Tuesday, June 25, 2013


News Links, June 24-26, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Is That The Sound Of Asset Bubbles Bursting?
The 441 TRILLION Dollar Interest Rate Derivatives Time Bomb
Can a city that's hooked on condo cash survive if its real estate boom goes bust? (Toronto)
Dubai Accelerates Asset Sales as $30 Billion Debt Deadline Looms
Can all Dubai's shopping malls survive? (BBC video)
The Bank Of International Settlements Warns The Monetary Kool-Aid Party Is Over
Bond Losses of $1 Trillion if Yields Spike, BIS Says
"Bondholders in the United States alone would lose more than $1 trillion if yields leap, showing how urgent it is for governments to put their finances in order, the Bank for International Settlements said on Sunday."
Crime Gangs Look to Clean Up as Europe's Black Market Balloons
China, England sign currency swap agreement
"China's central bank and the Bank of England announced Sunday a three-year agreement to establish a currency swap to boost the Chinese yuan outside Asia."
Inflation, rupee slump have crippled middle-class India: survey
The Biggest Ponzi Scheme In The History Of The World
Italy likely to need bailout, analyst warns
How much of the world's workforce will come from Africa?
Yeah, 40% of the world's workforce might be in Africa. But what really counts is energy. Without lots of cheap energy to power factories and cities, all those workers are just starving, restive crowds. -- RF
China's $40 Billion Bid To Build Shipping Canal Across Nicaragua
Asia Crumbling; China's Worst 2 Days In Almost 4 Years, Nikkei 450 Pts Off Session Highs
Educated With a Dead-Beat Job: the Unseen Legacy of Europe's Crisis

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Southwest cancels 57 flights after computer glitch
Lufthansa says new low-cost brand off to good start
Japan's budget airlines hit turbulence
Airlines rank lower in customer satisfaction than the post office
Air travel changing at less than supersonic speed
Boeing Dreamliner: The Hits Just Keep on Coming
Airlines gone but not forgotten

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran Sanctions: Foreign Banks Kick Sand In Uncle Sam's Face
Anger at U.S. complicates efforts to capture Snowden
Russian FM: US demands for Snowden's extradition 'ungrounded and unacceptable'
US whistleblower Snowden 'still in Moscow airport'
U.S. soldiers head to Egypt for riot control
Russia offers Iran different defense system amid lawsuit
Cyprus considering Russian military use of airbase, port facilities
"Financially strapped Cyprus is looking at allowing Russian military aircraft to use an airbase in Paphos, the country's defense minister said over the weekend."
Ten car bombs kill 39 in Iraqi capital
Turkey May Adopt Chinese Air Defense System
West Africa seeks anti-piracy force
"West African leaders have called for the deployment of an international naval force to curb the growing threat of piracy off the Gulf of Guinea."
Asia driving 'explosion' in global arms trade: study
Germany Says It's Uncovered Terrorist Plot Using Model Planes
Police raid two terror rings in Germany, France
Taliban attack CIA compound in latest Afghanistan violence
"Insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the Kabul offices of the CIA early Tuesday in a coordinated attack in one of the capital's most heavily fortified neighborhoods, which is also home to Afghanistan's presidential place and the main headquarters for the U.S.-led international military coalition."
Edgy Egyptians stock up on food, fuel before June 30 protests
"Egyptians are stocking up on food, fuel and cash ahead of protests this weekend against President Mohamed Mursi that many fear will be the most violent and disruptive this year."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Police use water cannon to disperse protesters in Istanbul square after week-long lull
Turkish police detain 20 over anti-government protests
Brazil's Indians Reclaim Land, Citing Promises, Using Force
250,000 Brazilians return to streets as protests focus on government corruption
Brazil protests run gamut from health care to World Cup
Brazilians in Japan hold their own protest in Tokyo
Egyptian army 'ready to intervene to stop conflict'
Egypt's presidency: Military won't step in
Thailand protesters hold anti-government demonstrations
Lebanese Army in Action for Second Day as Unrest Spreads
Michigan protesters occupy tar sands pipelines

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: Energy Products: Return on Investment is Already Too Low
Amigos, this is exactly what I have been talking about when I speak of "net energy decline." This excellent piece nicely validates what I have been saying — that net energy is already too low to maintain our industrial society. The energy system's return has fallen below the point which enables us to keep the socioeconomic system propped up. That's why infrastructure is crumbling and can't be replaced, and why there can be no economic recovery. It's why the airline industry is a shadow of its former self and still consolidating, why companies and whole industries downsize themselves in an attempt to regain profitability, why budgets are being cut, why governments are drowning in debt, and why the informal economy is soaking up more people every day. You can't say you weren't warned. -- RF
Massive blackout in Lebanon attributed to fighting
Fuel shortages and equipment breakdowns aren't the only causes of blackouts. Look for more of this as global unrest and violence build. -- RF
Not Darkest Africa, but Darkest Nigeria - 120 Million Without Electricity
Shale gas won't stop peak oil, but could create an economic crisis
Just as I have been saying all along, the promise of shale drilling is totally overblown, and about 90% hype. Gold is "technically recoverable" from seawater, but no one is doing it. People think that technology = energy, and they confuse quality with quantity. The low quality of energy resources means declining net energy, which in turn means economic depression and collapse. -- RF
Utica Shale: Wading Through the Hype
Indonesia fuel prices rocket by 44% sparking protests
Arctic Oil & Gas: Not for the Faint of Heart
Canada's oil capital Calgary could be without power for months after floods
Will Israel's rush to export natural gas turn out to be a mistake?
Details on fuel rationing smart card in Egypt to be revealed
With electricity and water in short supply, Egyptians grow tense
Energy Companies Entering War on Terror
Insecurity in the Middle East
"The continuing conflict in Syria, and the slow spread of violence in the region around it continue to make it difficult to make accurate predictions about the future of oil exports from the region."
The above two articles illustrate the energy industry's growing problem with geopolitical feedback. Protecting facilities and workers will require that still more energy is expended on security, which further decreases net energy. -- RF
Indonesia and Chile to Build Thorium Nuclear Reactors
Thorium nuclear power is touted as the answer to our energy needs, and as having advantages over conventional reactors, but it's just another fossil fuel extender. -- RF
Australian oil and fuel dependency on the Middle East is 37 %
China's Sinopec buys Marathon's Angola oil fields for $1.52 billion
Japan and China Race to Invest in Africa's Natural Resources
Obama's Africa Mission Is to Make Up for Lost Time
Power Back on for Central Coast PG & E Says Outage Due to "Flash" at Morro Bay Sub Station
Tajikistan deviates from CASA script

