Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Headlines - 02/06/2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The Coming Global Financial Crisis: Debt Exhaustion
The global economy is way past the point of maximum debt saturation, and so the next stop is debt exhaustion.
Central Bank Gold Purchases Hit A Record In 2018
Official gold purchases reached a new record in 2018 as central banks continued to diversify away from the U.S. Dollar.
Suck it up, peons. -- RF
Goodbye to the Dollar
The inept and corrupt presidency of Donald Trump has unwittingly triggered the fatal blow to the American empire—the abandonment of the dollar as the world’s principal reserve currency.

## Airline death spiral ##
Asia’s aviation industry is booming, so why isn’t it making money?
Only six of the 20 publicly traded airlines based in the region made a profit in the last reported quarter
Just the other day we saw a similar report about Europe. -- RF
OMG, it's another "issue"! It looks as though "issues" alone will be sufficient to destroy the airline industry. -- RF
Airline Mechanics Speak Out on Pressure to Ignore Safety Issues
In an eight-month-long investigation, CBS News discovered that a significant amount of airline mechanics feel pressured by management to ignore potential safety problems on airplanes and this pressure could eventually result in a devastating accident one day.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
No plans to pull U.S. troops from South Korea, Trump says
Regime Change for Profit: Chevron, Halliburton Cheer On US Venezuela Coup
If Guaidó comes to power and privatizes PDVSA, U.S. oil companies — with Chevron and Halliburton leading the pack — stand to make record profits in the world’s most oil-rich nation, as they did in Iraq following the privatization of its national oil industry after U.S. intervention.
The US sanctions Venezuela to strangle its economy, and then sends aid? It's all a show, folks. -- RF
MAGA Misses the Eurasia Train (Pepe Escobar)
While China and Russia solidify their economic and political alliance, the U.S. is missing an historic chance to join a multilateral world, clinging instead to military empire.
The Permian Has A Flaring Problem
A report from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) found that the rate of flaring in the Permian basin is twice as high as the industry has been reporting.

## Environment/health ##
Obesity-related cancers rise for younger US generations, study says
World’s “Third Pole” Is Melting Away
Even if ambitious climate targets are met, Himalayan glaciers could lose a third of their volume
That's highly unlikely. But the world will experience a drastic reduction in the number of humans. I would like to say that it's because of the reason these interviewees give, but they're wrong. Factors including competition for depleting resources and energy, natural disasters, religious and ethnic intolerance, and most of all net energy decline will combine to bring down industrial civilization, thereby precipitating mass starvation, widespread war, pandemics, and other events that will cost the lives of billions. One hopes that, in the choice of weapons, cooler heads will prevail and no one will use nuclear weapons. On the other hand, power grids will fail sooner or later, and that makes ticking time bombs out of nuclear power plants because they rely on offsite power. In any case, there are few if any places to hide. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
OPEC’s Oil Princes Are Fighting For Survival
The already strained relationship between U.S. lawmakers and two of President Trump’s staunchest supporters, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, seems to be worsening.
The 'splinternet': How China and the US could divide the internet for the rest of the world
The future could see Chinese and American apps and services dominate half of the internet each, leading to a split internet, according to Kaifu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures.
How Ring & Rekognition Set the Stage for Consumer Generated Mass Surveillance
My impression on reading this is the creation of a North Korea-style surveillance society. -- RF
 Huawei blacklisting bites 5G carriers in the wallet
Companies look for alternatives, but cost and uncertainty expected to rise

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Netanyahu launches own TV channel to bypass mainstream media
OMG there are more "issues," this time in trucks. It appears that "issues" are bringing down civilization! -- RF
New Zealand may soon join the more-tourists-than-residents club

## Japan ##
Again reflecting the ruling elites' belief that high human populations must be maintained. Described as a "gaffe," this remark is actually a Freudian slip, and not the first for Aso, who once opined that old people should "hurry up and die." -- RF
Lavrov urges Japan again to recognize WW2 result
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reiterated his call for Japan to recognize the country's sovereignty over four Russian-held islands.

## UK ##
Tracking Peak Boomers & Associated Peak Employment (Economica)
Math seems to suggest mid 2019 is the likely terminus for both the growth in employment and likely economic activity.  I'll detail why 2019 can offer an increase of just 65 thousand potential new employees per month and why this will put the brakes on the US economy.
This App Wants to Track Every Homeless Person in San Francisco
Officials say power restored to Brooklyn jail that’s been without heat for a week
Earlier, guards pepper-sprayed protesters trying to enter federal facility
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. -- RF
Unfortunately, the true costs of lots of things are hidden or simply ignored. For example, the environmental costs of our industrial lifestyle are conveniently ignored "externalities." Another example is the common belief (or lie) that renewables will enable us to maintain our extravagant lifestyles without recourse to fossil fuels. The bottom line: No matter what kind of economic system you have, costs must be paid. -- RF

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