Friday, August 31, 2012

 

News Links, September 1, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Cooling Mine Boom Pressures Australia Budget
"It is getting harder for the government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard to meet a promise to return to a budget surplus this fiscal year, as iron-ore prices plunge and the country's biggest mining company cancels billions of dollars in new projects amid a slowdown in Australia's resources boom."
Korea Industrial Production Slides as Europe Hits Exports
Euro-Area Unemployment at Record 11.3%, Inflation Quickens
Alberta deficit set to triple on slumping oil prices (Canada)
Baltic index slips on weaker capesize and panamax rates
Chinese Investors Snap Up German Industry
Spain creates 'bad bank' for toxic property assets
Catalonia Cut to Junk as Spain Bails Out Bankia, Deficit Swells
Investment CEO sees gold standard return
"Peter Schiff, vocal critic of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, said he  anticipates a currency crisis and a U.S. return to the gold standard within two years."
The Global Infrastructure Investment Deficit
"Booz Allen Hamilton, in a 2007 report, estimated that investment needed to 'modernize obsolescent systems and meet expanding demand' for infrastructure worldwide between 2005 and 2030 was around US$ 41 trillion."
Key Global Events In September Mostly Viewed As Negatives
China, Germany plan to settle more trade in yuan, euros
Asian free-trade bloc aims to be world's biggest

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Growth Slows Again in July
"The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global traffic results for July showing slower growth in both air travel and freight, but with considerable variation by region and market."
Lufthansa cancels 64 flights as strike begins
Lufthansa strike clogs German airport
OLT Express collapse leaves limited gap in the Polish market
Rex profit rises but warns of tough times
American Airlines Further Explores Potential Merger

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Taiwan Signs Yuan Clearing Deal With China, Creates New Rate
Israel under international pressure not to attack Iran alone
"Israel is facing growing international pressure not to attack Iran unilaterally, with the United States in particular making clear its firm opposition to any such strike."
Dempsey: 'I Don't Want to Be Complicit' in Israeli Strike on Iran
"The United States will not be 'complicit' in an Israeli military strike on Iran, America's top military general warned on Thursday, adding that such an attack would not only fail to destroy Iran's nuclear program, but could prompt Iran to reconstitute its weapons programs."
Iran makes little headway on key nuclear equipment
"Iran may have doubled its uranium enrichment capacity in an underground facility but it seems to be struggling to develop more efficient nuclear equipment that would shorten the time it would need for any atom bomb bid, experts say."
U.S. drone strike kills 8 suspected militants: Yemeni officials
No trial needed; you just have to be "suspected" in order to die. -- RF
Russia working on underwater drone

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Occupy Wall Street plans to block NYSE
Thousands join peaceful Bahrain anti-government protest
S.Africa strikes widen, stoke contagion fears
Implats says South Africa labour unrest huge risk

## Energy/resources ##
Europe Distillates-Jet boosted by US supply shortage
Norway's Oil Industry Faces Cost Jump as Finds Lure Explorers
Massive Oil Find in Mexico's Deep Waters
Iron-ore prices slammed again
Asian Crude Oil refining margins: Further supply tailwinds
Oil up to $113, heads for 2nd monthly gain
Power outage disrupts trains (South Africa)
Russia says Iran's nuclear power plant fully operational
Obama seeks new fossil fuel source: methane hydrates
Japan too has great hopes for methane hydrates, but it's unlikely they are economically viable. -- RF
Germany, Italy stay opposed to IEA oil release

## Got food? ##
Long, hot summer sends food prices soaring
Western Alaska food crisis: Subsistence fish shortages leave families without enough to eat
Biofuel crops transform German farming
"The shepherds of Germany are worried. There are still about 2,000 of them tending sheep on grasslands, plying their ancient trade and defying time and the intrusions of modernity."
Wheat scientists seek to slow crop fungus in Africa, Asia
Cuba growing less food than 5 years ago despite agriculture reforms
Global maple syrup reserve theft poses threat to pancake breakfasts

## Environment/health ##
'Spineless' animals under threat of extinction
Huge wildfire reaches Marbella in southern Spain
New phlebovirus detected in Missouri (US)
"The first phlebovirus found to cause illness in humans in the Western Hemisphere was discovered due to two severely sick farmers, U.S. researchers say."
1st death linked to new swine flu is Ohioan (US)

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Pentagon may sue author of Bin Laden book No Easy Day
Don't you dare contradict our BS with your BS. -- RF
Life "Unplugged" May Actually Make You Happier
Take it from me: Not having a cellphone is nice. -- RF
The Pirate Bay hit by DDoS attack on Wednesday, problems continue

## Systemic breakdown ##
Serious shortage of skilled auto mechanics looms (US)
Oil industry pay still rising worldwide
"Oil workers are enjoying strong growth in pay thanks in particular to a shortage of the most experienced engineers, a trend that shows no sign of easing."

