Tuesday, January 16, 2018


News Links, January 17, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
"Blockchain Bonds?" Struggling German Telco Joins Bandwagon
The Fascinating Psychology of Blowoff Tops
Central banks have guaranteed a bubble collapse is the only possible output of the system they've created.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
General Electric to hold job cuts talks with Unite

## War on cash/cashless society ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Syrian Army Vow to End US Presence in Syria
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has responded negatively to the US pledge to create a new "border" force in northern Syria of some 30,000 US-backed fighters, saying not only are they violating Syrian sovereignty, but the Syrian Army's goal must be to end the US presence in the country outright.
China-led bank spreads its yuan to Africa, South America to bankroll infrastructure projects
The bank has contracted 24 projects worth about US$4 billion – ranging from power plants to rail and port facilities – in its two years of operation
Kiev protests: Violent protests erupt outside parliament building over controversial bill

## Energy/resources ##
Norway Desperately Needs Large Oil Discoveries
NAM aims at reducing gas production at Groningen field (Netherlands)
In the wake of an earthquake in the Groningen region (Netherlands), the Dutch oil and gas company Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) has proposed to reduce production levels at the Groningen field by shutting down some production clusters. Earthquakes are frequent in the region and have led to several production decreases in the recent years.
The Labor Shortage In The Shale Boom
The 2018 Oil Production Forecast Explained

## Got food? ##
Seafood supply may be hit as Sanchi oil spill spreads in East China Sea
Marine life in the East China Sea is at risk of heavy metal contamination from the Iranian oil tanker spill, but scientists say its impact on the seafood supply is unclear given that fish stocks in the area have been depleted.
Sudan police beat protesters at demo against rising bread prices

## Environment/health ##
Girl, 6, Suffers Frightening Side Effects After Taking Tamiflu
Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Could Be Spreading Because Of Surfers
Scientists in the United Kingdom analyzed about 300 people and concluded that surfers harbor a lot more bacteria in their guts that are resistant to antibiotic medication, compared to people who swim in the sea but don't surf.
Insecure defaults in Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) allow an intruder to completely bypass login credentials in most corporate laptops in 30 seconds, researchers at security firm F-Secure have warned.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Philippines shuts down news site critical of Duterte

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Threats to America's drinking and sewage treatment infrastructure

## UK ##

## US ##
Commercial Real Estate Suffers First Down-Year since 2009
A blistering boom, backed by $4.3 trillion in bank loans, ends.
Jeff Bezos is The Richest Man in the World, But Hundreds of Amazon Employees Are on Food Stamps
Taxpayers subsidize the business of the world's richest person. -- RF
Why Senator Cardin Is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning's senatorial bid offers a contrast to the Russian fear-mongering of incumbent candidate Ben Cardin, says Norman Solomon.

And finally...

Sunday, January 14, 2018


News Links, January 15, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Belt and Road-branded corporate bonds fuel China's big ambitions

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Venezuela To Pre-Mine Petro For Release In 6-Weeks

## Airline death spiral ##
Citing fire risk, smart luggage with lithium batteries are facing new travel restrictions
Starting Monday, many airlines around the world begin enforcing a new rule that forbids passengers from checking or carrying on "smart luggage" with non-removable lithium batteries.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Venezuelans Are Rioting Over Food Shortages

## Energy/resources ##
A major theme of the conference is sustainable energy – and the math indeed makes it clear that to fully transition to a green economy, we'll need vast amounts of metals like copper, silicon, aluminum, lithium, cobalt, rare earths, and silver.
Considering the mammoth scale of industrial civilization and the overwhelming size of the human population — all of whom want to live the good life — this has fearsome implications for the planet. Of course the goal of running the current global economy entirely on renewables will never be attained. -- RF
Don't get your expectations too high. Building up "algae power" to a scale commensurate with that of industrial civilization would require a staggering amount of resources (for the equipment) and land. -- RF
Electric cars will fail, but we'll build them anyway, say global auto execs: KPMG
Juxtaposed against a growing electric-vehicle market in China and increasingly stringent global carbon-emission limits, a survey by KPMG has revealed a majority of global auto executives believe electric vehicles are a fool's errand.

