Monday, December 31, 2012


News Links, January 1, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
A World of the Unemployed
"Most experts worry that, as long as unemployment is above 6% in America, the U.S. economy cannot recover. The Fed even has set a target of 6.5% as a measure for when it will stop monetary support. The situation in much of Europe is too horrible to be put side by side against any American number, as unemployment in Spain and Greece have breached 25%. Based on Gallup information, even Greece could be the envy of much of the rest of the world."
New Car Registrations Still Down In The EU: Implications For Automakers
Egypt pound hits record low under new currency regime
Egypt scrambles to bolster economy
Merkel says euro zone crisis far from over
BRIC Dominance Ebbs as State Meddling Means Equities Trail World
The Outlook for Steady State Economics in 2013
Container Ships Bulk Up, and Slow Down
Abrupt drop in oil revenue sinks Sudan's economic hopes
India's Jul-Sep current account deficit at record 5.4%
India's government to roll out its cash-to-poor program in new year
Singapore likely in recession after GDP data: analysts
Gold Extends Longest Streak Since 1920 on Central-Bank Stimulus
Dubai aims to shrink budget deficit by 18pc
34 Charts You Must See Before Making A Move In 2013
Russian December Inflation Accelerates to 2012-High 6.6%
ConAgra Debt Rating Cut at S&P

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airlines We Lost in 2012
A slew of airlines went belly-up last year. Check out this list and consider what it augurs for 2013. -- RF
Indian air traffic to drop by 3.5% in 2013
"2013 would not bring good tidings to the already troubled Indian aviation. Centre for monitoring Indian economy(CMIE) study report says that the overall drop in Indian air traffic may decline by 2.5 per cent in FY13 and in the second half of 2013 it could drop to 3.5%."
Private airlines' sustainability A challenging task (Nepal)
Which airline has the rudest employees? A survey.
Kingfisher Airlines licence expires today; stock down
Saudi eyes bonds to fund airport expansion
Philippines orders airlines to improve services
Airlines Would Like To Be Legally Exempt From Telling You How Much Your Flight Actually Costs
Skymark to end flights from Kansai Airport
SAS executive: Airline was on brink of bankruptcy

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Al Qaeda offers gold bounty for the life of US ambassador in Yemen
"Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen has offered to pay tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who kills the US ambassador in Sanaa or an American soldier in the country."
Egypt detains Israeli army officer in Sinai
Iran showcases special forces during naval drills: report
Small U.S. plane stuck in Iran for repairs after emergency landing
Car bomb kills 19, injures 25 in Pakistan
Explosions across Iraq kill at least 10, wound 46
Pak N-Programme remains US target
China's Beidou satellites could be used in Diaoyutai conflict
Chinese think tank: conflict inevitable between Japan, China over Senkakus
Report: Russia Sends Landing Ships to Syria
France Deploys 150 More Soldiers to Africa
2012 one of "bloodiest years" for journalists: media body
Report: Saudis shopping for more German heavy weapons

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Delta Community Protests 3-year Power Outage (Nigeria)
Idle No More protesters block main rail line between Toronto and Montreal
Clashes erupt at Iraqi protest as sectarian tensions flare
Russian activists detained at protest for free assembly
Arab Spring 2013: Revolutionary wave enters a third year

## Energy/resources ##
Get ready for another power shocker (India)
"If you are sweating over power bills this winter, get ready to sweat more. State-run Mahagenco has told Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) that the generation cost in 2013-14 will increase by over 30% due to various reasons."
51pct power plants in India facing severe coal shortage
Helium prices soar as supplies shrink
S.Korea to restart one of two troubled reactors this week
"South Korea will restart one of two nuclear reactors this week after being shut for nearly two months to replace parts which were found to have forged documents, easing power supply concerns as winter bites, the nuclear regulator and operator said."
"Clean coal": Costs Soar At Cleaner Power Plant
Sweden imports trash to generate power
"Shortage of garbage forces Scandinavian country to take neighbours' help to run its power plants."
Trash-to-energy schemes were a loser from the get-go. -- RF
Spain Achieves Grid Parity for Solar Power
Building up large renewable-energy capacity is certainly a good thing. Something to keep in mind is that solar panels and other renewable-energy hardware embody an enormous amount of fossil-fuel energy in various forms. -- RF
Did Big Oil Kill Off Green Energy?
It doesn't matter, because as the industrial infrastructure crumbles, renewable-energy hardware will become impossible to maintain and eventually break down completely. Build all you can now, but don't expect it to last forever. -- RF
Iberdrola to sell French wind parks to cut debt
"Spanish utility Iberdrola is selling its French wind park unit to a consortium including General Electric for about 400 million euros ($529 million) in its drive to cut debt and keep an investment grade credit rating."
Five possible energy surprises for 2013
Central Appalachian coals future murky going into 2013
Crude Oil Demand Decreases As US Faces Possible Recession
OPEC Rings Up $1 Trillion in Oil Sales
Fuel shortage hits Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis (Ghana)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
NYPD: Metal Thieves Plundering Areas Hardest Hit By Hurricane Sandy