## Japan ##
Gov't plans for spending cuts if money supply runs out
"The Japanese government laid out plans on Friday to suspend some state spending as it could run out of cash by October, with a deficit financing bill blocked by opposition parties trying to force Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda into an early election."
Japan Public Pension Fund Suffers $26 Billion Loss
Japan Manufacturing PMI Hits 16 Month Low, New Orders Plunge
Japan's industrial output resumes slide
"Japanese industrial production resumed its slide, falling 1.2 percent in July from June amid slumping global demand, the government said Friday. It's a disappointing sign for the world's third-biggest economy and suggests that any sort of recovery is sputtering."
Deflation Deepens as Japan Contraction Risk Intensifies: Economy
Weak Industrial Output Bodes Ill for Japan
Nomura plans $1B cost cutting next fiscal year
TEPCO rate hike for households goes into effect
"Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) on Saturday implemented a hike household electricity bills by 8.47%."

## China ##
Dark clouds gather over China's once-booming solar industry
"China's push into solar energy was supposed to be a proud example of how the country was advancing into hi-tech manufacturing. But now the whole sector is on the brink of bankruptcy."
China steel overproduction and lower prices to persist - Fitch
China to invest in EU bonds if risks controlled: Wen Jiabao
'China may sell cottton reserves next week to cool local prices'
China's Art Bubble May Be Popping

## UK ##
Squatting set to become a criminal offence
"Squatting in a residential building in England and Wales becomes a criminal offence on Saturday, meaning squatters would face jail or a fine."

## US ##
Majority of New Jobs Pay Low Wages, Study Finds
Our Low-Wage Recovery: How McJobs Have Replaced Middle Class Jobs
125 Harvard students investigated for cheating
Higher CAFE Standards: "There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch"
TSA agents swarm Ron Paul's plane, demand explosives check
Chart Of The Day: With All Of QE3 Priced In, The Only Way Is Down Should Bernanke Disappoint
Isaac prompts loan from petroleum reserve
Obama Marks End Of Combat Mission In Iraq
Romney's energy plan follows the money
August Gasoline Prices at Seven-year High
Monetary Policy Has Reached a Dead End: Gross
'QE3' is necessary, Bernanke suggests


Thursday, August 30, 2012

 

News Links, August 31, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurozone Retail Sales Decline 15th Month, Plunge Led by Italy, France; German Sales Contract Slightly
Rajoy Seeks Support for Spain Debt as Regions Line Up for Aid
"The Spanish region of Murcia became the third to say it will need emergency loans, and Valencia signaled it needs funds to cover current and past overspending, adding fiscal pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy."
Spanish towns in hock as banks cope with $250B in bad loans
Inflation adds to Spanish woes with jump to 2.7 per cent
Stocks Drop With Euro as Spain Delays Bailout Decision
German Unemployment Rises for a Fifth Month Amid Crisis
Germany Is Cornered
Egypt's Central Bank sells 513 mn euros of T-bills
Brazil Cuts Rate Again, Hints Easing Cycle May be Over
Daewoo Shipbuilding 2Q Net Falls 33% on Lower Ship Prices
German shipbuilder P+S files for insolvency
Beware, Asia: 'Lost Decade' of trade coming
The "Pauperization of Europe"
"It started on Monday. 'Poverty is returning to Europe,' said Jan Zijderveld, head of Unilever's European operations, in an interview. The British–Dutch consumer products company, third largest in the world, was adjusting its commercial strategy to this new reality, he said, by redeploying to Europe what worked in poor countries of the developing world. Now the stars of the industry are affirming it. 'The logic of pauperization,' L'Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon called it on Wednesday."
Eco-commune flourishes as Greek economy withers
"With Greece's economy in freefall, nearly one in four out of work and the desperate jobless turning to the land to survive, the group's focus on growing their own produce and cutting down their reliance on money and a bankrupt state suddenly make practical sense to many Greeks - and some are now turning to the vegan commune for advice."
I have previously noted that Greece is a bellwether, and that we should be learning from the Greeks. We have learned philosophy from them, and now it is how to survive as industrial civilization crumbles. -- RF
France to Hire 150,000 Subsidized Workers With Zero Qualifications; Why Stop There?
The Gold Standard gets another look
Property prices fall by 13.6% (Ireland)
Everyone Is Ignoring A Sign Of US Economic Decline We Haven't Seen In 60 Years
Moody's cuts growth view for emerging economies
"Moody's Investors Service on Thursday downwardly revised growth forecasts for Group of 20 emerging economies, citing a troubled external environment and weaker domestic demand."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Asian airlines lose share as global traffic slows
United Airlines says equipment failure caused delays
Twin Cities getting hit by Delta Air Lines cuts
A4A: US airlines revenue up 8%, reports USD1.1bn net loss in 1H2012
How Many Dreamliners Does Boeing Have To Deliver To Turn a Profit?
Can Berlin be a real startup hub without a real airport?
China Eastern Profit Tumbles 65% on Fuel Costs, Currency
Air China experiences a worsening of its financial results in half year 2012

