Thursday, November 28, 2013


News Links, November 28-29, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
OECD warns pension safety net fraying as poverty among seniors rises in Canada
According to the IMF, Canada has the most overvalued housing market in the world
U.K. homebuilders slide as BOE cuts loan support
Greek economy to shrink for seventh year, OECD says
The Bitcoin Parabola Continues: Up 10% In 12 Hours, Hits $1170
Crypto-Currency Bubble Continues: Litecoin Surpasses Billion Dollar Market Capitalization
Here's What The Philippine Bubble Deniers Are Getting Wrong
Thousands of European students 'failing to repay loans'
There Is Just No Escape From Mario Draghi's Monetary Zombie Nightmare
Euro zone loans contraction increases pressure on ECB
A contraction in loans to households and companies in the euro zone quickened in October, piling pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to buoy the euro zone's weak recovery.
Biggest Case of "Financial Engineering" in History?
France's Credit Agricole to close 50 branches by 2015: paper
WHO: Greek HIV Self-Infection Claim Due to Error
Rural India shows signs of economic revival but wider outlook glum
Tunisian factories close, jobs go as political crisis drags on
Europe's golden visas lure rich Chinese
Rouhani Says Iran's Economic Problems not Down to Sanctions
The Cost Of Corruption In Brazil Could Be Up To $53 Billion Just This Year Alone
Venezuela central bank denies transactions with Wall Street
Venezuela's central bank president denied on Thursday that the institution is carrying out any transactions with Wall Street banks, a day after a senior government source said it was evaluating a swap agreement involving its gold reserves.
War Between Spain and Germany Erupts Over Next Round of Watered Down Stress Tests; Germany Complains About the "Carry Trade"
Chinese Gold Imports From Hong Kong in October a Massive 131 Tonnes
Turkey may export more gold to Iran

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Louisville air fares are higher with fewer seats
Fares soaring at Indianapolis airport
Airline industry shakeup escalates fares
Travelers Searching For Ways To Save By Lightening Their Loads
Frequent flier miles: The most rapidly depreciating currency in the world
Why don't airlines just add more flights at the holidays?
Canada Jetlines: Ultra-low cost carrier being proposed for Western Canada
Hotel amenities calm tensions at TSA checkpoints
Calming tensions just costs more money, which will further weigh on the air travel regime. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
New clashes between army, Islamists in Libya's Benghazi
Chinese Bloggers Turn Fire on Beijing Amid U.S. B-52 Challenge
Enforcing rules in air zone will stretch China's air force and navy
Japanese airlines renege on flight plan promise to China, international criticism of air defense zone grows
Japan planes 'fly unopposed through China air zone'
China's Latest Territorial Moves Renew Fears In Philippines
Chinese newspaper says U.S. may have gained upper hand
China sends warplanes into new maritime air defense zone amid international defiance
China's navy breaks out to the high seas
Japan, U.S. conduct joint naval drills near Okinawa
Will China's ADIZ throw Japan and SKorea into each other's arms?
Japan, S.Korean military planes defy China's new defense zone
S. Korea official hints at possible thaw
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se stressed Wednesday the need for both his country and Japan to make efforts to mend their soured relations.
U.S. affirms support for Japan in islands dispute with China
Imran Khan's party 'outs' CIA chief in Pakistan
The Iranian Deal: What the Big Six Really Have to Gain
A rundown of the geopolitics and economics behind the deal. -- RF
Romania baits Russia by seeking reunification with Moldova

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thai protesters force evacuation of top crime agency
The Hunger Games Are Real: Teenage Fans Remind the World What Katniss Is Really Fighting For
Egypt police fire water cannon to disperse rally, in first use of new anti-protest law
Walmart Workers Mobilize for 'Unprecedented' Nationwide Strikes
10,000 protesters demand Ukraine sign EU pact
Thousands of German workers protest against EADS shake-up

