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'

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