Tuesday, February 05, 2013


News Links, February 5-6, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Dow Drops 130 Points
Argentina pegs supermarket price rises for two months
"The Argentine government has put a temporary price freeze on all products sold in the country's main supermarket chains to try to fight inflation."
Global Economy Living Off Fed's Gravy Train
Hong Kong Debt Adds to Home Risks as Cooling Looms
Zambia Overstretching Debt With $4.5 Billion Bond Sales
Truck rentals flat in January; sales tank 38% due to slowing economy (India)
Dubai's Palm Jumeirah to get 200 new shops as mall gets green light
Gold Bank of India: Idea whose time has come?
Vietnam to Unveil State Firms' Overhaul Plan by June, Trung Says
"Vietnam will unveil a plan to overhaul 52 state-owned groups by June and lay out steps to sell stakes or unprofitable assets in most of the companies, seeking to curb bad debt that has hurt economic growth."
World Precious Metal industry to assume $215 bn in size by 2017: Lucintel
Is This The Beginning Of A Horrifying Stock Market Crash In Europe?
The Confidence Crisis In Spain Sends Out Shock Waves
Suez canal rate hike risks diverting ships round Cape
"The decision by Egypt's Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to raise toll fees could force ship owners, already battling a deep slump in their sector, to re-route vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, a major industry association said."
World Risks 'Perfect Storm' on Capital Flows, Carstens Says
"A 'perfect storm' may be forming in the world economy as signs of a recovery spur capital flows to emerging markets and some advanced nations that may lead to asset bubbles, Banco de Mexico Governor Agustin Carstens said."
Canada drops penny from its currency
Watch the Dollar: It Could Trigger the Next Crisis

## Airline Death Spiral ##
The end of cheap airfares in Australia?
SEAir posts losses as it steps up network expansion
"Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAir) posted hefty losses in October to December last year, as the company worked to expand its route network with the backing of Singapore's Tiger Airways, one of its major shareholders."
China Southern Airlines A380 loss reached up to USD31m in 2012: report
Coat of paint doesn't cover American's ills
Qantas to revamp Asian flights as part of Emirates tie-up
Bigger than Heathrow: the plan behind the world's biggest airport
"Turkey is aiming to make a major mark in the skies with ambitious plans to build the world's largest airport and a vast expansion of the national airline as it seeks increasingly to build on its strong emerging status to become a global player."
Airline Fees Soar, Tap Travelers For Billions
JAL wants to discuss 787 grounding compensation with Boeing
Boeing asks FAA to allow Dreamliner test flights, passenger flights seen months away
Ryanair to pay Flybe to take Aer Lingus routes: source
Lufthansa halts Libya flights due to security worries
Why Delta Airlines are Ruing the Day they Bought their own Refinery
Airlines Charging the Highest Fees
Disruption ahead as Iberia Airlines talks break down
Grounded Kingfisher Airlines posts Rs 755 crore loss in Q3
American Airlines asks for more time on reorganization plan
Carrier's staff shortage triggers delays

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
S. Korea, U.S. conduct joint naval drill amid nuclear test tension
North Korea 'preparing for two nuclear tests'
Israel seeks major arms deals with India
Death toll rises to 36 in Mexico explosion
Pirates seize French tanker, 17 crew off Ivory Coast
Iran has 'all the ingredients necessary' to make a nuclear weapon
And Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal. -- RF
India to end Iran euro payments
"India will continue to pay for Iranian imports in rupees, the newspaper reported, citing the unidentified official."
Ahmadinejad: Pray after Israel 'liberated'
"Egypt's leader rolled out the red carpet -- literally -- for a visit from former foe, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a multination summit."
U.S., allies ready more anti-mine drills as Iran tensions simmer
Mexico says gas leak caused deadly Pemex blast
Doubts linger that natural gas caused fatal Mexico blast that killed 37
"Mexican officials' assertion that a buildup of natural gas – and not a bomb – caused last week's devastating explosion at the Mexico City headquarters of the state oil company raised as many questions as answers on Tuesday, with at least one energy analyst voicing open skepticism of the explanation."
Gunmen attack oil ship in Nigeria's delta, three killed
Argentina 'will control Falklands within 20 years'
Investors Beware - Egypt's Revolution Is Not Over
US Expands Military Reach in Latin America
Saudi Arabia slams Israel air strike against Syria
Obama to visit Israel, first time as president

