Tuesday, March 10, 2015


News Links, March 11, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Dry bulk newbuilding orders down 78% on year in January: broker
Greece: First In the World For Economic Gloom
Greece threatens to unleash wave of migrants on the rest of Europe 'including Isis jihadists'
Greeks Face First Product Shortages As Cash Runs Out, "It's Worse Than In 2012"
China's international payments system ready, could launch by end-2015 - sources
China's long-awaited international payment system to process cross-border yuan transactions is ready, and may be launched as early as September or October, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
7 Signs That A Stock Market Peak Is Happening Right Now
Six Years Of Bull Market Bull
Never has there been a more artificial—-indeed, phony—–gain in the stock market than the 215% eruption orchestrated by the Fed since the post-crisis bottom six years ago today.
Housing Construction Skids in Canada, Crashes in Oil Patch
Crumbling BRIC: The noise from Brazil? An economy on the brink
The more you look at Brazil's fundamentals, the more shaky the country looks.
Brazil Succeeds Beyond Wildest Dreams in Winning "Currency War"
Almost 100 families evicted daily in Spain – statistics
Tech Startups Bloom in Gulf as States Try Diversifying From Oil
Cut, baby, cut! Target lays off 1,700, won't fill another 1,400 vacancies
IMF: Canada squeezed by low oil prices
Euro falls below $1.07, lowest amount in 12 years
James Turk: Sovereignty Is Under Threat Worldwide
Rising household debt puts junta in a bind (Thailand)

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Don't expect things to get better in air travel this year
Perhaps this is part of China's challenge to the dominance of English. -- RF
THAI president to cut the fat
THAI Airways International aims to return to profit in 2016 after a massive restructuring that involves cutting operating costs and capacity by 20% this year.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Juncker: NATO is not enough, EU needs an army
The European Union needs its own army to face up to Russia and other threats, as well as to restore the bloc's standing around the world, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a German newspaper yesterday (8 March).
EU hits Syria with fresh sanctions
Now that's what I call a solution! -- RF
Saudi Arabia the World's Largest Importer of Weapons
Saudi Arabia has surpassed India to become in 2014 the largest importer of military equipment in a market whose volume has reached a record high, fueled by tensions in the Middle East and Asia, according to a report published Saturday.
Sweden Ends Saudi Arabia Military Deal Following Dispute Over Human Rights
Sweden will not extend an arms and military training deal with Saudi Arabia, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced Tuesday, one day after Saudi Arabia blocked Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström from speaking as a guest of honor at an Arab League summit in Cairo.
Testing Beijing, Japan eyes growing role in South China Sea security
Seventy years after its Imperial forces were kicked out of the South China Sea, Japan is quietly moving back into the region, forging security ties with the Philippines and Vietnam as both Southeast Asian nations try to cope with China's territorial ambitions.
Philippines uncovers new Chinese construction in Spratlys
China is ramping up land reclamation and construction on the disputed Spratly Islands, aerial photographs by the Philippine military show, fueling concerns in Manila that the Asian giant soon may militarize in the South China Sea.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Wisconsin capital marked by third day of protests after police shooting
Original Selma Organizer Refused to March Alongside Bush
Noted civil rights organizer and activist Diane Nash, who had led the initial walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, boycotted the 50th anniversary commemoration march this weekend because of the "insulting" participation of former President George W. Bush.
In Challenge to the System, 10,000 Graduate Teachers Strike Against Toronto Schools
Chinese Labor Strike: 5,000 Workers Strike At Factory Making Shoes For Nike, Timberland, Kenneth Cole; Police Dogs Deployed

## Energy/resources ##
Shale bust: An Oil Firm That Raised Money Seven Months Ago Just Missed Its First Bond Payment
A Colorado oil producer is giving debt investors a lesson in the risks of lending to companies that staked their future on the U.S. shale boom. Less than seven months after raising $175 million in a junk-bond offering, American Eagle Energy Corp. said Monday that it wouldn't make its first interest payment on the debt.
Shale bust: How Debt Has Caught Up With U.S. Shale
U.S. Shale Oil Growth Slows as Price Crash Idles Drill Rigs
The biggest slowdown in oil drilling on record is showing signs of reining in the U.S. shale boom. U.S. shale oil output is expected to post the slowest growth in more than four years in April, the Energy Information Administration said Monday. That follows a 41 percent plunge since December in the number of drilling rigs seeking oil.
Introducing fracklog, the new-fangled oil storage system
Oil drillers expecting prices to rebound after the biggest drop in six years have come up with an alternative to storing their crude in tanks: They're keeping it in the ground.
Train derails in northern Ontario, heightening safety fears
A second fiery derailment near a Northern Ontario community is adding to concerns that federal rail-safety regulations – brought into effect after the 2013 tragedy in Lac-Mégantic – do not go far enough in addressing the dangers of shipping crude oil by rail.
France's Areva Lost $5.6 Billion In 2014 – Is This The End?
European offshore wind sector faces make-or-break 2020 -report
Wind power companies such as Vestas, Siemens and Dong need Europe's installed offshore capacity to more than double and costs to be cut by a fifth within five years to compete with other fuels, an industry report said on Tuesday.