## Energy/resources ##
Despite Reform, Brazil and Mexico Lack Energy Investments
FT: Oil industry sums do not add up
More and more in the mainstream are admitting the truth of peak oil. -- RF
S.Korea nuclear reactor hit by auto shutdown; six units now off
A "safety-related action" automatically shut down one of South Korea's 23 nuclear reactors on Thursday, the country's nuclear operator said, bringing the tally of those closed to six and hiking the chances of power blackouts this winter.
Russian Government Plans to Build 21 New Nuclear Reactors by 2030
Despite Climate Fears, World Economy Runs on Fossil Fuels
This is, unfortunately, true. Despite all the warm, fuzzy talk about running the world on renewables, high-living industrial societies require the concentrated energy of fossil fuels. -- RF
How China took control of Ecuador's oil
China's PetroChina says it acquires 25 stake in Iraqi development project from Exxon Mobil
Angola Destroys Its Crude Oil
There is only so much high-quality and easy-to-get oil, and that's why everyone is going after low-quality and hard-to-get oil. Angola is doing what it must to stretch its oil supply. -- RF
Germany sets out plan to rein in surging energy costs
German parties have agreed to limit the growth of renewables and reform controversial incentives for the sector by next summer in a move to slow the rise in electricity costs for households and give big utilities more time to adapt their business models.
Japan wants to turn the moon into a giant power plant
In a sign of growing desperation, the plans just keep getting more and more grandiose. -- RF
Iran oil minister in talks with western energy firms: FT
Venezuela secures $1 billion loan from Russia's Gazprom for joint oil project
Brent stays near $111 on supply concerns
Asia holds power balance in global energy market: IEA
Will natural gas eventually come from sea ice? Prospect thrills some, dismays others
Very likely the net energy of methane hydrates will be negative. -- RF
Vietnam risks becoming energy importer
Indonesian consumption growing faster than production

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves stealing manhole covers and sewer grates
Cleveland police say air conditioner theft is common winter crime

## Got food? ##
Did Your Thanksgiving Turkey Take Any Antibiotics?
U.N. calls for urgent help for Philippine farmers after typhoon

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Got the Urge to 'Shop, Baby, Shop?' Stay Home and Watch GrowthBusters on Black Friday

## Environment/health ##
Flu pandemic in 2009 killed 10 times more than thought
Fracking Bonanza Eludes Wastewater Recycling Investors

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
EU demands protection against U.S. data surveillance
NSA surveillance: Europe threatens to freeze US data-sharing arrangements
Everything electronic you own—iPhone to subway card to power strip—can be hacked. So how to defend yourself?
The Government's Secret Plan to Shut Off Cellphones and the Internet, Explained
Big Retail Is Watching You: Exposing Walmart's Massive Data Collection Schemes
Cryptolocker Thieves Likely Making 'Millions' As Bitcoin Breaks $1,000
NATO launches 'largest ever' cyber-security exercises
With Help From Canada, NSA Spied on G20
32 Privacy Destroying Technologies That Are Systematically Transforming America Into A Giant Prison

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Floating city: Plan for 40,000 people to live on the high seas
High-energy pipe dream. -- RF

## Japan ##
Japan Reacts to Fukushima Crisis By Banning Journalism
Diet enacts law to establish National Security Council
Japan boosts military outlays to counter Chinese navy
ANA, JAL, Peach now disregard China ADIZ
Tepco to limit annual repayment to government to ¥50 billion
Madness: Japan to spend about 1 trillion yen on public works for stimulus: sources
Japan can't shake the belief that big spending on useless, make-work construction projects will be a boon to the economy. What often happens is that municipalities end up with nice-looking facilities of questionable utility that operate in the red and increase the taxpayer burden. -- RF
Director turns to public funding for anti-nuclear film

## China ##
China says monitored U.S. bombers' flight through airspace zone
China Is On A Debt Binge And A Buying Spree Unlike Anything The World Has Ever Seen Before
Record Spread Blowout Sparks Mini-Crisis Warning: China Credit
Chinese companies' borrowing costs are climbing at a record pace relative to the government's, increasing the risk of defaults and prompting state newspapers to warn of a limited debt crisis.
China desert lake shrinks by one-third in 13 years
New ADIZ over South China Sea planned: foreign ministry
Overcapacity a Hanging Problem for Car Industry