## Got food? ##
Livestock industry in tatters (Cyprus)
Cattle feed cost up 22pc
Developing countries see hidden cost in food price hikes
Genetically engineered sugar beets destroyed in southern Oregon
Germany's Merkel: Europe firm on GM food stance

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Alternative Tomorrow's World: People-Powered Flour Mill

## Environment/health ##
New Mers-Coronavirus continues to smoulder
Malaysia declares state of emergency over smog in south
Lesson for Japan: Decommissioning Chernobyl may take '100 years'
Proper "decommissioning" ain't gonna happen, never, ever. As I pointed out before, there will never be enough money, and nuclear plants and their waste will be left to irradiate us, to be used as bomb materials, etc. A hundred years from now, the electric utilities won't exist, and even many currently existing governments will be gone from the face of the Earth. What incredible hubris to think that we can "decommission" nuke plants and "manage" their waste for thousands of years. -- RF
Drinking water contaminated by gas near fracking sites in US
"Households within a kilometre of shale gas fracking wells could be at higher risk of having their drinking water contaminated by flammable gases, a study suggests."
Rising sea temperatures call for new insurance models: Geneva Association report
Upside-down weather tied to jet stream wobbles; experts argue over global warming role
Chernobyl's Trees Pose a Huge Environmental Threat
Old wind farms bases 'could be left in countryside'
"Scotland's countryside faces being littered with the concrete bases of wind farms that have been dismantled at the end of their operational lives, a major study has warned."

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
U.S. Hacked China Universities, Mobile Phones, Snowden Tells China Press
NSA leaker Snowden in Moscow, seeks asylum in Ecuador
WikiLeaks' Assange calling the shots on Snowden
NSA leaker Snowden not seen on flight to Cuba, White House urges Moscow to expel him to US
Snowden receives refugee document of passage from Ecuador
New laws needed for 'out of control' intelligence agencies (UK)
87% rise in 'phishing' attacks seen in past year: Kaspersky
Privacy visor glasses jam facial recognition systems to protect your privacy (includes video)
"The world's first pair of glasses which prevent facial recognition by cameras are currently under development by Japan's National Institute of Informatics."
Is Your Smart Meter Spying On You?
NSA leaks: US and Britain team up on mass surveillance
The Guy Who Used To Protect Your Facebook Data Now Works For The NSA
Is the Government Spying On You Through Your Own Computer's Webcam Or Microphone?
South Korean presidential office website hacked
Surge in 'digital dementia'
"Doctors in South Korea are reporting a surge in "digital dementia" among young people who have become so reliant on electronic devices that they can no longer remember everyday details like their phone numbers."

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Surveillance vs. Infrastructure: When a Country Falls Apart
Million Engineers Struggling to Find a Job (India)
While developed countries can't find enough of the engineers needed to maintain their industrial societies, India has a glut because its economy has not developed to the anticipated extent where all those engineers would be needed. -- RF
Mid Year Digest (Kunstler)
"Wondering why the money world got its knickers in a twist last week? The answer is simple: the global economy is breaking apart and its constituent major players are doing face-plants on the downhill slope of a no-longer-cheap-oil way of  life."

## Japan ##
Day Traders Take Control of Japanese Stock Market Using 300% Leverage; What Can Possibly Go Wrong?
World's Biggest Pension Fund Doubts BOJ Can Achieve 2% Inflation
"Japan's central bank probably promised too much when it set a goal of lifting inflation to 2 percent within two years, according to Takahiro Mitani, president of the country's public pension fund."
Young people struggle to emerge from poverty
6 utilities include plans to restart 20 reactors in applications for rate hikes
Japan's nuclear safety upgrades mask industry problems
"Japan's nuclear utilities face shareholders this week promising restarts of idled plants as soon as next month after costly safety upgrades, plans that look wildly optimistic given they are yet to secure either regulatory or local approval."
Level of radioactive tritium rising in port at Fukushima plant
Women get priority as rubella vaccine shortage looms
"Amid its multiyear battle to halt the rubella epidemic, the health ministry has given priority to women in light of a feared vaccine shortage that could strike as early as August."
Japan's $1 Trillion Pension Fund Mulls Real Estate Spree
Plutonium problem lingers as mixed-oxide fuel comes to Japan
Japan made secret promise with U.S. to restart pluthermal nuclear program

## China ##
Bank Transfers and Services Suspended in China: ATMs, POS Machines, Online Banking Paralyzed 50 Minutes
China bank outages trigger consumer cash worries
China Crashing: Shanghai Composite Tumbles Most Since 2009
China May 'Fine-Tune' Monetary Policies Amid Cash Squeeze
China Fuel Oil Imports Climb to Five-Year High on Iran Supplies
China's coal industry hurt by market downturn
Chinese Industrial Subsidies Grow 23%
China's tight liquidity to continue until mid-July: experts
Fast aging population challenges social funds
China's "Giant Ponzi Scheme" Won't End Well: Jim Rickards
China Cash Crunch Already Being Felt on the Ground

