We talk a lot about Peak Cheap Oil as the Achilles' heel of the exponential monetary model, but the real threat to the quality of our daily lives would be a sustained loss of electrical power. Anything over a week without power for any modern nation would be a serious problem. When the power goes out, everything just stops. A blackout of a few hours results in an inconvenience for everyone and something to talk about. But one more than a day or two long? Things begin to get a bit tense; especially in cities, and doubly so if it happens in the hot mid-summer months. Anything over a week and we start facing real, life-threatening issues.
Fast forward to 1 minutes 6 seconds into the clip (equivalent to 4:22am local time, and where every second is equvalent to 6 seconds in real-time) to see what the 6.8 magnitude earthquake, which we reported earlier, was all about. Luckily, this time, it was nothing to write home about. Let's hope it stays that way for all future earthquakes as well, or otherwise Abe will have much bigger problems on his hands than just a flaccid "third arrow."
- Bond Anxiety in $1.6 Trillion Repo Market as Failures Soar (BBG), as reported first by Zero Hedge
- As Food Prices Rise, Fed Keeps a Watchful Eye (WSJ)
- Yellen’s Economy Echoes Arthur Burns More Than Greenspan (BBG)
- Draghi’s $1.4 Trillion Shot: Silver Bullet or Misfire? (BBG)
- Israel's Netanyahu phones father of murdered Palestinian teen (Reuters)
- Ukraine says forces will press forward after taking rebel stronghold (Reuters)
- Goldman Sachs Brings Forward Rate Forecast as Treasuries Drop (BBG)... you mean rise?
- Super typhoon takes aim at Japan (Reuters)
- Kidnapped Nigerian girls 'escape from Boko Haram abductors' (Independent)
- Merkel says U.S. spying allegations are serious (Reuters)
- Ceasefire over, Ukraine forces attack rebel positions (Reuters)
- No Good Iraq Options for Obama as Russia, Iran Jump In (BBG)
- Japan’s Cabinet Agrees to Allow Military to Help Defend Allies (BBG)
- Obama says to reform immigration on his own, bypassing Congress (Reuters)
- South Stream Pipeline Project in Bulgaria Is Delayed (NYT)
- Foreign Banks Still in the Dark About Missing Metals in China (WSJ)
- Quelle indignity: several bankers at French bank BNP Paribas will face demotions and cuts to their pay and bonuses (FT)
- Symantec Warns of Hacker Threat Against Energy Companies (BBG)
- Shrinking Office Spaces Slow Recovery (WSJ)
- Rand Paul Slams ‘Fat Cats’ With Hedge Fund in Top Donors (BBG)
We are sure this will end well. Just as China took the 'if we build it (on free credit), they will come' growth model to extremes in real estate; it appears their ambitions in nuclear energy production are just as grandiose. However, just as they lost control of the real estate market, Bloomberg reports China is moving quickly to become the first country to operate the world’s most powerful atomic reactor even as France’s nuclear regulator says communication and cooperation on safety measures with its Chinese counterparts are lacking. France has a lot riding on a smooth roll out of China’s European Pressurized Reactors (EPRs) as it is home to Areva, which developed the next-gen reactor, and utility EdF, which oversees the project. French regulators, speaking in parliament, warned, "the Chinese safety authorities lack means. They are overwhelmed."
Forget the 700-plus-page Piketty 'socialism for all' tome; here is economics that everyone can understand.
Now that Q2 is not shaping up to be much better than Q1, other, mostly climatic, excuses have arisen: such as El Nino, the California drought, and even suggestions that, gasp, as a result of the Fed's endless meddling in the economy, the terminal growth rate of the world has been permanently lowered to 2% or lower. What is sadder for economists, even formerly respectable ones, is that overnight it was none other than Tyler Cowen who, writing in the New York Times, came up with yet another theory to explain the "continuing slowness of economic growth in high-income economies." In his own words: "An additional explanation of slow growth is now receiving attention, however. It is the persistence and expectation of peace." That's right - blame it on the lack of war!
Following Russia’s historic $400 billion natural gas supply deal with China last week, Japanese lawmakers are looking to revive efforts to tap into Russian natural gas supplies themselves.
China and Russia signed an historic agreement in Shanghai this week - the ramifications of which have yet to be appreciated ... Reserve currency status does not last forever. Empires rise and fall. The world is constantly changing and evolving. Nothing lasts forever …
How do you get rid of hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water? You dump it into the Pacific Ocean of course! In Japan, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. has made the “painful decision” to begin purposely dumping massive amounts of radioactive water currently being stored at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear facility directly into the Pacific. This is being done even though water radiation levels near Fukushima spiked to a brand new all-time record high just a few days ago.
The Eurasian crescent of Russia and China would be made all that much stronger if the two nations had a toehold on the Straits of Hormuz, and were able to shut traffic - either tanker or military, with the US Fifth Fleet located in Bahrain - into the Gulf at their bidding. Which is why it was not surprising that not even 24 hours after Russia and China announced the "holy grail" energy deal, that RIA reported Russia is already preparing to lock in the Tehran regime with a deal to build not one but 8 (!) more nuclear power plants in the country.
U.S. demand for coal has fallen in recent years and export has become ever more important to domestic coal producers. Asia is the obvious export target, but challenges abound.
A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass - at the expense of the United States.
We are by no means experts at identifying instances of fire caught on camera under low illumination conditions, but the following compressed 3 minute video from the official Tepco YouTube feed (where 1 second of the clip represents 20 seconds in real time) showing the Fukushima nuclear power plant between 8:00pm and 9:00 pm last night, and particularly the segment 1:16 into the clip and continuing for about 30 seconds (or about 6 minutes in the real world), certainly looks disturbing.
In the first case of its kind, US Attorney General Eric Holder has broght charges against five Chinese military officals on charges of economic espionage and other offenses related to computer hacking of US nuclear power, metals, and power industries:
- *FIVE CHINESE MILITARY OFFICERS CHARGED BY U.S. WITH ESPIONAGE
- *JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAYS CHINA HACKERS PENETRATE U.S. COMPANIES
- *DOJ SAYS ESPIONAGE TARGETED WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC, U.S. STEEL, ALCOA, SOLARWORLD
Holder added that the "range of trade secrets and other senstivive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response."