Thursday, February 14, 2013


News Links, February 13-15, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Top Economic Advisers Forecast War and Unrest
More than 200m unemployed globally - IFC
French and German economies contracted at end of 2012
German Economy Contracted More Than Forecast in 4Q
Eurozone Economy Contracts .6% in 4th Quarter; France Down .3%, Germany Down .6%, Italy Down .9%
Japan Contracts Third Straight Quarter; No Escape
Portugal's jobless rate hits record 16.9 percent
Imports push trade deficit to $20 billion for January
"India's trade deficit rose to $20 billion in January from $17.7 billion in the previous month as imports surged while exports rose only slightly, adding pressure to a widening current account deficit and limiting the scope for further interest rate cuts by the RBI."
ING to Cut 1 Billion Euros in Costs, Slash 7,500 Jobs
Societe Generale Posts Fourth-Quarter Loss on Newedge Writedown
Draconian Cash Controls Are Coming To France
Peugeot Citroen reports 5bn euro loss
Tata Steel Posts Biggest Quarterly Loss in More Than 3 Years
Thomson Reuters to cut 2,500 jobs
Global mobile phone sales decline
Swiss Property Bubble Concern Seen Prompting Tightening
Bubbles are the only thing propping up the global economy, yet they must be tamped down. -- RF
Cable Snaps As Bank Of England Welcomes The Currency Wars
No End in Sight for Global "Currency Wars"
The Real Reason the Economy Is Broken (and Will Stay That Way)
Moodys downgrades Egypt bond rating to b3
Greek Youth Unemployment Tops 60%
Pimco Says Debt Losing Allure in Emerging World: Poland Credit
Tata Motors profit down 52%
French Budget Minister: Hitting 2013 Deficit Target "Very Difficult"
Singapore feels the squeeze of population drive
South Korea Jobless Rate Rises to 7-Month High
Pump! Dubai Plans Biggest Ferris Wheel as Part of $1.6 Billion Project
UAE citizens "blindly" signing up for loans - dep pm
"Speaking at the Government Summit in Dubai, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed said Emirati nationals were 'blindly' signing up for personal loans that they were unable to pay back later, leading the government to create a personal debt bail out scheme."
Is the Dollar Dying? Why US Currency Is in Danger
"The U.S dollar is shrinking as a percentage of the world's currency supply, raising concerns that the greenback is about to see its long run as the world's premier denomination come to an end. When compared to its peers, the dollar has drifted to a 15-year low, according to the International Monetary Fund, indicating that more countries are willing to use other currencies to do business."
Central Banks Buy the Most Gold Since 1964

## Airline Death Spiral ##
CEOs Fly Coach? Business Travel Turns Frugal
Dreamliner Customers Turn to 30-Year-Old Planes for Fleet
"Airlines waiting for the state-of- the-art Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner to return to the skies are relying on 30 year-old planes to fill gaps in their routes."
Spain's Iberia presents major layoff plan
Bahrain Air closes down, blames political unrest
"Small carrier Bahrain Air said on Tuesday it was shutting down, blaming political unrest in the island kingdom and the government's refusal to pay it compensation."
Can Flybe rescue Estonian Air?
German airports disrupted by security staff strike
US Airways Leads AMR Merger to Create Largest Airline
ACI says 2012 airfreight down at most hubs

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Kyle Bass, Larry Edelson, Charles Nenner, James Dines, Nouriel Roubini, Jim Rogers, Mrac Faber and Jim Rickards Warn or War
Small Russian banks help Iran's oil exports: minister
U.N. nuclear talks with Iran fail, no new meeting set
Colombian rebels kill two in south, blow up oil pipeline
Syrian air base falls, Assad forces under pressure
South Americans Face Upheaval in Deadly Water Battles
BIR Warns Members of Increased Cargo Thefts
"The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) has released a note saying that over the last few weeks it is hearing an increase in the number of its members who are reporting the theft of material from export shipments during transit to certain parts of the world. "
Nigeria hit by three pirate attacks in eight days: agency
"Pirates attacked three vessels off the coast of Nigeria in the space of eight days this month, killing one person, a maritime agency said, in a sign of worsening security off the coast of Africa's biggest oil exporter."
Egypt floods Gaza tunnels to cut Palestinian lifeline
South Korea unveils missile it says can hit North's leaders
Britain to Unveil Major Global Escalation of Terror War
Transnational Security Threats in the Straits of Malacca

