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

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