## UK ##
Nine million in 'serious' debt across the UK
Student loan repayment needs tighter control, say MPs
Energy firm RWE npower axes £4bn UK windfarm amid political uncertainty
Npower to cut 1,400 jobs in the UK
Water industry warns it may not match demands of public supply and fracking
Bank of England cuts mortgage support to avoid housing bubble
Some people are too stupid to get ahead, Boris Johnson, London mayor, says, drawing cries of 'unpleasant elitism'

## US ##
For U.S. stores it is ugly out there - in more ways than one
'Wave of disaster' brewing in U.S. as more borrowers miss payments on housing bubble-era loans
Obama Approves Major Border-Crossing Fracked Gas Pipeline Used to Dilute Tar Sands
No CapEx Recovery: Durable Goods Disappoint As Capital Goods Orders And Shipments Decline
California water woes hit hard in driest year on record
US STOCKS-Dow and S&P 500 hit records, Nasdaq lifted by tech
CNN and MSNBC Lose Almost Half Their Viewers in One Year
Everything really must go! Store shelves are overflowing
Wal-Mart Uses Wristbands to Deter Holiday Shopper Melees
Where the Rubber Meets the Road in America
It is not at the federal level that the rubber meets the road in the US, but at the state and municipal level, where many states and municipalities are poised to hit a financial brick wall at a hundred miles an hour, as Detroit spectacularly did on July 18th.

And finally...
'Bad Santa' arrested for pinching elf's bottom

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


News Links, November 26-27, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Debt Is Failing as a Driver of Economic Growth
Jamie Dimon makes a right royal dinner at Buckingham Palace
Who's Really King Of The World Today
Über-warehouses for the ultra-rich
The worldwide shift to neofeudalism is picking up the pace. Which group will you be joining? The super-rich New Aristocracy, or the serfs? -- RF
IMF Forecasts Russian Economic Slowdown
Inflation Is Raging – If You Know Where to Look
Record Number of French Corporate Bankruptcies; Socialist Theory vs. Practice; What Went Wrong?
Global free trade talks collapse
Bitcoin jumps to record of $947
As Dubai aggressively pursues world Expo, fears arise over inflating real estate bubble
Citi's annual forecast: the commodity cycle continues its wind down
Iran deal knocks oil lower, bolsters risk appetite
Half Of New Greek HIV Cases Are Self-Inflicted To Receive €700 Per Month Benefits, Study Finds
Philippine typhoon ruined traditional and high-tech livelihoods, from coconuts to call centers
Think Tank Says Korea Has Too Many Brokerages, 4 in 10 unprofitable
Why Globalization Is Going Into Reverse
Pope Francis attacks global capitalism

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Air Travel's Coming Nightmare: Soon, Every Day Will Be Like Day Before Thanksgiving
Airfares have risen across the USA
Currencies Buffet South, Southeast Asian Airlines
El Al launches low-cost carrier 'Up'
Americans To FCC: We Don't Want Cell Phone Calls On Planes!
Bird strikes cost aviation industry billions per year
Air France unions agree to job loss plan
Brazil's Gol may cut flights

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Asian airlines to give flight plans to China after airspace zone created
Japanese airlines to stop giving China flight plans through new zone
US bombers fly over China's controversial new air defense zone
Australia summons Chinese ambassador over airspace announcement
China plays long game with new air defense zone
Pentagon builds forces in Pacific, eyes China
The Pentagon is fortifying bases in the Pacific and looking to revive World War II-era air bases as part of an effort to survive a Chinese missile attack that could wipe out critical installations on Okinawa and elsewhere, military records, interviews and congressional testimony show.
China sends carrier to South China Sea for training amid maritime disputes
Israel approves plans for more than 800 more settler homes
Two bombs outside Baghdad cafe kill 17 people
Ukraine's Yanukovich defends policy, Tymoshenko declares hunger strike
France sending 1,000 troops to Central African Republic amid warnings of potential genocide
Iran nuclear deal: Saudi Arabia warns it will strike out on its own
Unlike Netanyahu, Israeli generals go along with Iran deal

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Ukraine protest: Police clash with pro-EU crowd in Kiev
Thai protesters occupy government buildings, cut power
Internal security act imposed in Bangkok as Thai protests widen
"Unruly" Crowd Attacks Border Patrol Agents