Investors Bet $100,000 Cancer Drug Prices Are Here to Stay

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple's Secrets
RESEARCHERS WORKING with the Central Intelligence Agency have conducted a multi-year, sustained effort to break the security of Apple's iPhones and iPads, according to top-secret documents obtained by The Intercept.
Microsoft warns Windows PCs also vulnerable to 'Freak' attacks
Israel, Iran locked in escalating cyber war
Israel is rapidly building an elite team of cyber warriors to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, analysts say.
Israel already has a massive nuclear arsenal. Why is that not an issue? -- RF
New Zealand Targets Trade Partners, Hacks Computers in Spy Operations
New Zealand is conducting covert surveillance operations against some of its strongest trading partners and has obtained sophisticated malware to infect targeted computers and steal data, newly released documents reveal.
Petraeus: Poster Child for Double Standards

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The oil glut and low prices reflect an affordability problem
For a long time, there has been a belief that the decline in oil supply will come by way of high oil prices. Demand will exceed supply. It seems to me that this view is backward–the decline in supply will come through low oil prices.
The oil glut we are experiencing now reflects a worldwide affordability crisis. Because of a lack of affordability, demand is depressed. This lack of demand keeps prices low–below the cost of production for many producers. If the affordability issue cannot be fixed, it threatens to bring down the system by discouraging investment in oil production.

According to the author, because we don't have enough debt! But this deserves a more detailed examination. Let me preface my remarks by saying that I'm in favor of renewables because they will help keep the lights on a little bit longer, and ease the transition. However, here we have yet another person telling us that windmills and solar cells are going to save industrial society. The author makes fun of "peak oil doomers," apparently unaware that conventional oil production has effectively peaked, and that industrial civilization's energy system has gone into decline — for example, oil production costs are skyrocketing, and the "nuclear renaissance" is DOA. The prescription offered here is attractive financing terms for solar. But that means more debt, which is exactly what the world doesn't need any more of. In fact, all the money to finance loans (and pay them back) was generated by the concentrated energy of cheap fossil fuels, particularly oil. Oil is now too expensive to goose the system, which is a primary factor behind the just-begun collapse of industrial society. Even if many people get cheap loans to install solar panels on their homes, many of them will be unable to pay back the loans. And in 15 or 20 years when the panels and their ancillary equipment need replacement, only a very small number of well-heeled elites will be able to afford solar, loans or not. Making renewable energy hardware is dependent not only on financing and fossil fuels, but also on other industries such as steelmaking. Many industries would likely be out of business if they were unable to externalize their costs. Industrial civilization is a composite of interdependent, networked systems that until now have been propped up by cheap, plentiful energy. Already we can observe the energy and finance components beginning to collapse, and it's obvious where this path leads. If you want to install solar panels, the sooner the better. -- RF
45 percent of 25 year olds carry student debt and the median net worth of those 35 and younger is one month of expenses.
NYC's Record Homeless Population Seeks Shelter at LaGuardia
New York's affordable housing crisis has forced some homeless to live in the airport for years

## Japan ##
Japan Gets a Look at Its Future Population Drain in Fukushima Today

## China ##
Local governments' newfound frugality hits growth
China's slowdown could be sharper than generally expected as local governments, long the principal driver of the country's economic growth, curb spending.
China Defaults Seen in Private Bonds as Real Yields Surge
This is what happens when industries can no longer externalize as much as before. -- RF

## UK ##
Half of jobs added last month were in low wage fields and those not in the labor force jumped by 354,000.
In the last ten years California has gained nearly 1 million renter households while seeing a decline in the homeownership rate.

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