Friday, June 07, 2013


News Links, June 5-7, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Europe's Black Market Economy Is Booming
VISA survey: Romania ranks 2nd in Europe by weight of shadow economy in GDP
Greece Takes the Lead in Shadow Economy
"Shadow economy in Greece has hit a high record of 24% of the GDP or approximately around 45 billion euros, according to a relevant research realized by the Institute of Economic Affairs."
UK shadow economy worth £150bn
Cost cutting: Spain's national police buy own bullet-proof vests
Australia's economic growth rate misses forecasts
Euro-Zone Business Activity Falls
Europe considers new agency to shut failing banks
European Central Bank cuts growth forecast
European Bonds Plunge Most In 3 Months, Stocks Slump
Latvia to become 18th eurozone member from 2014
Good luck! -- RF
Negative rates, help for small businesses on the table as eurozone struggles with recession
Food and Energy Prices May Skyrocket
Why Serial Asset Bubbles Are Now The New Normal
French unemployment ticks up again to 10.8 percent
France Considers Ban on Free Shipping by Amazon, a "Destroyer of Bookshops"; Prepare for Economic Collapse in France
Aluminum Prices Likely To Remain Depressed
Coca-Cola opens its first plant in Burma for 60 years
Does China Plan To Back The Yuan With Gold And Make It The Primary Global Reserve Currency?
Nouriel Roubini Seriously Misguided on Gold, on Equities, on Economic Growth, on Money
Canadian homes among most overvalued in the world
Aussie Dollar Slide Is Turning Into a 'Massacre'

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Korean Air Warns of Deeper Losses
Delta Air Lines beginning July 1 will charge economy passengers $100 to check a second bag on flights between the Americas and Japan
Jet Airways witnesses Rs 4,955-million loss in Q4 FY13
Bankruptcy judge removes obstacle to American-US Airways merger
United Airlines says weak yen may hit capacity, pricing
Airline Mergers Are Bad News For Summer Travelers
Airlines Hit New Record High Collecting Ancillary Fees

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Report: Israel Has At Least 80 Nukes
U.S. publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret
Iran Outmaneuvers U.S. in the Syrian Proxy War
Now the US finds it all the more urgent to strike out at Iran in any way possible. -- RF
U.S. blacklists global network of Iranian 'front' companies
Syria conflict: US may leave F-16s and missiles in Jordan
In Golan Heights, Druze villagers are preparing for war
Official: NATO May Look At Training For Libya
U.S. Navy awards $6.2B in contracts to build 9 new destroyers
Egyptian court closes NGOs, convicts 43 staffers, including US citizens
Egyptian politicians: Sabotage Ethiopia's new dam
Mali army clashes with separatist MNLA rebels
Japan's Involvement in U.S. Military Drill 'Unprecedented'
"Japan will participate at an 'unprecedented' level in a large-scale U.S.-led military exercise in California later this month, as it seeks to further strengthen coordination with its main ally and its ability to mount an amphibious assault aimed at capturing isolated island territory."
Egypt ups the ante on Nile dispute with Ethiopia
"Egypt's dispute with Ethiopia over the Nile River has gotten sharper with calls by political leaders for direct action to stop Addis Ababa building a massive dam Cairo says will cut off water the Land of the Pharoahs depends on for survival."
U.S. exempts India, 8 others from sanctions for Iranian oil

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
EU potential for social unrest is world's highest: ILO
"The potential for social unrest in European Union countries is higher than anywhere else in the world and the already yawning gaps between rich and poor, a major trigger, are likely to widen globally, the International Labour Organisation said on Monday."
Nationwide strike call in Turkey likely to inflame anti-Erdogan protests
Report: Turkish police detain 25 people for using social media to call for protest
Turkish celebrities join protests
As Protests Grow, Turkey's Demonstrators Demand Police Chiefs' Ouster
In Turkey, Protesters Proudly Call Themselves 'Looters'
Brazil calls in army to defuse conflicts over Indian lands
Platinum prices rise as unrest hurts industry

