A couple of things went by tonight in the News Of The World.
In addition to “the usual” of Assad shelling Homs, Greeks rioting, Iran saying “we’re doing exactly those things that will give us a bomb to use on the two countries we hate most, but we’re not trying to get a bomb, trust us”, the USA saying “We’ll get grumpy Real Soon Now if you don’t straighten up and do what we command in your sovereign country”, and the UN pretending it runs the world, we had some “odd bits”.
From the Al Jazeera News crawler was the factoid that India was going to put some odd $Billion+ into its banks. What, you say, India has banks in trouble?
GURGAON: The Indian government will provide adequate capital to all the public sector banks to help them face risks arising out the global economic uncertainties, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Sunday.
“Government is taking necessary steps to keep all the PSBs adequately capitalised. I can assure you that we are committed to bringing our banks at par with their global peers while catering to the needs of our economy,” Mukherjee said after inaugurating the new corporate office of Oriental Bank of Commerce here.
The finance minister said the government was committed to maintain a minimum of 8 percent Tier-I capital (equity capital) in all public sector banks (PSBs), which is over and above the regulatory requirement of 6 percent.
So they have a 6% legal mandate at present, but are at 8% hmmm… that’s a 12.5 : 1 capital ratio. Not too bad… 10:1 would be better, but Lehman Brothers didn’t go under until it hit 40:1 and 20:1 is usually where folks start sweating…
But that’s speaking about the Public Sector Banks in general and says nothing of needing $Billion scale ‘infusions’… must not be newsworthy in India…
State Bank of India to Get $1.6 Billion Infusion From Government
January 31, 2012, 12:53 PM EST
By Anto Antony and Ketaki Gokhale
Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) — State Bank of India, the nation’s largest lender, will receive a 79 billion rupee ($1.6 billion) capital infusion from the government, ending a two-year wait for funds as slowing economic growth leads to a rise in bad loans.
The state-owned lender approved selling stock to the government on a preferential basis, according to a filing yesterday to the stock exchange in Mumbai. The lender has been seeking to replenish its base for about two years after increased provisions for defaults and expansion in credit depleted capital.
Shares of State Bank have rallied 27 percent this month on speculation that the funds would be injected in the first quarter. The stock slumped 42 percent last year, and Moody’s Investors Service in October downgraded the Mumbai-based lender’s financial strength rating, citing the capital shortage and its deteriorating asset quality.
“Investors had already factored in the government’s investment into State Bank, leading to the smart bounce back in the share prices in recent weeks,” said Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd. “The key question now is, how the lender will use this capital to boost its lending book in the coming quarters.”
So Bloomberg had this story a month ago (almost) as a ‘will get’, and most likely the Al Jazeera crawler was a ‘has gotten’ and the stock move has already happened. OK, note to self: Visit Bloomberg Business Week more often…
But it’s the ‘back story’ to this that I think matters… Slowing economy. Loans going bad. Needs to sell stock to the government. This all is just NOT looking like good news to me. Even the up 27% is off of a down 42% in the prior year alone… Well… If India is one of the two spark plugs of growth in Asia (along with China) that’s a bit of a worry.
Another “note to self”: No money invested into India until this is figured out. Need to review the banks and general economic state before India gets an OK… Oh, and China likely needs a double check, too.
Sri Lanka Tea for Oil
There was a story about the Iranian sanctions whacking Sri Lanka. On the one hand, Iran wants to buy a lot of their tea, so this hurts their exports. (Oddly, one of my favorite teas I buy at a nearby “Mediterranean Store” run by an Iranian family. Nice folks. I think they are Christians that left to avoid oppression, but I could be projecting. The lady behind the counter doesn’t wear a veil and they seem to sell non-Halal products, or they just don’t put a sign out. At any rate, I get this very nice tea from them (and have not asked closely from whence it comes… ) So Iranians DO know their tea. I think it was labeled as from Sri Lanka / Ceylon, but imported by a company with “Iran” in the name (but likely a US importer run by Iranian expats.)