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US Preparing for a Post-Israel Middle East?
Beijing to issue 'three nos' to Japan over Diaoyutais
Iran doubles underground nuclear capacity: U.N. agency
Iraq Kurds ready for talks over crisis, oil: deputy PM
Marseille calls for army as drug killings escalate
The American Onslaught Against International Law
Uzbekistan Lawmakers Ban Foreign Military Bases
Five Australian Troops Killed by Afghan Trainees

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
TDP intensifies protest against Andhra Pradesh power shortage
Fewer than 7 pct of Lonmin workers reports for duty

## Energy/resources ##
Massive blackout hits Karachi
In Isaac's Wake, the Bayou Blackout: 900,000 Without Power as Storm Moves Inland
Restart date unclear for Venezuela refinery hit by blast
South Africa: mine unrest to affect potential investment
Gazprom Postpones Development of Shtokman Field
"Russian state-controlled gas company OAO Gazprom has indefinitely postponed development of its giant Shtokman gas field, the latest delay to its yearslong efforts to tap the Arctic field with France's Total SA and Norway's Statoil ASA."
Barclays' Brent Crude Oil forecast for 2013 is $125/bl; $180/bl by 2020
Oil Giants Pour Billions Into Bakken Shale
"The wells here, which use the hydraulic fracturing or 'hydrofracking' technology, cost about $8.5 million on average to drill and complete, with break-even pricing linked to market prices at $55 to $70 per barrel."
Sri Lanka increases hydropower generation; power cuts to remain
Israel to export gas, but domestic use comes first
Italians Squeezed by $9.50-a-Gallon Gas Face Costly Drive Home
U.S. Gasoline a Bargain as Drivers Pay 63% Less Than Norway
S.Sudan could take 6 months to resume oil output
Yellowknife has dozens of power failures this year (Canada)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable crooks cut off 400 telephone lines
Wire and Metal Thefts From City Light Poles Continue to Plague Redlands

## Got food? ##
U.S. soybeans hit record high as demand remains firm
The U.S. Drought Is Hitting Harder Than Most Realize
World food prices jumped 10 percent in July: World Bank
"World food prices jumped 10 percent in July as drought parched crop lands in the United States and Eastern Europe, the World Bank said in a statement urging governments to shore up programs that protect their most vulnerable populations."
North Korea may be facing new food crisis: aid worker
6 New GMO Crops that May Soon Hit Your Dinner Table
Introducing Microgreens: Younger, And Maybe More Nutritious, Vegetables

## Environment/health ##
Steel pollution case highlights Italy's slow decline
Drug resistant tuberculosis found across the world

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
U.S. is the Worst Police State in the World – By the Numbers
US-Mexico border: Efforts to build a virtual wall
Researchers grow cyborg tissues with embedded nanoelectronics
Correspondence and collusion between the New York Times and the CIA

## Systemic breakdown ##
Network defect behind DoCoMo international woes

## Japan ##
Despite European Union bans, Japan imports Iranian oil
Japanese majority favor zero nuclear power
Nippon Steel, Sumitomo Expect Big Losses Before Merger
Cheap Chinese steel threatens Japan mills: report
Nuke plants on faults may get OK to stay online
Anti-nuclear protests signal new activism in Japan
New farmers up 6.5% in 2011; 1st rise in 2 years

## China ##
ICBC's Profit Growth Slows as Overdue Loans Rise for China Banks
Exclusive: China considers downgrading domestic security tsar in next line-up
Carlyle China Partner Fosun International Says 1st-Half Profit Fell By 54%
China's Stocks Head for Fourth Monthly Loss as Earnings Falter
China Sunergy Q2 loss widens as sales decline
Chinese shipping firms' losses widen in H1
Debt Cloud Hangs Over Chinese Solar Industry
Modern China: A tale of luxury villas and displaced villagers
China's Wen says global crisis worsening
Fukushima to expand forest areas for radiation decontamination

## UK ##
Pet cats turn feral, grow to 4ft and stalk countyside, claims professor
The skies open up for large civilian drones
Summer 'wettest in 100 years', Met Office figures show
Butterflies 'more endangered than tigers'
"Bumblebees, beetles and butterflies are at greater risk of extinction than lions and tigers, according to a global study by the Zoological Society of London."

## US ##
Consumer Comfort in U.S. Hovered Last Week Near Seven-Month Low
Ohio drivers zapped at the pump by Isaac
GM Temporarily Halts Volt Production over Low Sales
'Real' Homeownership Rate at Nearly 50-Year Low
Behind the New View of Globalization
Dow Falls to 4-Week Low
As Bank Profits Plunged In 2011, Banker Bonuses... Rose
Governor Brown Admits the Obvious "We Have Lived Beyond Our Means"; Brown Agrees  to Vast Overhaul of the California's Pension System; Unions Howl Over Obvious Truth
Student-Loan Debt Rises to $914 Billion in 2nd Quarter
More Utilities Dragged Into Smart Meter Firestorm
More Pain to Come for Facebook
Debtors' Prison Is Back -- and Just as Cruel as Ever