## Got food? ##
Food riots grip western Venezuela, mob reportedly slaughters cattle in field

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Lawmakers want to know what happened with failed spy satellite
France to vet takeovers of firms in data and artificial intelligence
The French government aims to broaden its powers to block foreign takeovers of French companies deemed as strategic, to also include firms involved in data protection and artificial intelligence ('AI'), the finance minister said on Friday.
Craig Murray points out that under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the UK government is in the wrong in refusing to accredit Julian Assange as a diplomat of Ecuador. -- RF
You don't have to waste any time reading this. It's just an example of how made-up stories become Gospel truth through repetition. The claim that Russians hacked the DNC is demonstrably false. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Public broadcasters in Asia under fire from all sides
TV stations risk caving in to heavy-handed governments, alienating viewers
For The Second Time In A Week, German Hate Speech Laws Results In Deletion Of Innocent Speech

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Seneca Effect: a Book Review

## Japan ##
Japan to tighten refugee screening system starting next week
The government said Friday it will introduce a stricter refugee screening system next week as a surge in the number of applicants believed to be seeking employment rather than protection has put the process under strain.
Prestigious Japanese dictionary defines Taiwan as Chinese province
But more households complained they were worse off than a year ago as rising prices forced them to boost spending, the survey found, underscoring the challenge policymakers face in driving up inflation without denting consumption.
Very noble, but you can't have both a global consumer society and a sustainable economy. -- RF

## China ##

## UK ##
BigBrotherWatch – The Surveillance State In 2018

## US ##
Corporations may dodge billions in U.S. taxes through new loophole: experts
Walmart Suddenly Shutters Numerous Sam's Clubs without Notice, 11,000 Jobs Impacted, Chaos Breaks out on Twitter
Numerous local radio stations in various cities across the US reported that Sam's Club is permanently closing stores in their cities, and without announcement. In a number of cases, employees showed up to work this morning and found the doors locked and a notice saying that the store would be closed.
The man who said he came to the aid of a woman discharged from a Baltimore hospital wearing only a gown and socks on a cold winter's night, says he was left outraged and stunned at how she was treated.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


News Links, January 12, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Jeff Bezos just made more in 5 days than most Americans would in 5 lifetimes
ECB Spawned Mass Culture of Financial Dependency that's Now Very Hard to Undo
Right at the front of the monetary welfare queue is the government of Italy.
Asia's airline wars: The great profit squeeze in the sky
Competition from budget upstarts and Chinese carriers is hitting flag carriers
Watch Out, Airlines. High Speed Rail Now Rivals Flying on Key Routes
In Asia and Europe, super-fast locomotives are comparable to air travel in price and door-to-door speed.
U.S. airlines' earnings are expected to fall for a third consecutive year as airlines face higher fuel and labor costs.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Drone attack on Russian bases in Syria came from Turkish-backed rebels – MoD
Tensions on Korean Peninsula, budget cuts straining US forces in Japan
Rash of accidents in Okinawa raising concerns about condition of military

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Greece: austerity protesters reach prime minister's office
Protesters project unwelcome image onto stadium for President Trump

## Energy/resources ##
Trump's Offshore Plan Unlikely To Spark Drilling Rush
Federal Regulators Deal Huge Blow To The Coal Industry
Duh! Trump says he wishes US would use hydropower. It already does
Too many TVs at CES? The power has gone out at the biggest electronics show of the year
Sudan hit by nationwide electricity blackout during televised presidential speech
Cryptocurrency mining puts electrical grid of small Washington state county 'to the test'
Hype Meets Reality as Electric Car Dreams Run Into Metal Crunch
Citigroup Bullish on Oil Prices Because of Trump's Wars
In the last three and a half years, crude oil prices fell precipitously and have languished at prices rarely seen in the post-9/11 era. Citigroup analysts say they expect that to reverse in 2018, as mounting wars once again drive prices higher.

