Monday, December 28, 2009

Australia Leads in Race to Bottom;US Fixed Income Has to Increase Elevenfold

From Jenna Orkin:

Headlines
Opinion: Australians are now the biggest borrowers in the world
A Record Budget Stirs Debt Worries in Japan
Chinese economy overtakes Japan
Congress Increases Debt Limit
Brace For Impact: In 2010, Demand For US Fixed Income Has To Increase Elevenfold... Or Else (from Rice Farmer)
Top hedge funds bet on big yields rise
First Highly Drug-Resistant TB Found in U.S.
New drug-resistant malaria found in Thai-Cambodia border

Economy
Millions face new pay freeze in 2010
A decade of high unemployment is looming
UK: More than 7m households 'in fuel poverty'
Disabled workers 'worst hit by cuts in recession'
Sadly, 'Death of Derivatives Overhaul' Rumors Are Greatly Exaggerated
War on Wall Street as Congress Warms to Turn Clock Back to Glass-Steagall
Oil prices jump to highest level in 7 weeks
Tanker Glut Signals 25% Freight Decline as 26 Miles of Ships Meet Demand
Berkshire Workforce Cut by 21,000 on Manufacturing, Retail Business Slump
Yen to Fall Versus Dollar in '10 as Interest Rates Diverge, Survey Shows
Carlyle says mulling bid for Shanks
Buffett eyes GMAC's ResCap
Property firms draw up 'living wills' to survive crash
Sagging tourism forces "fiscal crisis" for Hawaii (from Rice Farmer)
Hawaii: State’s foreclosures up 122 percent (from Rice Farmer)
Michigan Forces Business Owners Into Public Sector Unions

War/Intelligence
U.S. says al Qaeda-linked man tries to blow up plane
Hunt is on for terror ties
U.S. eyes ties to Yemen al-Qaida
U.S. quietly takes war on terror to Yemen
I'm glad we've learned discretion. So much more civilized than Shock and Awe.
Strict, new rules for airline passengers
Raise your hand if you saw these results coming.
New security restrictions could hurt airlines
Demand control. TIA. Plus ca change...
U.S. knew of suspect, but how much?
Flight 253 explosive easily detectable
Navy attempted suicide rate nearly 3 percent (from Rice Farmer)
DARPA and You
They can drive your car for you, do surgery on you and even replace a missing limb that responds to your wishes. But suppose the limb gets hacked?

World
Israel Recalls All Ambassadors (from Gamedog)
U.S. rights activist crosses into North Korea: reports
South Korea's Lee in UAE to discuss nuclear deal
JAL bankruptcy proposed as option to banks
Pilot Says Arms Headed for Kiev
Ukraine's Orange Revolution sours
Kuwait's crude exports to China surge 86% (from Rice Farmer)
Pakistan Recognizes Third Gender
"The court told the federal government to begin allowing people to identify as hijras when registering for a national identity card."

Science/Medicine
First Functional Molecular Transistor Comes Alive
Geo-Engineering As a Last Resort for Climate Change
Geese point the way to saving jet fuel
"Planes flying in V formation are more efficient and produce less carbon dioxide, say scientists."
2020 vision: Car Use Declines As Society Returns to Medieval Values
9/11 Hero Dies of Cancer on Christmas Day

12 comments:

Guy Fawkes said...

Hi Mike.

I just got done reading a book from 2004 by Michael Klare called "Blood and Oil" On page 56, Chap. 3, he goes into some insight outlining the content of the NEPDG. From everything that I've read previously, all but 7 pages of that report remain classified. I'm wondering if you're familiar with this author, and if you or Jenna can speculate just how he might have been able to speak of its content.

One passage reads:

"No matter how much oil these countries manage to produce, the world economy will still be vulnerable to shock if war or terrorist attacks disrupt the supply flow. The NEP does not discuss this danger, but it must have occurred to the authors, since they do devote considerable attention to expanding the world wide system of emergency oil reservoirs modeled on the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Of course, another kind of insurance for the continued flow of oil is military might, but the NEP tactfully omits any discussion of that option. ..."

