Tuesday, November 20, 2012


News Links, November 20-21, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Canadian, Australian Dollars Could Get IMF Reserve Status
"The International Monetary Fund is considering including Canadian and Australian dollars in its official currency reserves report, potentially boosting their appeal among international investors."
Canadian wholesale numbers down again
Moody's Strips France of Triple-A Rating
The Beginning Of The Great French Unwind?!?!?!...
RBI bans loans to buy gold
"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday notified a total ban on banks from advancing any loans to its customers for purchasing gold in any form, which includes primary gold, gold bullion, gold jewellery, gold coins, units of gold Exchange Traded Funds ( ETF) and units of gold mutual funds."
Spain may offer residency to foreigners buying homes
"Spain is considering offering rich investors from countries such as Russia and China the right to settle in return for them buying up property in the stagnant housing sector."
Size of informal economy at 91.4 percent of GDP: study (Pakistan)
Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom?
Soros Buying Gold as Record Prices Seen on Stimulus
The Powers That Be Don't Want Sovereign Bonds… They Want Gold
Idiocy in Spain: Bank Proposal to Build More Houses, Issue More Mortgages, Despite Massive Inventory and Enormous Drop in Sales
Europe Is Now Sinking Fast
Japan joins 15 nations in talks on FTA
Another Argentina default a risk for investing there
Globalism goes backward
Lower Steel Demand Takes Toll on Iron Ore Producer
"Financial results from U.S. steelmakers like United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X), Nucor Inc. (NYSE: NUE), AK Steel Holdings Corp. (NYSE: AKS), and others indicate that margins are shrinking and production is contracting."
Maersk to shift away from shipping: FT
DryShips - A Good Example Of How The Dry Bulk Industry Is Suffering
"On a macro level, the dry bulk industry profits remain plagued by the overcapacity problem (discussed below), weak global demand for dry bulk commodities and scarce opportunities for funding."
Acute power shortages: three percent GDP being lost (India)

## Airline Death Spiral ##
SAS cuts deal with unions to avoid bankruptcy
Thousands Of LAX Workers Set For Walkout On Thanksgiving Eve
Airport Security Is Killing Us
"These days, the TSA's major role appears to be to make plane trips more unpleasant. And by doing so, it's encouraging people to take the considerably more dangerous option of traveling by road."
I've always maintained that demand destruction is one of the main purposes of airport security. -- RF
A tale of three airlines in a rough year: SIA, Cathay and Qantas
No profit for African airlines
"African airlines will collectively make no profit this year, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said on Tuesday."
Croatia Air To Cut Jobs, Get Capital Boost
Southwest Airlines to cease Reno-Oakland service
Namibia: We Are Broke, Air Namibia Tells Pilots

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Obama in Southeast Asia to Solidify Military, Economic Empire
Turkey has not yet requested NATO missiles: Dutch minister
Turkey's Erdogan calls Israel a "terrorist state"
Ten European states agree military air tanker cooperation
Gaza conflict seen costing Israeli economy NIS 1.1 billion a week
"A land incursion in the Gaza Strip would not only add to the costs of material damage and lost production as families are confined to shelters, but also to labor lost to reserve duty."
War in Gaza = War Over Natural Gas?
Pakistan developing indigenous armed UAVs
India Ordnance Factories staff shortages
Sweden's Possible Gripen Cut Prompts Force Capability Fears
Energy decline is also hitting the military. -- RF
Gulf considers economic aid for protest-hit Jordan: UAE
Afghan opium growth sees "alarming" rise, U.N. says
Turkey begins UAV production

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tar Sands Blockade: Construction Halted As Protestors Face Arrests, Tear Gas
Protests mar Keystone XL build in Texas
Moroccan police break up protest over royal budget
Protesting Spanish Cops: "Forgive Us For Not Arresting Those Truly Responsible For This Crisis: Bankers & Politicians"
Vendetta masks in UAE colours draw warning
"Police officials in Dubai have warned against wearing a mask that symbolises opposition to state authority during any celebrations connected to National Day and declared it illegal. Any person found wearing Guy Fawkes masks, also known as 'Vendetta masks', risks police questioning as any object or action deemed to be instigating unrest or insulting the UAE is illegal, police officials said."
From the Front Lines: NYC's Clogged Gas Stations
Wal-mart Workers Threaten Protests on Black Friday
More than 60 injured in Egypt clashes
Argentina: Strike paralyses Buenos Aires and other cities
US military base attracts thousands of protesters this weekend, one arrest
Two Killed, 54 Wounded as Israel Cracks Down on Antiwar Protests

