Tuesday, September 17, 2013


News Links, September 11-13, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Five Years Later: 18 Dollars Of Debt For Every Dollar Of GDP; Total G7 Debt/GDP: 440%
Europe's carmakers warn of more cuts in weak recovery
European carmakers need to close more factories and cut more jobs, executives at the Frankfurt car show said on Tuesday, warning any recovery in demand was likely to be long and slow as unemployment remained high and bank lending weak.
BRIC Markets Sink to Worst Place for Investors in Global Poll
Analysis: Brazil may be spending its way towards a downgrade
Brazil's finances are set to deteriorate substantially next year, leaving the government with few options to revive a sputtering economy and raising the threat of a credit downgrade.
Laurence Kotlikoff: "The US Fiscal Gap Is $200 Trillion... Our Country Is broke"
Global billionaire population tops 2,000
7 signs of the next financial crisis
Of Milk Cows and Saudi Arabia
An informative read. Overpopulation, water shortage, and unrest, not to mention rising oil extraction costs. There are some really serious problems building. -- RF
Egypt owes foreign oil companies $6 billion, says PM
Russia to freeze gas, power, railway tariffs in 2014
The decision to prevent regulated prices from rising for the first time since 1999 is a effort to ease pressure on household budgets and foster growth in an economy slowed by financial trouble in Europe and deep dependence on energy revenue.
Billionaires Halt Mining Deals on Rupee Erosion: Corporate India
Italy industry output dives, dampening recovery hopes
Italian Housing Market Faces Ongoing Collapse
Greece expects economy to shrink 3.8 percent in 2013: report
Greece Can't Even Afford "Computer Upgrades" As It Reports Another All Time High Unemployment Rate
Austerity Threatens to Push 25 Million More Into Poverty: Report
Household debt: Singapore's 'Achilles heel'?

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline fees generated $27.1 billion in 2012, study finds
Tax hikes at airports likely
Thailand's Department of Civil Aviation is planning to raise airport taxes at all 28 airports under the department's supervision.
United Airlines to cease Grand Forks service
BA to offer 'hand baggage only' fares from London airports
British Airways said it would extend its cheaper 'hand baggage only' fares to flights leaving from London's Heathrow and City airports, following their introduction on short-haul services from London Gatwick in February.
How Fragile Are Airports? Long Delays Tell The Story
Japan MLITT: 23 of 26 government controlled airports reported losses in FY2011

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
More US boots on Philippine soil
More clashes in southern Philippines' Zamboanga city
Intercepts caught Assad rejecting requests to use chemical weapons, German paper says
Syrian President Bashar Assad has repeatedly rejected requests from his field commanders for approval to use chemical weapons, according to a report this weekend in a German newspaper.
FACT CHECK: Obama's case to Americans on Syria still lacks proof who launched chemical attack
The UN Has Had Evidence That Syrian Rebels Have Been Using Chemical Weapons Since May
Report: CIA believes Israel acquired chemical weapons decades ago
U.S. media suppressed 2009 UN report showing Israel using chemical weapons against Palestinians
Suicide bombs hit Egypt military in Sinai, kill 9
Egypt's government extends state of emergency for two months
Egypt violence stirs fears of Suez Canal terror
A failed attack on a container ship transiting the Suez Canal has raised concerns that as Egypt descends into widening violence the strategic waterway, could become a target for Islamist militants.
Non-lethal weapons markets seen to be growing
Thousands Flee in Philippines as Muslim Siege Risks Investments
Russia to supply S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran
Russia has no plans to supply Iran with S-300 systems – Putin's press secretary

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands of Indian troops deployed after clashes kill almost 30
In The Arab World, Unrest Is Coupled With Unemployment
Turkey Police Clash With Protesters for 3rd Night
Scarce food contributing to global unrest
400,000 person human chain stretching 250 miles for Catalan independence
Secession fights rage on across US

