Monday, June 03, 2013


News Links, June 2-4, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Lots of bad news today. Looks like the global "recovery" will be a bit delayed. -- RF
Top 1% Control 39% of World's Wealth
It's A "0.6%" World: Who Owns What Of The $223 Trillion In Global Wealth
Sweden Housing Crash Coming Up; Average Swede to Repay Mortgage in 140 Years
European car sales show little sign of upturn
European Propaganda On The Ropes - France Delays Unemployment Report
IMF Halves Germany 2013 GDP Estimate; Still Too Optimistic
Dubai booms again on back of the Arab Spring
Dubai is a wealth mirage built atop a bubble pumped up by access to plentiful energy. But net energy decline guarantees that its days are numbered. Smart people will keep their camels. -- RF
Recovering Dubai faces billions of maturing debt
BIS records startling collapse of eurozone interbank loans
"Cross-border lending is falling drastically across the western world as banks slash exposure to Europe and bend to tougher capital rules, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements."
Bank of Thailand Cuts Rate, Says Ready to Implement Capital Controls
No saviour in sight as world credit cycle rolls over
"This may be as good as it gets for the world economy. The HSBC index for the global business cycle hit a three-year high around Easter, and has since rolled over."
Emerging Market Dominoes to Fall as SocGen Sees Rout
18 Signs That Massive Economic Problems Are Erupting All Over The Planet
Julia Gillard reignites war on foreign workers with cash fines
"JULIA Gillard will reignite the foreign workers controversy with plans to introduce cash fines for bosses who fail to offer jobs to Australian workers first."
Canary in Coal Mine Gasps as Australia Resource Jobs Fall
'Not Swiss National Bank's job to rescue insolvent banks:' chairman
Show Me The Money Flow: Global Free Cash Flow And Capital Spending Contract To 2010 Levels
Cyprus banks lose billions in deposits in 2 months
Reality Bites for Emerging Market Reliance on Chinese Growth
Indian bankers suit up for war on debt defaulters
Asian factories cool as export orders slide
"Asia's factory sector lost momentum in May as new export orders in the trading bellwethers of China, Taiwan and South Korea fell or cooled, reinforcing the view that the world economic outlook is dimming in the second quarter."
Petrodollars: Indonesia's fuel prices are subsidized, and that has a big impact
Turkish stock market index drops over nationwide anti-government protests
Emerging Market Dominoes to Fall as SocGen Sees Rout
A measure of US manufacturing fell in May to lowest level since June 2009
Saudi Prince spends millions on closing off part of Disneyland for private party
Rich Countries Are Creating More Jobs By Creating Worse Jobs
Turkish stocks dive as protests spread
Europe's Tallest Tower Empty Despite Lofty Ambitions
"As western Europe's tallest building, The Shard, gets ready to celebrate its first birthday, skepticism about its popularity mounts amid revelations that only six of its 72 floors are in use."
Get Ready to be "Cyprused" at a Bank Near You
"The banking situation in Europe continues to deteriorate rapidly. As a measure of the ongoing crisis the 'Bail In' option used in Cyprus is actually being made European Commission policy."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
American, Delta shed most jobs among US airlines
IATA: Budget airlines struggle continues
"Some low cost airlines will continue to close down as a result of escalating fuel prices, dwindling passenger numbers as well as razor thin profit margins, says International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director of Operations in Africa, Mike Higgin."
Mexico's Aeromexico and union avert strike, delay key decision
Airfares hiked by 30% (KSA)
Malaysia Airlines Adds Fuel Surcharge
Kingfisher Airlines Q4 loss rises to Rs 2,142 crore
Japan Air Scrubs 787 Flight After Sensor Fault in Battery Box
Bright Outlook for Global Airlines Clouded by Trade War Fears
Airlines group raises 2013 industry profit estimate to $12.7 billion on higher seat occupancy
The Latest Thing In Airline Fees: United's Annual Baggage Subscription
Fuller Planes, More Fees, Lower Fuel Costs Drive Airlines Profitability
Air Cargo Germany's future uncertain
New air-travel taxes in the works
Hacker Claims Airplanes Vulnerable at 30,000 Feet

