Sunday, December 13, 2015


News Links, December 14, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Baltic index tumbles on weak vessel demand
Plunging oil prices plaguing Korea
China's Steel Industry Slump And Dump Intensifies
The Flaws in Basic Income for Everyone
The Global Commodity Crash Tells Us That A Major Deflationary Financial Crisis Is Imminent
Gold and currency market rigging controls the world, GATA secretary tells Daily Coin
Global Cooling: The World's Dangerously Slowing Economy In 4 Simple Charts
Moody's downgrades Vale to Baa3; maintains negative outlook
Turkey Is Tanking - Lira Plunges Most In 6 Months; Stocks, Bonds Hammered
Australian Media Throws Up All Over 'Stellar' Jobs Report, Again
Bank of Canada Crushes Loonie, Creates Mother of All Shorts
Austria says it has repatriated 15 tonnes of gold from London
Government's pro-China FTA advertising spend doubles (Australia)
Reader, Citing Hayek, Asks Me to Reconsider My Stance Against Finland's Free Money Proposal (Mish)
Industrial Revolution 2.0? Experts debate robotic threat to jobs
Cotton Is Piling Up at Warehouses Around the World
There's enough cotton sitting in global warehouses to make more than 127 billion T-shirts, or 17 for each person on the planet.
Saudis to set strategy for era of cheap oil as red ink flows
Saudi Arabia's government is expected to announce spending cuts and a drive to raise revenue from new sources as it lays out a strategy to cope with an era of cheap oil, people familiar with Saudi policy-making said.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Thousands more bank jobs under threat
Chevron to Cut Capital Budget for 2016
Alaska ferry system could face more budget cuts
DuPont to cut 5,000+ jobs ahead of Dow merger

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Money Minute: 5 things you still can't pay for with credit cards
What are my options for mobile pay?
Alibaba's payment service comes to Europe
Digital Europe: Cashless Swedes
China in new UnionPay crackdown: reports

## Airline death spiral ##
What Happens to Your Body on an Airplane
Airline industry: Slowing growth means greater competition in Asian skies
Despite the fall in fuel prices, Asia's aviation industry is facing headwinds as growth slows in China and other emerging markets. Emirates' move to team up with Malaysia Airlines is likely to spur competition in the region, where both full-service and budget airlines are trying to outdo one another.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Vladimir Putin orders Russian military to be 'extremely tough' in Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered his military to "act as toughly as possible" in defending its air group currently deployed in Syria, and to fire on anything that might threaten Russian servicemen and hardware in country.
Syria's Assad says won't talk to 'terrorists' as U.S. wants
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the United States and Saudi Arabia wanted "terrorist groups" to join peace talks proposed by world powers, and that nobody in Syria would accept such talks, in an interview transcript published by state media.
Islamic State militants seize 70% of Syria's territory, estimated to number 60,000 — Russian defense minister
The main Western-backed Arab rebel group in Syria appears on the verge of collapse because of low morale, desertions, and distrust of its leaders by the rank and file, threatening U.S. efforts to put together a ground force capable of defeating the Islamic State and negotiating an end to the Syrian civil war.
Merkel Dismisses US Request For More Military Help Against Islamic State
Russia Says Destroyer Fired Warning Shots At Turkish Fishing Vessel In Aegean Sea To Avoid Collision
The Russian Defense Ministry said Sunday one of its warships, the destroyer Smetlivy, had been forced to fire warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean Sea to avoid a collision and that it had summoned the Turkish military attache over the incident.
Bomb blast rocks Kabul as militants storm guesthouse
US Military Readiness In Question Amid Calls For Syria Invasion Against ISIS
Pentagon officials say that U.S. military resources are depleted from years of war.
Carter, Parrikar Pledge Expanded US-Indian Relations
The military relationship between India and the US is poised to grow over the coming year, with military exercises expanding as a number of technology transfer programs enter a higher level.
Blocking Democracy as Syria's Solution
The long-cherished neocon dream of "regime change" in Syria is blocking a possible route out of the crisis – a ceasefire followed by elections in which President Assad could compete. The problem is there's no guarantee that Assad would lose and thus the dream might go unfulfilled.
Gambia president declares country an 'Islamic state'
President Yahya Jammeh has declared the Gambia "an Islamic state", but stressed that the rights of the Christian minority in the small west African country would be respected and that women would not be held to a dress code.

