Wednesday, March 04, 2015


News Links, March 5, 2015

I'm in the process of relocating, and will be on a reduced schedule for the rest of March. -- RF

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
The Draghi Derangement: $2 Trillion Euro Government Bonds Trading At Negative Yield
Investor survey shows 38 percent chance of euro zone break-up in 12 months
UK retreat from investment banking gathers pace
Britain's retreat from investment banking is set to accelerate as Royal Bank of Scotland aims to slash as many as 14,000 jobs in the sector and Barclays' chief executive says he has limited patience with the business.
The Global War On Pensioners
I've said repeatedly that "retirement" is becoming an endangered species. Do you believe me now? -- RF
Ukraine Hikes Rate to 30%, Requires Corporations to Sell 75% of Foreign Currency Earnings; Miners Not Paid For 3 Months
Stock Market Bubble: Wall Street Is Ecstatic As The NASDAQ Closes Above 5000
Target to cut thousands of jobs as part of $2B restructuring
RBS could cut 14,000 staff in retreat from US and Asia
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
Obvious Lessons Obviously Not Learned: Zero Down Payments Are Back!
Spain using Facebook to Hunt for Taxes
India's RBI Cuts Interest Rate By 25 Basis Points
China Has Announced Plans For A 'World Currency'
Only mass default will end the world's addiction to debt
Of course mass default is inevitable, but it won't cure the world's addiction to debt. Unless the economic system is totally remodeled, the cycle will just begin anew. -- RF
U.S. government is authorized to rig all markets in secret, GATA secretary tells KWN

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline survey: Travelers oppose airport fee hike
Travelers overwhelmingly oppose increasing fees on airline tickets that help pay for airport improvements, according to an airline survey released Tuesday.
Loss-hit national carrier Air India to shut offices in Cairo and Tehran
U.S. airlines are growing without adding airplanes
How? By putting more seats in their airplanes, replacing smaller airplanes with bigger airplanes or flying their airplanes more often or on longer trips — efficient ways for the carriers to boost productivity, even if coach passengers may feel even more squeezed.
Thailand's Nok Air posts net loss for 2014
Airlines are at it again, changing frequent-flier programs

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Impotent Western Sanctions Fail To Disrupt Russian Energy Exports
Western Leaders Hint At More Russian Sanctions Over Ukraine
Islamic State: Iraq Battle Against ISIS For Tikrit Led By Iran-Backed Shiite Militia Forces
US on sidelines of key Iraqi battle against IS
Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Sunni tribes have joined Iraq's military in a major operation to retake Saddam Hussein's hometown from the Islamic State group, while the U.S.-led coalition has remained on the sidelines.
US govt issues logistics support tender for 300 military personnel in Ukraine
In Face Of "Russian Aggression," US Forces May Expand Military Operations Across Eastern Europe
Between Casualties and Desertion, Afghan Military Shrinking Fast
US Officials Dismiss Netanyahu's 'Impossible' Iran Deal
Obama says Iran must halt key nuclear work for at least a decade
Russian bombers disrupted planes in Irish airspace
5 Surprising Ways Iran is better than Israel
Israeli Naval Gunboats Continue to Target Gaza Fishermen Offshore
Cost for U.S. Weapons Programs Increased by $27 Billion Last Year

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
450 killed in China's Xinjiang last year, mostly Uighurs: group

## Energy/resources ##
Shale Cycle Busts Out a Pair of Zeros
Two of the most leveraged companies in the energy space have recently been downgraded by separate analysts to zero, a potential death sentence. Believe me, in this second phase of restructurings and outright failures, this is only the beginning.
Nabors cuts nearly 3,500 jobs, more cuts could be on the way
On and offshore drilling giant Nabors Industries announced Tuesday the company has cut 12 percent of its workforce as a result of rig losses due to lower oil prices.
Industry desperate for solution to energy crisis (Ghana)
Industry operators in the country are desperately seeking solutions to combat the adverse impact of the worsening power crisis on their businesses.

## Got food? ##
Yields of key cassava crop not keeping pace with Africa population growth
Yields of cassava, a key crop feeding millions of people across Africa, are not keeping pace with population growth despite its tolerance for climate change, a leading scientist said.

## Environment/health ##
Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections
Satellite data suggests forest loss is accelerating
Satellite images suggest tropical forests from the Amazon to the Philippines are disappearing at a far more rapid pace than previously thought, a University of Maryland team of forest researchers say.
Scientists question rush to build Nicaragua canal
An international consortium of environmental scientists -- featuring leading researchers from 18 institutions in the United States and Central and South America -- have voiced their opposition to the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal and the haste with which the project has been initiated.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Clinton's E-Mail System Built For Privacy Though Not Security
A week before becoming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton set up a private e-mail system that gave her a high level of control over communications, including the ability to erase messages completely, according to security experts who have examined Internet records.
AVG's Invisibility Glasses Will Protect You against Facial Recognition Tech
Telling Scary Stories about Iran
Israel has a large, sophisticated and undeclared nuclear arsenal, but Prime Minister Netanyahu told scary stories to a rapt U.S. Congress entranced by his warnings about the chance that Iran might consider building one bomb a decade from now, a double standard if there ever was one.
Netanyahu's False Narrative
As members of the U.S. Congress bobbed up and down with applause, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spun a tale of brave little Israel fretting about its survival, but he left out the fact that Israel has a large arsenal of nuclear weapons and has often been the one to invade its neighbors.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
What's America's Fragility Score?
By this measure, the U.S. scores very poorly: 4 out of a possible 5 on the Fragility Index.
That the suburbs would eventually turn into slums was predicted. A major factor behind this reverse is net energy decline. Maintaining far-flung suburbs is easy when you have plenty of cheap energy. Net energy decline is forcing urban functions to pull back into city core areas, which perforce means decreasing affluence for suburbs. It's only natural that people will go where the energy concentrates. -- RF

## Japan ##
With a population that's been shrinking for the past six years and annual debt servicing costs that are bigger than New Zealand's gross domestic product, the world's third-largest economy is quite simply running out of people who can pick up the tab.
Japan court battles could delay nuclear restarts further
It's a deal with the devil. -- RF
Concerns about darker Hampshire streets after decision
THOUSANDS of street lamps on residential roads are to be dimmed even further at night to save money.
Scottish councils pile up record debt
Scotland's local councils have amassed a record amount of debt of nearly £15bn after borrowing billions of pounds to help survive heavy budget cuts from the Scottish government.

## US ##
The Unnerving Thing Wells Fargo Just Said About the Auto Boom
Banks and subprime-focused specialty lenders convert these loans into structured securities, many of which carry triple-A ratings.

And finally...
Goldfish-swallowing Briton banned from owning fish

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