Saturday, March 15, 2014


News Links, March 14-16, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Ireland's economy in surprise contraction
IMF warns income disparities can hurt economies
Barclays to cut thousands of jobs in its investment banking division
China Bond Risk Exceeds Ireland as Defaults Unavoidable
US Companies Stashing $1.95 Trillion In Profits Overseas
Hong Kong Says UBS Tried To Rig Interbank Lending Rate
Brazil faces overcapacity problems
While many major automakers rushed to join the emerging market Brazilian euphoria, adding facilities in the country, the local auto industry is now actually close to a growth stop.
U.S. has close to 10 million millionaires
19 Signs That The U.S. Consumer Is Tapped Out
Post-Sanctions Iran Is Final Frontier, RenCap Says
An Iran freed of economic sanctions would prove the final frontier for global equity investors, according to investment bank Renaissance Capital.
The world is SCREAMING for a new financial system
Central banks are buying up more gold. Foreign countries are entering into bilateral currency swap arrangements with one another. And world governments are starting to (rather embarrassingly) demand that the US get its budget and fiscal house in order.
Paper Prosperity: Why Wall Street Could Be Heading For A Hard Landing
OOIL's net profit tumbles 84pc on shipping overcapacity
Global shippers must tighten belts, China's COSCO chairman says

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Iberia staffers agree to pay cut to end dispute
Engineering and construction giant John Holland cuts 230 aviation jobs (Australia)
Qantas blames over-supply of cheap flights
QANTAS chief executive Alan Joyce has blamed foreign government-backed airlines creating an over-supply of cheap flights in Australia for its current predicament.
Air traffic grew just 1% in February despite steep discounts (India)
Wyoming Legislature increases air flight subsidy program by $500,000

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US Army Working With Joint Chiefs to Develop 'Global Landpower Network'
Philippines offers U.S. forces access to military bases
Russian troops engage in war games near Ukraine
$3 billion for Ukraine to go straight to...Russia
Was that Russia transferring dollar holdings offshore?
Kremlin: If The US Tries To Hurt Russia's Economy, Russia Will Target The Dollar
Russia Wields $160 Billion Stick in Crimea Sanctions Standoff
Visa ban on Russian energy CEOs could backfire
US-Russia Talks End in Failure
Secretary of State John Kerry continued the US policy of throwing wild threats about willy-nilly, but somehow today's London talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov didn't end with any deal.
Russia Is Preparing to Invade East Ukraine, Estonia Says
US to UN: We Can Disregard Int'l Human Rights Treaty
US tells human rights panel that treaty that bans torture, arbitrary killings and detention doesn't apply to its military operations
Arab countries to send oil products to Egypt until Sept - finmin
German Exporters Fire Warning Shot About Russia "Sanction-Spiral," Banks At Risk
China Warns West Not To Enforce Sanctions Against Russia
Pentagon boosting its push for underwater drones
Fleet of drones to patrol Australia's borders
Karzai: Parts of Pakistani government aid terrorists
Pentagon Officials: We Need More Base Closures

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Violent protests in Venezuela claim three more lives
High rate of strikes in China shows changing labor landscape
Thousands rally in Tokyo against nuclear power

