Saturday, March 29, 2014


News Links, March 27-28, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Container industry bankruptcy risk rises again: AlixPartners
The risk of financial distress, including possible bankruptcy, is at its highest level in the container industry since 2010.
What the Spike in the Gold-to-Copper Ratio Tells Us
Dr. Copper is waving a red flag
European Central Bank now considering even negative interest rates
IMF to help Ukraine with up to $18 billion bailout
IMF to Ukraine: We'll Give You Money If You Give Us Austerity
Ukraine "On Verge of Financial Bankruptcy" Reaches $27 Billion "Kamikaze" Deal With IMF (Mish)
As with Greece, this bailout deal will not help Ukraine much. Of course, the goal is not really to help the country receiving the alleged "aid", but rather to help creditors get their money back, regardless of how much the aid recipient suffers in the process.
Thai economy remains in pain as uncertainty reigns
Thailand is on the brink of renewed turmoil after a court annulled the results of last month's general election. This means the nation's already battered economy may be in for additional blows.
Slump in infrastructure, corporate investment hit India's growth, says IMF
Russia to create national payment system to rival Visa, Mastercard
Russia is considering launching its own payment system in response Visa and Mastercard's recent blocking of the bank card operations of several US-sanctioned Russian banks. Russian officials are debating whether to base it on Sberbank's PRO100 or to cooperate with the Chinese UniPAY.
World Cup 2014: Another Day, Another Brazilian Stadium In Jeopardy
Nakheel reveals plans for two more malls in Dubai
Work on Saudi's 1km Kingdom Tower to start April
Global manufacturing indices soften, led by Chinese slowdown
Wall Street drops on Russia worry as techs, materials drag
Iraq Buys Massive 36 Tonnes Of Gold In March
Russia Raises Gold Holdings By 7.247 Tonnes To Over 1,040 Tonnes In February
Bring Out Your "Toxic Sludge" - European Loan Creation Remains At Record Low Levels

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Ryanair seeks more love, less hate from customers
Weird airlines fees fliers are willing to pay
Virgin America reports first profitable year since its creation
Would you pay to cut in line for the toilets on a flight?
Airline Seats: Trapped in the Middle
What's worse than a cramped economy seat with limited leg room and a seat reclined onto your dinner tray? Airplane manufacturer Airbus has come up with an answer: jam an 11th seat into economy-class rows of the A380, the world's largest passenger jet, for a 3-5-3 seat configuration.
JAL to raise domestic summer airfares
Japan Airlines has announced it will raise airfares for its domestic flights from July 4 to Oct. 25 due to surging fuel prices and the weakened yen.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russian military holds exercises in breakaway Moldova region: agency
Russia takes over Crimean combat dolphins
Showdown in Ukraine: Putin's Quest for Ports, Oil, Pipelines and Gas
The West and in particular the United States seems to be suffering from collective memory disorder and have forgotten all the mud they slapped onto Putin's face during the past 15 or so years. Or at least they expected him to forget and forgive.
Germany's Siemens says committed to Russian partners
Putin's BRICS allies reject sanctions, condemn West's 'hostile language'
Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends US Invasion of Iraq
'In order to not appear hypocritical, Obama rewrites history around Iraq War while denouncing Russia'
U.S. Gives Russia Free Military Equipment Used By Army, Marines
Egypt Targets 1200 Morsi Supporters With Death Penalty
North Korea test-fires ballistic missiles as Barack Obama holds Japan-South Korea summit
US to commit more forces to NATO efforts in Eastern Europe
German Industry Goes To See Uncle Putin
Pakistan Taliban agrees to ceasefire to help Afghan allies
Here Is The YouTube "Start A False Flag War With Syria" Leaked Recording That Erdogan Wanted Banned
Philippines and Muslim rebel group sign peace deal
Polling Centers Attacked in Iraq; 39 Killed, 74 Wounded

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Brazil shopping malls become centers of controversy

