Tuesday, October 15, 2013


News Links, October 15-16, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Puerto Rico's Bonds Collapse
VAT Increase Backfires in Spain, Supermarket Sales Plunge 7.2%
France's Natixis to cut 700 jobs in next two years: union sources
Toyota to cut up to 100 jobs in Australia as export orders drop
Toyota job cuts push Australian car manufacturing industry to brink
Bosnia's Aluminij starts smelter shutdown, says bankruptcy looms
The aluminium maker Aluminij Mostar, a crucial pillar of Bosnia's economy, began shutting down its smelter on Tuesday and said it would be forced into bankruptcy unless the government helped it settle a debt to the state-owned power company.
Cash strapped: Pakistan Steel Mills hands out eidhi instead of salary
Marc Faber Warns "There Is No Safe Haven"
Waterside projects are 'unsustainable' warns Damac boss (Dubai)
Indian Gold Premiums Surge $30 To Record On Physical Demand, Supply Crunch
China Agrees With U.K. on Yuan-Pound Trading, Investment Quota
China and the U.K. will introduce direct trading between the yuan and the British pound, helping London steal a march on Frankfurt and Paris to become Europe's hub for the Chinese currency.
Swiss Re Said to Weigh Sale of U.S. Life Insurance Assets
Irish austerity creates youth exodus
U.S. AAA Rating Put on Negative Watch by Fitch on Delayed Budget
Colluding big bank currency traders called themselves 'bandits' and 'cartel'
Pot warns kettle: U.S. must grasp global impact of debt crisis: Japan
What a laugh. Both countries are going to default. -- RF
Coal Slump Leaves Australia Port Half-Used, Lenders at Risk
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) are among lenders risking losses on $3 billion of loans backing a coal port in Australia that will be twice its required size.
German Competitiveness Threatened by High Energy Costs

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Some coach passengers feel the squeeze as new seats let airlines add an extra row on planes
Why Airline Crews Skip The Coffee And Tea On Board

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran: Removing nuclear material is 'red line'
Are Iran's Centrifuges Just Few Turns From A Nuclear Bomb?
This kind of fear mongering does no one any good and in fact covers up (likely with that intent) the issue of the nuclear arsenals of Pakistan, India, and Israel. -- RF
Amid Optimistic Iran Nuke Talks, Israel Continues Push for Sanctions
Shippers Raise Alarm Over Oil Piracy in Gulf of Guinea
The vast Gulf of Guinea which is nearly as big as the Gulf of Mexico is now one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world, home to pirates that attack oil tankers and other cargo vessels at will, raising fears that shipping lanes that have existed for 500 years could be permanently disrupted.
U.S. builds up military bases in Italy for African ops
The U.S. deployment of 200 Marines to a naval base in Sicily for possible operations in Libya, a short hop across the Mediterranean, underlines how the Americans have been building a network of bases in Italy as launch pads for military interventions in Africa and the Mideast.
The sun is setting on dollar supremacy, and with it, American power
Japan's rearmament will not be overlooked by South Korea: Foreign Minister
Taiwan reiterates sovereignty over disputed islands in East China Sea

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Walmart customers riot when unable to use EBT cards
Vets marching past White House carrying baracades from the monuments (video)
Heavy police presence as Moscow braces itself for further race riots

## Energy/resources ##
Clean Energy Investment Headed for Second Annual Decline
China Outmaneuvers U.S. in Energy Game
Coal to surpass oil as top global fuel by 2020 -Woodmac
Saudi Aramco Raises Annual Capital Budget to $40 Billion
KSA seen fast-tracking shale gas exploration
Must read: Two Views of our Current Economic and Energy Crisis
Longish but good analysis of why the energy regime is crumbling and taking the economy with it. -- RF
US Shale Revolution Leaving Europe in the Cold
This article is totally misleading. Oil and gas from shale drilling are produced at very high cost (and here we shall charitably ignore the loss-making operations), which is actually a drag on the economy, not a boost. The media focus on the many oil workers flush with money and the boom towns, thereby creating the illusion of prosperity and economic recovery,  and a new "game-changing" energy regime, as well as giving the impression that technology will solve all our energy problems. -- RF
Shale Shift Begins in Mexico
New Frontiers: Trying to sell the advantages of investing in Kirkuk oil
German renewable surcharge to rise nearly 1 cent in 2014-sources
Asia-Pacific energy demand to increase 67 percent
Asia-Pacific oil imports by 2035 to rise close to Mideast 2011 crude output - ADB
Net oil imports in the Asia-Pacific will rise to more than 25 million barrels per day in 2035, or close to the current crude output in the Middle East, as energy demand growth outpaces the rest of the world, the Asian Development Bank said on Monday.
Big Oil Finds Itself Dangerously Exposed
Even energy-cheerleading sites like this one are admitting to the problems of unconventional oil and gas, and how it can go wrong because of high costs. But they still tend to see the situation in terms of quantity (number of barrels) instead of quality (net energy). And that's why they don't perceive the tsunami bearing down on us. -- RF
Report: Rail not up for North American oil boom
Some of the railcars used to transport crude oil across the United States and Canada may be vulnerable to rupture, an educator said.
India grabs energy acreage in Myanmar
Shell CEO Says Shale Gas to Take Longer to Develop than Expected
More Water Stress than Meets the Eye
South Korea's Sept Iran oil imports keep it close to target

