Friday, November 16, 2012


News Links, November 16, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
IMF ready to provide funds to help Tunisia recovery
Canadian personal debt levels soaring
"The debt load of Canadian consumers excluding mortgages has soared 400 percent in the past five years, the TransUnion credit reporting agency said Wednesday."
China's Bad Loans Rise for Fourth Quarter as Economy Slows
"Chinese banks' bad loans increased for a fourth straight quarter, the longest streak of deterioration since the data became available in 2004, highlighting pressures on profit growth as the economy weakens."
Economy Has Green Shoots From China to U.S. as Data Surprise
Oh, brother! More "green shoots"! Let's get this straight: There will be — there cannot be — a recovery and return to the good old days. Just as before, the "green shoots" will wither on the vine. Any economic spurt will be short-lived as energy prices rise in response to increased demand and strangle the recovery. -- RF
Good News: EU Budget Talks Collapse, France Rejects Compromise; Still Time to Snatch Defeat From Jaws of Victory
French CEOs: 'Help!'
Biggest Bankruptcies Of 2011
Losses May Accelerate For Thai Stock Market
Metal, steel industries warn EU efficiency laws could force them out of Europe
"Steelmakers and other metals industries fear that limits the EU is considering imposing on the amount of natural resources they use will push them out of Europe, where environmental regulations are less stringent."
Eurozone back in recession
Spain suspends home evictions for most needy
Visualizing The World's Rich (Infographic)

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline Travel Is Becoming More Difficult, Less Affordable
Small airports gamble with revenue guarantees
Thai Airways International reports double-digit profit decline in 3Q2012
Empty Skies Prompt Calls for Lights-Out at Idle Airport Towers
ANA's Oct. China flights log 24% passenger drop

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
More deaths reported as Israeli military, Gaza militants trade fire
Gaza conflict: Israel mobilises troops as rockets hit Tel Aviv
New Russian Law Broadens Definition Of Treason
Thousands Seen Dying If Terrorists Attack U.S. Power Grid
"A terrorist attack on the U.S. power grid could be more destructive than superstorm Sandy, possibly costing hundreds of billions of dollars and leading to thousands of deaths, the National Academy of Sciences said."
Mali: U.S. Africom Ready to Consider Requests for Mali Intervention Support, Says General Ham
Is Israel Escalating War on Gaza to Foil US-Iran Deal?
Israeli Troops Massed on Gaza Border, Poised for Invasion

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Greece: Protesters break into conference where German official was speaking
Protester Killed in South African Farm Strike
Spanish police fire rubber bullets at protesters in Madrid
Strikes, protests as anger over Jordan fuel hike spreads

## Energy/resources ##
India suffers over 11% power generation loss in 2011-12: CEA
Bladeless Turbine: The Future of Wind Energy?
Cheap electricity era is over (Israel)
Canada expects high winter energy prices
South Stream one step closer to build
Canadian Solar Falls to Record Low on Reduced Forecast
"Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), the third- largest maker of solar panels, fell to a record low after third- quarter sales slumped and the company reduced its shipment forecast for 2012."
The solar power debate is still ongoing and undecided
"The Desertec concept was stunning in its grandeur, and price. But it is now fast biting the dust. There's no money for the €400bn (R4.5bn) project, fewer industrial backers and, more telling, European governments are leery of relying on imports for their power, particularly imports inextricably bound to unstable countries."

## Got food? ##
Russian food inflation drives concern over grain curbs
"Spiking grain prices are forcing up the cost of food for Russians and are set to rise further by spring, when one of the world's largest wheat exporters will face a supply deficit, senior officials, analysts and traders say."
Fall crop harvest forecasts are down
"The drought sharply cut the Kansas fall harvest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
KENYA: Rice farmers lose harvest to floods
Grain reserves severely depleted: GMB
"ZIMBABWE'S strategic grain reserve is severely depleted with stocks currently at 184,000 metric tonnes against the ideal 500,000 metric tonnes."
Ocean-grabbing threatens the food security of entire communities

## Environment/health ##
America's Shadow Pharmacies
Superbug bacteria found in Super 8 and Sheraton chains
As Myanmar Opens to World, Fate of Its Forests Is on the Line
Families say homes making them ill (US)
Loophole Lets Toxic Oil Water Flow Over Indian Land (US)
BP to pay record penalty for Gulf oil spill

