Sunday, May 13, 2018


News Links, May 14, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Russia Deploys Exotic New Weapon: A "Budget Surplus"
One way that Russia is likely to use this exotic new weapon is to buy gold. The Russian central bank is already one of the biggest buyers of the metal, increasing its reserves by nearly 500 tons in less than three years – while, remember, it was running budget deficits.
Who's Most Afraid of a Latin American Debt Crisis (Apart from Latin America)?
Asian groups fear loss of billions after Trump exits Iran deal
He's dead wrong. Blockchain, robots, AI, and the like are all useless junk without energy. Unless we have growing per capita energy consumption, the economy enters a death spiral. -- RF
[E]very lever is being pulled and every future income spent to maintain the appearance of growth and prosperity in the here and now. Very sadly, there will soon be a terrible price to pay for this hubris.
BT to cut 13,000 jobs and ditch central London HQ

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Defying predictions that cash is doomed, the volume of notes and coins in the world is actually on the increase. Economists suspect a combination of factors: the low interest rates available on bank deposits, a post-crisis distrust of financial institutions and a growing informal economy.
Cryptocurrencies create 'chaos' for payments, says economist who predicted the financial crisis

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pakistan imposes restrictions on movement of US diplomats
Disaster Looms in North Yemen as Pro-Saudi Forces near Hodeidah
A nuclear deal with the Saudis is a good thing, says former GOP leader Eric Cantor
Here's where major military powers stand in the global hypersonic arms race
Puigdemont rejects being chosen as next Catalan leader
Is this a joke? The US has just demonstrated that it will turn its back on an agreement at any time for any reason. The North Koreans would be fools to take Pompeo at his word. -- RF
"Each election is the same -- nothing ever changes."
The U.S. shale oil industry hailed as a "revolution" has burned through a quarter trillion dollars more than it has brought in over the last decade. It has been a money-losing endeavor of epic proportions.
Bahrain's oil minister warns of a potential 'supply crunch' following an investment slowdown
Like Germany — poster child of the "energy transition" — California must cope with rising electricity rates. Low-quality electricity from renewables is expensive. -- RF
It will always be a problem because storage costs money, which makes the electricity more expensive. -- RF
Did you know that the oceans are full of gold? Yes, and the technology to extract it exists. So why isn't everybody running seawater through their gold extractors and getting rich? Same thing. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
UN takes step toward global environment pact opposed by US

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
"Iran Is Completely Different! This US-Led Regime Change Will Work Out Fine!"
It takes one to know one. If McCain wants to find evil, he should first look closer to home. America has to clean up its own act before slinging mud at other countries. I don't wish cancer on anyone, even John McCain, but the man is also mentally ill. -- RF
The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far?

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## Japan ##
Train workers plagued by passenger violence
The Yomiuri ShimbunCases of passengers violently attacking station attendants and train staff continue to occur with alarming regularity. According to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, 825 cases of such violence were reported in fiscal 2016, exceeding 800 for the fourth straight year.
Abe and Vladimir Putin to hold talks in Moscow on May 26
Japan redraws its line in the sand for poverty
Abe, Trump eye talks before and after U.S.-N Korea summit

## China ##
Is Beijing readying its airstrips for a military build-up in the South China Sea?
Satellite images show transport plane on Subi Reef in contested Spratly Islands, just 12 nautical miles from Philippine island

## UK ##
PM May says committed to ensuring Iran deal is upheld
Concern over the costs of a £1.3bn tidal lagoon project planned for Swansea have resurfaced after its developer admitted that they remain well above the price of other energy technologies.
BT to cut 13,000 jobs over three years, company announces

## US ##
Congress Weighs Indefinite Detention of Americans
A Senate bill under consideration could allow Donald Trump to indefinitely jail American citizens without charge if they oppose U.S. military action.
More financial loss at the postal service as mail delivery slumps
Rock Island and Moline among 20 Illinois cities a watchdog group says should declare bankruptcy
Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance
Rakem Balogun spoke out against police brutality. Now he is believed to be the first prosecuted under a secretive US effort to track so-called 'black identity extremists'
These 95 apartments promised affordable rent in San Francisco. Then 6,580 people applied.
More and more people are waking up to America's China-style one-party system. -- RF

And finally...

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