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
France orders police to watch labour as tensions rise
"France's Socialist government has ordered police to boost surveillance of labour movements as the interior minister warned Tuesday that rising tensions over job cuts could lead to a 'social explosion.'"
POSCO war Zone- Violent protests as land acquisition begins
Greek government invokes emergency powers to break seamen strike
A Movement to Protect the Earth Rises in Canada

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: The Twilight of Petroleum
"In this post, Antonio Turiel examines the perspectives of oil production in light of some often neglected parameters: the energy density, the energy yield (EROEI), and realistic estimates of new discoveries. As expected, the result are far from supporting the optimism that seems to be prevalent today."
It's a self-evident truth that junk oil has a much lower energy yield than conventional oil, but here's an article that approaches this issue academically. -- RF
Electric cars head toward another dead end
"Recent moves by Japan's two largest automakers suggest that the electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time - and may never be."
Energy company leaves Iraq empty-handed
"British company Sterling Energy said there wasn't enough potential from a block in the Kurdish north of Iraq to keep its production sharing contract."
Statoil must improve safety at N.Sea platform - safety watchdog
BP Profit Drops 79 Percent in Q4 Due to Settlement
Water Use in the Energy Sector Set to Double by 2035
"The International Energy Agency concluded that freshwater use is becoming an increasingly crucial issue for energy production around the world in its 2012 World Energy Outlook."
Saudis offers oil hand to Libya
Saudi Arabia must shoulder blame for soaring oil prices
This is the view from India, but I think they have got it wrong. Oil production costs are going up everywhere, and KSA is no exception. Further, the Kingdom needs the income to cope with massive, growing social costs. -- RF
Lower Platinum Supply, Higher Prices in Store

## Got food? ##
Resistant weeds said threat to U.S. crops
"A U.S. health advocacy group Monday urged limiting the use of herbicides on genetically engineered crops, saying the technology is unsustainable."
High Food Prices Seen by Olam CEO as Result of Population Growth
"Food prices that doubled in the past 10 years are more the result of population growth and increased demand for protein-based diets than any cyclical reasons, according to Sunny Verghese, chief executive officer at Olam International Ltd. (OLAM), the Singapore-based commodities trader."
Soybeans Gain as Dry Weather May Hurt Argentina Crop; Corn Drops

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Beat Depression and Feel Better with More Fruits and Vegetables
The World According to The Automatic Earth - A 2013 Primer Guide

## Environment/health ##
Oil spills are often bigger than reported
Concerns raised over 'useless' Arctic oil spill plan
Poisonous chemicals found in German water supply
Asian birds species in need of help
Whole Foods Founder Says Global Warming "Not that Big a Deal"

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
Guantánamo spills its secrets slowly, in surprising ways
"Fairness * Transparency * Justice"
Secret Rules to Let Obama Start Cyber Wars
"Administration Claims Secret Right to 'Pre-emption' Worldwide"
Anonymous Claims It Hacked Fed, Releases Confidential Banker Information
Facebook Is Said to Create Mobile Location-Tracking App
Get to Know the Nation-State Hacker Landscape
Hackers steal data from U.S. Department of Energy
UN Web Oversight Should Be Fought by U.S., Lawmakers Say
Obama Granted Cyberwar Powers
U.S., Indonesia, Japan lose users as Facebook sweeps fake profiles
Scammers Hacking Victims' Computers by Calling on the Phone

## Systemic breakdown ##
The End Of An Era: The Four Factors Which Are Bringing Down The Curtain On Growth (PDF)
"The economy as we know it is facing a lethal confluence of four critical factors – the fall-out from the biggest debt bubble in history; a disastrous experiment with globalisation; the massaging of data to the point where economic trends are obscured; and, most important of all, the approach of an energy-returns cliff-edge."
The Siren Song of the Robot
NFL-Super Bowl extravaganza hit by power failure
Bankrupt, Decaying And Nearly Dead: 24 Facts About The City Of Detroit That Will Shock You
Global naval maintenance costs seen rising
"Global naval maintenance costs are set to almost treble in 10 years and it's not at all clear if the naval forces worldwide will have the resources to cope with the rising costs."
Book Excerpt: The Problem of Excessive Scale