## Energy/resources ##
Core Labs CEO thinks we may have arrived at peak oil
"The maximum yearly oil production of the planet is taking place now!" That came from the CEO of a Netherlands-based company that has 70 offices in 50 countries worldwide. Their business is analyzing drilling results for all major, and 100s of smaller companies in the global energy finding industry.
Pa. fracking boom goes bust
US shale oil hides crude oil peak in rest of world
Brazil's Oil: Less Mega Than You Think
Libyan oil woes continue
Iraq short on oil workforce
Detroit blackout from grid overload
Major power outages cause blackouts across Melbourne's eastern and south eastern suburbs
Midwest heat forces PJM to curtail power, sets monthly record
Unseasonably hot weather pushed electric consumption in 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwest states on Tuesday to a higher level than in any previous September and forced power to be cut to some customers to avoid a wider blackout, the region's grid agency said Wednesday.
Why the Military Matters in Energy Markets
Germany can pull winter power reserve together-regulator
Europe's Utilities Unite Against Renewable Energy
Gashydrates: A Dangerouslylarge Source Of Unconventional Hydrocarbons
But not economical. This will prove to be an even bigger money-loser than shale gas. -- RF
Our Fossil-Fueled Future
Scientists calculate the energy required to store wind and solar power on the grid
Crude Oil Is Going Higher No Matter What Happens in Syria: Dicker
Cash Is Gone: After Years of Delay Giant Kashagan Oil Field Ready to Begin Producing Oil
I'll believe it when I see it. -- RF
Navy Captain: Biofuels Fall Short of Energy Security Goals
An examination of liquid biofuels published in Strategic Studies Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal for security professionals, has concluded that they fail to provide meaningful benefits when pitted against petroleum products.
It's a really harsh assessment. But what's surprising is that Green Beans expected something different. -- RF
If we have to use fossil fuels to manufacture renewable plants, doesn't it mean that renewables are useless?
Here's a sensible approach. Yes, let's invest as much fossil fuel as possible in building and deploying renewables, but don't expect them to maintain what we've enjoyed until now. But I think that unfortunately a collapse will happen because people want to have their cake and eat it, too. They're going to insist on living the high life, and on maintaining economic growth. And they're going to want/need energy to be cheap, which ain't gonna happen. As a result, everyone will push the energy and financial systems to their limits in a futile attempt to keep what we've got, and that will precipitate a crash. -- RF
Can Large Scale Solar Plants Generate Returns?
Now we're getting past the heady days where people were viewing the world through green-tinted glasses and imagining a seamless transition to renewables while the party continues without interruption. Investors are increasingly asking seriously if they're going to get their money back, which makes sense in view of all the money being lost. -- RF
Nuclear renaissance: U.S. Nuclear Power in Decline
How the West Texas Drilling Boom Could Go Bust. Again.
One way to frame this is supply and demand, and that is certainly valid. But that isn't the only way to see it. Oil and gas extraction costs are rising fast. In shale plays, one well can easily run $10-15 million. While the thrust of the article is that drillers are at the mercy of the market (which is true), most people are missing the significance of geological reality (i.e., skyrocketing costs) and what it portends for the future.  --RF
Rio Tinto Cuts Costs by Using Giant Robotic Trucks
Oman sees quick work on Iranian gas option
Bust: What Happened to Advanced Biofuels? Let Me Explain
A good read if you are interested in the skinny on second-generation biofuels. -- RF

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Battery Thefts plague East Texas oilfield owners

## Got food? ##
Dust Bowl Worries Swirl Up As Shelterbelt Buckles
Wheat Research Indicates Rise in Mean Temperature Would Cut Yields
Record-Low Texas Water Reservoirs May Halt Cattle-Herd Expansion
Food price fears push EU lawmakers to put a lid on biofuels growth
Gallup poll: More in U.S. found food unaffordable in August
Vietnam's Rice Output Faces Slide on Crop Switch: Southeast Asia
Rising onion prices bring India woes home

## Environment/health ##
1 in 10 kids have a liver like an alcoholic's (US)
Report finds crisis in cancer care from aging boomers, complexity of therapies, rising costs (US)
ExxonMobil Shuts Down Corbia Platform in Bass Strait
Exxon Mobil Corporation reported that it has shut down the Corbia platform in Bass Strait, off Australia after observing a sheen on the water close to the platform.
Brazil data suggests spike in Amazon deforestation

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
NSA spying on Petrobras, if proven, is industrial espionage: Rousseff
More NSA Lies: Spy Agency "Querried" 16,000 Phone Numbers Without Warrants
The NSA's next move: silencing university professors?
NSA Memo Shows US Gives Israel Access to 'Raw' Spy Data
Report: Data on Americans routinely shared with Israel
Are we close to making human 'mind control' a reality?
This should scare the crap out of you. -- RF
US Borders: Secret Paths for Interrogation, Seizure, Detention of Whistleblowers' Associates
Internal government documents released Monday by the ACLU show that U.S. government agencies collude with local authorities to use border crossings to bypass civil liberties protections and seize and search electronic devices that belong to people who associate with whistleblowers and other political targets.
Beijing To Crack Down On Social Media 'Slanderous Rumors'
NSA has long-time role in developing computer security, creating tension with civilian coders
Trial of the Century Still Shrouded in Secrecy at Guantanamo
'Guantánamo judge makes secret ruling on secret motion in secret hearing.'
Secret, secret, secret. Hey, it's like the Osama bin Laden assassination, where a secret terrorist (who was secretly already dead) living in secret is shot in secret by secret commandos on a secret mission who all tell different stories later (because the real story is secret). But you can't see the photos because they're secret. And the secret body was disposed of in secret. Get it? -- RF
Science Confirms: Politics Wrecks Your Ability to Do Math

