Thursday, April 30, 2015


News Links, May 1, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Record Financial Engineering Will Goose Stocks: Goldman
Low Oil Prices Could Destabilize Financial System
Saudi Arabia Is Burning Through Its Foreign Reserves at a Record Pace
Chase Joins the War on Cash
Transactions over 70 euros on larger islands may be credit/debit card only (Greece)
Majority of Financial Pros Now Say Greece Is Headed for Euro Exit
French unemployment hits new record in March
U.S. GDP barely grows in first quarter
German population set to shrink by 10 million by 2060
The Next Big Thing: One Bubble at a Time: 3D-Printing Stocks Totally Implode
The Next Big Thing: Chart Of The Day: Biotech Bubble Is Cracking
Caving In to Corporatism: Endgame for Secret "Trade" Pact Negotiations
Luxury home buyers reach a new threshold
Rather than settle for garages of antique cars or a museum's worth of paintings, billionaires are increasingly willing to pay $100 million for homes that can serve as showcases for their fortunes, according to an analysis issued Tuesday by Christie's International Real Estate.
George Soros' Rank Hypocrisy: Hid $13.3 Billion From The IRS In Ireland, Demanded Higher Taxes In Washington

## Airline Death Spiral ##
The mystery (and misery) of the shrinking airline seat
Could plane seats be about to get comfier?
Airlines, airports battle over passenger fees
Travelers scramble after iPad issues delay American Airlines flights
Why aren't airfares falling?
Malaysia Airlines selling fleet of Airbuses, four Boeing 777s as it tries to rebound from disastrous 2014
The Art of Self Deception: Airline Execs Really Believe Consumers' Travel Experience Is Improving
Japan's airlines diverge as ANA soars and JAL dips

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran: Hypocrisy of Nuclear Proliferation Highlighted by Israel's Undeclared Arsenal
Hasan Rouhani On Iran Nuclear Deal: Details WIll Be Made Public, Iranian President Says
Iran Nuclear Agreement 'Best Anyone Can Get': Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran seized ship because of business dispute, not politics, official says
U.S. Navy to accompany cargo ships through Strait of Hormuz after Iran dispute
US Asks India, Others To Go Slow In Boosting Trade Ties With Iran
Iraqi officials say Shiite militias can deploy in Sunni Anbar province
Don't Blame Just China For Escalating The Arms Race In Outer Space
What is the real military situation in Afghanistan today?
Saudi Arabia trains Yemeni tribal fighters in war against Houthis - sources
Japan considering joint U.S. air patrols in South China Sea - sources
Japan's military is considering joining the United States in maritime air patrols in the South China Sea in response to China's increasingly assertive pursuit of territorial claims, a Japanese and a U.S. source familiar with the discussions said.
China fires back at South China Sea claimants with reclamation accusations
The Day After Damascus Falls
The Saudi-Israeli alliance has gone on the offensive, ramping up a "regime change" war in Syria and, in effect, promoting a military victory for Al-Qaeda or its spinoff, the Islamic State. But the consequences of that victory could toll the final bell for the American Republic.
The Pentagon's 'Long War' Pits NATO Against China, Russia and Iran
Houthis clash with Saudi forces on Yemen border, dozens killed
US Asks Iran to Help With Yemen Peace Talks
US officials today confirmed that during Monday's talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian FM Javad Zarif, Kerry had asked Iran to help facilitate peace talks in Yemen. Interestingly, Iran has been the one pushing for peace in Yemen for weeks now, while the US has loudly endorsed the Saudi war. US officials now seem to think Iran is the key to getting the Houthis to the negotiating table.
Saudi Arabia's king announces new heirs to throne
US Poised to Expand ISIS Fight Worldwide

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hundreds join march to protest police treatment of African-Americans (Chicago)
Shootings, looting in Ferguson protests over Baltimore
'Same Story Every Time': Baltimore Solidarity Actions Sweep U.S.
Tired of waiting for aid, angry Nepalis block roads
Greek Finance Minister Attacked By Anarchists, Shielded By Wife

