Saturday, June 27, 2009

Collapse 101

From Jenna Orkin:

Economic Collapse

Buffett: US Economy in Shambles; No Sign of Recovery Yet
The operative word is "yet." Hope springs eternal etc.
Update on US Exports and Imports: The Collapse Continues
Japan's Exports Slump 40.9%
Industrial Orders in Eurozone Drop 35% Year on Year
New Home Sales in Northeast Fall 32% in March
Auto Parts Maker Lear Close to Bankruptcy
Auto Supplier Said to Prepare for Chapter 11
UK To Sink Into Red Further Than Any Other Country, OECD Warns
King Warns of the Long Hard Slog to Clear Britain's Debt
An anemic version of 'blood, sweat and tears.'
BA cost-cutting: 800 staff offer to work for free
Credit Card Charge-Offs Hit Record High in February
Russia Facing Long Recession, World Bank Says
Quarter of Russian Families in Debt, Poll Says Gazprom Sees No Reason for 'Panic'
Could Banks Have to Close to Solve Severe Problems? (from Rice Farmer)
State Shutdowns Loom as Deadlines Near (from Rice Farmer)
Moody's on California: Nice Weather. Shame About the Insolvency
Harvard Endowment Expected to Shrink by 30%
Some Operations of Citigroup Suspended in Japan
...on grounds it failed to monitor suspicious transactions.
French Minister Says Retirement Age Will Rise
Tracking the $700 Billion Bailout
Interactive Graphic: Geography of a Recession
Lawmakers Attack Fed for Being Too Secretive
J'accuse the US Army's Development Delusions
ECB lends record €442bn in first loan offer to boost credit flows
Depressed Banker Missing With Two Shotguns
Goldman Sachs on Pace for Record Bonuses
Gold will breach $1,000

Al-Qaeda 'plotting cyber war against Britain'
India Undertakes Ambitious ID Card Plan
Obama Contemplates Executive Order for Detention Without Charges
Smartphones Pose Security Risk Says Gvt
Brazil: Terrorism possible in Air France crash
Violence Expected as U.S. Troops Leave Iraqi Cities
Somali Pirate Attacks Boost Shipping Insurance Rates 20-Fold Investors (from Rice Farmer)

China Suspends Reforestation Over Food Shortage Fears
To eat or to breathe; that is the question.
Space and Gas Deals Planned in Nigeria
Gazprom had previously discussed the possibility of participating in the construction of a pipeline across the Sahara Desert, as well as pipeline infrastructure in Nigeria. The trans-Sahara link would connect Nigeria with Algeria's export system, making it possible to send Nigerian gas to Europe.
Chinese Firm to Gain Access to Iraqi Oil
Two Utilities Are Leaving Clean Coal Initiative
Are Batteries in Electric Cars Safe?
Should Mexico Stop Exporting Oil?
Peak Water, Peak Fish and the End of Everything
Terse Op-Ed arguing that we're really smart and will figure out an answer to the doomsayers. Supporting evidence: The improvement in the quality of life over the last hundred years. No mention of the fact that this coincided with the rise of oil production.
Cows that burp less methane bred
One third of sharks and rays 'threatened with extinction'
All British homes to be wind powered
US eases pressure on China over climate change targets
Florist threatened for planting flowers
Russian street sweeper fired for planting potatoes on city lawn
Five from Rice Farmer:
Water Woes Seen As Opportunity For Ag
Swine Flu Vaccinations for the Canadian Population
Argentina Dengue Outbreak
Dengue fever out break in Sri Lanka kills 146, infects more than 10,000
Mauritius records 208 cases of dengue fever

Eurasia/Drums of War
Putin wants to remove President Saakashvili
Germany targeted by Russian commercial spies –official
Georgia fears second Russian invasion
Azerbaijani President says nation must prepare for war with Armenia
Assassination attempt raises fears of 'new Chechnya'
Russia: No Dissent on US Air Base
Two crocodiles spotted in pond near Ukrainian refinery

Pakistan: India no longer a military threat
Kim Jung-Il's Son Made Head of NKorean Spy Agency
China to Invest $3Billion in Turkmenistan Oil Field
China has more millionaires than UK for the first time
RBS topped the losses list while Chinese banks raked in profits
Japanese Exports Plunge Again

CRS Reports:
Judge Sonia Sotomayor: Analysis of Selected Opinions
Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2009
Inherently Governmental Functions and Department of Defense Operations: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
Federal Rulemaking: The Role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Homeland Security Department: FY2010 Request for Appropriations
Iran's 2009 Presidential Elections

Spanish bar invites insults from stressed customers
A bar in Spain is serving up free beer and tapas to recession-weary customers who insult its bartenders as a way to let off steam.

