Tuesday, November 05, 2013


News Links, November 5-6, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Be very afraid: The Global Corporatocracy is Almost Fully Operational
This transatlantic trade deal is a full-frontal assault on democracy
The purpose of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to remove the regulatory differences between the US and European nations. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. But I left out the most important issue: the remarkable ability it would grant big business to sue the living daylights out of governments which try to defend their citizens. It would allow a secretive panel of corporate lawyers to overrule the will of parliament and destroy our legal protections. Yet the defenders of our sovereignty say nothing.
Asia's post-September market rally runs out of gas
Thailand's Bubble Economy Is Heading For A 1997-Style Crash
"Just When Consensus Thinks Europe Is Exiting The Crisis" Or Why You Can't Handle The Truth About Europe
Global economic trends are disturbing
Property hot spots renew easy-money bubble fears
Kellogg to cut 7 percent of workforce by 2017, lowers forecast
Bitcoin flaw could let group take control of currency
Commodities Send Deflationary Warnings
Italian banks near saturation point on government debt
Italian banks are near saturation point after two years spent frantically buying their own government's bonds, forcing the Treasury to find alternative investors at home and abroad to finance a 2-trillion euro debt.
France to cancel more debt for the world's poorest countries
Tariff dodging takes its toll on India's highway developers
Flashing lights on the roof, tailgating politicians' motorcades, smashing up toll booths, and beating up toll collectors.
Australia's mining boom over: report
Bubble Trouble Seen Brewing in Australia Home Prices: Mortgages
World's Richest Add $200 Billion as Global Markets Surge
Chase Isn't the Only Bank in Trouble
The Problem with Pay-As-You-Go Social Programs: They're Ponzi Schemes
Which is what I and many other people have been saying. Likewise for the exponential-growth economic system. "Retirement" is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and unless you are a member of the New Aristocracy, I recommend you make other arrangements. -- RF
Greek Companies Unable To Pay Taxes Explode From 182K To Over Half A Million In One Month
Troika set to get tough over Greece budget shortfall
Turkey's Gold Imports In 2013 May Surpass Record Over 269.5 Metric Tonnes
Southern Europe is on a precipice
Probes into forex trading spread across globe
Heading toward a Cliff
The global economy is likely experiencing a bigger bubble than the one that unleashed the 2008 crisis, and should it burst the ensuing recession would be mammoth

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Attorney General Holder says American, US Airways must make broad concessions before merging
Ryanair cuts view as fares remain under pressure
Airline fees set to spike for the holidays
Power problem grounds Polish LOT Dreamliner in Bangkok: TV

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Top 'Nightmare Scenarios' for US-Saudi Relations
Gunfights kill 13 in Mexican city on U.S. border
Thirteen people were killed in shootouts on Sunday around the northeastern Mexican city of Matamoros in one of the worst recent outbreaks of violence in an area ravaged by drug gangs.
Anti-American crowds protest outside former US Embassy in Tehran marking takeover despite thaw
Although Americans are ignorant of what the US did to Iran, the Iranians have not forgotten. -- RF
Sanctions Have Only Steeled Iran against US, and Given Power to China
Washington sanctions on Iran have undermined the very goals that it would like to achieve. Rather than engaging Tehran, the sanctions are reinforcing the hardliners; isolating moderate sections of Iran's community, including the business community and the middle class; dividing old U.S. allies and strengthening China's clout in the Middle East.
Here's one of the rare articles (of course this is not one by the mainstream media) which mentions what the CIA did to Iran in 1953. One would expect the sanctions to be the other way around. -- RF
Russia says Iran must be invited to Syria conference
Hawkish John Bolton Again Pushes for Israeli Strike on Iran
Hadn't heard anything from the Grand Hothead in a while. -- RF
Imploding the Myth of Israel (Chris Hedges)
South Korea plans to buy four Global Hawk aircraft from 2017
Korean president says talks with Japan would 'serve no purpose'
Militants kill 70 in northeast Nigeria attacks: officials
Ex Chinese commander says attack on drones will turn into war
A former commander of the Chinese military has warned Japan that any attack against China's unmanned drones might constitute the "first shot" of war, echoing the sentiment expressed last week by Beijing.
N. Korean leader asserts status as commander in chief of military
Pentagon chief warns against over reliance on military power
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Tuesday the United States must effectively use all instruments of power, not just military might, to successfully lead the world after a dozen years of war that have strained it physically and financially.
Armies and Police Are Being Privatized Around the World and Business Is Booming
Saudi Authorities Round Up Thousands Of Illegal Immigrants

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protesters burn tires, hurl rocks in Haiti's capital as US officials meet with president

## Energy/resources ##
Energy Quote of the Day: On Oil Companies' 'Track Record of Capex Creep'
I've seen a number of articles on this recently. It's developing into a major issue, and rightly so. Investors of course want healthy returns, and so they naturally feel concerned when they see increasing sums of "their" money being sunk into the ground. On the other hand, more and more money must be sunk into the ground if we want to keep using oil. The significance of this conflict cannot be overstated, and in fact it shows that we have arrived at a defining moment — one that was entirely expected by anyone who understands peak oil. There are limits to everything. There is a limit to how long investors will put up with diminishing returns on their investments, and there is a limit to how much energy companies can skimp on capex before oil production collapses. At any rate, until there is significant demand destruction, oil will stay expensive, and the long-term price trend is up. On the other hand, if oil prices slide too low, that would likewise crimp exploration and production. Have a nice day! -- RF
The Key Numbers On The Oil Industry's Problems
Some fascinating data points on the global oil and gas business from Ernst & Young last week. The group released its annual Global oil and gas reserves study. And the findings suggest some worrisome trends afoot in the petroleum business. The report confirmed that high costs are plaguing the business. Exploration and development spending by E&Ps globally jumped 20% in 2012 alone. And rose a towering 48% between 2008 and 2012.
Eni Adjusts Profits Amid Africa Chaos
Facing instability in Africa and bribery accusations against its drilling subsidiary Saipem, Italian oil giant Eni is now reporting an adjusted net profit of 1.2 billion euros for the third quarter, down 29% from the same period last year.
The Club of Rome Reloaded
Farmers grapple with propane shortage
Power bills squeeze Italian business
Shell may give up Nigerian oil pipeline because of thefts, sabotage
Iranian official says Iran doing its part on gas pipeline to Pakistan
Iran Burning Gas Worth Billions Set to Lead Exporters Group
Australia approves massive coalmine
Israel to drill for oil in the West Bank
Nuclear energy verdict: Costly, slow and very high maintenance
Libya may deepen Brent's premium over US oil
Water Shortages Threaten Shale Gas Development
If water is the new oil and shale gas is the new energy savior, something has to give. That's because the exploration for the unconventional form of natural gas uses so much water that it is encroaching on society's other needs.
Japan, South Korea Face Higher LNG Costs to Meet Power Shortfall
Energy spending to soar, predicts ADB study
Future demand for electricity in the Asia-Pacific region will be so big that countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and even more developed Thailand will need to swap supplies to keep the lights on and machinery operating, a study reckons.
Encana to Cut Workforce, Slash Div as Gas Prices Stay Low

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thieves nab Oregon highway fencing
Copper thieves knock Spokane radio station off the air

## Got food? ##
Is Brazil feeding the world as Brazilians go hungry?
Food stamp cuts create high demand for food bank supplies
12% of Your Spices May Be Contaminated With 'Filth'
Study: Many herbal supplements contain no herbs
Tests of popular herbal supplements like echinacea and St. John's wort found that they were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by fillers like rice and weeds.
800,000 Canadians rely on food banks

## Environment/health ##
Toxic World Exposing Hundreds of Millions to Deadly Chemicals: Report
BP's 'widespread human health crisis'
Toxicologists 'predicted with certainty' that Gulf of Mexico residents and clean-up workers would become severely ill.
European Union seeks to reduce plastic bag mountain
Underground 'carbon capture' linked to series of Texas quakes
Rain forest threat: 30,000 miles of Amazon roads built in just 3 years
Flying the Coop: Antibiotic Resistance Spreads to Birds, Other Wildlife
Ranchers Insistence On Cheap Grazing Keeps Wolf Population In The Crosshairs
Season's 30th typhoon spawned in Pacific for 1st time in 19 years
Japan, South Korea concerned that China's smog will affect them

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
We're About to Lose Net Neutrality — And the Internet as We Know It
Why 'Death to America' remains Iran hardliners' slogan of choice
This propaganda hit piece from the BBC never properly answers the question. Readers would be better served if the article mentioned how the US — with Britain's help — toppled Iran's democratically elected government and installed a puppet regime. But telling the real story would make the "death to America" slogan sound reasonable. -- RF
Anonymous operations in DC kick off ahead of Million Mask March Special
Southeast Asian Sites Hacked Before Global Anonymous Protest
The Anonymous hacker group stepped up cyber attacks across Southeast Asia, targeting websites in the Philippines and Singapore before a global protest today against censorship and government corruption.
Tesco's In-Store Ads Watch You—and It Looks Like You Need a Coffee
Brazil spied on US, Russia, Iran, Iraq
Revealed: Britain's 'secret listening post in the heart of Berlin'
Google reads all emails, Microsoft warns
NYT: NSA spied on Japan for economic advantage
The New York Times says the US National Security Agency has carried out surveillance on friendly nations such as Japan and Brazil to gain an "economic advantage."
How we know the NSA had access to internal Google and Yahoo cloud data

