit Massive Accounting Fraud
Why a Global Economic Rebound Will Be Short-lived
But the author leaves out the biggest factor of all: energy decline. -- RF
Europe Demands Nationalized Spanish Banks Fire 8,000 To Transfer First Bank Bailout Tranche
Which Central Banks Are Still Buying Up Gold?

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Thomas Cook to face new cutbacks
"The new Thomas Cook chief executive, Harriet Green, is to issue a warning that further costs need to be stripped from the ailing business as it prepares to unveil a second year of losses."
Meddling Governments Anger Latin American Airlines
Economy makes for tougher Thanksgiving journeys
Australia Awash With Flights, Hurting Airlines, Qantas Says
Airport fuel crisis 'just hours away'
Singapore Airlines Terminates Nonstop USA Flights, Orders New Aircraft
Outrage as Jetstar cancels Christmas flights

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran Complains to UN About Illegal US Overflights
U.N. Considers Drones Over War-Torn Congo
India Hits Back at China in Passports War
Turkey reveals Iranian gold-for-gas trade-off
Bomb in Pakistan kills 2 Shiites, injures 35
US aircraft carrier strikeforce readies in case of war with Iran
"When the aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis returns to the placid blue waters of the Gulf with her strike force of 70 jets in the next few days, she will be ready for action off the coast of Iran."
Warships of Russian Black Sea Fleet are ordered to stay in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea
Hezbollah says could hit all of Israel in future war
Israel says successfully tests more powerful rocket interceptor
Israel warns it will disrupt Hamas attempts to rearm
Eight dead, human remains found in northern Mexico
China lands fighter jet on new carrier in show of force

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Violence breaks out across Egypt as protesters decry Mohammed Morsi's constitutional 'coup'
Egypt judges call for national strike over Mursi decree
Black Friday Shoppers Spiral Out Of Control
"If Americans will trample one another just to save a few dollars on a television, what will they do when society breaks down and the survival of their families is at stake?"
French police, protesters clash at airport site
Thai police fire tear gas at political protest
Sudan disrupts security 'plot'; tanks seen in street
Operation #TuBasuraAlBanco: Depositing garbage at banks in Spain
Thousands of Italians rally against Monti's austerity
Greek police clash with migrants at detention centre
"Tomato revolution" gains momentum in Bulgaria
Walmart Strike Hits 100 Cities, But Fails To Distract Black Friday Shoppers
New wars possible, new borders too

## Energy/resources ##
Is Humanity Really Going to Starve to Death in Twenty Years Because We Will Have Run Out of Potash and Phosphorus Fertilizers?
The right answer here is that Grantham and his detractors have all got it wrong. They are focusing on quantity, but it doesn't matter how much potash and phosphorus the planet has. There are two reasons for this. First, quantity is meaningless. The resources must be of sufficient quality to allow their economical extraction and processing. Second, because extraction, processing, and distribution all require energy, that energy must be sufficiently cheap and available to perform these tasks. Therefore, the question is not the amounts of these nutrients that exist, but whether they are of sufficient quality, and whether energy is cheap enough and available. There might well be 250 billion tons of potash, but I guarantee you that humanity will never recover all of it. It's surprising that these economics and investment gurus do not understand the concept of quality, and they certainly do not understand energy. This reminds one again of the fact that no one is extracting the thousands of tons of gold in the world's oceans, in spite of today's high prices. Despite the huge quantity there for the taking, the quality of the resource is too low. So here again, we can see that quality is the only thing that really matters. -- RF
James Howard Kunstler: Peak oil, peak bullshit
Jim Kunstler on fraud, mainly that involving shale oil and gas. It's a good overview of the situation for readers unfamiliar with the real story. Of particular interest is that, like me, he thinks that Japan will probably be the first country to fall out of the industrial system. -- RF
Musings: If You Believe The IEA, Our Energy Worries Are Over
"While the IEA study received significant attention from the mainstream media, most reporters do not understand the dynamics of oil reservoirs to ask the right questions and point out the possible weaknesses in the study."
Energy Losses Expose Petrobras Fuel Distortion: Corporate Brazil
Germany's Renewable Energy Problems Serve as a Warning to the UK
Petrobras Records $8 Billion Loss after being Forced to Sell Gasoline below Cost
Power breakdown hits parts of Karachi
What Happens IF Cold Fusion Does Become Reality?
A good read. We must always remember that nothing is free and that there are always negative consequences. -- RF
Coal market to face dropping quality and rising costs
There is certainly still lots of coal in the ground, but just as with every other resource, quality is everything. The same rules apply as outlined above with regard to fertilizers. Further, it's worth recalling that quality decline means society gets less net energy from each barrel of oil or each ton of coal. -- RF
Without tax break, BP abandons Alaska heavy-oil project
Okla. power line shortage hampers oil production
"Oil companies can use electric generators to drill and complete wells in the dense rock formation called the Mississippi Lime, but the pumps needed to suck the oil to the surface require vast amounts of power… Power demand can vary widely, but one section with three oil wells and a water disposal pump can use nearly one megawatt of power, or about the amount needed to power 1,000 homes."
With this huge power consumption, you have to wonder about the net energy of these operations. And it pays to remember that much oil and natural gas production is dependent on grid power. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Mexico postpones approval of large-scale GM corn fields
Food for 9 Billion: Satisfying China's Growing Demand for Meat
Is Thanksgiving a big waste of turkey?
Price of milk makes Greeks' blood boil
The scandal of British food poverty shames us all
Rising Prices Trigger Increased Food Insecurity Among Kyrgyzstan's Poorest
U.S. food banks raise alarm as drought dents government supplies
Give Thanks for Low Food Prices as They'll Rise Next Year
Farmers locked in food production vs. pollution trade-off
Inflation hits food security in Pakistan