## Energy/resources ##
Massive Power Outage Affects Downtown Shanghai
Must read: Dangerous Times As Energy Sources Get Costlier To Extract
Here is a Forbes contributor who actually has a basic understanding of energy. The article discusses how EROI (i.e., net energy) is dropping like a rock, and the grave consequences for the economy. The tie-in with resources and food is also good, as many people overlook that. It's important to understand at this point in time that "peak oil," which refers to peak physical flow in barrels, is not nearly as significant as peak energy. Don't be misled by reports about new oil finds, or how much is being pumped out of shale formations. focus instead on how much energy we actually have in hand. This article also mentions renewables, but I would caution that high-tech renewables aren't going to save the system no matter what their EROI because they are basically fossil fuel extenders. -- RF
Hun Sen Says Water, Power Shortages to Stay (Cambodia)
"Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday that the rapid growth of Phnom Penh's population coupled with the rampant construction of new property projects means that there would always be a shortage of water and electricity supplies in the capital."
Thailand's Energy Shortages Raise Political Temperature
What "Technological Barrels" of Oil Have to Do With Price
Niger's Uranium Facilities Under Assault
Lots of Energy, Little Access: Africa and Asia in the Dark
Caution Urged Over UK Shale Gas Estimates
Water Supply: A Slow-Motion Train Wreck?
Czech and Austrian utilities shutter power plants due to floods
S.Korea finds two more reactors used fake part certificates
South Korean groups to cut energy use after shortage warning
Korea issues 2nd stage power shortage warning
Water Demands Increase in Saudi Arabia
Power companies want help on prices to keep clients in Europe
Israel's Leviathan gas field to cost at least $4.5 bln - source
"The U.S.-Israeli consortium developing Israel's Leviathan natural gas field estimates it will cost $4.5 billion to develop the offshore well, not including infrastructure for exports, an official familiar with the project said on Wednesday."
As Climate Change Worsens, US Corn Ethanol becomes Uneconomical
With such a pitifully low energy return, it was a loser to start with. -- RF
China Begins Testing of Mega Water Project
Despite the project, the total amount of water available to grossly overpopulated China spells trouble ahead. -- RF
Liberia and the vanishing rainforest
China becomes lead financier to new Australian mines
Major Drilling says staff levels cut 38 percent
"Major Drilling Group International Inc said on Thursday it has cut staff by 38 percent, part of cost cuts prompted by a slowdown in mining companies' exploration spending."
About Those Plunging Oil Prices
Bottom of the barrel: Kuwait plans to start drilling for heavy oil
Power crisis grips country despite cheap electricity spot rates, record capacity (India)
Nigeria: 120 Million Nigerians Lack Access to Electricity Supply - Power Minister

## Got food? ##
The Unintended Cost of Intensive Modern Farming Might Just Be Our Health
Nile dams could create severe food shortage in Egypt
How to Grow Beans
Monsanto sued by Kansas farmer over GMO wheat discovery that's hurt US exports
When You Waste Food, You're Wasting Tons Of Water, Too
The Next Green Revolution (This Time Without Fossil Fuels)

## Environment/health ##
Drillers Silence Fracking Claims With Sealed Settlements
Email 'raises stress levels'
"Email is supposed to make modern life easier, but it is making workers more stressed than ever as they struggle to stay on top of hundreds of messages per day, according to researchers."
Red Tide Killing Manatees
Faces Of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
"Forms of tuberculosis are emerging that are costly, difficult and at times, nearly impossible to treat. This new, worldwide threat is called , and it occurs when the bacteria no longer respond to the most common TB medications."
East Germany Prepares for Dam Bursts as Water Levels Still Rise
EU body predicts more extreme weather as floods devastate central Europe
'An Inland Ocean Of Flooding': Disaster In Central Europe
Get used to killer heat waves, CDC warns

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Supreme Court Thinks DNA Collection Is Awesome, Worth The Invasion Of Arrestees' Privacy
Miss. Turns To 'Cord Blood' To Track Down Statutory Rapists
As Obama calls out Chinese cyber-attackers, Silicon Valley leads charge against hackers
Nato suffered 2,500 cyber attacks in 2012
NATO forming cyberdefense teams
There's a Facebook virus spreading that can drain your bank account
Cyber War: U.S. Electric Grid is Riddled With Cyber Security Holes
Cyber experts say publicly accusing China of cyberattacks may be having a positive impact
Chinese hacked Obama, McCain campaigns, took internal documents, officials say
Global $200 million credit card hacking ring busted
Dept. of Homeland Security: Laptops, Phones Can Be Searched Based on Hunches
NSA taps in to internet giants' systems to mine user data, secret files reveal
"Top secret PRISM program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple"
NSA is collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers under secret court order: report
NSA whistleblowers say agency casts wide net, Verizon order is part of 'routine'
Q&A: What you should know about Obama administration's sweeping phone data collection program
"The government knows who you're calling. Every day. Every call."
Two Secretive Israeli Companies Reportedly Bugged The US Telecommunications Grid For The NSA
Cyberthreats: Welcome to the New Cold War
Microsoft, FBI take aim at global cyber crime ring
"Microsoft Corp and the FBI, aided by authorities in more than 80 countries, have launched a major assault on one of the world's biggest cyber crime rings, believed to have stolen more than $500 million from bank accounts over the past 18 months."
Saudi Arabia blocks Viber messaging service
USAF adding more cyberexperts
Web 'blackout' in Singapore to protest new online rules

