Tuesday, April 09, 2013


News Links, April 9-10, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Never mind Portugal. Slovenia seen as the next Cyprus
"Slovenia's creditworthiness is deteriorating at the fastest pace in the world after Cyprus as investors speculate a banking crisis will force it to follow the island nation and become the sixth euro country to need aid."
6 things you need to know about Slovenia, perhaps the next euro-zone domino
PM says Portugal at risk of 'collapse'
Portuguese finding pain hard to endure as prime minister says more austerity is around corner
Portugal Plans Spending Cuts After Ruling on Salaries
Spanish bankruptcies hit record in first quarter of 2013
Spain rating risk driven by deficit, says Moody's
US, Japan Now Global Allies in Money Printing
Australia 10% Unemployment for 9.6% Dents Gillard Prosperity
The Next Domino: Australia Doubles Tax On Retirement Savings
Australia's GM Holden cuts 500 jobs, blames high currency
Avon plans to cut over 400 jobs, exit Ireland
Market Crash Likelihood Goes Up If Stocks Continue to Rally: Marc Faber
ADB warns of rising political risks as developing Asia's economic growth picks up
Largest private yacht in the world is launched
Bank of Canada's business survey heralds lacklustre economic growth
German imports, exports slump unexpectedly in February
Germany's Net Foreign Assets Exceed €1 Trillion; 10 Compete Failures of the Eurozone
Comex Gold Inventories Collapse By Largest Amount Ever On Record
Tax Havens: How & Where the Wealthy Stash Their Cash Around the World
Charles Gave: "France Is On The Brink of A Secondary Depression"
Italian Bank Holdings Of Italian Debt Rise To All Time High
Fitch Downgrades China's Credit Rating on Rising Debt Concerns

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Indonesia considering terminating debt-ridden domestic carrier
Passenger complaints surge as airlines stuff ever more people into fewer planes
A snapshot of what it takes to keep a dying industry going. -- RF
Plane flights 'to get more turbulent'
Virgin Atlantic CEO Plans Two-Year Overhaul Without Cutting Cool
"Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.'s new chief executive officer has given himself two years to cut costs and restore Richard Branson's best-known brand to profitability without damaging its reputation for doing things differently."
Airlines improve performance, still can't catch a break
Cyprus Airways teeters toward bankruptcy
Scandinavian Airlines grounded its flights to Bangkok
Frustrated air travelers feel the pain of sequestration

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
North Korea 'preparing for fourth nuclear test'
North Korea warns foreigners to leave South
Japan sets up antimissile units
Singapore requests AMRAAM missiles
Egypt suspends commercial flights from Iran after protests
"Egypt has halted commercial flights from Shi'ite power Iran until mid-June, days after the first such flight in 34 years between the countries provoked protests from hardline Sunni Islamists in Cairo."
U.S. allies plan big Gulf naval exercise in May
Obama approves sending U.S. military aid to Somalia
France wants to keep 1,000 soldiers in Mali permanently
HSBC says margins to boost Gulf's use of Chinese yuan
"Changing trading patterns and pressure to improve profit margins will boost the Gulf's use of the Chinese yuan in coming years, the head of banking giant HSBC's China operations said on Monday."
U.S. Will Deploy Solid-State Laser Weapon On Ship Headed To Persian Gulf
Sequester: US Air Force grounds combat planes
Saudi Arabia builds giant Yemen border fence
Global cost of Somali piracy down as higher security deters attacks
"The cost of Somali piracy to the global economy has declined by 12.5 percent since 2011 as attacks fell sharply, a survey showed on Tuesday, but the cost of armed guards to protect ships soared."
Congo's mining heartland a volatile "powder keg": lawmaker
3 Chinese ships enter waters near Senkakus
Australian leader eyes naval exercises with China, U.S.
Kerry: US Won't Hesitate to Attack Iran
Syrian Rebel Faction Merges With al-Qaeda in Iraq

