Thursday, November 21, 2013


News Links, November 19-20, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
OECD revises down global economic growth forecasts
Global growth for 2013 and 2014 has been downgraded "significantly" after weak prospects in emerging markets, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
US debt default would be like Lehman crash: OECD
Only 14% Of Global Companies Plan To Add Workers In 2014
Emerging Market "Fragile Five" Currency Crisis Coming Up; Saxo Bank on Property and Equity Bubbles in Asia and Emerging Markets
Record-breaking Dubai developer looks to build even bigger tall tower
Qatar named fastest growing luxury market amid China slowdown
Massive job losses predicted as Customs budget cut 'through the bone' (Australia)
The federal agency charged with "stopping the boats" says budget cuts will force it to slash services and jobs "through bone and out the other side".
How Wall Street Manipulates Everything: The Infographics
Bitcoin: $500 to $900 and back ... in a day!
Bitcoin Goes Vertical in Speculative Frenzy
Why China likely works with the U.S. to manipulate gold prices
As market bubbles form, investors may want to take cover
Greeks Turn to Tarot Reader as Market Rally Belies Jobless Gloom
Govt raises $365m from Air NZ sale
Brazil's Eletrobras expects job cuts to save $441 mln per year

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Alitalia may cut up to 2,600 staff to cut costs: union sources
Etihad comes to the aid of struggling Virgin Australia
ANA replaces 787 battery charger after fault warning
Blow for George Best Belfast City Airport as 52 Flybe staff lose jobs
'Eye-popping': Frequent flier program changes concern travelers
Reminding travelers everywhere that awards charts are fleeting, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines this month raised the number of miles needed to score certain flights, essentially devaluing all those carefully earned points in their customers' accounts.
Air travelers buying beer — and more — at airports
Should U.S. Airlines Cozy Up to Big-Spending Mideast Carriers?
Fare wars land airlines in a mess (India)
Malaysia Airlines posts third-quarter loss
Dubai Air Show: Are we facing a pilot shortage?
Emirates' boss: 11-seat row "not such a bad thing"

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China to build power plants in Yemen, expand ports
US-Afghan security pact hits impasse as time runs out
In Afghanistan: 'Security Deal' Means US Occupation Forever
Boeing delivers maritime patrol aircraft to India
Russia continues pivot to Asia-Pacific
Japan's Abe Looks for Asian Allies to Say No to China
Fears grow the ships to be laden with Syria's chemical weapons will sail the high seas with nowhere to unload
When Iran Negotiations Aren't About Iran
There is a widening chasm between the US-Iran agenda (or perhaps it is better to say the Obama-Rouhani agenda, as both men must deal with opposing forces at home) and the agenda of the rest of the involved parties. -- RF
Arab gulf states build up strike capabilities as U.S. relaxes rules
Amid mounting Arab concerns about a rapprochement between the United States and Iran, the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies that are Tehran's greatest opponents are looking to acquire precision-guided weapons and other advanced systems to enhance their strike capabilities.
CAR communal violence spiralling out control - UN chief
Explosions strike near Iranian Embassy in Lebanese capital of Beirut, killing at least 7
Kerry: Era of Monroe Doctrine in Latin America is over
Filipinos criticize typhoon relief effort, sell looted goods to survive

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Nine gunned down in Xinjiang police station assault
In yet another incident of ethnic violence, nine axe-wielding assailants and two police officers were killed during an attack in the south of the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region on Saturday, reports Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao.
Demonstrators at Warsaw climate summit demand emission cuts
Protesters rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square against security forces
Citizens' group protests secrets bill in front of Your Party HQ (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##
S.Korea hikes power prices to avoid blackouts
South Africa rolling power blackouts may be back, warns Eskom
What Happens after the U.S. Oil Boom Goes Bust?
Fight set to begin over opening Mexico's oil monopoly to private sector, including foreigners
Shell, Sinopec Drilling for Shale Gas in Central China
OPEC says $160-a-barrel oil by 2035
If the level of demand stays the same or rises, it would likely reach that price sooner than 2035. But let's be realistic. Even  current crude prices are high enough to destroy demand, so a rise to $160 is unlikely to say the least. -- RF
Energy Quote of the Day: 'When it Comes to Energy, There is No Free Lunch'
That's for sure. This is in essence a pro-fracking article which implies that if you want energy, fracking is a necessity. There is no admission that fracking is not an energy bonanza, and endangers the environment for only short-term gains. -- RF
Rio Tinto, Paladin Namibia Uranium Mines Face Water Shortage
TransCanada boosts Keystone XL cost estimate by $100 mln
Wood Mackenzie: Russia Must Refocus In Order to Maintain Production
Research from UK-based energy analyst Wood Mackenzie states that Russia needs to refocus investment from easier, conventional onshore projects to more difficult and expensive tight oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Arctic developments if it is to maintain production in the long term.
A Scarcity of Rare Metals Is Hindering Green Technologies
Global LNG market to remain tight in 2014 and beyond

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal theft hits power to 280 Greenock homes and causes fires

