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Japan, Libya and Yemen Black Swan Formation Update

Tyler Durden's picture


While US stock futures continue doing their own thing, primarily on the back of JPMorgan's $20 billion financing for AT&T to buy T-Mobile (gotta love proximity to the discount window and/or excess reserves), with ES surging by 16 points overnight (but not Sprint - sorry guys, you are on your own) after the world apparently did not end, the black swan formation refuses to disperse. Here is the latest news update from Japan, Libya, and Yemen.

As Reuters reports, despite ongoing lies to the contrary, the situation in Fukushima has not improved much, and per the latest update there is in fact a fresh bout of smoke from the critically reactor #3 but also from the seemingly under control reactor #2: "The operator of Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear power complex said on Monday it did not know the cause of smoke rising from two of the plant's six reactors. The smoke began to rise from the plant's No.2 and No.3 reactors on Monday, just as authorities had begun to show signs of progress in its efforts to avert nuclear disaster at the site." Of course this news has been offset with more news of improvement at reactors #5 and 6 which are completely irrelevant and have been under control from the beginning. Market ignores: QE3 will fix it.

In Yemen, the situation is about to get completely out of control, as tanks are now involved against protesters following the defection of a top general. From Al Arabiya: "Tanks were deployed outside the presidential palace in Yemen on Monday, as a top general announced his allegiance to the protest movement seeking to oust President Ali Abdallah Saleh from power. Tanks took up positions in key locations across Sanaa including at the presidential palace, the central bank and the ministry of defense, an AFP correspondent saw. The deployment came as General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, an armored infantry division commander, announced that he had joined the "revolution" along with other senior officers. Ahmar is the most senior military officer to pledge support for the opposition, which has been agitating for weeks to end Saleh's 32-year rule over the impoverished, tribal country. His pledge comes a day after Saleh sacked his cabinet in a bid to placate opposition calls for sweeping reforms. The defection of top military officers to the opposition is likely to complicate Washington's support for Saleh, whom it sees as a pillar of stability in a volatile country and a partner in the war against al-Qaeda."

And last, in Libya, the pounding continues even as Gaddafi is now said to be using human shields to prevent additional incursions by a crusading force which as we noted yesterday is seeing a split in its ranks with the Arab League now openly disagreeding with the offensive tactics. From Reuters: "Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
are bringing civilians from nearby towns to the rebel-held city of
Misrata to use as human shields, a rebel spokesman told Reuters on
Monday. The report from Misrata, the only big rebel stronghold
left in western Libya, could not be independently verified and there was
no immediate comment from Libyan officials. Residents also said
that armed pro-Gaddafi forces had entered the city dressed in civilian
clothes and that snipers posted on rooftops were shooting anyone who
came within range. "The Gaddafi forces are forcing people from
Zawiyat al Mahjoub and Al Ghiran out of their houses and giving them
Gaddafi's pictures and the (official Libyan) green flag to chant for
Gaddafi," Hassan, a rebel spokesman, told Reuters."They are
bringing them to Misrata so they can enter the city and control it by
using the civilians as human shields because they know we are not going
to shoot woman and children and old people," he said by telephone from

In typical efficient market fashion, none of this will matter as the bipolar lemming herd lurches from one extreme to another, reacting to each and every headline in a way that confirms no proactive investment thesis can work for a long time again.

For those keeping a closer eye, here is the latest Fukushima data from Reuters:

- The World Health Organisation says the
detection of radiation in food is a more serious problem than first
expected, and food contamination is not a localised problem. It says,
however, there is no evidence of contaminated food from Fukushima
reaching other countries.

- China and South Korea say they will
toughen radioactivity tests on imports of Japanese food, and Japan tells
four prefectures near the nuclear plant to halt shipments of spinach.

- Government also bans milk shipments from Fukushima province.

* Government says Japanese foods produced outside the nuclear crisis zone is safe

- Official death toll from earthquake and tsunami 8,450 with 12,931
missing. Police say more than 15,000 feared dead in Miyagi prefecture

* The U.N. atomic agency chief said on Monday that
Japan's nuclear situation remained very serious but that he had no doubt
the country would "effectively overcome" the crisis.

- Japan's
nuclear safety agency says it sees risk of radioactive dust being
inhaled by workers at stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,
but there are no signs that has happened yet.

