Wednesday, March 19, 2014


News Links, March 19-20, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
From Fridges to Fords: Who Suffers in a Chinese Housing Slowdown?
Chamber of Commerce warns of 2% contraction (Thailand)
Euro zone labour costs accelerate in Q4
Deutsche Bank to cut 500 investment bankers: Handelsblatt Online
Another "Print Your Way to Prosperity" Mindless MMT Proposal
How to Keep Your Job When Your Boss Is a Robot
Ottawa bitcoin exchange defrauded of $100,000 in easiest heist ever
Smuggled Gold in Flower Pots Defying India Import Limits
Top 10 Nations Stockpiling Gold
The Hidden Cost of a Cramped Airline Seat

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Consumers brace for higher fares after go! Airlines shutdown
Air Canada Trades Passenger Legroom for Profit: Corporate Canada

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Why India Has Leapt Ahead of China in Arms Imports
India now imports almost three times as many arms as China or Pakistan, according to data published Monday, cementing its position as the world's largest procurer of military hardware.
Pentagon steps up plan for long-range anti-ship missile
Israel's defense chief says U.S. projecting weakness
U.S. eyes military training in Baltics after Russia 'land grab'
Crimean forces storm Ukrainian navy HQ
Europe Fears Backlash as Sanctions Start 'Economic War' With Russia
Germans cool to escalating conflict surrounding Russia
China "Ready To Cooperate" With Crimea
Ukraine's troops pack their bags and leave their bases in Crimea
The Next One: Moldova's Transnistria Region Said To Seek Russian Accession
Ukraine to hold military exercises with US, UK
Russia warns it may change stance on nuclear Iran
Unknown Snipers Once Again Stir Up Violence … This Time In Crimea
Japan, Vietnam agree to boost cooperation for maritime patrolling
Ukraine TV CEO Beaten, Forced to Resign by 'Free Speech' Official

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Fast-food protests shift focus to 'wage theft'
From Within Private 'Deportation Machine,' Hunger Strikes Spread
Does a growing global youth population fuel political unrest?

## Energy/resources ##
Why $100 Oil Is the New $20 Oil
There will, of course, be ups and downs in crude oil, just as there are with all commodities — volatility comes with the territory. But the trend is up and to the left, and Watson's point is that based on rising production costs, the oil companies need prices no lower than $100 a barrel in order to pay the ever-rising costs associated with getting crude from ultradeep water and tight shale formations on land. One hundred dollars a barrel is a floor; no one knows where the ceiling is.
Power Outages Become More Frequent, More Severe and Affect More Than Twice as Many People in 2013
The frequency of power outages across Australia and New Zealand increased by 72 per cent in 2013, rising from 94 reported outages in 2012 to 162 in 2013. The number of people affected by outages increased 159 per cent, from 487,242 in 2012 to 1,264,039 in 2013. The average duration of each outage also increased, rising 60 per cent from 105 minutes to 168 minutes. In total, 6,061 minutes or slightly more than four days were lost to power outages across the region. There are among the findings contained in the Australian and New Zealand Blackout Tracker Annual Report for 2013, an annual compilation of reported power outages prepared by power management company, Eaton.
UN nuclear watchdog chief says atomic plants never '100%' safe
IEA: Energy sector's use of water to rise by 20%
Ahead of World Water Day, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that the energy sector accounts for 15% of global water usage, predicting that it will "consume ever more by 2035".
Gazprom Proposes Oil, Gas Development in Crimea
Russian Billionaire to Buy Distressed German Power Giant
South African Mines Too Deep, Root Of The Platinum Strikes Issue
Essentially, workers are looking for more money as they need to work a few kilometers underground, while the mining companies are already seeing high costs from mining so deep in the ground.
Brazil's gasoline, diesel import deficit to rise in 2014: ANP
Carbon Crash Solar Dawn
Do not be misled. The renewable-energy camp will in time have its epiphany — the moment when they realize that the fossil fuel industry they are trying to kill is actually what makes renewables possible. High-tech renewables are in actuality fossil-fuel extenders. Sorry to say, a society running on renewables would need to operate at a far lower energy level than our present industrial society. -- RF
GM Debuts 3-cylinder Engines — Go-karts for Freeways!
Has the time come for floating cities?
Even if any such thing is built, it would be at best a floating slum. People have no idea how much energy it would require to enable residents to live a modern industrial lifestyle, especially offshore. -- RF
EU pledges action after 1.9m citizens demand "right" to water
Methanol as Fuel Substitute Gets Chilly U.S. Reception
'Chinese economic package to help control energy crisis' (Pakistan)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
"Reckless" metal thieves target power lines

## Got food? ##
Evolved worm takes a bite out of the future of bio-engineered corn
Just like scientists predicted, rootworms -- a voracious crop-eating pest -- have developed a resistance to the corn engineered to kill them.
Half of meat product samples contained DNA of wrong animals, council finds — contamination and mislabelling (UK)
Could Our Food Supply Be A Target For Terrorists?

