Sunday, February 09, 2014


News Links, February 8-10, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
US mutual funds unload on Puerto Rico debt
Naples Flirts With Detroit Fate as Budget Rejected: Euro Credit
Slow economy puts Vietnam's infrastructure projects on the shelf
Faced with a slowing economy and deteriorating fiscal health, Vietnam is being forced to suspend more and more of its large infrastructure projects.
Ukraine restricts money flow to stop bleeding
Ukraine imposed restrictions on the movement of money out of the country Friday to stabilize its battered currency as it burns through reserves of hard cash.
Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'
Russian authorities say Bitcoin illegal
Russian authorities have issued warnings against using Bitcoin, saying the virtual currency could be used for money laundering or financing terrorism and that treating it as a parallel currency is illegal.
Dutch Bankers "Swear To God" They'll Be Honest From Now On
Govt incentives not enough to help stay afloat, say coastal shipping companies (India)
Developing Economies Hit a BRICS Wall
Portugal to Try 'Lucky Receipt' Lottery in Tax-Evasion Fight
Portugal is stepping up its fight against tax evasion by offering cars as lottery prizes to consumers who demand receipts for their purchases.
Germany's underground economy poised to grow
The black market boom (Australia)
Deep freeze concerns Great Lakes shipping firms
Greek official bribed 'more times than he can remember'
Danske Bank locks 10,000 customers out of their accounts
Volvo to cut 4,400 jobs in 2014
McDonald's brings Big Macs to Vietnam
Argentina: Here's What It Looks Like When Your Country's Economy Collapses

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airport riot mars end of China's new year holiday
'Full-fledged war' awaits India's airline sector
India's Jet Airways makes fourth straight quarterly loss
US domestic flights almost 20 percent empty in 2013
Joe Biden Says LaGuardia Airport Like a "Third World Country"
Planemakers look to Asia despite emerging market worries
IATA says cargo is biggest worry for airlines
Weakness in air cargo markets remains the biggest worry for airlines despite some evidence of recovery in 2013, the head of the International Air Transport Association said.
Starry-eyed budget carriers in Southeast Asia stare at overcapacity
Sandwich, Seat Choice Revenue for Airlines Set to Double
French Airline Pilots Call Month Long Strike in May to Protest Law Prohibiting Pilot Strikes

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Japan's Abe backs Putin with visit, in contrast to China, Korea ties
China decries U.S. comments on South China Sea as 'not constructive'
China's Push Into 'America's Backyard'
U.S. stresses commitment to defend Japan in Washington talks
Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes at five-year high: aid groups
Israel to exchange bank account data with US
Mexico drug war: dish washers v drug lords
Mexico's organised crime cartels are facing an armed uprising by local communities, fighting back against the reign of terror
Ukraine places anti-terrorist forces on alert
Ukraine's state security service on Sunday placed anti-terrorist units on alert in response to a sharp rise in unspecified threats against sensitive installations including atomic power stations, airports and gas and oil pipelines.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Chinese passengers start riot in airport over delayed flights
As millions of Chinese attempt to return home after New Year celebrations, irate travellers are seen smashing computers and chairs at one airport
Brazil: Rio protest over transport fare rise ends in violence
Violent anti-govt protests spread across Bosnia
Turkish Police Use Force to Break Up Internet Protest

## Energy/resources ##
Statoil is Latest European Major to Limit Capex
Its move to limit capital spending suggests that Statoil will now struggle to achieve the 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (MMboepd) equity production that it had previously been targeting for 2020.
The capex-cutback disease is spreading through the oil and gas industry like wildfire. Though brain-dead cornucopians still insist that peak oil is dead, any objective observer can see that the oil industry is starting to look more like the airline industry with each passing day. This was all so predictable (and predicted), but prepare to be entertained by politicians and business leaders as they declare that "no one could have known." -- RF
Brazil spending on power generation may stretch budget
U.S. Senators ask White House to provide propane shortage relief
It's hot, it's cold... and energy regimes around the world are strained. Be on the lookout for some big changes — and I mean some really big changes. -- RF
Frigid temps light a fire under natgas, shake assumptions
Sayonara cheap natural gas? A brutally cold winter has made natural gas the new black, firing up demand and sending prices to a four-year high last week at $5.74. The sharp rally has upended assumptions that a surplus of supplies would provide inexpensive energy for decades to come, and that the U.S. could even afford to ship some of it abroad.