## Environment/health ##
Scientists eye nanotechnologies to boost crop yields
"Nanotechnologies that deliver fertilisers to plants offer promising ways of improving farm productivity while reducing the risk of water contamination. But the scientists behind a new Swiss-funded study caution that while the technology is still evolving, potential risks must be considered."
Statoil, Rosneft Sign Agreement to Protect Arctic Region
Fracking Industry Keeps Eye on Obama; EPA Report Could Doom its Future
More SARS-like cases found in Saudi, Qatar
Is a New SARS-like Virus Spreading in the Middle East?
Biodefense Research Guards Against Virus More Deadly, Untreatable Than Ebola
Rapid action needed to stop malaria in Greece
EPA Testing Dangerous Pollutants on Human Beings

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Israel Wages Cyber War With Hamas as Civilians Take Up Computers
New Equipment Helps Buffalo Police Oversee Chippewa (US)
Saudi women monitored by electronic tracking
Billions in grants to fight terrorism -- US safer? (video)
Sibel Edmonds's Secrets

## Systemic breakdown ##
The Peak Oil Crisis: Descent Into Chaos
Over 3,000 Leaks Found in Study of Boston's Natural Gas Pipelines

## Japan ##
Japan's Population Now So Old That Sales Of Adult Diapers Exceed Those For Babies
Voters in tsunami-hit zone feel let down as Japan election nears
"But 20 months later, residents of towns and cities ravaged by the country's worst disaster in generations say the nation's biggest rebuilding effort since the aftermath of the World War Two has slipped off the political agenda."
The ugly truth is that the politicians know it's impossible to rebuild what the disaster wiped out. -- RF
Few outside firms join rebuilding / Despite govt scheme to encourage joint ventures in disaster-hit areas
Kansai Electric eyeing 12% hike in household electricity rates
Kyushu Electric eyes 8.5% raise in household electricity rates
SDF Will Become Full-Fledged Military Under LDP Govt: Abe
Renesas Electronics reaches buyout deal: report
Japan Is Eager to Tap U.S. Natural-Gas Supply

## China ##
Don't Fall for the Hype - China's Renewables Sector is in Disarray
Chinese companies stripping Vietnam of raw materials
Will LGIVs Be The 'Straw' To Break China's Credit-Fueled Growth 'Back'?

## UK ##
BAE Systems boss says shipyard may close
Tata Steel job cuts hit Wales hardest
"Port Talbot operations to see 580 job losses, while a further 155 jobs are to be lost in Yorkshire, 120 in the West Midlands and 30 in Teesside"
Energy deal means bills will rise to pay for green power
Floods in UK: More than 800 homes flooded as storms hit
50 MPs to warn against state regulation of newspapers

## US ##
3 Key Metrics That Show Why We Can't Avoid Recession
Gas blast levels Mass. buildings; at least 18 hurt
Sell Stocks Now: Why A Sustainable Market Rally Is Not Likely
National Guard soldiers and airmen face unemployment crisis
NYC lifting gas rationing as supplies return to normal after Sandy
2 shot at Florida Walmart over parking space, police say
Wall Street Kept Winning on Mortgages Upending Homeowners
Is the U.S. Set for an Era of Slow Growth?
Montana GOP Rep.: "Pay Me In Gold Before Dollars Have No Value"
Shadow banking: the next landmine
December's IPO Calendar Risks a Zero
Gun sales soar again after presidential election
A Guide to DIY Kit Homes
The FHA is Finally as Broke as the Post Office
New Jersey Truckers Continue to Dig Out After Sandy
Superstorm Sandy Victims Get Hit With Power Bills for Blackout