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

 

News Links, August 30, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Australia: Running Out of Luck Down Under (PDF)
A New Run On The Banks? Spaniards Pulling Cash Out At Record Rates
Capital Flight in Spain Hits 15-Year High
Danish Economy Shrinks More Than Estimated as Spending Drops
Italy's Austerity Leads to Ferrari Sell-Off
Abandoned Jag, BMWs and Mercedes Gather Dust at Abu Dhabi Airport
Serbia's Army of Jobless Swells as Milosevic-Era Leaders Return
Three multinational retail giants face problems in China
Heavy Shipping Poised for Takeovers as Financing Fades: Freight
Dubai's DP World reports flat H1 profits

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Lufthansa staff to go on strike
"Loss-making Lufthansa has said it will cut 3,500 jobs."
United Hit by Outage
"United Airlines was hit by widespread computer-network problems on Tuesday that caused hundreds of flight delays at airports around the world, the latest in a series of glitches to affect the world's largest carrier."
Southwest jets make emergency landings
"Problems with smoke and cabin pressure forced two Southwest Airlines jets to make emergency landings at the airport in Oakland, Calif., the airline said."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Egypt broadens Sinai campaign against militants
"Egypt's military said on Wednesday it would broaden its offensive against militants in the Sinai Peninsula, a campaign that has raised concerns in Israel about the movement of heavy armour into the area near its border."
Yemen says Saudi Arabia to donate $1 billion to support currency
U.S. increases drug monitoring in Guatemalan, Honduran waters: official
"The United States military is ramping up anti-drug trafficking efforts in Guatemalan and Honduran waters to keep up with shifting smuggling routes, a top U.S. military official told Reuters on Wednesday."
Why Everybody's Going To War in the Middle East (Daily Bell)
How Iran could get carte blanche in the Middle East — without a nuclear weapon
Mexico Shooting Highlights U.S. Role in Drug War
NATO Mulls Another Afghan Surge for 'Drawdown'
Drones take South China Sea plunge

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Montreal police arrest 11 after university clash
Kenya violence: New attacks in riot-hit Mombasa
Protesting Italian miner slashes wrist on television

## Energy/resources ##
China rare earth industry being squeezed from all sides
Fuel prices rise again, with more to come (Vietnam)
CNOOC Offers up Oil and Gas Blocks Near Disputed Waters
Petrobras plans offshore oil refinery
High oil prices concern G7
Doug Casey Uncovers the Real Price of Peak Oil
Chinese Firm Files for Approval to Buy Canadian Oil & Gas Company

## Got food? ##
The farmers' hell after the heavens opened
"The agriculture industry has paid the price for one of the wettest summers on record. Now it's our turn"
Soybean Worries Spur Asian Buying

## Environment/health ##
Officials: Hurricane Isaac's storm surge overtops levee, sends 12-foot flood into La. homes
Manhattan to be sprayed with pesticides to fight West Nile virus
Antarctic may host methane stores

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Cyber spying expands in Iran after operation is blown: researchers

## Japan ##
As gasoline stations shut down, will 2013 see a fuel crisis?
Cosmo Oil to close Sakaide refinery due to low demand
Japan's 2 Largest Aluminum Makers Agree To Merge In '13
Concerns over halt in fishing shipments after cesium found in cod off Aomori

## China ##
China Retailers Lose Steam, Deepening Wen's Challenges
No end in sight for China's economic decline: analysts
Mauling in the Chinese steel market throws up gory prophecies
AgBank Sees Stern Challenges Ahead
China's Stocks Drop to 2009 Low as Air China Profit Falls
Maersk Sees Challenges to China's Export Sector

## US ##
Growth is dead in US
Bank Of America Hasn't Modified Any Mortgages, As It Had Agreed To
We Don't Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena
Half of Americans die with almost no money

And finally… Spider Venom Viagra?


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

 

News Links, August 29, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spanish Recession Deepens as Austerity Undermines Outlook
Counter Revolt In Germany: Gagging "Hardliners" As the Economy Tanks And Future Exports Drop Into The Red Zone
Anti-EU, Anti-Brussels Sentiment Rises in Netherlands; Don't Expect Much From a "Merkollande" Summit
The Global Demise of Pension Plans
I've said again and again that pension programs are doomed because they are part of the global Ponzi economy, and because they themselves are Ponzi schemes. Read it and weep. -- RF
Spain's Flat Spin Continues as GDP Falls
EU market grapples for recovery amidst despair
Fonterra cuts 2012/13 payout forecast on strong NZD
Central Banks Digging a Deeper Hole

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Latvia looks to sell up to 50% of airBaltic
Air China H1 net dives 77 percent on fuel, forex charges
European airlines scramble to get their numbers right
Lufthansa talks with cabin crew union collapse
Budget airlines charge huge mark-ups for food, survey finds
"Budget airlines are charging passengers mark-ups of up to 1,000 per cent for water and snacks mid-flight, research by TravelSupermarket.com has found."
Delays flying into Heathrow are the worst in Europe