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraq warns Israel on using airspace in Iran strike
"Baghdad has warned Israel that it would respond to any attempts by the Jewish state to use Iraqi airspace for a strike against Iran's controversial nuclear programme, a top Iraqi minister told AFP."
U.S. rebalance to Asia-Pacific gaining steam, Pentagon chief says
"The U.S. military will devote more air power, ground troops and high-tech weaponry to the Asia-Pacific region as it moves ahead with a strategic rebalance, the U.S. defense chief said on Saturday in a speech that accused China of cyber incursions."
Russia to send nuclear submarines to southern seas
"Russia plans to resume nuclear submarine patrols in the southern seas after a hiatus of more than 20 years following the break-up of the Soviet Union, Itar-Tass news agency reported on Saturday, in another example of efforts to revive Moscow's military."
Pipelineistan and the New Silk Road(s)
More than 1,000 killed in Iraq violence in May: U.N.
16 rockets fired from Syria hit Hezbollah strongholds in eastern Lebanon
Top Muslim preacher urges Sunnis to join Syria war
If the Syrian Dictator Must Go… Why Not the Dictators in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain?
If Iran must not have a nuclear weapons program, why is it OK for Israel to have a massive nuclear arsenal? Or how about Pakistan? If South Africa was placed under international sanctions for apartheid, why no sanctions on Israel for its de-facto apartheid system? Why no US sanctions on China for its nukes and buying oil from Iran? Did China get a waiver from the US? Whoops! Not supposed to ask about that! -- RF
China Nuclear Weapons Stock Grows as India Matches Pakistan Rise
"China, which has the world's second-largest military budget behind the U.S., expanded its nuclear-weapons arsenal last year, with India and Pakistan also bolstering their stockpiles, a research institute said."
Globalization Creates a New Worry: Enemy Convergence
"That is the new term of choice in national security circles for the coming together of previously unrelated adversaries, who not only might combine in operations, but also share resources, know-how, weapons and technology and personnel."
Report: Britain to transfer weapons to Syrian rebels
Chinese warships entered US economic zone: Pacific Command
Iran election won't change a thing, experts say
Iran is more like the US than Americans want to admit. -- RF
Japan restates it claim over the Senkakus after China appears to back off

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Anti-austerity protests: Spain, Germany, Portugal
"Anti-austerity protesters on Saturday took to the streets of dozens of European cities, including Madrid, Frankfurt and Lisbon, to express their anger at government cuts they say are making the financial crisis worse by stifling growth and increasing unemployment."
Indians invade Brazilian farm again, set fire to fields
PDD fails to tackle power menace, people protest over power crises
Thousands of anti-government protesters swarm Istanbul square following clashes with police
Turkey Protests Continue to Surge: Over 1,700 Arrested
"Protests continue to grow in Turkey, with a third day of rallies seeing tens of thousands of people attending at least 90 separate rallies in the nation's four largest cities, and 235 rallies nationwide. Security forces are responding with violent crackdowns."
Gallery: Barcelona firefighters budget cuts demonstration 2013
Ethiopian protesters take to streets
Vietnamese police detain protesters
60,000 protest Japan's plan to restart nuclear power plants
Guatemalan mine dispute militarizes region
Libyan Oil Field Closes After Protest
Amazon Indians continue forced suspension of the world's third largest hydroelectric dam
Chinese activists call on people to wear black on Tiananmen crackdown anniversary

## Energy/resources ##
Shale drilling bust: Will the Eagle Ford Shale Bankrupt Local Communities?
Shale drilling bust: Radioactive Waste From the Marcellus Shale Continues to Draw Concern
People are starting to lose faith (Norway)
"Oil analyst Torbjorn Kjus think oil companies hide some how badly the state of oil production. Now investors are escaping oil stocks."
COLOMBIA: Oil Pipelines Remain Constant Rebel Target
Gov't announces 15 pct reduction in power use for all public offices (SKorea)
Afghans reel from power shortage
Energy crisis depleting forests around L. Victoria (Uganda)
Yingli Green reports seventh quarterly loss in a row
"Yingli Green Energy, one of China's largest solar equipment makers, reported its seventh straight quarterly loss as weak prices for solar panels continued to weigh on margins."
Futuristic High-Speed Tube Travel Could Take You From New York to Los Angeles in 45 Minutes
Like Japan's maglev train, this will never be built. -- RF
Desertec abandons Sahara solar power export dream
Well surprise, surprise! A few years ago renewable energy gurus and their followers were positively ecstatic about how north Africa would be powering Europe with "clean" energy and getting rich in the bargain. Note that this isn't just a matter of economics because there are other problems such as transmission losses and dust. And the "excess renewables production" in Spain or any other country exists only because of oil-generated credit and the fossil fuel-powered industrial production system. -- RF
S. Korea expected to face possibility of power shortage
"The country was expected to face its first power shortage crisis Monday due to a recent shutdown of nuclear reactors that reduced its generation capacity by over 2 million kilowatts."
Costly Risk In New Oil Exploration
"Over the past few years, the large Western oil majors have been plagued by projects running substantially over budget, and taking much longer to complete than initially estimated. These hurdles are part of the broader challenge facing oil companies -- how to cope with the end of the era of "easy oil." Let's take a closer look at one project -- the Kashagan oil field -- that epitomizes these challenges."
Karachi hit by shortage of 100 million gallons of water
Myanmar Attracting Major Energy Investors
China benefits most from Iraq's oil-production boom
Kuwait to burn 900,000bpd of oil for electricity and water by 2030
Government devises blackout warning system (Egypt)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper Wire Theft Leaves Little League Kids In The Dark