- Reactors at
the Daiichi nuclear power plant are showing some improvement but the
situation remains uncertain, Tetsuro Fukuyama, Japan's deputy chief
cabinet secretary, says.

* Smoke rises from the plant's No. 2
and No. 3 reactors, but the operator says it does not know the cause.
Smoke began to rise just as authorities had begun to show signs of
progress in their efforts to avert nuclear disaster.

- Engineers
have re-established power cables to all six reactors. Electricity
restored at No. 2 reactor and a pump in reactor No. 5 is now running on
power from grid.

- If engineers are unable to cool the reactor,
the last option would be entombing the plant with concrete and sand to
prevent a catastrophic radiation leak, the method used at Chernobyl in
Ukraine in 1986.

- Tests detect radiation above the national
safety level in spinach and milk produced near the Fukushima plant. A
sample of tap water from Tokyo shows a tiny level of radioactive.

- The health ministry said that radiation levels exceeded safety
standards in Fukushima and nearby Ibaraki prefecture. It said it had
prohibited the sale of raw milk from Fukushima prefecture.

- The
earthquake and tsunami will depress growth briefly before
reconstruction kicks off and gives the beleaguered economy a boost, the
World Bank says in a report.


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Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:39 | 1081036 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Unique to say the least.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:58 | 1081066 oh_bama
oh_bama's picture

What swan? There is no swan and those events are in phases where volatility (both implied and realized) start to decrease.

There is even no chances of BTFD anymore


BTW: DID I Tell you guys to BTFD?

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:40 | 1081039 PhD
PhD's picture

- Official death toll from earthquake and tsunami 8,450 with 12,931 missing. Police say more than 15,000 feared dead in Miyagi prefecture alone.


How the hell does these numbers add up?!?!

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:59 | 1081069 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture


This means that 21,381-15,000=6,381 died outside of Miyagi.

I'll get the captcha wrong now....

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:29 | 1081131 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

"prefecture", sharply contrasted.

There was a time when that coastline was the definition of perfection.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:41 | 1081040 Highrev
Highrev's picture

Jack Keane, former vice chief of staff of the US army, told the BBC that assertions the military action was being undertaken purely to enforce the no-fly zone were "misleading".


"Certainly a no-fly zone is taking place but frankly that's not the purpose," the retired general said. "The purpose is clearly to use our airpower to destroy his decisive forces, which are his two armoured brigades."

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:24 | 1081096 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Is this how it works?

1. Destroy ghaddafis military hardware

2. Give muamar the boot and replace with new muamar

3. Since new muarmar has no weapons, trade Italian, French and German armaments for oil

4. Wash, rinse, repeat in 5 years.


I am completely ashamed to be amerikan. 


Is the US the new and improved global Murder, Inc. especially with the numerous Chicago connections. Albert Anastasia where are you? 

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:31 | 1081135 oh_bama
oh_bama's picture

MOre importantly, another 2 million BPD!!

BTFD guys!!


Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:36 | 1081143 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

LoL. yes.

"2. Give muamar the boot and replace with new muamar"

New and improved muamar. But they are going to have to file for a name change. "Moshe ben Amram ha-Levi" just won't be believable.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:43 | 1081043 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

How about the Syrian pressures that are building?  I know they are not much of an oil producing country, but seem to have their hands in everything ME.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:43 | 1081044 creviceCaress
creviceCaress's picture

HAR!! tis called the collapse of western CIV BITCHEEEEEEZ........!!!!!

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:43 | 1081045 Debtless
Debtless's picture

"...because they know we are not going to shoot woman and children and old people,"...

Is this a new policy for us?

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:17 | 1081097 cossack55
cossack55's picture

No, we always proclaim it while killing women and children.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 09:07 | 1081275 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Ah, 2 junkers who have never read a history book not written by Ollie North. Cool.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:42 | 1081047 razorthin
razorthin's picture

But a black swan that doesn't shit directly on a banksta's head is bullish, don't ya know.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:46 | 1081051 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Slightly off topic.  A line of radiation monitors that spans from ND to KS are picking up the elevated radiation levels that were on the coast a day or two ago????

My own Geiger, is/was reading at nearly double (50CPM) what has been a relatively stable background level of 15-20. (This is still inside the "normal" range however) The monitor east of me is/was reading 90CPM.