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Nigeria becoming World's 1st Failed Petrostate?
Child killed by dogs in Bucharest leads to tough new law on strays
Map: Where You Don't Want to Be When It Hits the Fan
It's a self-evident truth that concrete cities are inherently unsustainable. Even without blackouts, energy decline will cause their gradual breakdown. And indeed, urban infrastructure is already deteriorating. Water mains are busting, gas lines are bursting, roads are crumbling, bridges are collapsing. -- RF

## Japan ##
Japan could anger China by putting government workers on isles
PM Abe to beef up national defense as Japan continues to face 'provocations'
Soaring Radiation in Fukushima Groundwater
Groundwater that flows directly into the ocean from the area surrounding the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant is highly contaminated with radioactive substances, the plant's operator announced late Monday following sample testing.
Japan mulls $50 billion stimulus to offset sales-tax hike: sources
How Japan Pretends To Fight Debt And Deflation, But Doesn't
Japan "Wins" 2020 Olympics: Final Nail in Yen Coffin?
Yen May Plummet to Infinity as Policies Diverge, Axel Merk Says
Japan grapples with the rise of hate groups
Researchers: Oxygen in bottom of Sea of Japan continues to decrease
Global warming is contributing to a decrease in the oxygen level at the bottom of the Sea of Japan, which could mean dire consequences for the marine ecosystem and the fisheries industry.

## China ##
Floods and Droughts Causing Major Crop Problems in China
This year, both North and South China have had crop-damaging weather that will necessitate importing grain.
China: No Leverage, No Growth
Which Chinese PV Manufacturers will Survive the Post Subsidy Apocalypse?
China August Industrial Output Rises 10.4%
China must manage the conflict between coal and water
Peak Coal Demand In China
Property regains top spot as driver of wealth for China's richest
Report: Number of China Billionaires Surpasses 300
PLA Navy to trial laser cannon

## UK ##
High Street vacancies still stubbornly high, says report
Mothers in problem families should be given contraception, government adviser says
The state is going to have to learn to do more with less
Britain confirms plans to privatize Royal Mail with stock offering expected within weeks

## US ##
America's Next "Debt Ceiling": At Least $17.8 Trillion
Our Huge, Stinking Mountain of Debt: Student Loans
Sequester hits special education like 'a ton of bricks'
Richest 1 percent of Americans are collecting biggest share of household income since the '20s
The very wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country's household income last year - their biggest share since 1928, the year before the stock market crash. And the top 10 percent captured a record 48.2 percent of total earnings last year.
Neofeudalism continues its relentless advance as the New Aristocracy increases its share of the wealth. Meanwhile, America's rising serf population makes do with table scraps. -- RF
The "Real" America: Near Record 20% Struggle To Afford Food, Highest Since Crisis Began
Puerto Rico's population drops as economy wobbles
Detroit 'Contagion' Spreads; Widely-Held Puerto Rico Muni Bonds Collapse
'Pink slime' returns to school lunches in 4 more states
Study: America's Public Pensions Are Even Deeper In Debt Than Previously Thought
Banks Seen at Risk Five Years After Lehman Collapse
Great Recession cost each household between $50,000 and $120,000, according to Dallas Fed study
How Big Banks Can Steal Your Home From You Even If Your Mortgage Is Totally Paid Off
Refinancing Collapse Resulting in Bank Job Losses
Defying predictions of demise, giant SUVs rumble along; GM unveils updated models
Does Your Local Government Have a "Black Budget" Too?
94.4% of Crisis Aid Went to the Financial Sector; Surprise? Or Not?
Forget Keystone. Tar Sands Drilling Is On In Utah
Solar panel manufacturer Helios files for receivership

And finally…
Woman drives into lake while texting
Man accused of thrusting penis through mail slot
Blobfish wins ugliest animal vote
Just 224 tweets for modern-day couples to fall in love

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