And finally…
Nature strikes back: Wild turkeys terrorize Boston suburb in the Thanksgiving season

Thursday, November 22, 2012


News Links, November 22-23, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Euro zone faces deepest downturn since early 2009
Service sector adds to eurozone gloom
Europe November PMI Shows Collapse
Garbage Piles Up in Spain as Unpaid Municipal Bills Mount; Green Shoot of the Day: Cement Consumption Falls 34%
Citi to Shut Half its Greek Branches, Several Massachusetts Branches
Desperation, hopelessness mark Spain's economic pain
Shipping: How Many Stocks in this Industry Could Tumble Into Bankruptcy?
State corporations incur billions of USD losses (Vietnam)
Work on Dubai's Great Britain island to start by 2014 (Dubai)
Airlines aren't the only industry collecting fees, study shows
Walmart strike threat spreads along supply chain as unions think big
"This week ITF inspectors have been boarding container ships carrying Walmart goods "to pass on warnings that the company may be experiencing industrial action in the run up to Christmas". The US retailer is said to be the single largest shipper in the world, controlling around 600,000teu per year."
Cyprus 'very close' to signing bailout deal
Argentinian 12-month inflation rate seen at 30%
All You Need To Know About Argentina's Upcoming "Technical Default"
Argentina Must Pay $1.33 Billion to Owners of Bonds
Abu Dhabi spending curb leaves investors nervous

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Ryanair cutting 10 routes, over 280 weekly flights
"Low cost airline Ryanair Holdings PLC , Thursday announced 40% cuts at its Budapest base with the closure of 10 routes and loss of over 280 weekly flights from Jan 10, 2013 as a result of increased airport charges."
High fuel cost makes it difficult to run airlines in India: British Airways
Long delays at Airports across the US
"It's the busiest travel day of the year not just on the road, but in the air. Airports across the country are experiencing delays leaving some passengers spending the holiday in the terminal."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China angers neighbors with sea claims on new passports
"The map means countries disputing the Chinese claims will have to stamp microchip-equipped passports of countless visitors, in effect acquiescing to the Chinese point of view."
Must-see video: US: we initiate terrorism to create terrorists to overthrow governments
Israel, Hamas declare cease-fire, promise new talks on Gaza issues within 24 hours
The US-Israeli Attack on Gaza
Obama's Mideast Policy Burns
Medical supplies for Palestinian children returned to Dubai team by Israel
Syria now running a war economy as conflict spreads
Nato to consider Turkey's Patriot missile request
Official E-mails Detail Osama bin Laden's Sea Burial
"No sailors on the USS Carl Vinson watched as Islamic rites were read and the al-Qaeda leader's body was dropped into the ocean."
Suicide bomber kills 23 people in Pakistan
Egypt's Morsi grants himself far-reaching powers
Pakistan Taliban vows to attack Indian targets over Mumbai gunman execution

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Italy mayors march against austerity, threaten mass resignations
"Hundreds of Italian mayors from across the political spectrum marched in Milan on Wednesday and threatened to resign en masse in protest at austerity measures imposed by Mario Monti's government of technocrats."
Students stage mass protest in London
Student protest ends in farce as NUS president pelted with eggs and forced off stage
Pakistani cities hit by deadly violence
Harmony Gold says violent clashes at South Africa mine
"Harmony Gold said violent clashes erupted between rival unions at its Kusasalethu mine in South Africa on Thursday, raising concerns labor unrest was flaring again in Africa's largest economy days after a wave of wildcat strikes ended."