## Got food? ##
Study: Food Pantries In New York State Serving More Seniors, Fewer Children
Vertical farms solve land problem (Singapore)
It's still industrial agriculture, and ultimately unsustainable, as are the supermarkets where the food is sold. -- RF
Canadians Sign Potash Deal with China

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The gift economy and community exchanges
I myself actively participate in the gift economy. It has great benefits. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Study Confirms Dangers of GMO Foods
Big Oil Faces $700 Million Water Pollution Suit In New Hampshire

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Government Malware to Become Commoditized, Forecasts Imperva
Obama signs renewal of foreign surveillance law
Cyberthreats to watch out for in 2013
Group warns military: Prepare now for risks of 'mutant soldier' future
Judge rebuffs feds' secret arguments on no-fly list

## Systemic breakdown ##
8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire

## Japan ##
Japan's New Stimulus: The Race With China To The Bottom
Chinatrust in talks to buy Tokyo Star Bank
"Taiwan's Chinatrust Commercial Bank is in talks to buy the regional Tokyo Star Bank for about ¥50 billion in what would be the first acquisition of a Japanese bank by a foreign lender, it was learned Sunday."
Post-3/11 output drop tops forecast
"The nation's industrial output tumbled more than forecast to the lowest level since the aftermath of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, bolstering the case for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to unleash large-scale stimulus."
Just the other day we saw that blue-chip stocks have finally recovered to their pre-3/11 levels, but I noted then that the economy nevertheless continues to crumble. Pumping up the stock market appears to have little or nothing to do with the health of the overall economy.
Four more patients die in viral outbreak
Japan's Jan jet fuel imports set to be highest in over 2 years
"Japan's jet fuel imports in January are set to be the highest in more than two years as refiners produce more heating fuel kerosene to meet a surge in demand and cash in on the doubling of premiums in a year, trade sources said on Wednesday."
Japan P.M.: New nuclear plants possible
"New reactors can be built with people's consent, Japan's new prime minister said, which would alter the previous regime's policy to phase out nuclear power."
LDP may use taxes to prop up giants
"The Liberal Democratic Party-led government is considering using taxpayer funds to purchase factories and other facilities from struggling electronics makers, materials producers and other manufacturers boost their competitiveness, it was learned Monday."
Japan's Population Down Record 212,000 In '12
Japan reflation facing many hurdles: S&P
JFE, IHI shipbuilding units to merge Tuesday

## China ##
China Warns Local Governments About Unauthorized Financing
China boosts gas supply to battle cold
China Kicks Out 'New York Times' Reporter
China vs. the Fiscal Cliff
"China's GDP may have bounced up in the past few months of the year, which has cheered economists about its future. But expect a reversal of fortune in early 2013. The weight of the world is a drag that cannot be offset."

## UK ##
Soaring numbers of over 60s face unemployment
"The number of unemployed baby boomers will double by 2020 as the over 60s face a growing struggle to find jobs with ageist employers, research has found."
Minister defends rail fare rise and says travellers should pay up

## US ##
When Priced in Gold, the US economy is at Depression-Era Levels
Retailers gird for disappointing December sales
"Pivotal month's receipts may turn out to be lowest in four years"
Storms on U.S. Plains stir memories of the "Dust Bowl"
A Tough Year For Unions, With Few Bright Spots Ahead
Illinois dragging its feet on huge pension problem
Why Tesla Will Stall in 2013
Another ho-hum year for the economy likely in 2013
Deal reached for stopping spike in milk prices
Wood touted as 'new' renewable fuel
If Americans insist on keeping their central heating, switching to wood for home heating would wipe out US forests in no time (I too use a wood stove, but I heat only one room; the rest of the house is unheated, even in the dead of winter). But there is one more important thing to note: Some readers will recall this article from a few weeks ago, which had a graph showing that firewood gives the same energy return as "imported oil 2005" and a better energy return than "domestic oil 2000." We can see that the energy return (EROEI) from oil has now sunk so low that even firewood — a far less-dense form of energy than oil — can compete favorably. The implications for industrial civilization should scare the pants off anyone. -- RF
Towns face sharp increase in fuel assistance requests; some wait months for LIHEAP appointments
Feds do not consider San Onofre nuclear power plant safe
Banks close to $10B foreclosure settlement
Fiscal Cliff Debate Continues, But The Tax Decisions Appear To Have Been Settled
US To Officially Go Over The Fiscal Cliff
Leaders near fiscal-cliff deal
Fiscal Cliff: Nowhere to go But Down (Richard Heinberg)
Debt Limit Reached, U.S. Moving To Avoid Default: Timothy Geithner
'Fiscal Cliff' Still Leaves Pentagon Sitting Pretty
Behind the "Housing Recovery"
Record year at movie theaters: $10.8 billion
Recall that the movie industry did a booming business during the Great Depression. -- RF
Zynga shuts down PetVille, 10 other apps
U.S. Bond Yields at Lowest in Decades