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Reports: Egypt wouldn't fire on Iran ship
"Egypt's Navy refused a U.S. request to fire on an Iranian weapons ship heading for violence-torn Syria through the Suez Canal, al-Arabiya reported."
US urges African air forces to form NATO-style ties
"The United States urged African nations on Tuesday to pool their air force assets in a NATO-style effort to take on terrorists and international criminals rather than struggle to fund costly independent operations."
Iran said to supply Syria with elite force
US surrounding China with military exercises: Chinese analyst
Analysis: China's aircraft carrier: in name only
Syria FM: US Is Major Player in Civil War
Israel's First Drone Strike Inside Egyptian Territory Kills Sinai Bedouin

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Two Tibetan teenagers die in self-immolations
Only 8 percent of Lonmin workers report for shifts
Kenya riots carry into 2nd day as youths protesting killing of Islamic preacher

## Energy/resources ##
G-7 Countries Call for Increased Oil Output to Meet Demand
Russia power cut-off highlights risky dependency
"The surprise shutdown on August 20 of a major Russian power line, which sent spot electricity prices in some Baltic regions spiking, has highlighted the problems of those countries' dependence on their eastern neighbour for so much of their electricity supplies."
Kurdistan warns Baghdad it will halt oil exports again
Statoil to sink cash into new technology
"Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was investing in long-term innovation strategies to meet production benchmarks for 2020."
Venezuela fire sparks energy concerns
Offshore-Rig Builders Thrive in New Era
Don't Worry, There's Plenty of Oil (Richard Heinberg)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal Thieves Snatching Whatcom's Power Lines (US)
Open season for metal manhole covers (Malaysia)

## Got food? ##
India Wheat futures rise as mills face shortage
"Despite record harvest of wheat from Punjab and Haryana this year,wheat mills and food producers like biscuit makers are facing severe shortage of wheat , according to mill owners."
China Frets Over Coming Pork Shortage
Poor in India Starve as Politicians Steal $14.5 Billion of Food
Drought Crop Update: From Harsh Expectations To Harsher Reality
Statoil Steps up Arctic Activities

## Environment/health ##
Fracking: Methane Making An Appearance In Pa. Water Supplies
It's Time to Ban Dangerous Neonicotinoid Pesticides

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
Cyber security incidents rarely reported: EU agency
"Most cyber security incidents are often not reported or detected even though they can affect millions of citizens  and businesses, the EU's cyber security agency ENISA warned in a new report published today (27 August)."
PEN Canada deeply concerned about 'blunt attempts at censorship'
Homeland Security campaign expands to sports
"The Department of Homeland Security is urging fans at professional sports events to help keep the country safe by reporting anything suspicious they see."

## Systemic breakdown ##
Can we rely on our power grid?
"'This is really the fundamental linchpin for everything in our society, our economy, our quality of life,' said Massoud Amin, a University of Minnesota professor and longtime electric industry analyst and consultant. 'By deferring infrastructure upgrades, we are basically increasing the risk for the whole system.'"
America's Crumbling Infrastructure (Infographic)

## Japan ##
Japan cuts economic assessment for 1st time in 10 months
Environment Ministry declares Japanese river otter extinct
Sharp seeks 2,000 early retirements under its turnaround plan
Company town at the Sharp end of Japan's decline

## China ##
China's 'Non-Performing Loan' Nightmare
Guangzhou Auto, A China Partner Of Honda And Toyota, Says 1st-Half Profit Fell 15%
Three reasons why China wants citizens to own Precious Metals
Andy Xie: China's investment rate set to halve
China's mega coal power bases exacerbate water crisis – in pictures

## UK ##
End of welfare culture as young must work unpaid before claiming benefits
"Young people will have to complete three months of work experience before they can claim unemployment benefits under Government plans to end the 'something for nothing' welfare culture."

## US ##
Unfinished town in Fla. left in limbo
"Connerton is one of the places where the early 21st-century building boom went bust and America's suburban frontier stopped in its tracts."
108,000 DoD Civilians Would Lose Jobs Under Sequestration: Report
Diesel and Gasoline Prices Continue to Increase
When Channel-Stuffing Comes Home? GM 'Idles' Volt Production (Again)
GM's dead Volt?
It Is Not Just Your Imagination – American Families ARE Getting Poorer
Government Spending as Percentage of GDP
Downtown Mpls. Becomes Black Hawk Helicopter Training Zone
$16 trillion in the hole
Huge Miss: Consumer Confidence Plunges To 60.6
Utilities Face Hurricane Blackouts

And finally… Man leaves ID behind after robbing gas station


 

News Links, August 28, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Billabong to shutter shops as it posts a $275.6m loss (Australia)
German Business Confidence Falls
Spain Expects to Tap About $75 Billion in Rescue Financing for Its Banks
Budget cuts leave Spanish fire crews high and dry
S.Africa bailout loan to Swaziland to start in Sept
Vietnam Industrial Production at Slowest Pace Since January
Shipper China Cosco Faces a Sea of Red
Australia's resource boom on last leg?
Yuan tipped to replace U.S. dollar, Euro in southeast Asia
China's Debt Problem

