Wednesday, December 31, 2014


News Links, January 1, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Saudi Facing Largest Deficit In Its History
Europe deflation fears back after weak Spain, Greece data
As Greek Default Risk Soars To 66%, Morgan Stanley Warns ECB May Be Unable To Launch QE
New law spells end for many small Spanish businesses
An estimated 55,000 businesses are expected to close down over the coming weeks and months, wiping out around 120,000 jobs in a country which already has a 24 percent unemployment rate, labor groups say.
If there were many businesses willing and able to pay the higher rent fees (and hire the resulting unemployed), this might make sense. But Spain's economy doesn't look that healthy. -- RF
Slowdown in Italian economy has ended - Econmin to Corriere
Oil prices a cause for Scottish concern
1000% Inflation in Venezuela?
Venezuela confirms recession, highest inflation in Americas
Ruble Slide Lets Russia Tap Power Export Market for Euros
Russia 24 network interviews GATA secretary and Paul Craig Roberts on gold and commodity market rigging
Ditching US dollar: China, Russia launch financial tools in local currencies
Waste is Waste: Hosting The Olympics Proves It, But Keynesians Still Don't Get It
Central Bankers At Work: Money Dies In Japan, Markets Chaotic In Europe
Ukraine economy shrank 7.5% in 'worst year since WWII'
"Peak Gold Production" Hits In 2015
Gold Beat All Other World Currencies in 2014
"Gold is money. Everything else is credit." ~J.P. Morgan in 1912
Diversify With "Physical Precious Metals Stored Outside The U.S." – Faber
Shipping industry to see more M&As in 2015
Worst Currency in 2014? (One You Might Actually Use)
Seven shocking events of 2014
Wall Street Heathens: How Their Greed And Gambling Became The Axe Of Statist Policy
Eurozone no longer obliged to save Greece, Merkel ally says

## Airline Death Spiral ##
AirAsia QZ8501 Search: How Do Airplanes Disappear In The Age Of Modern Technology?
Pilot's Final Request Was Met by Two-Minute Radio Delay
There were six planes at different altitudes passing in the area at the time, which contributed to the delayed response, according to AirNav.
Rapid growth leaves Asian airlines searching for pilots
Asian airspace becoming increasingly crowded amid growing safety concerns
Dubai International on track to be world's busiest airport
Flybe plane makes emergency landing in Belfast for second time this month

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran and Iraq Deepen Defense Ties, Sign Pact
Palestinians to press war-crimes case against Israel
Taiwan Announces Plans For New Submarines Week After Ship Launch
A week after launching its first domestically-built missile warship, Taiwan has announced a project to build its own submarines. The move comes after decades of failed attempts to procure submarines from the United States and reflects tensions between mainland China and South China Sea countries over territorial disputes.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Moscow Police Squash Opposition Protest Over Navalny Verdict
A desperate bid to shore up shale drilling by selling oil abroad for higher prices. -- RF
Energy Crisis As Early As 2016
Low oil prices today may be setting the world up for an oil shortage as early as 2016. Today we have just 2% more crude oil supply than demand and the price of gasoline is under $2.00/gallon in Texas. If oil supply falls too far, we could see gasoline prices doubling within 18 months. For a commodity as critical to our standard of living as oil is, it only takes a small shortage to drive up the price.
Key Civeo shareholder jumps ship
It's been a tough week for Civeo, a company that rents dorm-style living quarters to oil field workers.
The fallout from underpriced oil is spreading far and wide. No doubt many unpleasant surprises are in the offing. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
IMF Austerity Helped Fuel Ebola Crisis: Researchers
Lending conditions contributed to under-prepared health systems in Ebola-hit countries, report states
Climate Change Threatens Quechua and Their Crops in Peru's Andes
Perception management: Murdoch, Scaife and CIA Propaganda
The rapid expansion of America's right-wing media began in the 1980s as the Reagan administration coordinated foreign policy initiatives with conservative media executives, including Rupert Murdoch, and then cleared away regulatory hurdles.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
More evidence Mayan civilization collapsed because of drought
Sounds like a good idea, right? But here's just one of many examples of how, to deal with newly arising problems, we add new layers of complexity, in turn requiring greater energy throughput. -- RF
F-35 stealth jet 'will not be able to fire its guns until 2019'
Reported software glitch is the latest problem to dog state of the art fighter which is costing American taxpayers nearly $400 billion
The Prison State of America
States, in the name of austerity, have stopped providing prisoners with essential items including shoes, extra blankets and even toilet paper, while starting to charge them for electricity and room and board. Most prisoners and the families that struggle to support them are chronically short of money.