To me, that reads like an author who has seen the Cheney Group report in its entirety.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated for my poly-sci studies.

Paul said...

George Ure’s Urban Survival blog has a good analysis of the developing situation re: Israel/Iran, Yemen and Israel’s first ever conference for all its Ambassadors. On the subject of Israel making a pre-emptive strike againts Iran...

quote

The question is pretty simple:  With Iran having trouble at home and with a schism developing on territorial expansion, how long will Israel wait?
 
My guess is not very.  Reason?  Little noticed in the Western/corpgov press is that Israel is holding a first-ever ambassador’s conference in Jerusalem.  While on the surface, one agenda item is to talk about tense relations and whether Turkey could moderate talks with Palestinian leaders, I’d bet there’s another item being discussed in background:  How will Israel’s diplomatic corp respond when Israel moves proactively against Iran?
 
..........
 
Best guess:  Israel isn’t going to wait for US sanctions which will no doubt be a long time coming and hotly debated even then.  Especially when the pro-bomb-Iran groups now have a headline that claims Iran will be nuclear capable ‘within weeks.”
 
If I were a betting man - not just a nut-job in the outback of East Texas, I’d wager that the Iranian - and rest of world - response to an Israeli launch is the real agenda at Jerusalem and that this is a planning meeting for how to communicate Israel’s regional security concerns.  Especially if, as linguistics have previously suggested, there’s more than just political fallout from the attack.

unquote

Scary stuff. The linguistics bit at the end of the quote refers to a Web-Bot prediction of considerable nuclear fallout from a Israeli bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities.

Namaste

Paul said...

We're Screwed!
ShadowStats.com founder John Williams explains the risk of hyperinflation. Worst-case scenario? Rioting in the streets and devolution to a bartering system.


quote

In terms of the GDP, we are about halfway to depression level. If you look at retail sales, industrial production, we are already well into depressionary. If you look at things such as the housing industry, the new orders for durable goods we are in Great Depression territory. If we have hyperinflation, which I see coming not too far down the road, that would be so disruptive to our system that it would result in the cessation of many levels of normal economic commerce, and that would throw us into a great depression, and one worse than was seen in the 1930s.

unquote

OrwellianUK said...

Guy,

Search for Michael Klare at From the Wilderness to begin with.

Klare was a regular at Peak Oil conferences attended by Mike.

OrwellianUK said...

Arrow trucking collapses leaving stranded, jobless drivers

OrwellianUK said...

Hilarious take on the 'Yemen al Qaeda link' from Chris Floyd

Hotspringswizard said...

Paul, I've always appreciated your thoughts, and the relevant info you come up with on a regular basis :-)Of course lots of interesting things from the other contributors too :-)

Feels like this run-away world train is getting pretty close to the big cliff ahead now. Almost like the engine is just now at the tracks end and going over the edge, with all of the people in the passenger cars still thinking everything is ok.

Maybe though things will continue to limp along for some years still. Lots of downsizing and conservation that could be done to take the pressure off of the current problems in the big complex world societies when it comes down to it.

Not saying at all that this cutting back will ultimately solve in any way the long list of growing troubles in consideration of our longer term future, just that the one doomster vision of a quick and sudden collapse around the world may not be the way this all plays out, at least in the relatively close years to come.

RanD spoke to ideas about what really is our purpose in sharing ideas here, what is our goal. Well as one poster implied ( if I remember correctly ), I think for the most part we are here to keep abreast of the developments of the many grave changes. To me the more heads working together on this endeavor the more efficient we can be in learning more about these very important subjects, and hopefully this new knowledge will provide for something benificial in our own lives, in the lives of our families and our communities.

I think thats the best you can hope for to find of benifit from a blog setting like this, with the various points of view ( and the people behind them ) coming from so many differant physical locations.

