From Jenna Orkin in New York
"The currency's freefall has intensified the burdens on Iran's economy, as it is currently struggling with tough sanctions targeting oil exports and measures that are blocking it from key international banking networks. These sanctions were imposed upon Iran due to the country's continued development of its nuclear program.
But many accept that Western sanctions are not the only reason for the rial's sharp decline. Some have begun to blame governmental policies, such as fuelling inflation by increasing money supply while also artificially holding down inflation rates."
'It smacks of a professional hit, but we don't know why': friend's fears over murder of British Exxon oil executive
"The Arctic is changing at a breathtaking pace, which has oil and gas companies flocking to the region. SPIEGEL ONLINE talks to Norway's new Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide about the dangers of resource extraction and China's role in the High North."
"The Pentagon’s secretive drone and commando base in the Horn of Africa is getting a lot bigger and a lot busier as the U.S. doubles down on its shadowy campaign of air strikes, robot surveillance and Special Operation Forces raids in the terror havens of Yemen and Somalia.
Camp Lemonnier, originally a French colonial outpost in Djibouti, a tiny, impoverished nation just north of Somalia, has been the epicenter of America’s Indian Ocean shadow war since just after 9/11. What was once little more than a run-down compound adjacent to Djibouti city’s single-runway international airport is now a sprawling complex of hangars and air-conditioned buildings housing eight Predator drones and eight F-15E fighter-bombers plus other warplanes, as well as around 300 Special Operations Forces and more than 2,000 other U.S. troops and civilians."
"InsideClimateNews.org -- Utah officials have given a Canadian company the greenlight to begin mining oil sands on a remote plateau in Eastern Utah without first obtaining a pollution permit or monitoring groundwater quality, an action that sets the stage for a possible court battle over the fragile region."
Not the bankers, mind you, but the banks. - JO
Shocking. Who taught them to do that? - JO
So what happened to the billions in oil money that gushed out of Libya?
Of course - that's the point. - JO
Believe the myths we tell you to believe. - JO
"With TNK-BP in its hands, Rosneft will be in charge of more than 4 million barrels of oil production a day. And who is in charge of Rosneft? None other than Vladimir Putin, Russia's resource-full president."
Take it from one who knows. - JO
From Rice Farmer in Japan
Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards
"MAN SE plans to halt production of heavy-duty vehicles for four weeks at two German factories as the economic downturn curbs demand from freight transporters and construction firms, company sources said."
Airline Death Spiral
"So many mechanics are taking buyouts at American Airlines Inc. that the company expects only a small fraction of the layoffs that were originally planned."
Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums
"Pakistani politician Imran Khan, a former cricket star and critic of U.S. drone strikes, was briefly delayed and questioned by U.S. immigration officials in Toronto before being allowed to board a flight to New York."
Interview with Imran Khan (video)
"Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's party will run alongside that of his ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, in January's election."
Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks
"Tens of thousands of people marched through Rome in a 'No Monti Day' on Saturday, some throwing eggs and spraying graffiti to protest against austerity measures introduced by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's government."
"Once seen as a promising alternative to the use of corn and other crops to make fuel, cellulosic biofuel has become a political football as companies struggle to produce commercial quantities, despite a government mandate."
"South Carolina says a massive security breach exposed millions of Social Security numbers as well thousands of valid credit card numbers of state residents."
"The only source of 'capital' left - BOJ monetization. The only problem, of course, is that Japan already has well over 200% of national debt to GDP. And that's the smaller problem. The bigger problem: even the smallest increase in prevailing interest rates, and the entire Japanese house of cards topples."
"Local authorities say the moves helps reduce energy bills, at a time when energy prices are continuing to rise. Several of the big energy companies have unveiled price hikes in recent weeks, including British Gas, npower and EDF Energy - which this week said it was increasing its standard variable prices for gas and electricity customers by 10%."
"A good chunk of that 2 percent growth came from a bizarre surge in defense spending that masks some pretty crappy fundamentals, particularly on the business side of things."