Tuesday, December 18, 2012


News Links, December 18-19, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
IMF Says Ireland Should Defer Extra Austerity
Recession-hit Spaniards ditch mobile phones in record numbers
Japanese Pension Funds Seek Safety in Gold
U.N.: Global economic growth to be subdued
Berlusconi says Italy may be forced to leave the euro zone
Alcoa May Be Reduced to Junk by Moody's on Aluminum 'Headwinds'
Motorola to shut down South Korea operations next year
Treasure flight: Afghan's baffling gold exodus
Corporate insiders increasingly bullish on gold
Greece's lenders warn of 'very large' risks to bailout
Struggling Greeks Face Harsh Winter
The Unexpected: S&P Upgrades Greece
As anyone can see, things are really looking up in Greece. -- RF
Foreign holdings of US debt hit record $5.48T
"Obscene" Stimulus Will Trigger 'Made in Japan' Crisis in 2013: Mauldin
"Consistent with the theme of his latest book, Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything, Mauldin believes Japan is rapidly approaching the end of the road paved with government bonds and a strong currency."
India's economy grows at slowest rate in decade
Trading 'Kill Switch' Coming Soon: NYSE Exec
"U.S. regulators and exchanges are getting closer to a framework for a 'kill switch' that could be used to shut down trading before software glitches get out of control and wreak havoc on markets, a top exchange official said Tuesday."
Research Says: Studying Economics Turns You Into a Liar
One has to be a liar to tell people that infinite growth can work. -- RF

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Iberia pilots offer significant salary cuts
"Pilots at Spanish airline Iberia, operating under International Airlines Group (IAG), have offered to lower their salaries by a half in order to save the company, Europa Press reports."
Southwest Airlines fee: No-shows will have to pay up
IATA Reports Improved Airline Profits as Year Ends
Just like other businesses, airlines are downsizing themselves into profitability. -- RF
Wave of job cuts set for LOT
Brazil Airlines Can No Longer Pass Through Costs -ABEAR
Man Wears 70 Pieces of Clothing to Airport to Avoid Overwight Baggage Fees
Commercial airlines making loss despite hiking fares, high ATF prices add to woes
Europe's airlines to "break even" in 2013
"Airlines in Europe are expected to break even at best, according to new forecasts from airline body IATA."
Saudi aviation body to allow fare increases
No Loans For India Billionaire's Shrinking Airline
Chinese airlines offer 80% discounts for upcoming holiday period
Cathay Pacific Union Talks Start Today With Mediators

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
In Iraq, Exxon oil deal foments talk of civil war
"With their opposing armies massed on either side of the contested border dividing southern and northern Iraq, leaders in Baghdad and the semiautonomous Kurdistan region are warning they are close to civil war — one that could be triggered by Exxon Mobil."
Kurdish troops fire on Iraqi army helicopter in dispute
Wave of Bombings Batters Iraq in Deadliest Attacks in Months
New paramilitary force to battle narco gangsters in Mexico
Gulf states face hard economic truth about subsidies
Iran military says plans more drills in Strait of Hormuz soon
How many bases does U.S. have globally and what is their cost?
America Invades Africa: The Resource War and the Conquest of Mali
Asian neighbours nervous after election comeback for Japanese 'warmonger'
Libya Closes Borders, Declares Much of South a 'Military Zone'
Russia eyes Syria evacuation as rebels take Damascus district
Russia Sends Two Squadrons Of Ships To Syria
Disputed Areas of Iraq Rocked by Bombs: 19 Killed, 80 Wounded
Don't Like The Government? Make Your Own, On International Waters
This will be about as successful as a Mars colony. -- RF
World must not let up pressure on Somali pirates: NATO
U.S.-Filipino bilateral military ties deep
Putin touts record Russian arms sales of $14 billion in 2012
Russia agrees to sell Su-35BM fighters to China
Israel approves 1,500 more settler homes in east Jerusalem
Israel presses on with plan for 6,000 new settler homes
Australia Welcomes Chinese Navy Ships
Greece completes anti-immigrant fence on Turkish border
Masked thieves steal $25,000 of bullion at gunpoint (Australia)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Police Use Teargas to Disperse Striking Plateau Workers (Nigeria)
Egypt protesters rally against draft charter
Pensioners protest in Spain