## Energy/resources ##
Iran invites India, China to join gas pipeline
Africa's Oil Demand Soars By 5%
For oil, the Iran deal won't change much
Norway's 2014 Oil Investment Plan May Be Too Optimistic
Must read: Analysis of Well Completion Data for Bakken Oil Wells
The data in Table IX indicates that far more effort has been required in 2013, compared to 2012, to obtain a comparable production increase for Bakken region oil production.
Full Iran Resolution Could Send Crude Down Under $90, Maybe Down To $80
If crude drops to $80, much oil production will become barely profitable, or even unprofitable. And oil-producing countries which depend on high crude prices to finance programs that tamp down civil unrest are going to be in a predicament, which could further jeopardize world oil production. Absent significant demand destruction, prices could not stay that low very long. -- RF
Understanding Peak Water
India to resume paying Iran in Euros
Bank of Tokyo holding out on Solid Energy (NZ)
Iran agrees to supply Indonesia with oil technology, services

## Got food? ##
Food Stamps Too Skimpy to Improve Food Security or Diet, Study Finds
This Holiday Season, Charity No Match for Food Stamp Cuts
Could milk hit $7 per gallon in 2014?

## Environment/health ##
Antibiotic Overuse Could Lead to Public Health Crisis
The Climate Disaster Bubbling in the Arctic
Methane Emissions in U.S. Probably Top Estimates: Study
Canada to Build World's Largest Artificial Lake District to Store Oil Sand Waste
Proposal to bury Canadian nuclear plant waste along Great Lakes draws criticism from US lawmakers

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Merkel's cellphone said targeted by 5 countries' spy agencies
Job applicants react negatively to screening of social media accounts
NSA 'infected' 50,000 networks with malware
Encrypt Everything, Store Nothing, Leave No Trace! (Dissolving Messages, Wickr, Snapchat)
Spies worry over "doomsday" cache stashed by ex-NSA contractor Snowden
Is 'Doomsday Cache' Story Latest Effort to Smear Snowden?
TSA Spent $900 Million on Behavior Detection Officers Who Detected 0 Terrorists
Brazil and Argentina Join Forces in Cyberwar Against the US
5 ways identity thieves are targeting you
Walmart Now Possesses Info On An Estimated 145 Million Americans: Analysis

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Fact Or Fiction: The Hunger Games
Venezuela after Chavez: An economy on the verge

## Japan ##
Two Japanese airlines to disregard China air zone rules
Ruling bloc rams secrets bill through Lower House
Fukushima residents plead against state secrets bill
2nd round of N-fuel removal begins at Fukushima No. 4 reactor
Japan shrinks 'too big' 2020 Olympics stadium
Gone are the days when young people dreamed of their 1st car

## China ##
Chart Of The Day: How China's Stunning $15 Trillion In New Liquidity Blew Bernanke's QE Out Of The Water
In China 1.2 Million Candidates Apply For 19,000 Government Jobs
China's rich fleeing the country—with their fortunes
Take the Money and Run: China's Ill-Gotten Wealth Flees Overseas
China Gold Rush Continues - World's Largest Jeweller Sees 49% Jump In Sales

## UK ##
Scottish government publishes blueprint for independent Scotland

## US ##
'It's Intimidating. And It's Free': Iraq War Surplus Militarizing US Police
D.C. expanding use of traffic cameras
Embracing big brother: How facial recognition could help fight crime
70% Of Brooklyn Home Sales Are To Hedge Funds, Investors And International Buyers
RealtyTrac: "Institutional Investor Housing Purchases Plummet Nationwide"
Reports: Alleged trend of 'Knockout Game' a myth
Holder promises help for violence-plagued Chicago
"I Fear For What's Coming" – 68% Of Americans Believe The Country Is On The Wrong Track
Postal worker gunned down while delivering mail
Could banks start charging to hold your money?
One predictable outcome would be that consumers and small businesses would keep only the bare minimum in their bank accounts, and hold the rest in cash, thus depriving banks of a considerable amount of capital. -- RF