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Tide Thefts, Cargo Hijacking And Cattle Rustling: Why Is An Epidemic Of Thievery Sweeping America?
Why Is Predicting Crisis/Reset So Difficult?
Environment: Waste production must peak this century

## Japan ##
Fukushima Trial Run Begins Dangerous Reactor 4 Clean-Up
Izu Oshima looking for help in disposing of 110,000 tons of typhoon debris
Japan launches newest submarine Kokuryu amid party atmosphere
Chiba Issues Air-Pollution Warning
SDF to stage Miyako surface-to-ship missile drill
Tofu makers battling to survive
The Yomiuri Shimbun A growing number of tofu makers are shutting down part or all of their business due to the rising cost of imported soybeans and demands for wholesale price cuts from supermarket chains and other buyers.
Japan eyes government support for military aircraft exports
Japan is considering providing low-interest loans from a state-run bank to support exports of aircraft designed for military use, the first time such sales are being considered since the end of World War Two, according to officials with knowledge of the still-developing policy.
Japan considers boosting Aegis destroyer fleet
Japan is considering boosting its fleet of Aegis-equipped destroyers from six to eight to counter threats from North Korean missile development and tensions with China over territory, a daily said Tuesday.
Monetary base reaches record high for the eighth consecutive month
The nation's monetary base grew 45.8 percent in October from a year earlier to ¥186.87 trillion, hitting a record high for the eighth straight month as the Bank of Japan kept pumping money into the financial system to beat deflation under its ultraloose monetary policy, the central bank said Tuesday.
Government Taking Over Shady Loans

## China ##
China eyes adopting international law to spark life into trade zones
China is considering the use of international law in a big push to get free trade zones up and running to promote the use of the yuan in global trade, which could challenge Hong Kong longer term as the main offshore center for the currency.
Li Says China Needs 7.2% Expansion to Create Jobs as Party Meets
China needs 10 million new jobs a year
PM2.5 nearly doubles in Shanghai
Japanese in Beijing sending their families home due to PM2.5 air pollution
The Extreme Tilt of Chinese Internet Politics
China orders local leaders to reduce excess capacity in steel, cement, other industries
Chinese leaders have ordered local officials to stop expanding industries such as steel and cement in which supply outstrips demand, a Cabinet statement said Tuesday, in a sign previous orders to cut overcapacity were ignored.
New township projects in China may cause bubble to burst
China Faces Gas Shortage after Cutting Coal Consumption
Beijing slashes car sales quota in anti-pollution drive

## UK ##
Nearly one in five adults across the UK are eating less fruit and veg as prices soar
Britain asks water companies to reconsider price hikes
The British government has written to the country's biggest water companies, asking them to reconsider looming price hikes given that households are already struggling to meet rising utility bills, it said on Tuesday.
Face-Scanning Screens That Can Determine Your Age and Gender Are Coming to a Gas Station Near You
Report: UK Oil, Gas Significantly Reliant on Immigrants
BAE to cut possibly more than 1,000 UK shipyard jobs
Barclays cuts 450 UK jobs at private bank and call center
Soaring numbers admitted to hospital as doctors fear worst winter yet
The number of patients admitted to hospital has risen by almost 13 per cent in    just five years, as doctors warn that the NHS may be facing its worst winter yet.

## US ##
Rich families are hoarding cash: Citi
Gold Coin Sales In U.S. To October 2013 Top Total For 2012
Kansas City taxpayers concerned about thousands of abandoned homes
Is the housing boom running out of gas?
Caterpillar closing another mining equipment facility
Things Are Falling Apart For Caterpillar
5 fast-food chains costing taxpayers
Wealthy Chinese gobbling up Silicon Valley homes
Limited Potential for Shale Gas in New York
Hydraulic fracturing of shale is likely to be significantly less productive in New York than in Pennsylvania, while still creating widespread problems associated with ancillary activities such as water impoundments, compressor stations and waste disposal.
County official: Multiple shots fired at northern NJ mall, no report of fatalities, injuries
Food stamp cuts hit about 5,000 troops
Tuesday Tragedy: "QE Will Continue Until Morale Improves"
How Many People Can a State Sustain?
Number of the Week: Why Don't More People Want a Job?
34.3%: Share of Americans over age 16 who say they don't want a job, up from about 30% two decades ago.
New Thanksgiving Tradition: Never Stop Shopping

And finally…
Must read: My Digital Thermostat Is Slowly Trying To Kill Me
This is a scream. Unfortunately, labyrinthine software and incomprehensible manuals are not limited to thermostats. -- RF

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