## Japan ##
Price hikes to put pressure on purses
Household budgets will likely be squeezed this year with price hikes on a variety of products — from food to commodities — because manufacturers are set to boost prices to cope with the yen's continuing depreciation and increasing prices for raw materials.

## China ##
The city's first post-Occupy New Year celebrations tomorrow are expected to be marked by a strong police deployment to observe and make "judgments" on distinguishing revellers from pro-democracy protesters.
The mainland's colonization of the Hong Kong economy
Number of evicted tenants is soaring, Ministry of Justice figures show
Countryside population to increase dramatically by 2025
Official figures show that the rural population will increase by 6 per cent over the next decade as people choose to leave cities and settle in the countryside
Third of listed UK oil and gas drillers face bankruptcy
Britain's oil and gas industry is running out of cash as low prices and high levels of debt threaten the sector, warns Company Watch
British Banks Need to be Strengthened-- Lord Mervyn King
Despite outward signs of stability, Britain's financial system is not on the pink of health and looks incapable of withstanding another global financial crisis. This concern about British banks was raised by former governor of Bank of England, Lord Mervyn King, who warned that the banks in U.K. were not yet "entirely safe".
The majority of older Americans rely on Social Security as primary source of retirement income.
Public Works officials said the collapse was caused by a sewage pipe that gave way. That pipe could date back all the way to the 1800s.
Welcome to the faceless future of banking
Peek into the future of bank branches and you won't see many bankers. In the years ahead—sooner rather than later—banks will continue to shutter their satellites and turn to other means to perform the services once done at the branches.

And finally...

Monday, December 29, 2014


News Links, December 30, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Brazil's Economy Just Imploded
Brazil's consolidated public sector primary fiscal balance, which posted a significantly worse than expected R$8.1bn primary deficit in November driven by the R$6.7bn deficit of the Central Government, dipped into negative territory: -0.18% of GDP, driven by the significant deterioration of the Central Government finances.
German 2Yr Yield Plunges To Negative 10 Basis Points——–Nine Euro Countries Now Getting Paid To Borrow
The $9 Trillion US Dollar Carry Trade Blew Up Oil, Russia, and Brazil… What's Next?
World's 400 Wealthiest Add $92 Billion in 2014 as Alibaba Surges
'Shadow banking' set for breakout year in 2015
Don't Just Follow the Money--Follow the Income
Russian Economy In First Major Contraction Since October 2009
Canadian miners brace for 'knife fight' after year of dumping assets at fire-sale prices
Gold Held In NY Fed Vault Drops To Lowest In 21st Century After Biggest Monthly Withdrawal Since 2001
Gold not hedge against inflation, but the future

## Airline Death Spiral ##
AirAsia Disappearance May Mean Four-Year High Air Deaths
Russian government agrees to bail out Transaero Airlines
Say Goodbye to AirTran Airways

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
What Would Jesus Do at Christmas?
Jesus was a dangerous man because he had figured out how peasants got that way.
U.S. And NATO End Combat Mission In Afghanistan As Taliban Attacks Intensify
U.S. coalition launches 18 air strikes against Islamic State: task force
Greece 'on a collision course with EU' warns Germany
Japan, China hold 1st major meeting since leaders' summit