## Energy/resources ##
World crude production 2013 without shale oil is back to 2005 levels
Unnoticed by the mainstream media, US shale oil covers up a recent decline of crude oil production of 1.5 mb/d  in the rest of world (using data up to Oct 2013). This means that without US shale oil the world would be in a deep oil crisis similar to the decline phase 2006/07  when oil prices went up.
Key Trends Impacting Global Refining Margins
Shell to cut Americas upstream spending by 20 pct
Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it was cutting spending on American upstream by a fifth this year after it was impacted by losses in resources plays such as shale.
Norway's Oil Stimulus Nears Tipping Point as Growth Fades
A near half-decade boom in oil investments in Norway is about to come to an end, sapping momentum in the economy of western Europe's largest crude producer, the country's main economic forecaster said. "The big change next year is investment in the petroleum industry because we have reached the highest level, it's peaking next year," Hans Henrik Scheel, director general of Statistic Norway, said yesterday in an interview at his Oslo office. Oil investment will stabilize at a high level and the "demand impulse will be there but not a growth impulse," he said.
Protests in India Could Curtail Coal Production
Iran says seals gas export deal with Oman
Iran has sealed an agreement to export 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year to Oman, Iran's state news agency IRNA said on Wednesday, in a deal that also involves building a pipeline across the Gulf at a cost of about $1 billion.
Running on empty: Australia's dependence on imported fossil fuels
Shell's American Woes Highlight Difficulty of Cracking Shale
Shell cuts spending in U.S. to lower shale exposure
Global imports of Iranian oil hit one-year high, IEA says
The generation dependent on the phone charger
By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest Is Changing The World
Ex-Saudi Aramco geologist Dr Husseini predicts oil price spikes of USD 140 by 2016-17: graphs

## Got food? ##
U.S. Beef Recall Affects Fragile Agribusiness Supply Chain
Long-term drought, power shortages slam villages in Pakistan province
Drought and power shortages have decimated agriculture in parts of Pakistan's largest province, Balochistan, and driven local villagers to Quetta, the provincial capital.
Agricultural Subsidies Remain a Staple in the Industrial World
Food pantries on the rise at US college campuses

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Think Like A Commoner

## Environment/health ##
Pacific island states pushed aside in race for UN funds: Kiribati
Cocaine: the new face of deforestation in Central America
New Mexico nuclear repository mishap leaves Los Alamos waste quanda
'Shocking' scale of pangolin smuggling revealed
Deadly pig virus spreads to Arizona; 27 U.S. states now affected
Super lice on verge of conquering Canadian scalps as mutant parasites develop immunity to insecticides
Rooftops: Is white--or green--the new black in cities?
Fracking Waste Injection Wells Put Millions of Californians at Risk of Increased Earthquakes
Here is a warning to all Parisians: breathing can damage your health
Air pollution, autism further linked by new study
How Tesla Motors Inc's electric car batteries are adding to China's pollution woes

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Google encrypts search text in China
Researchers Confirm: When NSA Watches Your Metadata, It Is Watching You
NSA posing as a popular site is probably common, say experts
Russia Blocks Access to Major Independent News Sites
Cyberwar in Ukraine Falls Far Short of Russia's Full Powers
California police criticized for 'stingray' cellphone trackers
Law enforcement agencies in California are using devices that mimic cellular base stations to track mobile users, public records have revealed, triggering charges that the practice may be unconstitutional.
Target warns data breach could still get worse
Wikipedia, Facebook slam US government spying
IBM says it has not given client data to the U.S. government
U.S. to Relinquish Control of Internet Address System
U.S. Military Given Secret "Execute Order" on Cyber Operations

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Our Monetary System Is Unstable and It Will Collapse
Police under attack in Pakistan's largest city
Smarter Machines Make Dumber Humans, Wal-Mart Bots
The sooty urchins of Dickens' day have given way to pale adults moving packages at increasing speeds and lower wages. Modern-day shackles connect them to productivity monitors while their bosses deliver self-adoring lectures to agog business-school students.
Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon's sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers
Amazon equals Walmart in the use of monitoring technologies to track the minute-by-minute movements and performance of employees and in settings that go beyond the assembly line to include their movement between loading and unloading docks, between packing and unpacking stations, and to and from the miles of shelving at what Amazon calls its "fulfillment centers."
Fourth Turning: The People vs Big Brother
Debt Rattle Mar13 2014: The Demise Of The Ponzi Democracy
'Culture of toleration' rampant at U.S. nuke base led to 'rot' worse than originally reported
Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?
NASA is just now catching on. -- RF
U.S. Beef Recall Affects Fragile Agribusiness Supply Chain
Why Companies Fail To Engage Today's Workforce: The Overwhelmed Employee
This pretty much sums up the sad state of the US Constitution

