Sunday, February 02, 2014


News Links, February 1-3, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Emerging market mayhem has already wiped $1.7-trillion off global stocks and it could get worse
Dry Bulk Shipping Rates Crash the Most in 30 Years
Half the world economy is one accident away from a deflation trap
Italy is wasting away month by month
Argentina Scrambles To Raise $10 Billion, Avoid Reserve Collapse; BONARs Bidless
Argentina Central Bank Bans Imports Due to Lack of Dollars; Argentina to Apply "Iron Fist" to Those Who Raise Prices
Best Buy Canada slashing 950 full-time jobs as it thins management ranks, combines sales departments
Nigeria Central Bank to Move More Currency Reserves in Yuan
The $15 trillion shadow over Chinese banks
Gold In 2014: Scramble For Physical Gold As Price Manipulation Unravels?
Record Brazil heat pressures crops, energy prices, government
January was the hottest month on record in parts of Brazil including its biggest city, São Paulo. The heat, plus a severe drought, has kindled fears of water shortages, crop damage and higher electricity bills that could drag down the economy during an election year for President Dilma Rousseff.
Pressure building for ECB rate cut
No Wonder German Workers Drag Down Retail Sales – And Much Of The Economy
Paul Krugman: Are we witnessing the start of a new global financial crisis?
Oh, come on! There isn't any "new" global financial crisis. It's just the same crisis we've been watching since 2008, and which was predicted years before that. -- RF
27 held at Delhi airport during bid to smuggle 15 kg of gold
Novartis to cut or transfer up to 4,000 pharma jobs: paper
German industry says energy reform plans threaten jobs
South Korea's Crackdown on Underground Economy Stokes Angst
South Korea's shadow economy was equal to 24.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2010, above an average 18.3 percent for 39 OECD members and 11 percent for Japan.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
United Pares Jet Airways Ties as India Safety Rating Cut
In surprise move, Allegiant Air pulls out of Charlottesville market
SAA route cuts could harm hospitality sector
South African Airways (SAA) announced on Wednesday that all of its long-haul routes were unprofitable, confirming that this had prompted the airline to institute route cuts as a means of recovering costs.
Romanian airline Carpatair to undergo restructuring as part of insolvency procedures
Brindabella $78.9 million debt revealed by Joint Administrator
Smaller Airlines Face Creeping Costs as Big Rivals Soar
United Airlines axing its hub in Cleveland
Cleveland is the latest airline hub to get sent to the chopping block. United Airlines will downgrade its hub operation there, axing the city's hub status in a move that will mean major flight cutbacks and the loss of about 470 jobs.
Two flights grounded due to smoke in past 24 hours
U.S. FAA downgrades India aviation rating; Air India, Jet hit
JAL, ANA profits hit as weak yen hikes fuel costs
Jumbo jet's last Japanese flight fully booked
The Michigan Traveler: True cost of transporting a $25 checked bag? About $2

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
UN says more than 733 Iraqis killed in January
Iraqi army prepares to storm militant-held Falluja
Israel combats cyberattacks, 'biggest revolution in warfare'
Terror group based in Sinai claims responsibility for attack on Israel
Iran's top clergy back Rouhani's nuclear approach
General says more Marines could be based throughout Africa
Chinese military could target Okinawa during South China Sea conflicts: U.S. official
Okinawa Prefecture and the U.S. territory of Guam could become targets of the Chinese military in the event of contingencies in Taiwan or the South China Sea, a senior U.S. Air Force official said.
Germany must use military more, says president
Germany must stop using its past as a "shield" and use its armed forces more frequently and decisively, federal president Joachim Gauck has warned, in the clearest sign yet that country's longstanding aversion to the use of its military may be beginning to crack.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hundreds protest against Merthyr council's cuts plan
Clashes grip Thai capital on eve of vote; 7 hurt
Spanish abortion bill prompts huge protests in Madrid
Protesters Resist an 'Indian Fukushima'
Radicals a wild card in Ukraine's protests