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Strikers, police clash at Mirpur
Strikers have clashed with police, vandalised vehicles, and exploded improvised bombs in Dhaka as the BNP and its allies try to enforce a daylong shutdown across Bangladesh.
'Genie let out of the bottle: not much Saudis can do to prevent possible unrest caused by budget deficit'
What Makes Nonviolent Movements Explode?
New York City mayor heckled, booed at police graduation

## Energy/resources ##
BP To Bypass Sanctions, Buy In On Siberian Oilfield
The Grid Reliability Myth
Petrobras Deadline Prompts Some Bondholders to Push for Default
Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras could be declared in technical default on some of its foreign debt as early as Tuesday if bondholders adhere to a campaign to force it to speed up its assessment of losses in a giant corruption scandal.
BG to export first Australian LNG cargo to China
A third of publicly quoted Oil and Gas Companies are running out of cash (UK) (PDF)
Libya's losses mount as oil terminal burns
Daqing, China's largest oilfield, to reduce output
Limited oil reserves, high cost of development and declining international oil prices have caused the fast-depleting Daqing Oilfield to reduce output, a staff who declined to be named from Daqing told Xinhua.
Commodity Prices Are Cliff-Diving Due To The Fracturing Monetary Supernova—The Case Of Iron Ore
Australia cuts iron-ore price forecast 33% as supply mounts
The Crude Oil Plunge Is Not Done—More Downward Pressure Building
Oilsands camp provider cuts third of staff in Canada, signalling slowdown in Alberta
A major U.S. camp provider cited falling oil prices and cancelled projects for its decision to layoff a third of its staff in Canada and close two of its lodges near Fort McMurray on Monday, a move that reflects a slowdown in Alberta's once red-hot labour market.
David Hughes Weighs In on The Fracking Fallacy Debate
10 Huge Countries Without Their Own Oil

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Bothasig power cuts caused by cable thieves (South Africa)
Reward of up to £1,000 offered to help bring metal thieves to justices (UK)
Thieves stole 50 metres of 33,000 volt overhead power line cabling endangering the public by leaving the damaged high voltage electricity cables hanging loose and close to the ground.
Thieves nab $400K in highway snow fencing near Sunrise (US)

## Got food? ##
South Sudan Crisis: UN Uses Nile River Border Crossing To Deliver Food Aid Amid Threat Of 'Hunger Catastrophe'
How to Attract Wasps for Organic Pest Management

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Killing the bear - killing hope

## Environment/health ##
Smoking rot highlighted in campaign
Smoking "rots" the body from within, warns this year's quit smoking campaign from Public Health England (PHE).
Ebola Toll Passes 20,000 Cases
More than 20,000 people have been diagnosed with Ebola virus and more than 7,800 have died of it, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization. It's a new milestone in the ever-worsening Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, and it shows Sierra Leone has more cases than any other country.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
China allegedly blocking access to Gmail
Cyber attack on Angela Merkel aide: Report
The German chancellor's office has fallen victim to a hacking attack, according to a German newspaper. The Regin malware in question has been linked to British and US spy agencies.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
How increased inefficiency explains falling oil prices
Residents below aging B.C. dam warned: in case of major earthquake, get out in 10 minutes or die
After deciding it would be too expensive to rebuild a 103-year-old dam built in one of the most collapse-prone areas of Canada, British Columbia's power utility has settled on a controversial plan: Bracing for a disastrous flood.

## Japan ##
Japan's regional banks face stress test for ultra-low rates
Japan to push for offshore yuan bonds
The Japanese government will convene a meeting in January to prepare for negotiations with China over the offering of yuan-denominated bonds in Japan, a move deemed necessary for making Tokyo an international financial center.
Shibuya shuts parks, thwarting year-end soup distribution for homeless
Tokyo's Shibuya Ward closed three municipal parks Friday for more than a week to prevent supporters of the homeless from carrying out traditional year-end soup deliveries, a group cited the ward as saying.

