Thursday, December 31, 2015


News Links, January 1, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
What Secret Do Global Banks Know about Chinese Banks? They're dumping their stakes.
Financial Armageddon Approaches: U.S. Banks Have 247 Trillion Dollars Of Exposure To Derivatives
Philippines To Join China-Led AIIB, To Become Last Founding Member
Now Comes The Great Unwind—-How Evaporating Commodity Wealth Will Slam The Casino
The Inescapable Trap of the 'Dollar Short' Is The Short; Russian Edition
Will the Australian Economy Eat Dirt in 2016?
Puerto Rico To Default On A Portion of Its $1 Billion Debt Load
Global growth will be disappointing in 2016 - IMF's Lagarde
I didn't need the managing director of the IMF to tell me that. -- RF
China Investment Corp retreats from Canada after mining, energy investments sour
Brazilian Real Crashes Most In 4 Years As Hope Fades
The Inescapable Trap of the 'Dollar Short'——– Brazil Edition
Oman to raise tax and cut subsidies as oil rout hits sultanate hard
House price drop second to worst in the world (Greece)
Ontario's fiscal train wreck
Ontario is the largest sub-national debtor in the entire world
If you thought Chinese provinces were bad... -- RF
Financial minds most concerned with growing household debt in Canada: poll

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
How Many Oil Jobs Were Lost in 2015?
Saudi Arabia Cuts Subsidies As Budget Deficit Soars
India Banks On Subsidy Cuts To Shrink Budget Deficit
Bahrain to hike prices of fuel by cutting government subsidy

## War on cash/cashless society ##
PBOC tightens rules for online payment platforms
The War On Cash Is Now Being Rolled Out At An Incredible Speed
Cashless Societies: How Realistic?

## Airline death spiral ##
Airlines struggle with more than 4,000 canceled flights
10 Ways Air Travel Will Change in 2016
Here are all the airlines that have banned hoverboards—and why
Think airline delays are bad now? Wait until El Niño hits
Airlines Challenge Low-Cost Foes on Fares
After shrugging off their lowest-cost rivals, the biggest U.S. airlines are now taking them head on—resulting in a bonanza of cheaper tickets that is benefiting fliers but weighing on revenue.
Passenger 'tries to kill himself' during flight over southern China
Disorderly passenger removed from Allegiant Flight
Would you pay $19 for a ticket out of airport hell?
Twisting economy seats could end discomfort on long-haul flights
Air India Plane Returns to Mumbai After Passenger Sees Rat
Commercial Jet Orders to Close 2015 Sharply Below 2014

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Critical Missile Defense Decisions in NATO Europe Expected in 2016
U.S. Carrier Harry S. Truman Has Close Call With Iranian Rockets
Syrian troops backed by Russian jets enters rebel-held southern town: army
Syrian troops fought their way into a rebel-held town in the southern province of Deraa on Wednesday in an assault which rebels said was supported by the heaviest Russian aerial bombing campaign so far in the south.
Russia Deploys Advanced Cruise Missiles in Major Navy Reboot
Turkey's Erdogan Meets King in Saudi Arabia for Syria Talks
Iraq's 'Liberated' Ramadi: 80% Destroyed, 30% Still ISIS-Held
The Scariest News Story of 2016: KSA
Russia's Uran-9 robotic combat system set for export
Another Regime Change "Success": Ukraine President Less Popular Than State Dept-Ousted Predecessor
Crimea official says Ukraine has cut off power again, Interfax reports
Was Kim Yang Gon Purged? Experts Speculate Kim Jong Un's Aide Was Punished For Failed Inter-Korea Talks
Agents nab Pakistanis with terrorist connections crossing U.S. border
Turkey Is One Step Away From Civil War
If Top General Gets His Way, America's "Longest War" Will Become Even Longer
Obama to host ASEAN leaders in final push for Asia strategy
President Barack Obama will host the first-ever summit of Southeast Asian leaders on U.S. soil during his last year in office, one in which he aims to accelerate a strategic pivot toward Asia in response to a rising China.
Thai military expands its powers with 'black site' jail for national security suspects

## Migrants/refugees ##
Norway to turn back asylum seekers on Swedish border
Syrian Refugees in Turkey Are Facing the Same Terror They Once Fled

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Argentines march against feared public job cuts
Hate crimes against Muslims and Jews soar in France
South Korean 'comfort women' protest against accord with Japan
Swiss Army Chief Warns Of Social Unrest, Calls Upon Citizens To Arm Themselves