## Airline Death Spiral ##
HK Airlines ambitions hit turbulence
Pressure on Qantas to trim fuel bill
United Airlines to Offer Smaller Seats
Congo's new airlines brave riskiest African skies
AMR Profitable in Bankruptcy

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
North Korea on the Nile
"Reports that Egypt's oil suppliers are cutting shipments to the nearly-bankrupt nation coincide with a dramatic diplomatic shift towards Iran by President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi's attendance at the Non-Aligned Summit in Teheran today denotes the end of Iran's diplomatic isolation in the Sunni Arab world."
Car carrying Japan ambassador to China attacked: agency
"A man attacked the car carrying the Japanese ambassador in Beijing on Monday and ripped off the Japanese flag flying on the vehicle, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported, amid escalating tensions that led to the biggest anti-Japan protests in years."
Gaza 'will not be liveable by 2020' - UN report
Muppet urges Israelis to prepare for possible emergency
"The Israeli muppet on the cover of a new, emergency pamphlet being distributed nationwide puts a happy face on some grim warnings in a country preparing for possible war with Iran."
Global small arms trade doubles in six years-survey
With $66.3 Billion In Agreements, U.S. Arms Sales Break Record In 2011
Chinese microblogging post says China listed Senkaku Islands as Japanese territory
"A post on the popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo has stated that China formerly listed the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands as Japanese territory, providing data to support the claim."
Ishihara's Senkaku survey request gets thumbs-down (Japan)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Occupy Hong Kong activists stay put, ignore eviction deadline
"Members of the Occupy Hong Kong movement refused to leave the open-air plaza beneath HSBC bank's Asian headquarters on Monday when a court deadline passed, and the bank said it would now get the court's permission to remove them."
Labour strife returns in S.Africa's platinum belt
Sardinian miners barricade themselves underground in protest
Riots hit Kenya after Muslim cleric shot dead
Oil labor row stalled in Norway

## Energy/resources ##
Alaska pursuing unconventional shale oil development to fill its pipeline
Peak cheap oil is an incontrovertible fact
Israel Reaches Out to US for Oil and Gas Development
Oil Rises as Isaac Shuts Output; Gasoline Gains on Refinery Fire
Mining majors cut curtail expansion on gloomy outlook
Petroleum Ministry raises diesel quota for electricity stations (Egypt)
Mindanao power crisis (Philippines)
Fire shuts Iraqi crude oil pipeline to Turkey
Venezuela refinery blaze spreads, fuel prices jump
Brazil's gasoline imports to rise
"Brazil's gasoline imports will rise a minimum of 354 percent by 2020 due to falling sugar-cane ethanol production, the media reported, citing a government study."
Will the U.S. Run Out of Oil in 8 Years?
Let's be clear about this. We will never run out of oil. But we will run out of affordable oil. It's all a matter of quality, not quantity. And by the way, those "new" technologies aren't new. -- RF
10 most expensive energy projects in the world
Gulf Oil Production About 80% Shut-In Due to TS/Hurricane Isaac
Risk of water wars rises with scarcity
"Almost half of humanity will face water scarcity by 2030 and strategists from Israel to Central Asia prepare for strife."

## Got food? ##
Gardeners using coffee granules to deter slugs breaking EU law – RHS
But it's OK to dump poisonous chemicals on your food. Go figure. -- RF
Scientists warn food shortages could turn us all into vegetarians
GMO Corn Worsens Drought Damage with Rootworm Outbreak

## Environment/health ##
Good News From The Bad Drought: Gulf 'Dead Zone' Smallest In Years, Says Texas A&M Expert
Arctic sea ice at lowest ever recorded
China wrestles with acid rain threat

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
World's largest oil producer falls victim to 30K workstation attack
Saudi Aramco oil giant recovers from virus attack
The Courts Will Soon Decide If Police Can Sample Your DNA Without A Warrant (US)

## Systemic breakdown ##
Luzinterruptus Creates Stunning Light Installations To Call Attention To Urban Decay
The army of glowing radioactivity suits is disturbingly eerie. -- RF
South Africa 'in the grip of increasing lawlessness'

## Japan ##
Japan regulators seek more bailout powers: report
"Japanese regulators are seeking a mandate to bail out insolvant brokerages and insurance companies if needed, in addition to existing powers to save banks and bank holding companies, the Nikkei business daily reported Tuesday."
Japan Contraction Risk Rises on Faltering Global Demand: Economy
Gamma rays from Fukushima rubble worse than radioactive cesium coming from plant, say officials
Japan firms want nuclear power exit
Huge solar power plants spring up in idle industrial complexes
The idle industrial complexes should be the focus here. -- RF
Japan Post proposes reduced working hours and operations
Defense Ministry quietly begins providing assistance to military forces overseas

## China ##
Guangdong's Dongguang city facing severe financial difficulties
China industrial firms see profits dip as economy slows
'China may clock 50% of global oil demand growth in 2013'
Chinese Snap Up Bordeaux Vineyards
Sinopec Petrochem Records 1H Loss - Analyst Blog
"Struggle Of The Ant Tribe" - China's Broken Dreams

## UK ##
Private school fees 'soar at twice the rate of inflation'
"Thousands of middle-class families have been priced out of private education after school fees soared by more than twice the rate of inflation in a decade, according to research."

## US ##
U.S. Debt On Track to Hit $16 Trillion Within Week
Dipping into US Strategic Oil Reserves: A Speculator's Bonanza
"America has a 696-million barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve stored away in underground salt caverns in two US states, Texas and Louisiana, in the event of an energy supply emergency. It may sound like a lot, but when you consider that the US imports over 300 million barrels of oil and petroleum products monthly, the buried reserves are meager."
Gritty N.J. city of Camden to scrap police department amid budget woes
Municipal Bond Defaults are Higher Than Reported
"Credit rating agencies have been mis-reporting the true statistics on muni bond defaults, giving bond investors a false sense of security."
How Many Times Can the Fed Play this Hand?
"Most of the money the Fed created has gone to banks and 'leaked' out to major funds at the expense of depositors. Thus, steal wealth from the serfs to keep the too-big-to-fail banks in business. How do you feel knowing you're paying the bonuses for the likes of Jamie Dimon, at JPMorgan and Lloyd Blankfein, head of Goldman Sachs?"
Neil Armstrong had little confidence in privatized space travel
Which telescopes could lose out in astronomy's big budget crunch?
FBI to Share Facial Recognition Software with States
Social Security's Woes Are Worse Than You Think
Food Stamp Usage up 64% in Last Four Years, Cost up 114% in Same Period; SNAP Charts, Facts and Figures
Back to School: Schools Pass the Hat...And Parents Feel the Crunch


Sunday, August 26, 2012

 

News Links, August 27, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Dutch Premier Rutte Defends Austerity, Says No to More Greek Aid
Kuwaiti investment firms to bite debt bullet
'A return to Gold Standard may trigger $10,000/ounce Gold rally'
Singapore Sees Taxes Rising on Social Spending as Nation Ages
Hedge funds are betting on disaster

## Airline Death Spiral ##
World's legacy airlines come under pressure
Sharp fall in profits at Air NZ expected

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Mexican gangs block roads, torch vehicles in western Mexico
"Armed gangs blocked highways throughout Guadalajara, Mexico's second biggest city, on Saturday and vehicles were set on fire amid a surge in drug-war violence."
Eleven corpses turn up along highway in southwestern Mexico
34 American nations back Ecuador in UK diplomatic spat
Brazil's defense industry booms
U.N.: Chinese weapons plentiful in Africa
U.S. AFRICOM Commander Welcomes Regionally Aligned Brigade Focused on Africa
U.S. Arms Sales Top $66 Billion In 2011
The War in the Shadows (Chris Hedges)
No Permanent U.S. Bases in Australia, Aussie FM Says

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Petrol bombs thrown at Bahrain police station
Scattered anti-Japan protests held in China
Thousands demonstrate in Egypt in first sizable protest against Morsi regime

## Energy/resources ##
South Korean refiners in 'emergency' mode after earnings tumble
"South Korean oil refiners are in 'emergency' mode and tightening their belts after their earnings tumbled in the quarter ended June 30, but with uncertainty in the global outlook lingering and their home market saturated, their hoped-for recovery in the current quarter is not guaranteed."
Iron ore price slide will continue - Experts
Power breakdown at pumping stations causes water shortage
"The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has advised the citizens to conserve water and use it with caution after over 160 million gallons of water could not be supplied to the city due to a power breakdown at its Dhabeji, Gharo and Pipri pumping stations."
Hike diesel prices to save oil companies, says Crisil (India)
Fires continue to burn at Venezuela's Amuay refinery
Venezuela: refinery to restart in two days after fire
Merkel's Other Crisis Spurs German Quest for Energy Holy Grail

## Got food? ##
U.S. Crop Tour Draws Global Crowd
"The dozens of investors and analysts who descend on the U.S. heartland for a closely watched crop tour each year are fed down-home meat and potatoes at small-town cafes and hotel buffets. But the tour is gaining more of an international flavor."

## Environment/health ##
Why the Lakes are slowly getting less Great
Niger floods cause widespread devastation
Drought-hit Serbian town of Valjevo prays for rain

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
LEAKED! TPP: the Son of ACTA will oblige America and other countries to throw out privacy, free speech and due process for easier copyright enforcement

## Japan ##
U.S.-Japan Security Alliance Is Obsolete Leaving Japan Caught between China and the U.S. in a New Asian Order
Minivehicle ownership at record high
Bill to sell debt approved by Lower House committee
"A Lower House panel approved a bill Friday that will allow the issuance of deficit-covering bonds this current fiscal year, taking a step toward averting a situation in which the government runs out of operating money."