## Energy/resources ##
Can Shell Afford To Drill In The Arctic?
We Are Witnessing A Fundamental Change In The Oil Sector
The U.S. oil production decline has begun. It is not because of decreased rig count. It is because cash flow at current oil prices is too low to complete most wells being drilled.
Why The US Should Worry About Oil Sector Jobs
Oil Field Services To Bear The Brunt Of Price Collapse
Oil companies will sell 50 billion in North Sea
Several oil giants are going to want out of the Norwegian continental shelf because it is too expensive.
Hit to Indonesia's oil and gas revenue threatens deficit, crude output
Indonesia's oil and gas revenues are expected to drop by at least a third this year as a fall in production costs fails to keep pace with plunging oil prices and threatens to limit future output.
Saudi Arabia On Sales Offensive In Asia
System failure causes power blackout in Zambia
Eskom load shedding is back
Venezuela cuts office hours in effort to save electricity
The World Will Soon be at War Over Water
Oil markets stagnant as U.S. GDP disappoints
Gazprom net income plunges 86 pct on oil price drop, rouble
Libyan chaos threatens more oilfields, power supply and gas exports to Italy
Sweden to speed up nuclear reactors closure
G7 says Chernobyl shelter to be completed by Nov 2017
The world's leading powers said on Wednesday a protective cover over the collapsed Chernobyl nuclear power plant would be completed by November 2017, although they were still short of funds to finish the project.
Nuclear proponents think that decommissioned nuclear power plants will be dismantled and their wastes safely sequestered, but most plants won't be dismantled, and they won't even get protective covers. As I've said before, plant owners or governments will just put padlocks on the doors and gates, and then hope for the best. There will never be enough money for proper decommissioning. -- RF
Obama Green Energy Loans——–Swamped In Red Ink
Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government's energy loan guarantee programs, according to a new audit Monday that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for themselves, as officials had promised.
Marcellus Production Outlook
China solar expansion needs billions from wary investors
Chinese solar companies, some already heavily indebted, will need to raise many billions of dollars this year to fund a big expansion in capacity, a major test of investor confidence in a sector hit hard by the global financial crisis.
Installing all that renewable capacity requires a lot of money — money that has been generated by the high energy return of fossil fuels. This is one more reason that renewables aren't going to save industrial civilization. -- RF
How Shale Is Becoming The .COM Bubble Of The 21st Century
Nordic power prices seen rising after years of decline
US weekly coal carloads below 100,000 in back-to-back weeks again
Australia: Coal industry set for shake-out after prices halve
India's oil imports from Iran jump in April
Biggest Europe Oil Refiner Joins Those Predicting Boom's End

## Got food? ##
'Worse than drugs': Maple syrup rebellion (Canada)
Fighting to keep their syrup out of the hands of the powerful Quebec monopoly, producers sneak barrels by night, deal in a black market and even flee the province.
Refrigeration Battery Could Lower Supermarket Energy Use By 40 Percent
I'm all for saving energy, but the supermarket's days are numbered. In fact, the cold chain itself is in jeopardy. I have presented examples here of how "hot trucks" carrying refrigerated and frozen food turn off their refrigeration units in the summer months to save fuel. Just one broken link in the chain is all it takes. -- RF
What Truly Is Progress In Farming

## Environment/health ##
Ocean 'Dead Zones:' Why There Are Some Parts Of The Atlantic Where Marine Life Can't Survive
While dead zones are not uncommon near inhabited coastlines, where industrial runoff can trigger algae blooms that suck all of the oxygen out of the water, they're now popping up in places scientists didn't expect – in the open Atlantic Ocean.
Forest fire threatens Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear zone
Former US commander: Take nuclear missiles off high alert
Taking U.S. and Russian missiles off high alert could keep a possible cyberattack from starting a nuclear war, a former commander of U.S. nuclear forces says, but neither country appears willing to increase the lead-time to prepare the weapons for launch.
NSA Whistleblower: "We Are No Longer Afraid Of The Police State Happening. It's Here"
It's Official: Police Were Ordered To Stand Down And Let The Baltimore Riots Rage Out Of Control

## Propaganda ##
Inventing a Record of Iranian Aggression
Following the lead of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Official Washington's neocons are hyping Iran's record as an aggressor state, with some examples harkening back to the Sixteenth Century and other more recent cases simply not true.
Rather than dutifully waving the flag and singing mindless paeans to The Troops and The Glories of War, McIntyre took the opportunity on Anzac Day to do what a journalist should do: present uncomfortable facts, question orthodoxies, highlight oft-suppressed views.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Megacities Might Not Save the Planet After All
Existing cities — and not just megacities — can't maintain their infrastructure in good condition, so cities in general are gradually turning into death traps. This applies that much more to megacities. -- RF
New York Area Tops World's Energy-Gobbling 'Megacities'
The New York metropolitan area gobbles up more energy than any other major city in the world, according to a new study that aims to calculate the resources consumed in the world's largest cities.
In effect, politicians now look to the markets for policy guidance, and any market turbulence now causes governments to quickly amend their policies to "rescue" the all-important markets from instability.
Michigan Proposes Bill to Require Official Visits to Parents Homeschooling Their Children
Like dogs and sex offenders, the state wants children registered.

## The Clintons ##

And finally...
I gotta try these in my next public lecture. -- RF

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