## Energy/resources ##
Oil Investors See Record Second Year of Misery as Market Plunges
Oil ends 2015 down 35 percent; long, painful hangover seen
Only 13% of Saudi households to pay more for electricity, water – minister
Ghana says it has fixed power deficit that caused years of blackouts
Oilfield services companies face a 2016 where there's little left to cut (Canada)
Russian finance minister sees oil price at $40 per barrel in 2016
One of the world's major oil producers could face a huge problem in 2016
Morocco postpones opening of world's largest solar power project
Turkish Stream Might Not Be Dead Yet As Russians Prepared To Talk With Turkey
'Shotgun weddings' in energy to boost M&A in 2016
Crimea loses quarter of power after pylon in Ukraine blown up
Worst Year for Rigs in Quarter Century Closes With a Whimper
Should we solar panel the Sahara desert?
Man who nailed 2015 oil plunge is predicting a dismal 2016

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Man accused of stealing brass plumbing valves from homes
1 arrested, 1 sought in thefts of propane tanks
Thieves ripping off graves at Houston cemetery

## Got food? ##
Earth is Losing Farmland at an Alarming Rate
Can't be helped. It's necessary for "development." -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Unprecedented Water Levels Along the Mississippi Spark Evacuations
Lead poisoning: Mich. gov. apologizes for Flint water crisis
H5N6 Avian Flu: China Reports New Case, Patient In Critical Condition
Storm Frank: Heavy flooding hits Ireland
Most U.S. Soldiers are Injured at least Once a Year and 78,000 are Clinically Obese
Pharma Exec for Maker of $150,000 Cancer Drug Tells Investors Its Pricing Is "Very Responsible"
Colombia declares red alert for low water levels
Water levels in Great Salt Lake's north arm hit historic low
Gonorrhea super strain becoming 'untreatable'
Sick of El Niño? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, Warns NASA
Watch: Six decades worth of space junk orbit Earth
Revolutionary system promises to recover plastic rubbish from world's oceans
Study: Eating when not hungry bad for health
Superbug Bacteria Resistant to All Antibiotics Found in the UK
Record-Breaking 2015 Temperatures Connected To Ongoing Fish Kill on Mississippi Beaches

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
15 News Stories from 2015 You Should Have Heard About But Probably Didn't
Is Twitter Down? Users Around The World Report Issues
New survey shows social media posts are leaving home owners exposed to burglars
Google is tracking students as it sells more products to schools, privacy advocates warn
Accused of Gatekeeping India's Internet, Facebook CEO Lashes Out
Spying on Congress and Israel: NSA Cheerleaders Discover Value of Privacy Only When Their Own Is Violated
Microsoft to warn email users of suspected hacking by governments
Ukraine to probe suspected Russian cyber attack on grid
German Police Evacuate Munich Train Stations, Warn Of Imminent Terrorist Attack
4 things you didn't know could be hacked

## Propaganda ##
Come Again? State Department Claims It Brought Peace to Syria in 2015
Dangerous Punditry on Syria
Government Propagandist-In-Chief Condemns Political Incorrectness As "The Furthest Thing From Brave"

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Cultural Contradictions That Have Crippled the Great American Middle Class
Infrastructure: America's smallest state faces some big, big challenges
The Deadly Truth About the Great Boom and This "Recovery"
US Forest Service considers decommissioning 780 miles of road
The Forest Service says it can't afford to maintain nearly 800 miles of road in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

## Japan ##
Slightly more babies born last year in Japan, but population suffers net loss of almost 300,000 people
Number of new adults at record-equal low of 1.21 million on New Year's Day
Good hackers set to 'attack' infrastructure
The Yomiuri ShimbunThe government has decided to carry out cyber-attack tolerance tests targeted at essential infrastructure such as electrical substations and gas conducting facilities in fiscal 2016.
Crumbling infrastructure: 10% of Japan's water pipes past service life
Over 10 percent of all water pipes in Japan have aged past their legally designated 40-year service life, it has been learned.  Many pipes that were laid in the 1970s are due to be replaced, but a shortage in revenue from water bills due to a declining population has delayed the renewal process. In the meantime, problems such as water pipes bursting continue, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is considering countermeasures.
Radiation-contaminated water at Fukushima plant on the rise
Forgot your bank card? Aeon Bank ATMs will read fingerprints

