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

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