Thursday, February 25, 2016


News Links, February 25, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Negative interest rates are a calamitous misadventure
Negative Rates and the Coming Crash
When Currency Pegs Break, Global Dominoes Fall
Signs of Mortgage Meltdown in Australia
Australia's Monumental Housing Bubble——–In the Grip of Insanity
After Messy Price War, OPEC Gets the Blues, Can't Figure Out How "to Live Together" with US Shale Oil
South Korea's shrinking Feb exports a worrying sign of global slowdown
Central Banks Hit The Wall—-Push Into Negative Rates Means They Are Done
Sovereign Wealth Funds May Sell Half Trillion In Stocks This Year
Biggest Banks' Commodity Revenue Hits Lowest in Over Decade
Kaesong Industrial Complex Shutdown Spells Severe Losses For South Korean Firms Involved In Operations
Saudi Arabia struggles with cheap oil
Oil may push banks to boost reserves
35% Of Public Oil Companies Could Face Bankruptcy
Brexit Panic Sets In
Foreign central banks dump cash at U.S. Federal Reserve
China, Japan and other overseas central banks are leaving more of their dollars with the U.S. Federal Reserve as they have liquidated their U.S. Treasuries holdings to raise cash in an effort to stabilize their currencies, government data show.
Negative Rates and the Coming Crash
Singapore Lawyers Warn of 1998-Like Pain as Debt Defaults Spread
Google robot is 'the end of manual labor': VC
Until the blackouts come. -- RF
IMF seeks contingency plans for vulnerable global economy
Lacy Hunt: Secular Low in Long-Term Treasury Bond Yields Remains Ahead
18 Bucks for a Gallon of Milk…This is What a Currency Collapse Looks Like
The milk price is Canada, not Venezuela. -- RF
Jim Rogers Warns "Governments Plan Is To Destroy The People Who Save"
Brazil Cut To Junk By All Three Ratings Agencies After Moody's Joins The Fray
Earn interest on your gold? Canadian bullion dealer offers new monetization scheme

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Almost 50% more Swiss companies opt for job cuts in 2015
Caterpillar combining two divisions, analysts see more job cuts
Encana Corp to cut 20% of workforce, slash dividend, as it gears up for global cost-cutting fight

## War on cash/cashless society ##
PayPal is warming back up to tap-and-pay technology, and you have Apple to thank for it
The Latest Shot Fired in the War on Cash
Setting up a system in which bankers can keep all the profits on their good trades while tapping taxpayers to bail them out of all their bad trades is not enough for them. They want more.
The Wait Is Finally Over - Samsung Pay Is Coming To Singapore

## Airline death spiral ##
'Skeleton' Designed Airline Seats Aim To Create Comfort For Passengers
Major airlines are set to launch a below-economy class
New England Company Has A Solution To Airlines Being Targeted By Laser Beams
Israeli ultra-Orthodox Passenger Causes Disturbance on El Al Flight Over 'Immodest' Movie
Cranberries Singer Fined Over Air Rage Incident
Pilot shortage forces airline scalebacks, guarantees jobs for aspiring aviators
U.S. airlines jack up fares for third time in 2016

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China deploys fighter jets to disputed South China Sea Island: US officials
Pacific Command chief urges new capabilities as tensions mount with China
Does US-Russia Deal in Syria Spell End of 'Assad Must Go' Policy?
Vladimir Putin takes personal charge of Syria ceasefire effort
US War Against ISIS: Contractors In Iraq Increase Amid Anti-Islamic State Fight
ISIS Fighters In Afghanistan Switch Allegiances To Kabul Government And Join Peace Process
French special forces assisting anti-Isis efforts in Libya, say sources
Russia gives a gift of 10,000 automatic rifles to Afghanistan
U.S. to boost freedom of navigation moves in South China Sea: admiral
Iran elections: 'Death to England' chanted at Tehran protest against alleged 'British plot'
Those who haven't forgotten history won't dismiss Iranian distrust so easily. -- RF
Hollywood stars urged to reject free Oscar goodie bag trip to Israel
Australia unveils 'massive' increase in defense spending
Abe snubs Obama over Russia visit
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has snubbed an appeal by U.S. President Barack Obama, who asked that he not visit Russia in May, sources close to Japan-Russia relations said Tuesday.
Sailors' union seeks to scuttle ministry's private-sector military contingency plan (Japan)
The Defense Ministry is at loggerheads with the All Japan Seamen's Union over its plan to use licensed sailors as reserves in the Maritime Self-Defense Force for military contingencies.