However the seeds of knowledge found in what we share here can have the potential to sprout into some benificial endeavors by way of the ones who come here and learn, who take what they have gained in understanding and turn it into concrete action in their own locals.

Of course others will have their own unique points of view on just what is the ultimate benifit of this space of communication, and what could be accomplished by sharing info and ideas here :-)

businessman said...

One of the major reasons we haven't had higher inflation is because of the major slowdown in the total amount of purchases being made. From Economics comes the equation mv=GNP, where m is the amount of money in the economy, v is the velocity or the number of times the money changes hands during the year, and GNP is the Gross National Product. As GNP has been contracting while m has been increasing incredibly, v has to have been shrinking unbelievably at the same time in order to have still produced a shrinking economy. So because the total amount of sale transactions has been shrinking...amid a hugely increasing money supply, inflation has been held in check...at least for now.

gamedog said...

Somali pirates hijack UK tanker in Gulf of Aden

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8433438.stm

===========================

Most up to date M.E.fallout analysis I could find is here from june 1st 09.

Iran, Israel and the Effects of a Nuclear Conflict in the Middle East

http://www.scribd.com/doc/16111373/Iran-Israel-and-the-Effects-of-a-Nuclear-Conflict-in-the-Middle-East

I am still pondering how the "suicide" of a British UN nuclear expert fits in with all this.

http://www.austriantimes.at/news/General_News/2009-11-22/18282/UN_%27suicide%27_scientist%27s_family_rescue_evidence_from_destruction

Seems he was expert at identifying weather deep nuke explosions or natural earthquakes were detected on seismic equipment. My initial thoughts were regarding industrial nukes that are used in the oil/gas industry... as mentioned in the comments on this oildrum thread (with links)...kind of a last ditch attempt to increase short term supply at the expense of the long term total reserves.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6068

I also wonder if some site was bombed, and the culprits claimed it set off a nuke, weather such an expert would be able to tell the difference. Maybe poor, or pure, conjecture on my part
======================

Businessman, can we assume that should no-one want to buy further US (or UK) debt, and 'm' starts shrinking, we will see inflationary pressures then? Seems that's the way Zimbabwe went.

My thoughts, since it seems to be a globally coordinated play, there is still a few countries with room on their credit limits, I expect a little more squeezing is in order before we see the full on fast crash scenario we all fear.

I don't think "death of the dollar" [or any bunch of currencies] will lead to a barter system as such, maybe limited local barter, but maybe a new global electronic currency based on the IMF SDR as the "solution" we're offered.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/5096524/The-G20-moves-the-world-a-step-closer-to-a-global-currency.html

It is all moving so fast that I'm getting that stumbling round in the dark feeling again!

stay safe guys!

RanD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RanD said...

Economist John Perkins [book: "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"] [points] toward predatory capitalism as the real cause of the current global financial meltdown. He outline[s] his former work as an "economic hit man" in which he helped convince third-world governments to accept huge loans for infrastructure projects that they ultimately wouldn't be able to afford. When they couldn't pay back the loans, the US govt./corporations would instead demand cheap oil/resources or political/military favors.... Dec. 28, 2009 interview: PREDATORY CAPITALISM

www.coasttocoastam.com/ (subscription req'd).

businessman said...

gamedog...at auctions of U.S. Treasury Securities during the latter half of this year, sometimes our Federal Reserve, our Central Bank, has been the main purchaser of these Securities, because other investors haven't been that interested in buying them. I have to believe that major inflation will occur at some time in the future, the only question is when.

We've seen it already in one respect, and that is in the rise in the value of our stock market. A lot of the bailout money given to the financial companies has been reinvested by these companies in the stock market, causing the values of many stocks to rise considerably. While this is in its own way really more of a kind of inflation of stock values, only occurring because of the additional money being created, it's being perceived and sold to us with glowing reviews as a sign of strength and recovery in our economy.

Had this money instead been spent on buying goods and services by its recipients, we'd be seeing more inflation occurring in the regular way.