Tuesday, September 17, 2013


News Links, September 17-18, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
EU car sales fall in August; year to date is lowest since records began in 1990
Peugeot loses ground as Europe car slump continues
Italy Public Debt Will Rise More Than Expected Next Year; Spain Debt Also Rises To Record
Banks lock out Americans over new tax law
Is Malaysia's property market headed for a Dubai-style crash?
Indonesia's widening deficit takes toll on resource nationalism drive
Indonesian policymakers are scrambling to ease nationalistic resource rules that threaten to slash mining exports from January and potentially widen a current account deficit already at a near-record high.
Foreign banks to provide upfront loans for Indian dollar deposits
Foreign banks are pushing to raise billions of dollars from expatriate Indians in response to New Delhi's drive to defend its weak currency, which could mean the government can avoid the need for a sovereign bond or state-backed deposit scheme to attract inflows.
Bubble trouble hits Hong Kong jade sales
Global Credit Excess Is WORSE than Before the 2008 Crash
As Economy Cools, Brazilians Find Themselves Trapped In Debt
Of course, trapping people in debt is the whole idea because continual debt expansion is one of the drivers of economic growth (along with cheap energy). -- RF
The Armageddon Looting Machine: The Looming Mass Destruction from Derivatives
Gold Is Not A Safe Haven? Tell That To People In Indonesia
India Escalates Gold Capital Controls, Hikes Duty On Gold Jewerly Imports To 15%
One chart that explains why the US auto industry is booming
Ten Real Reasons the Stock Market Could Crash All Over Again into a Depression

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Golden Eye-style energy beam is developed by Nato scientists
An energy beam that can be fired to disable vehicles and electronic devices has been developed by Nato scientists.
Even before Syria deal, Egypt was renewing its relationship with Russia
Obama Waives Ban on Arming Terrorists So He Can Aid Syrian Rebels
Russian Mediterranean fleet to be expanded to 11 warships
Putin: Russia to reopen Soviet-era Arctic military base
In public shift, Israel calls for Assad's fall
Gunmen kill Egyptian army officer and soldier in Nile Delta
Brazil's President Rousseff Cancels US Visit Over NSA Spying
US Troops in Sinai 'Under Siege' as Egypt's Junta Presses Offensive

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Greek Workers Rise for Week of Anti-Austerity Strikes
Greece: Schools Shut, Protesters Pepper Sprayed
They're Ba-aack: Occupy Wall Streeters Call For Robin Hood
The Occupy Movement At 2: Many Voices, Many Messages

## Energy/resources ##
Zimbabwe: Water Crisis Deepens
Electricity shortage delays Japanese investment in production sector (Myanmar)
Power shortage and constant blackout have hampered Japanese investors' productivity, according to JETRO Executive Managing Director Mr. Masaki Takaha.
Boom and bust in Australia's coal country
Case Study: Wind Lags Responding to a Power Demand Spike
Looming Energy Crisis Averted by Panda Poop?
Oh, brother! -- RF
Gasoline tops $3 a gallon for 1,000 straight days (US)
"The reality is that expensive gas is here to stay, which is tough on millions of people who need a car to live their lives." he added. "While a few lucky drivers may occasionally pay less than $3.00 per gallon, the national average is likely to remain more costly into the future."
Citi: 15% of European refining capacity is unprofitable
European refining margins have fallen 60% since last year, and changing market conditions will put even more pressure on them in the next few years. The industry has opted to reduce throughput instead of closing facilities to account for weak profitability, but this is a temporary fix that won't last for long, argues Citi analyst, Mukhtar Garadighi.
The Peak in World Oil Production is Yet to Come
There has been little growth in crude oil, and that has come at great expense. And the article does point out that much growth has come from other "liquids" that are of little help, such as NGLs and biofuels. I still contend that in terms of net energy, peak oil is in the rear view mirror, and an indication of that is that oil stubbornly stays above $100/bbl, even though there is no economic "recovery" anywhere. -- RF
Despite US Shale Oil Boom, The World Is More Dependent Than Ever On The Gulf
Damodar Valley Corporation crisis may lead to blackout in three states (India)
West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand are staring at a blackout in the wake of demonstrations at the Damodar Valley Corporation's (DVC) thermal power plant at Raghunathpur in the Purulia district of West Bengal. Demonstrators are seeking jobs in lieu of their lands, which were acquired for the project.
Utilities shocked to find they are already dead
Green Beans had better hope the grid is not dead. -- RF
Electricity blackouts return on fuel shortages and high consumption (Egypt)
A 2,500 megawatt (MW) deficit caused by a fuel supply shortage, combined with high consumption, have led to the return of blackouts, according to Aktham Abu El-Ela the first undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity.
Pakistan to import 1,300MW power from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan
Severe power shortage to hit next dry season (Vietnam)
Europe's refiners contemplate charm offensive to stave off sector's woes
BRICs overtake US in fuel consumption
Study: Tight Oil Potential Outside N. America is Huge
Because lifting cost is much higher for tight oil, an increasing proportion of such crude on the world market will further raise oil prices. How much more are people willing to pay? And remember, this also pushes down net energy. -- RF
Kazakhstan 'needs new finds' to avoid drop
Floods shut nearly 1900 oil and gas Colorado wells
EU, Russia reach 'political' deal on OPAL gas pipeline: sources

## Got food? ##
Sahara Tomatoes Lure Graduates as Algeria Shifts From Oil
Which will give out first — the electricity or the water? -- RF
American Farmers Say They Feed The World, But Do They?
The missing message here is that industrial agriculture is unsustainable. -- RF
Harnessing the Future: Farming with Draft Animals

