Friday, September 18, 2020


News Links, September 19, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Covid, cash crunch leave UN limping
Meetings postponed and marble-clad hallways echoing empty: The coronavirus pandemic and a liquidity crunch have all but silenced the usual frenzied diplomatic wrangling at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.
Institutional Demand Will Drive Gold Ever Higher
Central banks are failing and they are panicking. The price of gold is telling us this. Since 2000, most major currencies are down circa 85% against gold.
Billionaire investor Ray Dalio on capitalism's crisis: The world is going to change 'in shocking ways' in the next five years
Flood of gold from Switzerland to U.S. stopped in August
Swiss exports of gold to the United States all but halted in August while shipments to China and India rose, customs data showed on Thursday, suggesting a big transfer of bullion to New York that followed the coronavirus outbreak has run its course.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Bed Bath & Beyond release list of stores to close in 2020
Military Contractor Raytheon Cuts 15,000 Jobs—CEO Still Earns Millions
The Layoffs Are Just Beginning

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
EU to introduce crypto-assets regime by 2024, EU documents say
The European Union will introduce new rules within four years to make cross-border payments quicker and cheaper through the use of blockchain and crypto assets like stablecoins, two EU documents showed.

## Airline death spiral ##
The Criminal Prosecution of Boeing Executives Should Begin

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US spy planes posing as airliners 'serious threat' in South China Sea
Beijing says US Air Force used fake identities at least 100 times this year, putting civilian flights at risk.
European disarray pushes Iran, Turkey into China camp
US says it has tested a top secret sixth-gen fighter
As Trump and Iran square off on Venezuela Oil Shipments, will US Go full Pirate of the Gulf?
Why Arab Leaders Are Suddenly Groveling at the Chance to Normalize Ties with Israel
Arab leaders understand that relations with Israel provide access to US Empire and all that comes with it, including much desired US-made weapons and other perks such as security and economic cooperation. 
U.S., Guyana to launch joint maritime patrols near disputed Venezuela border
Taiwan scrambles jets as 18 Chinese planes buzz during U.S. visit
German, French defense ministers push for Eurodrone progress
PACOM Chief Warns Of Threat To Guam; China Presses Hard
Occupying Palestine is rotting Israel from inside. No Gulf peace deal can hide that

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
New York Taxi Drivers Shut Down Bridges In Desperate Call To End 'Life Sentence To Debtor's Prison'
French unions protest tire factory closure amid virus crisis
Justice Department seeking to charge violent protesters with sedition
Protesters, demonstration leaders arrested in connection to rallies in Aurora
Guard pulls gun on ICE protesters inside FBI building in NYC, video shows

## Energy/resources ##
Coal exporters should brace for disappointment
With operations across 10 countries and 30 cities worldwide, Infarm says it now harvests more than 500,000 plants monthly, and in a much more sustainable way than traditional farming and supply chains.
Since when is vertical farming — which depends on electricity and lots of fancy equipment — more "sustainable" than traditional farming? Industrial agriculture (apparently what they mean by "traditional") is certainly unsustainable, but vertical farming is just an offshoot of that. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Hundreds of Thousands of Migratory Birds 'Falling Out of the Sky' in the Southwest

• Coronavirus
According to Oxfam, Rich Countries Have Already Hoarded Most Future COVID Vaccines
Oxfam studied five leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently under clinical trial and found that rich countries had pumped billions of dollars into securing 51 percent of the promised doses.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
JPost: Israeli Role in Blast at Iran's Natanz Facility 'Validated'
Assange lawyer says she saw Trump ally offer to arrange pardon
A lawyer for Julian Assange told a London court on Friday that she was present when an ally of U.S. President Donald Trump offered to arrange a pardon for the WikiLeaks founder in return for information that would "benefit President Trump politically".
Look who's talking! -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
"Inflation" and America's Accelerating Class War
Those who don't see the fragmentation, the scarcities and the battlelines being drawn will be surprised by the acceleration of the unraveling.

## Japan ##
Japan's Suga aims to get flaghsip digital agency running by autumn 2021: Nikkei
Japanese lawmakers call for protection of contested islands
Although the article suggests only that resources are behind China's interest in taking over the islands, China's main interest is no doubt as a means to repel an American attack. -- RF

## China ##
China is killing the dollar
China defends its 'vocational training centres' in Xinjiang white paper
Austerity at Home and Imperialism Abroad: What a Joe Biden Win Would Mean for America
If past performance is any indicator of future outcomes, a brief look at past Democratic presidencies offers insights into what a Biden win could mean for America and the world.
Fed's Kashkari says pandemic aid was also 'banking bailout'
U.S. banks got their second bailout in little more than a decade when Congress cut checks to millions of Americans to help them through the coronavirus crisis, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari  said on Friday, calling for a new round of reforms to prevent it from happening again.