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
NSA: Looking for a few good cybersecurity professionals
Obama signs secret directive to help thwart cyberattacks
"President Obama has signed a secret directive that effectively enables the military to act more aggressively to thwart cyber­attacks on the nation's web of government and private computer networks."
For Sale: Cheap access to corporate computers
New, stronger cyberthreats seen for 2013
The ultimate limit of data centre resiliency
"Today's data centres are being built with multiple safeguards against data loss, power loss and to some degree, the elements.  But as we saw with Hurricane Sandy, once your diesel generators get flooded with sea water, it doesn't matter what level of resiliency you've taken your data centre to: It's game over."
10,000 ID fraud gangs active in US, especially the Southeast, study finds
Israelis and Palestinians in first Twitter war
Nasa to encrypt data after its latest laptop loss

## Systemic breakdown ##
City's infrastructure problems continue with two water main breaks Monday
More money needed to deal with crumbling infrastructure, Canadian cities tell feds
Power blackout plunges Munich into traffic chaos
Nearly 4,000 in Jersey City back in the dark thanks to network failure, PSE&G says
United Airlines' Computers Out — Again
"In its third major computer outage since June of last year, United Airlines has once again left passengers waiting at its gates at major airports around the country."
Russia loses contact with satellites, space station

## Japan ##
New condo supply down 14.4% in Tokyo in Oct.
Disaster-hit towns face massive staff shortages
Fault study at Oi nuke plant may impact all offline reactors
"Noted geologist worries warning signs will continue to go unheeded"

## China ##
China's major steel mills report rising losses
"Almost half of China's large- and mid-sized steel mills reported losses during the first nine months of 2012, the China Iron and Steel Association said on Wednesday."
Impending Bad Debt Headache Likely Bigger Than Expected

## UK ##
'Long and winding road' to economic recovery, says Bank of England Governor
They have to say something to string the public along and buy time… for the recovery that will never come. -- RF
Ash dieback came after tree disease already at record high
"Outbreaks of tree disease in England were at a record high this year – even    before ash dieback was discovered in the country, according to the Forestry Commission."
Moody's to Assess U.K.'s Aaa Rating in 2013 as Economy Slows

## US ##
No more Twinkies? Strike may do in Hostess
Region straddling line from growth to contraction month to month
"The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its key mid-Atlantic manufacturing index dropped sharply in November, falling back into a contraction."
Jobless benefit claims skyrocket in week
Line For Food Stretches Two Football Fields Long In Greece, NY
Census: U.S. Poverty Rate Spikes, Nearly 50 Million Americans Affected
Superstorm boosts jobless claims, hits factories
"Superstorm Sandy drove a surge in new claims for jobless benefits last week and hurt factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region in November, signs it could deal a substantial blow to economic growth in the fourth quarter."
Dell Sales, Profit Miss Estimates On Dip In PC Demand, Global Tech Spending
U.S. workers endure 'lost decade' of declining wages
Postal Service Reports Record $15.9 Billion Loss
Ron Paul Bids Farewell To Congress, Says Constitution Has Failed
"Paul has always criticized the government, corporatism, taxation policies, war and federal spending. His unwavering commitment to his ideology gained him millions of supporters. And in his farewell speech, he lambasted government once again for moving away from the founding principles of the Constitution."
Ron Paul: One of the last champions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Where do you stand now? -- RF
FBI's abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation
FHA close to running out of reserves: report
"The Federal Housing Administration is expected to report later this week that it could exhaust its reserves because of rising mortgage delinquencies"
Bernanke Laments Lack Of Housing Bubble, Demands More From Tapped Out Households
Is a College Degree Worth It? You Decide
"Interviewing various bouncers, bartenders, pedicab drivers and other low-skilled workers along Bourbon St. in New Orleans, Peter found almost everyone had an expensive college degree. And not meaningless ones, either. He found people with advanced degrees in neuroscience, robotics, radiology, and mechanical engineering, to name but a few. One woman who works as a sign holder said she 'lucked out' by owing only $25,000 in student loans!"
What Does It Mean that Residents in All 50 States Have Filed Petitions to Secede?
Yields on top-rated muni bonds strike new lows
Coffin Collapse Shows Risk of Muni-Backed Bonds

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