Thursday, September 26, 2013


News Links, September 26-27, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greece does not need third bailout, seeks debt 'reprofiling' - deputy pm
Greece does not require a third bailout and can cover its needs without further burdening its current backers, by improving the terms of its debt and possibly returning to the bond market next year, the country's deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.
Austerity measures push Greek universities to point of collapse
Internationally mandated austerity measures have pushed universities in Greece to the point of collapse with many of the debt-stricken country's pre-eminent higher education institutions being forced to suspend operations.
Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation Is Now Starting To Happen All Over The Globe
Is Something Ominous in the Cards?
For the first time in history, ALL the major central banks are printing money. One of two things will occur. If they continue to print, their respective currencies will lose their purchasing power, and we'll have inflation or even hyper-inflation. If the central banks pull back on their printing, we'll have crashing markets and a world depression. This is the problem with creating ever more debt. Ultimately, the debt owns you, and the compounding process renders the debt situation unsustainable, which is what the CBO has just warned us about.
Portugal's parallel economy represents one fifth of total - German expert
Friedrich Schneider, a professor at the University of Linz, Austria, told a conference at the University of Minho that Portugal was "midway down the table" in Europe where the parallel economy is concerned.
How A French Ghetto Survives Off A Bustling Underground Economy
Kitco News Interview: Demand For Physical Gold Could Last Decades - New WGC Chairman
Australia's Telstra to cut 1,100 jobs
World Bank: Russian Energy Strength is Economic Weakness
Barclays to shut wealth management services in 130 countries
Barclays Plc will stop offering wealth management services in about 130 countries by 2016 and cut jobs in the unit as part of an effort to rein in costs and boost profit.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Yikes! 10 Horrifying Facts About Flying
787 Dreamliner Problem Grounds 5 Polish Planes
Polish Airlines Wants Boeing to Pay for Dreamliner Problems
Study: Airlines made $27.1 billion off fees last year
United says its skies are 'friendly' again -- really?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Greece On The Verge? Military Special Forces Have 15 Demands... Or Else
Doomsday scenario plan would divide North Korea
Egypt's foreign minister says relations with US unsettled
Surging violence in Pakistan's largest city drives growing demand for armored vehicles
Iran's Diplomatic Push Sheds Uncomfortable Light on Israel's Nukes
Boko Haram leader, believed dead, appears in new video
The World Needs Peace – But Not a Pax Americana (Cynthia McKinney)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands join fresh Greece protests against Golden Dawn
Sudan suffers internet blackout amid deadly riots
Internet access was switched off across Sudan amid deadly riots sparked by fuel price hikes in which six people were reported killed on Wednesday.
Foxconn China plant closed after 2,000 riot
About 2,000 Chinese employees of an iPhone assembly company fought a pitched battle into the early hours of Monday, forcing the huge electronics plant where they work to be shut down.
Post Office workers to strike in 12th walkout since Easter (UK)
Violent Crackdown in Bangladesh as Paramilitaries Flood Industrial Zone

## Energy/resources ##
Oil-shale bust: Shell Abandons Oil-Shale Project In Colorado After Pumping Millions Into Exploration
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has become the latest company to abandon efforts to turn Western Slope oil-shale into oil, joining a long line of companies in a boom and bust cycle in the region.
We've heard it said over and over again: The US has more oil than Saudi Arabia! But everyone should know by now that resource quantity means nothing; only quality counts. -- RF
Brazil Pre-Salt Reflects Changing Face of Energy Investment
As bidders registered for the first oil rights auction in Brazil's pre-salt last Wednesday, the reaction was overwhelmingly pessimistic. Headlines focused on lack of oil majors such as ExxonMobil and BP, and the small number of bidders; 11 as opposed to some 40 expected by the Brazilian government.
1.5 Billion Barrels of Oil – And No Takers (Afghanistan)
As in Brazil and Afghanistan, geology and geopolitical concerns are keeping drillers away. If we want to keep using oil, the drillers will have to go in sooner or later. And it's not going to be cheap. -- RF
Need Energy Storage? Try Abandoned Croplands
Just jump to the last paragraph. -- RF
Utilities Dumbstruck By Big Data From Smarter Grid
As the electric grid gets smarter, vast quantities of data are arriving at utility companies that have no idea what to do with them, according to electric industry experts who gathered in Chicago this morning.
Ukrainian gas sector escaping Russia's grasp
Petronas May Delay Projects as Profit Declines
Fuel cars run off track in Canada train derailment
New U.S. Oil Refinery Proposed
Water Shortage To Hit Power Sector In India: Is There Is Enough Water To Support India's Power Expansion?
Uranium Diet: US Nuclear Power Industry Could Face Fuel Shortage
EIA: Higher gas prices drive down gas-fired power generation
Kashagan 'halted after leak'
China's CNOOC wins $2bn Uganda oil field contract
Four Charts That Prove the Future of Clean Energy Is Arriving
This is great news, of course. As long-time readers know, I have advocated building lots of renewable capacity now, while it can still be done, because that will keep the lights on a while longer and help ease the transition to low-energy socioeconomic systems. At the same time, we should not fool ourselves that this means business as usual. Without fossil fuels, none of this would be possible in the first place. We wouldn't be making any wind turbines or solar modules or electric cars. The Green Beans' electric car fetish has always fascinated me. Electric cars seem to be a symbol to them that basically our problems are solved. Apparently they never stop to think about how the cars are made, how the electricity is generated (and how the "renewable energy" machines that generate electricity are made), how roads are constructed and maintained (also that asphalt is a petroleum by-product), and even that oil is needed to make tires (you'll see various figures for a standard car tire, ranging from 5 to 10 gallons per tire; whatever, it's a lot). Similarly, nuclear power would be impossible without fossil fuels. And so on. Nothing happens without fossil fuels, and if they are too expensive, it's Game Over. So again, I give a resounding YES to renewables, but with the important caveat that they are ultimately transitional devices. -- RF