And finally...
Police free man from handcuffs after girlfriend lost the key

Thursday, September 17, 2020


News Links, September 18, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Who Bought the $3.3 Trillion Piled on the Incredibly Spiking US National Debt Since March?
Trillions flying by so fast, it's hard to even count them. But somebody had to buy these Treasury securities. And it wasn't just the Fed. Here's who.
European new car sales fall by 17.6% year-on-year in August: ACEA
"No more money for airlines. We don't need it anymore. The fact is, you have to let some of them go bankrupt."
Airline CEOs meet with White House in last-minute plea for more coronavirus aid

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
NYT: US Wants to Expand Drone War Into Kenya
China regards the China Sea, including its islands — and likely even Taiwan, as an essential buffer zone to repel an American attack. -- RF
The U.S. is still a dominant power — but it's not clear if it remains the global leader
The third day of the Singapore Summit saw four experts debating on whether "A Leaderless and Divided World will be the New Normal."
Suicide has already claimed the lives of 98 airmen in 2020
Migrants are running from what they'll be facing as the economies of their destination countries collapse. -- RF

## Energy/resources ##
Study: Cleanup, management won't save ecosystems from plastic pollution
Even if countries fund massive cleanup efforts and dramatically improve waste management infrastructure, two studies published Thursday in the journal Science suggest it won't be enough to save Earth's ecosystems from plastic pollution.
There's only one name left on the 2020 list of hurricane names. Next up: The Greek alphabet.
Just imagine the resources and energy that would be consumed (and new pollution generated) by fitting all motor vehicles with such devices. And you still have the dust to dispose of. -- RF
• Coronavirus
Trump's racist attempt to pin the blame on China is pure diversion. China contained the virus. The U.S. has totally failed to do so. The enormous number of U.S. deaths were 'Made in Washington,' not 'Made in China.'

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Journalists Need to Be Clear About a Clear Threat to Democracy
Yet another shocking example of abuse of court procedure unfolded on Wednesday.
The end result was no actual sale (though the Treasury Department is still "reviewing" the deal), but a big contract for Oracle, and a bogus story in which the President can pretend he forced ByteDance to "sell" TikTok, even though it retains ownership in the company (there are some rumors that the hosting deal will include a small, and probably symbolic, equity stake for Oracle).
Over and Over and Over Again, History Has Vindicated Edward Snowden
An appeals court recently ruled a mass surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden was illegal. It's only the latest example of Washington admitting Snowden had, despite being continuously denounced by pundits and politicians, done the right thing by leaking information about the government's massive surveillance operations.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Sacrifice for Thee But None For Me
No visitors, less commuting -- Japan's railways enter dark tunnel
Two of Japan's largest rail operators now expect to report their largest full-year net losses since their 1987 privatization, as the coronavirus pandemic brings a deep and potentially long-lasting slump in passenger traffic.
A valiant effort to stop the Yellow Peril! -- RF
This Is Why Inflation Will Rip Everyone's Face Off
This is why inflation will rip everyone's faces off: production will continue to stagnate no matter how many trillions the Federal Reserve prints and throws around.
Infection rates soar in college towns as students return

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


News Links, September 16, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Virus restrictions threaten Asia economic recovery in 2021: ADB
A Growing Debt Mountain Is Starting to Crack as Asia Buyers Balk
Bond investors in three of Asia's biggest emerging markets are starting to push back against record increases in government borrowing, an ominous sign for policy makers trying to revive economic growth with fiscal stimulus.
Ron Paul: the real reasons behind U.S. - China tensions
Why the Hoped-for Solution to Out-of-Control Government Debts Won't Work This Time
"Rapid growth is no longer possible" and "inflation is not going to be tolerated" in societies with slow wage growth: head of central bank of Singapore. It has been said out loud.
What's to Be Done Now with All These Zombie Companies?
Europe's zombie firms are multiplying like never before. In Germany, one of the few European economies that has weathered the virus crisis reasonably well, an estimated 550,000 firms — roughly one-sixth of the total — could already be classified as "zombies", according to research by the credit agency Creditreform. It's a similar story in Switzerland.

