Tuesday, September 24, 2013


News Links, September 24-25, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
South Korea Tax Debate Ignites as Revenue Gap Hampers President
Seven months after taking office, South Korean President Park Geun Hye's election promises threaten to unravel as revenue shortfalls ignite a debate on tax increases to pay for her welfare and defense spending plans.
China Corporates Not Making Debt Payments
Chinese corporate debt was 113% of gross domestic product at the end of last year according to the widely followed Louis Kuijs of Royal Bank of Scotland RBS +0.35%.  That's worse than the 86% in 2008.  J.P.Morgan thinks the 2012 figure was 124%, and BBVA, the Spanish bank, estimates almost 130%.
Denver Gold Forum Keynote Speaker Calls For 'Honest Money' Based On Gold
Bailed-Out Nations Get Another Four Years of Merkel
IMF reduces its forecast for Russia's economic growth
Singapore Continues Push To Become Asian and Global Gold Hub

## Airline Death Spiral ##
IATA revises its 2013 global industry outlook downwards
Asian Airlines 2013 Profit Forecast Lowered
Norwegian Air says both its Dreamliners hit by technical issues
Airbus sees world aircraft fleet doubling by 2032
Ain't gonna happen. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Egypt court bans Muslim Brotherhood 'activities'
Kenya declares end to Nairobi terror attack after seized mall burns
What's the Connection Between Israel and the Kenyan Mall Attack?
China lashes out at Japan military radar plans
China criticized Japan on Monday for its plans to install a cutting-edge U.S. military radar system to monitor North Korean missile launches, saying that could impact regional stability and upset the strategic balance.
Russia to file piracy charges against Greenpeace activists for anti-drilling protest in Arctic
China bans several weapon-related North Korea exports

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Workers Set Factories Ablaze in Call for Decent Wage for Producing Globe's 'Cheap' Clothing (Bangladesh)
'Flush the TPP!': Protesters Scale Trade Building in Protest of Secretive Deal
The village warriors of Guerrero
Protests in Sudan as fuel prices soar
75,000 Commit to Civil Disobedience if Obama Cuts Deal on KXL

## Energy/resources ##
Shale gas bust: Shale Gas is Not a Saviour, it is a Thorn in Renewable Energy's Side
The peculiar geology and economics of shale energy production, compared to conventional oil and gas, make the US experience both unsustainable and difficult to replicate. US shale oil and gas production growth has started to slow on the back of fast rising costs and rapidly depleting reservoirs.
Tight oil bust: Bakken Hype Versus Reality
The world is watching: The German revolt against renewables
Quick Take: Environmentalists tout Germany as an exemplar of intelligent renewables policy. For instance, Germany long had a feed-in tariff for solar PV that paid "solar farmers" a premium price for their electricity. But some Germans are now beginning to revolt. We recently told you of an effort to delay or do away with plans to install smart meters in Germany. We're also hearing an increasing drumbeat of protest against renewables. Unlike North America, the pushback doesn't come from fringe types convinced that meters cause cancer or that renewables are a Communist plot. Rather, it comes from respected mainstream sources who are concerned about the economics. For instance, the German Federal Ministry of Economics thinks the costs of smart meters outweigh the benefits. And now there is a growing chorus of dissent against the high power prices brought about by Germany's policy of renewables-uber-alles.
Dutch decision to delay shale gas drilling brings mixed reactions
Shell shuts Trans Niger pipeline again
2030: A "perfect storm" of global resource shortages
Forget Syria, Here's a Real Oil Market Supply Concern
Nonrenewable Renewables?
Here's a good read. Rapier's thinking is close to my own. Green Beans never stop to think about the nonrenewable components (or the components that will eventually become too expensive, with the same result) of "renewable" energy. They believe we're going to build our wind and solar farms and live happily ever after. As the author of Our Finite World correctly observed, renewables are "fossil fuel extenders." In truth nothing happens in industrial society without fossil fuels, and it pays to keep that in mind if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises. -- RF

