Saturday, March 07, 2015


News Links, March 8, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize rates gloom to persist on tonnage glut
The Global Problem: Monetary Policy Can't Fix an Economy's Structural Problems
When we look back from 2025, it will be painfully obvious that central bank policies exacerbated the systemic crises that brought down the global financialization machine.
Europe firms may draw fire by joining buyback boom
Ukraine Bans Gold Transactions Over $125, Currency Derivatives and Interbank Purchases Exceeding $10,000; Update on Black Market Rates in Ukraine
The real cost of a $1 million home: Toronto buyers resort to sub-prime loans as prices soar
Demolition activity will be the "key" to a faster dry bulk market recovery says shipbroker
With the dry bulk market in deep trouble over the past few months, chances for a recovery will have to rely not only on seasonal demand factors, but also the limiting of tonnage supply.
Who's Isolated Now? Kazakhstan Authorities Announce Plans To De-Dollarize Economy
Aussie Boom Towns Go Bust As Iron Ore Prices Crash To Record Lows
Unemployment in France hits 16-year-high; still rising
U.S. Companies Are Stashing $2.1 Trillion Overseas to Avoid Taxes
The currency wars have begun
Indian companies eye enormous growth potential in Africa
The competition is intense! Who can gobble up Africa's resources the fastest? Who can get Africans to take on the most debt? -- RF
Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett's secret party
Of course everyone has the right to hold private parties and invite only whom they want, but as with the Bilderberg meetings, these are gatherings of powerful unelected individuals whose decisions affect the lives of us Little People. -- RF
An Update on Brazil's Flagging Economy

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Runway problems? It's getting worse every year
SAS first-quarter loss widens on increased costs
SriLankan Airlines net losses up by 24 percent in 2014
U.S. airline unions join campaign against Gulf carriers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Washington's Unsavory Ukrainian Allies: Neo-Nazis Azov Brigade And Chechen Branch Of ISIS
While we're fighting the Islamic State, a.k.a. ISIS, in Iraq and Syria, and American officials tout the alleged danger of an attack on the US homeland, in Ukraine Washington and the Caliphate are fighting on the same side.
Germany Has Had Enough With US Neocons: Berlin "Stunned" At US Desire For War In Ukraine
Iran is 'taking over Iraq' and Obama must put boots on the ground against Isil, warns Saudi Arabia
Iran Gains Influence as Shi'ite Militias Seize Sunni Territory in Iraq
John Kerry Arrives in Saudi Arabia Amidst Unprecedented Rise in State Executions
Are Pilots Deserting Washington's Remote-Control War?
The U.S. drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa is in crisis and not because civilians are dying or the target list for that war or the right to wage it just about anywhere on the planet are in question in Washington. Something far more basic is at stake: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.
ISIS Burn Iraqi Oil Fields To Hold Off Iraqi Offensive
Lockheed laser stops truck engine from 1 mile away
Nigeria's Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State
Boris Nemtsov Murder: Two Suspects Detained in Death of Putin Critic
EU shows little appetite for more Russia sanctions

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Anti-Netanyahu Rally Draws Massive Crowds In Tel Aviv; Protesters Demand New Leadership In Israel
Tens of thousands of demonstrators descended on Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv Saturday evening to voice their opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and call for fresh leadership, according to local reports. An estimated 40,000 people participated in the protest, according to the Times of Israel. The rally came 10 days before national elections are set to take place.
Tens of Thousands Take to the Streets of London Demanding Action on Climate Change
Mass anti-austerity rally held in Cyprus
Knife attack wounds nine people at Chinese railway station

## Energy/resources ##
"Default Monday": Oil & Gas Companies Face Their Creditors
Debt funded the fracking boom. Now oil and gas prices have collapsed, and so has the ability to service that debt. The oil bust of the 1980s took down 700 banks, including 9 of the 10 largest in Texas. But this time, it's different. This time, bondholders are on the hook.
Germany says using tax money for nuclear power 'out of the question'
Russia gets $15 mln gas payment from Ukraine, cut off averted
Libya declares force majeure on 11 central oilfields
Global Crude Oil Production Growth Grinding To A Halt
France committed to putting nuclear sector back on track-PM
S&P downgrades Areva debt further into junk status
France's Areva Desperately Cutting Costs To Survive
Russia's Gazprom Neft asks govt for financial help - Kommersant
Some Toronto area gas stations run out of fuel
Extreme weather blamed, but some analysts say Canada lacks refinery capacity
Massive power outage in Toronto blamed on extreme weather
Where Have All The Rigs Gone?
Rig Count Decline Re-Accelerates To 2nd Biggest Drop In 22 Years
Ditch climate arguments: they won't help nuclear revive
State oil firm's scandal scrambles Brazil's offshore dreams
Indonesia's ban on mineral exports devastates state-owned miner
Vietnam's PV Drilling Shelves Fleet Expansion, Waits on Market Recovery

## Got food? ##
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Industry tricks to extend shelf life mean that many of the 'fresh' foods we buy – from bread and cakes to meat and salads – are a lot older than they may seem.
Perennial Rice: In Search of a Greener, Hardier Staple Crop

