Things Fall Apart

Posted by Ed 2 mths ago
Hunger and Blackouts Are Just the Start of an Emerging Economy Crisis.  “Turmoil triggered by rising food and energy prices is already gripping countries like Sri Lanka, Egypt, Tunisia and Peru. It risks turning into a broader debt debacle and yet another threat to the world economy’s fragile recovery from the pandemic.”

Mongolia has seen a wave of protests in response to soaring inflation. The demonstrators have rallied around the slogan “we want to live”
“Malawians to experience more blackouts.  “Malawi is set to lose 78 Megawatts of electricity this week and power outages in the country will be lasting 8 hours per day…”
Eight-Hour Blackouts Hit India After Hottest March Since 1901 “Although outages aren’t uncommon in India, the situation this year particularly points to a “looming power crisis,” said Shailendra Dubey, chairman of All India Power Engineers Federation, an advocacy group.” 
Power cuts, strong dollar weigh on South Africa’s rand.  “South Africa’s rand dropped on Tuesday, when the country’s ailing power utility ramped up scheduled power cuts that constrain growth in the continent’s most industrialised nation.”
What Booming Commodity Prices Mean for the Fed.  “Booming commodity prices, particularly related to food and energy, are worsening an already inflationary environment… [however] central banks do not have an instrument to address inadequate or uncertain supply.”
Who will save the world economy? As sharp slowdowns threaten, there seems to be no obvious saviour to the multitude of problems hammering countries…
“…there is no driving force able to save the world this time around [as China did after the GFC].”
China’s rising household debt is shattering dreams of financial freedom, and ‘fears are spreading’.  “Salary reductions, lay-offs, lockdowns and regulatory crackdowns are upending the lives of those who were once the envy of China’s middle class.”
Commodity prices are going haywire, prompting fears of the next financial crisis.   “This volatility has not only helped fuel levels of inflation not seen in 40 years —market observers are warning that it could put the stability of the global economy at risk… “Commodity speculation is largely unregulated because there are no position limits, or the limits are so high that they’re meaningless,” Kelleher said.”
Protests sweeping Peru strand tourists and close copper mines.  “Thousands of Peruvians joined a two-day strike in the Cusco region on Monday and Tuesday over the soaring cost of fuel, fertiliser and food… The unrest in Cusco followed weeks of protests across the country in which at least five people died in clashes with the police.” 

Moroccan Trade Union Calls for Protests Against Soaring Prices.

“The Moroccan Social Front will hold marches this weekend in more than 20 cities across the country, protesting against rising living costs. The front also hosted a video conference on Thursday, April 21 tackling rising prices, energy security, and government responsibility in the matter.”

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Ed 2 mths ago
The Coming Removal of the Mandate of Heaven : Water


Over 80% of the groundwater in China is unsafe, according to publicly available data attained from a Chinese government survey. Information which is normally a closely held secret. Same with the fact that 47% of the groundwater in China is so badly polluted it can’t even be used for industrial purposes.

Note, Beijing gets almost a third of their water from groundwater sources, which must be thoroughly treated at massive cost in man-hours, materials, and energy before it can be used by the general public. This has resulted in Beijing sinking at a rate of 11 cm per year as the depleted aquifer results in subsidence.

Assuming its even at a level which can be affordably treated. Which 47% of the groundwater can’t be.

This situation is even worse in the cities, where 90% of the groundwater is unusable for purposes which would bring it into contact with people. And, ironically, although the groundwater pollution is worse in the cities, rural areas are more heavily affected due to the fact most rural communities lack the resources to treat either the water they take in for normal usage or the waste water they release back into the wild.


China has tried to fix the problems with the aquifer depletion issue by turning its cities into what are known as “sponge cities”. Designed to channel water underground into the aquifer as a flood management project, these sponge cities are intended to serve a dual purpose. Its a brilliant idea in theory, but the project involves lots of spending on infrastructure which is underground and impossible to see.


Which has resulted in the city officials wasting that money on beautification projects instead.


Turning to the rivers, we find the situation is only slightly better. While the groundwater is contaminated at a rate of 80-90%, the surface water - that is both lakes and rivers - is only polluted at a rate of 70%.

Similarly to the groundwater, half of it is unusable for any human application. This includes agriculture, industrial use, fishing, or even boating. This is because 225 billion tons of industrial sewage is dumped into Chinese rivers and lakes on an annual basis.
The Coming Removal of the Mandate of Heaven : Food

If you have been following the news in the agricultural world, you’re likely aware of the shortages of fertilizer and seed which is effecting farmers across the world. In China’s Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Liaoning provinces, officials have reported one in three farmers lack sufficient seed and fertilizer supplies to begin planting for the optimum spring window.

Missing that window will drive down the eventual yield, resulting in food shortfalls - assuming the fields in question can even be planted in time to produce a crop. According to sources within these areas, they are stuck waiting on seed and fertilizer which have been imported to China from overseas - and which are stuck in the cargo ships sitting off the coast of Shanghai.