## Got food? ##
With world's attention focused on chemical weapons, mass starvation feared in Syria
Humanity's Heating of Planet is Planting Seeds of Hunger: Report
Egyptian government mulls fixing prices of fruit and veg
Superbugs in the Meat Supply
China 'to rent five per cent of Ukraine'
Ukraine has agreed a deal with a Chinese firm to lease five per cent of its land to feed China's burgeoning and increasingly demanding population, it has been reported. It would be the biggest so called "land grab" agreement, where one country leases or sells land to another, in a trend that has been compared to the 19th century "scramble for Africa", but which is now spreading to the vast and fertile plains of eastern Europe.
When Who Will Feed China was published, there was a lot of indignation from China. But just look at this. It's an acknowledgment that they're in trouble. And it won't end well. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Scientists set to prepare strongest warning that warming man-made
Floods inundate a quarter of Thailand's provinces, warnings issued
Making Time: How to rescue whales tangled in nets
Green energy pays for itself in lives saved from smog
Wild pigs menace suburban Atlanta
Wild pigs have descended on a suburban Atlanta neighborhood where they are scaring children, making a general nuisance of themselves, and acting as they if they own the place.
Deep sea recovery from U.S. Gulf spill could take decades: study

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hacker group claims to have cracked Apple's iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner
The iPhone's fingerprint lock also works with toes and nipples
Booting Up: New NSA Data Farm Takes Root In Utah
The Government Is Spying On Us Through Our Computers, Phones, Cars, Buses, Streetlights, At Airports And On The Street, Via Mobile Scanners And Drones, Through Our Smart Meters, And In Many Other Ways
Gmail, Google docs suffer delays, outages Monday
Google fixes Gmail glitch that disrupted service to about 50% of users
Brazil's president Rousseff attacks US over spy claims
How a Crypto 'Backdoor' Pitted the Tech World Against the NSA
ATT, Verizon, Sprint Are Paid Cash By NSA For Your Private Communications
20% of Yelp reviews are fake

## Japan ##
More Rail Track Problems Found in Hokkaido
Govt to subsidize repair of subways, railways
Postwar infrastructure is crumbling fast, and the government knows it must take quick action. -- RF
60 US Senators Sign Letter Protesting Japanese Currency Manipulation
What a relief: Abe Says Japan Economy Now for Sure on a Path of Solid Growth
Inpex, Itochu Buy Into Siberian Oil Project
1 ton of rice stolen from paddies in Niigata
Japan losing competitive edge due to poor practical training, expert warns
New year but same story for Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal: slash costs
Japan sales tax hike masks bigger problem of welfare spending

## China ##
Chinese banks suspend mortgage approvals amid fund shortage
Are Chinese companies sitting on the next debt crisis?
Chinese government sees its own reflection in water crisis
What Investors Really Think About China's 'Ghost Cities'
Puru Saxena: China's Economy Slowing Down Much Faster Than Reported
China's economic growth more like 4%: Marc Faber

## UK ##
Centrica scraps British gas storage projects
UK's Labour takes on utilities with price freeze plan
Britain's Labour party pledged on Tuesday to freeze gas and electricity prices for 20 months if it wins power in 2015, shifting $7.2 billion in costs onto energy companies, which opponents said could lead to power blackouts.
Little by little, Britain's energy regime is falling apart. How many excess deaths this winter? -- RF
Miliband's 'Stalinist' plan to seize land for homes and build on fields

## US ##
The Credit Bubble Is Not Only Back, It Is 94% Bigger Than In 2007
Luxury tampons? Companies spurn middle class
Paper towels embossed to look like cloth. Tampon packages with a glossy metallic sheen. Designer ice cubes for $75 a bag. Marketers are going glam with everyday products, taking them upscale as they give up on selling to the middle class.
This is part of the bifurcation of society into the rich (aristocrats) and poor (serfs). Serfs don't have money and do precious little shopping, so why make and sell things to them? -- RF
States move ahead with food stamp cuts
Citigroup to cut 1,000 mortgage jobs, mostly in Las Vegas
Militarization of the Police (infographic)
US PMI Misses Expectations To 3-Month Lows; Orders And Employment Tumble
Illusion of Prosperity: Deflating the American Dream; No Recovery in "Real" Income
Making $100,000? Then Flipping Burgers May Be In Your Future
Why the cost of giving birth could make you cry like a baby
US home prices jump 12.4 percent in July from a year ago, most in 7 1/2 years
The dirty secret of the housing market boom
U.S. state tax revenues hit record highs in second quarter: Census
The Mystery Of $600 Million Traded In The Blink Of An Eye
Income-Wise, What Percentage of People are Worse Off Now Than in 2000?
Treasury's Lew: US may have less than $50 billion soon
The United States could have less than $50 billion in cash in mid-October when the government exhausts its legal borrowing capacity, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Tuesday.
Seven States Slashing School Spending
Consumer Confidence Already Falling Before Government Shutdown
Why other cities are watching San Jose

And finally…
6 porn dealers arrested after catalogues mistakenly sent to police (Japan)

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