Tuesday, May 20, 2014

 

News Links, May 20-21, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Luxury goods market growth to slow in 2014: Bain
Keynesian madness: central banks waging war on price stability, savers
14 Headshaking Photos that Show Target Canada Has A Major Problem
The future of retail. Get ready for it. -- RF
Peak steel could leave Australian iron ore miners in the lurch
The Big Yellow CAT In The Mine Shaft—-More Evidence That The EM Boom Is Faltering
Credit Mania Update – The Chase for CCC-Rated Bonds
GM to recall another 2.42 million vehicles
U.N. report: 21 million people remain in slavery
Mass immigration not the secret to economic growth, says OECD
ZIRP Is Failing Worldwide: Anemic Q1 Growth In 34 Nation OECD Provides More Evidence
More On The Surge In Belgian Treasury Holdings: Another $ Collateral Scramble Brewing?
Global Gold Demand Steady Despite Indian Repression; Stealth PBOC Buying Not Factored In
ECB Plans Negative Rate on Bank Deposits
Italian Bad Loans Surge 26% YoY To Record High (59th Month In A Row)
Countries with the Widest Gap Between Rich and Poor

## Airline Death Spiral ##
SpiceJet posts record loss, auditor doubts airline's 'going concern' claim
EVA Air operating loss increases three-fold in 1Q2014
Will new Qantas surcharges drive more customers away?
Porter Airlines bag fee likely to be matched, air experts say
Porter Airlines is now charging passengers a $25 fee for their first checked bag on domestic flights, the first Canadian airline to do so.
Thinner seats in back leave more room for high-paying fliers up front
Knee Defenders: Two plastic clips could turn flights into fights
Peach to cancel 894 flights in July and August due to pilot shortage

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Thai Military Declares Martial Law to Curb Protests, Denies Coup
Analyst: Arabian Gulf Nations May Build Closer Russian Relations
PLA troops spotted near China-Vietnam border
Putin orders troops near Ukraine to return home
Aircraft, other equipment sought by Iraq
Iraq has asked the United States for attack aircraft, aerostats and armored vehicles, with a combined worth of nearly $1 billion, through the Foreign Military Sales program.
US/NATO-Delivered Libyan "Democracy" Explodes in Violence
NASA Chief Dismisses Concern Over Russia Quitting Space Station
The Birth of a Eurasian Century: Russia and China Do Pipelineistan
NATO sends thousands of troops to Estonia for war games
Libyan Military Splinters as Rivals Prepare for Civil War
U.S. positions forces in Sicily over Libya security fears
Pipeline attack adds to Egyptian gas woes
Bombings kill at least 118 in central Nigerian city of Jos
U.S. Troops to Take Part in Jordanian Exercise
About 6,000 U.S. troops are expected to participate in the exercise, along with 3,000 from Jordan and some 3,200 from more than 20 partner-nations, totaling more than 12,000 troops.
Russian Manipulation of Reactor Fuel Belies US Iran Argument

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Chilean Activist Burns $500 Million of Student Loan Documents in Protest Against Debt Serfdom
Australia: Tens of Thousands 'March in May' Against Abbott and Austerity
Protests in Store for McDonald's Annual Meeting
Thousands of Las Vegas casino workers to go on strike at any moment
Demonstrators protest Abe's plan to change constitution (Japan)
2,100 join rally against Futenma base relocation (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: How Fossil Fuels Subsidize Us
Here's a really good article. It's even better than the title suggests because it's very helpful in developing a comprehensive understanding of our precarious energy situation. An important point mentioned is a corollary of one I have made: Most of our progress has been made possible by cheap, plentiful energy, not by technology. I have stated that although the general belief is that technology begets energy, in reality cheap, plentiful energy has made technological advances possible. -- RF
South asked to cut power usage (Thailand)
Gazprom: All South Stream offshore contracts signed
European Nations Running Low On Energy Resources
A new academic report warns that countries in Europe are increasingly running low on energy reserves, and an advocacy group says that as a result, "Energy Dependence Day" is arriving earlier each year.
This Is A Major Loss For Uranium Supply
OPEC must boost oil output, says IEA
Norway supplies 21% of Europe natural gas needs
Australian coal produced down by 25pct on FOB
According to companies represented by the Queensland Resources Council, after running a ruler over their respective balance sheets, around 25% of coal output in Queensland, Australia is produced at a loss. The figure is even worse for thermal coal producers as 50% of all production on a free on board (FOB) basis is being dug up and processed at a financial loss.
Video game consoles cost Americans $400 million in energy costs a year — when we aren't even using them
Russia Close to $400 Billion Gas Pipeline Deal in Pivot to China
Russia, China Report Gas Deal All But Final
New Frontiers: Change is coming to Saudi Aramco, the state oil company
When Can We Call the U.S. Shale Boom a Bubble?
ExxonMobil plans deepest well
ExxonMobil's Canadian outfit is considering plans for the deepest offshore well ever to be drilling in the Arctic.