## China ##
China's Zombie Factories Provide Illusion of Work and Prosperity; Rebalancing Chinese Style
China has zombie malls and even zombie cities, so zombie factories can hardly be a surprise. And as the malinvestments pile up, so do unrealized shadow bank losses.
Chinese cities deny backing for new debt
Two Chinese municipal governments have made it clear that they will not guarantee new debt issued by affiliated investment companies, removing an implicit backstop that has generally encouraged reckless infrastructure spending.
British energy players facing tight purse strings
Companies listed on the London exchange that were set up to exploit higher oil and gas prices are running out of cash, analysis published Monday finds.
Nearly 7,000 homes due to topple into the rising sea
More than 800 properties will be lost to coastal erosion within the next 20 years because it is too expensive to save them

Sunday, December 28, 2014


News Links, December 29, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spain to Issue €55 Billion in New Debt, 72% to Roll Over Existing Debt; Interest Rate Perspective
New French jobless record casts pall on Christmas
Doubts deepen over Chinese-backed Nicaragua canal
Russia Debt One Grade Above Junk With Downgrades Coming, How Likely is Default?
Chart Of The Day: OPEC's Export Revenue To Plunge From $900B To $450B
Ukraine's parliament approves austerity laws needed for draft budget
Swiss fall behind in race to become Chinese currency hub

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Plan to cut airline workers' pensions passes regulatory hurdle
Awaiting investors, SpiceJet cuts costs by asking about 50 pilots to leave before six month notice period
Air Asia flight bound for Singapore lost contact with air traffic: Report
Regional airports around the Central Coast struggle to attract carriers (US)
Looming pilot shortage threatens regional airlines (US)
The adage "What goes up must come down," is coming home to roost for commercial aviation.
Berlin's bungled airport belies German efficiency

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraq faces new crisis as winter descends on millions uprooted by Islamic State
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Killed By Sniper Fire In Iraq
After turbulent 2014, next year may be no calmer
China, Vietnam to address maritime disputes without using 'megaphone diplomacy:' Xinhua
Iran's army testing suicide drone to be used as 'mobile bomb'
The U.S. and Iran are aligned in Iraq against the Islamic State — for now
Origins Of Today's Middle East Cauldron: Machinations Of British & French Imperialists During WWI
Libya descends into chaos as air strikes hit Misurata

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Fears of youth unrest as oil price slump forces Saudi cutbacks
Civil rights leaders at odds as Ferguson protests grow

## Energy/resources ##
Oil majors' finances strained by price slump
The sudden fall in the price of crude oil, from $120 to just $60 a barrel in six months, is the biggest economic shock of 2014 and the fallout is expected to be profound and long-lasting, especially for the oil majors
Falling oil price dims Arabian nights
The boom that adorned Gulf Arab monarchies with glittering towers, swelled their sovereign funds and kept unrest largely at bay may be over after oil prices dropped by almost 50% in the past six months.
Diminishing Returns In The Bakken
Some Of North Dakota's 473,400 Jobs At Risk
Gartman: Get ready for oil bankruptcies
Shale oil firms in the U.S. will suffer in the next two years due to the dramatic fall in the price of the commodity, according to Dennis Gartman, the founder and editor of the Gartman Letter, who expects a further fall in prices in the near term.
Russia says to supply coal, electricity to Ukraine
Nevermind U.S. shale, Saudi Arabia's oil power play targets Iran's economy
Widespread Hydro-Québec outage fuels concern over future reliability in N.H.
'Flourishing black market' in LPG (Pakistan)
Australians now live in 'energy poverty'
According to the Australian Energy Regulator, in NSW alone over 100,000 residential customers can't pay their bills and have an average electricity debt of $542.
Emergency shutdown at Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant
Durban power cuts blamed on heat