And finally…
Nearly Half of Adults Admit 'Financial Infidelity'

Saturday, December 29, 2012


News Links, December 29-30, 2012

Well, that ends it for this year. It is abundantly clear that expensive energy and accumulated debt — the two horsemen of the apocalypse — are dragging the industrial world inexorably into a quagmire of decline in all respects. Keep making your preparations, and do not be distracted by the frothing-at-the-mouth rantings of government officials, politicians, Mayan calendar/alien invasion doomsayers, or investment gurus who insist that you put your nest egg in the stock market. And by all means, avoid falling into a bunker mentality. Active engagement with the world around us, building mutually supportive communities, and living on the Earth (not under it) will pave the road to the future. -- RF

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurocoin Points to Another Quarter of Contraction
Greece: Licences handed in as austerity hits car owners
Unemployment reaches 3.13M in France
Spain struck in recession in final months: Central Bank
Spain $18.1 billion behind on its bills
"Spain's local and national government agencies are $18.1 billion behind on paying their bills, a government report said."
Spain to cut 52 percent of train routes
"The Spanish government has decided to do away with medium-distance train lines and replace them with buses to save money, officials said."
System D: Informal Economy Exceeds 30% in Bulgaria
System D: 60 Percent of Mexicans Working in Informal Sector
India Suffers $123 Billion Black Money Losses
Yuan Sets Tone for Asia as Japan Dethroned by China: Currencies
Singapore bond issuance up 108 pct to US$31.1 billion
Singapore Proposes Consumer-Credit Rules to Limit Bad Debt
Municipal debt in Alberta jumps to $7.7 billion
Out Of Desperation, North Korean Women Become Breadwinners
"Imagine going to work every day and not getting paid. Then, one day, you're told there's no work to do — so you must pay the company for the privilege of not working."
Peering Over Fiscal Cliff, Marketers Cut Global Ad Spending
European PMI Retail Sales Collapse: Near-Record Drop in Italy Retail Sales; French Retail Sales Drop 9th Consecutive Month; Germany Retail Sales Back in Contraction
France Teeters on the Brink of Recession
France Council Blocks 75% Tax on Millionaires
2013 would be survival year for steel mills - Duferco chairman
"Business Spectator reported that the global steel sector is expected to recover only slightly next year as weak demand and low prices continue to squeeze company earnings, according to an industry survey conducted by the Financial Times."
China's Least-Favorite Short Seller Targets Singapore
Gold heads for 12th straight year of gains, mixed outlook for 2013
Egypt's president warns against unrest
Egypt to Start Foreign Exchange Auctions as Reserves Plunge
"Egypt's central bank will start foreign-exchange auctions tomorrow in order to preserve foreign reserves after they plunged to "minimum and critical" levels."
Sales Approaching $4 Trillion in Stimulus Repast: Credit Markets
"Corporate bond sales worldwide are approaching an unprecedented $4 trillion this year as yields touch all-time lows and investors pump record amounts of cash into fixed-income securities."
EU clears Dexia's €90bn restructuring plan
"The European Commission has approved the latest, €90bn restructuring plan for Dexia, a Franco-Belgian bank bailed out at the height of the financial crisis which has struggled ever since."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
No More Cash From Lufthansa: Austrian CEO
November puts a chill on passenger traffic at Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport
Airport may lose Essential Air Service, but optimistic about the future
Many US regional airports are losing routes and traffic. -- RF
Dearth of pilots drives demand for training (China)
Nas Air to be profitable for first time in 2013
Queensland Airlines Grounded on Safety Concerns
Air Kerala grounded before take-off? Major Gulf NRIs not keen to invest
Albuquerque, Minneapolis flights to be cut in 2013
What's In Store For The Airline Industry In 2013?
Airlines' plans for 2013 up in the air
AMR Pilots' Board Reaches Agreement Needed for US Airways Merger
United Continental Lowers Its Sights