## Got food? ##
Western drought spells killer grocery bills
That chemical Subway ditched? Yep, it's everywhere (US)
Fake-food scandal revealed as tests show third of products mislabelled (UK)
Consumers are being sold drinks with banned flame-retardant additives, pork in beef, and fake cheese, laboratory tests show
What's for dinner? The farm bill has a big impact
Calif. company recalls 8.7 million pounds of meat

## Environment/health ##
Oil, Gas Drilling Seems To Make The Earth Slip And Go Boom
There's been a surge in earthquakes in the U.S. over the last few years. In Texas, there are 10 times the number of earthquakes now than just a few years ago. Scientists say it's likely linked to the boom in oil and gas activity, meaning that people who never felt the ground shake are starting to.
With Supplies Low, It's Overtime in the Road Salt Mines

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
GCHQ's "Dirty Tricks" Revealed: False Flags, Virus Attacks, and Honey Traps
Latest Snowden documents show spy agency operations included 'releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets'
California leaders announce 'kill switch' bill
Reports: NSA gets under 30% of phone data
This Week In Credit Card News--Data Breaches in Major Hotels, Consumers Turning To Cash
The more that consumers switch to cash transactions, the harder it will be for governments and businesses to track their financial activities. The inherent insecurity of electronic transactions will help put the kibosh on the cashless society. -- RF
Are typewriters the answer to snooping?
Don't Believe The Hype: These New Services Won't Protect You From The NSA
Twitter releases gov't request information, fights for less secrecy
US children learn 'lockdown drill'
Tempers rise as Britain's flood crisis deepens
Barclays Examining Possible Theft of Data From 27,000 Customers

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: Why the Olympics Are a Lot Like 'The Hunger Games'

## Japan ##
US Navy sailors seek £600m damages from owners of Fukushima nuclear power plant
Nearly three years after the Fukushima disaster, more than 70 US Navy sailors who participated in rescue operations claim that radiation exposure has left them sickened for life
Record strontium-90 level in Fukushima groundwater sample last July
Eight more Fukushima kids found with thyroid cancer; disaster link denied
Japan to abandon troubled Monju fast breeder reactor: Nikkei
Japan will scrap plans to generate electricity at its multi-billion dollar experimental Monju fast breeder reactor, a media report said on Friday, in a move that could affect the nation's nuclear fuel cycle program.
Russia's Putin to visit Japan, ties with Tokyo warming
Japan, U.S. to share online fingerprint database
Japan's nuclear re-start bogged down in safety checks and paperwork

## China ##
PBOC Signals Money-Market Volatility as China Seeks to Tame Debt
China's central bank signaled that volatility in money-market interest rates will persist and borrowing costs will rise, underscoring the risk of defaults that could weigh on confidence and drag down growth.
Chinese Air Passengers Riot as Delay Rage Spreads
China's Gold Demand Remains Robust After Lunar New Year Holiday
How Dangerous Is China's Credit Bubble for the World?

## UK ##
UK flooding spreads to the Home Counties
'Fake food': mislabelled drinks, meat and cheese found by West Yorkshire laboratory

## US ##
US economy may be stuck in slow lane for long run
California Drought Expected to Lower Hydro Generation
As Drought Hits, Fracking Poses Threat to Water Supply
Fake political campaign websites trick donors out of money
Lew: Treasury likely to run out of funds Feb. 27
Relax. We'll just create more money out of thin air, and buy Treasuries; problem solved. -- RF
Study: Fracking, agriculture are on water demand 'collision course'
Investors Shift Record Amounts From U.S. Stocks to Bonds
U.S. consumer credit posts biggest jump in 10 months
"Credit," as you know, is just another word for debt. This is good? -- RF
Marc Faber: Tech stocks even more overvalued now than in 2000
Silver bullion coin demand has quadrupled in since 2007, says the U.S. Mint
Fla. detective: 9 bullet holes in loud music SUV
U.S. orders priority propane supplies to ease shortage
Americans Are Renouncing Their Citizenship In Record Numbers

And finally...
Women warn of 'sex strike' if men pick top Tokyo governor candidate Masuzoe (Japan)

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