And finally...
Stoned Ghost Hunters Torch Historic Mansion

Sunday, November 24, 2013


News Links, November 23-25, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
PBOC Says No Longer in China's Interest to Increase Reserves
The People's Bank of China said the country does not benefit any more from increases in its foreign-currency holdings, adding to signs policy makers will rein in dollar purchases that limit the yuan's appreciation.
Spain Household Income Drops 10% to 2005 Level
'Europe heading for catastrophe' despite German growth
Expect "Dramatic Slowdown" in Germany: Saxo Bank Analysis
The World's 2170 Billionaires Control $33 Trillion In Net Worth, Double The US GDP
ECB official warns of deflationary pressures in Eurozone
New U.S. derivative rules leave Asia markets vulnerable
The Most Despised Tax-And-Retreat French President Sinks Deeper Into Economic Quagmire
As Ring of Fire called off, Thunder Bay teeters between boom and bust (Canada)
The return of gold as currency?
India likely to face gold shortage of 135 tons during H2 FY14
The dark side of the Magic Kingdom? Fairytale may be over for Disneyland Paris

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Qantas faces a hard landing as outlook slashed
Calling home from 35,000 feet might increase productivity but anger your seatmate
World's Largest Airport Terminal To Be Built In Shanghai
Brazil awards $9 billion of airport deals, prepping Rio for Olympics
Massive overcapacity in the making. -- RF
Lawsuits fly as Evergreen International Airlines fights for survival
AAI considers pulling plug on credit to Jet, SpiceJet
Boeing: 15 airlines warned over high-altitude ice
JAL pulls Dreamliner from two int'l routes after engine problem
Flight attendant dispute erupts before US Airways - American Airlines merger
More airlines seek higher fares (Philippines)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
UN Official: Israeli Blockade Has Made Gaza 'Uninhabitable'
Deadly blasts hit Pakistani city of Karachi
Bombs kill nine and wound 54 in northern Iraq
Afghanistan rejects U.S. call for quick security deal
Iran, six world powers clinch breakthrough nuclear deal
Clandestine meetings between US and Iran set stage for nuclear deal
France to Boost Central African Republic Troop Presence
Egypt, Turkey Expel Each Others Ambassadors, Testing Ties
Islamist rebels capture Syria's largest oilfield: activists
China bolsters East China Sea claim, warns of 'defensive measures'
Japan protests new China air defense zone
China's new air defense zone raises U.S. concerns
Japan warns of unpredictable events over China's new air zone
S. Korea expresses regret over China's air defense zones
As China And Japan Move Closer To Armed Conflict, The Obama Administration Dangerously Dithers
South Korea to buy 40 stealth fighter jets
US Eyes Increase In Arctic Operations
The U.S. military is looking for ways to expand operations in the vast waters of the Arctic as melting ice caps open sea lanes and other nations such as Russia compete for the lucrative oil and gas deposits. But the effort will take money and resources to fill the broad gaps in satellite and communications coverage, add deep-water ports and buy more ships that can withstand the frigid waters or break through the ice.French Analyst: Paris Seeking Nuclear Agreement With Tehran
Complete Power Outage Hits Southern Syria
Electricity completely went out in the Syrian capital city of Damascus and all of southern Syria on Sunday after the rebels sabotaged key power lines feeding the southern region with electricity, Syrian Minister of Electricity Emad Khamis was quoted as saying by the state-run SANA news agency.
Founder of French Website "Hollande Resignation" Arrested, Car Impounded for "Insulting the President"

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
There is talk of revolution in the air
Russell Brand is more right than wrong. Pre-revolutionary grievances are simmering in half the world, openly in France and Italy, less openly in Russia and China. The Gini Coefficient measuring income inequality has been rising for 25 years almost everywhere, thanks to the deformed structure of globalisation.
Whose Side Are You On? Anti-Austerity Cops Face Off Against Riot Police in Portugal
Thousands of Ukrainians protest over EU deal in Kiev square that hosted Orange Revolution
Thousands Blockade NATO Route in Protest of US Drone Strikes
Thousands Protest Venezuelan President's Decree Powers
Anti-austerity protests in 55 Spanish cities
Egypt's president bans large protests