## Got food? ##
China still struggling to improve food security
Farmers brace for labor shortage under new policy

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
An Opportunity To Live Resiliently: A sustainable community seeks a few good members
Future Shock - Crash Course Chapter 25
The unsustainable often ends abruptly

## Environment/health ##
Whooping cough proteins evolving 'unusually' fast

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
2014: The Year Propaganda Came Of Age
North Korea's Internet, Phone Networks Still Down Amid Tensions With US Over Sony Hack
PlayStation Restored After Lizard Squad Hack Attack: Sony
Despite Box Office Patriotism, Experts Question North Korea Hacker Claims
Insider: Oil and gas sector in fear of hackers as cyber attacks surge 179%
ACLU Calls Out NSA's Christmas Eve Document Dump
Reports on compliance violations were published 'when basically no one would be paying attention to the internet or in the mood to think about unchecked government snooping for at least the next 30 hours.'
Hackers Release Thousands Of Amazon, Xbox Live and Hulu Plus Passwords
S.Korea nuclear operator says cyberattacks continue, reactors safe
Year Ahead in Tech: Expect Smarter Homes, Trackers and Hackers in 2015
ATT, Verizon, Sprint Are Paid Cash By NSA For Your Private Communications
Prying Eyes: Inside the NSA's War on Internet Security

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Nationwide shortage of Tamiflu (US)
Sky-high price has VA rationing new hepatitis C drug
Waiting for the Sunrise (The Archdruid Report)

## Japan ##
Nonregular employees exceed 20 mil. record
The number of nonregular employees has exceeded 20 million in the country for the first time on record, accounting for 38 percent of all corporate employees, government data showed on Friday.
China withdraws threat against violations of airspace zone over East China Sea
Chinese aviation authorities have removed a warning that possible "defensive emergency measures" could be taken against carriers failing to comply with regulations set for China's airspace zone in the East China Sea. The move by the Civil Aviation Administration reflects fears that hostilities could be triggered with other countries if China strictly applied rules for the air defense identification zone it established last year, according to diplomatic sources.
Doubts as giant China project's water reaches capital
A towering dam in central China holds back a vast expanse of water destined to travel over 1,000 km north to Beijing, but critics say it will only temporarily quench the city's thirst.

## UK ##
Liz Truss: Solar farms in rural areas 'make the heart sink'
Taxpayer subsidies for large-scale solar farms on fields where crops once grew will this week be banned because they are a "blight" on the countryside. Liz Truss, the Environment Secretary, said that the sight of "row upon row" of large-scale solar farms on once productive agricultural land "makes the heart sink".
City Link's collapse could hit more than 4,000 jobs
Royal Guards withdrawn behind metal gates at London palaces
Royal Guards have been withdrawn from prominent posts outside palaces to stand behind metal gates amid fears that they could be targeted by "lone wolf" attackers, it has been reported.
Britain unprepared for severe blackouts, secret Government report reveals
Increased death rates, rising public disorder and high-risk criminals on the loose among the likely consequences of prolonged power cuts, official assessment shows

Friday, December 26, 2014


News Links, December 27, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Saudi projects huge deficit as oil price drop bites
Saudi Arabia announced a 2015 budget with a huge deficit Thursday as the world's largest crude exporter begins to feel the impact of its own decision not to shore up oil prices.
Japan Inflation Slows And Output Slips, Keep BOJ Under Pressure
Japan 2-year JGBs sold at negative yield for first time
Japan falls to 19th in 2013 per-capita GDP rankings
Japan no longer nation of savers, for first time ever
Not in banks, anyway. Recall that Japanese homes and businesses have an estimated ¥82 trillion in banknotes stashed away in "bureau-drawer deposits." There is also a lot of gold out there. -- RF
Russia forecasts economic slump as bailed-out bank gets more funds
Panama Canal consortium claims further $740 mln in cost overruns
China to Start Payments With Russia in National Currencies on December 29
China Extends Forwards, Swaps Trading to Three More Currencies
Russian banks admitted to regulator's alternative to SWIFT for internal banking operations
France has never had this many unemployed people before

