Tuesday, April 08, 2014


News Links, April 8-9, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
IMF Trims Global Economic Growth Forecast
Slow growth ahead for developing Asia
New Study Raises Threat of Bankruptcies for Container-Shipping Industry
According to a new study by AlixPartners, the container shipping industry as a whole stands closer to outright failure than anytime since 2010. And the risk grows more serious each year.
Challenging outlook for containers, bulkers: HMM
Shipping industry may confront another deluge of overcapacity
Larry Summers calls on US government to spend
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has urged global leaders to form a global growth strategy to combat economic stagnation and has called upon the U.S. government to ramp up investment expenditure.
Death knell sounds for Brazil's economic strategy
Nigeria just doubled the size of its economy with a stroke of a pen.
Over the weekend, Nigeria's government made an accounting adjustment in how it calculates its GDP statistics. By changing the base-year in GDP calculations from 1990 to 2010, Nigeria increased the reported size of its economy by 89% over the weekend. So with a stroke of a pen, the West African nation leapfrogged South Africa to become the continent's largest economy.
Disinflationary Pressures Beyond the Euro Area
Holcim, Lafarge agree to merger to create cement giant
Banks May Reap $100 Million From Lafarge-Holcim Merger
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Rothschild and Zaoui & Co. are among banks that may split as much as $100 million in fees for their roles advising on the merger of Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) and Lafarge SA (LG) to create the world's biggest cement maker.
Russia mulls more active crude, gas trading in ruble and euro
What In The World Is Happening To The Nasdaq?
Head of EU's Newfangled Bank Regulator: Markets Are Dumb, Pumps Stocks Of Teetering Banks To Keep them From Toppling
Japanese Offload Record Dutch Sovereign Debt, Sell Treasuries
Intel closes Costa Rica operation, cuts 1,500 jobs
Greek labour costs now half eurozone average
More rate cuts expected as Australian unemployment heads for 11-year high
The New Aristocracy: Where the rich stash their toysThe rich are on the hunt for secure, tax-free places to stash their fine art and luxury items, fueling a surge in demand for top-end warehouses known as freeports.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Developers say Manston Airport is a suitable site for housing development as uncertainty remains over its future
Asian airlines feel drag from weak cargo market
American Raises Miles Needed for Free Travel on Busy Days
American, US Airways tweak fees, mileage rules
Can the Airline Industry Survive for the Long Haul?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Sergei Lavrov: 'It Is Not Russia Destabilizing Ukraine'
Pro-Moscow protesters seize arms, declare republic; Kiev fears invasion
Ukraine launches "anti-terrorist" operation in eastern city, 70 arrested
Ukraine Parliament Erupts in Violent Brawl; Separatists Seize Buildings in 3 Cities
Luhansk Protesters Deny Holding Hostages
Protesters occupying the state security building in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday denied a charge that they had wired the building with explosives and were holding people against their will.
Hagel, Chang air differences over disputed islands
U.S. defense chief gets earful as China visit exposes tensions
Poll: Everyone in East Asia Dislikes Each Other. Plus, Japan Should Stay Pacifist
US Sends Warship To Black Sea Amid Ukraine Crisis
NATO to triple Baltic air patrol from next month
First women joining Palestinian commando unit
Israel Navy Expands Long-Range Ops
'Not Science Fiction': Navy to Test Futuristic Gun at Sea in 2016
US will cut deployed nuke missile force by 50
Are Tensions About to Flare Up Between the U.S., Iran and Russia Over Oil Barter Deal?
Australia defends security deal with Japan
Philippines building up military as counter to China

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Ukraine tries to quell pro-Moscow uprisings
Austerity Outrage Fuels Push for Greek General Strike

## Energy/resources ##
Norway to Boost Oil Project Oversight after Cost Overruns
Norway is growing increasingly intolerant of delays and cost overruns at offshore oil projects and plans to keep a closer eye on operators, intervening when necessary, the head of the oil directorate said.
Kashagan May Fail to Restart this Year if Offshore Pipes Damaged
Kashagan Production Could be Delayed for Years
Russian Sanctions and the Negative Effect on Global Energy Security
After a series of headline-grabbing statements about the possibility of "switching" European consumers over to American gas, the US media hastened to announce the launch of Obama's oil and gas offensive against Russia. In reality the EU is not currently prepared, neither technically nor in terms of price, to buy its energy resources from the US.  It would take at least ten years to adapt even the technically advanced German energy system to work with American gas supply. In a crisis, when it is particularly urgent to see a quick return on an investment, such projects are unrealistic.
A Landscape of Fire Rises Over North Dakota's Gas Fields
U.S. Wind Power Blows New Records. Again. And Again. But...
Shale Gas Boom Leaves Wind Companies Seeking More Subsidy
The $14 billion industry, the world's second-largest buyer of wind turbines, is reeling from a double blow -- cheap natural gas unleashed by the hydraulic fracturing revolution and the death last year of federal subsidies that made wind the most competitive of all renewable energy sources in the U.S.
Japex Begins Japan's 1st Commercial Shale Oil Production
James River Coal files for bankruptcy protection
U.S. think tank says North Korea is having radiation issues at primary nuclear site
Technological breakthrough? U.S. Navy says it can now convert seawater into fuel
Indonesia plans to build $1.8 bln power plant in Jakarta - minister
Fuel Cells Have Been a Long Time Coming. And They're Still Coming