China’s official state-run newspaper, The Global Times, has rather angrily denied these reports - along with all other reports of food insecurity due to food production shortfalls. 

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Ed 2 mths ago
Mauritius dispatch: violent fuel protests expose rising disillusionment and social faultlines.

“In the past few days, the Mauritian government has been facing what some claim to be the most violent protests in the recent years, with residents from various mostly low-income neighbourhoods protesting unsustainable increases in the cost of living and the sudden and drastic increase of petrol and gas prices by more than 10% and 30%.”
With the crowds pelting stones, beer cans and, in a particularly distressing situation, a home-made Molotov cocktail, the police were forced to deploy special crowd-control units and armored vehicles to communities across the country to control the situations.
Big Economic Crisis Looms in Nigeria…

“The increasing cost of pegging the dollar will soon become unbearable. However, liberalizing the exchange rate market will increase the dollar value to about N1,000 or more. This will cause hyperinflation, increasing unemployment, and capital flight. It is the trap Nigeria found itself in.”

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Ed 2 mths ago
Beyond Mathematical Odds - Food, Grains, and the coming container tsunami
It is gonna be biblical

The theme for this entire piece is coming to terms with hard choices, and how some nations and politicians are, and some are not. And the massive supply shock the world is about to experience.

“We Are On The Precipice Of A Global Food Crisis,” Goya Foods CEO Warns


he effects of pandemic lockdowns, related supply chain strains, and conflict in Ukraine are wreaking havoc on the world's agricultural system. Readers have heard the likes of the UN warning that Middle Eastern countries are at "breaking points" as food prices hit record highs, and as of last week, the Rockefeller Foundation began the countdown (about six months) to a "massive, immediate food crisis."

Now, Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue has issued a similar warning: "We are on the precipice of a global food crisis."

In a Wednesday interview, Unanue told Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo, "Americans will have to tighten their belts and consume less," in response to her question about a potential food shortage crisis.


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Ed 2 mths ago
US Manufacturers: Inflation Is “Out of Control,” Has Not Peaked, but “Intensified” amid Strong Demand, Shortages, and Lengthening Lead Times
“Efforts to stockpile” input materials to counter price increases and shortages. But finished goods inventories continued to fall.

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Ed 58 days ago
Media outlets tend to make it sound as if all our economic problems are temporary problems, related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In fact, world crude oil production has been falling behind needed levels since 2019.  
“Bank of England raises interest rates as it warns of recession and 10% inflation. “The Bank of England has warned that the cost of living crisis could plunge the economy into recession this year, as it increased interest rates to tackle soaring inflation that is expected to rise above 10% in the coming months.”  Read More

“Swiss preparing for possible ‘severe’ electricity and gas shortages. “The Swiss government is setting up a gas sector crisis intervention group and a monitoring system for early detection of an impending electricity shortage, it said on Wednesday, as it prepares for the possibility of “severe” power shortages.”  Read More

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Ed 54 days ago

More than 2m adults in UK cannot afford to eat every day, survey finds

One in seven adults estimated to be food-insecure, up 57% from January, owing to rising cost of living.  More than 2 million adults in the UK have gone without food for a whole day over the past month because they cannot afford to eat, according to a survey revealing the “catastrophic” impact of the cost of living crisis.

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Ed 54 days ago
Got the Heebie-Jeebies?
Everyone I know is walking around in a baseline state of nervous agitation. Are they beset by “disinformation” or is it rather the reality of a cratering nation run by idiots and maniacs?
Everywhere you look, calamities gather speed while the klaxons of alarm blare from all compass points. Got money? Looks like soon it will be worthless. Wondering if Mr. Putin has had enough of “Joe Biden’s” brainless effrontery to lob some hypersonic Big Ones in our collective face? Relying on that retirement account you have no direct control over while the financial markets wobble? Need to fill up the gas tank of your pickup truck twice a week? Can’t find a new condenser to fix the failing fridge?
Entertaining rumors of looming famine? Credit cards maxed out? Sheriff stapling an eviction notice on your door? Beloved younger brother declaring that henceforward they are your sister? Hearing that all those vaxxes and boosters you obediently submitted to might rearrange your DNA? 

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Ed 53 days ago
Shoot-on-sight orders in Sri Lanka after deadly violence
On Monday, government supporters attacked with sticks and clubs demonstrators in Colombo protesting peacefully for weeks over a dire economic crisis and demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Mobs then retaliated across the country late into the night, torching dozens of homes of ruling-party politicians and trying to storm the prime minister’s official residence in the capital.
Police said Tuesday that in total eight people died.
Protests continued on Tuesday despite the curfew.
A crowd attacked and set fire to a vehicle carrying Colombo’s most senior policeman. 

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Ed 52 days ago

Shanghai moves to impose tightest restrictions yet

Shanghai officials will over the next few days further restrict access to food and hospitals in some parts of the city, the most severe phase of its extended lockdown yet.

Commercial food deliveries are not allowed and access to hospitals for all but emergencies must first be approved.

Neighbours of Covid-19 cases and others living close by are also being forced into government quarantine facilities.