## Got food? ##
Despite being at 'peak farm,' land is getting less protection (Canada)
Water shortage: Food crops under threat (Pakistan)
E. coli cases prompt massive ground beef recall
Best Garden Tools for Big Plots and Large Harvests
$1 doesn't quite get you a cheeseburger in London or Madrid
Conflicts Around the World Are Creating Shortages in the U.S.—And Not Just of Limes
Toxic jerky treats linked to more than 1,000 dog deaths
Stumpy Brazil Cane Crop Signaling Global Sugar Deficit
Supermarket shrinkage? It's not your imagination, experts say

## Environment/health ##
USDA Reports Honeybee Death Rate Too High for Long-Term Survival
Study strengthens link between neonicotinoids and collapse of honey bee colonies
Will the next coal ash disaster be in your neighborhood?
Floods affect over 1 million in Balkans, destruction 'terrifying'
HPV Found in Two-Thirds of Americans, Survey Finds
Global Temperatures Tied Record High Last Month
Exotic Nanomaterials Claimed Their First Major Workplace Injury
How climate change will hurt the U.S.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Cloud computing is FAIL and here's why
Is The Mainstream Media Dying?
Why restaurant meals don't look like the ads
Blowtorches, tweezers and glue: These are just a few of the items used to create those mouth-watering restaurant ads.
U.S. accuses China of hacking Westinghouse, U.S. Steel
From last year: NSA Busted Conducting Industrial Espionage In France, Mexico, Brazil, China and All Around the World
Cisco CEO Berates Obama for NSA Surveillance
Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas
Experts question transparency of cell phone tracking device owned by Sheriff's Office at legislative hearing (US)
The FBI Is Training Brazil's New Tech-Savvy Riot Police
U.S. Plays Catch-Up with China on Cyber Warfare
U.S. Government Admits Using Fake Vaccination Programs to Gather Intelligence and Now Swears it Won't Do it Again…
Hacker Invoices Justice Department for Time in Prison, Refuses to Accept U.S. Dollars
Creepy or cool? These apps want to think for you
A rising class of apps called smart apps promise to make users' lives easier by essentially acting as personal assistants. Yet, users may be uncomfortable with the amount of personal information required to make them work.
FCC chairman says Internet fast lanes not 'commercially reasonable'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
China 'considering' building high-speed rail line from Beijing to the United States
Even Japan's much-shorter maglev train project won't be finished. Grandiose plans like this are typical of the now-past era of plentiful and cheap energy, but many people are still mentally living in the past and can't see the anachronism. It's this sort of thinking that leads to gross over-expansion and collapse. -- RF
The Decline of Small Business = Decline of Basic Skills
Although I still maintain that expensive energy is the primary factor behind the loss of skills, here is another. -- RF
Nationwide 'Epidemic' Of Pedestrian Deaths a Failure of Social Justice: Report
Following Latest Recall Shocker, GM Has Recalled 56% More Cars In 2014 Than It Sold In 2013

## Japan ##
Japan's $1.26 trillion pension faces overhaul as Abe reforms drive riskier bets
Japan proposes military presence on remote islands
Abe Learns About Animal Spirits From Nobel Winner Shiller
Yawn. -- RF
Abe's new plan to beat deflation: more baseball teams
You can't make this stuff up. -- RF
Groundwater release to begin at Fukushima Daiichi
Japan Atomic Power applies for safety checks on Tokai No. 2 power plant
Homeless face uphill fight to get life back
Temporary housing residents in tsunami-hit city face eviction
90% of TEPCO workers defied orders, fled Fukushima plant in 2011
Almost all workers, including managers required to deal with accidents, defied orders and fled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant at a critical juncture when the disaster was unfolding in March 2011, documents showed.

## China ##
Migrant workers shift from construction to manufacturing in China: report
Bingo! Premier Li Keqiang Punctures The Excess Savings Myth
Singapore's Rich Tapped by China Developers: Asean Credit
China blocks Windows 8 usage on government computers

## UK ##
Fracking villages could be offered free home insulation
Shale gas explorer IGas says it is considering offering households near fracking sites free energy efficiency measures, as part of planned "community benefits"
Households face lifetime of debt with rise in longer term mortgages
Patients wait two weeks to see GP in a fifth of practices

## US ##
This Chart Is The Fate of Housing In America As Student Loans Bankrupt A Whole Generation
Neofeudalism: Is Small Business a Threat to the Status Quo?
U.S. cities promote themselves in effort to find new markets in China
No nuclear waste facility built but billions in fees collected
Wal-Mart's biggest problem: Its customers
At the center of the discounter's domestic woes is its appeal among shoppers who are facing stagnant wage growth and simply can't afford to spend on discretionary items—or in some cases, food.
Roommates are a financial lifeline for some seniors
Middle-class seniors and the growing wave of baby boomers behind them want to stay in their homes and communities as they grow old, but escalating costs of everything from food to medication to property taxes; battered retirement portfolios; and dwindling savings have today's older Americans looking to become ad hoc landlords or tenants, even if the practice sometimes is forbidden by zoning restrictions.
Occupy Wall Street activist gets 90 days in jail
Temporary jobs on rise in today's shifting economy
Labor Force, Employment, and Population April 2008 vs. April 2014
Year 5 Of The Second-Half Boom Watch: Why "Escape Velocity" Won't Happen
Each year since the recession officially ended in the summer of 2009, Wall Street and Washington have tried to dupe investors into believing a second half recovery was in store for the stock market and economy. However, this promise has failed to come into fruition each year, as annual GDP growth has not reached north of trend growth (3%) since 2005.
A Manufacturing Slump that Never Ended
Apartment nation: Multi-unit housing starts up 416 percent from 2010 low
How Rising Seas Could Sink Nuclear Plants On The East Coast
Bill would criminalise frac fluid disclosures
North Carolina to cut jobless benefits again to lowest in nation
Christie cuts state pensions in half in an attempt to balance budget
The Greenspan Housing Bubble Lives On: 20 Million Homeowners Can't Trade-Up Because They Are Still Underwater

And finally...
NYC man sues for every penny on earth
Video mocking "Great" British cuisine goes viral across China with nearly 800,000 hits




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