## Got food? ##
Disease Detectives Are Solving Fewer Foodborne Illness Cases
Some airlines drop limes from beverage service
Droughts Worldwide May Have an Effect on American Dinner Plates
The Future Of Clean, Green Fish Farming Could Be Indoor Factories
Pork prices soar due to shortage caused by virus as barbecue season approaches

## Environment/health ##
Oklahoma Swamped by Surge in Earthquakes Near Fracking
There have been more earthquakes strong enough to be felt in Oklahoma this year than in all of 2013, overwhelming state officials who are trying to determine if the temblors are linked to oil and natural gas production.
Mali suspects first Ebola cases as regional death toll tops 90
Severe Obesity May Be on the Rise in Kids
Scarlet fever: Highest number of cases in 20 years (UK)
Climate of intimidation: "Frontiers" blunder on "Recursive Fury".

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Energy companies need insurance cover for cyber attack "time bomb"
How to protect yourself from the 'Heartbleed' bug
Why Fusion Centers Matter: FAQ
Stores sharing biometric face data (Japan)
Automatically recorded images by security cameras of shoppers' faces have been shared among 115 supermarkets and convenience stores in the Tokyo metropolitan and another area as an antishoplifting measure, without customers' knowledge, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
The "Cuban Twitter" Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda Bucket
Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Energy and the Financial System: What Everyone Needs to Know… and Work Darn Hard to Avoid
How to Survive the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: An Online Course by Michigan State

## Japan ##
Foreign Investors Selling out of Japanese Debt
US sailors sue for $1B over Fukushima radiation
Nikkei Futures Down Nearly 1000 Points In Three Days
Japan Trade Situation Remains Shaky
Fukushima plant to create 560,000 cubic meters of rubble by mid-202

## China ##
Beijing to film building sites in new smog control measure
China allocates 115.8b yuan affordable housing subsidy
Subsidized housing programs have been high on the government agenda in recent years as skyrocketing home prices in major cities have pushed many out of the market.
Robotics drive in China may end in overcapacity: experts
The Chinese Ponzi Continues: Property Developers Buy (Piggy) Banks

## UK ##
Scottish spending on pavement repairs falls sharply
Throughout the developed world, there's not enough money to maintain all that infrastructure. -- RF
Troops on front line may be earning less than minimum wage
Wales needs 2,500 engineers by 2020, professionals say
An estimated trillion tonnes of coal found off Wales' coast
Scottish independence: UK 'faces energy blackout risk'
UK Turned Into "Nation Of Savers" … "Instantly" After "Radical" Accounting Overhaul

## US ##
Highway And Bridge Construction Firms' Profitability Declining
The nation's highway and bridge construction firms are seeing profitability decline at a time when sales growth is slowing, according to recent data on privately held companies from Sageworks, a financial information company. The changes also come as Congress in the coming weeks will take up how to stabilize the Highway Trust Fund, which is expected to run out of money later this year and faces a chronic shortage of revenue relative to spending. Construction industry advocates say uncertainty tied to the federal funding beginning in 2015 puts jobs at risk for roughly 300,000 people working on highway and bridge projects.
This is part of the downward spiral that characterizes the slow death of the industrial world. Expensive energy leads to less money for construction, which leads to fewer contracting jobs, which leads to less infrastructure construction and maintenance, which leads to crumbling infrastructure and even more stuff that needs fixing. Economic and energy experts like to point out that when economies mature, they will achieve GDP growth even as their energy demand declines. What they are overlooking is that much energy would normally be used to rebuild decrepit infrastructure, but this isn't happening because energy is now far more expensive than when much existing infrastructure was built. "Mature" economies aren't using as much energy mainly because they are skimping on the necessities of industrial society, not because they've gotten so incredibly efficient. Buildings are falling apart, roads are full of potholes, pipelines are leaking, bridges are collapsing, and everything is just going to hell faster than it can be fixed. Imagine our energy cost if governments avoided austerity and fixed everything that needs fixing. Infrastructure will just keep deteriorating because we can't afford to do anything about it. But economists and energy experts will continue telling us how efficient we're getting, even though much of the energy efficiency they are talking about is actually an illusion created by cutting corners. -- RF
This Is What Employment In America Really Looks Like…
Hot Air Hisses Out Of Housing Bubble 2.0: Even Two Middle-Class Incomes Aren't Enough Anymore To Buy A Median Home
Tracing the U.S. heroin surge back south of the border as Mexican cannabis output falls
Up to 3,300 postmasters could lose their jobs by Oct.
US consumer credit soars to $3.1 trillion, tops forecast
98% Of All Consumer Credit In Past Year Was Student And Car Loans
Down and out in Anchorage: Homeless in America's coldest city (video)
In Silicon Valley, a New Investment: Eviction
Under revised quake estimates, dozens of nuclear reactors face costly safety analyses
Ford Takes Its Turn as 434,000 Cars and SUVs Recalled
Smart cars tipped over by vandals in San Francisco
Big U.S. banks must boost capital by $68 billion under new rules

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