## UK ##
Charities forced to step in as farm incomes plunge
"Farmers' incomes have fallen dramatically as a result of prolonged bad weather and the financial crisis, new figures have revealed."
The other hacking scandal: Suppressed report reveals that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance companies routinely hire criminals to steal rivals' information
Scotland Yard spied on critics of police corruption
UK's Nationwide draws up plan to plug 1 billion capital hole-report
Benefit cuts: Wealthier pensioners face losing winter fuel allowance and free television licence
British 'spies' face millions of budget cuts

## US ##
Controlling The Implosion Of The Biggest Bond Bubble In History
The Stunning Hypocrisy of the U.S. Government
Don't Get Fooled Again — It's Time to Dump Bonds Now
U.S. Stocks Suffer Heavy Losses In Volatile Session On China's Credit Crunch And Taper Talk
The Real Cost: Rising Interest Rates and Monthly Mortgage Payments
Nightmare for Mortgage Rates: Way Worse Than Freddie Told You
10-Year Treasury Yield Up 100 Basis Points Since May; What's That Mean for Mortgage Rates and Housing Affordability?
Welcome To The Police Industrial Complex
Uncle Sam Wants You To Invest In "The Patriot Fund"
Failure to fix nation's worst pension crisis hurts Illinois' credit rating, costs millions
Cash hard to raise as Fed jars credit markets
U.S. not funding hospital residencies may up doctor shortage
Army to cut brigades at 10 US bases by 2017 to reduce spending as wars end
76% of Americans Are Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck
Not Prepared: 17 Signs That Most Americans Will Be Wiped Out By The Coming Economic Collapse
Munis Extend Worst Losses Since 2008 as Illinois Sets Sale
$1.2 Million in Cash Destined for Fed Goes Missing

Friday, June 21, 2013


News Links, June 20-23, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
German shipping companies expect industry shakedown
"Surging overcapacity amid weaker global trade is raising the fears among German shipping operators of a big market consolidation, a survey has found. The German captains of the industry seek a lifeline in new alliances."
July GRIs are 'last chance' for shipping lines to stem severe losses
"With the next round of general rate increases on the Asia-Europe trade set to be introduced in 10 days, new analysis has painted a dismal picture of the financial health of some of the mid-sized carriers on the trade."
Global shipper TMT files for bankruptcy protection
Everything Is Being Sold
Euro zone business slump eases but second quarter contraction likely: PMI
European Car Sales Hit 20-Year Low; Don't Worry, Things Have Stabilized
IMF to Suspend Aid Payments to Greece Unless Bailout Hole Plugged
Is Greece About to Implode All Over Again?
Greek coalition fails to agree on ERT deal
"Greece's governing coalition has again failed to agree on how to resume transmissions by state broadcaster ERT, shut down by the government last week. Evangelos Venizelos, leader of junior partner Pasok, said there was now 'an issue regarding the very existence... of the government'."
"It's A Massacre" - Each Day 134 Retail Outlets Close In Italy
Chinese, U.S. factories struggle, Europe still in slump
Cash Squeeze in China, Interest Rate Swaps Rise Most in 22 Months; China's Credit Bubble About to Pop; Shadow Banking Crackdown
How China Fudges Its Numbers
Hedge Fund Manager Sees Stock Market Crash in China
Chinese Banks 'On The Brink' as SHIBOR Surges: BAML
The Bloom Has Fallen Off The Brazilian Rose
Shadow Economy Share at 20% of GDP (Estonia)
Arab Spring Redux in Most Emerging Markets, Losing Their Financial Religion
Homeless take over abandoned houses in Spanish building complex
EU Twists the Screws on Spain With Inane Requests
IMF calls for urgent steps on Spain unemployment
Brazil stocks, currency plunge in 'crisis' day
Gold Prices Collapse As Everyone Remembers It's Just Yellow Metal: Blodget
This is just absurd. Gold is not "just yellow metal"; and it certainly is true money. History bears witness to this. Do not be swayed by short-term changes in market prices, and do not be deceived by those who try to persuade you to prop up stock prices by sinking your nest egg in froth. (Disclaimer: My statements should not be construed as investment advice, blah, blah, blah). Meanwhile, Marc Faber is buying gold. -- RF
The Mounting Losses in Bond Long-Term Funds, Adding Injury on Top of Injury
"The US Treasury 30-year bond, the so-called Long Bond, is proving to be a widow-maker to those who bought a couple of months ago. Most investors did not want to hear that a mere 1% rise in interest rates across the board could wipe out 15% or more of the face value of their investment."
EU to decide who pays when banks fail
"The European Union will seek on Friday to forge rules to force losses on large savers when banks fail, a sensitive reform that could shape how the euro zone deals with its sickly banks."
Canada's youth at risk for chronic unemployment

## Airline Death Spiral ##
IAG Share Price: Loss-making Iberia in Critical State, Willie Walsh Warns
United Dreamliner diverted due to possible oil filter problem
Second United Dreamliner diverted with oil-related problem
Government review says American-US Airways merger would reduce competition on many routes
Pinnacle Airlines hits restart button, changes name to Endeavor Air
Kenya: Fuel Cost Cited As Main Challenge for African Airlines
If the World Were Run Like Airlines
Airline merger casts doubt on Charlotte's future as air hub, GAO says
United Airlines raises frequent flyer program penalties
Flybe strikes upbeat note despite near sevenfold surge in losses