## Energy/resources ##
Energy Economist: tough times for European utilities may have a lesson for the US
This will have serious consequences for nuclear power as well. Nuclear is large-scale and capital-intensive, requiring financially healthy and well-capitalized utilities to enable the colossal investments, running costs, and back-end management that nuclear entails. Weakening of the current grid-utility system also means weakening of the grid, which nuclear power plants depend on for reliable offsite backup power during shutdowns. As we saw with Fukushima, if onsite backup is not up to the task and offsite power is lost, the result is catastrophic. Economic failure will also play into this. As I've said before, the world's nuclear power plants are all ticking time bombs. -- RF
Your Solar Panels Aren't Facing The Wrong Way
Westinghouse eyes nuclear power plants for Saudis
Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, is pressing ahead with an ambitious plan to build a chain of nuclear power plants to boost its electricity-generating capacity to free crude oil production for export and Westinghouse Electric says it's got its eye on the kingdom's program.
Chevron throws doubt on Rosebank North Sea development
U.S. oil firm Chevron said on Friday the development of its North Sea Rosebank project was not currently economically attractive, raising doubts about a resurgence of the North Sea as fears rise over costs.
The Global Water Industry Is Headed For Explosive Growth
Eskom Says South Africa Power Plight May Run Until Month-End (2)
Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said South Africa's power system will remain constrained until the end of the month even as the utility told its biggest clients to cut use by 10 percent for a second day in a bid to avoid blackouts.
Taiwan will face power shortage if it scraps nuclear power: Ma
Proposal for new state ministry to address water, electricity supply shortage (Malaysia)
Water wars are coming
Power cuts cripple industrial production in Tamil Nadu
With power cuts increasing to nearly nine hours a day in several parts of the State (except Chennai), industries are hit by the drop in production.
What is Russia's Game in the Arctic?

## Got food? ##
This Is What America's School Lunches Really Look Like
Czech Republic's lack of food self-sufficiency grows
Philippines grapples with new crisis from typhoon
Food waste, overeating threaten global security

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
19 Reasons Why Willpower Fails You, And What To Do About It

## Environment/health ##
Brazil deforestation up 28%
Only Half of Drugs, Other Newly Emerging Contaminants Removed From Sewage
Typhoon Haiyan death toll rises over 5,000
Rate Of Coastal Wetlands Loss Has Sped Up, U.S. Study Says
Energy company to pay out $1m over eagle deaths at wind farms
US energy supplier Duke Energy agrees six figure settlement after pleading guilty to killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds at Wyoming wind farms
Drowning Paradise Island Nation Facing Extinction
Elevated spill risks associated with ultra-deep sea drilling

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
NSA Sought Expanded Powers Last Year, New York Times Says
Twitter vs. NSA: Social media site tightens security against snooping
How the government can discover your health problems, political beliefs, and religious practices using just your metadata.
Map Shows The NSA's Massive Worldwide Malware Operations

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Students, professors highlight 'Classrooms Of Shame'

## Japan ##
Japan Is Used To Natural Disasters, But This One Is Man-Made
Sumitomo Rubber releases petroleum-free natural rubber car tire
TEPCO, Mitsubishi plan coal-fired power plants at Fukushima
TEPCO needs Y2 trillion for non-nuclear investment
8 more JR Hokkaido sections falsified rail inspection data

## China ##
China stagnates due to debt crisis
Rows of dilapidated five-story dormitories in the city of Nantong, previously housing China Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group's 38 000 employees, were abandoned after the shipbuilder teetering on collapse cut almost 80 percent of its workers over the past two years. Most video arcades, restaurants and shops serving them have closed.
China 'flies first stealth drone' - reports
Deadly pipeline explosions in China's eastern port city Qingdao leaves 47 dead and over 150 injured
China's villages vanish amid rush for the cities
Pollution Challenges China's Urbanization Drive
China hard landing is likely: Andy Xie
China One-Child Change Won't Boost Growth
Tackling overcapacity is top priority
China's top economic planner has pledged to take unprecedented steps to tackle industrial overcapacity as official data suggest the rate of industrial capacity utilization in the first half of the year hit a four-year low.