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
What your car really costs you: Your vehicle could be driving your budget into the ground

## Environment/health ##
Shale could be long-term home for nuclear waste
Warmest winter on record worsens California drought
Lost sleep leads to loss of brain cells, study suggests
Oil pipeline spill soils Ohio nature preserve
Scientists say destructive solar blasts narrowly missed Earth in 2012

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
BUSTED – U.S. Tech Giants Knew of NSA Spying Says Agency's Senior Lawyer
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg made headlines by posting about how he called President Barack Obama to express outrage and shock about the government's spying activities. Of course, anyone familiar with Facebook and what is going on generally between private tech behemoths and U.S. intelligence agencies knew right away that his statement was one gigantic heap of stinking bullshit. Well now we have the proof.
Facebook's Deep Face facial recognition technology to have near-human accuracy
Report: NSA Can Swallow a "Nation's Telephone Network Whole"
Slack US government leaves firms open to cyberattack
Nancy Pelosi Admits That Congress Is Scared Of The CIA

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Government Agency: If 9 Substations Are Destroyed, The Power Grid Could Be Down For 18 Months
For Scranton residents, bankruptcy is an inviting option
Pay Our Pensions Or We'll Throw You in Jail: the Legalization of Looting
In Detroit, Parking Meters are the New Streetlights
50% of Detroit's parking meters really are the urban equivalent of lawn decor. According to an estimate from Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's office, half of the city's 3,404 parking meters aren't working at any given time.
Detroit Future City Plan…Grim 'Future City' for poor neighborhoods
Don't wait for the street lights to come on because they will not — in certain neighborhoods. Nor will there be any kind of infrastructure investment in the neighborhoods written off by Detroit Future City planners.

## Japan ##
Fukushima's "crisis of manpower": Unskilled and destitute workers have taken over the cleanup process
Water decontamination system halted at Fukushima plant
Japanese Ex-PM Naoto Kan says Fukushima disaster unresolved, criticizes Abe administration
Japan Trade Deficit Exceeds Forecasts as Tax Rise Looms: Economy
Japanese city introduces smartphone 'curfew' for school children
Japan holds first cybersecurity drill in preparation for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo Property Booming But Regions Remain Dormant
Olympics, easy money boosted land prices

## China ##
A $125 Million Milk-Drying Factory in France to Feed China's Thirst
Crackdown Betrays Breadth of Beijing's Challenges
The severity of China's current crackdown on outspoken activists is an expression of the anxiety that has taken hold of the Party-state.
Faber: China's Unwind 'Will Be a Disaster' (video)
China's Farmers Being Forced Into Cities
PBOC Denies It Will Bail Out Collapsed Real Estate Developer While Chinese Property Developer Market Crashes
Faltering Bonds Condense Risk as Builder Collapses: China Credit
Chinese insurer offers Beijing residents cover against smog
As credit tightens at home, Chinese sell Hong Kong luxury real estate
Looming property default in China raises fears of broader crisis
Nomura said the number of ghost towns has spread beyond the well-known disaster stories of Ordos and Wenzhou to at least eight other sites
China's Housing Problem In One Char

## UK ##
Green Rules Shutting Power Plants Threaten U.K. Shortage: Energy
Lack of engineers threatens UK recovery, say industrialists
A growing shortage of engineering skills threatens to hold back industry's nascent recovery and wreck efforts to rebalance the UK economy, industrialists and politicians have said.
Cambridgeshire police tried to turn political activists into informers
London 'draining life' from rest of UK economy
Dungeness nuclear power station quietly taken offline for five months over fears of Fukushima-style flood disaster
Budget 2014: £200million more to mend potholes

## US ##
With Less Financial Security, Older Workers Stay On The Job
One-third of Americans only have $1,000 saved for retirement
Refiners Form Group to Oppose Oil Exports
New York attorney general seeks curbs on high-frequency trading
Sony Pictures to cut 216 jobs in California
The Average 25-Year Old's Debt Has Grown 91% in the Last Decade -- Will Borrowers Learn to Push Back?
States looking at $0 community college tuition
Are the wealthy really leaving NJ? Study says yes
The Five-Year Fantasy Is Ending
Since these monetary/fiscal fixes (i.e. distortions) didn't address the real issues, all they can possibly do is increase the magnitude of the next collapse.

And finally...
Wearing t-shirts and tracksuits 'conveys success'

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