## Energy/resources ##
Jean Laherrere uses Hubbert linearization to estimate Bakken shale oil peak in 2014
Economist Warns that Texas Oil Boom will Begin to Slow this Year
Chevron Earnings Fall 32% in 4Q
Chevron profit fell 32 percent in the fourth quarter on lower oil and gas production and lower prices for refined fuels relative to the cost of crude.
U.S. utilities seen burning more coal due high gas prices
This Week in Oil and Gas: Declining Profits and Soaring Project Costs
The biggest story this week in oil and gas is declining profits and production and soaring project costs for the supermajors as  disappointing fourth-quarter 2013 earnings come in, among other bad news for the big boys. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Shell spent more than $120 billion in 2013 to boost oil and gas output, but production is declining and they're having a hard time justifying these costs.
French body blames renewables for EU power market failures
Europe's electricity system is not living up to its promises, according to a French advisory body to the prime minister, which published a report on Tuesday (28 January) largely blaming renewable energy subsidies for this failure.
Ireland's rural protests over wind energy
Worries About Bird Deaths Derail Wind Power Project In Ohio
Be Leery of Investing in Failing Green Solutions
Is Ethanol Eating Your Car's Engine?
"Gold Price Going Up or Mines Will Close" Within 6 Months

## Got food? ##
Food security hindered by seed market dominance, MEPs warn
The EU seed market is dominated by a few large seed businesses rather than a diverse range of smaller companies, which has implications for the continent's food security, says a report commissioned by European Parliament Green group.
National Beef to shut California plant, cites tight cattle supply
National Beef Packing Co plans to close its Brawley, California beef processing plant with the final day of operation on April 4, due to dwindling cattle supplies, the company said on Friday.

## Environment/health ##
The Great Lakes Go Dry: How One-Fifth Of The World's Fresh Water Is Dwindling Away
Mississippi train derailment spills fuel oil
New H7N9 case confirmed in central China as total infections reach 103
New Study: Babies Near Gas Wells More Likely to Have Birth Defects
Extreme weatherproof homes

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
New Snowden docs show Canadian spies tracked thousands of travelers
European Greens nominate Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize
'ChewBacca' hackers stole payment card data from retailers in 11 countries, research firm says
'It's creepy': Location based marketing is following you, whether you like it or not

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Past power failures 'dress rehearsals' for frequent future blackouts
China, Brazil and Italy have all had significant power failures in the past decade but these are just "dress rehearsals for the future" in which the lights will go out with increasing frequency and severity, predicts a new paper, Blackouts: a sociology of electrical power failure.
Nearly Half of Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Report finds 44 percent of people in U.S. have less than three months' worth of savings, leaving them one emergency away from disaster
Chinese culture fades with empty villages
Empires, economies, nations, and societies may collapse, but culture is our bulwark. The collapse of culture will have far more serious consequences than any other kind of collapse because culture is the keystone for building anew. -- RF

## Japan ##
Abe Doomsday Risk Prompts Moody's Warning on JGBs: Japan Credit
Abenomics at Risk as Workers Struggle to Keep Up With Inflation
Electric utilities lobby LDP to support building new nuclear plants, reactor restarts

## China ##
China Making Air Force, Navy Upgrades, U.S. Officials Say
China Can't Afford to Let Its Housing Bubble Pop
Among the many reasons to dismiss President Xi Jinping's pledges to transform China's growth model, Gan Li may offer the best: an epic housing bubble that can't be allowed to pop.
China's manufacturing PMI drops to 50.5% in January
China faces obstacles on road to consumer society
China's Epic Skyscraper Construction Spree: A Harbinger Of The Crash?

## UK ##
REVEALED: Britain's Central Bank Resorts To Alchemy, Having First Of All Gone Mad
"Apocalyptic" storm set to hit Cornwall as weather warnings issued
Inside 'Billionaires Row': London's rotting, derelict mansions worth £350m

## US ##
Americans Burned Through $46 Billion In Savings To Fund December Purchases: Savings Rate Lowest Since January 2013
Heat or eat? Bitter winter forces unique cuts
Dow Dumps To 2nd Worst January In 24 Years
Severe California Drought Draining Finances
Now that California's Water Board is turning off the tap to certain distributors, and reservoirs are running dry, the cost of water is slated to rise and the impact on the state's harvest could be devastating to many farmers.
California water allocation forecast hits record-low level
Helicopters, other aircraft to patrol air above the Super Bowl
U.S. Postal Service wants cluster boxes in new developments
Wal-Mart: Food stamp cuts to hit profits
Amazon's Bad Omen for the U.S. Economy
The Exquisitely Reengineered Frankenstein Housing Monster
It's back, a new and improved contraption, a synthetic structured security that on its polished surface looks like that triple-A rated mortgage-backed toxic waste that helped blow up the banks and your 401(k) in 2008. But this time, it's different. It's even worse.
Retail Wrecks: Amazon To J.C. Penney

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