Sunday, February 16, 2014


News Links, February 15-17, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
China Banks' Bad Loans Reach Highest Since Financial Crisis
Chinese banks' bad loans increased for the ninth straight quarter to the highest level since the 2008 financial crisis, highlighting pressures on asset quality and profit growth as the world's second-largest economy slows.
Most government debt per person (table)
Japan stands head and shoulders above the rest. How long before the crash? -- RF
World asleep as China tightens deflationary vice
20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire
Spain's underground economy is booming
Crazy weather disrupting economic activity worldwide
TPP: Obama Furiously Pushes Secret Trade Deal, Opposition Grows
Obama Mexico Visit Spotlights 20-Year Legacy of Job Loss from NAFTA, the Pact on Which Obama's TPP Is Modeled
Foreign banks bracing for tough U.S. Fed capital rules
Mexican Cartels Are Getting Into the Oil Business, and Business Is Booming

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Middle East airlines must consolidate to survive -- IATA
Airlines Seek Rebound From Most Cancellations Since Sandy
Iberia pilots drop strike threat and accept 14% salary cut
Willie Walsh, head of Iberia and BA parent group IAG, says 'bold' deal was only way to save airline from decline
Republic Airways says lack of pilots to cut 2014 profit
Norwegian Air Swings to Loss But Leases More Dreamliners
Canceled! Airlines scrap record number of flights
Mother Nature isn't entirely to blame. A mix of cost-cutting measures and new government regulations has made airlines more likely to cancel flights and leave fliers scrambling to get to their destination.
Government can't save Qantas Airways Limited
Despite growth in passenger numbers Virgin Australia can't make money since 2009
Peach stepping up efforts to hire pilots

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia warns West against interference in Ukraine
Navy Chief: US Would 'Help' Philippines In South China Sea
The United States will "help" the Philippines in the event that China occupies disputed islands in the South China Sea, the US Chief of Naval Operations said Thursday.
Radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr 'to retire from politics'
Chinese military port approved in Hong Kong
New Israeli Unit Targets Syrian Border Threats
Cash-Strapped Malaysia Looks To Lease Fighters

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Iraq unrest grows as militants seize control of northern city
Bahraini policeman dies after bomb explosion
Beijing tightening the screw on Uighurs in Xinjiang autonomous region
Thai police fail to reach deal with protesters
'Chavistas' march in Venezuela, opposition protests continue

## Energy/resources ##
Big Oil Sheds Assets to Fix Balance Sheets
The oil industry may be in the midst of entering a new phase of high costs and slower growth. New oil discoveries are harder to come by, and the scramble to replace depleting production is costing more and more. The days of the large discovery that is easy to tap into are gone. Now, the industry has to go to the ends of the earth to get more oil. And for years, the majors were happy to do so – capital expenditures rose significantly over the last decade for most of the largest oil companies.  But the main problem? Production for many of them has not increased in a corresponding fashion.
South Korean Gas Stations Struggling
The number of gasoline stations in South Korea have plummeted for the fifth year in a row, the Korean Times reports. According to the Korea Oil Station Association, stations have been shutting down because of decreasing margins from the sale of gasoline.
UK To Get Hands-On In Quest For Remaining North Sea Oil
It's not that North Sea oil is running out... But the oil is getting harder and more expensive to recover. And many of the firms with the skills to do so complain they can't get access to the infrastructure they need because it is owned by major oil companies that are focused elsewhere in the world and see little benefit from helping competitors.
Future not looking bright for US giant solar power station
A Week of Safety Mishaps from the Energy Industry
Winter slows oil production in North Dakota
Brazil rations water in 140 cities amid worst drought in decades
Maintaining the Grid as Residential Solar Power Increases

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper thieves hit art and buildings in Toronto parks
Copper thieves lift Virgin Media cables in northwest London
Power cuts at 32,000 Yorkshire homes in year of cable theft woe

## Environment/health ##
Climate change is here now and it could lead to global conflict
Wavier jet stream 'may drive weather shift'
11 Toxic Chemicals Affecting Brain Development In Children

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Syrian Electronic Army hacks into Forbes
Earwax and underarm odors: New ways to investigate and identify you
You Don't Need to Be a Sexter to Want a Self-Destructing Message Service
Ron Paul Launches Clemency Petition For Edward Snowden
Australia Faces New Spying Claims but Abbott Says Information for Protection Only
NSA Australia allies 'spied on US law firm' in Indonesia row
Kickstarter says hackers got customer data
Merkel, Hollande to discuss European communication network avoiding U.S.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would talk to French President Francois Hollande about building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Certainty, Complex Systems, and Unintended Consequences
The rampage of the top predators.
Watch as the bail-ins proceed, as desperate governments and other top predators grab whatever they can. -- RF
If America Continues To Go Down The Same Path As Europe, This Is What Life Will Be Like…

## Japan ##
No end in sight for N-reactor checks
Minor fire hits nuclear fuel plant in Ibaraki Prefecture
Heavy snow kills 12 in Japan, disrupts power and flights
IAEA backs controlled discharge of tainted water into sea from Fukushima plant
Lack of bids threatens to keep Fukushima evacuees in temporary lodgings

## China ##
Swelling Debt Spreads Among China's Local Governments
China's traditionally underdeveloped provinces have long faced debt pressures. Increasingly, though, they are being joined by more-developed provinces that overreached, betting on resources or property investment as their paths to prosperity.
Chinese Capital Markets Frozen As Bad Loans Soar To Highest Since Crisis
China's January crude oil imports hit record high
China Savers' Penchant for Property Magnifies Bust Danger
China plans to build 4 carriers, including nuclear: report
Power, steel, cement suggest China's economy not so buoyant
China's Record New Credit Boosts Outlook for Economic Growth
China Tiger Moms Turn Guardians of One-Child Policy as Law Eases

## UK ##
U.K. Home Prices Hit Record High Amid London Boom
'Letter bombs' sent to British military
UK weather: Billions could drop off the economy as storms continue
With Porn Filters Going Oh So Well, UK Roars Ahead In Expanding Them To Include 'Extremist' Content

## US ##
The Rise (and Rise and Rise) of the 0.01 Percent in America
Industrial Production Declines, November and December Revised Lower; String of Unexpected Events Continues
Unexpected Happens Again:
• The unexpected decline in industrial production (the most since May of 2009) follows

• The unexpected decline in retail sales which in turn followed
• The unexpectedly weak jobs report in February
• Which followed a Huge Miss in ISM; Largest Decline in New Orders in 4 Years
• Which followed a Big Miss: Nonfarm Payrolls +74,000 vs. 205,000 Expected in January
Keep watching as economies "unexpectedly" collapse. -- RF
The True State Of The Economy: Record Number Of College Graduates Live In Their Parents' Basement
Feel the love: Dow jumps nearly 130 points
Obama signs increase in U.S. debt ceiling
Possible radiation leak at New Mexico military nuclear waste site
Obama: Figure out how to satisfy US water needs
Cold weather slams U.S. factory output, spurs growth fears
10 weapons Wall Street uses to manipulate you: No quantum computer needed for this profit-making machine
California's New 'Dust Bowl': "It's Gonna Be a Slow, Painful, Agonizing Death" For Farmers

And finally...
10-Year-Old Steals Parents' Car, Crashes It, Tells Cops He's a Dwarf (Norway)
'Moon rock' given to Holland by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is fake

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