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Kyrgyzstan bill likely to end US use of air base at Manas
Extreme Energy, Extreme Implications: Interview with Michael Klare
Afghan president suspends talks with US on security deal to protest US-Taliban negotiations
"Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he has suspended talks with the U.S. on a new security deal to protest the way  the Americans are reaching out to the Taliban in efforts to find a political solution to the war."
U.S. Afghanistan auditor tells of free-for-all as subcontractors demand money they're owed
"The U.S. government's primary auditing agency for Afghanistan has found that subcontractors on U.S.-funded projects in that country frequently aren't paid, resulting in a litany of problems that include delayed and unfinished jobs, death threats to company workers and allegations of corruption among Afghan police and judicial officials."
China Says Middle East Conflict Too Complex for U.S. Alone
"The Middle East's challenges are too complicated for the U.S. to address alone, a top Chinese envoy said today, as the government seeks greater influence in a region that's the source of 50 percent of its oil imports."
U.S. slow to deliver promised aid to Syrian rebels
U.S. has secretly provided arms training to Syria rebels since 2012
8,000 troops from 19 countries join Jordan 'war games' in readiness for spreading Syria conflict
Battleground Syria: Foreigners Flock to Fight in Sectarian War
"As the ongoing Syrian Civil War continues to get bloodier and more religious in tone, foreign fighters, who have been a real part of the conflict for a long time, are flocking to the nation in droves for a war that is less and less about Syria, and more about the age-old Sunni-Shi'ite schism."
Somali Islamist rebels attack U.N. base, 22 dead
Indian crew kidnapped in pirate attack off Nigeria - sources
"Pirates in speedboats attacked an oil supply vessel and kidnapped four Indian and Polish crew members in increasingly dangerous waters off Nigeria's coast last week, two security sources said on Wednesday."
How Iranian Procurement Agents Dodge U.S. Sanctions
Supreme court quashes Iran bank sanctions and criticises secret hearings (UK)
Saudi crackdown on illegal firms threatens thousands
China denounces Philippines for 'illegal occupation' of reef

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Brazil protests proceed as smaller cities join the fray
"Protesters blocked roads in Sao Paulo and marched toward a stadium hosting a major international soccer game in Brazil's northeast on Wednesday in a growing wave of nationwide demonstrations against poor public services, inflation and other woes in Latin America's biggest country."
Brazil unrest: President Rousseff cancels overseas trip
One million march across Brazil in biggest protests yet
Backlash grows against Brazilian protests after riots
Protesters in Lebanon clash with police
Student protesters demonstrate against plans to hike fuel prices
Egypt Islamists warn opponents with huge pro-Mursi rally

## Energy/resources ##
No short-term solution to Egypt's rolling blackouts
Siemens Exits Solar Industry, Suffers $1 Billion In Losses
Dwindling Great Lakes squeeze shipping industry
Niger's worst power cuts in years threaten economy
Island city reels under 8-14 hour power cuts
US Gas Reserves Down Amid Shale Boom
Indonesia to raise subsidized fuel prices
"The Finance Ministry has said spending on fuel subsidies could reach $23 billion this year compared with about $20 billion in 2012. When electricity subsidies are factored in, total subsidies could end up costing the government about $32 billion or 20 percent of its 2013 budget."
500 Years Of (Mostly Rising) Energy Prices
If Supplies Of Oil Are Up, Why Is Gas Still Pricey?
Bad News for the Anti-Fracking Crowd
If the energy return is really that fantastically high, gas fracking should be making money hand over fist. Instead, investors are still subsidizing it. Since money stands for energy, you've got to wonder how the EROI was calculated. -- RF
US needs [Canadian] oil sands as surge from shale bonanza seen overdone
"The US will continue to need crude from Canada's oil sands because rising production from its shale formations is too expensive to maintain."
U.S. Oilsands Open for Business
We're supposed to be encouraged by articles like this, but it just shows we're scraping the bottom of the barrel. -- RF
Norway opens more Arctic waters to oil exploration
Russia Agrees $60 Billion Oil Deal with China
Where Raptors Roamed Rio's Copper Dream Stirs Water Worry
Natural gas used less than predicted
The Peak Oil Crisis: Middle Eastern Turmoil
Russia Turns Away from Europe, Focuses on China

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Police investigating railway spike and plate thefts
Cable thieves cause train disruption
Ghana government pledges to deal with telecoms cable theft menace

## Got food? ##
Lack of garden space drives Brazilians up the wall
Beef recall announced over E. coli fears
"National Beef Packing Co. and The United States Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall of 22,737 pounds of ground beef over E. coli fears."
Children are dying because of failure to use GM crops, says Owen Paterson
Leave politics unchanged, and it doesn't matter how much food there is; people will starve. But a bigger problem is that he thinks industrial agriculture will continue. -- RF
Why Slave Labor Still Plagues The Global Food System
World Seen Facing Crop Shortfall on Insufficient Yields in Study
Dairy farmers hold teleconference to lament cost of production
"Dairy farmers unhappy with the dairy title in the farm bills being discussed in Washington held a conference call with reporters last week to talk about their concerns that dairy farmers' cost of production is stripping them of viability."
Lack of irrigation water could lead to $400 million in agricultural losses.
US: Tomato operation closed on labor shortage
"Other fruit and vegetable growers across America have also decided to shut down their operations this summer, said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. These crop losses could cost farmers and the American public hundreds of millions of dollars and force the United States to import more food and vegetables, he said."

