Friday, March 29, 2013


News Links, March 29, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Small businesses spell big problems for Italy and Spain
Cypriot Banks to Open for First Time in 2 Weeks With Curbs
Cyprus capital controls 'may last a month'
Buchheit On Cyprus: "The Situation Is Spiralling Down", And Why A Second Bailout May Be Needed
The Definitive Cyprus Bailout Infographic
After Cyprus, euro zone will slip into depression
South Korea Announces Stimulus After Lowering Growth Outlook
Gasoline prices fuel February spike in inflation (Canada)
Crisis-hit Europeans battling financial distress: EU report
"Facing mounting social pressures and unemployment, Europeans are experiencing their worst financial distress in a decade and see little immediate hope for improvement, a new study says."
Attempt to end Italy crisis stalls, president mulls next move
Portuguese government may teeter if court blocks austerity
"Portugal is facing a potential political crisis if its constitutional court rejects government austerity measures, risking more euro zone turmoil on top of the Cyprus bailout this month."
Emerging-Market Stocks Cap Worst First Quarter Since '08
India's Current-Account Deficit Widened to Record Last Quarter
Canada Discusses Forced Depositor Bail-In Procedures for "Too Big To Fail" Banks in 2013 Budget
N.Z. telecoms giant axing 1,200 jobs
'Run for the Hills' Now, I'm Doing It: Jim Rogers
"The EU/IMF raiding bank accounts in Cyprus to bail out the country's financial system sets a dangerous precedent and investors should 'run for the hills' said investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, on 'Squawk on the Street' Thursday."
If You Don't Own Your Bank Deposit, Do You Own Your Gold?
"When it was announced that both large and small depositors were to have a percentage of them seized, it was not the amount that horrified the world but the discovery that you do not own your own bank deposits."
South Korea Looks At Increasing Tax Compliance
"A recent report by the Hyundai Research Institute indicated that the country's non-taxed underground economy had actually reached around 23% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), or KRW290 trillion (USD260.7bn), by last year."
Is Michelin considering European plant closures?
"When it comes to making cost savings in Europe, Michelin's management is not ruling anything out. In a clear sign of the pressure tyre manufacturers are under in Europe, Michelin is said to be considering headcounts and manufacturing capacities."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Europe Airlines and Economic Engines Lost
"According to a report from the CAPA Center for Aviation, the 13 largest European airlines lost an aggregate net profit of some 72% last year. With costs growing faster than revenues (8.5% versus 8%) it seems clear some of these 13 will founder if things don't change."
Domestic air tickets to cost more; Air India and Jet Airways hikes fuel surcharge
Dropped scissors causes chaos at Naha Airport (Japan)
AMR loses $192 million in February

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
India to build new naval base to keep tabs on PLA
US Sends Nuclear-Capable B-2 Stealth Bombers to Intimidate North Korea
UN combat force to target DR Congo rebels
Putin orders large-scale military exercises in Black Sea
Mexican Vigilantes Seize Town, Arrest Police

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Clashes as Chile students march for education reform

## Energy/resources ##
China tightens grip on Africa's resources
"China's new president is touring Africa, underlining the continent's strategic importance for Beijing in its relentless drive to acquire vital resources."
Brazil's Eletrobras posts $3.4 billion loss for 2012
Turning CO2 Directly into Transport Fuels
The article points out one obvious shortcoming; others are cost and scale. -- RF
Chinese Supertanker Visits Iranian Export Terminal
Japan's Oil Imports From Iran Rise to Highest Since March 2012
"Japan's crude imports from Iran rose 16 percent in February from a year earlier to the highest level since March 2012, boosting its intake despite sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation."
Oil sands bust: Suncor's Voyageur plant expected to join scrap heap
"If Suncor Energy Inc. mothballs its partly-built Voyageur upgrader, it will contribute to a scrap heap of a dozen-or-so upgraders planned for Alberta over the years but cancelled because of poor expected returns."
Shale gas bust: 'The Shale Gale Is a Retirement Party'
"So concludes an expert analyst of the natural gas boom. Brace for bust."
Texas study suggests Eagle Ford bonanza
IMF urges region to axe energy subsidies
US likely to lift shale gas embargo to Japan
Indian Coal Imports Rise 35% in February, Interocean Data Show
Fuel Shortage Hits Northern Region (Ghana)
Power peaks at 26,430MW
"Power consumption reached a new record high on Thursday, at 26,430 megawatts, as temperature hit 39.1 degree celsius, according to Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand."
Aleo Solar records drop in revenue, negative earnings for 2012
Where next for the renewable energy European Supergrid?
"Unfortunately the harsh economic conditions are starting to bite and roll-out of new projects is stalling. Overall, the EU is almost 2 GW (1.7%) under its National Renewable Energy Action Plan forecasts. Eighteen Member States are falling behind, including Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, France and Portugal. It remains to be seen how this will impact on the whole supergrid project."

## Got food? ##
Indoor farm goes 'mega' as fledgling industry tries to become more sustainable
Loss of wild pollinators would hit crops, finds study
U.S. wheat struggles with cold spring weather
Food Fraud Hits New Low: Dog Meat In British Curry
Corn Planting at 77-year High (US)

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
is facebook leaving us depressed?