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Drone Strikes Are Causing Child Casualties -- 178 So Far
Iran starts naval drills in Strait of Hormuz
This Scientist Wants Tomorrow's Troops to Be Mutant-Powered
Mexican traffickers plant pot crop in American forests
Hidden US-Israeli Military Agenda: "Break Syria into Pieces"
Obama signs law against Iran Latin America influence
"The Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act, passed by lawmakers earlier this year, calls for the State Department to develop a strategy within 180 days to 'address Iran's growing hostile presence and activity' in the region."
Housing shortage forces many to camp (New Zealand)
Pakistan militants kill at least 20 kidnapped troops
Central Africa states to up troops in Central African Republic ahead of peace talks
Saudi Arabia Boosts Spending Goal by Fifth in Record Budget
"King Abdullah pledged more than $500 billion on social welfare and to build projects to ensure that the country remains unscathed by the kind of political unrest that swept through other Arab countries in the past two years. He is using oil money to fight high unemployment -- about a quarter of Saudis between 20 and 30 don't have jobs -- and to build schools and hospitals. The budget has more than doubled in size since 2006."
Japan government contests China's continental shelf claim
Yemen's oil export pipeline attacked shortly after repair
"Yemen's main oil export pipeline was blown up late Friday, a few hours after engineers repaired it following a tribal mediation between local authorities and armed tribesmen accused of repeatedly attacking the line, an interior ministry official said."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
2012 Year In Review: Austerity Protests Rock Europe's Capitals
'Fort Hernandez' Evicted And Occupy LA Protesters Removed From Home
Civil servants shout slogans during a demonstration against the government's austerity measures (Spain)
U.S. diplomats leave Central African Republic amid unrest
Baramulla protests over frequent power cuts
Mass anti-government protests in Iraq
"Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Iraq in a show of opposition against Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Demonstrators upheld a blockade of the main road to Syria and Jordan for a sixth day."
Man shot dead as police clash with Shi'ites in Saudi Arabia
"Saudi Arabian police shot dead a Shi'ite protester in the country's oil-producing east late on Thursday, local activists said on Friday, bringing the death toll from clashes in the restive area to 12 this year."
Hunger strike pressures Canada PM, aboriginal protests spread
Tibet self-immolations: Why people set themselves on fire to protest China
Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy
"New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent"

## Energy/resources ##
Massive blackout in Egypt
"Over 15 power stations have not produced energy since yesterday due to a lack of fuel (diesel, natural gas and mazut), according to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC)."
Research queries onshore wind farm costs
"Onshore wind farms are more expensive than widely thought because their economic lives are shorter than the wind industry has suggested, a study has found. The performance of an average UK onshore wind farm slumps by as much as a third after 10 years, according to research published on Wednesday by the Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity that questions the cost of UK onshore wind subsidies and their effect on household electricity bills."
Another Problem for Solar Industry: Declining Quality
"Competitive pressures resulting from the worldwide solar equipment glut and plummeting panel prices may be causing  yet another problem for the solar market - poorly made solar panels."
Gas, electricity shortages: Textile industry braving Rs200bn loss annually (Pakistan)
Iron ore shortage hits small steel firms hard (India)
Fuel shortage hits Accra (Ghana)
"Acute fuel shortage has hit major cities in the country with drivers and other users of petroleum products hopping from one fuel station to the other in search of the commodity."
Bolivia takes over Spanish-owned energy suppliers
China firm to acquire major African iron ore mine
Negative European Power Prices Seen Sunday Through Thursday Due To Strong Wind Power Supply
Oil and Gas Industry Leads in 2012 M&A Activity

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Stolen electric cables disrupt power (Tanzania)

## Got food? ##
Food vs. Fuel in 2013
Wheat Futures Jump Most in Four Weeks as U.S. Export Sales Surge
A Crop-by-Crop Guide to Growing Organic Vegetables and Fruits
Food shortage threatens to kill thousands of Yemeni children

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Real Cost Of Technology
3 Reasons You Should Quit Social Media In 2013

## Environment/health ##
Cases of winter vomiting bug Norovirus pass one million (UK)
Finland expects to begin to bury nuclear waste in 2022

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Facebook Censors Prominent Political Critics
Pakistan's Rehman Malik promises to unblock YouTube
Company offers private surveillance drone
Revealed: NSA targeting domestic computer systems in secret test
Buying your own botnet costs as little as $250

## Systemic breakdown ##
Human toll emerging in shortage of some cancer drugs
Homeless, at-risk veterans double

## Japan ##
Japan's Patriotic War Agenda
40% of nonprofits and public corporations in the red (article in Japanese)
The government has revealed that as of March 31, 2012 (the end of the previous fiscal year), 40% of nonprofit organizations and public corporations were in the red. Their total deficit amounted to 105,800,000,000 yen.
Japan November Core CPI Falls vs Year-Earlier
Nowhere to use Japan's growing plutonium stockpile
Post office employees have to sell (or buy if unable to) quota of new year's cards
It's one of the dodgy gimmicks that have kept Japan's moribund economy afloat. -- RF
Japanese cell phone users requested to limit usage during New Year's Day
Govt, expressway firms lax on maintenance
Panasonic to accelerate patent sales, licensing to secure cash
Atomic Energy Commission lied about secret meetings to prime minister's office
Japan's Abe to review nuclear-plant terminations

## China ##
Loss warning sign of mounting woes at China shipyards
"Everybody knows the shipbuilding industry in Asia is going through hard times, but just how bad appears to have even taken some of the experts by surprise."
China mulls local government debt cap as deficit debate heats up
China Passes Law Requiring People Identify Selves Online
China Austerity May Crimp Luxury Demand
System D: Untaxed economy creates vital jobs and growth
China Needs to Boost Domestic Demand: Vice Premier Li
New wave of minimum wage increases in China set for Jan.1
The IMF on overinvestment
Sinopec raises oilfield services game
"Chinese state-owned Sinopec Group on Friday launched a new oilfield services division to compete for global engineering and construction business, with a possible stocklisting lined up for the unit."