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Greeks who worship the ancient gods
Into the Woods and Away from Technology

## Environment/health ##
Human population growth presents increasing threat to animal species
Methane Leaks Threaten the Future of Shale Gas
Record 'dead zone' foreseen for Gulf of Mexico
Especially grim encephalitis toll feared in India
Pesticides significantly reduce biodiversity in aquatic environments
Deadly Coronavirus Spreads Easily in Hospitals: Study
Singapore smog 'could last for weeks'
Number of Oil Spills Fall in Houston Region, but Still at Nearly Two a Day
Canadian tribe turns to controlled burning to protects forest, animals
Study: 70 Percent Of Americans On Prescription Drugs
The contribution of particulate matter to forest decline
Heavy rains in southern Alberta force mandatory evacuations in areas of Calgary and surroundings
On Climate Change, Do Electric Cars Miss The Point?
Tank at Washington state nuclear site may be leaking radioactive waste
20 Signs That The Pharmaceutical Companies Are Running A 280 Billion Dollar Money Making Scam

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Lies of Empire: Don't Believe a Word They Say
"The U.S. reprises Iraq, inventing a WMD threat from Syria. The FBI concocts home-grown terror through stings, while the NSA claims it has secretly saved many lives. Why this steady stream of government-invented terror, if the real thing is so abundant? And, isn't the U.S. arming and funding the same jihadists they are supposed to be listening for on our telephones?"
No, NSA Spying Did NOT Prevent a Terror Attack on Wall Street
Report: NSA can keep US phone records, emails indefinitely if connected to terror or crime
Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant
Government could use metadata to map your every move
Federal Agents Accuse Two Of Plotting Deadly X-Ray Weapon
Mueller: FBI uses drones for surveillance over US soil
FBI Chief Demands Broader Surveillance Powers
"Speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee today, FBI Chief Robert Mueller lamented that the current level of Internet surveillance, now known to be enormously broad and capturing huge amounts of ordinary Americans' day-to-day emails, is insufficient for his goals."
WikiLeaks lawyers helping Snowden in brokering asylum
What If The NSA Tracked Your Emotions?
Investigators want missile theory probed in '96 TWA Flight 800 crash
"A handful of aviation experts, including a number of investigators who were part of the original probe of TWA Flight 800,  have come forward in a new documentary to say evidence points to a missile as the cause of the crash off the coast of Long Island 17 years ago."
Hackers Break Into Toyota Server
The Web Cookie Is Dying. Here's The Creepier Technology That Comes Next
Hackers using webcams to spy on women in their homes
Wearing a mask at a riot is now a crime (Canada)
This is your brain on happy: Machine can read your emotions
Want to Gamble Online? You'll Be Spied On

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
1 in 9 U.S. bridges in need of repair
Battered city of Gary, Ind., considers shrinking 40 percent to save itself
'Suffering On A Huge Scale': World Refugee Numbers Swell
Developer says future of human race could rely on massive RV park in eastern Kansas hillside
"After most of the world's population is wiped off the map by a wayward meteorite or hail of nuclear missiles, the survival of the human race might just depend on a few thousand people huddled in recreational vehicles deep in the bowels of an eastern Kansas mine."
The biggest threat is the collapse of the industrial system, which is already in progress. And our hope for the future is creating communities with people who can support each other, and also work with other communities. Don't give in to this isolationist, me-first bunker mentality. -- RF
Firms struggle with skills shortage
"The UK is facing a 'critical' lack of skilled workers as firms struggle to recruit suitably qualified staff, according to a new report."
Cities with the Most Abandoned Homes (US)

## Japan ##
Japan finds highly toxic strontium in Fukushima groundwater
Utilities to apply to restart 12 reactors at 6 nuclear plants
Monju operator skipped inspections of another 2,300 devices
Japan's trade deficit climbs to $10.5B in May as import costs keep pace with rising exports
Abenomics Races Against the Clock
Northrop delivers mine-hunting vehicle to Japan
"Japan's navy has received the first of four AQS-24A airborne mine-hunting vehicles from Northrop Grumman for use on MCH-101 helicopters."
Dilemma: How to shed white elephants' red ink?
"The costs of keeping aging infrastructure in top shape are likely to jump in the coming years, because much of it was completed during the economic boom times from the late 1960s to early 1970s. In response, the debt-plagued government, scrambling for new sources of funding to build or replace infrastructure, has embraced the PFI concept."
Public works have always been a cash cow for various entities because of cheap energy, but now that the nation's infrastructure is crumbling faster than it can be replaced, we have these desperate new ideas. -- RF
BOJ Beat: Cash-Rich Japanese Firms Getting Richer
Not only individuals, but also companies know that this is a time for maintaining a strong cash position. -- RF
NPA to create special cybercrime team
Ban on growing human organs in animals to be lifted
Japan becoming the land of the setting sun
Government report calls for more food stockpiling
All four engines on new reconnaissance plane stalled during test flight

## China ##
China's Central Bank Is Engineering A Liquidity Crunch To Tackle The Shadow Banking System
Bank Of China Denies Default
China Cash Crunch: 1-Day Interest Rate Spikes to Record High 25%
PBOC Said to Inject Cash After China Money Rates Jump
China Manufacturing Contraction Deepens Amid Cash Pinch: Economy
"'If market rates remain at such high levels, the only scenario for the Chinese economy is a hard landing,' said Xu Gao, chief economist with Everbright Securities Co. in Beijing. 'That possibility is growing now -- it seems the leadership is deliberately taking a wait-and-see stance to see how low China growth can be.'"
7 million graduates join the epic battle for a job in China
Whistleblower Forces China To Come Clean Over Data Manipulation
Chinese Aluminum Smelters Suffer Overcapacity