Comment: The low-grade sadism involved in this article prompted me to investigate what would happen if you googled "recession" and "sex." Answer: 18.5 million hits. Further investigation uncovered Dominatrix Work Forces Recession To Its Knees


Diaspora said...

Here’s a good dose of reality for those weaned on the Wonderful World of Disney. If reading this doesn’t make you mad it will make you sick (while reading “Crossing the Rubicon” I was both!)
F. William Engdahl's newest book, "Full Strectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order," It discusses “…America's grand strategy, first revealed in the 1998 US Space Command document - Vision for 2020. Later released in 2000 as DOD Joint Vision 2020, it called for ‘full spectrum dominance’ over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively.”

“…Western-imposed ‘shock therapy’ meant ‘free market’ hokum, mass privatizations, ending the public sphere, unrestricted access for foreign corporations unemcumbered by pesky regulations, deep social service cuts, loss of job security, poverty wages, repressive laws, and entire economies transformed to benefit a powerful corporate ruling class partnered with corrupted political elites. Globally, Russia got billionaire "oligarchs," China "the princelings," Chile "the piranhas," and in new millennium America the Bush-Cheney "Pioneers" and Obama Wall Street Top Guns wrecking global havoc for self-enrichment…As for ordinary people, Russia is instructive for what's heading everywhere:
mass impoverishment; an epidemic of unemployment; loss of pensions and social benefits; 80% of farmers bankrupted; tens of thousands of factories closed and the country de-industrialized; schools closed; housing in disrepair; skyrocketing alcoholism, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, suicides, and violent crime; and a declining population and life expectancy because the country was looted for profit and all safety nets ended; what Milton Friedman called ‘freedom’…”
During an address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American people, at the U.S. Capitol on September 20, 2001, George Bush said “they hate us for our freedoms...” the freedom to be the biggest patsies ever to walk the face of the earth.
“Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order:" Part I

Sebastian Ronin said...


Engdahl is always a very refreshing smack up the side of the head. I find his analyses and hypotheses on what is in play, especially re the geopolitical, to be top notch. That he has gone soft on Peak Oil is neither here nor there, IMO. For anyone who may be interested, his site is F.W. Engdahl

Personally, I find his tough, realpolitik analyses to be complimentary to the stuff that’s getting cranked out over at Prof. Michel Chossudovsky’s Centre for Research on Globalization. That it is also complimentary to FTW goes without saying.

Your comment highlights something that, it would seem to me, most folks would just as soon prefer to sweep under the rug. Industrial civilization has to play itself out…completely. The kinetic energy of a runaway freight hurtling down a mountain slope does not dissipate until it has wiped out everything in its path and come to rest in a horizontal valley. At this instant in time to contemplate and work towards a peaceful world is delusional and counter-productive. Seeds can be planted, yes, but there will likely be no harvest for a couple of generations. Foundation-building is selfless because the prospect of not living to see the fruit of one’s labour is a guarantee.

How truly bent and out-of-perspective things really are in the present re any kind of social awakening to assume political responsibility was recently brought home by the death of Michael Jackson. That the death of a circus freak who liked to dance could almost shut down the internet with exchanges of remorse and drama reflects exactly the nature of the infantile pop/mass psyche. Nothing much has changed in 2,000 years; the Roman maxim of “bread and circuses” holds true.

We are yet light years removed from the degree of requisite hurt and deprivation necessary to spark any kind of social response. Social awareness is not called for, nor should it be expected. The mob does not think; it reacts. For the foreseeable future it is putty in the hands of the financiers and generals.

Craft a brick. Mix some mortar. Place it into the foundation.

Brendan Carmody said...

Energy heavies back geothermal sources,28124,25667712-5018910,00.html

and new carbon counter clock

"FIRST there was the debt clock, now there's the carbon counter. Deutsche Bank's asset management arm has sponsored the creation of a 22m-high digital billboard outside Madison Square Garden in New York that will give a real-time estimate of the level of greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere.

The counter was launched on Friday, reading 3.64 trillion tonnes, and is expected to rise by about 2 billion tonnes a month, or about 800 tonnes a second, courtesy of data provided and monitored by MIT. "

RanD said...

Sebastian, I all but fully concur with your response to Diaspora's comments on the substance of Engdahl's book, "Full Spectrum Dominance: ...". The only place where I found my perspective differing from yours (and I see this as an ultimately crucial point) is embodied within your idea of our being, as you suggest, "...light years removed from the degree of requisite hurt and deprivation necessary to spark any kind of social response", coupled to your assertion (which I fully agree with) that "[t]he mob does not think".

From my perspective, I see requisite hurt and deprivation across our planet right now moving such psyches as yours, mine, Engdahl's, MCR's, JO's, all FTW contributors, and all other people involved in bringing truth and consciousness to themselves and each other, being a 'body' of growing human consciousness which is, by this entirely nonviolent ultimately nonphysical (however physically accoutered)means, evolving/communicating itself into a future which "our spirits and our minds" -- collectively, gradually, and progressively -- are fundamentally distinguishing from where our species' spirit, mind, and body has been.