## Got food? ##
China gas heating crisis leaves fertilizer makers in the cold

## Solutions ##
Martin Ravallion is wrong about human flourishing: it doesn't require endless GDP growth

## Environment/health ##
US officials still stumped on mystery illnesses in Cuba, open door to 'viral' or 'ultrasound' cause
Insect declines: new alarm over mayfly is 'tip of iceberg', warn experts
Modest pollution in many English rivers is enough to kill 80% of eggs, increasing concerns over insects which are vital to all ecosystems
When humans wage war, animals suffer too: study

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate
We suddenly have documentary proof that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community were trying to short-circuit the U.S. democratic process. And that puts in a new and dark context the year-long promotion of Russia-gate. It now appears that it was not the Russians trying to rig the outcome of the U.S. election, but leading officials of the U.S. intelligence community, shadowy characters sometimes called the Deep State.
DoD quietly reorganizes Cyber Command
Google's Fact-Check Feature Targets Conservative Sites
The largest search engine in the world is now relying on hyper-partisan "fact checking" organizations such as Snopes and Politifact to provide disclaimers on articles primarily from conservative websites.
First France, Now Brazil Unveils Plan to Empower the Government to Censor the Internet in the Name of Stopping "Fake News"
Israel's Netanyahu suggests law against leaked recordings

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
"Cascading failures" strand thousands at flooded, frigid JFK
Cascading failures: You ain't seen nothin' yet. -- RF
Social Change Will Upend the Status Quo
The nation is fragmenting because the Status Quo is failing the majority of the citizenry.

## Japan ##

## China ##
Fed Pays Banks $30 Billion on "Excess Reserves" for 2017
At taxpayer expense: easiest, risk-free, sit-on-your-ass profit ever.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


News Links, January 10, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
World Debt Is Rising Nearly Three Times As Fast As Total Global Wealth
A slowing economy risks turning India's demographic dividend into a disaster
A Curious Thing Happened When Ontario Hiked Minimum Wages By Over 20%
From Territorial to Functional Sovereignty: The Case of Amazon
As digital firms move to displace more government roles over time, from room-letting to transportation to commerce, citizens will be increasingly subject to corporate, rather than democratic, control.
ASEAN economies ill-prepared for old age
FTCR survey shows demographic clock ticking for aging Southeast Asia
SEC Halts Trading in my Biggest "Blockchain Stock" Hero
11 days after I lambasted the outfit. Billions went up in smoke already.

## Airline death spiral ##
Rising airline fuel costs could lead to higher fares
As Alaska Air cuts costs, employee discontent grows and passenger loyalty is at risk

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump Team Debates Limited Strikes on North Korea

Russia seeks new gas markets in South Asia as sanctions bite
Moscow agrees pipeline deal with Pakistan and develops fields with India
Europe Becomes Victim of Russia's Newest Oil Strategy
Higher shipments of Russian crude oil to China may saddle European importers with a fatter bill, an industry consultancy warned at the end of last year, noting the latest stage of Russia's Eastern pivot: the launch of the expanded East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline that would lift Urals crude supply to China twofold, to 30 million tons annually. 
US energy watchdog rejects plan to subsidize coal, nuclear sectors

## Got food? ##
Hawaii's existential choice: Tourism, food and survival
As tourism has grown, land used for agriculture has declined by 68 percent since 1980. Some of the former plantation operators have turned themselves into land development companies to take advantage of the tourism and real estate boom. The result is that Hawaii—a lush, fertile group of islands with the ability to grow crops year round—now imports 90 percent of its food.

## Environment/health ##
Packed emergency rooms, deaths as flu hits California hard
The World's Largest Biometric ID System Keeps Getting Hacked
The personal data of many of India's citizens is for sale on WhatsApp for less than $10.
Starting Jan. 22, some may need a passport for domestic air travel

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Yes, But at What Cost?
The status quo delights in celebrating gains, but the costs required to generate those gains are ignored for one simple reason: the costs exceed the gains by a wide margin. As long as the costs can be hidden, diluted, minimized and rationalized, then phantom gains can be presented as real.

## Japan ##
Japan succession crisis could rip links out of auto supply chain
Nearly 1.3m businesses are in danger of folding -- including parts makers
Lack of kindergartens hampers China's efforts to spark baby boom
Many couples balk at having more kids despite end of one-child policy

## US ##
The stock market is at an all-time high but Americans Owe More, Save Less, and are Poorer Than in Decades.
Credit Card Debt Hits All Time High As Consumers Unleash Historic Shopping Spree
It's official: the reason behind the recent rebound in the economy can be explained with two words: "charge it."

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