Thursday, October 17, 2013


News Links, October 17-18, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Relief around world as US lawmakers reach agreement to avoid default, reopen government
Oh, please! There is no cause for relief, as this is just a futile exercise in kicking the can. Experts will argue that there's no problem because the government has the power of taxation and therefore can't go broke. The government, they say, always has an income and can keep rolling over its debt, so sleep soundly. The fatal flaw in their reasoning is that they think the economy will "recover" and that growth will resume. But sorry to say, net energy is already too low for that to happen. The general trend will be downward toward economic contraction, lower tax revenues (even if taxes are raised), more debt accumulation, and inevitable default. So don't bother breaking out the champagne because this isn't a celebration, it's a crash watch. -- RF
China warns of slowing demand from emerging markets
China's exporters face a difficult time in coming months as demand from emerging markets slows, the Chinese trade ministry warned on Thursday after the latest trade data showed sales to Southeast Asia slowed sharply in September.
State-Owned Firms May be Asked to Bail Out Struggling Indian Government
Unsustainable Social Security Promises: Spain vs. U.S.
The Theme Song Is "Yuan The Mighty Dragon"
Singapore Shows Asia How To Crack Down on Housing Bubble
Cracking down on bubbles may not necessarily be advisable, as they are the only ways to pump up economies now. -- RF
Sweden Girds for Unprecedented Disruption to Dollar Flows
1-in-8 workers psychologically committed to jobs worldwide
'Dump The Dollar', China Daily Op-Ed Writer Says
Technology giants are splashing out on huge HQs but will they fall foul of the 'campus curse'?

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Fuselage panel falls from Boeing 787 Dreamliner in flight
Jet fuel shortage hits Mombasa airport
Business Jet Sales Still Haven't Recovered From Recession
Air India hedges 10,000 barrels of jet fuel for its aircraft
Italian minister confident EU will allow Alitalia rescue plan

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Half-Million Iraqis Died in the War, New Study Says
Spate of attacks on Shi'ite Muslims kills 59 people in Iraq
Putin Builds North Korea Rail to Circumvent Suez Canal
Vladimir Putin is inching closer to his goal of turning Russia into a major transit route for trade between eastern Asia and Europe by prying open North Korea, a nuclear-capable dictatorship isolated for half a century.
Russia reports surge in S. America arms sales
Secret Japan-China talks held over island dispute
Pentagon: US to Sell Over $10 Billion in Arms to UAE, Saudi Arabia
Deal Includes 5,000 Bunker Buster Bombs
Mauritania, Haiti top new global slavery index
Russia says Iran nuclear talks were 'quite promising'
Russia to Test Launch Newest ICBM by Year-End – Industry Official

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
America's new 'economic guillotine' is dead ahead
Credit Suisse's new Global Wealth Report reminds us of the 1790s when inequality ignited the French Revolution and 40,000 met the guillotine. Today, Credit Suisse data reveal that just 1% own 46% of the world, while two-thirds of the world's people have less than $10,000 wealth.
Clashes after teachers protests in Rio and Sao Paulo
China sends riot police to block new protests by flood victims
French Students Barricade High Schools to Protest Deportation of Classmates
Greek protesters march on finance ministry with gifts of food
Municipal workers marched on the finance minister's office in Athens with baskets of olive oil, tomatoes and a whole chicken on Thursday in an ironic protest after he suggested his family was suffering like other Greeks in the economic crisis.
Floods spark protests in China city

## Energy/resources ##
The Shale Misunderstanding: An Introduction
Key German lawmaker: End renewable energy subsidies by 2020
Oil Traders Butt Heads over Kashagan
Now that the supergiant Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan is operational, the rumor is that two US trading powerhouses are competing for the $1 billion in crude share of the country's state-run company in the field.
Phasing Out the PTC as Wind Nears Grid Parity
But there are going to be some unpleasant surprises down the road. -- RF
China and Russia to boost energy cooperation
NPD Welcomes More Funds for Improved Oil Recovery
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has welcomed a move by Norway's new government that will see more funds to increase the directorate's capacity to initiate improved oil recovery projects.
Calls Begin for End to U.S. Ban on Crude Oil Exports
Do not be deceived by the "number of barrels" from shale production. It is produced at high cost and low net energy. Crude  prices remain high. What we are seeing is merely the illusion of more energy. -- RF
Mongolia losing its resources luster as Ulaanbaatar scares investors
The US Passes Saudi Arabia to become the World's Largest Oil Producer
The title is misleading. This is "liquids," not crude. Further, the oil from shale drilling is low-net-energy. -- RF
US Oil Product Exports Could be 'Flash in the Pan'
Growing complexity at Cushing boosts chance of oil market jolts
South Korean president calls for global energy cooperation
Asian investors, LNG buyers look to N. America as Australia taps out
Extreme Energy and Reason
Russia, N. America Invest Billions to Feed Asian Oil, Gas Demand
Brazilian Oil Workers Strike to Stop Libra Auction
Pushing the Deepwater Frontier: Shell's Stones Project

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cleveland is Metal Theft Capital of America

## Got food? ##
Hungrier than ever: Britain's use of food banks triples
Community gardening
Can Industrial Agriculture Provide Global Food Security?
Utah families on food stamps could be cut off soon
States across the country are being told to stop the supplemental nutrition assistance program for the month of November, pending further notice.
If enough people are deprived of food stamps, we should get ready for the food riots to start. -- RF
The Coming Food Stamp Riots
I told you so. -- RF
With Shutdown Over, The Race To Feed Low-Income Seniors Is On
Try Quick Hoops — Easy-to-Make Mini-Greenhouses
Why Food Should be a Commons not a Commodity