Levels in SD are over 200 right now.  This is more than 3 times what RadiationNetwork considers normal, considering the elevation there.

These are far from dangerous at this point; I'm not posting this from a lead lined bunker, and I'm not trying to freak anyone out.  I just find it ironic that the radiation that "Wasn't even going to get here", is now being measured as far East as Lake Superior.

But don't worry, .gov will take care of you. 

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:08 | 1081082 sudzee
sudzee's picture

California can kiss goodbye to their vegatable crop this spring. Of course if the "safe" level is increased all will be just peachy.

Then again, 50 lb tomatoes and 30 foot long cucumbers may be cited in " increased yield in California will reduce inflation".

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:20 | 1081102 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I think I would prefer to eat irradiated crops than Monsanto poison.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:28 | 1081127 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

I would prefer that the hundreds of hours a year I put into growing, canning, preserving organic fruits and vegetables is not supplemented with safe radiation.  Maybe that's just me being all quirky and moonbattish and shit.

Incidentally, if you think that Japan is even pretending to report real numbers, how is it that our own .gov monitors are picking up higher levels than most of Japan is "reporting"?  Bueller???.....

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:19 | 1081106 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Thanks for the heads up.  My sky in the Adirondacks should start glowing tomorrow.

<sarcasm>I'm so glad .gov is here to help.</sarcasm>

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:40 | 1081161 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

my camp in the 'dacks is in morehouse....where are you located?

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:44 | 1081168 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Thanks for the info Coop but just a warning;

.gov insists on trading security certificates with you if you want to view that data. (https)

All privacy advocates should take a pass. Can you post a screenshot?

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:59 | 1081236 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

They have a new (last couple of days) page that doesn't require the signup.  Link in my above post.    

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 09:06 | 1081263 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Can't post pics on ZH.  But as of 8:03 Central time:

Pierre SD - 206 CPM

Rapid City SD - 320 CPM

Lincoln NE - 108 CPM

Kearney NE - 126 CPM

Wichita KS - 86 CPM

Bismarck ND - 81 CPM


Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:49 | 1081053 PY-129-20
PY-129-20's picture

There are 1000-2000 t water in the fuel spent pools normally (according to one news agency: 1400 t in unit 4)

According to one article about fighting a wildfire a small helicopter (as we've seen in the earlier attempts) can usually take 5 ton water per flight.

A German HLF 20/16 (not the best model) firefighter truck can carry around 2400 litre. If there is a possibility to get water, it can pump 2000 litre per minute. The Japanese seem to use ones (Isuzu NPR/Morita pumper - see more: ) that can pump 3000 litre/minute. According to one article they sprayed 90 tons on one reactor /day before they had to stop. In one video I could see 2 units at the same time on one reactor - so let's say, it needs to drive back to refill, because I don't see a possibility that they can refill the pumper at the reactor - so they need to drive back to their starting point to refill.

They also seem to use water cannons - they can carry ~ 8000 l water. 1400 t / 16 t (2 units) per mission? (side note: probably not all 16 t will be in the critical area after such a mission.) Okay, speculation, I know, but I think you get my point.


The German engineer of the cooling system at Fukushima, Thiemann, said that they need to cool it down until the pumps are functioning again. He also said that there is more radioactive material than in Chernobyl. Risk can be minimized, though.


In the Daily Mail it was described as "black smoke" - some describe it as "grey smoke" - #2 "white smoke" - we definitely need an expert on that XD. Probably one from the Vatican.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:47 | 1081192 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

I think concrete burns with a grey/white smoke.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 10:17 | 1081573 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture


Saw NHK World at lunch. Seems they now have 400m water hose supplying the 'cooling' so they don't run in, deliver, and bug out. The pumping is done from a distance. They even showed some thermograph images (should cheer TD up) and claimed T° external vals of 45°C on building #2 and 130°+ on #3. How little propoganda is involved here is unknown, nor the age of the pics.

Nothing much burns at these temps of course, so the smoke source remains a mystery.

Until someone goes in for a shufty, that is.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 10:46 | 1081702 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Someone told me that Photoshop breaks down at about 50°C.

It just does not work at those temps....