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Dozens of local councils close to financial collapse, says MPs' committee (UK)
Abandoning the Rust Belt, Vacating the American Dream (PHOTOS)
Greece Slides Into The "Fourth World" - The Full Photo Album

## Japan ##
Abe courts new risk with plan to shake up public pensions
Full picture of 'Abenomics' unveiled
UBS CIO Warns Of Japanese "Abegeddon" Scenario
Government acknowledges that Fukushima is top environmental issue
Another contaminated water leak at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant
Average tumor size of Fukushima children in 2012 bigger than 2011 by 28%
Radioactive cesium found in groundwater at Fukushima plant; fishermen furious
3-year limit may prevent Fukushima evacuees from claiming compensation from TEPCO
12 children already had surgery in Fukushima, all were Papillary thyroid cancer
Nikkei's plunge stokes fears Tokyo market rally is over
Nikkei drops to two-month low
Japan business investment down 3.9% in 1st qtr of 2013
Births fall to record low of 1.03 million

## China ##
China's Debts Have Reached Alarming Levels
"What's worse is that the situation has become more like a Ponzi scheme. About one-third of Chinese firms are borrowing further money to pay hefty interests on their existing debts."
No peak coal for China until 2030?
China says rural environment problems worsen in 2012
China Solar Panel Makers Brace For Tougher Times
Political insider says 'small Tiananmen Square incidents' still occurring all over China
Luxury Sales Hit by Chinese Fears of 'Ostentation'
Shanghai downtown blackout shuts down metro
Blasted furnaces: Chinese steelmakers can't be more bearish

## UK ##
Councils may go bust, warn MPs
Homelessness reaches five year high as 4,500 families are forced to live in bed and breakfasts
Rising energy prices will challenge western way of life – MoD report
Meat is a treat – MPs' advice to the public as global food shortages loom
1.1m older people drowning in debt as credit card generation reaches retirement
Debt expansion is a key requirement for the infinite-growth economy, and that is why people are encouraged to spend beyond their means through borrowing. -- RF
Families to be £1,800 a year worse off by 2015, IFS says
Green fuel policies will cost some families £400 a year, watchdog warns
Fracking critic scoffs at British shale
"'The devil is in the details' in terms of the upbeat expectations about British shale natural gas reserves, a critic of hydraulic fracturing said Tuesday."
Expectant mothers told not to paint the nursery or use non-stick frying pans in case of chemical exposure
Britain faces 'colossal' child poverty bill, report shows
Middle-aged hit hardest by economic crunch
Bilderberg Protests: Police Create No-Fly Zone Over London

## US ##
$1 Trillion Debt Crushes Business Dreams of U.S. Students
Meredith Whitney On The Future Of Muni Bonds
U.S. bullion coin demand still at 'unprecedented' levels : Mint
"Demand for U.S. gold and silver bullion coins is still at "unprecedented" high levels almost two months after an historic sell-off in gold released years of pent-up demand from retail investors, the head of the U.S. Mint said on Wednesday."
New York Hilton, city's biggest hotel, quits room service
It's Official, the US is Back in Recession
More Government Job Cuts Are Coming: BofA Economist
The Great Recession wrecked Generation X
U.S. Trade Deficit Up 8.5% in April
Gas Drillers Prepare for 2014 Ramp-Up
When you dig into the details, this isn't such a promising story. After the sweet spots are exploited, drilling costs will rise even more. How much are you willing to pay? -- RF
Companies add more jobs but growth disappoints
Doomsday poll: 87% risk of stock crash by year-end
"10 predictions point to worse plunge than 2008"
U.S. drought said hitting native fish populations
Iowa City to ban red-light cameras, drones, and license plate readers too
"We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State" - Big Brother Goes Live September 2013
Where does Texas rank in power outages?

And finally…
China's Communist Party condemns trend of giant inflatable ducks
Gina Rinehart calls for the Sterilization of The Poor. Or Does She?
Be sure to read what she did say. -- RF
Most Annoying Business Jargon

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