## Japan ##
Desperation: Japan to name, shame firms that refuse to hike pay
The government threatened Thursday to take the unprecedented step of shaming big companies that do not raise wages during the annual spring labor talks, despite calls by the nation's inflation-stoking prime minister to boost pay.
Japan puts two reactors on shortlist for restart screening
Japan's Radioactive Nightmare
Nuclear crisis at Fukushima continues to unfold

## China ##
11 Ugly Charts That Confirm China's Dramatic Slowdown
China Premier downplays debt risk, hints at growth tolerance
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signalled on Thursday that his government will not ride to the rescue of every troubled investment by saying some loan defaults are "hard to avoid" in what he called a challenging economic environment.
Nine Chinese cities suffered more days of severe smog than Beijing
China's Jan-Feb economic activity cools to multi-year lows
Monetary Smuggling in China Defeats Capital Controls; "Everyone Does It"; Yuan to Replace Dollar as Reserve Currency?
China's Big Four Banks See $70 Billion Vanish From Stocks
Knife attack in China market kills 3, wounds 1
Well-known Chinese dissident dies after being denied treatment
Chinese Authorities Halt Virtual Credit Card Payments; Tencent, Yahoo Crashing
Hong Kong luxury property dump likely to spread to Beijing

## UK ##
Payouts for flood victims reach nearly £450m, insurers say
Secondary place crunch 'to hit a third of councils'
Union conference: Stress having severe impact on teachers
UK faces further £1billion pensions black hole
STEM Awards: businesses facing major 'skills shortage'
Companies are facing a crippling "skills gap" as tens of thousands of engineers retire without finding well-trained apprentices and graduates to replace them, it was claimed.
Rich will live life to the full 20 years longer than poor, official figures show

## US ##
Yellenomics: The Folly of Free Money
McCain Heads to Ukraine with Seven Other Senators; Let's Hope They All Stay
One of the best ideas I've heard in a long time. -- RF
The Vacant Dead: One In Five Foreclosed Homes Is A Vacant Zombie
McDonald's hit by lawsuits over worker pay
McDonald's workers in three states filed lawsuits against the fast-food chain this week, saying the company engages in a variety of illegal practices to avoid paying them what they're owed.
Albany Orders Moratorium on Bakken Crude
Authorities in Albany County, New York have issued a moratorium on Bakken crude oil processing at the Port of Albany pending a public health investigation.
A Terrible Winter Wreaks Havoc On Roads, Pipes And City Budgets
Vallejo Heads for Another Bankruptcy; Oakland, LA, San Diego Doomed as Well
States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows
Fracking Chemicals May Not Stay Secret For Much Longer
Winter heating bills hit home—hard
If your heating bills jumped this winter, you're not alone. They're expected to rise in every region for every kind of fuel and nearly double for some homes in the Midwest.
Beyond the hype, Keystone would yield few permanent jobs
Toasty Or Toasted? Quiznos Follows Sbarro Into Bankruptcy
Tests detected gas underground after NYC blast
They have a plan: Complete Breakdown of Financial Controls in US Government, Says Austin Fitts
US Budget Deficit Hits $193.5 Billion in February
Electric-Grid Attack Fuels Sniper-Versus-Hacker Debate
For Job-Hunting Teenagers, the Market Is Brutal
In-the-know insiders are dumping stocks
Corporate insiders are more bearish than they have been in almost 25 years. That isn't good news for the stock market, since these insiders — corporate officers and directors— know more about their companies' prospects than the rest of us.
5 Ways The Government Keeps Native Americans In Poverty
Tensions rise over access to local government
Neofeudalism: The U.S. Is Abandoning Democracy, Becoming an Aristocracy Instead

And finally...
Kindergartener takes bus to wrong school, says she's a new student, school totally buys it

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