## Energy/resources ##
HR Constraint Contributes to High Oil, Gas Development Cost
Human resource constraint is one factor contributing to higher cost structure in developing oil and gas projects globally, a senior company official from Halliburton said Wednesday at the Offshore Technology Conference Asia 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Big oil firms crack the whip over service companies
On a mission to crush costs, global oil firms are rewriting the rule book on how they deal with service companies. Energy companies have sharply cut spending plans after a decade of double-digit growth, saving cash for dividends as stagnating oil prices and cost increase on mega projects worldwide have squeezed margins and angered shareholders.
Germany's $2.8 Billion Electricity Link With Norway Threatened
Talks between Germany and Norway about how to boost the trading of electricity from renewable sources are being held up by concerns that the power cable running under the North Sea won't ever make money.
Ukraine to hike domestic gas prices by 50%
Ukraine is raising the price of gas for domestic consumers by more than 50 per cent from May 1 and will implement further rises under a fixed timetable until 2018, an official of state energy company Naftogaz said on Wednesday.
Ukraine Crisis Highlights Ugly Global Energy Truths
Ukraine, a semi-failed state due to energy debt and corruption, merely illustrates the new energy politics now unsettling governments from the United States to Crimea. It represents our collective global future, should governments and citizens continue to ignore energy flows and budgets.
Romania caps green energy quota to help large industrial firms
Romania's government capped the amount of renewable energy that large industrial consumers must buy this year in a move to help offset their high energy costs and stave off the threat of job cuts ahead of elections later this year.
WTO: China's caps on export of rare earth elements in violation of rules
Lithuania pleads to US Senate for Gas Exports, Complains of "Political Price" of Dependency on Russia
Energy-starved Egypt looks to Israel for natural gas options
Export Stupidity
On a net basis, the US has no oil or gas to export.
Nations around the world jostle to carve up Antarctic resources
Energy expert warns of oil supply disruptions
Kashagan Group Says No Oil Restart Date Yet, Probe Results Delayed

## Got food? ##
The Real Inflation Fear - US Food Prices Are Up 19% In 2014
Corn, soybeans look to extend gains as weather threatens planting season
More drug makers agree to limit antibiotics for farm animals
Chinese Pigs Eating Soybeans Cut U.S. Supply to 1965 Low
Disease that helped cause lime shortage in Mexico could come to California
Small American Farms Struggling to Survive

## Environment/health ##
Extracting carbon from nature can aid climate but will be costly-UN
China says polluting industry still growing too fast, heavy smog alert for Beijing
Air Pollution Replaces Poor Diet As World's Largest Preventable Health Risk
BP Spill at Tar Sands Refinery Has 'Crapped Up Lake Michigan'
One in 25 U.S. patients gets an infection in the hospital
Scientists hail synthetic chromosome advance
Japan keeps guard on outbreak of dengue fever

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Are You Ready for Life Under Total Surveillance?
Tweets are mysteriously disappearing from Twitter
Brazil orders Israeli drone for World Cup security missions
Russian officials dump iPads over spy fears
Moscow — Russian government officials have swapped their iPads for Samsung tablets to ensure tighter security, the telecoms minister told news agencies on Wednesday.
When gov't spies fake your company's website, what can be done?
The Off-The-Shelf Surveillance State, even in Impoverished Ethiopia
DOJ Describes Its Use Of Malware As 'Augmenting Content' As It Pushes For Great Ability To Hack Computers

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Globalization in Reverse
This does not, however, discuss the much-increased expense of energy, which is the main factor. -- RF
How Sustainable is Digital Fabrication?
While CNC machines have been embraced by many, including some environmentalists who say the technology can be more sustainable, it's important to consider the very high energy use of digital machine tools. Compared to the earlier generation of human-controlled machine tools, CNC machines use much more power, and the potential to improve their energy efficiency is very limited. Choosing fewer automated technologies is the key to sustainable manufacturing.
Does Our System Select for Incompetent Sociopaths?
Peak civilization: how the Roman empire collapsed

