Sunday, December 23, 2012


News Links, December 22-24, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greece's Big Banks Need Bailout Too
"Greece's four biggest banks have reported they were so battered by losses imposed by a previous government on investors that they will need a 27.4 billion euros ($36.29 billion) injection as they try to stem more losses as the country's economy continues to shrink."
System D: Greeks flock to informal work as recession deepens
Underground Activity Accounts for 25 Percent of Israel's Economy
Diggers Pile Up Unsold After Caterpillar Adds Capacity
"Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), Komatsu Ltd. (6301) and other construction-equipment makers have built enough capacity in China to satisfy global demand twice over while sales in the country are falling, according to a research company."
This is what happened to the shipping industry. Shippers ordered many new vessels and built up capacity, then along came the crash of 2008. Now overcapacity languishes around the world. -- RF
Shipping Capacity Predicted to Outpace Demand in 2013
Less profit in sight as Maersk overcapacity hits growth
Europe's Leaders See Growth; Business Prepares for the Worst
The Takeover of the NYSE Signals The Age of Derivatives Over Stocks
Asian Rise in Borrowing Rings Some Alarms
"Asia's economic resilience amid the global slowdown masks a disturbing trend—a swift rise in debt levels across the region as companies and households load up on cheap credit."
Nate Hagens: The end of growth
Why The Manufacturing Jobs Are Not Coming Back
Dubai's recovery on the wing
Banks Pledge Same Gold to Numerous People
Italian steelmaker Lucchini requests receivership
Tiny gold bars latest rage for jittery investors
"Private investors in Switzerland, Austria and Germany are lining up to buy gold bars the size of a credit card that can easily be broken into one gram pieces and used as payment in an emergency."
The 10-Step Plan To End The Era Of Ponzi Finance
Yes, it's a Ponzi scheme. But I don't agree with all these prescriptions. Any realistic remedy must take energy decline into account because expensive energy is killing growth. -- RF

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Alitalia on verge of bankruptcy: report
"ITALIAN airline Alitalia is once more on the verge of bankruptcy as it loses 630,000 euros ($A800,000) a day in addition to the 730 million euro deficit accumulated over four years under private ownership, the Repubblica daily says."
Delta Air Gets 22,000 Applications for 300 Attendant Jobs
Saudi aviation body to allow price rises
S&P says Emirates deal no 'panacea' for Qantas
Air Berlin co-pilots paid near poverty level
Bankrupt airline parts with $23M home
Direct Air demise: What happened to $30 million?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Peak Oil Crisis: Chaos in the Middle East
Diesel-electric subs the weapon of choice in US-China regional war
Violence in Iraq spikes. Are US security interests in jeopardy?
Breadlines and fuel shortages as winter grips Aleppo
US to deploy newest weapons to Asia-Pacific
New wave of radical Israeli settlers digging in for the long haul in the West Bank
Dockworkers prepare for strike
Iraq suspends payment for Kurdistan oil
Taliban bomb kills nine including minister at Pakistan rally

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Canada's First Nations rally shut down shopping malls
Dozens injured in Egypt clashes as police fire tear gas at Morsi supporters and opponents
Rioting spreads in Argentina
Argentina looting spreads to Buenos Aires province
Bahrain protesters demand departure of PM
Slovenian unions drop referendum demand as protesters rally
'Unprecedented' Public Rage Over Gang Rape In India

## Energy/resources ##
PN Bakken: Production slows
Greek schools closing due to lack of heating oil
Why Investors Should Stay Clear of Renewables
I've said again and again that renewables aren't going to save industrial society, and that we aren't going to segue into a Glorious Technological Future powered by wonder gadgets that use no fossil fuels. It's a matter of low energy density, and hence too little bang for the buck. -- RF
Statoil to Invest $7B in U.K. Mariner Heavy Oil Field
China the frontrunner to buy Exxon out of Iraq oil
"China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has emerged as the frontrunner to take over Iraq's West Qurna-1 oilfield from Exxon Mobil, a move that would diminish Western oil influence in Iraq a decade after the U.S.-led invasion."
Swedish nuclear reactor shut after sea water infiltration
A Nuke Reactor Shut Down In Sweden And Two Could Explode In The US
35,000 lose power power in Amador, Calaveras Co. blackout
Annapolis Blackout Power Outage: Watch Video Of Generator Explosion; Mayan Apocalypse?
LPG truckers go on strike, no shortage yet (India)
Fuel truckers warn of shortages on the Refinery's rationing (Dominican Republic)
Byron King's Shocking 2013 Predictions
No money, no honey: No gas supply to power plants without cash (Pakistan)
"The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has categorically said that it will not allow supply of gas to power companies for increasing electricity production, if the firms have no money to make payments for the fuel, officials say."
Russia's Gazprom to buy the whole of Kyrgyzstan's state gas company
Oil marketers ask: who will buy my crude?
"Crude marketers need to convince refiners their oil is worth paying a premium for and to undertake expensive investments to be able to process it."
Burning pipeline fire sign of Nigeria's woes
Blackout in the north for over two hours (Malta)
Iraq Daily Oil Output Exceeds 3.2 Million Barrels
Iraq was going to hit 12 mbpd and become the new Saudi Arabia in a few years. It will never happen. -- RF
Russia clashes over energy with Belarus, Ukraine, EU
Spain Zaps Power Generators With 7% Tax to Curb Deficit
Wind turbines will not last 25 years says new study
"Anti windfarm campaigners in Sutherland say they are not surprised by new research which has found that many costly onshore turbines are wearing out prematurely. Data collated in the UK and Denmark suggests they last between 10 and 15 years – and not the '20 to 25 years' projected by the industry."
There's no such thing as energy independence in our globalized, fossil-fueled world
Is the US coal industry in trouble?
Tribesmen slam govt for 'excessive' load shedding (Pakistan)
Colossal coal crisis in India: South Asia's Energy Irony