## China ##
How an emerging labour movement in China's Wal-Mart stores threatens expansion ambitions of all Western retailers
Keep watching as the decommissioning costs skyrocket. -- RF
Firefighters rescued nearly 2,000 obese people trapped in their homes in the past three years
The incidents involved fire and rescue crews using animal harnesses, crowbars, electric saws, shovels, and lifting and hydraulic equipment to free people

## US ##
Mayor Emanuel releases police plan
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to announce changes in tactics and training for Chicago police on Wednesday, including a goal for every officer on street duty to be equipped with a Taser by summer.
Missouri Governor Warns of 'Historic and Dangerous' Floods
Swollen Midwest Rivers Bring Transportation to Standstill
'Historic' Floods Threaten 19 Levees Along Mississippi River
The Floods of Five Rivers Heading for the U.S. Industrial South
2015: The Year Police Killings in America Were Counted
America's Incarcerated Population, Largest in World, Grew Even More Last Year
Spending Millions to Save Much More: How the Uber-Wealthy Avoid Paying Their Fair Share
The Oligarch Tax Bracket – How the Tax Rate for the Wealthiest 400 Americans Plunged from 27% to 17%
Oil Slump Threatens $125 Million in North Dakota Property Debt
Pending Home Sales Decline 0.9%, Well Below Lowest Estimate; About that "Know Before You Owe" Theory
Tesla is growing so fast, it ran out of parking places and now has valet service for workers
Stocks Flash Crash Into Close As Emerging Market, Commodity Carnage Spreads
Americans Petition Obama To Declare Erdogan's Turkey State Sponsor Of Terror
Missouri Ravaged By Historic Flooding As Disaster After Disaster Continues To Hit America
Toys R Us closes flagship store: Ferris wheel, T-Rex and all
Well-Paid Pandering Pundits and the Fantasy of Reform
Any serious reform has to start with the dissolution of the existing political parties and the Federal Reserve. Anything less is self-serving, pandering fantasy.
Alaska governor: Unless oil hits $110, we need a tax hike
Drone Owners Overwhelm Federal Government's Registration System
Why The Fannie And Freddie Scam Lives On Forever
The Rise Of The Temp Economy: More U.S. Employers Than Ever Want A 'Disposable Workforce'
Chicago PMI Crashes, New Orders and Backlogs Plunge to May 2009 Level; Service Economy Headed for a Slowdown?
Expect a Huge Jump in Layoffs in 2016; Eye on Initial Unemployment Claims: Have they Bottomed? 
NYC could allow more 'micro-apartments' as 60,000 people apply to live in below-market tiny units in Manhattan
What will the '1099 economy' look like in 2016?
Dow Closes in Negative Territory for 2015

## The candidates ##
Ben Carson Campaign Shakeup: Three Top Aides Resign As Campaign Struggles To Regain Momentum
In the Year of Trump, the Joke Was On Us
As I have said, Trump isn't who America needs, but he's certainly who America deserves. -- RF
Probing Bernie Sanders's Identity

And finally...
Filipino Priest Suspended for Using Hoverboard During Mass
Man Reported Missing in Shenzhen Landslide Found Alive… Playing Video Games
Raccoon drops into coffee shop roof to steal donut (video)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


News Links, December 30, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Weak demand, vessel surplus to create horror 2016 for commodities shipping
KSA 2016 Budget Assumes $45 Average Crude Price Next Year; Country Posted Record 2015 Deficit Thanks To Oil Glut
Saudis Plan Unprecedented Subsidy Cuts to Counter Oil Plunge
A Crisis Worse than ISIS? Bail-Ins Begin
While the mainstream media focus on ISIS extremists, a threat that has gone virtually unreported is that your life savings could be wiped out in a massive derivatives collapse. Bank bail-ins have begun in Europe, and the infrastructure is in place in the US.
Asia's Wealthiest Investors Advised to Prepare for Dollar Rally's End in 2016
Icy Blast Putting The Big Freeze On Shipping Heat?
China's Growing Steel Shipments Spur Protests As Prices Are Expected To Plunge In 2016
World steel chief calls Chinese glut 'serious and critical'
China industrial profits fall for sixth straight month
New Universal Income Experiment In Germany Tests Productivity, Creativity
If You Want to Limit the Power of the Super-Wealthy, Stop Using their Money
The only way to reverse rising inequality and break the power of the super-wealthy Financial Aristocracy is to stop using their central-bank issued currencies.

