7 Sep 2012

Saudi oil well dries up

By : If Citigroup is right, Saudi Arabia will cease to be an oil exporter by 2030, far sooner than previously thought.
A 150-page report by Heidy Rehman on the Saudi petrochemical industry should be sober reading for those who think that shale oil and gas have solved our global energy crunch.
I don't wish to knock shale. It is a Godsend and should be encouraged with utmost vigour and dispatch in Britain. But it is for now plugging holes in global supply rather than covering the future shortfall as the industrial revolutions of Asia mature.
The basic point – common to other Gulf oil producers – is that Saudi local consumption is rocketing. Residential use makes up 50pc of demand, and over two thirds of that is air-conditioning.
The Saudis also consume 250 litres per head per day of water – the world's third highest (which blows the mind), growing at 9pc a year – and most of this is provided from energy-guzzling desalination plants.
All this is made far worse across the Gulf by fuel subsidies to placate restive populations.
The Saudis already consume a quarter of their 11.1m barrels a day of crude output. They are using more per capita than the US even though their industrial base as a share of GDP is much smaller.
The country already consumes all its gas. (Neighbouring Kuwait is now importing LNG gas from Russia:

Hungary Throws Out Monsanto AND The IMF

The Automatic Earth: I don't know about you, but I would label my personal knowledge of Hungary as wanting, if not painfully incomplete. It's not an easy country to come to grips with, not least of all of course because Hungarian doesn't look like any western language we know with the possible exception of Finnish. I did visit just after the Wall came down, and remember huge contrasts, almost paradoxes, between rural poverty and a capital, Budapest, that was much richer than other capitals such as Prague, a leftover of Budapest's status as meeting place between western and eastern diplomats and businessmen.
The riches were not for all, though, the city center was full of beggars and panhandlers, mostly Roma. To keep up the paradox, Mercedes sold more luxury models in Hungary than just about anywhere else back then, reportedly mostly also to Roma; just not the same.
In the years since, precious little attention has been and is being devoted to the former eastern bloc countries in the Anglo press. We know most of the countries are now members of the European Union, but only a few have been allowed to enter the hallowed grounds of the eurozone.
One thing I did pick up on last year was the news that Hungary's PM Victor Orbán had thrown chemical, food and seed giant Monsanto out of the country, going as far as to plow under 1000 acres of land. Now, I have little patience for Monsanto (AKA MonSatan), infamous for many products ranging from Agent Orange to Round-Up, nor for its ilk, from DuPont to Sygenta, all former chemical companies that have at some point decided they could sell more chemicals than ever before by applying them on and inside everyone's daily food. Patenting nature itself seems either unworthy of mankind or its grandest achievement. I don't care much for either one. So Orbán (who has a two-thirds majority in parliament, by the way) has my tentative support on this one.
This is from July 22, 2011, International Business Times:
In an effort to rid the country of Monsanto's GMO products, Hungary has stepped up the pace.

THE GROUCHO-HUNT SYNDROME: Some final questions.. Is the Prime Minister on drugs? - The Slog

So there was our Prime Minister, having a rush of something to his head as he spoke about building regulations and getting Britain back on its feet by building more homes to house the overpopulation from which we suffer these days. In another place, Home Secretary Theresa May was confirming that there would be no confirmation of a British population maximum of 70 million, a statistic used by her Party as a shock-horror number just three years ago. None of this offered anything to help with the UK economy; but the vast majority of the electorate cannot even grasp that it’s exports we need, not work for the sake of it. So Dave will get clean away with his housing ‘boost’.
“Yes, yes, it’s good, we’re getting things moving,” said Dave, his words a water-spray vapourising even as they were emitted, “There’ll be sixty perhaps seventy thousand house builds freed up and more to come after that, you see this is what we need to get Britain moving…”
Oh dear. There seemed not a scintilla of point to any of it, and no sign at all that Mr Cameron was aware of the futility of his meaningless public-school metaphors. If Britain pulls up its socks and gets back on its feet, it can get moving. It can move house because we’re building more homes, and that will make Estate agents more confident when market research airheads ask them whether they think the economy will go up, down, or on a day-trip to Bangor next year.
The thing about the Prime Minister is that he’s always here, and on his way to there. The missing elements in his diagnosis system are how we got here, and what the consequences of going there might be ten years from now. Of course, in that respect he is in general terms no different to any other politician; it’s just that, in his case, people of my age group look at the man, remember that he is the CEO of UK (Social Economy) plc, and feel a creeping anxiety around the knees which, unless medicated, could rapidly turn into a panic attack. ‘Fuck me,” we think,this bloke is in charge’.
Anyway, if I can just apply some perspective to David Cameron’s wood for trees close-up, we got to here via an injudicious collision of hippy sexual morality, poor education, liberal-to-loopy immigration policies, familial meltdown, a lopsided economy, the neglect of farming, banker barminess, tolerance of all the foregoing, and a £3.5m donation to the Conservative Party from construction industry fatcats peddling a cash-for-houses swap.