## Energy/resources ##
China's power grid plans: a $250 billion white elephant?
"China's State Grid Corp STGRD.UL is lobbying hard for approval of a $250 billion upgrade plan that it says would make the nation's grid an international trailblazer, but which critics say is too costly and could expose the system to blackouts."
Coal mining ruining China uranium deposits
Nearly two-thirds of China's oil to come from imports in 2013
Swiss nuclear reactor shuts down due to defect
Nuclear outages to boost US gas demand in December, January: Barclays
Eletrobras in Record Slump as Rate Cuts Imperil Earnings
"Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (ELET6), South America's largest power generator, headed for its biggest decline on record on concerns rate cuts ordered by the government will erode earnings."
Power cuts lead to surge in generator sales (India)
"Higher use of generators has pushed up the demand for diesel too. An official of an oil marketing company here told The Hindu that there is 30 per cent to 40 per cent increase during the last six months in the company's diesel despatch from its terminal here as against the average monthly increase of 10 per cent in off-take earlier, which was mainly for the automobile sector."
France faces twin tasks of ageing nuclear fleet, staff
"An ageing fleet of nuclear power plants and retirement of half of EDF's nuclear staff in the next 5 years are the main challenges the French nuclear safety watchdog is facing and will have to deal with, its new head said on Thursday."
Energy decline rears its ugly head here, too. The nuclear power system depends on fossil fuels to build and service nuke plants, and to educate and train its workers. Everything is falling apart. -- RF
US oil production keyed to pipelines
But because wells in the Bakken shale formation peak and decline so quickly, one has to wonder if building pipelines is truly economical. In that respect, the following article is quite sobering. -- RF
A Closer Look at Bakken and U.S. Oil Production
UAE, S. Korea sign oil stockpile deal
Winter blackout: Govt proposes 350MW power cut for Karachi
"The government has mapped out a plan to cut power to the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) for three months beginning December, which means that Karachi is going to face eight-hour power outages daily during the winter season."
Risk of mass electricity blackouts may still be rising

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Concord: City takes steps to stop copper wire thieves
"Copper wire thieves have cost the city $700,000 in the past five years, with a $40,000 wire heist at City Hall the latest incident, officials said last week."
Thieves steal cable from Shotton railway for second time in a week
Rochester police seek help in finding manhole and drain cover thieves

## Got food? ##
Heartbreaking: Why Can't India Feed Its People?
The looming hunger crisis
Haiti's rising food insecurity risks social tension, says FAO
Food Banks in the U.S. Running Low on Supplies... Ominous Sign for 2013
Parched Earth Policy: Are We Running Out of Water?
Food prices continue to climb (South Africa)

## Environment/health ##
EU scientists attempt to crack the nut on falling bee populations
Phone Radiation During Pregnancy Affects Baby
British birds under threat of new strain of avian pox

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Group claims credit for hacking Israeli Vice Prime Minister, leaks documents
Student expelled for refusing to wear RFID tracking chip badge

## Japan ##
Caldicott in Japan: "Incredibly rare" thyroid abnormalities found in 40% of Fukushima children
Michio Kaku: 3 meltdowns in Fukushima, but uranium actually totally liquified… 1st time in history — "Reactor actually melted totally"
Fitch Cuts Sony, Panasonic Credit Rating to Junk
Consumer electronics shipments down 32.2%
Japan logs 4th straight trade deficit in October
Japan Posts Largest Monthly China Trade Deficit
Japan posts worst October trade figures in 30 years
Oji To Ax 2,000 Jobs, May Close Paper Plants
JR Tokai lifts curtain on 1st-generation maglev train
Mark my words — the maglev train line will never get beyond the current experimental phase. -- RF
JCG seeks more staff to guard Senkaku isles
Hospitals with obstetrics, pediatrics departments hit low
Kepco plans two reactor restarts
Wild mushrooms far from Fukushima show high levels of cesium
Most Fukushima nuke plant workers ineligible for free cancer checks

## China ##
China Advances Launch of Crude-Oil Futures
"After years of slow progress on its planned launch of a crude-oil futures contract to give it greater influence in global oil pricing, China is now taking some bold strides to make it happen."
China Manufacturing Data Signals Rebound Gathering Pace
Yes, yes, yes! It's a recovery! -- RF

## UK ##
Britain facing pothole crisis
"Britain is on the brink of a major pothole crisis because of Government spending cuts, councils have warned."
Heavy rain due to cause more flooding in Midlands and South West

## US ##
Accounting Games Hide Deteriorating S&P 500 Earnings
One has to wonder how much more accounting legerdemain is being used to dress up balance sheets. -- RF
The Family Farm Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America
More Americans Will Use Food Stamps For Thanksgiving This Year Than Ever Before
Smoke and mirrors economy – 47 percent of the members in Congress are millionaires. 67 percent of Senators. Fed and Treasury money close to $7 trillion.
The Head of Goldman Sachs Wants to Raise Your Retirement Age
Struggling Homeowners Confront a 'Mortgage Fiscal Cliff'
Detroit's mayor and city council at odds; cutbacks ordered
Another Pension Bites the Dust: A Lesson from Hostess' Bankruptcy
Big Donors Saw Diminishing Returns in Most Expensive Election in History
Just as every stimulus dollar generates less and less GDP, energy decline brings smaller returns everywhere. wherever you look, there is simply less bang for the buck. -- RF
Georgia poverty rate hits 30 year high
Is The Largest Weekly Inflow Into Bank Savings Accounts On Record, A Flashing Red Alarm?
Even Muni Bonds May Be Targeted in 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

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