## UK ##
System D: Odd job UK: booming black market economy is propping up jobs figures
House construction at 90-year low
2013 will be the same old story for business – and still no happy ending

## US ##
System D: Expected Growth Of The Black Market
Local government costs face 'fiscal cliff' too
Uncle Sam's Little Nephew May Need A Big Bailout
US household debt burden hits 29-year low
Underwater Homeowners Will Work for Less Pay: Cutting Research
"People who are underwater on their home mortgages probably will accept 'significantly' lower wages than other homeowners, according to a study published this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta."
16 Things About 2013 That Are Really Going To Stink
Port Strike Averted As Dock Workers, Terminal Operators Agree To Extension
Barge traffic stalls along drought-parched Mississippi River
Microsoft Smelling Like Bear Meat Going Into 2013
The most educated and indebted generation ever
Sandy Aid Worth $60 Billion Passes Senate as House Balks
Rocket launchers turned in at LAPD gun buyback
It makes one wonder how many more rocket launchers are out there. -- RF
Private Prison Company Used in Drug Raids at Public High School
Trains carrying crude oil: an accident waiting to happen?
Ron Paul On The Fiscal Cliff: "We Have Passed The Point Of No Return" (w/video)
Obama Issues Executive Order Granting Pay Raises to Congress, the Vice President, Judges; Any Raise is Too Much; Congress Approval Rating is 18%
Government Dependents Outnumber Those With Private Sector Jobs In 11 U.S. States
Bank fines top $10 billion this year
Stalling Job Growth May Spell Trouble for 2013

And finally…
Foot in mouth disease: the year's most remarkable remarks
Paraguayan orchestra using instruments made from rubbish

Thursday, December 27, 2012


News Links, December 27-28, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Germany prepares for austerity
"Recommendations by the German Finance Ministry point to a drastic increase in taxes and a cut in social services, an analysis says."
Germany 'exporting' old and sick to foreign care homes
"Pensioners are being sent to care homes in eastern Europe and Asia in an austerity move dismissed as 'inhumane deportation'"
Geithner Warns Lawmakers Debt Standoff Risks U.S. Default
India's Singh says growth won't come with "business as usual"
"India's prime minister struck a downbeat note on the challenges facing the economy on Thursday, dubbing a five-year plan for average growth of 8 percent 'ambitious' and warning that business-as-usual policies won't deliver higher growth."
Bankia shares slide on 'negative value' assessment
South Korea lowers its growth forecast
Pensions will not exist by 2050, expert warns
It's what I've been saying all along. Are the experts just noticing? -- RF
A Horrific Economic Collapse Is On The Way
Global banking to be joined by 'Google Bank' and 'Apple Bank'
European auto sales to fall for sixth year - Fitch
Worried Egypt slaps new controls on travelling with cash
"Egypt has banned travellers from carrying more than $10,000 in foreign currency in or out of the country, as officials worry over pressure on its pound currency and a rush by Egyptians to withdraw their savings from banks."
Adding insult to injury: S&P downgrade Egyptian banks
Social Trap in Spain: Mortgage Nightmare; Why Spain (or Germany) is Guaranteed to Leave Euro
The Coming Isolation of the USDollar
Another Rating Cut for U.S. Debt?
Cruise Industry Hits a Patch of Rough Water
Brazil Reduces Reserve Requirements on Demand Deposits
Europe is not out, but it certainly is down

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airlines Fear Pilot Shortage Amid New Federal Safety Rules
Grounded Kingfisher lacks funding plan -India minister
Minister: Berlin airport date is in danger
American, US Airways merger on the horizon?
Airlines may offer 20% more discounts on advance tickets next year
N.H. airline offers $12 flights to NYC
Airline pilots falling asleep in cockpit because of fatigue
Frontier Airlines scaling back Newport News service
Disruptions cost American Airlines' parent $75 million in two months
Airline Bankruptcies
Airlines find few passengers, suffer revenue loss even after weather improves
Fees undermine fliers' ability to compare fares

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Svoboda: The rise of Ukraine's ultra-nationalists
Chinese ships enter Japanese waters
China to be surrounded by US stealth jets by 2017
Caught in a bind that threatens an Asian war nobody wants
Turkey continuing to import Iranian natural gas, oil
US-China Relations Will Define Global Politics in 2013: The Economist