At any rate, I shop there fairly often, like the goods and service, enjoy talking to the folks (usually avoiding politics and religion) and wish them and their families well in whatever comes. And I buy a lot of tea from them… along with very flavorful olive oils, grape oil fairly inexpensively, and the occasional odd spices and some Russian Sprats (canned in Russia and labeled in Cyrillic and Latin letters – very small sprats with a strong rich smoky flavor; reminds me of the small sardines from when I was a kid. The ones now are just too mild on the smoke from American canneries… Russians know how to insist on intensity in life… but I’m digressing again…)
So, back at Sri Lanka:
They also are being squeezed on the oil side as Iran sells them oil on easy terms AND their refinery “works best on the light crude from Iran”… which was immediately followed by a statement that Saudi would pump enough to make up any Iranian shortfalls…
We know that Saudi is Maxed Out on Sweet. It’s ‘spare capacity’ is heavy sour. “That’s gonna be a problem”… as not all oil is fungible. Some refineries, especially those in poor places that have not been ‘upgraded lately’ can’t process heavy crude.
This very strongly implies that Iran going “off line” will hurt most the lesser developed places that depend on cheap terms, easy credit, and sweet crude. Oh, and Greece, who get a lot of Iranian oil on credit, not cash in advance.
OK, yet another ‘note to self': Watch out for economies dependent on Light Sweet Crude on easy terms. They are going to be hard pressed. Oh, and stock up on Iranian / Ceylonese Tea…
But I already talked about Greeks rioting and being dependent on Iranian Oil. Well, there’s more…
I think it was Deutsche Welle, there was a bizzaro story that I think may be this one:
It went something like ~”Germany needs to loan Greece another $120 Billion in addition to the $160 Billion they were loaned just a while ago, so they can make a payment of $30 Billion that is due in a month or so”… SO I’m wondering how I can sign up for a program where folks loan me buckets of money so I can repay 10% of it. There was also talk of the “restructuring” involving the writing off of something like $130 Billion (or maybe it was Euros…) that isn’t in this article
Greece has received a 110-billion-euro ($159 billion) emergency loan package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, but needs more loans to stay afloat and avoid a default on government bonds.
EU leaders are due to meet in Brussels in two weeks to finalize a new rescue package that could total 120 billion euros.
The “Austerity Measures” were to continue until Greece gets from 180% of GDP as debt to 120%. The assertion is that Greece amounts to an existential threat to the Euro zone:
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble called for quick action on new emergency loans to Greece on Friday in an address to the German parliament.
“The situation in Greece and Europe is serious,” he said, adding that the danger of Greece defaulting on debt would mean danger for the whole eurozone and global economic development.
Schäuble also called for the participation of private investors in a new rescue package.
So even Germany is running out of credit to ‘re-loan’ and is looking to private pockets to pick… One can only wonder what will happen next month. Greek income from tourism is going to be way down for quite a while, what with perpetual rioting and all, and I’m not seeing a whole lot of Greek Exports in the local stores. (Modulo some very nice Bergamot marmalade at the little Greek grocers just one block down from the Iranian place… a jam to die for, BTW…)
So I’m looking at this and seeing no end in sight, really. There was an interview with a Greek family where the guy was now unemployed, their costs rose 900 Euro / month and their income dropped 300 Euro / month or so (as the “free” day care and other goodies got shut off as part of ‘austerity’) Near as I could tell, they were not going to be able to make ends meet, so if more of Greece is like that, have all the “austerity” you want, it isn’t going to work. Economic productivity is dropping along with the spending… so the tax base contracts too. Spiral decent into hell…
Which brings me to the California Question: In looking at this Giant Greek Existential Threat, I looked up some things about the Greek Language. (I learned that modern Greek is not a whole lot like Ancient Greek, that comes in a couple of significant variations itself, and what I want to read would be in Very Ancient Greek, and pretty much useless for anything else, so unlikely to ‘go there’). But mentioned in a SideBar was that there were about 10 Million Native Greek Speakers.
