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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