Sunday, April 21, 2013


News Links, April 20-22, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Netherlands on Edge of Economic Crisis; Unemployment Surges as Home Prices Collapse
More cost cuts key for European banks as growth hopes stall
India Finance Minister: G-20 Meeting Was Preoccupied With How Sick Europe Is
"Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Friday that meetings of officials from Group of 20 leading economies this week were preoccupied with Europe's troubles, and cited concerns that more countries might require aid."
World finance leaders issue sober assessment on global economy; growth, jobs in short supply
Greece may get bailout cash advance to pay bills: reports
China's Debt Levels Threaten to Spark a Crisis Bigger than the U.S. and Euro
Lagarde Dismisses Talk Slovenia Next to Receive IMF Bailout
Minister of Spain's Housing Board Cites "Mortgage Scam, Illegal Evictions" Calls for Mortgage Debt Reduction
10 Signs The Takedown Of Paper Gold Has Unleashed An Unprecedented Global Run On Physical Gold And Silver
Rogers Says Gold Going `Much Higher' Over Decade
Gold prices may average $1483/oz in 2013; 1450/oz 2014: Barclays
Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society Runs Out of Gold…Importing from Switzerland and London
Booming Thai banks wary of credit bubble
Explosive Video on Ending Fractional Reserve Lending and Bank Corruption at Philadelphia Fed Conference
What will become of Kuwait?
"There is a distinct air of frustration swilling around in Kuwait City. The oil-rich Gulf capital has long benefitted from a stream of black liquid cash that has kept its books in check for fourteen years, but it has little to show for it and with the gravy train expected to slow well before the end of the decade, those with any sense of forward thinking are begging the question: what will become of Kuwait?"
Saudi's SABIC to cut over 1,000 jobs in Europe
"Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), the world's biggest petrochemicals group, plans to cut about 1,050 jobs in Europe and close some operations because of a gloomy business outlook, the company has said."
IMF, Egypt say working to reach loan deal in "coming weeks"

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Israel's 3 airlines strike over "Open Skies" proposal with EU that union says threatens jobs
"Israel's three airlines went on strike Sunday over a proposed 'Open Skies' deal with the European Union that union workers say jeopardizes their jobs and could even cause the local airline industry to collapse."
Airlines, pilots sue the Obama administration to avoid air traffic controller furloughs
Furloughs could affect flights to Alaska
FAA approves resumption of Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights with revamped battery system
Lufthansa strike sees 'massive' flight cancellations
Air Malta is set to post €25 million loss in 2012
AirBaltic 2012 Loss Beats Plan on Reduced Fleet Size, Christmas
"The main reason is cost savings, our fleet is much smaller and we achieved the same revenue by flying less."
Downsize, downsize, downsize. -- RF
Sri Lanka's national carrier incurring losses
Boeing Cuts 747 Output Rate as Demand Drops for Big Jets
Southwest to cancel direct Jackson-to-Baltimore flight August 1
Slovenian national carrier Adria Airways has officially put up its only two Airbus A319s for lease

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Ghana Oil Boom Raises Piracy Specter
"Recent significant offshore oil discoveries in Ghana will catapult the nation into Africa's major producers club, but it will also be a boon for piracy on the high seas, which has more recently expanded its reach to include Ghana's coastal waters."
U.S. near $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE
Experts: Growing piracy across West Africa takes root in oil-slicked creeks of Nigeria
Trying to suppress pirates is like a game of whack-a-mole, and the world will find it has progressively fewer resources to spend on this endeavor. As I have said, pirates need only bide their time for opportunities to open up. -- RF
Kerry says doubling U.S. non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition
China turns the tables and criticizes the US for its own human rights record
Chechen Terrorist Networks Trace Back to the US State Department
Besides Nukes, What's in North Korea's Arsenal?

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Argentines hold mass rallies against government
Bahrain protest rally draws thousands ahead of F1 Grand Prix
"Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters have blocked a major motorway in Bahrain ahead of Sunday's F1 Grand Prix in the Gulf kingdom."
Thousands of protesters in Cairo demand purging of Egypt's judiciary
Half of Guantánamo prisoners on hunger strike

## Energy/resources ##
Total Production by the Top Five Oil Majors Has Fallen by a Quarter Since 2004
"The combined crude oil production of the five main international oil companies (Exxon, BP, Shell, Chevron and Total) hit an historic high in 2004. Since then, it has fallen by 25.8%, despite large increases in investments."
Germany energy transition faces cuts after European Parliament vote
"Germany says it is facing a funding gap in its transition to green energy after a European Parliament vote against reforming the EU's emissions trading scheme."
German PV manufacturers continue to post losses
Russia, Japan edge toward breakthrough in gas supplies
Russia says Egypt asks for help with gas supplies to Europe
"Egypt, struggling to meet domestic energy demand, has asked Russia to help it fulfill its gas supply contracts with Europe, Russia's Energy Minister was quoted as saying on Saturday."
Weak Fracking Market Could Deflate Halliburton's Earnings
Shale gas bust: Aftermath Of A Bubble And What Rises From The Ashes
"Cash Is Gone": A $30 Billion Hole In Caspian Sea?
"For more than a decade, the promised bonanza from Kazakhstan's giant offshore Kashagan oil field has been a costly mirage for its developers. And the wait still isn't over."
BP may delay $10 billion Mad Dog oil scheme in Gulf of Mexico
"BP is reviewing its biggest new oil project in the Gulf of Mexico, due to rising development costs across the industry, and could delay the $10 billion scheme."
Solarworld Drops to Nine-Year Low on 2012 Loss: Frankfurt Mover
Toshiba and SunEdison to build megasolar plants
Blackout occurs at Brazilian nuclear power station
Be afraid. Be very afraid. -- RF
Town paralysed by unexplained power outage (NZ)
Global Zinc market may witness sizeable deficit by 2015: Barclays
"In 2014, global refined zinc market may begin tight before moving into a sizeable deficit by 2015 on the back of weakening mine supply, stated a London based Barclays in its recent market analysis."
Electricity, gas shortages go through the roof (Pakistan)
"The country was hit by a severe energy crisis on Friday, as electricity shortage swelled to beyond 60 per cent and one of its two major gas utilities faced a shortfall of 30 per cent."
The falsehood of 'Peak Oil Theory' (KSA propaganda piece)
Fossil fuel subsidies: the addiction Egypt just can't kick
Iran, EU Strike Agreement over Payment of Shell's Overdue Debts to Iran
US Gulf activity soars three years post-Macondo: Lease sales hit record highs as explorers jump back in
"However, oil companies say the cost of doing business in the US Gulf has risen about 15% since Macondo."
Energy from Waste
Getting energy from waste is itself a fine idea, but the large-scale system conceived to feed off the mountains of waste generated by industrial society is doomed. Don't waste your time and energy on ideas that are clearly unsustainable from the get-go. -- RF
Scientific viewpoint or 'religious' belief: My cat explains energy optimism
India eager to join Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline: Iranian official