## UAVs ##
As weather extremes strengthen and seas rise around the world, forced migration linked to climate pressures is poised to become a "mega-problem" that could dwarf existing flows of conflict refugees, migration experts warned on Thursday.
It is just as I have said: This problem is going to get worse — much worse. -- RF

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Climate Activists Announce Global Campaign of Civil Disobedience to "Break Free From Fossil Fuels"
ZESCO restores power following blackout (Zambia)
Eight out of ten of the country's provinces were last night plunged into total darkness following a system disturbance at Kariba North Bank power station.
Power is back on after major blackout in Ferndown (UK)
Cotabato electricity restored but rotational brownout remains (Philippines)
Electricity in the city and nearby towns in Central Mindanao was restored Friday noon following a 15-hour outage caused by an earlier bombing that toppled down a steel tower of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Aleosan, North Cotabato.
Grid sabotage will become an increasingly big cause of blackouts around the world. -- RF
Indonesia turns to floating power stations to meet short-term needs
Indonesia's president launched the first of five new floating power stations on Tuesday, to serve as a stop gap for the country's growing demand for power amid sluggish development of land-based plants.
Sounds great, but "everything" ain't gonna be electrified. -- RF
Groundwater has been severely overpumped by farms in Morocco's Souss-Massa region, and the water table has fallen dramatically.
Although many companies have announced recently they would stop using antibiotics in food-producing animals as a means of encouraging growth, the Food and Drug Administration found sales of drugs to farms increased at a higher rate last year than the year before.

## Environment/health ##
No, it doesn't, unless you are OK with the end of economic growth, and indeed, the end of industrial civilization. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The price of wearable craze: Personal health data hacks
Your personal health information is about 10 times more valuable than a stolen credit card number on the black market.
Troll ISIS Day: Measuring The Effectiveness Of Anonymous' Campaign Against The Islamic State

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Here's How Much the U.S. Middle Class Has Changed in 45 Years

## Japan ##
Japan's SMEs too weak to raise pay
The government hopes that raising the minimum wage will 'trickle up' into a broader rise in pay and consumption, but the smaller businesses who account for most Japanese jobs are in no shape to square that virtuous circle.
Japan, North Korea secretly met to discuss abduction issue
Japan to consider ocean disposal of nuclear waste
The industry ministry will consider the feasibility of burying high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants under  the seabed, which a working panel said Dec. 11 could be a "highly appropriate" solution.
This is going to be a bust. Especially with regard to nuclear energy cooperation, both leaders should have their heads examined. -- RF
Local government fees and charges 'likely to rise'
Councils have warned they may be charging more for services despite some already increasing such revenue by more than 100% in three years.

This looks even worse than Beijing. -- RF
It's Not Just the Poor Who Can't Make Rent
It's not just low-income Americans who struggle to pay their rent every month, or find an affordable place to live when they move. New research from Harvard says that even renters with annual incomes of $45,000 face unaffordable rents in many cities, with potentially far-reaching effects.
Multimillion-Dollar Homes Face the Wrecking Ball
Buyers seeking location, location, location spend upward of $10 million for a house—only to raze it to the ground.
Although the factors citied are indeed all valid, the most important — which directly underlies factors 3 and 4 — is net energy decline. Failure to even perceive this cause is further hastening the demise of industrial civilization, and making the crash worse than it would otherwise be. -- RF
It was hocus-pocus from the start. -- RF

## The candidates ##
Although we can find various factors behind the hollowing-out of the middle class, the primary reason for this — and why the US and industrial civilization are going down the tubes — is net energy decline. -- RF
If you are surprised by anything in this article, you haven't been paying attention. -- RF

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