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Shovel and Hole Maneuver For Hiding Gold, Guns and Other Assets

## Environment/health ##
College study finds Oreo cookies are as addictive as drugs
Calorie burner: How much better is standing up than sitting?
Extreme weather can be the 'most important cause of poverty'
The EPA's Golden Fleecing: How the Agency Crushes Dissent
France upholds nationwide ban on fracking
Financial workers fall sick due to stress
One-in-2,000 in Britain may silently carry 'mad cow' disease
Study concludes climate change will wreak havoc on oceans by 2100
Sleep 'cleans' the brain of toxins
Air Pollution a Leading Cause of Cancer: World Health Organization
Study: Oil sands tied to high mercury levels
Concerns raised over Scottish shale natural gas
Addicted to your smartphone? You're not alone

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Turkey revealed Israeli spy ring to Iran-report
Reporter Glenn Greenwald, eBay Founder Forming New Venture
Indonesia Passes China to Become Top Source of Cyber-Attack Traffic
Are you ready to be an unpaid government spy?
The NSA's giant Utah data center will probably hold a bunch of spam
The NSA Has A Much Bigger Role In Drone Strikes Than We've Realized
Shoppers getting ripped off by tiny, high-tech cash register skimmers
Obama: "Stop Focusing On The Bloggers"

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Energy, water and food among top UAE priorities
Marine Le Pen: EU will collapse like the Soviet Union
The de-Americanisation of the world has begun – emergence of solutions for a multipolar world by 2015

## Japan ##
Japan on gas, coal power building spree to fill nuclear void
Japan plans to start up 14 new gas and coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014, allowing a switch away from pricey oil, as Tokyo struggles with a shutdown of nuclear reactors and energy imports drive a record trade deficit.
Amid 'Plummeting Morale' Experts Concerned Fukushima Workers 'Will Collapse First'
TEPCO to add more utility workers at Fukushima nuclear plant
¥33.6 billion decontamination cost unpaid
Radioactive Water From Fukushima Pumped to the Sea in Typhoon Wipha's Wake
Typhoon flushes out radioactive strontium at Fukushima nuclear plant
N-plant drain sees record-high radiation
Death toll from Typhoon Wipha rises to 19 people; 39 missing
Taxpayers take note: State may need 31 years to recoup ¥5 trillion in Tepco redress aid
It will take up to 31 years for the government to recover the ¥5 trillion in aid it may provide, just through this fiscal year, to Tokyo Electric Power Co. for compensation related to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster that started in 2011, a government agency said Wednesday.
Tepco won't even exist three decades from now. -- RF
Kishida may visit Iran next month
Translation: Japan wants to do oil deals with Iran ASAP. -- RF
Air SDF records 185 jet scrambles against China, Russia within 3 months time
Senior adviser for Fukushima cleanup says foreign assistance needed

## China ##
China's top 10 failing industries
Gas-fired power generation to see price hikes in China
China trade faces challenges in coming months: ministry
China's trade will face challenges in coming months due to slowing demand from emerging markets, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.
Bird Flu's Return in China Seen Sped by New Year Chicken

## UK ##
Choosing between heating and eating: British demand for emergency food aid spikes
"[D]espite the end of the recession," says the article dryly. This is a phrase we find in so many articles these days. But it's not a recession; it's low-growth stage leading to full-blown economic contraction as the industrial system collapses. That's why more and more people need food and heating assistance. -- RF
British Gas to raise prices by 9.2%
The increase, which will affect nearly eight million households in the UK, includes an 8.4% rise in gas prices and a 10.4% increase in electricity prices.
Use less energy to cope with rising costs, consumers told
Well, that's sage advice, isn't it? Let's not cook today, or let's not heat today — that way we'll reduce our energy bill! To the many people already living on the edge, this sounds more like a death sentence. -- RF
Inflation higher than expected with energy price rise on way
Working poor bearing brunt of cuts, says social mobility commission
Social mobility report: Work 'may be no route out of poverty'
Work no longer pays enough to provide a route out of poverty for millions of families, the government's social mobility tsar is expected to warn.
Blackout fears over street lighting scheme
Cubbington street lights to stay off despite response to survey
Huge power cut at Gatwick
Warning of future UK power shortages
Britain's forgotten million old people

## US ##
Staying Put: Why Income Inequality Is Up And Geographic Mobility Is Down
IBM Sales Fall for Sixth Straight Quarter as Hardware Slumps
IBM Proves the Death of Growth, $20 EPS Target Just Too Costly
Shutdown has taken $24 billion out of economy: S&P
Unpaid U.S. workers reach out to creditors
The Financial Crisis That Could Bankrupt America & the Millennial Generation
Lockheed to lay off 600 workers in mission systems, training
Wells Fargo cuts 925 more mortgage jobs
EBay, Ellison Embrace Microgrids in Threat to Utilities
Cattle Death Toll From South Dakota Blizzard to Climb to 20,000
Apologist for Assassination of Americans to Be Named as New Homeland Security Chief

And finally…
Man arrested after rice cooker found plugged into neighbor's home (Japan)

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