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
100th Tibetan self-immolates in China, advocacy group says
Egypt on high alert ahead of protests marking Mubarak fall
Bulgarians protest high energy costs
Greek Consumers Most Pessimistic On Earth: 40% Have No Disposable Income
New wave of unrest imperils Mideast energy
"The consequences of the January takeover of an Algerian natural gas complex by Islamist militants could be far-reaching because it endangers supply."
19 Year Old Sets Himself On Fire At Rome Airport

## Energy/resources ##
Diesel shortage pushes Egyptians to the brink
Lukoil Begins Work on New Diesel Unit as Russian Exports Surge
"OAO Lukoil, Russia's second-biggest oil producer, started construction of a $1.4 billion processing unit at its Volgograd refinery to boost ultra-low sulfur diesel output as exports of the fuel jumped."
New Zealand should prepare urgently for coming oil shortages
Russia plans $25-$30 billion oil-for-loans deal with China
"Rosneft is seeking to borrow up to $30 billion from China in exchange for possibly doubling oil supplies, making Beijing the largest consumer of Russian oil and further diverting supplies away from Europe."
Future Bakken Production and Hydrofracking
Very accessible -- and sobering -- discussion of fracking prospects. -- RF
EU energy consumption down
"Economic problems in the European Union are reflected in declines in energy consumption, Europe's statistical office Eurostat said Wednesday."
Iran, Russia may work together on energy
Statoil Abandons Kazakh Caspian Oil Project After 7 Years
"Statoil ASA is giving up a Kazakh offshore block after Norway's biggest energy producer spent about seven years negotiating to start exploration, the latest international defection from a Caspian Sea project."
Middle East Loses Freshwater Reserves Size Of Dead Sea In 7 Years
"The Middle East is headed towards a water shortage crisis, as NASA satellites show that reserves the size of the Dead Sea have been depleted in just seven years, largely due to well-drilling."
Desalination Seen Booming at 15% a Year as World Water Dries Up
All's not well in power and energy sector (Bangladesh)
Fuel shortage restraining growth in power sector (India)
OPEC Warns on Risks to U.S. Production Growth
"The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Tuesday warned that expectations of growth in non-OPEC oil supply this year--seen as essential to meeting global oil demand in the long term--were subject to a high level of risk, particularly in the U.S."
Sign of the times: Saudis go solar
Plug Power Plunges to Record After Announcing Share Sale
Nuclear Revival Dying in Europe as Power Prices Slump: Energy
I've said it a hundred times: the nuclear renaissance will never happen. -- RF
Global Helium Shortage Ballooning out of Control
Interim Mindanao power mart goes pfft (Philippines)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Stolen scrap metal the new Greek currency
Safeguarding telecoms infrastructure: An imperative for sustainable development

## Got food? ##
Cattle Disappearing Amid Drought Signals Beef Rally: Commodities
"The worst U.S. drought since the 1930s is shrinking a cattle herd that's already the smallest since 1952 and signaling tighter beef supplies and higher costs for restaurant owners."
Horse meat scandal: 'food prices have to go up', says former Tesco executive
"Shoppers will have to pay more for food following the horse meat scandal, experts have warned, as supermarkets admit they cannot guarantee quality without putting up prices."
Horsemeat scandal: Germany pulls lasagne off shelves
"Horsemeat has been detected in frozen lasagne on sale in Germany and supermarkets have started removing the product from their shelves."
The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths of All Antibiotics
Horse meat scandal: The tortuous supply chain of ingredients in cheap British products
When Resistance Is Futile: Bring In The Robots To Pull Superweeds
I can tell you what the future of weeding is, but this isn't it. -- RF
Gardening in the Fast Lane
Horse Meat Scandal: Is the Era of Cheap Food Over?
"Ms. Sandys, concluding that 'the era of cheap food is, sadly, over,' said consumers were unwittingly absorbing the rising costs of meat and grain through reductions in quality and quantity."
Russia looks west amid grain shortages
Maize Shortage Causes Hunger in Northern Province (Zambia)
Supermarkets deny rumours of food shortage (Argentina)

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Real Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
Don't Worry; Be Resilient
Taking Your Green Lifestyle to Your Yard
Homestead Water Sources and Options

## Environment/health ##
Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning in France
Coronavirus: Signs the new Sars-like virus can spread between people
Snow falls in U.S. Plains but no drought buster
Will Bold Steps Be Needed to Save Beleaguered Polar Bears?
"In a paper released this week, the world's leading polar bear scientists say the time has come to consider drastic measures to save these iconic animals, including supplemental feeding by humans during ice-free periods and relocating more southerly populations to the High Arctic."
Ukraine: Chernobyl nuclear roof collapse 'no danger'
Hungry For Energy, Brazil Builds Monster Dams In The Amazon
New York City mayor wants to ban Styrofoam
Mutant cane toads invade Gladstone (Australia)
Study Sheds New Light on Arctic Sea Ice Volume Losses