And yes, "mob consciousness" will NOT be found in this future that RanD is talking about, looking at, and working toward.

KimB said...

Just started a new blogspot, thought it might be of interest "Excuse me, but am I missing something here? 29th June 2009" :

Jacob said...

Sebastian - yes I tend to agree with you.

A part of me would love join the protesters during the Copenhagen Climate Conference 2009 here in Denmark but I know it will accomplish nothing. I would love to organize meetings, pass out flyers, engage the local politicians but nobody except a select few is ready for real, underlying, fundamental changes. I don't even know if I am.

I think (sadly, perhaps even cowardly) that the best tactic in the foreseeable future is to become as anonymous as posible while helping your family, friends and parts of the local community.

Pandabonium said...

KimB - I'll stay tuned for your next installment. Good topic.

Coincidentally, I was going to suggest people who read this blog take a look at The Archdruid Report by John Michael Greer, as well as his book "The Long Descent". The ideas dovetail well with FTW.

I say, coincidentally, because you (KimB) have mentioned it in the past.

Paul said...


From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression - and they're about to do it again



It's not always easy to accept the reality of what we now routinely allow these people to get away with; there's a kind of collective denial that kicks in when a country goes through what America has gone through lately, when a people lose as much prestige and status as we have in the past few years. You can't really register the fact that you're no longer a citizen of a thriving first-world democracy, that you're no longer above getting robbed in broad daylight, because like an amputee, you can still sort of feel things that are no longer there.

But this is it. This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It's a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can't be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can't stop it, but we should at least know where it's all going.


Takes an economist's viewpoint of last year's oil spike - which is at odds with (or complimentary to?) the peak oil viewpoint. However, it shows just how total is the banksters' takeover of democracy and how manipulated are the markets.

Mark said...

Check out this article: Collapse of the Fractional Banking system.

NWNG said...

Here are a couple of articles about working toward sustainability.

blessings, NWNG

Sebastian Ronin said...

RanD, re your global "'body' of growing human consciousness." Right off the top, I take it that includes the Chinese 1.4 billion that doesn't give a rat's ass about touchy-feely, speerjule projections and the 1.3 billion Muslim Ummah, many of which consider the U.S. to be the Great Satan. Does the "Great Satan" mix in with your global perspectives on the great awakening? Have you ever actually travelled outside of the pop culture womb of the U.S.?

If I'm not mistaken, re-localization, fragmentation and collapse is the name of the game. To argue contrary to this lands one in the lap of Green delusions proclaiming very self-righteously and naively to "save the world."

Yes, there will likely be some kind of spiritual counterpart to run parallel to the collapse of industrial civilization. How could there not be? However, the seeds for that have not even been planted yet, never mind discovered.

Jacob, IMO once having stepped over the line, i.e. one's personal Rubicon, to be as visible as possible is a greater strength than hiding behind anonymity. Think about it.

Mark, thanks for the link.

Some of you may have already caught this over at The Oil Drum. David Murphy's take on the Net Hubbert Curve breaks new ground. Things are even worse than we imagine. With net EROI factored into collapse, the Post-Peak Oil depletion slope becomes almost a 90 degree drop-off.

RanD said...


I checked out your Wall Street Survivor's/Mark Berger's (is that you?) linked article on the "Collapse of the Fractional Banking System", and found it to be as beautifully right on target with what any hardcore FTW peak-oiler devotee could hope to read anywhere in terms of comprehensively articulating the 'mechanics' of our "plight & problem"... but... calling it our "fractional banking system" (which it is not), rather than "the profit motive" (which it is). (?!) So, it proved no great surprise to find the article closing with a sales pitch under the heading of "Opportunity of Peak Oil", after having just shown us how our currently collapsing global economy is integrally linked to the collapse of our planet's natural energy resources, that the potential for making a profit from this global-wide casualty we and our planet are suffering is being enhanced! rather than -- in REAL terms -- correspondingly also progressively being diminished, as we are daily observing and experiencing and reporting here at FTW blog.

I sent a response to Wall Street Survivor's Mark saying the same in somewhat different words. You know, however one chooses to say it: a rose is a rose, a spade is a spade, and always the twain shall differ.

eyeballs said...

Hey Paul!

Thanks for your link to The Great American Bubble Machine, a great article that I had trouble finding on the web. (Rolling Stone doesn’t like to make it easy.) Even harsher than the gut-twisting knowledge, that Goldman has been doing this all along, is the inescapable awareness that this is not the ONLY scam of its kind loose in the world. Just one of the baddest and toughest.

mberger said...

RanD - I responded to your comment under the original article. I'm not sure if I understood your question entirely, but I tried my best: