Thursday, January 23, 2014


News Links, January 23-24, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Argentina restricts online shopping as foreign reserves drop
DHL, FedEx suspend shipments to Russian customers
Express delivery companies DHL and FedEx (FDX.N) said on Thursday they had suspended foreign shipments to individual customers in Russia because of stricter customs procedures, making it harder for internet users to buy goods from abroad.
Argentine Default-Era Chaos Relived as Blackouts Follow Looting
Report: US income inequality among worst in the world
Italian Banks Need Extra $57 Billion for Loan Loss Reserves, 18% of Loans Non-Performing
Crippled eurozone to face fresh debt crisis this year, warns ex-ECB strongman Axel Weber
Here it comes– more leading economists call for capital controls
A Trend to Note: Over One-Third of Adults Unemployed
European businesses rushing to find Iran bonanza
Singapore Exchange to Add Circuit Breakers Next Month
Singapore Exchange Ltd., Southeast Asia's biggest bourse, will add circuit breakers next month that protect investors from excessive stock swings after a plunge in three commodity companies erased $6.9 billion in market value.
Venezuela announces changes to foreign currency system
Venezuela Strengthens Currency Controls in Impossible Mission to Stop Capital Flight; Airlines Collapse; End of the Line
Youth Unemployment Is Costing The World Billions
Spain Sells Record Amount of Debt Through Banks as Yields Fall
Spanish Unemployment Stays Above 25% as Rajoy Seeks Growth
Australians in Record Loan Spree as House Prices Soar: Mortgages
Australian homebuyers are borrowing at the fastest pace in four years amid record prices, straining debt levels already among the developed world's highest as interest rates are set to climb.
No end in sight for rising cost of single family homes (Canada)
Fears of global slowdown send stocks into a tailspin
Dubai confirms final deal on $10 billion debt restructuring
Nothing to see here, folks. Move right along. -- RF
After Market: Investors Fear Big Trouble from Brittle China

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Bombardier cuts 1,700 jobs to save cash after jet delays
Air NZ denies dropping flights over light loads
Singapore Airlines cuts more flights
Why Is the 787 Dreamliner Such a Hassle for Norwegian Air?
3 airlines that will keep soaring in 2014
Airlines New Polar Vortex Problem: Angry Parents

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Robert Gates on How Israel and Saudi Arabia Pressure US into Wars of Choice
Taiwan Rejects China Fishing Rules for Foreign Vessels in South
Russian police kill Islamist militant leader before Olympics
Major Rebel Faction Withdraws Ahead of Syria Talks
China in talks for more Russian arms as tensions with Japan rise
Plans are on for quick reaction force in Middle East
Turkey faces a 'war' within its borders as Prime Minister Erdogan cracks down on opponents

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
They're 'All Shook Up' and They Want the Fracking Wells to Stop
Residents of north Texas communities demand regulatory body put end to injection wells they say are behind spate of earthquakes
Ukraine's Big Brother Text: "Dear Subscriber, You Are Registered as Participant in Mass Riot"
80,000 Miners Strike for Living Wage
Burma mobs 'kill 30 Rohingyas'

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: Ten Reasons Intermittent Renewables (Wind and Solar PV) are a Problem
I have said repeatedly that renewables cannot prop up industrial civilization. I am in favor of building more renewable capacity, as that will help keep the lights on a while longer. But the belief that we can maintain civilization at this energy level using renewables is an illusion. -- RF
Must read: Megaprojects A Megaheadache For Oil Bosses
Giant oil and gas extraction projects will be giving oil industry executives headaches to match for the years ahead as delays, cost overruns and increasing risks call for new strategies to manage them. The sheer scale and complexity of such projects is threatening to outgrow the ability of even the largest oil companies to manage them.
Despite this grim reality, hysterical energy dreamers continue to insist that peak oil is dead that that technology will solve all our energy problems. Clearly this situation signifies the end of easy oil and the beginning of the age of scarcity and higher prices. It's no wonder that the Obama administration has opened its eyes and is doing everything possible to get Iran's oil back on the world market. -- RF
Germany's industrial base at risk if green energy shift fails
Germany vows reform after investors hit by wind park insolvency
Hydrogen Vehicles 2: The Technical Downside
Research engineers will often talk about what can be done technically, without considering the economic feasibility. Magazines like Scientific American and Technology Review often gush over advances that turn out to be viable only in the laboratory, not the real world. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles would seem to belong to this category.
South Africa's Implats shuts mines ahead of platinum strike
Natural gas prices above $100? Better tweak the system
Iran's oil sales rise as sanctions pressure eases - sources
EIA says U.S. propane stocks fall 3.4 mln bbls in week to Jan. 17
U.S. Midwest spot propane prices surge above $4 a gallon
Harsh weather puts Kenya at risk of acute power shortage
Behind Texas Electric Grid Emergency Alert, a Power Plant Failure, Not Demand
The blackouts during Australia's heatwave didn't happen by accident
The US shale boom is overhyped
Existing shale gas and oil wells are showing spectacularly high early decline rates and won´t prevent the world heading towards an energy crisis
Iran Lures Oil Majors with New Contracts Pledge
Electricity Customers Asked To Conserve Electric Power Consumption (US)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thefts persist amid Michigan debate for tougher scrapping laws
Bold-as-brass metal thieves start stealing DOOR KNOCKERS
One village, over 700 cable thefts in four months