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves going to new lows for scrap
"THE theft of metals has become such a profitable crime thieves are tunnelling into reputable scrap metal yards to steal copper and other metals." (UK)
Metal thieves steal 41 lightning rods from parking deck of hospital in Athens (US)

## Got food? ##
Self-Policing of Food Firms Fails, Says Congresswoman With Plan
Stalled farm bill may mean soaring milk prices
Typhoon destroys quarter of Philippine banana crop
Cold snap to hit Florida citrus; freeze warning issued
Genetically engineered salmon moves closer to FDA approval
The new famine is a crisis of undersupply
Hungary bars foreigners from buying farmland
Foreign Buyers Spurn Costly U.S. Corn
McRib: Restructured Meat Technology

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Use Storm Windows to Make Solar Collectors

## Environment/health ##
Ice Sheet Loss at Both Poles Increasing, Study Finds
Bird flu spreads between Chinese pigs
More evidence of nasty flu season ahead
Texas Feral Hog Wrecks Mark Losing Battle With Animals
ERCB finds botched frac job soiled water (Canada)
Dozens die in Ukraine's cold snap
Why are old trees disappearing?
A/C a big life saver
Air conditioning is already straining grids worldwide. I have some bad news for you. -- RF
Six die from norovirus breakout in Japan
Wind debate moves to a new chapter: Noise

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Real-Life Invisibility Cloak Claims to Make Soldiers Virtually Undetectable
Scandal Alert: Congress Is Quietly Abandoning the 5th Amendment

## Systemic breakdown ##
Global warming, peak oil, economic chaos
Almost 1.7 Million Cloud-Related Jobs Went Unfilled in 2012: Estimate

## Japan ##
Bank of Japan Holdings of Japanese Government Bonds Exceeds 100 Trillion Yen for First Time
Crumbling infrastructure: 19 tunnel ceilings to be removed
"Suspended ceiling panels in 19 of 61 road tunnels nationwide with the same structural design as that of the Sasago Tunnel of Chuo Expressway will be removed or are under consideration for removal, according to road administration authorities."
Haneda tunnel panels to be removed
The mighty downfall of Japan's tech giants
Top carmakers' China output tanks
SDF jets scrambled again to Chinese aircraft near Senkakus

## China ##
China accounts for 25% of global luxury spending in 2012
China checks the US picket line
China Pledges Rural Reforms to Boost Incomes, Consumption
Nothing basic will change. One of the building blocks of civilization is the city exploiting the country. -- RF

## UK ##
Christmas food handouts double as millions face 'financial precipice'
Half of London's police stations could be closed
"Nearly half of Scotland Yard's police stations could be closed as the force embarks on savage spending cuts to save £500m."
Charity's insolvency leaves homeless people without support
UK Dash for Shale Natural Gas - A Faustian Bargain
Defence cuts to hit 9,500 Army posts
"Thousands of British soldiers will be told next month that their jobs are at risk as the next wave of Army redundancies is announced."
Possible expansion of road tolls
UK prepares for further flooding as downpours continue
UK Households' Financial Pessimism Rises

## US ##
How The Fiscal Cliff Talks Collapsed
The sinking of "Plan B"; the U.S. "fiscal cliff" disaster of John Boehner
American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals
75 Economic Numbers From 2012 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe
Domestic petroleum demand hits 17-year November low, API says
More than 120,000 without power in US East after storms
Goodbye, Postal Service?
Fed Truncates Non-Performing Loan Data Series; Is the Fed Hiding Something?
By 2032, an $89B gap for infrastructure (New York State)
It's Going To Be A Blue Christmas For Many Retailers According To Google Trends
Crumbling, gridlocked transportation infrastructure needs help
Commentary: Hostess brass get bonuses while workers get pink slips
Under America's neofeudalist system, the aristocracy absorbs all the wealth and worker bees get crumbs. -- RF
A Gauge of Consumer Confidence Hits Five-Month Low

Daily BS: CIA: 'Zero Dark Thirty' not a realistic portrayal of hunt for Osama bin Laden

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