## UK ##
GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications
"British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares them with NSA, latest documents from Edward Snowden reveal"
750,000 savers face pensions blow on signs money printing is over
"More than 750,000 British workers on the brink of retirement face losing a fortune on their annual pension income as central banks prepare to wind down support for the global economy."
Councils 'face 10% central government funding cut'
Britain to pay more for power than Germany for a decade-C.Suisse
"British electricity prices may be almost double those in Germany within three years due largely to the impact of a new tax aimed at supporting renewable power generation, a report by bank Credit Suisse showed on Wednesday."
'Jail reckless bankers': Report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
Five U.K. Banks Must Raise Extra $21 Billion Capital

## US ##
House to consider cuts to food stamps as part of massive farm bill
10 ways the middle class is still getting squeezed
Student loan debt is worse than you thought
"A new congressional report says the US burden is nearly $1 trillion, posing a threat to both new grads and the entire economy."
Tea party rallies against IRS in Washington
Chicago tops in owner-vacated properties in foreclosure
Dow Loses 350 Points After Fed Hints It Will Stop Buying Bonds
Collapse In Caterpillar North American Sales Not Helping Bernanke's "Recovery"
Widespread water shortages in Utah could bring fines for misuse
"A number of Utah cities are trying to head off water shortages, some with threats of fines for people hosing down their lawns with drinking water."
Thousands of Californian prisoners to be released early to combat overcrowding
Realtors: Rising home prices are 'unsustainable'
Syria spillover violence threatens cease-fire with Israel
'Resort fee' popping up on ever more hotel bills
How Long Before America Hits 'Peak Car' For Real?
Tanks, a lot: Nevada gas thieves on drilling spree target vehicles
"Police say the gas thieves have hit more than a dozen vehicles the past month, drilling holes in gas tanks and likely draining the fuel into buckets. In addition to a newspaper truck, tanks were tapped over the weekend at a car dealer, a laundry and a grocery store."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


News Links, June 17-19, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Baltic Dry Index Shows The Global Economy On The Verge Of A Slowdown
Moody's: Sustained oversupply keeps outlook for global shipping industry negative
Slump leaves dry bulk groups in doldrums
'Big three' container shipping groups plan alliance
"The world's three largest container shipping lines are planning to set up an operational alliance on three of the busiest trade routes, in a sign of the tough conditions facing the sector."
Excel Maritime plans to file for bankruptcy
Euro Zone Faces Make-or-Break Summer
European Car Sales Fall to 20-Year Low Amid Unemployment
Why Emerging Markets Are Still on Shaky Ground
Pettis on China, Europe, Japan: Bad News for Those Looking for Growth
World Bank warns of shock to debt-laden emerging economies as global liquidity is withdrawn
Myanmar Opens To Business Opportunities, But Is It Sustainable? – Analysis
Banker Rate Rigging Is Worse Than Expected Around The Globe
Biggest Bond Bubble In History Is Turning Into Carnage
Rubber Poised for Record Glut as Shippers End Curbs: Commodities
Greece Has One Month To Plug A €1.2 Billion Healthcare Budget Hole
Venezuela on the Brink of Hyperinflation
Moody's warns on China local government debt, financing vehicles

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Consolidation: Concentration of carriers puts collapse on Europe agenda
Region approves $400,000 subsidy for American Eagle
"The local airport will celebrate one year with American Eagle by providing the airline with $400,000 to compensate it for empty seats."
That's the kind of "celebration" you have for a collapsing industry. -- RF
LOT's Net Loss Spikes After Write-downs
LOT to axe routes, sell Embraers, lease out two 787s as part of cuts
Here's Why United Was Just Named America's Worst Airline

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Gunmen attack Libyan posts in Benghazi
US Upping Number of Marines Going 'Down Under'
51 killed in new wave of Iraq attacks
Reformist Rowhani surprises with Iran election win
Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria
Ron Paul Destroys White House Claims About Syria (video)
Putin says West arming Syrian rebels who eat human flesh
Saudi supplying missiles to Syria rebels: Gulf source
Russia's Putin torpedoes G8 efforts to push out Assad
Reports: Israel Behind Attack on Damascus Airport, Killing 10
Russia Delivers $1Bln Worth of Military Hardware to Azerbaijan
India's Energy Ties with Iran Unsettle Washington
"India's relentless search for hydrocarbons to fuel its booming economy has managed the rather neat diplomatic trick of annoying Washington, delighting Tehran and intriguing Baghdad, all the while leaving the Indian Treasury fretting about how to pay for its oil imports, given tightening sanctions on fiscal dealings with Iran."
U.S. House passes bill to ensure Israel can 'remove existential threats'
"National Defense Authorization Act instructs U.S. to take 'all necessary steps' to help Israel defend its vital national interests, among them preventing a nuclear Iran."
Boeing executive sees 100-200 international tanker sales
U.S. mulls countermeasures against threat of enemy UAVs
Taliban 'set to open office in Qatar'
West Africa piracy overtakes Somali ship attacks
"Piracy off the coast of West Africa has now overtaken Somali piracy, a report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and other seafarers' groups says."
As I observed previously, trying to suppress pirate activity is like a game of whack-a-mole. The pirates know that governments are now too weak to police everywhere at once. -- RF
US drops demand Taliban renounce al-Qaeda to allow talks to progress
"America will engage in its first formal direct talks with the Taliban on Thursday, after dropping its long-standing demand that the movement renounce ties with al-Qaeda in order for them to progress."
Arab village in Israel targeted in racial attack

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Despite police ouster from Istanbul park, protesters return to defy prime minister's authority
Labor unions ready strikes, protest after police crackdown empties Istanbul park of activists
Turkish government says it may use army to end protests
Turkey facing violent national uprising
Man inspires new form of protest in Turkey simply by standing
Protests in Beirut over possible destruction of public park
G8: Protesters cross outer perimeter of Enniskillen summit
Indonesia parliament paves way for fuel hike amid protests
Protests are ongoing all over the world. Here's why.
Peru protesters push to stop $5 billion Newmont mine
More than 100,000 take part in Brazil protests
"More than 100,000 people took to the streets in overwhelmingly peaceful protests in at least eight cities Monday, demonstrations that voiced the deep frustrations Brazilians feel about carrying heavy tax burdens but receiving woeful returns in public education, health, security and transportation."
Tensions high as hate speech-driven anti-Korean rallies clash with counter-protests (Japan)
Paris Could Burn This Summer: Niall Ferguson