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thieves make off with millions in brazen highway robbery in Italy
Hundreds gather in Glasgow, Liverpool and Brixton to 'celebrate' death of Margaret Thatcher
Govt sues tent-using antinuclear activists (Japan)
Activists protest government suit to have anti-nuke tents removed (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##
Do rig counts tell us much about oil and natural gas supplies anymore?
Well, this sounds too good to be true. And if something is too good to be true… you know the rest. One of the commenters is short natural gas futures. Which means he thinks the price will fall still further. We got so much natural gas that there's a glut, etc. etc. But the important question is: Are the energy companies making money? I have in fact posted a number of articles here which show that shale gas is a money-loser at current market prices, meaning that it costs more to get the gas out of the ground than the producers are getting on the market. So although drilling efficiency is surely improving, we can also attribute the lower rig count to red ink (i.e., producers are shutting in production in hopes of pushing up prices into the profitability range). Remember: Peak oil (or peak natural gas or peak anything) was never about running out. -- RF
Six Reasons Fracking Has Flopped Overseas
"Thanks to the glut, drilling for gas is no longer profitable in the U.S. or overseas."
Again, don't be fooled. Instead of focusing on how much gas there is, focus on how much it costs to extract it. There is no literal "shortage" of energy; it all depends on your willingness to break the bank. -- RF
World's Largest Waste-to-Energy Power Plant to Run off London's Fat
Sounds great -- for now. But as I've pointed out time and again, WTE plants don't have a future because they run off the detritus of industrial society. The very system that produces the trash/fuel is unsustainable. -- RF
Cotton Planting in India to Fall as Water Shortage Worsens
PROMISES, PROMISES: Oil imports may fall by half, but economy will still need Mideast oil
Brazil electricity crunch a thing of the past -minister
Ecuador: OCP Pipeline Reports Spill Of 5,500 Barrels
Ecuador's OCP Pipeline Ruptures; Exports Not Affected
Iran opens new uranium mines, yellow cake plant
Proposed expansion of energy agency looks a seismic shift
Peak Oil Not Dead: America's Next Top Gamble
The Clock Is Ticking at CIGS Solar Firm Nanosolar
30 Steps to Energy Efficiency - Step 4: Turn Down Your Thermostat
The Looming Threat of Water Scarcity
EDF 'in big trouble' says French nuclear expert
"Financial problems facing EDF could force the French energy giant to pull out of the £14bn project to build the first of a new generation of nuclear power plants in Britain, a French expert has warned."
Should The Last Few Years Have Updated Your Idea of Peak Oil?
This sounds too sanguine to me. Of course Staniford is no newcomer to the energy scene. But I think he's overlooking the sheer growing expense of extracting hydrocarbons and the deep financial problems it's generating for the energy industry. For example, see the following, very disturbing article. At the same time, the energy system does not exist in isolation; it's tied to the crumbling world financial system, and together they are generating huge negative feedback. -- RF
Must read: More Financial Worries Coming to Light in Domestic Shale Drilling Industry
How to Buy Your Own Shale Boom
"Foreign companies have spent tens of billions of dollars in an effort to capitalize on the U.S. oil and natural gas boom."
Chinese Energy Interests Invade Mexico and Canada
Ultra-Deepwater Drilling Continues to Expand
"A recent oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico highlights the growing amount of oil found in ultra-deepwater. This is a huge advantage for companies who own the rigs doing the drilling because they're able to charge as much as $600,000 per day for their services."

## Got food? ##
Arable Land Far More Constrained Than We Realize: Food Expert
"We're running out of corn acres, which set us up for a problem in 2014 when global consumption continues to grow. The longer term problem is just getting worse because we're flat running out of this marginal land that we can bring in. Farmers don't have any more and, if they do, it's extremely expensive."
Indonesia's food prices skyrocket
Ghanaians still feeling shock of 73% food price hike
Kenya Farmers May Miss Planting Season
Rain, cold, snow to challenge U.S. wheat and corn crops
Veterinary drug found in Asda budget corned beef (UK)
Devastating honeybee loss reported across United States expected to impact food prices
Tons of Nutella stolen in food crime spree

## Environment/health ##
Particles from fossil fuels 'affect the growth of corals'
Activists claim Arkansas oil spill diverted into wetland
'No evidence' of crude leak from Houston-area pipeline -Shell
Many in Texas are scared of the weather
China's bird flu outbreak no cause for panic: WHO
China Bird Flu Outbreak May Stem From Numerous Sources
Fair Warning: Another Rough Hurricane Season Is on the Way
How air travel spreads infection and why airlines should look to prevention
Air Pollution Exposure in Pregnancy Linked to Cancers

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
As The Cookie Crumbles, Is Armageddon Coming For Online Advertising?
Brain waves may replace computer passwords
Because The Other Massive Databases Are Not Enough
Texting While Flying Linked to Commercial Crash in First
From Strip Clubs to Theaters, Google Glass Won't Be Welcome Everywhere
Baidu making its own 'Google Glass'
Israel strikes back after cyberattack
Biometric ID authentication protested (Japan)