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Ed 50 days ago
Meanwhile in Sri Lanka Watch
Food Riots In Sri Lanka Turn Deadly As Protesters Beat Up Police, Burn Down Politicians' Houses 

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Ed 47 days ago
Policies leading to a war on fossil fuel as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine will contribute to a food crisis, according to Robert Unanue, President and CEO of Goya Foods. “We are on the precipice of food shortage.”

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Ed 45 days ago

Poor Countries Face a Mounting Catastrophe Fuelled by Inflation and Debt

““It’s like wildfires in all directions,” said Jayati Ghosh, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “This is much bigger than after the global financial crisis. Everything is stacked against the low- and middle-income countries.””

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Ed 44 days ago

Runaway diesel prices threaten to do a lot more than make inflation worse—American infrastructure is at stake…

“The average driver in the U.S. doesn’t rely on diesel, as it’s commonly used by truck drivers and heavy farming vehicles. But sky-high diesel prices could not only aggravate an inflation problem that is already hurting U.S. consumers—they could have dire implications for U.S. infrastructure, and the fate of the global supply chain.”

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Ed 42 days ago

Britain faces summer of shortages on supermarket shelves after just one in four seasonal crop pickers turn up to work in some areas.

“Worried industry figures are said to be particularly concerned about the coming fortnight, when Tenderstem broccoli and courgettes both come into season. Julian Marks, MD of food and farming company Barfoots, told industry magazine The Grocer that the situation was getting ‘pretty desperate’.”

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Ed 42 days ago
Nearly 2 trillion reverse repo.... 
This is unprecedented— there is some massive stress in the system—a major US money center bank or broker dealer —someone is in deep trouble
The Four Converging Forces That Will Destroy the Economy

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Ed 40 days ago

Chinese real estate defaults have increased so much that Goldman Sachs analysts have shifted to their worst-case scenario for the riskiest part of the market.

“Twenty-two China high-yield bond issuers, all related to the property sector, have either defaulted on their U.S. dollar-denominated bonds or deferred repayment with bond exchanges since the start of this year…”


Global Power Grids Face Biggest Test in Decades With Summer Blackouts Expected…

“War. Drought. Production shortages. Historically low inventories. And pandemic backlash. Energy markets across the planet have been put through the wringer over the past year, and consumers have suffered the consequences of soaring prices. But, somehow, things are on track to get even worse.”


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Ed 31 days ago
Auto sales numbers for May are starting to trickle in and they're ugly...

The lack of stimmy money and unemployment check bonuses, combined with the fact that rates are rising and spending is slowing, made for a tumultuous May report for some of the most well known legacy auto manufacturers.

Here's a look at four of the first names to hit the tape this week, with most other major auto manufacturers set to release data within the next day or so.


*TOYOTA US MAY SALES 175,990, -27.3% Y/Y



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Ed 27 days ago,c_limit,f_webp,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

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Ed 27 days ago
Rising Food Prices: Reddit comments from all over the world are going OFF

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Ed 18 days ago
Meet the refugee from communism whose Bitcoin 'bank' has triggered a crypto crash
While Alex Mashinsky may be caught in the eye of a crypto meltdown, his personal website shows little sign of struggles.
Alongside a biography that describes the co-founder and chief executive of crypto lender Celsius Network as "born into communism, reared under socialism and is currently thriving under capitalism'', are an array of family snaps portraying domestic idyll.

Interspersed between pictures of Mashinsky plugging business triumphs are personal shots of his wife, Krissy, and their six children. It exudes a strong effort to plump the serial entrepreneur’s image as a successful cyber currency mogul.

Mashinsky’s reputation was cast in a less flattering light this week, however, after the millionaire became the central figure of a crypto downturn. 

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Ed 16 days ago

Inflation is Going to Get Worse. Blame a Lack of Diesel


It cost Carl Smith $999 to refill the 275-gallons fuel tank of his semi-trailer on Sunday for a run from Ohio to Wisconsin—and that’s just because his fuel credit card cuts off at $1,000. In the nearly 40 years he’s been driving, the price of diesel fuel has never been that high. “That’s the most it ever cost me to fill up, and I didn’t even get all the way filled,” he says.


He adds a fuel surcharge to his rates, which will help him withstand the current high price of diesel. But he knows all that means is he’s passing on those diesel costs to the average American, for whom the price of goods hauled by truckers like him to the local grocery store keep growing.

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Ed 14 days ago

“Dozens of countries risk protests, riots and political violence this year as food prices surge around the world, the head of the food-aid branch of the United Nations has warned…

Even before the Ukraine crisis, we were facing an unprecedented global food crisis because of Covid and fuel price increases,” said David Beasley, director of the UN World Food Programme.”

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Ed 14 days ago
Entire Sydney suburbs plunged into darkness as more power outages loom
Suburbs around Sydney suffered power outages on Monday night, as officials warn more blackouts could be on their way. 

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Ed 12 days ago

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Ed 1 day ago
Spanish police fire rubber bullets at the mass of African migrants caught up on or tumbling off the border fence with Morocco.  Watch 

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