A Bright Future For Greeks:"Now I Clean Swedish Shit"

Tyler Durden's picture: One look at the short squeeze in the EURUSD, coupled with the endless jawboning out of Europe, and one may be left with the faulty impression that Europe has been magically fixed and that Greece couldn't be more delighted to remain in the Eurozone. One would be wrong. This is what is really going on in Europe:
As a pharmaceutical salesman in Greece for 17 years, Tilemachos Karachalios wore a suit, drove a company car and had an expense account. He now mops schools in Sweden, forced from his home by Greece’s economic crisis.

“It was a very good job,” said Karachalios, 40, of his former life. Now I clean Swedish shit.”
That more or less explains everything one needs to know about the "fixing" of Europe.
Of course, those who saw our chart from yesterday which showed Greek unemployment rising by 1% in one month to a record 24.4% will hardly find this surprising.

For all those others who need a personal anecdote to grasp just how fixed Europe is, we hand it off to Bloomberg.

LAPD Special Order 1: Technological Harassment Hits Home + US TSA Pull PR Stunt to Justify It's Absurb Demands and Abuse of Passengers

Despite legal battles raging over 10 years and a noticeable lack of terrorist activity in that time, the LAPD is moving ahead as the first police department in the U.S. to implement Special Order 1, a policy which will allow the police to detain and arrest you if you are taking photos or videotaping certain buildings deemed by them as "suspicious activity". The problem being of course -- what exactly is considered suspicious activity?

Take for instance the innocent man Greggory Moore who was confronted for shooting pictures on his front lawn just because it happened to have the court house in the background. Eight policemen were called by "good citizen spies" to confront and interrogate him while he was held with his hands behind his back then patted down.
Other photographers have experienced similar heinous police behavior and even been threatened with being put on the FBI watch list for taking pictures at the airport.

Jim Rogers on the EU, the U S election, and the next big investment opportunity

"If you are not worried about 2013, you should be!"

Defense Science Board report: US DoD should ‘more aggressively use autonomy in military missions’

SKYNET DREDD: Automatic JUDGE jury and executioner drones!
Madison Ruppert: In a recently released report made publicly available by Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists entitled, “The Role of Autonomy in DoD Systems,” the Defense Science Board (DSB) sets forth recommendations for an increased use of autonomous systems in drones and other unmanned systems utilized in Department of Defense (DoD) missions.
Aftergood brings out some of the more disturbing details in the report including the Board recommending the DoD more aggressively use autonomy in military missions.” Thankfully autonomous doesn’t mean completely autonomous just yet, or as Aftergood humorously puts it, The Board is not calling for the immediate development of Skynet at this time.”
This should indeed be quite concerning for Americans considering that we’re seeing a massive expansion of the use of military drones in concert with law enforcement in the United States, not to mention a plethora of potential or current drone bases across the nation. Indeed, the use of drones is becoming so appealing even television news networks may have their own drone fleets in the near future.
The report, produced by the DSB which describes itself as “a Federal Advisory Committee established to provide independent advice to the Secretary of Defense,” is dated July 19, 2012 and is unclassified. The DSB Task Force on The Role of Autonomy in DoD Systems actually finished the information gathering process for the report in October of last year.
“It should be made clear that all autonomous systems are supervised by human operators at some level,” the report states. However, a problem highlighted by the report — one which has also been raised by the Air Force — is the sheer amount of data constantly pouring in from unmanned platforms around the globe and relative lack of analysts to process it.