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
The World's Fastest-Growing Megacities
How safe are our existing Oil and Gas Pipelines?
"With the Mayflower pipe line being the most recent in memory it's certainly not likely to be the last. Last year, there were 364 spills from pipelines which released about 54,000 barrels of oil or refined product, according to the PHMSA."
Years ago the late great Matt Simmons pointed out that the world's oil infrastructure is rusting away. -- RF

## Japan ##
Blades, Generator Fall From Wind Tower After Storm, NHK Reports
Collapse of wind power generator brings calls for tougher inspections
Japan's quake-crippled nuclear plant "losing faith" in leaking water pits
Tepco pressured to halt leaks, blackouts at Fukushima plant
Gov't starts pre-survey on candidate site for contaminated soil storage in Fukushima
Japan PM Abe aide: BOJ has further easing options
"The Bank of Japan still has options at its disposal to ease monetary policy further if needed, including boosting purchases of government bonds, exchange-traded funds and real-estate trust funds, a key economic adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday."
Bass Says Japan Bondholders' Reaction to Stimulus Telling
Japan deploys rockets in Tokyo, readies to shoot down North Korean missiles
Power-saving targets may be axed for first time since 3/11
METI to promote factory farming
Ambulance dispatch cases to soar
11 cracks in Seto Ohashi Bridge still not fixed three years later
And there's plenty more where that came from. Tokyo's expressway system is full of cracks. -- RF
Japan growth projected at 1.2%

## China ##
In China, off-balance-sheet lending risks lurk in the shadows
"China's banks are feeding unwanted assets into the country's "shadow banking system" on an unprecedented scale, reinforcing suspicions that bank balance sheets reflect only a fraction of the actual credit risk lurking in the financial system."
High inventory plagues Fujian garment capital Jinjiang
Dead fish cause for concern in China river
China Export-Data Skepticism Deepens From Goldman to Nomura
"China's unprecedented run of better- than-forecast export growth has spurred deeper skepticism of the data at banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., casting doubt on the strength of the recovery."
H7N9 Bird Flu Cases Reach 24, Deaths At 7 In China; Chicken's Off Menus
China reports another bird flu death, total now 8
H7N9 rumored to have hit Beijing as warnings censored
China depends more on overseas oil
Plenty of Things to Worry About in China, Bird Flu Is Not One
China's Infinite-Growth Haze
China draining world baby milk supply
China public telling officials to jump in a lake

## UK ##
Five million homes in debt to energy firms
"More than five million households are now in the red to their energy supplier, owing an estimated £637m, figures published today reveal. The number has soared by more than a million in the past year while average bills have climbed almost £100 to £1,353."
People in debt to their energy suppliers; refineries closing… Here's how the energy system breaks down. -- RF
Baby milk rationed in UK over China export fear
"Retailers in the UK are rationing sales of powdered baby milk because of a surge in demand in China."
Hospitals must downsize or close, doctors warn
Is modern life making us lonely?
British industrial production and manufacturing off from February 2012

## US ##
Trust in Gold Not Bernanke as U.S. States Promote Bullion
"Distrust of the Federal Reserve and concern that U.S. dollars may become worthless are fueling a push in more than a dozen states to recognize gold and silver coins as legal tender."
The Fed's Fear Scale: Holdings of Cold Hard Cash At A Record
"In 1969, notes greater than $100, including the cool $10,000 note  that would still pay for a lot of things, were retired due to 'declining demand.' Prematurely, it turns out. Because demand for cold hard cash, despite plummeting use of it for transactions, has surged. Reason: fear."
Bond Yields Are Falling Because the Consumption Bubble Is Imploding
U.S. Stock Market Is 'Overvalued, Overbought and Overbullish': John Hussman
How Americans Game the $200 Billion-a-Year 'Disability-Industrial Complex'
Fed Faces Risk of Fourth Summer Slump While Pushing QE
Unemployment Is Really 14.3%--Not 7.6%
More Than 101 Million Working Age Americans Do Not Have A Job
Iowa Town Braces For New Reality In Factory Closure's Wake
U.S. holds visa lottery for 85,000 skilled workers
Social Security Cuts: Hard to See 'as Humane'
Oshkosh to cut 900 jobs in defense unit
Dow Jones industrial average closes at another record higher, driven by commodities rally
Detroit Homes Rot as Appraisals Stopping Sales: Mortgages
Wisconsin City Seen as First to Call Build America Bonds at Par
Wall Street power player: We're incentivized to cheat
Food service workers at a record high in US economy
As Paul Craig Roberts once observed, America is becoming "a nation of waitresses and bartenders." -- RF
More Americans Seek Assistance to Afford Food

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?