## Japan ##
Japan's Hitachi cuts full-year operating profit forecast
"Japan's Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) cut its full-year profit outlook by about 13 percent on Monday to 420 billion yen ($4.5 billion), citing a weak economic recovery in Europe and a slowdown in emerging markets."
Former head of Japan's nuclear safety body questioned over alleged negligence at Fukushima
Tepco gets approval for $7.5 bln more compensation funds
"Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tokyo] Electric Power Co on Monday received approval to tap the Japanese government for $7.5 billion more funds to compensate those harmed by the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl."
Japan Says China Locked Weapons Firing Radar On One Of Its Ships
TEPCO releases 2,145 new photos of Fukushima taken immediately after meltdown
Tepco's net loss projection snowballs to ¥120 billion for 2012
Bank of Japan head to leave job early, could advance policy shift
Goodbye, Prius? Japanese carmakers drop battery electric-car development
Electric vehicles are fated to niche applications, not replacing the vast fleets of ICE vehicles. But the same can be said for fuel cell vehicles. Cheaply producing the enormous quantities of hydrogen that would be needed — and building the infrastructure for its distribution — will prove to be a far greater challenge than anticipated. -- RF
Whaling costs Japan taxpayers $10 mil a year, animal welfare group says
"'The whaling industry has been operating in the red for more than twenty years now,' said Patrick Ramage of IFAW. 'It's the taxpayer subsidies provided by the good people of Japan that have been keeping the whaling industry afloat.'"
Utilities forecast 1 tril. yen in losses / High fuel costs, evolving safety standards and possible faults cloud projection
Electric furnace steel firms in danger / Higher electricity rates, cheap imports threaten survival of domestic companies
Blackout in Yokohama, Machida
Foreign Ministry to boost intel-gathering in Africa

## China ##
China's reliance on oil imports fuels geopolitical tensions
China's January Data Gap Vexes Economists
China's Gold Imports From Hong Kong Double To New Record In 2012
Taiwan banks to handle Chinese yuan

## UK ##
Sellafield clean-up cost reaches £67.5bn, says report
"The cost of cleaning up the Sellafield nuclear waste site has reached £67.5bn with no sign of when the cost will stop rising, according to a report."
Public sector pensions could 'cost up to £1,600 a year per household', says think-tank
"Public sector pensions could cost each household up to £1,600 each a year within the next decade because the Government has underestimated the expense of its reforms, a leading think-tank has warned."
U.K. spy agencies plan to install Web snooping 'black boxes'
"Summary: U.K. intelligence agencies are planning to install surveillance 'black boxes' on phone networks and ISP servers that utilize deep packet inspection to monitor Web traffic—including Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, among others."

## US ##
44% of U.S. families live week-to-week
"About 44 percent of U.S. households have almost no savings to cushion a job loss, health crisis or other income-depleting emergency, a non-profit group says."
Republican energy plan calls for more drilling, nothing to rein in greenhouse gases
Expert: U.S. healthcare the most expensive
"A U.S. health economist says Americans think their healthcare system is the most advanced in the world, but it is merely the most expensive."
Land Battles Rise as U.S. Eyes 450,000 Miles of New Pipe
Dow Will Hit New Highs Before Crashing 50%: Kee
Sucker Alert? Insider Selling Surges After Dow 14,000
Stunning Bond Collapse Will Be Gold's Gain
Price at the pump soars in S. California
Gasoline costs take biggest share of household income in three decades
Standard & Poor's expects lawsuit over subprime ratings
US To Sue S&P But Not Moody's? Not Goldman? What Gives?
Message to Fitch and Moody's: Don't Downgrade U.S. Debt?
It's About Time: JP Morgan Enters the Housing Slumlord Trade
Housing Market Already Shows Signs of a New Bubble
Looming cuts would be 'devastating' to national parks, advocates warn
Student Loan Bubble Forces Yale, Penn To Sue Their Own Students
No-money-down mortgages are back
Cybersecurity: how preemptive cyberwar is entering the nation's arsenal
"In addition to authorizing the use of cyberweapons, the White House is preparing an executive order to beef up cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid, refineries, and telecommunications."
Virginia Wants to Mint Its Own Coins
"Virginia is apparently for haters of the Federal Reserve: One state legislator wants the state to mint its own coins in case the US dollar collapses."
Dell Likely To Be Cut To Junk-Bond Credit Rating After Buyout
10 signs Wall Street's soul sickness grows worse: Rally hides dangerous moral pathology

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