Sunday, November 18, 2012


News Links, November 18-19, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
'Shadow Banking' Still Thrives, System Hits $67 Trillion
Oh, mama. Here is a king-size disaster in the making. Batten down the hatches! -- RF
Top Economic Advisers Forecast World War
Harper government axes more than 10,000 federal jobs
As eurozone economy shrinks, govt debt loads grow
"The economy of the 17 countries that use the euro has shrunk for two straight quarters — a common definition of a recession — and analysts forecast little or no growth until 2014."
Nissan CEO Admits Company Won't Hit Leaf Sales Mark of 20,000 for 2012
Real Estate Sales Collapse in Paris and Ile-de-France
Gold, Silver: Even more reasons to invest and be secure
Taj Mahal? We'll build it four times bigger, says Dubai
"Developers in the emirate have announced plans to build a replica of the Taj Mahal that is four times larger than the original and will hold a 5-star hotel and shopping mall."
Singapore hotels feel the squeeze as corporate budgets tighten
"The best may be over for Singapore's booming hotel market as tightening corporate budgets and bank job cuts leave more luxury rooms empty, crimping profits at firms such as CDL Hospitality Trusts."
Economic Woes Turn US, Japan Into Ugly Stepsisters
US Escalation Against Iran Would Carry High Cost for Global Economy
India's inflation pressures stay high

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Why airliners report much more defects and failures on the way back to home-base (inbound flights) than on outbound flights!
Virgin America Scales Back Its Growth
"Five-year-old Virgin America, which has had only one profitable quarter in its history, is ending a breakneck growth streak and plans to cancel orders for 20 of 30 Airbus jetliners in the hopes of improving its financial picture by letting its new routes mature, David Cush, the chief executive officer, said in an interview."
South Africa's top airport hit by fuel contamination
"Fuel contamination at Johannesburg's main airport has left seven million litres of their stock unfit for usage, sparking fears of flight delays at Africa's busiest airport, authorities said Friday."
SAS - 'A Dinosaur In The Process Of Dying'?
SAS in talks with unions, no contract yet
BA's Spanish marriage flies into financial difficulties
"The British carrier's profits are being almost wiped out by the performance of Iberia, which is in a 'fight for survival'"
Malawi restructures debt-ridden national airline

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Report: Rockets Fired from Egypt Hit Israel
Hamas: Rockets will stop when Gaza borders are opened
Israel under pressure to reach a ceasefire
Conflicting reports on Gaza ceasefire talks
Fire From Gaza Punctuates Israeli-U.S. Exercise
Syrian rebels 'capture airport'
U.S. denies visas to Iran officials for U.N. meeting: report
Spanish ships have entered Gibraltar waters 178 times in last year
Southeast Asia calls for talks with China on sea dispute
"Southeast Asian nations displayed a rare show of unity on Sunday against China's sweeping maritime claims, calling for the first formal talks with Beijing over a sea dispute that has raised tensions and exposed deep divisions in the region."
Nightmare Scenarios for Obama's 2nd Term
Israel ranked as most militarized nation

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands of Spanish police officers march against austerity
Beyond Twinkies: Why More Workers Are Striking
8 die in Sao Paulo unrest in past 24 hours
Angry Chinese protesters overturn police vans
"Thousands of residents have protested in a southeastern Chinese city after a traffic accident, smashing police cars and overturning three police vans, police and residents said Sunday."
Pro-Palestinian protesters gather at Israeli Embassy in London
France: Thousands Protest Construction of Airport
Protests continue against fuel hikes in Jordan
Chalk, blackboard... teargas? Italy protests start at school

## Energy/resources ##
Energy crisis forces 40,000 powerlooms to shut in Pakistan
Lights out at 2 state power units (India)
Platinum, Palladium Shortage Most in a Decade on Supply
"Platinum and palladium will return to the biggest shortages in at least a decade this year as strikes and safety stoppages in South Africa and falling sales from Russia cut supplies, Johnson Matthey Plc (JMAT) said."
Super-grids, mass blackouts and clean energy
Although outside the scope of this article, one can also see from the dying Desertec plan that the capital and political will for such large-scale projects are rapidly disappearing. -- RF 
Helium shortage worries party suppliers
Data shows East Coast gas shortages were inevitable (US)
"To put it simply, the East Coast was – and is – sorely underprepared for any supply disruptions. A deep dive into the data released late this week show gasoline inventories on the East Coast hit a low not seen in the month of November for at least 10 years."
Hawaii's solar power flare-up: Too much of a good thing?
"So many private solar panels are returning power to the grid that utilities fear their systems can't handle it all."
Giant reed seen as biofuel -- or another kudzu disaster
Aging Nuke Plants Add to Europe's Economic Woes