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:50 | 1081056 westboundnup
westboundnup's picture

Has anyone found an online source for radiation level readings in the US that they'd recommend?

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:51 | 1081057 Weimar Ben Bernanke
Weimar Ben Bernanke's picture

Now the House of Mud are scared shitless that yemen is falling apart. I doubt the Saudi military will go into Yemen because the tribes and the people are heavily armed and bogg down Saudi forces. Yemen is facing a secession movement in the south, a shia rebellion in the north, and a flourishing al Qaeda affiliate. When Saleh leaves Yemen will descend into chaos. If the Saudis send troops in those troops will be massacred.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:22 | 1081108 cossack55
cossack55's picture

One can only hope (and changey).

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 07:56 | 1081061 sunnydays
sunnydays's picture

Is anything stable anywhere?  How come the U.S. ignores Yemen Bahrain govts. killing their people, yet they go in and bomb Libya?  Seems to be a pick and choose situation.

You can barely find anything about Japan now on the news.  Libya is a perfect distraction to what is happening in Japan. 

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:23 | 1081112 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Follow the oil.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:50 | 1081139 wang
wang's picture

If you wonder why the UN is not taking out the leadership in Yemen but instead the Saudi's and Yemen military are openly  taking out the protesters with impunity

Yemen = Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

more on AQAP

AQAP 'Inspire' Magazine (English version)

Yemen on the Brink


and in Libya you can be sure that their brother organization 'Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb' are likely looking forward to the power vacuum

North Africa (including Libya) = Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb

This is one complex quagmire and when you add in the Muslim Brotherhood, Israel, the various branches of  Islam e.g. Sunni / Shiite, the political wings of Islam  along with secular influences among the students and elite in Iran and lubricate it all with Oil it is difficult to imagine how this will end without a major conflict and disruption to the flow of oil.


The speed and lack of debate with which the UN and Nato put together Operation Odyssey Dawn, which I think was faster than the UN resolution after 9/11 speaks to the gravity (desparation) of the situation. It is all about oil.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:00 | 1081070 MiningJunkie
MiningJunkie's picture

Who cares? Just short CASH which means you should own ANYTHING denominated in Federal Reserve Notes ("FRN's") and you will make money. The elite class is being bailed out at the expense of the working class via currency debasement.

Never underestimate the replacement power of equities within an inflationary spiral.

Long live Zimbabwe.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:02 | 1081074 ft65
ft65's picture

We all know the expression, "Follow the money" so ZH readers...

Who is funding "The Rebels" ?

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:26 | 1081126 cossack55
cossack55's picture

World Bank, ECB, IMF

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:04 | 1081077 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I love the smell of jp-7!

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:14 | 1081090 primefool
primefool's picture

I hear the hot item for christmas - yeah I know  its still a few months - is the Hello Kitty Geiger Counter ( comes in radiant pink ( for the Metrosexuals) or flourescent Blue ( for da Manly gals). get em while you can!

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:38 | 1081118 avd
avd's picture

Ouch, this evil Gaddafi uses his daughter as human shield:

 Aisha Gaddafi (L), daughter of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi, gestures after making an unexpected visit to his heavily fortified compound in Tripoli in this still image taken from video March 19, 2011. Thousands of Libyans packed into Gaddafi's compound on Saturday to form a human shield against possible air strikes by allied forces.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:33 | 1081137 jbc77
jbc77's picture

Another day, another market melt up. Why not, I mean will all the good news out there. Folks, as each day passes the market looks that much more silly and broken. What a sham.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 08:59 | 1081234 wang
wang's picture

Russia Today

Nato opens a new war theatre in North Africa

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 09:25 | 1081344 Highrev
Highrev's picture

2:23 in:

"The military coalition has already violated the resolution."

Chossudovsky was referring to Article 19.

He goes on to say that the intervention is in "violation of international law" and to comment on the Sheikdoms "allied" with the coalition.

Nice analysis.

So, what do you think? Will the mainstream press call this guy up for an interview?

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 10:03 | 1081502 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

If ever there was a time we could use George Carlin to put things in is now.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 10:52 | 1081728 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

How can we shoot women and children?


Mon, 03/21/2011 - 12:19 | 1082007 HedgeFundLIVE
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A few things everyone should know about the AT&T T-Mobile merger: blog post

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!