Wednesday 25 June 2014


## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF

## Airline Death Spiral ##
During the boom years Spain, with the help of EU cash injections, built airports all over the place, but now most of them lack the passenger numbers necessary to be profitable. Many, like Huesca, are no longer used at all by commercial airlines.

## Iraq ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Condemned by U.S. and European allies as illegal obstacles to peace with the Palestinians, settlements face a new wave of hostility within Israel - from taxpayers who suspect the state of handing on their money by the back door to a vocal minority.
Austria gave its final approval to a controversial Russian gas pipeline project on Tuesday, defying EU officials and welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin to the neutral country that has been a long-standing energy customer for Moscow.
A female passenger was killed and two flight attendants were injured when a Pakistan International Airlines plane came under fire while landing in the country’s northwestern city of Peshawar.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##

## Energy/resources ##
The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. The only catch is that U.S. coal is buried too deep for conventional mining.

## Infrastructure scavenging ##

## Got food? ##
The world’s most widely used insecticides have contaminated the environment across the planet so pervasively that global food production is at risk, according to a comprehensive scientific assessment of the chemicals’ impacts.
More on the unsustainability of industrial agriculture. -- RF

## Lifestyle Solutions ##

## Environment/health ##

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Since the meltdown of 2008, U.S. universities have collaborated with the Pentagon to study dynamics of social movements, worldwide. The goal of “terrorism studies” is “to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease.” The Minerva Initiative, like NSA spying, sees the entire planet as “enemy territory.”

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
According to CBS, no new indoor mall has been built in America since 2006 and at least one expert predicts that half of all existing malls will close within the next 10 years.
However, these articles fail to see that expensive oil is the major factor underlying the demise of the mall. -- RF

## Japan ##
Disappearing gas stations (article in Japanese)
Owing to factors including rising fuel prices, increased taxes, aging proprietors, the high cost of renovating facilities (mainly the replacement of leaking underground tanks), and declining fuel consumption, since 1997 Japan has been losing gas stations at a pace of over 1,000 per year. Some rural areas now have hardly any gas stations left. Here we can see part of the collapse of the oil-based transportation system. -- RF
Getting the populace to dance and gamble more will boost the economy! -- RF
Heavy electricity users such as silicon and special alloy makers have been vocal about their pains. “This is a life or death moment for our domestic operations. A number of companies have already closed down, gone bankrupt, or decided to go overseas and cut staff,” 11 associations of manufacturers said in a joint statement in late May.

## China ##
Long-term economic overhauls that China's leadership promised are taking a back seat to short-term needs as Beijing wrestles with a slowing economy and a foot-dragging bureaucracy.
The Chinese government will launch next month a reverse-mortgage pilot program that will allow senior citizens in four cities to borrow against their homes to pay for living expenses.
That's great news! Now the Chinese too can use their homes as ATMs! -- RF

## UK ##

## US ##
Low wage growth, high household expenses and student loan repayments are making it very difficult for Americans to prioritize emergency savings.
Across the U.S., localities are refraining from raising new funds in the $3.7 trillion municipal-bond market after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression left them with unprecedented deficits. Rather than take advantage of Federal Reserve (FDTR) policy that’s held benchmark interest rates at historic lows since December 2008, they’re repaying obligations by the most on record.
Though the Fed is doing its best to mask its abject failure and lack of choices with public relations, the reality is it has no choice but to taper and eventually end its endless spew of credit and its unprecedented and destabilizing purchases of assets.
Best democracy money can buy: Politicians For Sale? There's An App For That
The trust fund for Social Security disability benefits, which is separate from the fund for retirement benefits, is on track to be insolvent -- most likely by the end of 2016 but no later than 2017.

And finally...

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