## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Saudi Arabia announced a 2015 budget with a huge deficit Thursday as the world's largest crude exporter begins to feel the impact of its own decision not to shore up oil prices.
Not in banks, anyway. Recall that Japanese homes and businesses have an estimated ¥82 trillion in banknotes stashed away in "bureau-drawer deposits." There is also a lot of gold out there. -- RF
## Airline Death Spiral ##
Funding for the FAA expires in September, and Congress’ recent FAA reauthorization bills haven’t done much to ensure programs like NextGen, a satellite-based system geared to reduce fuel consumption, improve safety, and curb air-traffic congestion, will take off any time soon. The foundation of the FAA’s current radar, or ground-based, system dates back to the 1950s.
## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
60 Prominent Germans Appeal Against Another War In Europe: "It Is Not About Putin. What Is At Stake Is Europe"
A rocket hit a storage tank at the eastern Libyan oil of port Es Sider as armed factions allied to competing governments fought for control of the country's biggest export terminal, officials said on Thursday.
Excellent: Anything Learned from ‘Christmas Truce’?
Not a thing! As I've said before, unless we eliminate the causes of war, which are essentially "hard-wired" into the current system, the killing will continue. -- RF
## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
As China’s leaders grapple with a slowing economy, they must also contend with a looming threat to social stability—the country’s increasingly disgruntled workforce.
## Energy/resources ##
Nuclear renaissance: With US Nuclear in Decline, Scientists and Analysts Urge Support for Next-Generation Technologies
The global nuclear industry is in steady decline. Since hitting a peak in 1996 at nearly 18 percent of global energy production, the industry's share has dropped down to less than 11 percent.
## Got food? ##
## Environment/health ##
Following comprehensive survey, Chinese researchers warn drinking sources may dry up in much of Asia
## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The National Security Agency today released reports on intelligence collection that may have violated the law or U.S. policy over more than a decade, including unauthorized surveillance of Americans’ overseas communications.
## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
## Japan ##
It is estimated that there is enough methane hydrate beneath coastal waters to meet the nation’s natural gas needs for 100 years.
A hundred years! Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, that's what they were saying about shale gas in the US. Who believes that now? Truth is, this isn't even a resource, and it will never be exploited profitably. -- RF
Manufacturers are taking advantage of the growing domestic movement to use hydrogen as a clean energy source for automobiles and power generation systems.
Hydrogen is not an energy source! -- RF
The central government on Dec. 25 released dozens more closed-door accounts by people closely connected to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in response to a public outcry about secrecy.
## China ##
China plans to temporarily waive a requirement for banks to set aside reserves for some deposits, people with knowledge of the matter said, highlighting efforts to boost lending amid a slowdown of the world’s second-largest economy.
## UK ##
## US ##
Public hospitals can be among the most aggressive in collecting debts from poor patients, not only garnishing their wages, but cleaning out their bank accounts.
The continuing trend of one-third of Americans supporting the other two-thirds.