The Dark Side Of A Record $5 Trillion In Mergers: Hundreds Of Thousands Of Imminent Layoffs

## War on cash/cashless society ##
The Cashless Society Cometh: European Nations Such As Sweden And Denmark Are 'Eradicating Cash'
Without a horde of cash outstanding to have to deal with, then a country could adjust the bank records easily to the new money system that comes after the collapse of the financial system.
There are officially more people doing their weekly banking via mobile phones than branches (US)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraqi Forces Capture Ramadi From ISIS, Look Toward Fallujah, Mosul
Amid Airstrikes In Syria, US Officials Admire Russia's Cost-Effective Military Campaign
Senior members of the U.S. administration have praised Russia's successful and cost-effective military campaign in Syria, undermining U.S. President Barack Obama's statements from earlier this year that Moscow's involvement in the war and attempts to prop up Syrian President Bashar Assad's government would drain its resources and see its military stuck in a long, drawn-out fight.
And I guarantee you that this won't be confined to Russia. -- RF

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tamir Rice New York City Protest: Protesters Rally At Washington Square Park For Cleveland Boy

## Energy/resources ##
Energy Patch BKs Heading For Liquidation, Not Restructuring And Resurrection
A growing number of energy companies that have filed or will soon file for bankruptcy court protection are likely to be liquidated, with their prospects diminished by the latest falls in natural gas and oil prices, according to distressed investors and restructuring advisers.

## Got food? ##
The first national study to map U.S. wild bees suggests they are disappearing in many of the country's most important farmlands — including California's Central Valley, the Midwest's corn belt, and the Mississippi River valley.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##

## Propaganda ##
The Misinformation Mess
As Americans approach Election Year 2016, the crisis of misinformation is growing more and more dangerous. On issues from foreign policy to the economy, almost none of the candidates in the race appears to be addressing the real world.
Two Mainstream U.S. 'Journalists' Provide Stenographic 'News' Report — U.S. Anti-Russia Propaganda

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Space Debris Shown Orbiting Earth In New Video Renews Focus On Tackling Space Junk
Silva says that the cause of the leak is still unknown, but research by EDF has also revealed that more than 38 percent of the pipes in Southern California Gas Company's territory are more than 50 years old, and 16 percent are made from corrosion- and leak-prone materials.

## Japan ##
The collapse continues. Just as I said, this region will never recover to its former state. -- RF
Beijing Orders Buildings to Turn Down Heat on Gas Import Delays
Beijing ordered offices to cut heating to as low as 14 degrees Celsius (57 Fahrenheit) in response to a natural-gas shortage that resulted from import delays by PetroChina Co.
China's $1 Trillion Nuclear Plan
Shifting the retirement burden from employers to workers has created an enormous financial crisis.
My analysis suggests that by more qualitative measures, no more than a third of U.S. households qualify as middle class: claiming 49% of the nation's households are still middle class is a gross exaggeration.

## The candidates ##

And finally...

Sunday, December 27, 2015


News Links, December 28, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Fed a Creature of Financial Markets; The Draghi PUT; Global Crisis Coming Up
Broad Side Effects To Oil—–Value Of Sovereign Wealth Funds Plunging
Europe Enters New Year With Nearly $2 Trillion In Sub-Zero Interest Debt
China slowdown hits home for multinational industrials
Venture Capital Market Drying Up Ahead Of New Year, Analysts Say
Lower Oil Prices Are Shaking the World: The long-term effects will echo for a decade or more
China says AIIB up and running early in the new year
Exclusive: "And It's Gone... It's All Gone" - The One Gold Scandal That Goes To The Very Top
Who pays the enormous cost of moving all our stuff?
Basra's plan to build the world's next tallest tower: Is this the MidEast's most ambitious or most foolhardy project?
Timing the Collapse: Ron Paul Says Watch the Petrodollar
The Next Recession Will Be A Barn-Burner, With very few places for capital to hide
The Mystery Of Dubai's Vaporized Gold: The Plot Thickens

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Pemex to announce job cuts with oil output at 25-year low
Calgary woes spread as oil-patch spending cuts deepen in 2016

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Cashless transactions and the poor (India)
Anonymous Target Turkish Banks, Disrupt Credit Card Transactions
Sweden Shifts Toward A Cashless Economy Despite Rising Risks Of Electronic Fraud
Apps, credit cards could allow consumers to go cashless in 2016 (Canada)

## Airline death spiral ##
Beijing Raises Smog Alert as Airport Cancels 227 Departures
Thomson Airways extends Sharm el-Sheikh flight cancellations
Engine problem sends Virginia-bound plane back to New York
Florida-bound Spirit Airlines plane evacuated at LaGuardia
Malaysia Airlines pilot realises plane is flying in the wrong direction after 8 minutes