## Environment/health ##
How climate change threatens the seas
Polar bears: An uncertain future
Algae Bloom Kills Record Number Of Florida Manatees
Disease superspreaders and the new coronavirus
Scientists link frozen spring to dramatic Arctic sea ice loss
Sand From Fracking Could Pose Lung Disease Risk To Workers
Drought Season's Early Start Presages Another Bleak Year
"Conditions in more than half of the United States have slipped into a pattern that climatologists say is uncomfortably similar to the most severe droughts in recent U.S. history, including the 1930s Dust Bowl and the widespread 1950s drought."

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
U.S. law to restrict government purchases of Chinese IT equipment
'Biggest Cyber Attack In History' Could Have Been Carried Out With Just A Laptop
Millions May Be Affected by Web Disruption in Online Attack
Divers caught cutting through undersea internet cable in Egypt
"Egypt's coastguard has caught three divers cutting through an undersea internet cable, the first suggestion criminals might be involved in days of severed connections and disruptions to online services."
Bitcoin miners hit back at cyber-thieves
Surveillance technology comes under fire
"Investigators in California are using a surveillance system to gather cellphone data to track suspects without detailing the practice to judges, documents show."
Japan police to launch national cyber crime force
The Coming Of Cyber World War I
"Experts say looming IT attacks could be catastrophic for global business and even cost lives."
Who Cut Egypt's Internet?
DDoS Attack Doesn't Spell Internet Doom: 7 Facts
Global communication links in India to be hit for two weeks
"Disruptions may be caused by outages, maintenance work on undersea cables connecting India to rest of world"
Spam war caused failure at critical internet exchange center (UK)

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
'Sandwich generation' increasingly trapped by work-life overload
"More working Canadians are having to care for both their kids and their older relatives. It's a squeeze that spells consequences for the workplace, from higher absenteeism and lost productivity to greater distraction and burnout."
Austerity threatens EU's competitive edge in infrastructure
Egypt govt seeks favours as credit crunch hits imports
"Egypt has hit breaking point in its ability to pay for imports of oil, wheat and other basic commodities, forcing it to call in diplomatic favours or seek easy payment terms from suppliers who hope for future advantage in return."

## Japan ##
Japanese utilities face 1.2 trillion yen burden every year nuclear plants shut down
Japan's Tohoku Electric abandons plan for new nuclear plant
Japan turns to coal as yen drives up energy costs
Japan's population decline highlighted
This is wonderful news, but it will of course be greeted with abject hand-wringing and hair-pulling by the hopelessly deluded proponents of infinite growth. -- RF
Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town
Japan to provide $2.32 billion to India
Panasonic plans $2.7 billion of fresh restructuring
Sony Closes Plant in Gifu Prefecture, More than 1,000 Out of Work
Sharp To Halve HQ Staff To 700
Cut, cut, cut. -- RF
Retail, other sectors' sales slide in Feb.
Renesas plans to skip summer bonuses
More than half of Japanese students see career success as unnecessary
Ssshh! Why Japan Is Keeping Quiet on the Yen

## China ##
China Must Meet Threats at Sea in Power Push, Editorial Says
Vera Wang Backs Down From Wedding-Dress 'Try-On Fee'
China Natural Gas Frenzy Explodes on Price Hike Rumors
Gov't denies gas price hike after panic buying
Puru Saxena: Hong Kong Is Ready for a Bust; "This Is Going to End Very Very Badly"
China Corporate News: Chalco Posts ¬•8b Loss on Low Aluminum Prices; China Eastern Turns to Europeans

## UK ##
Poorest face council tax rise, says anti-poverty group
'Brick up your doors, knock down the walls': Labour MP Frank Field makes dramatic call before 'bedroom tax' hits 
Chingford shops 'driven to bankruptcy' by power cuts
Streetlights going off in Stratford
"Cash-strapped Warwickshire County Council took the controversial decision to switch off streetlights in certain areas for part of the night"

## US ##
Wal-Mart may get customers to deliver packages to online buyers
Room service at home? Wealthy New Yorkers expect 5-star hotel treatment at luxury apartments
Pity the rich. They have so many things to worry about. -- RF
Higher taxes haven't hurt the rich at all
Hollowed out: US Army fights brain drain
Ruling on Stockton bankruptcy eligibility likely Monday
Fisker puts U.S. workforce on furlough this week
"Fisker Automotive, which has not made a vehicle since July, placed its U.S. workforce on furlough this week as part of its effort to keep costs low while it continues to search for a strategic partner, the U.S. automaker said on Wednesday."
Fisker hires law firm to prepare for possible bankruptcy -source
Hunt Becomes Billionaire on Bakken Oil After Bankruptcy
Do millennials stand a chance in the real world?
US economy grew at 0.4 percent rate in fourth quarter, slightly better than previous estimate
Growth is dead. Long live Growth! -- RF
Pump! Standard & Poor's 500 index closes at a record high, beating October 2007 mark
More than 300,000 homes are foreclosed "zombies," study says
"A national survey found 301,874 'zombie' properties dotting the U.S. landscape in which homeowners in foreclosure have moved out, leaving vacant property susceptible to vandalism and degradation."
Natural Gas Supply Continues to Fall
Surging Student-Loan Debt Is Crushing the System
More Americans than ever using food stamps
Social Security in the crosshairs

And finally…
Helpline set up for distraught Ryan Gosling fans

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