Rice Farmer - Evening Edition
Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards
"South Korea's anti-trust agency expanded its probe of interest rates on certificates of deposit to banks, an investigation that analysts said is targeted at easing the nation's heavy household debt burden."
"Goldman Sachs said Tuesday it is developing its private bank for wealthy clients, particularly in fast-growing countries and in Europe, where it hopes to pick up the slack from struggling local banks."
Airline Death Spiral
Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums
"China may need to modernize its nuclear arsenal to respond to the destabilizing effect of a planned U.S.-backed missile defense system, a senior Chinese military officer said on Wednesday."
"Israeli officials blamed Iran and vowed to retaliate for an explosion Wednesday aboard a bus carrying young Israeli tourists in Bulgaria that killed at least six and wounded many others."
Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks
"Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car manufacturer, stopped production at one of its factories on Wednesday after workers attacked managers at the plant and set fire to company property, the automaker said."
"Solid yearly production figures weren't enough to halt a further sell-down Wednesday in BHP Billiton Ltd. shares—to their lowest point in more than three years—as investors continue to worry about falling commodity prices."
"Australia, the second-biggest wheat exporter, is set to be drier-than-normal in the next three months, curbing grain production just as the worst drought in a generation parches fields across the U.S., the largest shipper."
"The Tokyo metropolitan government will soon seek permission from the national government to send a party to the disputed Senkaku Islands, parts of which the local authority plans to buy from the Japanese owner, a senior Tokyo official said Wednesday."
"Three years ago, it would have been hard to believe that any shop in the Huaqiangbei district in Shenzhen would shut down because of a lull in business. Today, the area is littered with empty shops, reports the Economic Observer, a weekly in Beijing."
"The City of Compton, a city of 93,000 people located on the outskirts of Los Angeles, must decide by September 1 whether to seek bankruptcy, according to its two most senior financial officials."
The party is just getting started, with many more, and bigger, municipal bankruptcies to come. Watch those muni bonds turn into toilet paper. -- RF
"The fiscal crisis for states will persist long after the economy rebounds as they confront rising health care costs, underfunded pensions, ignored infrastructure needs, eroding revenues and expected federal budget cuts, according to a report issued here Tuesday by a task force of respected budget experts."
Jenna Orkin - Morning Edition
"Coal consumption in the [Asia Pacific region — dominated by China and India] has increased by more than an order of magnitude since 1965, and is currently more than triple the coal consumption of the EU and U.S. combined."
CollapseNet has been recommending a long-term food supply since we launched. The wisdom of that action is coming more into focus every day. The long-term stored food supplies I have acquired over the last few years have been the most comforting insurance for my family that I own. Imagine 2 years like this in a row? Or 3 years? Or more...climate change is a very big game changer, and very unpredictable other than "bad". Prepare, prepare, prepare. - Wes
"When the Fed released its "trove" of materials confirming that the Fed indeed knew that the Barclays was manipulating its Libor submissions (amusingly explained by Ben Bernanke before Senate today that "the employee had no idea what Libor is in that case"), few were surprised, but more were confused why the congressional inquiry focused solely on the Fed's interactions with British Barclays, instead of focusing on the three domestic banks that were part of the BBA's USD Libor fixing committee. And only three US banks."
So who is going to hold the Fed fuckers accountable? It's only the biggest heist in history, both in terms of money taken and the number of people stolen from, with apparent collusion and consent of the "regulators". Answer: they won't be. Too Big To Jail. - Wes
"Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Tuesday he expected the governor of Sicily to resign following a growing financial crisis that has pushed the autonomous region close to default."
"The woes facing even politically favored companies that benefit from monopolies, low-cost bank loans and other government aid highlight the challenges for the authoritarian country's leaders who are trying to pull China out of its deepest slowdown since the 2008 crisis."
Tiny purple people eaters? Nah, just misplaced/dislocated crab babies. - Wes
"The next shoe is dropping in the drought crisis.
Higher corn prices are crushing the companies that make chicken, eggs, and other meats."
Food prices in every category are going to soar this winter. Get ready. - Wes
"If economic growth in China continues to slow, rising and sudden defaults on loans made in the country's shadow banking system could threaten to bring down China's traditional banking sector and throw the world's third-largest economy in jeopardy, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch China Strategist David Cui."
This might be over sooner than anyone expected. Assad's regime is crumbling around him. - Wes
"After 9/11 all safeguards went out the window as "the individual liberties preserved in the U.S. Constitution were no longer a consideration." Members of his Thin Thread team began implementing a program called the President's Surveillance Program (PSP), which collected domestic electronic communications traffic without any privacy protections."
Like I said, the Fascists won and 911 allowed them to codify their control. - Wes
"Many of those leaving are likely to be moving for economic reasons, perhaps to look for work — Spain's youth unemployment rate is at 51%. As EU members Spanish emigres would have the right to work in a lot of places, though there is anecdotal evidence that many Europeans are using sham marriages to escape further."
"El-Erian notes that "the Fed has no choice but to consider another mix of unconventional measures – specifically, additional purchases of securities, a lower interest rate on excess reserves, an even more aggressive communication policy, and enhanced access to the discount window."
However, he thinks that even these moves may prove ineffective. Even worse, the actions could prove harmful..."
"State and local governments are joining some private and nonprofit companies in capitalizing on graduates’ concerns in a sluggish economy about repaying their student debt to attract new residents, talent and consumer dollars. Outstanding loans total about $1 trillion, topping U.S. credit-card debt. In Kansas, the perk has attracted 411 applicants representing 33 states, according to Chris Harris, who manages the program for the state Commerce Department in Topeka.
“We were trying to address a loss of young population,” Harris said. People drawn to the state through the program will reinvigorate local economies by bringing families with them and buying houses, he said."
Critique of scandal is unacceptably lame. - JO
The most financially attractive country (from the point of view of businesses) is the one with the least regulation. Thus have the wheels come off the vehicle of global trade. - JO
"After more than a year away, swimmers in Fukushima prefecture were allowed to return to the sea this week for the first time since disaster struck at the Japanese nuclear plant.
All of Fukushima's 17 beaches were closed last year to protect the public from radiation contamination. A massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, triggering meltdowns that contaminated food and water and forced mass evacuations."
The only place worse than the Gulf Coast to go swimming. No thanks. - Wes
Climate Change teams up with petrochemical saturation of the earth for some serious mayhem. - JO
War remains the most profitable business. A warmonger's work is never done. - Wes
Does that mean a war is only temporarily on hold? Or is the article intended to goad Obama into action? - Per Fagereng