## Energy/resources ##
Brent Crude Set to Take Over as Global Standard
"The long-standing reign of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude as the international benchmark for crude oil pricing has been eroding for a couple of years. Now, there is a virtual certainty that WTI will be replaced next year by Brent crude as the international standard."
Global Oil Supply and Iranian Production (TOD)
How Will Oil Production Impact the Economy Over the Coming Decade
Russia, Ukraine discuss winter gas supply
U.S. brushes off Iran-Iraq-Syria gas line
"The U.S. government said plans by Iran to build a natural gas pipeline through Iraq to Syria may run into problems with economic sanctions."
Energy Recovery Says Water Demand Spurring M&A Interest
"Energy Recovery Inc. (ERII), which supplies equipment to the desalination industry, said it's a possible takeover target amid booming global water demand."
Ethanol Strengthens Against Gasoline on Higher Production Costs
The World Running on 'E': The Coming Oil Crisis (infographic)
US limits oil-shale development in Rocky Mountains
More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show
"World Resources Institute identifies 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India"
Norway's Statoil shuts in output at Snohvit LNG processing plant
"Norway's Statoil said Monday it had shuttered production at its 4.3 million mt/year Hammerfest processing plant in the far north of the country, which processes the gas from the Snohvit field, due to technical problems."
When it comes to price, it doesn't matter where oil comes from
"The problem for oil consumers right now isn't the availability of the fuel, but the price needed to get it out of the ground. Unfortunately, that's already more than we can afford."
Fuel shortages to continue in Malawi

## Environment/health ##
Australia passes illegal logging laws, joins EU, U.S.
Myanmar's forests at risk
Brush fire threatens Australian city
Rainforest group locks horns with Cargill
South Koreans to ponder where to store nuclear waste

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Anti-Israel cyberattacks top 44 million
Service Outage Hits Apple's iMessage and FaceTime
Outrage at India arrests over Facebook post
Sky fibre broadband back after national outage

## Systemic breakdown ##
Kerala set for drought, crop collapse, power shortage
Sen. Schumer: Cell Towers Should Have Backup Power To Prevent Widespread Service Outages Like After Sandy
Big city slowly returns to bright lights after Sandy

## Japan ##
Ishihara calls for nuclear-armed Japan
It is widely believed that, in effect, Japan is already nuclear-armed because the military could likely have a nuke ready in 24 hours. Japan already has the technology and a huge plutonium stockpile. -- RF
Tepco may be hiding unknown explosion occurred on 3/16/2011
TEPCO, Japanese government denying Fukushima radiation reaching ocean fish
Hamaoka reactor likely wrecked in seawater accident
"A restart may be impossible at one of Japan's idled nuclear reactors without substantial repairs, after an accident during a shutdown procedure last year in which hundreds of tons of seawater flooded equipment including the central pressure vessel."
4 Chinese ships enter waters near Senkakus
Delays looming for victims' housing units
"Only 60 percent of public 'restoration housing' units for victims of last year's disaster living in temporary housing are expected to be built by the end of fiscal 2014, the time when most temporary units are to be vacated, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned."
Japan's direct investment in China down 32% in October

## China ##
Half-Built Luxury Ghost Towns Show Risk of Shadow Banking
Sky City: China to Build World's Tallest Building, 220 Stories, in 90 Days
"Given China already has entirely empty cities, as well as the world's largest mall (and it's empty), one can only wonder what the occupation rate of its next project will be."
Corporate China's Black Hole of Debt
"China's corporate debt has risen from 108 percent of the entire economy last year to 122 percent in 2012, its highest level in 15 years."
China's Xi warns of unrest if graft not tackled
Growing urban populations a big challenge

## UK ##
Britain in nutrition recession as food prices rise and incomes shrink
Empty Shops Rate Sets 'Alarm Bells Ringing'
"The British Retail Consortium says there are a record number of empty shops on the High Street - and the outlook is set to worsen."
Premier Foods to cut 900 jobs in bread division
Henley hit by 'mutant super rat' invasion

## US ##
The U.S. Is Borrowing Less From China, More From Everybody Else
Tempted By Holiday Discounts, Consumers 'Self-Gift'
Who's Hiring? $100K Jobs That Nobody Wants
It's a mistake to say that "nobody wants" jobs that pay $100K. The real problem is that there's a dearth of people who can do them. Which brings us back to energy decline and the economy's inability to train enough people with the skills and expertise needed to keep industrial society afloat. -- RF
Housing starts hit four-year high in October
"Housing starts rose to their highest rate in more than four years in October, suggesting the housing market recovery was gaining steam, even though permits for future construction fell."
3 men get prison in failed Ohio bridge bomb plot
"Three men were sentenced Tuesday to years in prison after admitting to taking part in an unsuccessful plot to bomb a highway bridge in Ohio with what turned out to be a dud device provided by a government informant."
Newark mayor to live off food stamps for a week
Ron Paul on Sound Money Prospects for USA
Frack Fight
Jeremy Grantham: On the Road to Zero Growth… (PDF)
State and municipal bankruptcies are the financial crisis around the corner
Fees, fees everywhere

And finally…
Twinkies not dead yet, judge tries to save Hostess jobs
Like a Bad Sugar Rush, Twinkie Black Market Is Crashing
After long night, Chinese sex toys see new dawn

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