## Got food? ##
Emergency: Caterpillars devour Brazil's grain
Infestations of the Helicoverpa caterpillar in Brazil's grain belt prompted the agriculture ministry on Monday to declare a state of emergency in the leading soy state of Mato Grosso, highlighting the potential risk to large parts of the crop.
Better than grasshoppers? Princess Anne: Britain should debate using horse meat for food
Expect a Spike in Turkey Prices This Thanksgiving Due to Anorexic Turkeys
Campbell Soup sales down because people want more fresh food
US farmers struggling to dry their corn with shortage of propane
Failed Monsanto GMO Corn Pushed on African Countries with Help of Bill Gates
How To Prepare For Climate Disasters? Artist Says Dehydrate Food

## Environment/health ##
Dry eye syndrome higher in cities with high air pollution
Study shows wind turbines killed 600,000 bats last year
'There's nothing left' after storm blasts Illinois town
Nearly 800,000 lack power in US Midwest, Ontario after storms
Sardinia hit by 'apocalyptic' cyclone
Italy declares state of emergency in Sardinia after deadly cyclone
Scientists: We Can't Do Anything About The Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs That Will Soon Kill Millions Of Us
Environmental toxins linked to heart defects
Children's congenital heart defects may be associated with their mothers' exposure to specific mixtures of environmental toxins during pregnancy, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.
Report predicts wild weather for U.S. Southeast in coming decades

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
NSA grapples with 988% increase in records requests
We Don't Wanna Hear It: Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to NSA's Bulk Collection Program
Bloomberg News Kills All Credibility: Kills Story Critical Of China, Fires Reporter Who Reveals This Fact
Google's YouTube Homepage Goes Down Briefly
Yahoo expands security measures, promises to encrypt all personal data by end of March
Barack Obama's portable secrecy tent (some assembly required)

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
America's Failing Infrastructure (infographic)
Has the U.S. Economy Entered a 'Permanent Slump'?
I have long held that we are not in a "recession," but have rather started the long, messy descent toward a socioeconomic system that operates on a much lower energy level. In other words, the collapse of industrial society has begun. Therefore there will be no "recovery," and the situation will only get worse. Well, here we have two venerable "experts" — Summers and Krugman — saying that the US economy is in a "permanent slump." What's going on here? Is there some inkling of reality intruding into their brains? Well, perhaps not. They argue that the cause is insufficient spending! -- RF

## Japan ##
Here Is Proof (Provided By Japan Inc.) Why Abenomics Fails The Real Economy
The Failure Of Abenomics In One Chart... When Even The Japanese Press Admits "Easing Is Not Working"
Japan's solar dream shatters as projects fail
OECD Tells Japan: 'No More Fiscal Stimulus After 2014!'
TEPCO to seek additional loans from megabanks

## China ##
To tackle pollution, China to drop pursuit of growth at all costs
China will steer local governments away from the pursuit of economic growth at all costs and beef up their powers to punish polluters as part of a campaign to reverse the damage done by three decades of unchecked expansion.
China Adopts "New" GDP-Boosting Accounting System
Now we have even more reason to discount the economic data coming out of China. -- RF
China Gobbles Up Assets in Latin America
Forced lending to China SMEs may risk more harm than good
Chinese Steer Billions Abroad in Quest for Safety

## UK ##
UK households downbeat on finances, power bills a worry -Markit
British households have turned much more gloomy about their personal finances as news of big increases in their power bills appears to have compounded worries about low pay growth, a survey showed on Monday.
Two-thirds expect to turn the heating down this winter in energy price squeeze
Grandparents support rationing winter fuel payments and bus passes
Parents face a 'childcare crunch', says Miliband
Zombies could cause spooky 'lost decade' in UK
A new generation of zombie companies is lurching around, causing trouble and potentially causing a "lost decade" of low growth in the U.K., a leading think tank has warned.
Graduates earn 12% less than those who left university before financial crash

## US ##
Iowa's widespread speed cameras bring backlash
As Students Drown in Debt, Gov't Rakes in $42 Billion in Profit
More U.S. Cities See No Economic Growth This Year, Report Says
Totally expected. Keep watching for that inevitable epidemic of municipal bankruptcies and muni bond defaults. -- RF
The American Model of "Growth": Overbuilding and Poaching
Wal-Mart holds food drive for its own employees
Bins inside a Cleveland store ask shoppers to donate to 'associates in need.' The company defends the move.
Military personnel face cuts to pay, benefits
The U.S. military's top commanders, groping for ways to cope with a shrinking Pentagon budget, have agreed to a plan that would curb the growth of pay and benefits for housing, education and health — prized features of military life that for years have been spared from cuts.
"$8.5 TRILLION In Taxpayer Money Doled Out By Congress To The Pentagon Since 1996 … Has NEVER Been Accounted For"
Is the Tesla Euphoria Over?
'We take care of each other': Military families already prepping for another government shutdown
US Power Sector Faces Labor Shortage
Winter's Coming And Thousands Are Homeless After Tornadoes
Proof Positive That the Inputs For 99% of Economic Modeling are Garbage
The big news that has somehow shocked the media is that the BLS was caught fudging the jobs numbers going into the 2012 election. How on earth is this news? Anyone with a working frontal cortex is aware that CPI, the unemployment numbers, GDP and virtually everything else reported by the Federal Government is massaged to the point of being fraudulent.
No Money to Retire the New American Nightmare; Retirement at 80 the New Norm?
Congratulations to Illinois: Most Government Bodies, Most Convicted Governors, Lowest Credit Rating

And finally...
Restaurant worker rescued from ceiling

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