Sunday, January 13, 2013


News Links, January 12-14, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
India's April-December trade deficit shoots up to over $147 billion
Michael Pento Sees Global Economies Deteriorating
Trade deficits unexpectedly balloon in Canada and U.S.
Greece raises income tax rates
"The Greek parliament has approved higher tax rates on lower and higher incomes to comply with terms of its international bailout."
Americans feel austerity's bite as payroll taxes rise
Falling yen means a growing bubble for Asian credit
Shipping industry going through challenging times for 2-3 years: BK Mandal, SCI
South Africa Braces for Possible Mine-Job Cuts
France, the Hidden Zombie in Europe
UBS Retreat Plotted at Castle as Credit Suisse Cuts Costs
Banks see gloom on economy (Australia)
Peru's Central Bank to Keep Intervening to Buy U.S. Dollars as Needed
Euro Leaders Declaring Worst Is Over Turn to Economy Woes
Phew! What a relief! The recovery is finally here. -- RF
Shipping black spots across Asia
"'Fatigue, economic pressures, and inadequate training are causes for concern,' he said. 'For some commercial ship owners, especially in the hard-pressed bulk cargo and tanker sectors, there is little money for maintenance and little money for training.'"

## Airline Death Spiral ##
The last great American airline merger…and the last great American airline bankruptcy?
"THE bankruptcy courts in America have had to restructure distressed airlines so often that they may as well have installed check-in desks and duty-free shops. Of surviving carriers, US Airways has been through Chapter 11 proceedings twice, and United and Delta once each."
Four largest U.S. carriers cut capacity in 2012
Now, cracks appear in cockpit window of Dreamliner
JAL's grounded Boeing Dreamliner leaks fuel in tests
Japan's Airlines Most at Risk in Dreamliner Saga
U.S. launches safety review of 787 after recent issues
Saudia is long dead and buried
Williams: Nigerian Airlines Need Mergers to Survive
Boeing downsizing El Paso operations
Passengers could face congestion charge at Gatwick and Heathrow
Flying? Your plane won't be the only thing going up in 2013
Potential Airline Merger Could Mean Higher Prices
Jetstar passengers trapped in Hawaii
China Airlines and EVA Air respond to massive change in Taiwan – but the foreign LCCs are coming
OMG! Elite United Passengers Board With Masses

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Palestinians pitch tents on land Israel plans for settlers
China sends troops to border with conflict-torn Myanmar: media
Chinese Military On "High Alert" After It Scrambles Fighter Jets To "Counter" Japanese Jets
Japan holds military drill aimed at island defense
Aircraft encounters raise fear of conflict
"Fears of armed conflict have been raised after Japanese and Chinese warplanes tailed each other above a disputed group of uninhabited islands, officials say."
Around Lonely Islands, An Energy War Brews
China re-draws map; PH digs in
Kashmir violence could turn "ugly": Pakistani Islamist
Iraq: Danger looms as Kurds export oil
Despite Billions In Aid, Many Haitians Still Live In Squalid Camps
Global aid effort in Haiti a dismal failure, author says
French troops continue operation against Mali Islamists
France Rafale jets target Gao in eastern Mali
Britain helps France in Mali conflict
Envoy: Only U.N., Africa should be in Mali
"The conflict in Mali against Islamist extremists should be led by the United Nations or African forces in the region, Russia's envoy to Africa said Saturday."
New EU initiative to combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea
Somali Pirates Use RPG to Attack Ship: 12 Arrested
Piracy is largely being held in check, but only by expending considerable resources. Pirates need only wait until counter-piracy efforts become too costly, which is just a matter of time. -- RF
Nigerian army arrests 1 945, destroys ships, illegal oil refineries in 2012 crackdown
NATO Allies Hold Off on Weapons, Military Support for Syrian Rebels
Russia rejects Assad exit as precondition for Syria deal
Catalonia Drafts Declaration of Sovereignty, Announces Vote of Independence, Seeks Self-Determination in 2014
Tokyo sinks Seoul's bold U.N. continental shelf bid
"Japan has asked the United Nations not to consider South Korea's claim to an extended continental shelf in the East China Sea close to Okinawa, thus preventing a U.N. panel from handling the issue, the Foreign Ministry announced Saturday."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Canadian aboriginals protest outside PM office, threaten unrest
Canadian PM agrees to pay more heed to native demands
Tunisians set fire to police station, cars in border town protest
Anarchist bombs explode near Greek journalists' homes
Hundreds Protest Demanding Monsanto End Intimidation Campaign Over GMOs and Obama Halt Approval of GE Foods
Explosives thrown at Cairo protesters, tents on fire
Azerbaijan police break up protest against violence in army
Petrol bombs thrown at home of Greek government spokesman's brother