## UAVs ##
Unregistered drone users may face jail time
FAA considers allowing drones to fly more over people
Gov't carries out first drone test to deliver food in rural areas (Japan)
FAA Successfully Tests New Drone-Detecting Tech At Airport
High-energy laser weapons target UAVs
DARPA developing truly autonomous commercial UAV quadcopters that go 45 mph with no communication to operator and no GPS

## Migrants/refugees ##
2016 Refugee Level is Eight Times the Rate Witnessed During Same Period Last Year
Austria, Balkan nations, want full stop to migrant influx
Where the dead don't count in Europe's migration crisis
Norway Warns Sweden Will Collapse, PM Will Defy Geneva Convention To Protect Border

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Diet surrounded by 28,000 as synchronized protests in Japan rip Futenma base move in Okinawa
'Ghost protest' held in Seoul against curbs on public meetings

## Energy/resources ##
Scotland and Norway: Oil Industry Graveyard (photos; URL of original Norwegian article)
Shell folds U.S. shale resources unit, says U.S. head to leave
Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said on Wednesday it will fold into other operations a unit dedicated to developing so-called unconventional resources, a term used by the industry to describe shale oil and gas, and that the unit's director and U.S. head Marvin Odum would leave the company.
The article doesn't say anything about the energy balance of the process. To be useful in sustaining industrial civilization, the resulting fuel must yield considerably more energy than the inputs. -- RF
The Morning Ledger: Tough Times for Energy Debt
The specter of corporate-bond defaults is rising in the energy sector. Tumbling oil prices have triggered a selloff in energy-sector debt, with about 44% of investment-grade bonds of oil-and-gas firms trading at junk levels as of Feb. 11.
U.S. banks to cut credit lines for energy firms: JP Morgan
Cash-strapped energy firms are coming under increasing pressure from U.S. bank lenders and, on average, could see a 15 percent to 20 percent cut in their credit lines, the head of JP Morgan's (JPM.N) commercial bank told investors on Tuesday.
## Got food? ##
South Africa to ease some GM crop rules to avert food crisis
South Africa will relax some of its tough rules on genetically modified crops so it can ramp up maize imports from the United States and Mexico to avert a potential food crisis amid a severe drought, officials said.
The Mars candy bar recall is anything but fun-sized…and it just got worse
Kicking up a stink: Malaysia durian farmers demand mining clampdown
Malaysian farmers of the famously pungent durian fruit are calling for tighter regulations on mining they say is destroying arable land and tainting the water they need to churn out their yellow, spiky-shelled crop.
So much for the slow food revolution. -- RF

## Environment/health ##

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Ford recalls 51,470 Transit wagons for seat belt defect
Renewed meltdown controversy threatens hoped-for reactor restart
Tokyo Electric Power's so-called discovery, nearly five years after the fact, that it in fact had a manual for identifying meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi casts further doubt on the utility's credibility as it tries to restart its workhorse nuclear power plant.
Japan eyes treating bitcoins the same as real money
Japanese financial regulators have proposed handling virtual currencies as methods of payment equivalent to conventional currencies, a step that would strengthen consumer protection and spur growth in the virtual economy.
My guess is that this would be one of the first steps in the war on cash. -- RF
The figure for fiscal 2015, including enrollment fees and tuitions for the educational institutions as well as cram schools, was up ¥200,000 from the preceding year, an increase that is a blow to parents at a time when wages are not growing substantially.

## China ##
Pauline Cafferkey: As Ebola nurse returns to hospital, scientists' fears about virus living on in tissue are confirmed
Ebola can stay buried in survivors' tissue meaning that its effects could continue long after people have apparently recovered, experts have said. And while there is no reason to worry about a return of the virus in the UK, its persistence could be a way that it will flare back up again.
Chart Of The Day: Subprime Auto Delinquencies Surging Higher
Struggling coal companies must face their cleanup costs: U.S. official
The ailing coal industry must face the costs of cleaning up spent mines even as companies get pushed toward bankruptcy, the U.S. Interior Secretary said on Tuesday.
Student debt apocalypse: Median wages up 1.6% over last 25 years while median student debt is up 163.8%.
Nuclear Administration Head Warns of Coming Infrastructure Bills
"We have a very old structures, many building go back to the early days of the Cold War, go back to the Manhattan Project and need to be either replaced or significant work done to reduce the deferred maintenance."
From high to low end, the consumer's in hiding
Philadelphia's pension crisis

## The candidates ##
Hillary just got the five most powerful endorsements of her campaign
Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger: It's Personal. Very Personal.
What the Pundits Don't Get About Trump (a good read)
The Real Bernie—-Keynesian On Steroids
Donald Trump wins Nevada caucuses in resounding victory over Rubio and Cruz
Donald Trump Scores First Congressional Endorsements: US Representatives Back Republican Front-Runner
Muslims Should Be Executed With Bullets Dipped In "Pig's Blood," Trump Says
"It's the corruption, stupid": Hillary's too compromised to see what Donald Trump understands
Say what you want about Trump — demagogue, bigot, cretin, madman, whatever —but he has skillfully tapped into the dislike and distrust of the general populace for the standard politicos. -- RF
Poll Shows Almost 20 Percent of Trump Supporters Disapprove of Lincoln Freeing the Slaves
Julian Assange Explains Why Voting for Hillary Clinton Will 'Spread Terrorism'

And finally...
Now's your chance to own some of Imelda Marcos' ill-gotten bling
Claw machine master grabs over 3,000 dolls in six months, arcade owners beg him to stop (China)

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