## UK ##
RBS 'drove businesses to collapse before stripping their assets'
Hospitals scramble to prevent crisis in NHS's 'toughest ever' winter

## US ##
Unrelenting Poverty Leads To 'Desperation' In Philly Schools
How Wall Street is Bleeding Detroit Dry
Stock market passes another milestone as S&P 500 index closes above 1,800
'Knockout game' leads to arrests and more police patrols
J.C. Penney dropped from S&P 500 after stock loses more than half its value
Why Your Pension Fund Is Doomed In Five Easy Charts
The new American retirement nightmare: Many Americans find they are completely unprepared for retirement.
White House blocks access to Obama events, news groups say
More Evidence That America May Have Reached 'Peak Car'
Secession Movement Picks Up Steam in Two Unlikely States
Poverty Is America's "Only Growth Sector": Howard Davidowitz
HP may have yet another problem: China
These Charts Show That Any Fed Tapering WILL Cause Stock Markets to Collapse

And finally...
George W. Bush's artwork on Christmas ornament available for purchase
Just a suggestion, but if you have $30 to spend on this, consider donating the money to a food bank instead. -- RF
Sony files patent application for a "Smart Wig"
Watch China's fastest dishwasher clean 50 plates in 10 seconds! (Video)

Thursday, November 21, 2013


News Links, November 21-22, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
EADS to cut up to 20 percent of Airbus Defense & Space jobs: paper
Secret TPP Negotiations Resume in Salt Lake City
Last week's publication of the controversial "Intellectual Property" chapter by Wikileaks confirmed our worst fears: the TPP carries draconian copyright enforcement provisions that threaten users' rights and could stifle innovation well into the 21st Century. Public opposition to the TPP continues to grow as a result of the leaked document; an opaque policymaking process that seems geared towards appeasing Big Content does not provide much in the way of legitimacy.
Timing the Collapse: Ron Paul Says Watch the Petrodollar
China's planned crude oil futures may be priced in yuan - SHFE
The Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) may price its crude oil futures contract in yuan and use medium sour crude as its benchmark, its chairman said on Thursday, adding that the bourse is speeding up preparatory work to secure regulatory approvals.
For The First Time In Four Years Caterpillar Posts Negative Retail Sales Across The Board
Forget the housing market — export slowdown is biggest risk to Canada, economist says
Anxiety Over Asset Bubbles From Homes to Internet Rising in Poll
Asset bubbles are forming in Internet and social media stocks as well as in the housing markets of London and China, according to the latest Bloomberg Global Poll.
Here's Why The Philippines' Economic Miracle Is Really a Bubble In Disguise
Eurozone business index shows slowing growth
Eurozone Flash PMI Shows Slight Growth, France Back in Contraction
The rosy eurozone growth estimates of a few months ago have bitten the dust already with the possible exception of Germany.
Consumer confidence drops in Europe
Europe bank payouts capped as capital bar keeps rising
Deflation Is Crushing QE Right Now
Gold pours into China to meet record demand, bypasses Hong Kong
China Imported An Additional 133 Tonnes Of Gold Directly in 2013
Gold bars worth $1.1m found in plane toilet in India
Tough Year For Many of Indonesia's Richest
Bulgarian informal ''grey'' economy is on the rise
The Czech Republic Joins in the Currency Debasement Race

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Israel's El Al airline sees silver lining in dark clouds of competition
Fuel Efficient Jets Help World's Largest Airline Cut Annual Costs by $2 Billion
Dubai Air Show: Plenty of planes, but is there enough airspace?
"Delays are becoming common place. And delays will only grow as operations grow," warns Hussein Dabbas, regional director of the International Air Transport Association. "If we don't stop the proliferation of delays, the system will slowly disintegrate - bringing down the efficiency of airlines with it."
Gulf carriers eye prize as Australia airlines duke it out
World's longest flight lands for the last time