## Energy/resources ##
Norwegian oil production halved
High costs threaten Norway's oil recovery
Norway's Oil Boom Leads to Higher Costs and Delays
Turkey Overtakes Norway as the Largest Oil Driller in Europe
Not at that price: Why long-term forecasts for cheap oil and natural gas are baseless
"Here's the short version of why forecasts of low long-term oil and natural gas prices are almost certainly wrong: It costs more than that to get the stuff out of the ground."
There's more red ink than oil and gas flowing out of shale formations. -- RF
Oil sands facing labour shortage as talent search proves a challenge (Canada)
"The oil and gas sector will need to fill a minimum of 9,500 new jobs by 2015, according to Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada forecasts."
Lukoil Leads Worst Start Since 2008 on Ruble: Russia Overnight
Total to cut US shale gas investment
So, shale gas is not making money. Who would have thought? -- RF
Iraq threatens to seize oil shipments, sue dealers
"Iraq has threatened to seize oil exports made without its consent and sue companies dealing in what it sees as contraband crude just days after the country's self-rule Kurdish region began unilaterally exporting oil."
Grid operator: Texas electric transmission capacity will fall short of demand
Greece raises electricity prices by up to 15 pct
Falling Demand Leaves Nigeria with 21 Unsold Shipments of Crude in February
Jordan Reels from Fuel Shortages
SunPower Restructuring Cost May More Than Double to $40 Million
Bangalore faces water scarcity with depleting reservoirs
Seaway Pipeline Open for Business
Energy theft: From bad to worse (and what some utilities are doing about it)
"Mention energy theft and many will think Brazil or India where electricity losses are staggering. Yet no corner of the world seems immune from it – be it meter tampering, pilfering copper wire from substations, illegal hookups, siphoning or other unlawful schemes."
UP plunges into power crisis as 6 plants go down
"Uttar Pradesh is shivering and in darkness with six power plants tripping in succession in the past 48 hours due to a sharp rise of electricity demand in this unusually harsh winter. The power demand, in fact, rose to the May 2011 level of peak summers. The overall power outages were more than 2,500MW."
Power demand overruns supply (Canada)
Fuel oil price hike to badly hit expected RMG export earning
Rising costs worry oil palm planters (Malaysia)
Smart grid: Is your job in jeopardy? Slowing demand and rising costs putting utilities at risk
Shell's Arctic Drilling Plan May Hinge on Kulluk's Fate
But Why Did Julian Simon Win The Paul Ehrlich Bet?
It's the old argument that "amazing new technologies" and "human ingenuity" will solve resource constraints, so the more people, the better. In fact, technology and "ingenuity" (human greed and stupidity will always heavily outweigh ingenuity) play only minor roles. Energy and commodity prices are at their present, surprisingly low, levels now simply because the global economy is crumbling, and demand is suppressed. If there were to be a "recovery" — which of course can't and won't happen — oil would be at least $200/bbl, commodities like copper would go through the roof, and food riots would be erupting everywhere. Any fool can see that the ultimate tool for suppressing commodity prices is demand destruction (intentional or unintentional), which is in evidence everywhere. -- RF
South China Sea: Taiwan undersea oil plans irk neighbors
Intensified Saudi gas exploration multifaceted
Rolling blackouts could return by 2015 (Jamaica)
Some Thoughts on Energy in 2013 (The Oil Drum)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
700 phones dead due to cable theft
More copper cable theft in southern Lebanon
Thieves Steal Metal From Base Of Cell Tower

## Got food? ##
Inflation at a 7-month high as cold affects food prices (China)
Why Malthus Got His Forecast Wrong
The short answer is fossil fuels and debt. But read this, anyway. -- RF
Food Shortages in Venezuela Bigger Worry Than Constitution
Dairy farmers survive 'milk cliff,' but feed, fuel costs still troubling (US)
SWAZILAND: Farmers struggle to afford inputs
NATO summit cash to fund vegetable gardens at 60 city schools
Certainly this is a much better way to use the money! -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Drought grips northeastern Brazil
US delays finalizing report linking fracking to water pollution
It Is Absurd To Suggest That the World Population Could Decline Enough for Humans To Go Extinct
Barring some really cataclysmic event, that's true. So let's stop getting our undies tied into knots over declining population and instead welcome it. -- RF
Eerie And Amazing Images Of Australia's Dust Tsunami
U.S. Will Be 2-4 Degrees Hotter In Coming Decades, New Climate Report Says
Stomach flu an epidemic in France
New York governor declares public health emergency to combat flu
US flu cases over epidemic threshold
Nasty Flu Season Sparks Spotty Vaccine Shortages (US)
Are you living close to 'cancer generator'?
Bushfires rage on in Australia 'helped' by climate change
Australian Firefighters Face New Blazes as Queensland Heats Up
How E-Waste Is Becoming a Big, Global Problem
Tea made from coffee leaves found to beneficial for health

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Cybercrime centre 'will work with FBI, US secret service'
"The EU's new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), to be inaugurated in The Hague today (11 January), will co-operate closely with the FBI and the US secret service in addition to other foreign agencies, its new chief told EurActiv in an interview."
U.S. Cities Relying on Precog Software to Predict Murder
U.S. banks ask NSA for cybersecurity help
Vodafone's BlackBerry service hit by outage
Another Major GitHub Outage – This Is Not Good For Its $100M Enterprise Push
U.S. government warns of serious hacking risk for Java software users
Vietnam admits deploying bloggers to support government
Cyberstalkers Threaten Pipeline Security
Addressing the cyber security threat
NYPD 'looking into' drones to survey crowds
NSA's 'Perfect Citizen' power grid security plan far from perfect
As NSA Pairs With Banks To "Fight Hackers", Will It Also Gain Access To Every American's Financial Secrets?

## Systemic breakdown ##
Why Americans will soon pay more to drive every mile
"The financial lookouts who toil in America's transportation departments have been waving red flags for years that there wasn't enough money to keep the nation's 4 million miles of roads and bridges drivable. Now the federal government's top accountant has told Congress it should experiment with taxing drivers by the mile to make up billions of dollars in shortfalls. The debate isn't whether you'll pay more to drive in the future, but how you'll pay — and how much."
Errors Mount at High-Speed Exchanges in New Year (US)
"Confidence-shaking technology mishaps have been an almost daily occurrence at the nation's stock exchanges in the new year."
At the Front Line of Suicide Prevention in South Korea
Manufacturers say shortage of skilled workers stymies growth

## Japan ##
Panasonic to Shut Down Shanghai Factory
Yen Falls to Lowest Level Since 2010; Japan Promises 10.3 Trillion Yen Stimulus; BOJ to Adopt 2% Inflation Target; Where to From Here?
Japan's Abe Says He'll Seek 'Bold Leader' to Head Central Bank
Abe visits Meiji Shrine in apparent rightist appeal
Abe vows to speed Tohoku recovery work
New stimulus plan aims for immediate effect / Public works projects in emergency economic package could fall flat without private sector support
60% of loans to unemployed become overdue
"About 60 percent of the loans extended under a government scheme to assist the unemployed have not been repaid on schedule as of the end of last March, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry."
5,000 Bq/kg from the soil beside the river in Edogawa ward in Tokyo

