Thursday, September 19, 2013


News Links, September 19-20, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Marc Faber Warns "The Endgame Is A Total Collapse - But From A Higher Diving Board Now"
Dutch king: Say goodbye to welfare state, hello to personal responsibility
Although the welfare state was in truth never sustainable, we must always remember that under current conditions "personal responsibility" for many people around the world means poverty and starvation. -- RF
'Age of the Unretired' looms as millions plan to work into old age
Nearly one in eight of the world's workers believe they will never be able to afford to retire fully while millions of people are not financially prepared for life after work, according to international research by HSBC.
In sign of downturn, Indian retail landlords finally capitulate on price
In a capitulation that speaks to the depth of the slump in India's economy, usually tight-fisted retail landlords have become uncharacteristically flexible on rents.
After big promises, US property developer flees slumping Vietnam market, leaving anger in wake
'Winning the Race to the Bottom': Obama Moves to Fast-Track the TPP
The global public has been shut out of the negotiation process of the TPP, although it will profoundly impact domestic policies and the international economy. Press coverage of negotiations is prohibited, and even U.S. Senators are denied access to the most basic information about the proposals the U.S. is bringing.
Puerto Rico is living an impoverished debt nightmare reminiscent of southern Europe or Detroit
Europe To Change "Deficit Calculation" To Make Economy Appear Stronger
German Bilfinger says to axe 1,250 jobs worldwide
Metso to cut 660 jobs in paper machine unit
The Great Gold Heist of 2013: Exploding Demand & Falling Supply

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Air France plans to cut 2,800 jobs
Qantas review triggers fears of job losses
Cyprus Airways: an airline in need of the turnaround of all turnarounds
Airlines rake in $27 billion in customer fees

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US Army looking to contractors for African operations
US Army Africa Command (Africom) wants private contractors to move military equipment and supplies from the US to Egypt and 55 other countries within its Area of Responsibility (AOR) starting this month. This comes hard on the heels of a transport contract awarded by the US Army's Transport Command (US-TRANSCOM) to Berry Aviation to provide to provide air transport service in support of operations in western and central Africa. This contract is reportedly worth $49 million.
Greenpeace Activists Are Removed From Gazprom Arctic Rig
Two environmental activists who climbed an OAO Gazprom (GAZP) Arctic rig to protest planned oil extraction were taken into custody following warning shots from Russia's Coast Guard.
Canada mulls laser threat from hostile arctic ships
Canada is preparing defenses against hostile laser deployment by nations it sees challenging its arctic sovereignty, most likely Russia.
Surveillance facility eyed for Pacific (Japan)
The Defense Ministry plans to build a communications intelligence facility on Iwoto Island in the Pacific to improve its ability to conduct surveillance on China and its growing military presence, a government source said Thursday.
Rebels Clash: Al-Qaeda Seizes Syria Border Town From FSA
'Should there be a need': The inside story of Israel's chemical and biological arsenal

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Greek public sector workers strike over job cuts
Greek premier pleads for halt to violence
Murder of Anti-Fascist Hip-Hop Artist in Greece Adds Fuel to Ongoing Labor Strikes
Egypt: violent clashes erupt as security forces storm pro-Morsi neighbourhood
Iraqis hesitate on the edge of chaos

## Energy/resources ##
Shale gas bust: Invest in Energy Equities to Profit when the Shale Gas Bubble Bursts
The numbers don't lie—but politicians and industry bigwigs do. While pundits still wax poetic about an era of American energy independence, Bill Powers, author of the book "Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth," sees productivity plummeting in almost every major shale play.
Mineral resources and the limits to growth
Must read: "Peak Oil Demand" = Peak Oil
Bloodletting, bureaucratic bungling hamper Iraq's oil plans
Iraq 'to switch focus from oil'
China's Limit on New Solar Factories Seen Driving M&A
The Indian government is making state oil firms lose $77 million a day
Two years on: How nuclear sells itself post-Fukushima
RWE slashes dividend in face of green energy threat
Blackout hits large parts of Yemen after attack on power lines
PJM Averts Blackout During Unusual Heat Wave Using Demand Response
An unusual extreme heat wave spanning two days this week combined with local equipment issues in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania forced regional grid operator PJM Interconnection to take localized emergency measures to avoid the possibility of an uncontrolled blackout over a larger area.