10 Million? Golly. California is about 30 Million last time I looked. ( IIRC, it was 34 M). So Greece is about 1/3 the size of California. And nobody is talking much about how California is on the rocks. So if Greece is such an existential threat, what is California? Well, that will have to wait for another day, but it’s something to keep an eye on. But the notion that you could fit all the folks in Greece into Northern California at our current population levels was, er, surprising. MOST of the California economy and population are in Southern California. About 2/3 there, and 1/3 here (depending on exactly where you put the ‘here’ line…)
Somehow “I think this matters”…
There were several things weather related on the crawler. One was a Cyclone that has been sitting on top of Madagascar for a while. It was projected to leave “soon”. I’d swear I heard 2 weeks ago that it was about to hit, which may be why they spent such a long time talking about flooding. (Remember that all that water represents heat dumped at altitude.. the planet is cooling, fast, based on the water dump happening).
Cyclone Giovanna made landfall in Madagascar [fr] on February 13, 2012, at 20h00 local time. The cyclone is classified as a category 4, with winds of up to 194 km (120 mph) ripping up trees and electricity pylons.
Official reports have stated that there are at least 10 casualties as of now. The two main cities in Madagascar, Antananarivo and Toamasina, were out of power for long stretches of the darkest Valentine’s Day yet in the country.
Somehow I think the death toll is going to be rising for a few days.
As a reminder, back in 2000 there was flooding in Mozambique (just across a wide channel at about the same latitude):
Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 16:33 GMT
Mozambique: How disaster unfolded
Cyclone Eline struck after widespread flooding
Hundreds of thousands of people have been made homeless in Mozambique’s worst flooding in 50 years.
It could take years to rebuild the infrastructure damaged by a tropical cyclone and three weeks of severe floods.
First off, note that “worst in 50 years”. Well, what do you expect when a 60 year long cycle starts to repeat… So the last time we swapped to the “cold phase” of the PDO / AMO (and I’ll need to find out what the Indian Ocean equivalent is and how it relates / has it swapped too) they got massive floods in the area. Yet Another Note To Self: Don’t be in the food insurance business at that latitude during a cold PDO / AMO phase…
But wait, there was more… What ELSE is at about that latitude in the S. Hemisphere?
Peru and Bolivia
Were also reported as being under continued intense flooding on the Al Jazeera crawler.
So two WEEKS ago, Peru was being flooded, and more is happening now? Oh Dear…
Heavy Rains Batter Peru’s Highlands, Jungle and Coast
February 13, 2012 by Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES · Leave a Comment
Heavy rains in Peru over the past several weeks have affected about 80 percent of the national territory, affecting hundreds of people and resulting in several deaths, daily El Comercio said. On Wednesday, the government of the impoverished region of Huancavelica declared a 60-day emergency as intense rains swept away bridges and destroyed homes,
These folks have an interesting global map of “flood risk” right now, and it sure looks to me like a band of fooding runs right over South America. I suspect that Maya “Floods in 2012″ prediction was pretty darned good. (The Dresden Codex shows water pouring from the sky in 2012… not the end of the world, but a lot of floods.)
During La Nina episodes rainfall is often enhanced across the western Pacific, Indonesia and the Philippines and is nearly absent across the eastern equatorial Pacific. Elsewhere, wetter than normal conditions tend to be observed during December-February over northern South America and southern Africa, and during June-August over southeastern Australia. Drier than normal conditions are generally observed along coastal Ecuador, northwestern Peru and equatorial Africa during December, January and February, and over southern Brazil and central Argentina during June, July, and August. As we move into the upcoming neutral conditions, precipitation around the globe will likely tend back towards the average in general. This Map shows typical conditions during La Nina in February.
There are several areas around the globe that have experienced flooding events during the past week, including the Philippine Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Peru, Ecuador, Mozambique,and Malawi (see details below).
Here’s an image capture of their current image:
It also looks like north of Australia is getting whacked pretty hard too.
So it sure looks to me like the Southern Hemisphere is getting drowned somewhat. We’re back where we were 60 years ago, with lots of flooding, lots of heat leaving the planet fast during summer months. And at the N. Hemisphere end, with rampant snow and cold all over the place (except in places, like California, that get the dry side of a “Loopy Jet Stream – so we’re having a bit of a drought and little mountain snow pack… just like back in the mid 70s when we were having a cold phase).