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper Theft Hits Tenn. Co-op Hard

## Got food? ##
GM rice opponents wicked, says minister Owen Paterson (US)
Costco recalls 40,000 pounds of rotisserie chicken for salmonella risk
Some Worry South Korea's Soldiers May Be Hungry
Record Thai Rice Hoard Expanding Global Supply Glut: Commodities
Two points. First, the glut is created by subsidies, giving the false impression that production is so good that the world has no food worries. Subsidies distort market balance and enable farmers to produce below cost. Second, Thai agriculture is now highly mechanized, and therefore endangered by rising fuel prices. A glut could become a shortage in the blink of an eye. -- RF
This Isn't Your Granny Smith's Harvesting Technology
Just imagine the amount of energy needed to construct and operate something like this! And imagining that enables one to imagine that it's unsustainable. Granny Smith still has something to teach us. -- RF

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Living on $5,000 a year, on purpose: Meet America's 'intentional poor'

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
As Cookies Decline, Device 'Fingerprinting' Becomes Increasingly Common
While tracking cookies attract attention on the Internet, device 'fingerprinting' slips under the radar and has been discovered to be in use to track users by at least 145 of the Web's 10,000 top websites. The findings are part of a study conducted by KU Leuven-iMinds researchers.
Brazil plans secure email service to thwart cyber-spies
Hey, Why Did You Floor It? Tracking Junior Behind The Wheel
The Future of the Internet: Balkanization and Borders
NSA said to collect Americans' email, chat contact lists
Greenwald: 'Most Shocking' NSA Stories Yet to Come
Glenn Greenwald Leaving The Guardian For 'Momentous' New Venture
Argentina accused of media assault to silence critics
Grocery store shelves to be equipped with cameras to gather shopper information
Inside Canada's top-secret billion-dollar spy palace
N.Y. Fed Looks to Seal Documents in the Latest Whistleblower Case

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Myth of Exponential Growth
Philippines infrastructure: taking the slow train to nowhere

## Japan ##
Industrial output revised downward
Nuclear power still vital part of Japan energy mix: officials
Nuclear reactor parts exported from Japan found to have bypassed safety inspections

## China ##
China Export Drop Limits Recovery as Food Stokes Inflation
China Steel Binge Spurs Record Hiring of Ore Carriers: Freight
China steel market may run out of steam without fresh stimulus
China's crude steel overcapacity and bulging stocks could start to depress steel and iron ore prices in Asia if there are no fresh stimulus measures forthcoming from Beijing to help all that steel find a home.
China to ban new projects in sectors facing overcapacity
China said it would block new projects in a number of sectors suffering from overcapacity, including steel, aluminium, shipbuilding and cement, according to a statement issued by the government on Tuesday.

## UK ##
Only a quarter of older Brits plan to stop work when they hit traditional 'retirement' age
Police foil planned terrorist attack on the UK after arresting four men in London
Energy prices: government helpless to stop increases, says Ed Davey
Royal train may hit the buffers after Queen's treasurer says cost of replacing it is 'staggering'
UK Home Prices Hit All-Time-Highs As BOE Sees "No Bubble"
'Hundreds more' Scottish council jobs to go
Queen's crumbling palaces need $80 million refit

## US ##
AGING AMERICA: Poll shows retirement coming later in life, no longer full exit from workforce
The Bursting of the Bond Bubble Is Now Upon Us
Shopping chaos ensues in Louisiana Walmart stores after EBT cards stop showing credit limits
This is just a preview of the panic shopping we'll be seeing everywhere. And many people won't be paying. -- RF
Several U.S. Nuclear Plants Retiring Early; Others at Risk
Nuclear safety violations across regions point to inconsistent oversight, gov't study says
The number of safety violations at U.S. nuclear power plants varies dramatically from region to region, pointing to inconsistent enforcement in an industry now operating mostly beyond its original 40-year licenses, according to a congressional study awaiting release.
New Fed Boss Same as the Old Boss (Ron Paul)
One Roof, Many Generations: Redefining The Single-Family Home
As I have said repeatedly, the nuclear family is on the way out. -- RF
Are We Approaching Peak Retirement?
U.S. faces a married couples' retirement crisis
As I have said repeatedly, retirement is on the way out. -- RF
Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Soon To Hit $4 Trillion in Assets
The Fed Now Holds More Securities Than All U.S. Banks Combined
Fast Food's Dirty Secret: Workers Are Starving
Bodies Double as Cash Machines With U.S. Income Lagging: Economy
In all but two quarters since the beginning of 2011, "hair," "eggs," or "kidney" have been among the top four autofill results for the Google search query, "I want to sell my...," according to Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at New York-based ConvergEx Group, which provides brokerage and trading-related services for institutional investors.
So, we're selling body parts now, are we? The US economy has fallen so far, so fast. And yet, many will still vehemently deny that the economy is collapsing. Abroad The Empire still deploys its legions, while at home poverty rules. -- RF
What Recovery? Economic Slide Continues As Empire Fed Misses By Most In 5 Months
A job engine sputters as hospitals cut staff
Hospitals are cutting thousands of jobs, undercutting a sector that was a reliable source of job growth, even through the recession.
New Jersey Island Won't Get Its Landlines Back After Sandy Because Copper Is Too Expensive
Foodstamp Program Shutdown Imminent?
The Default Has Already Begun

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