## Got food? ##
Venezuela About To Run Out Of Food Despite Fresh All Time High In Its Stock Market
Colder weather may threaten 15 percent of US Midwest wheat - forecaster

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Ten Pillars of Financial Independence

## Environment/health ##
Super typhoon victims flee again as rains flood southern Philippines
Biodiversity loss can lead to toxin build up in soil
A new study suggests that a moderate loss of less than 5 percent of soil microbes may compromise some key ecosystem functions and could lead to lower degradation of toxins in the environment.
Officials Reveal Second Chemical Spilled in W. Virginia Waters
Sustainable shale group 'has a tough road'
One quarter of sharks and rays threatened with extinction
More Oil Spilled in 2013 US Rail Incidents than Previous 37 Years Combined
Study: Nighttime smartphone leaves people tired at work the next day

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Verizon reports 1,000-1,999 security data orders
Verizon Communications Inc. says it received between 1,000 and 1,999 government requests for customer information related to national security last year.
The 25 most common passwords of 2013
Putting The Brake On Who Can See Your Car's Data Trail
Neiman Marcus confirms and apologizes for data breach
FBI warns retailers to expect more credit card breaches
Large chunk of Chinese internet traffic redirected to small Wyoming building
Internet Outages, and Growth Fears, Kill Chinese Web Companies
TV News Programs Seem Focused On Making Sure NSA Defenders Get Nearly All Air Time
No Place to Hide: We're All Suspects in Barack Obama's America
Are you opposed to fracking? Then you might just be a terrorist
Microsoft moves to thwart NSA prying as backlash grows

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
TRIP report: Deficient roads, bridges cost Michigan motorists up to $1,600 a year in 'hidden' costs
America's crumbling infrastructure desperately needs funding
"Endless Growth" Is the Plan and There Is No Plan B

## Japan ##
Japan's nuclear waste problem
Knocking The Nikkei: Japan Down 500 From Yesterday's Highs
Further cuts at Renesas show woes of Japan chip industry
Sharp to close down solar panel business in the U.S. by end of March
PM Abe likens current China-Japan relations to Britain and Germany during World War One
Sony Seen Cutting Forecast Again on Sluggish PC, TV Sales

## China ##
China's Five-Star Hotels Are Desperate for Lower Ratings
China Bailout Costs Jump Seen in Policy Bank Yield Surge
China's Territorial Sovereignty Dispute Is All About Energy
Beijing bans new refining, steel, coal power to curb pollution
China Manufacturing Index Signals Surprise Contraction
Hong Kong Jewelry Sales Hit the Rocks

## UK ##
E.ON runs down power stations despite blackout warning
German firm plans to close one station and reduce output at three others, leaving UK with precious little spare capacity
Water cannon set to be deployed across Britain amid fears of more riots
One in seven over 65s consider renting spare room as they struggle to live off pensions

## US ##
Must read: Dead Mall Syndrome: The Self-Reinforcing Death Spiral of Retail
A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
It's Black Friday again! Retail woes as deep as the discounts
Target cuts 475 jobs worldwide
The Minneapolis retailer also said 700 positions will not be filled. Target did not say what departments would be affected by the layoffs or how much money it would save the company.
Report: Troubles Ahead for Commercial Real Estate Loan Refinancing
Novartis to cut 500 jobs in shutting U.S. Diovan plant
More US Women Have Been Jobless For More Than Six Months Than In 2007; Overall The U.S. Has More Than Double The Long-Term Unemployed
Jobless benefits slashed in more states: Is the safety net coming to an end?
Volkswagen's labor chief says U.S. operations a 'disaster'
Silicon Slopes Beckon as U.S. Buyers Shun Costly Homes
False Thesis of the Day: Huge Cash Pile Puts Recovery in Hands of Corporations; Cash Cow Revisited
Looming pension payment could drive city taxes to highest in U.S. (Chicago)
Next year, Chicago must come up with a state-mandated $590 million increase in its contribution to police and fire pension funds. A Crain's analysis of the city's tax and budget options shows that payment could lead to the highest commercial property tax rate in the nation and still leave the city needing to make millions of dollars in spending cuts that could decimate many services.
15 disappearing middle-class jobs
Detroit Gets $350 Million Pension Aid Offer From Snyder
Engineers Found 'Hundreds' of Cracks in California Bridge
Engineers spotted "hundreds" of cracks in welds on parts produced for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 2008 and were encouraged to stay quiet rather than delay the $6.4 billion project, according to a California Senate committee report.
Treasury Secretary sounds alarm on new debt ceiling deadline
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told House Speaker John Boehner and other congressional leaders Wednesday that Congress must vote to increase the government's borrowing limit before late February.
More city dwellers steer clear of owning cars
Why is a Gigantic War-Blimp About to Fly Above the Skies of Suburban Baltimore?
Special Operations Marines training in New Orleans area
A Stunning 63% Of Florida December Home Purchases Were "All Cash"
Pentagon giving away 13,000 armored trucks
Interest from foreign militaries has been tepid. But they are a hit with stateside police agencies. Almost 200 trucks have been distributed to police departments since August and requests are pending for an additional 750 trucks. The vehicles, many of which feature machine-gun turrets, are off-limits to private citizens and businesses.
The Hidden Agenda Behind Quantitative Easing

And finally...
Why sloths leave the trees to poop
Olympic bathroom stall with two toilets raises eyebrows
Survey Reveals That Employees Look For Extramarital Affairs On Company Time

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