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Turkish Troops In Iraq: Arab League Accuses Ankara Of Threatening Iraq's Sovereignty
Turkish 'Cleansing' Operation Rocks Southeastern Cities
State-Sponsored Terrorism——How Islamic State Survives On Support From Turkey And The Gulf
Norwegian Report Determines Turkey Responsible For Buying ISIS Oil
Syria rebel leader Zahran Alloush 'killed in air strike', sources on the ground say
Boko Haram More Deadly Than ISIS, With Massacres That Dwarf Paris Attacks And San Bernardino Shooting
Russia Counts 12,000 Turkey-Bound Oil Trucks from Iraq and Syria
You won't hear it, but news from Afghanistan is bad
North Korea has secured 88 pounds of plutonium, Seoul official says
Russia's Putin Orders Several Counterterrorism Units To Be Set Up On Coasts
Pakistan's Race to Build Tiny Nukes Is Going to Backfire
Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal and, within the next five to ten years, it is likely to double that of India, and exceed those of France, the United Kingdom, and China. Only the arsenals of the United States and Russia will be larger.
And yet the sanctions are on Iran, which doesn't have any nukes. -- RF

## Migrants/refugees ##
U.S. plans raids to deport families who surged across border

## Energy/resources ##
To avoid getting overcommitted to wind and solar, Rocky Mountain Power is asking regulators to shorten required contract terms with green-energy producers from 20 years to just three. Critics have blasted the idea as "a radical shift in policy" aimed at thwarting competition from renewable sources.
Egypt Struggles to Pay for Oil, Liquefied Natural Gas Supplies Amid Currency Crisis
Oil slump to 11-year low just a taste of pain felt by producers
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission preparing to allow nuclear plants to operate for 80 years
Five energy surprises for 2016: The possible and the improbable

## Got food? ##
There's a cauliflower shortage in the US, and it's making prices skyrocket

## Lifestyle solutions ##
Why more Americans are considering 'green' funerals

## Environment/health ##
Internet Freedom Is Actively Dissolving in America
Broadband access is declining, data caps are becoming commonplace, surveillance is increasing, and encryption is under attack.

The Obsessive Putin-Bashing
Official Washington says it welcomes freedom of thought, but there is a startling absence of diverse opinions especially on key foreign-policy topics, such as Russia's President Putin. In those cases, shallow "group think" prevails and belligerent "information warfare" rules.
Congress' Off-Point Iran-Bashing
The U.S. Congress, still in thrall to Israeli leaders and the neocons, cited Islamic State terrorism as an excuse to clamp down on travel to Iran even though Iran has nothing to with ISIS or other Sunni jihadists, unlike Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf states that were left off the list.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Ferrari Recalls $231,000 California T Over Possible Fuel Leaks
Estimated decommissioning cost is $300, but I guarantee that it won't be enough. And where to put the 3,000 tons of radioactive waste? Of course no disposal site has been found, and no one will want it. And every other nuke plant in the world is similarly a disaster in the making. -- RF
TEPCO confronts new problem of radioactive water at Fukushima plant
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has unexpectedly been forced to deal with an increasingly large amount radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after seaside walls to block the flow of groundwater were constructed in October.

China Air Pollution: Smog Blankets Beijing, Shanghai Day After Christmas
Thick smog continued to engulf China's largest cities on Saturday, just a day after authorities canceled more than 200 flights from Beijing due to limited visibility. Children and elderly were also warned to avoid outdoor activities as officials raised the air pollution alert in Beijing to orange, the second-highest on the city's four-grade scale, on Christmas.

## UK ##
Trident: Nuclear deterrent under threat from underwater drones, expert warns
Advances in technology may turn Britain's £31bn nuclear submarine programme into an expensive liability
Flooding: Army deployed as more than 100 flood alerts issued across Britain
Schools in crisis as graduates turn their backs on teaching
Shortages in key secondary subjects hit London and south-east hardest as house prices soar beyond salaries

## US ##
Diamond sales losing their sparkle
Damage from sinking land costing California billions
Four years of drought and heavy reliance on pumping of groundwater have made the land sink faster than ever up and down the Central Valley, requiring repairs to infrastructure that experts say are costing billions of dollars.
More Companies May Start Helping Employees Buy Homes
The Credit Crunch Is Back: Banks Scramble To Collateralize Loans To Record Levels

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