## Got food? ##
More small farmers selling land, turning workers: experts (India)
"With agriculture remaining unprofitable generally, many cultivators are forced to give up farming and consequently sell their lands. Uncertainty over water availability, steep rise in inputs, particularly fertilizers, and inadequate procurement price for food grains are among the factors that drive out farmers from their basic calling."
India's rice revolution
"In a village in India's poorest state, Bihar, farmers are growing world record amounts of rice – with no GM, and no herbicide. Is this one solution to world food shortages?"
Food makers struggle with rising costs (Japan)
"Food makers are feeling the effects of the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, though not in a good way, as the weaker yen drives up prices of wheat, cooking oil and other imported raw materials."
Experts unearth concerns over 'peak soil'
Lobbying And GMO Giant Monsanto Buckles In Europe
U.S. expands search team in GMO wheat investigation
Plant the Seeds of Saving This Summer
Is pork a national security asset?
An Excrement Expert's Manure Manifesto

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Less Growth = More Happiness
Forward To The Middle Ages!
This guy is great reading because we can see the high-energy, global mindset at work. Under a globalized economic regime with plenty of reasonably priced energy at our disposal, localization will not proceed very far, simply because most people (like the author of this piece) do not desire it. Under the assumptions of globalization and cheap, plentiful energy, the author's view makes sense. But with the passage of time, the relative degrees of localization and globalization will have less to do with desire and more to do with necessity. I imagine the author has a lot more money than I do and will still be buying his goods and services after most of us have lost our pensions and savings, and are hoping our crops don't fail (now that you mention it, it's pretty cool and dry here this year and my soybeans are not looking very good). -- RF
Could You Live Without a Credit Card?

## Environment/health ##
World faces mounting damage from disasters
China records 38th H7N9 bird flu death
Dutch authorities to cull poultry after avian influenza outbreak
Newly discovered virus takes more lives, spreads
Coronavirus kills 3 more (KSA)
Middle East Coronavirus Shows Up In Italy
Climate change threatens 82% of native California fish
Czech capital on alert as floods swamp central Europe
Disappearing Bees and Why Nature's Free Services Are Running Out

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Chuck Hagel accuses China over 'cyber intrusions'
Judge orders Google to turn over data to FBI
"A federal judge has ordered Google Inc. to comply with FBI warrantless demands for customer data."
Northern Ireland Town Fakes Prosperity for G8 Summit
Beijing is using its growing box-office clout to impose changes in Hollywood films
U.S. Tourists Become Israeli Commandos For A Day
New York Times Warning: Trust Authorities on Boston Bombing, or You're Nuts
Just like fingerprints: Supreme Court says police can take DNA from arrestees without warrants
Jordan blocks 'unlicensed' national news websites
Will Electronic Tattoos Replace Internet Passwords And All Other Forms Of Identification?
TASER Makes Upwards of $1.7 Million in New Sales
Singapore: Internet freedom under threat