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Gym No Match for Fitness Retreats Showing Tree-Climbing to Log-Lifting Best

## Environment/health ##
Mexico storms kill at least 24 and force thousands to evacuate homes
Opioid Prescriptions And Addictions Are On The Rise In The U.S.
Gonorrhea Among Drug-Resisting Germs Sickening Millions
Antibiotic-Resistant 'Superbugs' Pose Urgent Threat to Public Health: CDC
Healthy [sic] diet may reverse aging, study finds
Globe swelters through 5th-warmest summer on record
Frackademia: The People & Money Behind the EDF Methane Emissions Study

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Why Are Hackers Flooding Into Brazil?
'Follow the Money': NSA Spies on International Payments
The United States' NSA intelligence agency is interested in international payments processed by companies including Visa, SPIEGEL has learned. It has even set up its own financial database to track money flows through a "tailored access operations" division.
Your secret Wi-Fi password is no secret to Google
Time magazine cover: Spot The Odd Edition Out
Stop those thieves—they have my bitcoins!
Snowden in Top Running for Prestigious EU Human Rights Award
'Unleashed and Unaccountable': FBI's Post-9/11 Abuse of Power
New ACLU study tracks explosion in secret surveillance and infiltration programs that trample constitutional and civil rights
Cryptographers Attack NSA's Secret Effort to Subvert Internet Security
How the cops watch your tweets in real-time
How Google will be able to track you without cookies

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
State, local officials face expensive struggle to repair, replace rundown bridges
Inspectors face challenges in finding, stopping 'hot trucks'
Albert Bartlett: On message about exponential growth to the end
After decades of growth, South Korea is now a land full of apartments

## Japan ##
Typhoon Forces Dumping of Radioactive Water at Fukushima
Japan is nuclear-free after last reactor switched off
Japan Warned U.S. of Blackouts in Appeal for LNG Supply
The U.S. Department of Energy was informed by Japanese officials that the world's third-largest economy risked a catastrophic power failure as it prepared to close its last operating atomic reactor last year.
Vacant Japan Homes Show Holes in Abe's Push for Housing Growth
According to my local newspaper, nearby cities are already starting to panic as abandoned homes sprout like weeds in residential neighborhoods. -- RF
Japan: Boldly Going Where Not Even The Fed Will Go Anymore
Japan considering shooting down drones that infringe into airspace
US Ospreys stationed in Okinawa may be sent to Senkakus
Part-Timers 'Terrorize' Employers with Pranks
Japan govt to provide 10,000 yen to low-income earners
Japan faces record-long trade deficit with few signs it can reverse trend
Tons of cesium-tainted wood chips found near Japan's biggest lake
Farmers' radiation-tainted straw remains in limbo
More Japanese nuclear refugees sue Tepco, government

## China ##
China details plans for urban infrastructure projects
China's cabinet detailed plans on Monday to speed construction of urban infrastructure projects, in the latest move in Beijing's plan to boost domestic demand by swelling the ranks of city dwellers.
China's Choking Cities Means Job Cuts at Steel Town: Commodities
China home prices rise for 8th straight month
Rural development forces Chinese farmers to leave land

## UK ##
Fracking could have 'enormous environmental consequences', senior scientist warns

## US ##
Fiscal Crisis in Chicago
U.S. Debt at Highest Level Since World War II
Gap in employment rates between rich, poor at widest levels in records dating back a decade
Amid slow economic recovery, more Americans identify as 'lower class'
Incomes remain in three-year rut
After recession, few Americans expect to inherit money
Poor in America: A record 46.5 million below poverty line; rate remains stuck at 15 percent
New Census Figures on Poverty Show 'Crisis of Democracy'
Report shows 46.5 million people lived at or near poverty level while 48 million people had no healthcare coverage in 2012
25 Fast Facts About The Federal Reserve – Please Share With Everyone You Know
'Required reading': As textbook prices soar, students try to cope
Already grappling with skyrocketing tuition and fees, college students also must contend with triple-digit inflation on the price of textbooks.
Senator demands that Edison fix blackout problems
A state senator is demanding that Southern California Edison fix what he calls the "massive, recurring and unacceptable power outages" in the South Bay after a widespread weekend blackout left more than 100,000 residents without power.
Yellen It Is; Gold Soars; Summers Drops Out; Yellen 100% Assured to Make a Mess
The Origins of Our Police State (Chris Hedges)
The Silent Assassin of the U.S. Economy
The biggest problem in the economy isn't the excessive amount of public or private debt; it's the extremely high level of prices for basic commodities like food and fuel. Economists consistently underestimate how much of the middle class worker's paycheck goes to buying these two essential needs. For all of its successes, the Fed's QE program did nothing to alleviate high retail food and fuel prices. If anything, it may have actually increased them.
Engineer shortage: The Most (And Least) Lucrative College Majors, In 1 Graph
Colorado flood damage could exceed $1 billion
Why Is Construction Activity Still So Low?
The analysis says that "household formation is too low to support normal levels of construction activity." In the last batch of links we discussed several factors that are leading to the demise of the nuclear family and a return to the extended family. And that translates into… lower household formation. So the implications are huge for the beleaguered housing industry. -- RF
Pentagon audit shows Naval security flaws due to cost cutting
Heroin Pushed on Chicago by Cartel Fueling Gang Murders
Merchants gird for tough times
Another Government Subsidized "Green" Car Battery Maker Files For Bankruptcy
'Age of the Unretired' looms as millions plan to work into old age

And finally…
Would you board flight 666 to HEL?
Grumpy Cat gets Friskies endorsement deal

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