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World Bank warns of shock to debt-laden emerging economies as global liquidity is withdrawn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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