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Energy limits: Is there anything we can do?
"I would argue that we are dealing with a situation that is essentially unfixable. It can be expected to morph into a financial crash, for reasons I explained in How Resource Limits Lead to Financial Collapse. Thus, the issue we will need to mitigate will be debt defaults, loss of jobs, and possibly major changes to governments."
A&E crisis leads to surge in cancelled operations (UK)
"More planned operations were cancelled in the first few months of this year than for any similar period in almost a decade, it has been revealed, as senior surgeons warn that the crisis in accident and emergency is cascading through the NHS."
Heatwave and water shortage drain some city schools (Baltimore)
"The Sun received emails from around the city reporting that schools hadn't received deliveries from water companies--and for years, school water fountains have been off-limits due to contamination."
Cash-Strapped Cities Struggle To Bury Their Unclaimed Dead
Cancer Drug Shortages Force Doctors to Ration, Delay Treatment

## Japan ##
Abe Offers $32 Billion to Africa as Japan Seeks Resources
"Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged 3.2 trillion yen ($32 billion) to Africa as his government seeks to catch up with China in pursuing resources, markets and influence on the continent."
Japan's Military Moves Toward Pre-Emptive Strike Capability
Japan Foreshadows Next Global Crisis
Radioactive water spills leave Fukushima fishermen floundering
TEPCO finds groundwater contaminated with radioactive cesium
Namie street dust 86.09μSv/h at 1cm above ground (video)
Frightened to return: A Fukushima father's story
"Rates of thyroid problems in children near the nuclear plant are high"
Thousands rally against nuclear power in Tokyo
Environment Ministry may sue Tepco for ¥16 billion
Reactor-dismantling cost rule may change
"The industry ministry is considering revising an accounting rule to alleviate the financial burden on electricity companies from decommissioning nuclear power plants, sources said Saturday."
Aging station signboards shut off after small fires
Mrs Watanabe Has Left The Building
Nippon Flour to raise prices from July 1
'Super Cool Biz' kicks off at ministry
Japan business investment down 3.9% in 1st qtr of 2013

## China ##
New portrait of China's 185 million seniors
"Large numbers of elderly Chinese are living below the poverty line and suffering from physical problems or depression, according to a study published Friday by western and Chinese academics."
China: The electronic wastebasket of the world
China Affirms Japan Sovereignty Over Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands
Beijing's crackdown on official extravagance begins to affect US travel agencies
Singapore's water companies aim to quench China's $850 billion thirst

## UK ##
Police arrest 58 as anti-fascist protesters clash with BNP
Super-rich on rise as number of £1m-plus earners doubles
It's mistaken to say that this points to some kind of recovery. Actually it indicates that the worldwide spread of the neofeudal disease has thoroughly infected the UK. -- RF
Mown down: The wildlife toll on UK's roadsides
This makes such good sense that you wonder why it wasn't implemented long ago. This will be just one good result of expensive fuel: As local and national governments everywhere cut back on mowing to save money, the ecosystem will benefit hugely. -- RF
Children think cheese grows on plants
Labour will axe rich older people's fuel payments - Ed Balls
Bank loans to business fall again despite Funding for Lending

## US ##
Pension deal eludes Illinois lawmakers once again; session ends without fixing $100B crisis
Illinois lawmakers approve nation's toughest fracking regulations, governor expected to sign
Fitch Downgrades Illinois, Drowing in Pensions
Housing Recovery Is a Sham Says the Guardian's Heidi Moore
Frozen berry mix causes hepatitis A outbreak in five states
Astonishing Numbers: America's Poor Still Live Better Than Most Of The Rest Of Humanity
This actually shows that Americans still have a long, long way to fall. Look out below! -- RF
Three Reasons The Economy Is Sicker Than You Think
U.S. Manufacturing Takes The Worst Hit Since June 2009 As Sequester And Slowing Consumption Bite
Huge Miss in May ISM; Manufacturing Now in Contraction; What the Numbers Mean
Hepatitis A outbreak affects 30 people in five states
Lowest Core PCE in History; "Flation" Perspective
USA not one of 10 happiest countries in world
Wisconsin GOP pushing law to spy on and seize bank accounts of unemployed
Gen X lost an average of about $33,000 in recession
But the rich got richer! -- RF
Detroit Museum Not The First To Consider Selling Out
U.S. online game maker Zynga to lay off 550 workers
How Many Cars Must Tesla Sell: This Interactive Calculator Has The Scary Answer

And finally…
Step Up IRS? IRS Dance Video Even Worse Than Star Trek
Hands-free Whopper holder introduced by Burger King
Hands-Free Whopper Holders Were Never Actually Made, Burger King Says
Five drivers follow satnav down the stairs in Spanish town 

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