Monday, March 24, 2014


News Links, March 25, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Korea may follow Greek path
Debts at households, the government and businesses snowballed to 3.78 quadrillion won ($3.51 trillion) in 2013, almost three times the nation's gross domestic product (GDP).
China Manufacturing Gauge Falls as Slowdown Deepens
Silver Vault for 600 Tons Starting in Singapore on Demand
Guess which precious metal is controlled by the Russians…
But given what's happening in Russia, prices could soar. In fact, with trade sanctions looming, palladium could be taken off the world market indefinitely.
Which Country Is Europe's Biggest Narco State? Cocaine rules the world!
German customs seizes cocaine addressed to Vatican
World's 300 richest gain $25.6 billion in past week
Brazil Credit Rating Downgraded by Standard & Poor's

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Crackdown on oversized carry-on bags backed by many fliers
Airlines lowered fares but not enough to offset bag fees, study says
Road Warriors protest airline change fees

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Putin ally suggests US sanctions on his bank have backfired
An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who heads a bank that was hit by U.S. sanctions over the Crimea crisis suggested on Sunday the move had backfired by helping him win new clients.
Russia Returns Favor, Sees Chinese Yuan As World Reserve Currency
Following China's unwillingness to vote against Russia at the UN and yesterday's news that China will sue Ukraine for $3bn loan repayment, it seems Russia is returning the favor. Speaking at the Chinese Economic Development Forum, ITAR-TASS reports, the Chief Economist of Russia's largest bank stated that "China's Yuan may become the third reserve currency in the in the future."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Executive Yuan protesters dispersed with water cannons
Russia aims to end Crimea's reliance on Ukraine for electricity
Moscow plans to end Crimea's reliance on Ukraine for electricity by helping to build gas-fired power stations and possibly linking the region to Russia's grid, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.

Food costs increase as farmers pay more for water

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
We're turning lives into commodities owned and sold by men in suits
We're trading personal information in return for convenience, cash and self-validation

## Environment/health ##
Study: Macondo oil hurt tuna hearts
Crude oil released during the Macondo disaster of 2010 damaged the developing hearts of untold numbers of spawning tuna and other commercial fish, a new study has found, underscoring the potential long-term effects of the devastating spill.
As many as 32,000 kids infected with drug-resistant TB: report
Why Grow an Herb Garden?
Grow an herb garden and reap the benefits proven by recent herbal research to be effective in treating a number of common ailments.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Turkey Tightens Twitter Blackout

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Are Nation States Beginning to Splinter?
Venice just held a 'non-binding' referendum on whether the city should once again become an independent city-state and secede from Italy. An astonishing 89% voted 'yes' (which makes the outcome of the Crimea referendum no longer look 'strangely one-sided'). This happens just as Scotland's vote whether to remain part of the UK is approaching and Catalonia is preparing to vote whether to remain with Spain.

## Japan ##

## China ##
China factory activity contracts further in March: HSBC flash PMI
Over a lunch prepared by his personal chef of mussels with lobster jelly, wild salmon with carrot-and-caviar puree and lamb wrapped with Parma ham, Pan describes the lifestyle he's packaging for China's elite, based on fast horses, haute cuisine and fine wine.

## UK ##
Walmart cites cuts to food stamps and public assistance as 'risk factors' in annual report
Public pensions are eating taxpayers alive
Around the country governments are facing a tidal wave of pension obligations that they haven't figured out how to pay for. By some estimates, the states' long-term unfunded pension liabilities add up to more than $4 trillion. There is no way to meet such a staggering financial burden without sacrificing more and more of the basic services — public safety, education, roads, and infrastructure — that governments are formed to provide.

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