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
South Africa: Cable Theft Disrupts Services in Pretoria
Chiltern Railways train services hit by cable theft
Over 100 tons of stolen copper destined for Asia stopped in U.S.
"Metal theft in the U.S. is a growing problem for local infrastructure as prices for copper and other material skyrocket. The problem of people tearing up copper electric lines, water pipes and other critical infrastructure for cash has become so big that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) proposed in August to make metal theft a federal crime."

## Got food? ##
Is the world heading towards another food crisis?
Christmas hams may be hard to come by (New Zealand)
"The warning comes amid predictions of a global pork shortage and news of a drop in New Zealand production of up to 30,000 pigs. Some suppliers have already raised prices by up to 30 cents a kilo and the retail price is predicted to rise even more in the New Year."
Frugality rules at German dinner parties

## Environment/health ##
Top Ten Costs of the BP Oil Spill that won't be Covered by the $4.5 Billion Fine
Nigeria Exxon spill spreads for miles along coast
"An oil spill at an ExxonMobil facility offshore from the Niger Delta has spread at least 20 miles from its source, coating waters used by fishermen in a film of sludge."

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Threat of 'Spectacular' Cyberattack Looms: Official
Petraeus case shows ease of government email snooping
'Anonymous' crashes hundreds of Israeli websites over Gaza air assault
Social Media, Internet Shutdowns are the Latest Weapons in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The 5 Largest Data Centers In The World

## Systemic breakdown ##
Doctor Shortage Could Cause Health Care Crash (US)
Pipelines Explained: How Safe are America's 2.5 Million Miles of Pipelines?
Mayors: Long term infrastructure funding needed (Canada)
"Mayors from large cities across the country are calling on the federal government to invest more money on crumbling infrastructure."
Microsoft hit by second Office 365 email outage in five days
Submarine cable outage hits Kiwi internet
"An 'catastrophic failure' of the Southern Cross Cable, a network of cables linking Australia to New Zealand, the USA and other south pacific nations, has re-ignited pressure on the New Zealand government to support investment in international cable capacity."
Glitch at bank disrupts SNAP payments in 10 states, V.I.
Computer failure delays métro opening for hours (Canada)
Antiquated Electric Grid Needs a Reboot (US)
Questioning the Power Grid (US)
"Aging infrastructure is a national problem. Fifty-one percent of power plants across the U.S. are older than 30 years, according to a 2011 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration."

## Japan ##
High radiation found in Fukushima's fish
Economic evaluation off for fourth month
"The government on Friday revised down its assessment of the economy in November, lowering the outlook for the fourth straight month, almost matching the dire trend seen after the 2008 global financial crash."
Conservation and economic slump propel decrease in electricity sales
No. of Chinese tourists to Japan continues to fall
New cover for Fukushima reactor building

## China ##
More Chinese cities see home prices rise
As Wen Jiabao departs, China's dam plans to accelerate
"The number of new hydropower projects in China could surge as the country's populist premier Wen Jiabao retires and a new leadership team races to meet ambitious 2020 energy goals."
China's Next Step on Yuan Is Convertibility, Zhou Says

## UK ##
Soft power: Britain is now most powerful nation on earth

## US ##
Why Billions in Bond Portfolios May Soon Evaporate
U.S. pension insurer runs record $34-billion deficit
Shortage of utility poles adds to power restoration delays after Sandy
Even the Rich Can't Retire When They Planned to Anymore
Pushing 80, and Still Punching the Clock
Retirement: Going, going… -- RF
LAPD officer used Taser on handcuffed woman
Sandy debris piles up at Queens park -- 4,500 tons and counting
Low Mississippi River levels might halt barges
Sequestration Or Not, U.S. Firms, DoD Will Take a Hit
Another Day, Another $678 Million Stealth Jet Wrecked
Big Four Economic Indicators Show Increased Odds of 2012 Recession
Sandy May Have Ruined Billions in Bearer Bonds

And finally… 
Sign of the Apocalypse: Mass Panic Over Twinkies
Twinkies selling for hundreds of dollars online
How to stockpile Twinkies

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