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable thieves disrupting MTNL services

## Got food? ##
Africa's Challenge in the 21st Century – Food Security
'Asean should cooperate to boost food security'

## Environment/health ##
Paving the planet: did anyone say "anthropocene"?
Blood-Sucking Bedbugs Worry China's Rail Travelers

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Turkish Government Aims To Create 6000-Strong Social Media Propaganda Squad
'See Something, Say Something' Campaign Creates Massive Database Of Useless Info From Citizens Spying On Each Other
Top 45 Lies in Obama's Speech at UN
Hacker 'mercenaries' linked to Japan, South Korea spying: Researchers
NSA planted bugs at Indian missions in D.C., U.N.
Huge Number of Americans Do Not Care About or Want Internet

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Why I Don't Believe Randers' Limits to Growth Forecast to 2052
EU seeks to tackle industrial decline, high energy costs
Denial of Nature's Limits is the Problem

## Japan ##
Crisis at Fukushima Continues to Spiral With Hole in Radiation Barrier
Measures to beat power crunch the "new normal" for corporate Japan
Automatic doors are blocked at offices, subway escalators are disabled and much of the headquarters of Japan's biggest utility sits in semi-darkness - all evidence of how a 2-1/2-year power crunch has forced companies to re-think their energy use.
Theft from Net banks at record ¥550 million
U.S. completes deployment of additional Osprey aircraft in Okinawa
Govt may extend SDF's reach
The government will likely allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense by defending vessels shipping crude oil from the Middle East to Japan if it reviews the current constitutional interpretation, government sources have said.
Japan's consumer inflation rises to 5-year high

## China ##
Shanghai Free-Trade Zone Plans Spark Surge in Residential Prices
China Will Have "A Lot of Bad Credit Events" in Next Five Years: Beardson
Booming shadow banks could trigger economic crisis in China
Drones would be used in Diaoyutai conflict, says expert
Bulls and Bears Debate China: Property Bubble Expands Again; GDP Growth Picks Up; Economic Recovery Underway? No Says Michael Pettis
China overtakes India as no. 1 gold buyer

## UK ##
Wind farms are a 'blot' on 'God's creation', says bishop
Winds farms have become a "blot" on the face of "God's creation" and are threatening to destroy a landscape where saints once trod, a bishop warns today.
RBS may create its own 'bad bank' if UK rejects breakup: sources
No magic wand to curb energy prices, warns Nick Clegg

## US ##
"No Tapering, More QE, Serious Housing Slowdown" says Saxo Bank Chief Economist
More than a third of workers scramble between pay days
Washington to Wall Street - Threat of default is real
U.S. to exhaust borrowing capacity by October 17: Treasury
If all else fails, Obama will raise debt ceiling himself: analyst
Postal Service seeks to raise first-class stamp price to 49 cents, cites precarious finances
Unhappy Anniversary: Illinois Overtakes California for Second Highest Unemployment Rate in Nation
Dumb-down: Truly "Exceptional" And Dumber Than Ever: Verbal SAT Scores Plunge To Fresh Record Low
Lost: $67 Million. If Found, Please Return To IRS
The Mind-Blowing Fact About Immigration No One Mentions
More Americans have moved to Mexico in recent years than vice versa, according to government data cited in a New York Times feature by Damien Cave published over the weekend.
Nuclear family demise: When the empty nest fills up again, things can get hectic
Millions of American children are no longer going over the river and through the woods to get to grandmother's house. They're already living there — in many cases, with their parents.
Toyota's top North American executive says pent-up demand for new cars could end next year
Justice Department spent nearly $5M on drones
Connecticut commuters struggle with crippled railroad
Hedge fund managers and corporate types used to Wall Street's lightning pace, as well as ordinary Connecticut citizens, faced weeks of delays as a power outage on the Metro North railway brought their commutes to a crawl for a second day on Thursday. Utility crews struggled to restore electricity to a rail line connecting New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut, to New York City, while the commuter railroad rolled out diesel locomotives to keep business from grinding to a standstill.
You Can Have Any Job You Want, as Long as It's Waitress
Unsold Merchandise Piles Up at Wal-Mart; Cuts in Orders Will Follow
Richard Koo says 'vicious cycle' taking hold as Fed faces 'QE trap'
A "vicious cycle" of rising interest rates and economic weakness has already emerged and is likely to intensify as the Federal Reserve attempts to extricate itself from its program of quantitative easing, Nomura chief economist Richard Koo warned in a note on Thursday.
Shaken U.S. municipal bond market contracted in second quarter

And finally…
Blankfein Explains "Doing God's Work" Demands A Year End Bonus
Oops: Apple Maps directs drivers to cross Alaska airport runway

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