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraqi officials: Wave of attacks hits commercial areas in Baghdad, killing at least 24 people
Three Saudi warships arrive in Egypt for joint exercises
Fears about Iran forge 'strange alliance' between Israel and Gulf nations
Meanwhile, nothing is done about the nuclear arsenals and ambitions of other countries in this region. By and large, the topple-Iran effort is still intact. -- RF
Iranian envoy speaks of difficulties at nuclear talks, says 'serious' negotiations stalled
Israel to stop issuing birth certificates to babies born to foreigners
40,000 NATO troops to stage massive European war games
Pirates Looting Cargoes With AK-47s Threaten African Oil: Energy
Kenya: Pirates Attack Ships On the Indian Ocean
SHIPPING experts have warned of an increase in piracy after five unsuccessful attacks in the Indian Ocean were reported this month alone. On Sunday, a Danish-owned oil tanker, Torm Kansas, came under attack while en route to South Africa from India but managed to fend off the suspected Somali pirates off the Somali coast.
Saudi Arabia says 6 shells fall near border post close to Kuwait
Watchdog inviting private companies to destroy some Syrian chemicals
The global chemical weapons watchdog is inviting private companies to bid to get involved in destroying Syria's stockpile of toxic agents and precursor chemicals.
Car bomb in northern Iraq kills 25
Ukraine drops plan to go West, turns East to Moscow
Ukraine abruptly spurned an historic new alliance with its western neighbours on Thursday, suspending an imminent trade pact with the European Union and saying it would revive talks on a deal instead with Russia, its old Soviet master.
U.S. Drone Kills Six in Pakistan as Khan Vows to Thwart NATO
US Envoy: Attacking Iran Still an Option

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hollande's Tax Rebels Underscore Mounting Opposition

## Energy/resources ##
Saudis launch major gas drilling in Red Sea
Saudi Arabia is fast-tracking its first major offshore natural gas fields in the Red Sea, a high-priority project that's seen as the start of a massive new energy program, off the kingdom's west coast. The objective is to produce gas for power-generation to free up for export growing volumes of oil that are being used domestically to cope with a growing domestic demand.
Bankruptcy seen looming for Finnish nickel miner Talvivaara
Long term, however, Transocean cited predictions for 1,250 deepwater wells to be drilled in 2025, compared with about 500 this year. To meet this, there are 110 new rigs under construction, but about 120 were due to be replaced, and Bonno saw potential for 215 additional deepwater rigs to be built.

## Environment/health ##
Nuclear Power's $750 Million Reprieve Doesn't End Dilemma

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Inside America's Plan to Kill Online Privacy Rights Everywhere
The United States and its key intelligence allies are quietly working behind the scenes to kneecap a mounting movement in the United Nations to promote a universal human right to online privacy, according to diplomatic sources and an internal American government document obtained by The Cable.
FireEye Links Chinese Cyberattacks to Single Source
Unfortunately we are just seeing the beginning of such absurdities as political and economic institutions around the world attempt to stifle dissent and squelch unfavorable opinions and information. -- RF
Hard to decide what category to post this in. I went with propaganda. But it's so absurd that it could have been the "And finally..." item just as well. Whatever, it's an excellent indication that neofeudalism and its attendant redistribution of wealth are developing apace: It's safe to assume that upper management aristocrats are getting fat paychecks and bonuses, while the serfs are advised how to do without. You know —eat, drink, and be merry, only without the eating and drinking. Have a nice day! -- RF
Although I do not agree with everything in this article (for example, the author discounts the possibility of another oil crash), it is absolutely spot-on in noting that net energy is declining. I am not a subscriber and cannot read the second part of the article, but the implications of net energy decline and decreasing investment are huge. -- RF
Krugman Goes Splat

## Japan ##
Data appearing Wednesday on the Finance Ministry web site showed the yen depreciation and higher fuel imports more than offset a big jump in exports during October.
Fukushima meltdown is warning to the world, says nuclear plant operator
Naomi Hirose, president of the company that runs Fukushima, said Britian's nuclear industry must be 'prepared for the worst'
Spanish court orders arrest of Jiang Zemin, Li Peng
Beijing has demanded clarification from Madrid after Spain's National Court on Tuesday issued an international arrest warrant for China's former president Jiang Zemin and former premier Li Peng for alleged genocide in Tibet.

## US ##
Neofeudalism: The Red Queen's race and the real winners from Quantitative Easing: Celebrating the five year anniversary of redistributing wealth to the top.
The Federal Reserve is celebrating its 5 year anniversary of Quantitative Easing.  As the stock market reaches record highs, it is useful to examine the real winners from QE.  Luxury good purchases have done extremely well during this period as income inequality in the nation has reached levels last seen during the Gilded Age.  Yet for the average American worker, salaries are stagnant and wage growth is nearly non-existent.

And finally...
Naked Georgia man busted with cocaine wearing only high heels and turban

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