## China ##
China's Dying Car Market
"The China auto sales goldmine does not exist."
Cold in China kills about 180,000 cattle, threatens power
"The coldest winter in decades is causing blizzards in northern China and threatens electric power supplies in the south where the government is not used to dealing with such freezing temperatures, China media said Wednesday."
The Canaries In The Chinese Coalmine
China's deficit to increase 50% in 2013: experts
Beijing air pollution soars to hazard level
China y/y Copper imports look "increasingly unflattering": Barclays
"The pop higher in base metal prices at the start of 2013 proved short-lived for most. The short-covering that followed the temporary swerve over the US fiscal cliff ran out of steam quickly once it became clear that there was going to be no follow-through buying from the Chinese."
China Export Surge Spurs Data Skepticism at Goldman, UBS
Even Goldman Says China Is Cooking The Books
China CSSC 2012 profits slump
"China CSSC Holdings Ltd, the listed arm of China's largest shipbuilder, said Saturday that its profits will likely shrink by 95 to 100 percent year-on-year in 2012 as the result of a sluggish shipping industry."

## UK ##
Fuel poverty brings medieval dread of winter to 21st century families
"With one in four families having to choose between heating and eating, the cold – like the shame – gets into your bones"
Life on benefits: The starving of the 11 million
UK on course for triple dip recession as top forecaster estimates economy shrank 0.3% in fourth quarter
Jessops camera stores to close with loss of 1,370 jobs
UK shells out £1.3bn in 'backdoor bailout' paying for roads and wind farms in Europe
Honda to cut 800 jobs in Britain
Millions face tax rise in pensions shake-up
Extremists attend more than 200 university events
Seventeen NHS hospitals have dangerously low numbers of nurses
Dognappings: organised gangs behind a surge of dog thefts across the country

## US ##
Gargantuan and Growing: The U.S. Debt Figure You've Probably Never Heard Of
"The widely reported $16.1 trillion federal debt is a drop in the bucket"
Free Sh*t "Disabled" Army Massing Its Forces (on Social Security)
"The Social Security System has an unfunded liability of $18 trillion... The Social Security system had a negative cashflow of $47.8 billion last year, after running a $48 billion deficit the year before."
As I've repeatedly said, forget about "retirement" and work 'til you croak. -- RF
Work 'til you croak: So You Want To Retire? Five Disturbing Statistics About Retirement: An Infographic
"To all Americans in their twenties, thirties, forties, or even fifties, naively looking forward to their retirement, we have two words: 'good luck.'"
Washington 'clowns' set up 42% stock-market drop
"One fiscal cliff down. Three more to go: the $16.4 trillion federal-debt-limit cliff, the $1 trillion sequestration cuts from defense and discretionary spending, and the $2.5 trillion congressional budget cliff."
Federal Budget Deficit Grows by $260 Million in December
Why the Oil Boom May Miss the Pump
The Government Lied When It Said It Only Bailed Out Healthy Banks … 12 of the 13 Big Banks Were Going Bust
There Is No End In Sight For The Self-Perpetuating 'War On Terror'
Japan's Monetary Policies Are Disastrous for U.S. Economy: Peter Schiff (Daily Ticker video)
Wells Fargo Profit Rises as Bank Boosts Lending
Cable Subscriber Numbers Begin Slide
Nationwide Spike In Dognappings Last Year
Flood Walls For Subways: New York Commission's Report Urges Safeguards Against Storms Like Sandy
From Corn Belt To Main Street: The Drought's Far-Reaching Grasp
Malibu Makes Bid to Be World's Mega-Mansion Capital
Wealthy Flock to Pawn Shops
4 Years Ago Could You've Imagined We'd Let Banks Off Laundering Money For Terrorists and Drug Cartels? (video)
As more move to the city, does rural America still matter?
Cities, especially big cities, are already starting to fall apart as their energy throughput declines. If possible, position yourself in the country or a small town. -- RF
The Middle Class In America Is Being Wiped Out – Here Are 60 Facts That Prove It
The Real Interest Rate Risk: Annual US Debt Creation Now Amounts To 25% Of GDP Compared To 8.7% Pre-Crisis
Zombie foreclosures terrorize ex-homeowners
US median household income trap: Four decades of data and households struggling to keep up with inflation. Younger Americans face bigger income struggles.
Americans Feel Austerity's Bite as Payroll Taxes Rise
Lincoln Cars: Ford CEO Alan Mulally Talks New Luxury Models At Detroit Auto Show 2013

And finally…
New Monopoly Token Will Ruin Game, Possibly America

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