Bankrupt Cyprus And The Russian Connection

By Wolf Richter: The Republic of Cyprus, with its 840,000 people, has been in the Eurozone for less than five years. It and its banks burned through mountains of euros faster than anyone could count. Now they need a bailout whose magnitude balloons every time someone blinks. (Angelo: Bear in mind that before the Euro Cyprus was a tiger economy for over a quarter of a century with such a strong currency that the government would suppress it in the summer to encourage world travelers such as the British who's currency was always so much weaker and Cyprus had stable 6% interest rates since the partial ousting of the same imperialist British)
The financial problems came to a head last year when the markets refused to go along with the country’s profligacy. So Cyprus went begging to Russia and got a €2.5 billion loan last November. Which quickly evaporated. In June, banks began to crater. Bailout time. €2.3 billion would be required for the two largest ones. The bailout Troika, the despised austerity gang from the EU, the ECB, and the IMF, took a gander at the stuff the banks called “assets.” Costs jumped to €6 billion, plus €4 billion for a government bailout. Then rumors seeped out that the banks alone would need €9 billion, for a total of €13 billion [read..... The Ballooning Cyprus Fiasco].
In early August, a hullaballoo arose when it was leaked that Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades had told lawmakers of an even greater fiasco. He’d been appointed only on May 2, and when he opened the closet doors of the banks, he discovered the real mess: €12 billion would be needed for the banks—70% of the country’s shrinking €17 billion economy! Plus whatever the government would need. A total of €16 billion perhaps. 94% of GDP.
But plot twist: his predecessor, Athanasios Orphanides, lashed out at him. He’d been in office from January 1, 2008, when Cyprus acceded to the Eurozone, to May 2, 2012. During that time, he was also on the Governing Council of the ECB. He’d overseen the whole debacle, had let it happen, had encouraged it. So he accused his successor of an awful sin, namely shining some light on the banks, thus “creating the impression that our debt is unsustainable.” (i.e. telling the truth)

"Read between the lines" Regaining your Economic and Financial Independence with Kung Fu Finance Girl!

Today, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced a bond-purchase program in the euro zone with no set limit. But why should you, who may be thinking about your future and your retirement, care about Super Mario's latest policy response? Our guest Susan Fujii editor-in-chief of Kung Fu Finance and an SEC accredited investor says you can't afford to ignore the macroeconomic landscape if you are trying to protect yourself in this new economic environment. She joins us to explain why.

Plus, Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren had some tough words for Wall Street CEOs in her DNC speech last night, saying that despite wrecking the economy Wall Street Bankers "still strut around Congress," demanding favors from lawmakers.

Bin Laden Book - Not An Easy Lie - "Netanyahu to polygraph Israeli population" - FKN Newz

Obama’s statements about the drone war are ‘total baloney’ according to outside experts

By Madison Ruppert: While the Obama administration has no problem boasting about their supposed successes in the international undeclared drone war, President Obama himself tends to steer far clear of the issue, evidenced by the evasiveness of Obama’s answers given to Ohio-based reporter Ben Swann.
Similarly, when the Obama administration has been confronted on the program in court, they choose to simply refuse to explain it and even act as if it doesn’t exist. Thankfully that is being challenged and with increasing coverage of the undeclared drone war, including the brutal campaign in Yemen which just continues to increase in intensity, more people seem to be aware of the issue.
Recently Obama broke his relative silence on the drone program – only slightly, mind you – in an interview with Jessica Yellin of CNN.

During the interview, Obama made the most thorough public comments on the drone war so far, but as Danger Room puts it, outside experts have found the claims he made to be total baloney.”

Drone Club - azizonomics

The first rule of Fight Club?
You don’t talk about Fight Club.
Obama isn’t a member of Fight Club; he’s a member of Drone Club — which targets individuals in foreign lands, including American citizens and their families, for extrajudicial assassination by drone. And the first rule of Drone Club?
You don’t talk about it.
Via Reprieve:
Apple has for the third time this month rejected an iPhone app which alerts the user to a drone attack and to the number of people killed.  Drones+ enables those concerned to track the strikes to their handset. 
This is no doubt an uncomfortable prospect for the US authorities, whose use of drones extends to Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, where no war has been declared.  Such drone strikes have killed more than 3,300 people in Pakistan alone since 2004, according to reports by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.  
Now we don’t know who made this decision, whether Apple thinks that citizens knowing of drone strikes is a national security risk, or whether Apple were leaned on by the CIA, NSA or Pentagon — though given that Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other Presidents combined, the latter wouldn’t be entirely unsurprising. Nonetheless, whatever the truth this is a very disturbing development — after all, how can we rightly judge the administration’s foreign and national security policy without having up to date facts?