## Energy/resources ##
How Fracking Killed Nuclear Power
Ha ha, what a gas! Nuclear power was already dying and didn't need money-losing fracking to administer the coup de grâce. Don't fall for the hype. -- RF
Additional Iranian Oil Sanctions May Be Counterproductive
Nuclear Decommissioning Surge Is Investor Guessing Game
"Nuclear utilities thrust into the spotlight after the Fukushima meltdowns have ordered 20 reactors shut, the most in a three-year span since Chernobyl's aftermath, saddling the industry with a possible $26 billion in costs."
So, nuclear decommissioning is going to cost a lot of money, is it? Big surprise to those who thought nuclear-generated electricity was going to be "too cheap to meter." Far from starting a renaissance, nuclear power is already turning into a catastrophic bust, and the party is just getting started. Because no one will have enough money to properly manage reactors and their deadly wastes, this junk will just accumulate and be left largely unattended. It'll be an unmitigated environmental and ecological disaster. Chernobyl and Fukushima are nothing compared to what's coming. -- RF
The real reason to fight nuclear power has nothing to do with health risks
Here is an economic argument against nuclear power. But the situation is actually worse because (1) while this analysis assumes that the current economic system will continue (a fair enough assumption for the sake of analysis), it won't because of net energy decline, and (2) like high-tech renewables, nuclear power is a mere fossil fuel extender; it was never an energy system which could stand on its own. -- RF
Water Shortages May End Jordan's Nuclear Power Hopes
Renewables Are 'Victims of Their Own Success', says Ruhl
"Renewables suffered their first 'serious slowdown' in 2012, as their rapid growth outpaced the capacity of some economies to continue subsidizing them, according to BP Chief Economist Christof Rühl."
Kenya May Face Fuel Shortage and Price Rise From July
LDK Solar loss increases, revenue tumbles
Brazil's Giant Libra Field could Produce One Million Barrels a Day
"[Head of the National Petroleum Agency] Chambriard commented that is not unreasonable to expect production at the Libra field to begin within five years."
And as we have seen from recent news, Petrobras has serious cost and financing problems to cope with. -- RF
Are Tidal and Wave Technologies Finally Entering the 21st Century?
"The oceans contain vast amounts of energy, yet hydropower technology has struggled to advance due to the engineering difficulties of creating turbines capable of resisting the huge forces that can be exerted on them."
Indonesia Coal, Oil May Be Depleted in 10 Years
But long before depletion comes declining net energy. -- RF
North Dakota Oil, Gas Production Hits All-Time High in April
"However, North Dakota shallow gas exploration is not economic at near-term gas prices, and while U.S. gas storage is now 2.4 percent lower than the five-year average, lower prices are anticipated for the foreseeable future."
Results may vary: Beware of kaleidoscopic vision in the oil and gas industry
Power crisis fears unnerve industry in booming Philippines
Power crisis in north India as rains shut two big units
Seoul set to enforce energy saving measures
UN says by 2030 half world's people will live in high water stress areas
Europe Must Forget Fantasies about Repeating the US Shale Boom
Chinese Scientists Discover New Method to Increase Recoverable Oil from Wells
Doesn't say anything about cost. Anyway, don't expect it to change anything. -- RF
Energy-Water Nexus Reaching Crisis and Your Bill May Increase to Fix the Problem
Israel to keep more gas for domestic use?
Total blackout possible — N'cholai phase II load too heavy for grid
Power lack in Mindanao among top PHL problems (Philippines)
Annual maintenance: Gas shortages may worsen as fields are shut down (Pakistan)
If gas not imported from Iran: Pakistan will have to pay billions of dollars as fine, says Naveed

## Got food? ##
Global fish prices leap to all-time high
"Global fish prices have leapt to all-time highs as China's growing appetite for high-end species – from tuna to oysters – runs up against lower catches."
Life without bees: Shocking photos show supermarket produce section without pollination
Soup kitchens' numbers swell to record high
Organic Pest Control Series: Using Organic Pesticides
Don't Ask the FDA If Your Corn Is Genetically Altered
Americans throw away 90 billion pounds of food a year
This is made possible by the high calorie input from fossil fuels. -- RF
Growing food in the cities

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Learn A Post-Collapse Trade Before It's Too Late

## Environment/health ##
Nuclear Lobby's Latest Spin: It's All Just "Fear" Of Radiation
As more patients get lab-grown body parts, scientists face challenge of making complex organs
Unfortunately, net energy decline ensures that such technologies will be available to only a small portion of humanity. This will fuel ever-increasing conflict between elites (i.e., the New Aristocracy) and the 99%. -- RF
Red-meat intake linked to increased risk of diabetes
Climate change a threat to migratory birds, wildlife group says
Autism Tied to Air Pollution, Brain-Wiring Disconnection