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
ECONOMY DRIVE - Motorists hit by metal thieves (Italy)
"Motorists in Naples have been hit by a series of bizarre wheel thefts by scrap metal crooks who have moved in on the city, sat Italian police."
Metal theft up 80 percent (US)
"Metal theft has jumped more than 80 percent in recent years. Thieves steal high-priced metal from critical infrastructure as well as businesses, homes, churches and even Minnesota veterans' graves."
Brazen theft from Parisian bridge baffles city (France)
Metal theft forces closure of bridge (UK)
Telkom cable theft causes major disruptions (South Africa)

## Got food? ##
Rains wash away U.S. drought, shifting farm economy's prospects
Drought Worsens, Scorching Much of the Country
Kudzu bugs chow down on soybean plants (US)

## Environment/health ##
Aerosols confirmed rising over India
WHO, China to study avian flu that killed 17, sickened 91 in China
Experts: H7N9 bird flu could develop into pandemic
BP Still Uncertain Over Spill Cost at Third Anniversary
Mississippi joins other states suing BP over oil spill

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Bloomberg News inadvertently explains the gold smash
Anonymous Calls For Internet Blackout On April 22 To Protest CISPA
Police forces spying on our phone calls and emails 250,000 times a year (UK)
How Facial Recognition Technology Could Help Catch Criminals
Lawmakers want more surveillance on the ground -- and in the sky
Sen. Lindsey Graham: Boston bombing "is Exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield"
Chicago-Area Man Arrested on Charge of Supporting Intl Terrorism
Apple confirms it keeps Siri data for up to two years (update: Google too)
CBS News says some of its Twitter accounts were hacked

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Greek public health indicators dropped in tandem with austerity
City: 98-year-old water main cause of sinkhole that swallowed 3 cars (Chicago)

## Japan ##
Finance ministers endorse Japan's easy money
Haagen Dazs to close last shop in Japan
Aso says economic recovery a few years away
The "recovery" keeps receding into the indefinite future. -- RF
Dual hydrogen, gas station opens
The experts are grossly underestimating the expense of building new infrastructure. -- RF

## China ##
The (domestic) auto industry hits a wall in China
China's bird flu death toll rises to 20
Jim Chanos On China's 'Edifice Complex'
In China, Housing Prices Soar As Regulators Get Nervous About Defaults
China seeks to lock iron ore importers into trading platform

## UK ##
Fitch downgrades UK credit rating to AA+
10 percent have autism, dyslexia, ADHD, language impairment
Scottish Coal cuts 590 jobs at mines in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Fife
U.K. Economy Seen Avoiding Triple-Dip Recession With 0.1% Growth

## US ##
Earnings Results Are Flashing Warning For Stocks
"Just two weeks into the first-quarter earnings season, a greater-than-usual number of companies have reported disappointing revenue results and tepid guidance, leading strategists to expect a more volatile time for stocks."
Peabody sees jump in coal use by generators this year
"Natural gas prices are more than double prior-year levels, 'leading to gas-to-coal switching that drove an 11% decline in natural gas generation,' the company said."
California Power Facing Biggest Test Since Enron: Energy Markets
"California may face the biggest regional power shortages in more than a decade this summer, sending wholesale prices higher, as idled nuclear reactors and low hydroelectric output cut generating capacity."
America needs a new war or capitalism dies: Low defense spending is killing jobs
McDonald's sees no restaurant rebound in April
CDC: U.S. Hospitals Should Be Vigilant For Bird Flu
The Wealthiest 20% Own 72%; The Poorest 20% Only 3%
The Bond Bubble Will Explode
Earnings Update: Just Five (Plus One) Charts - A Complete Disaster
Wall St. Redux: Arcane Names Hiding Big Risk
Xeriscaping grows as water resources fall
Public pessimism about the economy is rising, poll says
CBS News: FBI Interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev 2 Years Ago
Boston Bomb Suspect Was Under FBI Surveillance, Mother Says
FBI Interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev In Early 2011: Suspects' Mother Claims FBI Set Up
ACLU complains Detroit police dump homeless people outside city
Fast-rising floodwaters threaten Midwest towns

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