## Japan ##
Pension cut mechanism to be applied in FY15
The government is planning to apply in fiscal 2015 the so-called macroeconomic slide mechanism to cut pension benefits in accordance with a rise in average life expectancy and a shrinking working population to pay premiums.
Imminent sales tax hike sparks gold rush in Japan
1,500 valves at the crippled Fukushima plant remain untagged
Government team keeps high radiation data on three Fukushima municipalities from the public
142 workers' radiation exposure higher than reported by Tepco
Illegal online access doubled in 2013, Net banks targeted: police
Households to pay 225 yen monthly surcharge for renewable energy
Sendai to be only nuke plant to undergo NRA screening before summer
Utilities eye more non-nuclear power output
Japan's ruling party calls for more foreign workers to boost labor force

## China ##
China's Hangzhou latest city to restrict car sales
Banks in Chinese city show stacks of cash to reassure depositors
Rural banks in China's eastern city of Yancheng stacked piles of cash in plain view behind teller windows to calm depositors queuing at bank branches for a third straight day on Wednesday following rumors that they had run out of cash.
Spooked by defaults, China banks begin retreat from risk
A $6.8 Trillion Price Tag for China's Urbanization
China has finally put a price tag on its massive plan for urbanization, and it's a big one. The cost of bringing an additional couple of hundred million people to cities over the next seven years? Some 42 trillion yuan ($6.8 trillion), announced an official from China's Ministry of Finance last week.
Zhejiang Xingrun's collapse highlights property sector risk
Overseas bases would help PLA with 'rescue ops,' says Global Times
China's Developers Face Shakeout as Easy Money Ends: Mortgages

## UK ##
The Guardian's Deputy Editor Claims the UK Government Threatened the Paper with Shutdown
Why the British Breakfast Is Breaking the Bank (video)
Cuts have left 250,000 older people without state care, report says
A quarter of a million older people have lost their state-funded help with carrying out everyday activities such as bathing, dressing and eating in the past four years as council budgets have been slashed and services rationed, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Tenants paying high rents have to cut back on food and heating, poll reveals
Pace of recovery in Britain slows to eight-month low, CBI figures show
Rubbish on British beaches reached highest levels in two decades in 2013
Brazil nuclear plant maintenance adds to energy crunch

## US ##
A First Look at a New Report on Crony Capitalism – Trillions in Corporate Welfare
Citi Fails Fed Stress Test … The REAL Story
Paul "Contrafactual" Krugman: The Laureate of Keynesian Babble (David Stockman)
Walmart Admits: 'Our Profits' Depend on 'Their Poverty'
Walgreens to shutter 76 unprofitable locations
This Economist Foresees 15 Years of Labor Shortages
U.S. jobs market dropouts increasingly likely to stay out
Mumps outbreak spreads beyond Ohio State campus to at least 69 cases
More students are homeless across Tri-Cities
Every day, roughly 800 students right here in the Tri-Cities don't go home after school. They don't have a place to go. Whether they ran away or their parents are homeless, the number of homeless in our schools continues to grow.
First Amendment Train Wreck in the Making: U.S. Senate Tries to Define Who Is a Journalist
Sales of new homes fall to five-month low
Drive an SUV? Get ready to pay more to park
Energy Future Trying To Reach Debt-Restructuring Deal
Santa Monica launches effort to shut down all or part of city airport
Levi Strauss eliminating 800 jobs to cut costs
Is College A Waste Of Time And Money?
Senator Warns Of A Student Loan Bubble
$1 trillion student loan debt widens US wealth gap
Duration Risk: Why "Tapering" Is a Mirage and the Fed May Be Loosening Instead

And finally...
Suspected burglar arrested after giving his number to employee prior to robbing restaurant
Kim Jong-Un haircut simulator lets you try before you trim

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