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
India tea workers burn boss to death in Assam state
Protesters in Ontario say support growing for rail blockade
Idle No More protesters back at Saskatchewan malls
Protesters Disrupt Egyptian Blogger's Speech in Israel
Libyan protesters shut down oil port
"Protests have forced a major oil port in eastern Libya to shut down its operations for a fourth day, the deputy oil minister said on Wednesday."
Protesters Dispersed by Police After Protest (China)
Argentina Bank Union Calls For Thursday Strike In Wage Spat

## Energy/resources ##
Chinese Oil Companies Apparent Victors in Post-Saddam Iraq
Brent Oil's Third Year Over $100 Looms on Supply Risk
Resource nationalism assumes more insidious forms
"Resource nationalism is assuming more subtle forms as governments resort to measures outside of blatant asset expropriations to retain the benefits proffered by their geological bounties."
[video] Resource nationalism
Sudan's Bashir says ready to meet Kiir to try to get oil flowing
Peak oil review - Dec 24
Scarcity: Fuel Vendors Take Over Abuja Streets (Nigeria)
Upward adjustment of fuel prices needed: energy adviser (Bangladesh)
Transformer failure causes blackout in Japan's Osaka
South Korea Flirts With Another Power Disaster
"South Korea set a new record for power consumption on Wednesday, the third consecutive day of very cold temperatures and busiest work-wise after the lead-in and celebration of Christmas. And the country's energy monitors were forced to warn that power outages might occur because demand had surpassed the limit that the government considers safe."
In Freezing Seoul, More Homes Heated with Charcoal
Typhoon causes massive blackout in 11 towns, 2 cities (Philippines)
India Considering Plan to Raise Diesel, Kerosene Prices - Official
Lukoil to cut Iraq oil output 30% after gov't plan
"OAO Lukoil Holdings will cut its production in Iraq by 30% after the Iraqi government decided to limit output in order to prop up prices, the president of Lukoil Overseas Holding Ltd. said in an interview."
Saudi Arabia Must Review Its Oil Subsidies, Former Adviser Says
"Saudi Arabia will need to reduce fuel subsidies that are becoming an ever-greater fiscal burden as its population grows, a former adviser to the country's oil minister said."
The EU must drastically reduce its oil imports
Oil Services, Pipelines Feed Shorts
Israel Jan-Nov gasoil, fuel oil demand in electricity sector up sharply
"Israeli gasoil and fuel oil consumption for electricity production rose sharply in the first 11 months of the year due to a severe shortage of natural gas, Israel's Energy and Water Ministry said Thursday."
Brazil president says power rationing not needed
"Brazil's president says Latin America's biggest economy does not need to ration electricity in the wake of several outages that occurred over the past several months."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves snatch 20-ton monument to victims of terror attack (Israel)

## Got food? ##
Expanding Dust Bowls Worsening Food Prospects in China and Africa
Chinese Ships Fish Illegally in Argentine Waters
Don't Fear That Expired Food

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Energy Descent is Cool! Even When It's Bloody Cold

## Environment/health ##
North India cold snap kills 25
Dirty medical needles put tens of thousands at risk in USA
An Abundance Of Extreme Weather Has Many On Edge

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
UAE says arrests cell planning attacks
"Security forces in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a cell of UAE and Saudi Arabian citizens which was planning to carry out militant attacks in both countries and other states, the official news agency WAM said on Wednesday."
Feds Requiring 'Black Boxes' in All Motor Vehicles
China tightening controls on Internet

## Systemic breakdown ##
No More Industrial Revolutions, No More Growth?

## Japan ##
Trying to revive a Fukushima 'ghost town'
Tokyo Almost As Irradiated As Fukushima
Eight U.S. sailors sue Tepco for millions for falsely downplaying Fukushima radiation exposure
TEPCO requests additional Y697 bil yen for compensation
Japan's new government to restart nuclear reactors
Flimsy waste tanks cause new delay in Fukushima plant decontamination
10 million Bq of cesium-134/137 is still released every single hour from reactor1, 2 and 3
Cement Magnate's Son Aso Takes Reins of Japanese Economy
"Taro Aso, son of a cement magnate and a champion of pork-barrel spending when prime minister, became Japan's sixth finance chief in three years, auguring expanded fiscal stimulus in the world's third-largest economy."
Arsonists Grab Matchbox in Japan: Pork-Barrel Spending Expert Becomes Finance Minister
Blue Chips Recovering To Pre-Quake Levels
That took nearly two years. And overall, the economy continues to crumble. -- RF
Domestic electronic device shipments to fall below 2 tril. yen in 2012
Are Senkaku islets first line of defense against rising China?
Japan to review defense guidelines for closer cooperation with U.S.
60 spots see mercury dip to new low
Japan won't have enough doctors in 2035 despite boost: study

## China ##
Michael Pettis on China Reforms, Ponzi Schemes in Wealth Management Programs, Rebalancing Implications
Financial system at risk from bank loans
"CHINA'S financial system is facing increasing risks due to soaring bank loans, with lending to the property sector and local governments a particular concern, the finance ministry warned yesterday."
U.S. now largest buyer of Chinese exports
China sends first oceangoing patrol vessel to South China Sea
China to patrol disputed islands
China seizes TVs, satellite equipment in Tibetan area
China factory town's hangover after IPO rush

