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."

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