## Energy/resources ##
Well controlled after Bakken blowout
Mexico to Privatize State Oil Company Pemex?
Brazil's Petrobras to Sell Argentine Assets
Have we entered an era of oil and gas incapacity?
"All this uncertainty - even the somewhat overblown risk of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear programme - might be manageable if not for one inconvenient fact: for the first time since the late 1960s, no government, corporation or cartel can realistically claim to have the spare capacity to backstop global demand in a sustained crisis."
A Mideast conflict could turn garbage into energy
As I've pointed out before, anything that runs on the detritus of industrial society is likewise doomed. -- RF
California refiners dreamin' of shale oil face hurdles
"Two years on, a gusher of U.S. shale oil production is finally starting to seep into California, where refiners in the country's most isolated fuel market are waging an increasingly desperate battle to curb costs."
Blackout risk from solar power needs remedy
First new uranium in Australia in 5 years faces delay
Why Canadian Crude is the Cheapest in the World
French power bills must rise to cover green costs - CRE
"A tax paid by French consumers as part of their electricity bills would have to rise 80 percent to cover development of renewable energy, energy regulator CRE said on Tuesday."
Coal to rival oil as dominant energy source by 2017: IEA
Exxon to explore deep South African waters
Greeks slash household heat as fuel prices rise
Investment in Canada's natural gas sector set to rival the oil sands
Sudanese president pledges to deepen oil cooperation with China

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Is Copper the New Red Gold?

## Got food? ##
Exporting water through food
India Sees Children Dying as $2 Billion Program Proves Defective

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Preppers in pictures: survivalists prepare for the end of the world
But holing up in a bunker makes little sense. Smart people see that the future is in building communities and engaging with the world around them, redesigning the economic system, and reordering priorities. -- RF
Turn Your Closet Clutter Into Cash: Which Resale Method Is Best for You?

## Environment/health ##
India could face crippling heat waves
Cold spell in Ukraine kills 18 people
Flesh-eating fungus responsible for five deaths in U.S.
Are US Munitions to Blame for Basra Birth Defects?
Clean Your Indoor Air with Houseplants
What everybody ought to know about energy
Too Big to Flood? Megacities Face Future of Major Storm Risk
"As economic activity and populations continue to expand in coastal urban areas, particularly in Asia, hundreds of trillions of dollars of infrastructure, industrial and office buildings, and homes are increasingly at risk from intensifying storms and rising sea levels."
13 reasons Koch Empire joins environmentalists: Climate-deniers will be major global-warming investors

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Cyber's Next Chapter: Penetrating Sealed Networks
Australia faces growing cyberspace threat
Paragould, Arkansas Police to Check Everyone's ID in 2013

## Systemic breakdown ##
The Price Of "Collective Trauma": Greece At The Brink of Civil War
Hurricane Sandy relief turns to protest

## Japan ##
Japan builds a Galapagos of power
More Lessons From the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: Containment Failures and the Loss of the Ultimate Heat Sink
Japanese radars fail to detect Chinese aircraft
Japan's Shinzo Abe prepares to print money for the whole world
"Japan's incoming leader Shinzo Abe has vowed to ram through full-blown reflation policies to pull his country out of slump and drive down the yen, warning Japan's central bank not to defy the will of the people."
Japan's NO EXIT Strategy
Japan's suicidal salarymen are dying for work
LDP, Komeito To Seek Hefty Stimulus Budget
Extra budget to top 10 tril. yen? / Funds necessary to boost economy, end deflation
New Tokyo governor looks seaward for vital rare earth elements

## China ##
China November Foreign Direct Investment -5.4% on Year at $8.29 Billion

## UK ##
Fuel poverty: Ed Davey pledges to fight rising energy bills
East Coast Main Line: Thousands stranded as trains cancelled
"Thousands of commuters were left stranded last night as overhead wire damage led to trains being cancelled."
Over 50,000 calls a day to HMRC are not answered, NAO says

## US ##
U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Threatened by Fiscal Cliff
How 'fiscal cliff' is already hitting defense industry
Muni Bonds: How Killing a Tax Break for the Rich Could Hit Everytown, U.S.A.
Fracking offers a risky salvation for America's hard-pressed heartlands
Manufacturing in New York Area Shrinks More Than Forecast
Calpers Seeks Exemption From Bankruptcy Laws, Wants First-in-Line Payment Status; California, Illinois Completely Dysfunctional
Texas School District Will Let Teachers Carry Guns
"As Part Of Our Ongoing Effort To Protect Bank Of America, Zero Hedge Is Blocked"
Chart Of The Day: The Death Of America's Middle Class
The lowest cost combination of wind, solar and storage for the northeast United States for all renewable option for 2030 but more costly than nuclear
Cheaper natural gas doesn't mean lower home heating bills
"If there is so much cheap natural gas floating around the United States, why aren't people's fuel bills falling? The answer is that fuel is ­only part of the fuel bill. A lot of what homeowners pay goes to building new power lines or tending to aging gas pipelines. In one recent rate case, a utility got a rate increase to cover pension costs."
Fast Food Scrooge: McDonald's Asks Franchisees to Open on Christmas
Low Interest Rates Impacting Your Life Insurance Company
McMansions Return: Why Big Houses Are Coming Back
The Five Largest Landowners in America

And finally…
Do we live in a massive computer simulation? Scientists seek answer
Government employee wins compensation after injury during sex
NASA scientist works to debunk apocalypse
CIA officially denies that it is trying to erase a letter from the Russian alphabet

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