Wednesday, March 20, 2013


News Links, March 21, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spanish Banks Cut Developers as Zombies Dying: Mortgages
"Spanish banks are pulling the plug on thousands of builders kept alive during the past five years even as they built almost nothing, said Mikel Echavarren, chief executive officer of Irea, a Madrid-based consulting firm that has advised on 22 billion euros ($28.5 billion) of refinancing. The banks, forced by the government last year to set aside provisions for the developers, have no incentive to keep funding them."
Record Corporate Insolvencies in Australia
Cypriot gov't officials: Plan B aimed at getting bailout to be presented Thursday
Cyprus Conservative Opposition Parliamentary Member Says "If No Solution Soon, Print Cyprus Pounds and Abandon the Euro"
Cyprus ATMs Low On Cash, Credit Card Payments Refused; Medvedev Compares Europe To USSR
'We Will Be Slaves for Russia': Cypriots Warn
Argentina Turns To Gold As Inflation Tops 26%
Barclays CEO Jenkins Sees More Job Losses in Next Two Years
Massive Job Cuts Likely at HSBC
Siemens Said to Prepare 1,400 Job Cuts Amid Profit Push
Weak Europe, U.S. weighs on Volvo February shipments
"World number two truck maker Volvo said on Wednesday that shipments of its trucks fell 26 percent year-on-year in February as lingering weakness in Europe and North America offset stronger demand in Latin America."
Swiss right-wing forces referendum on banning SNB gold sales
"The proposal, dubbed 'Save our Swiss Gold', would prohibit the Swiss National Bank (SNB) from offloading its gold reserves as well as force it to hold at least 20 percent of its assets in gold."
South Korea Set to Fuel Property as China Moves to Cool: Economy
Freddie Mac sues more than a dozen banks over Libor
8 Bubble Markets Investors Are Watching Now
From Detroit to Cyprus, Banksters in Search of Prey
South Africa faces investor exodus if rand rout deepens
Egypt unrest raises re-routing risk after Suez toll rise
Euro-Zone Construction Output Shrinks in December
Caterpillar slump highlights risks to the rally

## Airline Death Spiral ##
IATA raises profit outlook for world's airlines
Strike prompts Lufthansa to cancel 500-plus flights
Boeing faces pressure for cash compensation over 787
FedEx cuts forecast as air freight weakness hits profit
JAL expects revenue to fall 2.3 bil. yen in April-May on 787 grounding

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Commander: Contingency plans under way for Syria
"The top U.S. military commander in Europe said Tuesday that several NATO countries are working on contingency plans for possible military action to end the two-year civil war in Syria as President Bashar Assad's regime accused U.S.-backed Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons."
Mexican security forces repel armed attack, kill ten
"Security forces repelled an attack by suspected criminals armed with AK-47s and other weapons in a mountainous area of central Mexico, killing all 10 of the assailants, authorities said on Tuesday."
UN refugee chief: Aid agencies overwhelmed as Syrian crisis worsens
Asia's F-35 buyers forced to wait as China seeks edge
West, Central African states to cooperate against pirates
Ex-fighters clash over security at another Libyan oil field
"Violence between rival factions of a force made up of former fighters over who should control security at Libya's oil fields broke out again on Wednesday, wounding several people in what is becoming a common occurrence in a country awash with small arms."
Indonesia to buy more Russian jet fighters, patrol ships
Nearly 100 Killed in Iraq Anniversary Blasts

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Xi unmoved by Tibetan self-immolation
Mortgage protesters occupy bank in Barcelona
Canadian and U.S. natives vow to block oil pipelines
Women fight Keystone XL from north and south
"Along the miles of transcontinental pipeline being built to transport oil from the tar sands of Canada, women are fighting the project. One put her body in front of a bulldozer. Another is challenging eminent domain seizure of her family's land."
Saudi Shi'ites fear spy arrests will worsen tensions
"Tensions between Saudi Arabia and its Shi'ite Muslim minority could worsen if 16 detained Shi'ites are charged with spying in a case linked to Iran, community leaders said on Wednesday."

## Energy/resources ##
Shell to Spend $1bn in Iraqi Oilfield Development
Mexico Considers Opening Waters to International Oil Firms
German environmental scientists cut ties to oil sands
The Looming Threat of Water Scarcity
Oil majors are whistling past the graveyard
Mindanao's power crisis traced to supply, demand woes (Philippines)
Gujranwala plunged into darkness for more than 5hrs (Pakistan)
India's Power Slipping Away?
Rosneft deal to put China top of Russia's oil customers
"Russia will sharply boost oil supply to China, making Beijing its top customer, in a package of deals to be signed this week, industry sources said on Wednesday."
China sets sights on S. America resources
In Ghosn We Trust Tested as Nissan Electric Push Falters
Petrobras to triple Brazil's oil by 2017
Commentary: Texas and Eagle Ford – Where the Action Is
"As with Bakken, Eagle Ford oil production will be merely a bubble. Unfortunately, I wouldn't expect the media to inform the public about the bubble until after the bubble has burst."
First Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in US Goes Bankrupt
Valero Says Ethanol Blending Costs To Double or Triple This Year
Diesel generator sales rise in Gulf on power failure
"Spurred on by transmission and distribution bottlenecks and ensuing power shortage, the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) 15-2,000 kilovolt-ampere (kVA) diesel genset market is poised for steady growth. Several new construction projects coming up over the next five years will sustain the need for diesel gensets and drive sales, Frost & Sullivan's Strategic Analysis of GCC Diesel Genset Market (15-2,000 kVA) research revealed."