## UK ##
Potentially deadly MRSA strain ST398 found in British milk supply
Most voters 'now want Britain to leave EU'
Pensioners are about to be robbed yet again
Extra 20,000 foreign workers could head to the UK
An apprenticeship will soon match all a degree has to offer
Visa scheme to attract 1,000 top scientists and artists gets just 50 to settle in Britain

## US ##
Fiscal Cliff: Nowhere to go But Down
U.S. retailers scramble after lackluster holiday sales
Holiday Retail Sales Barely Budge Over Last Year
Consumer sentiment weakens as fiscal crisis looms
The Fast Disappearing 'Santa Rally' And The 'Ghost Town' Which Is JC Penney
Tax-Status Threat Fuels Worst Losses Since Whitney: Muni Credit
"The $3.7 trillion municipal market is poised for its steepest monthly decline since 2010 as investors spooked by threats to the debt's tax-exempt status withdrew the most money in almost two years."
Investors yank $150 billion from stocks for 3rd year
Madoff, in Christmas Eve Letter, Says Insider Trading Has Gone on 'Forever'
Barge traffic piles up as water levels fall on Mississippi
These Companies Will Continue to Fail
Why Japan's "Lost Decades" Economic Depression Are Headed For America in 2016
Virginia's only oil refinery becoming storage facility
5 issues small business owners will face in 2013
U.S. will reach federal debt limit on New Year's Eve
Mortgage rates close to record lows
Gun activists say they'll push to arm Arlington, Texas, teachers
The echo housing bubble across the United States – Rising home prices in the face of stagnant household incomes. How the Fed is manipulating the monthly payment to keep home prices inflated.
Savings Deposits Soar By Most Since Lehman And First Debt Ceiling Crisis
Electric Cars Don't Impress Car-buying Public
With Fewer Opportunities, Americans Are Staying at Jobs Longer

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


News Links, December 25-26, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
EU to give Spain, France more time to cut deficit: press
It's hopeless. -- RF
Greece Should Write Off Billions of Overdue Taxes, Report Says
"Greece should write off part of the 53 billion euros ($70 billion) of outstanding taxes owed to it as it will only be able to collect up to 20 percent of that amount, a report by the European Union and International Monetary Fund showed."
ArcelorMittal Dofasco pension plan facing $500m shortfall (Canada)
Vietnam Expanded at Slowest Pace Since 1999 After Lending Slump
Dubai ruler announces new mega city project
"No value has been given for the project but plans include building the world's biggest shopping mall, a Universal family theme park and a park that is a third bigger than Hyde Park in London."
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Dubai is setting itself up for one heckuva crash. Keep watching for that second exodus of foreign workers. -- RF
Israeli Central Bank Cuts Key Rate to 1.75% from 2%
UN Adds About 5 Percent to Budget for 2012-2013

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Air India to cut wages to bring down costs
Pinnacle Airlines lost nearly $10 million in November
Problems with new 787 Dreamliner continue to plague Boeing
Lufthansa cancels India flights till Jan 1
AI makes one more attempt to soar
High costs to deter FDI in airlines: IATA

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran launches international insurance company to insure its oil tankers
Iran begins naval war games: reports
Russian warships begin military exercises
Wave of nationalism sweeps through Northeast Asia
South Korea to Buy $1.2 Billion in Drones Under U.S. Plan
Poverty and fear of gangs drive young immigrants to U.S.
Afghan policewoman kills coalition contractor in Kabul: NATO
Pirates attack ship off Nigeria, kidnap four: agency
Russian military presence in Syria poses challenge to US-led intervention
Syrian refugees face harsh winter in desperate conditions
Policewoman who killed US aide in Kabul 'is Iranian'
"A policewoman who shot dead a US civilian aide at the police headquarters in Kabul is an Iranian national, Afghan authorities say. The woman, believed to have mental health problems, joined the security forces using an illegally obtained Afghan identity card."
As we all know, people with mental health problems make good patsies. -- RF
U.S. Military Builds Up Its Presence In Africa
Into Africa: US to Send Troops to 35 Nations Next Year
Looks like a pivot to Africa. -- RF
Israel tightens grip on east Jerusalem by approving another 1,242 new homes
Israeli subs operated in foreign waters: report

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Dockworkers at Northwest ports reject pact offer