## Airline death spiral ##
Mother, 2-year-old escorted from Southwest Airlines flight because of mask policy

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
When will the US military return to pre-COVID normal? Probably never, this admiral says
America vs. Russia: Brinksmanship With Nuclear Bombers Risks Starting a Disastrous War
B-52s vs. Russian jets in the Black Sea could start a crisis that spark a war no one would ever want.

## Got food? ##
Farmed soils are thinning across the globe, study finds
More than 90 percent of traditionally farmed soils are thinning, according to a new global survey of soil erosion rates.Some American cities could grow all their food locally, study finds
Of course some pretty iffy assumptions underlie this finding. Those assumptions include not just the trucks that would transport and deliver food and inputs, but also the farm machinery and other industrial products that make modern agriculture possible. -- RF
Julian Assange and the Conservative Press
To be honest, I didn't think it would ever happen, even though it's been so obvious for so long. But all of a sudden, the conservative voices questioning the Russia collusion narrative and all the investigations that followed from it, are finally figuring out that those behind that narrative and all that resulted from it, are the same people who have been chasing down Julian Assange for many years.
The story is ridiculous. We are repeatedly told that novichok is deadly poison, and that even a tiny amount kills. Yet it failed to kill Navalny and the Skripals. But even more important is that — as Craig Murray observed — "If Putin wanted [Navalny] dead, he would be dead." -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
'USA Political & Economic Collapse': Hedges Interviews Wolff (video)
U.S. workers, which for long enjoyed a better life than most workers, is being crushed by class war in the midst of a pandemic, and it will only get worse, economist Rick Wolff tells Chris Hedges.
The Four D's That Define the Future

UK has experienced 'explosion' in anxiety since 2008, study finds
Exclusive: financial crash, austerity, Brexit, climate change and social media blamed for large rise
US industrial production growth slows, up 0.4% in August
U.S. industrial production slowed to a modest increase of 0.4% in August, far weaker than the strong bounce back recorded in previous months when factories were coming back to life
'We were shocked': RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1%
The median worker should be making as much as $102,000 annually—if some $2.5 trillion wasn't being "reverse distributed" every year away from the working class.
The War on You: How the Pentagon is Militarizing Social Control
Neoliberalism benefits the few and makes life for the many increasingly impossible. Big data and blanket surveillance give state and corporate intelligence confidence that they can pre-empt and manage mass, social reactions to neoliberalism. This article is an excerpt from my new book, The War on You.
Bezos Doubles Wealth as Amazon Essential Product Prices Rise 1000% Amid Pandemic
A report by Public Citizen found that "Amazon is engaged in price gouging on products it sells directly" through its Amazon Essentials line, with products like facemasks and corn starch seeing elevenfold increases in price.

Sunday, September 13, 2020


News Links, September 14, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
With airline fleets grounded, plane recyclers bet on parts boom

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia defies US Sanctions, presses Syria on Long Term Trade, Investment deal for Energy
Russia Warns of Hostile Actions as US Flies Nuclear Bombers Near NE Coast
The US Is Doing Far Worse Than What It Accuses China Of Doing To The Uighurs
Chinese troops to take part in Russia's Kavkaz-2020
Russian strategic military exercise will also host militaries from Armenia, Belarus, Iran, Myanmar and Pakistan

## Migrants/refugees ##

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Colombia apology for police brutality fails to stop protests
Killer whales launch 'orchestrated' attacks on sailing boats
From the Strait of Gibraltar to Galicia, orcas have been harassing yachts, damaging vessels and injuring crew
Heatwaves are becoming more deadly as nights warm faster than days

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Lawyer's Covid-19 Test is Negative; Trial Resumes on Monday Morning
Tape shows: ethically, CNN chief a little shaky
A conversation between Jeff Zucker and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen removes all doubt: our hated president is a beloved commodity to network executives
The Idea Behind WikiLeaks: Julian Assange as a Physics Student
Niraj Lal says in this account of the origins of WikiLeaks that there is seldom any focus on the formidable concept of surveillance applied to structural power.
The northern state has used the National Security Act (NSA), which allows for those deemed a threat to national security to be detained without charge for up to a year, almost 140 times in the first eight months of the year.
Declaring Elections Illegitimate - By Rejecting To Send Observers

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman Infects Readers With 9/11 Dementia
An observation bearing on the Skripal affair. -- RF

## US ##
Roger Stone to Donald Trump: bring in martial law if you lose election
Roger Stone, whose 40-month prison sentence for lying to Congress and witness tampering in the Russia investigation was commuted by Donald Trump, has said Trump should seize total power and jail prominent figures including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg if he loses to Joe Biden in November.

And finally...

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