## Airline Death Spiral ##
China Mulls Blacklist for Unruly Air Passengers
Man kicked off American Airlines plane after rage over 'Merry Christmas' greeting
Frequent Criers
Airline Industry Bemoans Current State of Air Traffic Control in U.S.
Funding for the FAA expires in September, and Congress' recent FAA reauthorization bills haven't done much to ensure programs like NextGen, a satellite-based system geared to reduce fuel consumption, improve safety, and curb air-traffic congestion, will take off any time soon. The foundation of the FAA's current radar, or ground-based, system dates back to the 1950s.
Airline Employee Caught Smuggling Guns On Flights As Carryons

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
60 Prominent Germans Appeal Against Another War In Europe: "It Is Not About Putin. What Is At Stake Is Europe"
Roller Coaster Year in Territorial Disputes in East, South China Seas
Pakistan military wins free rein against terrorists
Israel Approves 243 New Settler Homes In East Jerusalem
Israel, Hamas clash on Gaza border
Rocket hits tank at Libya's biggest oil port
A rocket hit a storage tank at the eastern Libyan oil of port Es Sider as armed factions allied to competing governments fought for control of the country's biggest export terminal, officials said on Thursday.
Not a thing! As I've said before, unless we eliminate the causes of war, which are essentially "hard-wired" into the current system, the killing will continue. -- RF

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Labor Disputes a Growing Threat to Social Stability in China, State-Backed Think Tank Says
As China's leaders grapple with a slowing economy, they must also contend with a looming threat to social stability—the country's increasingly disgruntled workforce.

## Energy/resources ##
Libya's daily oil output halved since terminal closures
Nuclear renaissance: With US Nuclear in Decline, Scientists and Analysts Urge Support for Next-Generation Technologies
The global nuclear industry is in steady decline. Since hitting a peak in 1996 at nearly 18 percent of global energy production, the industry's share has dropped down to less than 11 percent.
Oil companies seen cutting spending 25 pct in 2015 due to falling crude
Pakistan, Iran reach agreement on gas deal

## Environment/health ##
Critical Glaciers Melting Under 'Continuous Warming': Study
Following comprehensive survey, Chinese researchers warn drinking sources may dry up in much of Asia

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
LEAKED: Secret Negotiations to Let Big Brother Go Global
U.S. Spy Agency Reports Improper Surveillance of Americans
The National Security Agency today released reports on intelligence collection that may have violated the law or U.S. policy over more than a decade, including unauthorized surveillance of Americans' overseas communications.

## Japan ##
It is estimated that there is enough methane hydrate beneath coastal waters to meet the nation's natural gas needs for 100 years.
A hundred years! Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, that's what they were saying about shale gas in the US. Who believes that now? Truth is, this isn't even a resource, and it will never be exploited profitably. -- RF
Firms bank on hydrogen energy boom
Manufacturers are taking advantage of the growing domestic movement to use hydrogen as a clean energy source for automobiles and power generation systems.
Hydrogen is not an energy source! -- RF
127 more 'secret' interviews on Fukushima crisis disclosed
The central government on Dec. 25 released dozens more closed-door accounts by people closely connected to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in response to a public outcry about secrecy.
China Said to Plan Waiving Reserve Requirement for Some Deposits
China plans to temporarily waive a requirement for banks to set aside reserves for some deposits, people with knowledge of the matter said, highlighting efforts to boost lending amid a slowdown of the world's second-largest economy.
China Names New Navy Head as Territorial Disputes Fuel Tensions

## US ##
In Alabama, A Public Hospital Serves the Poor — with Lawsuits
Public hospitals can be among the most aggressive in collecting debts from poor patients, not only garnishing their wages, but cleaning out their bank accounts.
The continuing trend of one-third of Americans supporting the other two-thirds.
Cellphones cut off, Ohio suburb weighs bankruptcy

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