## Got food? ##
Egypt considers India for wheat imports
Mali: Adults Eat Less So Children Can Eat Twice a day
Indonesia beef prices soar amid sufficiency drive
'Healthy' [sic] Fast Food Dishes Like Egg White McMuffins, Turkey Burgers Could Boost Companies' Profits

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
10 Unusual Uses for Garlic

## Environment/health ##
Marine biologists: Small fish trawling leads to more jellyfish
Report: US third in sugary drink deaths

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Police investigating reports that computers of South Korean banks, media paralyzed
"Police and South Korean officials were investigating the simultaneous shutdown Wednesday of computer networks at several major broadcasters and banks. While the cause wasn't immediately clear, speculation centered on a possible North Korean cyberattack."
Faulty Update Causes Microsoft Cloud Outage
Yes, Your New Car Has A 'Black Box.' Where's The Off Switch?
Kidtrack biometric system keeps track of kids on school buses
America Already At Cyberwar: Rep. Rogers
Cybersecurity Firm Says It Is Under Attack
Rules of cyberwar set out for first time in Nato manual
'Best of the Best': South Korea forges youth into world's elite cyberwarriors

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Cut off from society, sports become junk
"Forget about the nobility of the Olympic spirit or old time sportsmanship. Today, professional sports is just Bread and Circuses for the Great Recession."

## Japan ##
Rat may have caused Fukushima outage
It is quite possible. A surprising number of power outages anywhere are attributable to small animals, illustrating just how fragile and vulnerable the grid is. -- RF
Another bent rod found in fuel assembly at Kashiwazaki nuclear plant
Japan needs more than demand side management for recovery: official
Record-high temperatures for March marked in cities across Japan
Govt to step up aid to lift low birthrate / Will help more people marry, have children
Robots have failed Fukushima Daiichi and Japan

## China ##
China's new diplomats signal thaw with Japan, keeping U.S. at bay
"New Chinese leader Xi Jinping's appointment of two top diplomats last week displays a desire to repair relations with long-time rival Japan after months of disruption, while keeping the United States and its strategic pivot to Asia at bay."
China's nearshore seawater quality degrading
China pig deaths: Toll from Shanghai rivers nears 14,000
Biggest Solar Collapse in China Imperils $1.28 Billion: Energy

## UK ##
Farmers risk creating superbugs
"Farmers risk creating dangerous new superbugs by routinely giving antibiotics to healthy animals, it is claimed."
Pig farm income falls again
"The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has estimated that pig farm incomes have fallen by around 50%, a third successive fall.  Feed costs, which account for over half of the input costs on these farms, have continued to increase in 2012/13 as a result of higher cereal and soya prices."
UK promises shale gas tax breaks, public benefits
Budget 2013: Osborne downgrades UK growth forecasts
UK sticks with austerity as growth forecast cut

## US ##
Lockheed says 243 mid-level managers taking voluntary layoffs
New Threat: States Robbing From Education to Pay for Highway Expansions
Senate votes to avert government shutdown, lock in $85 billion in cuts _ with some flexibility
Gas, reserve margins boost electricity forwards: experts
"As of March 5, the June-July-August average on-peak forward prices for 10 geographically dispersed hubs around the US represent double-digit percentage increases from the forward prices for the same period of 2012 in late February 2012, according to Platts data."
The Real Problem With Farm Subsidies: They Don't Subsidise Farms
"The real problem with farm subsidies is that they don't actually subsidise farms or farming. All that happens, over time, is  that land prices rise to reflect the subsidies being paid. Sure, this is great for those who owned land at the outset: it's also appalling for those who wish to become farmers."
Arlington police get federal go-ahead to fly unmanned helicopters across city
Shadow Economy Shows Joblessness Less Than Meets U.S. Eye
Fed Maintains $85 Billion Pace of Monthly Asset Purchases
Flash and Fantasy; Miami Condo Boom is Back, Fueled by Foreign Buying
US Government Imposes Retirement Curbs On Six-Year Olds
Jamie Dimon Agrees With Occupy Wall Street: 'Too Much Inequality'
Bond crash dead ahead: tick, tick ... boom!: 'Investors have no idea what's about to happen'
Mini flash crashes: A dozen a day
If There's a 'War' Against Banks, the Banks Are Winning
A Truly Devastating Graph on State Higher Education Spending

And finally…
Bernanke Admits His Childhood Home Is In Foreclosure And A Relative Is Unemployed

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