## Environment/health ##
Amazon deforestation 'threshold' causes species loss to accelerate
For the average homeowner who uses natural gas, your real bill after climate damages is double. And for those of us who get their electricity from coal-fired power plants, our energy bills are really four times what we see in our monthly statements.
Watch Out NY, Houston: Floods Could Be Headed Your Way
Fake Snow, Real Money: The High-Tech Fight to Save California Skiing
More California Oil Industry Wastewater Injection Wells Shut Down Over Fears Of Groundwater Contamination
The latest in the ongoing investigation into California regulators' failure to protect residents from toxic oil industry waste streams has led to the closure of 12 more underground injection wells. The 12 wells that were shut down this week are all in the Central Valley region, ground zero for oil production in the state.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Gen. Petraeus: Too Big to Jail
While lesser Americans face years in jail for leaking secrets – even to inform fellow citizens of government abuses – retired Gen. David Petraeus gets a misdemeanor wrist-slap for exposing covert officers and lying about it, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who was jailed just for trying to ask Petraeus a question.
Daniel Ellsberg: Petraeus Case Shows Hypocrisy of Whistleblower Crackdown
If Petraeus did not commit a felony, neither did Snowden, Manning, Sterling, or Kiriakou, says leaker of Pentagon Papers
Once more, with feeling: 'Chappie' takes on idea of rampaging AI
What if robots, rather than developing intelligence that destroys the world, developed feelings instead? Would empathy prevent machines from enslaving mankind?
I haven't seen the movie, so can't comment on it, but if machines were to develop feelings, would that make them benign? I think not. As we can see from the human example, emotions, if not held in check, readily lead to extremely irrational and destructive behavior. Robot makers might want to consider hard-wiring something like Asimov's Laws into intelligent machines. -- RF
After the reorganization, Brennan said, the CIA should be in position to "cover the entire universe."
A Delusional Netanyahu Sways Congress
When not applauding wildly, the U.S. Congress sat listening to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu like children being told scary stories around a campfire, hearing how the big bad Iranians were "gobbling up" countries across the Middle East, pretty much a delusional fiction.
Don't Believe Media Coverage of Venezuela
The Big Money Behind Netanyahu
Sheldon Adelson, the casino tycoon who has proposed nuking Iran, was in the gallery as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered his "State of the Union" speech to a rapt and rapturous U.S. Congress. After all, Adelson funds both Netanyahu and the Republican Right, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Peak Meaninglessness (The Archdruid Report)
Endgame: The One Chart You Need to Predict the Future
We are witnessing a profound secular sea-change: the failure of expanding debt and leverage to lift the real economy of wages and household income.
Financial collapse leads to war
Japanese workers get smaller share of corporate earnings despite record profits
Millions of Japanese workers are taking home their smallest share of corporate income in two decades as companies build record cash hoards and abstain from substantial wage raises seen by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as critical to a durable economic recovery.
In consideration of the time and expense for this relatively modest project, completion of the maglev train line will clearly be impossible. -- RF

Liquidity evaporates in China as 'fiscal cliff' nears
Unless China changes course, it is set to tighten fiscal policy by 5.5pc of GDP this year, five times Britain's austerity dose annually since the Lehman crisis

## UK ##
Council cuts are heaviest in poor areas, report finds
Chukka Umunna: Britain is no saint and cannot lecture China about democracy
Britain should not lecture China about democracy because of its own history of colonialism and the fact women were only given the vote in 1918, the shadow business secretary has said.
Hinkley Point new nuclear power plant: the story so far
The capacity gap between UK power generation and demand has never been so narrow. Both demand and supply can fluctuate wildly so the narrower the gap between them becomes, the less room for error the National Grid has. And the greater the chance that supply falls short.
Plumbers and heating engineers 'should sound alarm on freezing homes'
'Hidden army' of non-health workers, including meter installers, could cut winter deaths toll by alerting authorities to dangerously cold homes, say NHS guidelines

Not only was demand higher, but frozen water around Northeast refineries caused operational glitches, threatening supplies in a region notoriously tight on diesel during the winter.
Epic snows have meant economic woes across all industries
Bottling water without scrutiny
Companies tapping springs and aquifers in California with little oversight
The Demolition of Workers' Comp
Over the past decade, states have slashed workers' compensation benefits, denying injured workers help when they need it most and shifting the costs of workplace accidents to taxpayers.
The Recovery Is Complete: America Adds Most Waiters And Bartenders Since 2013
Just as predicted. It was back in 2006 when Paul Craig Roberts wrote "A Nation of Waitresses and Bartenders." -- RF
Low wage jobs and the increase in non-working America grow
Half of jobs added last month were in low wage fields and those not in the labor force jumped by 354,000.
New concept in solar energy poised to catch on across US
This Chart Shows the True Collapse of Fracking in the US
Community Responds with Protest After Shooting of Black Teen in Wisconsin
Advice for College Grads: 16 Tips For Those Who Land a Job, 8 Tips for Those Who Don't

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