Sunday, April 22, 2018


News Links, April 23, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The Road to 2025 (Part 3) – USD Dominated Financial System Will Fall Apart

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Iran central bank bans cryptocurrency dealings
Now the war on cash is being taken to a new level. China, the world's most populous country and the world's second-largest economy, has said that physical cash may soon become obsolete.

## Airline death spiral ##
Southwest Airlines emergency is not the only alert of FAA complacency

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
North Korea to Close Nuclear Testing Site
Direct hotline set up for North, South Korea presidents
Kim Jong Un's announcement falls short of dismantling nuclear weapons
Of course. Kim knows he either has that deterrent or ends up like Iraq and Libya. -- RF
Can We Admit Now That Afghanistan Reconstruction Failed?
From faulty power stations and shoddy buildings to billions wasted, new evidence shows it was a pipedream

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
4 killed in demonstrations at Gaza-Israel border

## Energy/resources ##
As a whole, the American fracking experiment has been a financial disaster for many of its investors, who have been plagued by the industry's heavy borrowing, low returns, and bankruptcies, and the path to becoming profitable is lined with significant potential hurdles.
Patrick DeHaan, the senior analyst at GasBuddy, told UPI that the spike in gas prices means Americans are paying about $86 million per day more to fill up their tanks than they were a month ago. The economy, with discretionary spending under threat, may be facing some headwinds as a result.
Schlumberger sees growing supply challenges
The oil and gas industry may need a significant amount of new investments to offset a looming supply shortage, the head of oil services firm Schlumberger said.
Here too the factor which is arguably most important is omitted: higher prices are needed to fund new upstream investments. See previous article.-- RF
And for good reason. But the worst reason, unfortunately outside the article's scope, is that ethanol is worthless. Its energy return is far too low to benefit industrial society, and therefore it's just diluting perfectly good gasoline. A corollary is that dilution of the fuel supply with biofuels aggravates net energy decline. -- RF
A Natural Gas Crisis Looms Over Colombia
Colombia's energy sector is caught in a series of crises. The prolonged slump in oil since the end of 2014 saw investment in the sector, which is critical to the economy, collapse. This sparked a sharp downturn in oil production, causing the Colombian peso to weaken sharply and economic growth to stall.

## Got food? ##
Throw out all of your romaine lettuce, it could have E. coli, CDC says

## Environment/health ##
SEAsia tourism a victim of its own success
Region's once pristine beach destinations have been steadily degraded by pollution, overdevelopment and maddening crowds
Too many humans. -- RF
Cities and nations are looking at banning plastic straws and stirrers in hopes of addressing the world's plastic pollution problem. The problem is so large, though, that scientists say that's not nearly enough.
Better than ending up in a landfill, but I guarantee you it won't save industrial society. -- RF

Advertising while Russian... -- RF
Palantir Knows Everything About You
Peter Thiel's data-mining company is using War on Terror tools to track American citizens. The scary thing? Palantir is desperate for new customers.
Every breath you take, every move you make...
Russia raises questions on Skripal poisoning
Moscow says it has proof that the agent used in the UK attack is a chemical weapon patented in the US
India's grand data system: a greater disaster than Facebook?
Prime Minister Modi has enthusiastically campaigned to expand digital governance via the Aadhaar system. But millions of Indians are at risk because the system with all their personal ID leaks like a sieve and the govt response has been appalling.
Mideast leaders who toe the U.S. line and make nice to Israel are invariably called 'statesmen' or 'president' by the American government and its increasingly tame media. Their repression is conveniently downplayed.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Beware of White Helmets Bearing News
The celebrated White Helmets of Oscar fame appeared to have made their own feature film in Duma on the night of the alleged chemical attack.
What Are "Assad Apologists"? Are They Like Those "Saddam Apologists" Of 2002?
Another Dodgy British Dossier: the Skripal Case
In this second part of a series, Gareth Porter compares the same faulty logic employed in two purposely misleading, so-called British intelligence dossiers.
There is food for thought here, but also some obvious errors in thinking. For example,
"But the idea of a nation state is coming to an end. Now almost anybody can go almost anywhere thanks to jet travel; you're no longer married to one place, like a medieval serf. And you can communicate with anybody anywhere on the planet thanks to the Internet; that makes it much harder to keep all the sheep thinking the same thing."
A mistaken assumption is that there will always be air travel and the internet. But these will inevitably fail. People will again be "married to one place," but we also have an opportunity to redesign society so that they won't be like medieval serfs. -- RF

Even more challenging that US shale. That would seem to militate against profitability, which of course the Chinese must know. It all comes down to energy desperation. -- RF
FP: CCP Setting Up "Cells" at Foreign Universities 
At Foreign Policy, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian this week reported on efforts by the Communist Party of China to encourage students and visiting scholars to set up Party branches at their host universities.
All governments know this. They won't all be able to move in that direction as swiftly as China is, but it's going to happen. -- RF

## UK ##

## US ##
America's "Actual" GDP: The Shocking Truth
Now Even a Fed Dove Homes in on the "Everything Bubble"
Bonds, junk bonds, spreads, commercial real estate, leveraged loans, over-leveraged companies… all get named as risks to the banks. This is why tightening will continue.
Ready to Cut the Cord on Car Ownership? Dramatic Industry Changes by 2025.
Nine percent of those selling their car cut the cord on car ownership completely. Are you ready?

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