## China ##
OMG, China's Manufacturing Is Crashing
Maanshan Iron & Steel loses CNY 1 billion in H1
More property curbs expected

## UK ##
Soaring costs 'will leave families £200 worse off'
"Families will see modest pay rises wiped out by sharp increases in energy bills, mortgages and petrol costs, one of the country's biggest investment banks has warned."
Britain's lakes and canals hit by toxic algae

## US ##
Authorities: 2 dead, 1 wounded in Chatham shooting
You Are Drinking What?
"With water in short supply across the country, it's time to take a serious look at recycling sewage"
GM Seeks Bigger Credit Line To Shrink Pension Obligations; Déjà Vu Pension Woes
Scholarships are in decline as tuition soars
Damage Estimates For Isaac Raised To $36 Billion
The Rot Runs Deep 1: The Federal Reserve Is a Parasitic Wealth Transfer Machine (first in a series)
I have long held that a neofeudalistic system is developing in the US, and this article describes in part how it is proceeding. -- RF


Saturday, August 25, 2012

 

News Links, August 26, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Standard & Poor's downgrades outlook for HSBC
Spain delays 'bad bank' legislation required for bailout
Home Sellers Get Realistic in Australia; Mining Companies Going Bust in Record Numbers; Australia Headed for Disaster Zone
Italians cut back on espresso

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China conducts third long-range missile test in a month
Iran drawing India closer with talks on train, road access to Afghanistan
From Bug Drones to Disease Assassins, Super Weapons Rule U.S. War Game
Pakistan's black marketers cheer reopening of NATO supply lines
US might add missile defense radar on southern Japan island
Syrian Envoy: Syria Capable of Destroying Israeli Nuclear Sites With 20 Missiles

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Anti-Japan protesters march in Chinese city

## Energy/resources ##
World oil supply tightens in last 2 months: EIA
PetroChina Seeks Acquisitions in Central Asia, E. Africa, Australia, Canada
Global O&G Capex to Exceed $1 Trillion
Viet Nam seeks nuclear power infrastructure
Malawians to brace for more power outages – Escom
Venezuela is importing oil despite having world's largest reserve
"Venezuela, a country that boasts of having the largest oil reserves in the world, is facing an acute scarcity of gasoline due to deterioration of its refinery system, and the huge volume of fuel being smuggled out of the country."
GCL-Poly Posts First Loss Since 2009 as Wafer Sales Decline

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Brazen thieves cutting wires from live circuits

## Got food? ##
Russia to cut its wheat export amid global food crisis
Guerrilla Gardening In Provo City, Utah
A Better Rainwater-Harvesting System
Breakfast in America: The Real Cost of Corn

## Environment/health ##
DIY: Drive the pests away with homemade bug spray
West Nile hits home: Cities boost spraying efforts
Burma floods leave 85,000 homeless in Irrawaddy Delta
Serb villages evacuated, wildfires rage unabated

## Intelligence/security/internet ##
U.S. general: We hacked the enemy in Afghanistan
Stellar Wind: Domestic spying in the US
California approves Location Privacy Act: 'Get a warrant'
Internet black hats cast shadow in China
"China's illicit internet economy is growing at such a rate it will inevitably have a hugely adverse impact on the country's entire economy."

## Systemic breakdown ##
Drug shortage puts strain on pharmacies (Canada)

## Japan ##
Economic downgrade expected
"The government will probably downgrade the economy for the first time in 10 months in its August report as exports and production fell amid the decelerating global economy, sources said Saturday."
Looking at Japan's Government Bonds, We See the Land of the Setting Sun
METI to demand budget money for hydrogen supply system for fuel-cell vehicles
Waste of money. -- RF
Japan medical expenses hit new high of 37.8 tril. yen in FY 2011
Rolling blackouts this summer averted by public power-saving efforts
Public pressure forces gov't to consider phasing out nuclear power
Ministry to amend law to bury nuclear waste without reprocessing
"The industry ministry plans to amend legislation to allow for 'direct disposal' of spent nuclear fuel, a move away from the nation's problem-plagued goal of creating a full nuclear fuel cycle, sources said."

## China ##
Chinese economy poised to sink below 2008 depths
Missing the boat: Chinese shipyards losing orders
China enters unfamiliar economic territory with rising inventory
Exposing China's vast underground economy

## UK ##
Gardeners urged to plant wildflowers
Third power cut in 10 days hits homes and businesses

## US ##
GM Wants to Up Credit Line
"General Motors Co. is in preliminary talks with banks to potentially double its $5 billion line of credit as the auto maker looks to strengthen its balance sheet and shrink pension obligations, according to people with knowledge of the discussions."
Businesses Rein In Big-Ticket Spending
Orders for U.S. Capital Goods Decrease by Most Since November
Was The NYPD Responsible For 10 Of The 11 People Shot Yesterday?
Tropical Storm Isaac Damage May Reach $27 Billion


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