## Energy/resources ##
Tech Talk - Iranian Potential and the Caspian Disputes
Tanker Carrying Bakken Oil to Canadian Refinery Runs Aground
Petrol shortage worsens, few hours to Christmas (Nigeria)
Syrian government gets badly needed diesel cargoes from Russia
First breeder reactor a far-fetched dream?
Power outage affects hundreds in Staten Island's Eltingville neighborhood
Male' could face street light black out over unpaid electricity bill, city mayor claims (Maldives)
Theft of metals and oil from churches a growing concern (Ireland)
Why Barclays is maintaining 2013 Brent Crude OIl forecast of $125/bl
German Utilities Pay Power Users as Warm, Windy Christmas Looms
LUKOIL says "no" to Iraq's West Qurna-1
The Great Oil Swindle: why the new black gold rush leads off a fiscal cliff
"A recent spate of official reports from energy agencies are predicting a rosy future of economic growth underpinned by cheap oil abundance. However, as Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed shows, scientific evidence largely ignored by mainstream media confirms that while we have enough oil and gas to burn our way to climate catastrophe, the age of cheap oil abundance is a myth."
Russia Launches Second Leg of Pacific Oil Pipeline

## Got food? ##
Nanoparticles in food
Mainland faces food shortage as prices begin to bite (Tanzania)

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
New Year's Resolutions For a More Simplified and Peaceful Life

## Environment/health ##
Thousands still homeless after Evan
New Report Finds That West Antarctica Is Warming at an Alarming Rate
Environment minister Richard Benyon says Britain must plan for 'changing weather patterns'
Southwest US will have less surface water over next decade, says study
Mutant strain of noroviruses spreading (Japan)

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Spy State Tightens its Grip
E-book restrictions leave 'buyers' with few rights
Major Cloud Outages Of 2012 To Learn From
Netflix suffers outage, blames Amazon: WSJ
Iran foils new cyber attack on industrial units: report
Congress, at Last Minute, Drops Requirement to Obtain Warrant to Monitor Email
Tajikistan blocks scores of websites as election looms

## Systemic breakdown ##
It's Not a "Fiscal Cliff" … It's the Descent Into Lawlessness
Post-Hyperinflationary Zimbabwe Welcomes The Holidays With 80% Unemployment, Empty ATMs And Paralyzed Transport

## Japan ##
Sumitomo unit eyes loan machines
"Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.'s consumer finance and core banking units will jointly develop a machine that will allow customers to apply for consumer loans without having to meet counter staff."
Fukushima children getting fat due to lack of outdoor activities
"Children in nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture are getting fatter due to a lack of outdoor exercise over fears of radiation exposure, the government said Tuesday in its school health report."
Fault-linked nuke plants sitting on 800 tons of fuel
"A combined 800 tons of spent nuclear fuel is being stored at two power stations thought to have active quake faults running underneath them."
Contaminated water leakage from reactor6, "already absorbed into the ground"
Japanese pay 18% of world's total insurance premiums
Shortage of helium gas hurts Japanese firms
Japan's contribution to U.N. budget drops to 10.83%, half the peak
Tokyo gov't takes steps to reduce dependence on TEPCO for power
Teachers too busy to deal with struggling students
"About 5,200 teachers at public schools in Japan took sick leave due to mental illness in the 2011 academic year, the Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology Ministry announced on Dec. 24, highlighting a school environment in which teachers become too busy to sufficiently deal with their students and guardians as well as their own desk work."
DBJ to offer ¥500 billion in loans
"The Development Bank of Japan will invest and loan more than ¥500 billion to enhance Japanese companies' international competitiveness over the next three years, according to sources."

## China ##
Construction of World's First Demonstration High-Temperature Nuclear Reactor Begins in China
Almost 40% of China's public afraid to go out at night: survey
Platts Report: China's Oil Demand Hits Record High in November
China's Largest Private Shipbuilder Warns of Full-Year Loss

## UK ##
U.K. House Prices Fall as Hometrack Sees Further Decline in 2013
£460m deficit in Tata pension fund, Scunthorpe steelworkers and veterans told
Street lights to be turned off
Police use Tasers on children more than 80 times in 6 years
Concerns over use of Taser guns on vulnerable people
Schools banned from fingerprinting pupils
If we live longer, we'll have to work longer
"The age at which workers receive the state pension will rise automatically in line with future improvements in longevity under government plans reported today."

## US ##
Muni Bond Funds Plunge
Student food banks fight hunger on campus
The Billion-Dollar Pension Shortfall Of Colgate-Palmolive
City of Jacksonville has a plan to turn off more than 2,300 streetlights and save around $300,000
Empty homes in Fairbanks target for heating oil thieves
Deportations of illegal immigrants in 2012 reach new US record
2 firefighters shot dead, 2 hurt in 'trap' at fire in upstate N.Y.
Why Do People Steal Meat From Grocery Stores?
25 Facts That The Mainstream Media Doesn't Really Want To Talk About Right Now
Defense Department prepares for cuts
Study: More FOIA complaints under Obama
NRC to consider solar flare nuclear safety petition
Susquehanna nuclear Unit 2 shuts down twice in one week
Expected Longshoreman Strike Could Be Another Blow to the Economy

And finally…
Santa robs safe in Australian mall
Christmas elves arrested after assault

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