Sunday, August 27, 2017

 

News Links, August 28, 2017

There are always two viewpoints. To the Iranians, the constant presence of US warships off its coast is an alarming threat, especially in view of the belligerent and unfriendly posture that the US exhibits toward Iran. The Iranian view is no doubt that the US might launch an attack at any time, which is why US ships need to be monitored closely and constantly. -- RF
America's 'Global Policeman' Role
America's influential neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks want U.S. interventions pretty much everywhere, but other powers are chafing against this U.S. "global policeman."
The Possible Education of Donald Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is ratcheting up war tensions in Syria again, but President Trump reportedly is not happy with the threats as he shifts again toward resisting the neocons.
China in East Timor; concern in Indonesia and Australia
Southeast Asia's youngest country has a new sugar daddy
Willingness to explore resource sharing points to cooperative future for China, the Philippines
Amid rapidly improving bilateral ties, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has welcomed joint development agreements (JDAs) with China in the South China Sea. For the Filipino president, who is intent on improving strategic relations with Beijing, this is the best available modus vivendi to manage and eventually resolve territorial disputes among claimant states.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##

## Energy/resources ##
Trouble Financing Its Debt: Massive Decline Rates Push U.S. Shale Oil Industry Closer Towards Bankruptcy
The U.S. Shale Oil Industry is in serious trouble as its debt spirals higher due to its massive production decline rates.  While the Mainstream media continues to put out hype that the shale oil industry can produce oil at $30 or $40 a barrel, the reality shows that it's becoming difficult just to finance its debt.
As if energy-savvy people needed more convincing, the above two articles mercilessly demolish the shale oil myth. All the enthusiastic ballyhoo from the US government and mainstream media is nothing but cheap propaganda. Shale oil is a total fiasco. -- RF
Venezuela's "Oil Fire Sale" To Benefit Russia, China
U.S. Sanctions May Play Into Russia's and China's Hands
Production has fallen steadily after peaking at as much as 3.4 million barrels per day between 2003 and 2005. The drop is largely due to the company's inability to find new reserves to replace aging, shallow-water fields.
Disappearing insects: 'The windscreen phenomenon' - why your car is no longer covered in dead insects

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Banking, train services hit by internet disruption
A widespread internet disruption occurred in Japan on Friday, with access blocked to services ranging from banking to train ticket reservations and online gaming.
Interior Ministry shuts down, raids left-wing German Indymedia site
Germany has banned and raided an independent news website popular with left-wing readers. Officials found linksunten.indymedia.org's "intent and activity contrary to criminal law."
Elon Musk's Neuralink Gets $27 Million to Build Brain Computers
Court Confirms DNC And Wasserman Schultz Showed "Palpable Bias" Against Bernie Sanders
A federal judge this week dismissed a class action lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee and its former chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But not before confirming what was already widely suspected: That the DNC rigged the 2016 primary to favor the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Trump Administration Can Sift Through User Data of Inauguration Protest Website, Judge Rules

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Parks Canada to look at divesting highways, bridges, dams
Cash-strapped agency examines whether to transfer or divest non-heritage assets worth $8.3B
Japan's health ministry requests record $286bn for fiscal 2018
Medical, nursing care costs soar amid fast-aging population
Billions of yen lie fallow at Japan's public-private funds
Public-private investment funds formed under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are awash in unused cash, with lavish budgets far outstripping actual demand, creating a struggle to find projects to back.
Rio Redux? Relentless Tokyo 2020 schedule, labor shortages hitting builders hard
A little under three years before the Tokyo 2020 Games opening ceremony, a merciless venue construction schedule has converged with a persistent labor shortage to create fearsome working conditions and spark questions about the government's decision to leave the building industry out of its new cap on overtime hours.
Japan in talks to export defense aircraft to UAE

## China ##
My prediction: the coming collapse of China's Ponzi scheme economy
So much production in industries like steel is based on demand for more production, but should that demand falter, the whole system could come crashing down
Welcome to Hong Kong, the world's dumping ground for electronic waste
Birling Gap beach: Hundreds treated after chemical 'mist'

## US ##
Next Stop, Recession: The Financial Meteor Storm Is Headed Our Way
Many of those about to be vaporized did not grasp the fragility of the "prosperity" they assumed was both solid and permanent.
Without insurance, some vendors balk at stocking Sears' shelves
U.S. department store operator Sears Holdings Corp is having trouble stocking shelves, as some vendors have fled while others are demanding stricter payment terms because of difficulties hedging against default risk.
Ford To Abandon "Traditional Credit Scores" For Underwriting Decisions As Sales Stall
So, what do you do when your sales are stalling because you've already financed new cars for every man, woman and child with a credit score north of 500?  Well, you simply abandon credit scores in the underwriting process and instead explicitly mandate that your loan officers approve every potential car buyer that walks through the door with a pulse. 
Dealers "Wildly Overweight" SUVs as Sales Slow
The auto boom, one of the key components propping up consumer spending, has come to an end. Dealers are wildly overweight SUVs just as the market turned.




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