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thefts of drainage covers continue across the city

## Got food? ##
$750 Billion in Food Wasted Every Year
Actually there are several problems here. One is the astonishing amount of fossil fuel energy that modern agriculture consumes to produce and deliver 1 calorie of food. We often hear boasts about how "efficient" modern agriculture is, but the need for such a huge input is clearly inefficient. Second, indeed much food is wasted, which is especially egregious in consideration of the huge input — all that energy gets wasted, too. People in developed countries often buy too much and eat too much (except for the poor, of course). Third, much food never makes it to consumers because of spoilage. In India much grain rots because there are not even sufficient facilities to store the harvest. Much food around the world spoils during transport, before it can get to consumers. The recommended solution is better transport and storage, especially expansion of the cold chain. But that's a problem because of the cold chain's high energy consumption. As we've seen here a number of times, the US cold chain is plagued by "hot trucks," which are food transport trucks with their refrigeration units turned off to save energy. If the cold chain is starting to break down in the US, how are developing countries supposed to build it up? Cold chain advocates are underestimating the energy expense in building, running, and maintaining the cold chain. The only realistic solution is to reorganize socioeconomic systems, including agriculture, so that much less energy is needed to produce and transport food. It will have to be done, anyway. -- RF
Invasion of the Chinese Chickens: America's Looming Poultry Problem
How Farmland Became Canada's Hottest Real Estate Market

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Coliving Takes Coworking to the Next Level in Rural Italy

## Environment/health ##
More Oil and Gas Spills Reported in Colorado After Floods

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
How The U.S. Military Plans To Hijack The Airwaves
Bulk surveillance: No phone company challenged FISA Court
Brazil data plan aims to keep US spies at bay
Brazil is considering ways to make local use of the internet less dependent on US-based services, following leaks about Washington's cyberspy operations.
Apple iPhone fingerprint scanner raises security worries
Linus Torvalds Jokes The NSA Wanted A Backdoor In Linux
Google Said to Mull Anonymous Identifiers Over 'Cookies'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Sir David Attenborough: If we do not control population, the natural world will
Growth is dead: Discontinuity Ahead – Oil Limits will Adversely Affect the Economy
Merkel Budget Zeal Erodes Byways as Infrastructure Rusts
The Smell of Collapse is in the Air

## Japan ##
Gold Rush Cometh In Japan - 1 Quadrillion Yen National Debt To Bankrupt
Japan logs longest run of trade deficit in over 30 years
Japan PM tells Tokyo Elec to scrap No.5, 6 reactors at Fukushima
Tepco To Earmark Additional Y1tln To Dismantle Damaged Reactors
The costs just keep going up and up. And the worst is yet to come. Even without another accident anywhere in the world, the ultimate cost of decommissioning alone would be enough to bankrupt governments. -- RF
M5.3 quake rocks Fukushima; Tokyo feels shake
Japan Meteorological Research Institute "60,000,000,000 Bq of Cs-137 and Sr-90 is leaking to the open ocean everyday"
Japanese PM Tries to Put Lid on Nuclear Meltdown's Bad PR
On Japan's Surging Electricity Prices
Death knell: Rough road ahead for maglev
TPP: Japan proposes making nearly 90% of items tariff-free for U.S.
Kyoto Gov. Yamada OKs installation of X-band radar
Kyoto Gov. Keiji Yamada on Thursday officially endorsed the installation of an advanced U.S. military radar in the prefecture, which will be the first U.S. military facility in the Kinki region centering on Osaka.

## China ##
China cuts coal use, steel capacity in northern regions
PBOC's Un-Tightening Sparks Renewed Bubble In Chinese Property Prices
China property developers pull down shutters, hoard cash
China's biggest property developers are sitting on $25 billion in cash as they prepare for a possible credit crunch and another round of crackdowns on real estate speculation.
Fed Blowing Massive Bubble in Hong Kong Real Estate; $2400 Square Foot Listings!

## UK ##
Higher food prices to push annual household grocery bills up £850 by 2018
Most of us will have to work until we drop
The idea of a long and happy retirement is a myth for all but a minority of people, a stark new official analysis of the nation's health suggests.
Home care fees rise by up to 160pc as rationing takes hold

## US ##
Eye-opener: The Treasury Secretary on How Unstable U.S. Government Finances Are
Government shutdown gears in motion
Home Starts Weaker Than Forecast as Fed Keeps QE: Economy
Translation: They weren't able to pump up the housing bubble as high as they had hoped. -- RF
Wells Fargo cutting 1,800 jobs in mortgage business: report
Detroit's Orr Says Sewer Repair Money May Go to Pay Debts
Detroit may use hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for required upgrades and repairs to its water and sewer system to pay debts it's trying to restructure in bankruptcy.
Obama asks leaders to push Congress to raise debt limit
Most Alaskans get $900 in oil wealth checks
America's great shrinking companies
Median Household Income Has Fallen For 5 Years In A Row
Food stamp usage rising as families struggle to put food on the table
Employers Trim Health Costs By Cutting Coverage For Spouses
Women Waiting Tables Provide Most of Female Gains in U.S.
Postal Service Warns It May Need Emergency Rate Hike
Druckenmiller Blasts "The Biggest Redistribution Of Wealth From The Poor To The Rich Ever"
Senate passes bill to avert helium shortage

And finally…
Crocodile found hiding under hotel bed

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