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Washington, Beijing in cyber-war standoff
Welcome to the Malware-Industrial Complex
"The U.S. government is developing new computer weapons and driving a black market in 'zero-day' bugs. The result could be a more dangerous Web for everyone."
U.S. Energy Dept. wants more cybersecurity
Obama signs cybersecurity executive order
Is Your Business Ready for Cyber War?
US says America is losing cyber war to China; officials vow to find compromise on legislation
Defending Against Cyber Attacks A Priority — Survey

## Systemic breakdown ##
South Africa's big building plans stall
Roads in 'catastrophic state as lack of funding leads to rise in potholes (UK)
Report: Action Needed To Wipe Out Fake And Substandard Drugs
"It's actually more profitable to supply illegitimate drugs than cocaine or heroin."
Cooperation Breakdown
"The evidence of a major breakdown in global economic and monetary cooperation continues to mount."

## Japan ##
Japanese economy contracts for third straight quarter
Japan Reflation Deathwish Leads To A 20% Refinery Capacity Cut
Cold Weather Probably Snapped Japan Out of Recession: Economy
The Impending Japanese Sovereign Debt Crisis
Japan has right to develop pre-emptive strike capability: defense chief
Cash circulating up 3% to ¥80 trillion
Japan kerosene stocks could fall to five-year low end Jan: PAJ chief
"Japanese refiners will need to import at least as much kerosene this month as in January 2012 as the country's stocks could fall to a five-year low by the end of the month on strong heating demand, Petroleum Association of Japan President Yasushi Kimura said Thursday."
And the price is up. -- RF
Pioneer to cut 800 domestic jobs, executive pay
Tohoku Electric to seek 11.4% household power rate hike
Bluefin tuna farms fill demand as fishing ban restricts catches
Fukushima Thyroid Examination Part 4
Soros, other hedge funds score billions betting on falling yen

## China ##
Coming Soon to China: At-Home Toxic Food Test Kits
Chinese analysts warn of U.S. steps
"North Korea's latest nuclear test may encourage the United States and its allies to boost military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese analysts said."
China bans TV advertising for luxury products
IEA to improve Chinese oil demand stats

## UK ##
U.K. Growth Seen Subdued in 2013
"Self-Inflicted Damage" Now the UK Goal; Inflation a "Cause For Optimism"
'Skills gap' seen in cybercrime fight
"Britain has made some progress on cyber security since 2011 but is falling short in producing a new generation of computer experts, a government report warns."
Half of Britons don't expect high quality care from NHS in old age, survey finds
PM targets benefits for EU nationals
"Foreigners face fresh curbs on access to benefits, healthcare, housing and legal aid in an effort to stop Britain being seen as a 'soft touch' overseas, amid growing Coalition strains over immigration policy."

## US ##
The coming pension crisis: States face a $3 trillion funding gap. Only about 10 percent of Americans now covered by pensions.
Fed Balance Sheet Exceeds $3 Trillion For Fourth-Straight Week
Debt-addled Detroit on the brink
Fresno Mayor Orders Worker Cuts to Fend Off Insolvency
More than half living paycheck to paycheck
The Rise of Long-Term Joblessness
Food stamp users could see a benefits cut, if Congress doesn't act
Blue Chips End in Red
Retail sales growth slows as higher taxes kick in
NY reactor shut down after pumps fail
Conflict of Interest: California Solar Projects Compete With Prime Farmland
"There's a flip side to everything, and in this case it's that the phenomenal growth of solar in California may be gobbling up too much prime agricultural land."
Once again I go on record with my prediction that when food shortages bite, people will "uninstall" solar panel installations to reclaim farmland. Food will always trump electricity. -- RF
Sex Diseases Cost $16 Billion a Year to Treat, CDC Says
CO Gov. Hickenlooper admits to 'ritual-like' drinking of fracking fluid
Pentagon unveils new 'Distinguished Warfare Medal' for drone operators
Could Delayed Tax Refunds Cause a Spending 'Collapse'?
Bringing U.S. manufacturing jobs back home
"President Barack Obama loves to talk about bringing manufacturing jobs back home, but the number of companies that are 'in-shoring' or 're-shoring' is hardly more than a trickle."
Ag Industry: Govt Furloughs Could Mean Empty Grocery Shelves

And finally...
SOTU: Reignite 'thriving middle class'
Heart Attack Grill 'spokesman' John Alleman dies of heart attack
Must see! Zombie apocalypse takes center stage in Canadian Parliament [VIDEO]
9 Sweethearts candy messages that soured over time

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