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Officials: NSA programs thwarted potential terrorist plots in US, more than 20 other countries
NSA Copies All Internet Data, Creates Dossiers on Every User
NSA admits it listens in on US phone calls and reads US emails without a warrant
21 Facts About NSA Snooping That Every American Should Know
Leaker vows details on NSA access to tech servers
Retired Federal Judge: Your Faith In Secret Surveillance Court Is Dramatically Misplaced
Saudi Arabia plans to block WhatsApp within weeks: report
GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians' communications at G20 summits (UK)
"Phones were monitored and fake internet cafes set up to gather information from allies in London in 2009"
Apple got up to 5,000 data requests in six months
Yahoo: 13,000 government requests for data
Tech and Online Companies Disclose NSA and Government Security Requests
CBS' Attkisson says her computer was hacked
Obama: If you are a US citizen, NSA cannot listen to calls, target emails
The Next NSA Spying Shoe to Drop: "Pre-Crime" Artificial Intelligence
GE Hiring Thousands of Engineers to Build Industrial Web
IRS tracks your digital footprint
"The IRS has quietly upgraded its technology so tax collectors can track virtually everything people do online."
EU websites track users without warning, against own rules
How mobile payments might be the global money-laundering machine criminals have dreamed about
NSA director defends sweeping surveillance program, says plot against Wall Street thwarted
DHS hopes to get same cyber-spying powers as NSA
App pays you to spot illegally parked cars
Japan, U.K. to ink deal on guarding secret info

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Rotting, Decaying And Bankrupt – If You Want To See The Future Of America Just Look At Detroit
America's infrastructure report card (D+)

## Japan ##
Tokyo faces aging infrastructure
Like many other big cities around the world, Tokyo is crumbling. There's a whole lot of infrastructure built decades ago with oil that cost a few dollars a barrel. Now it's rusting and chipping and rotting away, and would have to be replaced with oil that costs $100/bbl. Ain't gonna happen. -- RF
Traffic lights on the blink / Many too old for use; some even collapse
More infrastructure falling apart, and not enough money to repair/replace it all. This is one way in which the collapse of industrial society proceeds. -- RF
TEPCO puts radioactive water decontamination process on hold, yet another leak detected
Utilities Prepare To Restart Reactors Under New Safety Rules
Some Aboard: Japan's New Luxury Train Market
Any kind of "luxury" market of course aims for that small portion of the population with money. It's not something that is going to bring a "recovery." -- RF
Over 10,000 cases of Rubella recorded so far in Japan this year
Number of shoplifting cases in Japan continues to remain high
Over 1,000 people hospitalized in Japan for heatstroke
Honey bee colonies disappear following exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides
"A recent experiment wherein honeybees were made to ingest pesticides containing neonicotinoids resulted in a phenomenon  similar to that known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), where groups of bees disappear en masse, researchers said."
NEET ratio hits record high in 2012
"The percentage of the nation's young people not in education, employment or training, or NEETs, hit a record high in 2012, a government report said Tuesday."

## China ##
5 signs that China is about to fall off of a debt cliff
1) Plummeting exports in May
2) The spike in interbank rates continues
3) A crackdown on unsecured loans is imminent
4) Businesses are lying about profits and drowning in debt
5) Local government financing platforms are desperate for loans
China's bloated local governments still seeking finances
"Even with the debt of 36 local governments in China soaring over 3.8 trillion yuan (US$627 billion) as of the end of last year, they are still seeking loans for developing local infrastructure projects, the Shanghai-based First Financial Daily reported."
Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history
"China's shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned."
Faltering Economy in China Dims Job Prospects for Graduates
Huge outlet mall set to open next year in Pudong
Chinese Fairy Tales
China truck tire overcapacity immense
Puru Saxena: China's Real Estate Bubble Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

## UK ##
Street lights may be turned off to help fund elderly care, councils warn
"Street lights may have to be switched off and libraries closed down if NHS funding is not diverted to help councils pay for elderly care in communities, leaders have warned."
This is it; this is how it happens. Collapse proceeds as we rob Peter to pay Paul. -- RF
4,000 lives a year lost by poor hospital care at weekends
Boris Johnson: Don't arm the Syria maniacs
"Boris Johnson warns that arming the Syrian rebels would be disastrous, adding to tough warnings from Vladimir Putin, the Archbishop of York and an ex-Army leader."
5,300 soldiers to lose jobs as defence cuts are rolled out
Climate change overseas likely to affect UK food supplies

## US ##
Water Wars: Who Controls The Flow?
Bloody Chicago weekend: Seven dead, dozens hurt in shootings
Throwing children in prison turns out to be a really bad idea
"The United States still puts more children and teenagers in juvenile detention than any other developed nations in the world, with about 130,000 detained in 2010."
Riskier Junk-Loan Demand Soaring Like It's 2007: Credit Markets
Illinois' failing economic model: more food stamps, fewer jobs
Good New York Fed Manufacturing News Not as Good as It Looks
"The pace of growth in New York state manufacturing slowed more than expected in April as new orders tumbled, the latest data to suggest the economy lost some steam heading into the second quarter, data from the New York Federal Reserve showed on Monday."
Is Sears Itself Headed for Bankruptcy?
Gatsby-Style U.S. Weddings Show Confidence to Spend: Economy
What Happens When Our Nuclear-Power Fleet Is Older Than You Are?
The Supreme Court Decided Your Silence Can Be Used Against You
Bank of America former employees: 'We were told to lie'
Major natgas pipeline explodes in Louisiana, area evacuated
San Francisco Boom Belied by Year's Biggest Losses: Muni Credit
Derivative Losses, Bad Bets, And Aggressive Assumptions Leave Detroit's Pensions Massively Underfunded
Why Dwindling Snow — Thanks Largely to Climate Change — Might Dry Out Los Angeles
Boulder and other Colorado cities try to fight fracking

And finally…
Japan fears losing diplomatic buffet battle to China
"Belt-tightening in Japan's diplomatic service is cutting the quality of canapes on offer abroad, the foreign ministry has said, leading to fears Tokyo is losing the battle of the buffets to Beijing."
World Cabbage Hurling Championships
English politician claims he fathered child with alien

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