Oh, and on the crawler yesterday was that Jordan had a month of rain in 24 hours.
There have been a load of “strange and extreme” snow events reported in “tips”. I’m sure other folks have covered them. There was snow down the entire spine of Italy. Venice had the canals start to ice up. On the news tonight was the end of Mardi Gras in Venice. The ice was gone, but everyone was WELL bundled up… But the one that caught my eye was the snow in Tripoli.
Has a nice picture of it.
The Libyan capital, Tripoli, enjoyed a flurry of the white stuff overnight, but in Malta the Met Office yesterday dampened reports that it could also snow here.
Snow is rare, but not unheard of in the Libyan capital.
An Italian website yesterday raised the possibility of snow falling over Malta as extreme cold weather over Europe heads south. .
Rome has been covered in a blanket of whiteness – the heaviest snowfall the city has seen since 1986… but the prospect remains so close, and yet, so far.
Yes, folks in Malta pining for the snow… (Wonder if they have any fjords?…) But wiki.answers.com says it HAS snowed there, some rare times:
Snow is almost unheard in Malta. It fell briefly in March 1877,February 1895,January 1905,March 1949 and February 1962 always with little or no accumulation on the …
So if it DOES snow in Malta, well, then we know it’s not warming… (That 1962 is about the same time it snowed in my home town, that almost never gets snow… Hmmm… 50 years ago…)
And the news crawler about Europe? Said “More Snow” this week but likely to clear up some next week.
So is likely a nice time to “Cherry Pick” a snow extent picture from somewhere this week, especially one centered on Europe.
So what do I see in the pattern of all this?
Warm season places having more ‘water cycle’ and faster water cycling. More heat leaving the planet DURING the hot season. Then when the cold pole swaps, the polar vortex is Damn Cold as descending air. The cold hemisphere gets frozen. BUT, with a ‘loopy jet stream’ (at least in the N. Hemisphere) so some places get “abnormal warmth” as the warmer equatorial air is sucked up further poleward than usual. That means, too, that places like California, where the descending Canadian Air gets slewed off to the East by the Rocky Mountains and the prevailing winds, get a dry time of it. All indicating, to me, that the lower solar activity has caused a thinner atmospheric height, faster heat cycle, colder descending polar vortex, loopy jet stream (stronger Rossby Waves) so some places get droughts, and a whole lot of excess rains (perhaps a bit out of place) as the convection / precipitation bands get displaced.
I think that observation would benefit a great deal from a review by a professional weatherman, but I also think it’s not too shabby as it stands.
This, to the extent it is correct, implies lower crop production from a combination of things. Drought in some places ( like California and Texas), too much rain and flooding in others, and cold and snow in yet other, especially northern European / Asian locations. We transition from a generally benign and mellow state, to a more stormy and volatile state. It also looks to me like we get stronger winds and more wind damage too. All this argues for higher food prices and lower supplies. (Not necessarily more profit for farmers, though, as they are faced with the typical farmers dilemma: “When the prices are good, it is because crops have failed, so you have not much to sell.”
All in all it’s looking to me like the Maya have a better clue about what to expect (at least in South America) than the present computerized gameboy “Climate Scientists”. It is also looking like we’re likely facing some significant bad times ahead. Right now we’re supposed to be near the hot part of this particular 11 year sunspot cycle. To the extent that’s true, the next decade is likely to be very cold. There is a lag time in all this, though. It can take many hears for the warmth or cold in the equatorial Pacific Ocean to propagate all the way up to Alaska. So what’s hitting the Equator now may still have some time to reach the more poleward areas. All in all, I would not hurt to dig up a 1950 almanac somewhere and see if “everything old is new again”.
As I remember it, there were some mighty cold winters in North Korea about then… I’m also remembering a significant tendency to Central Valley California flooding about 1955-59, trailing off into colder and drier in the early ’60s-70s.
lists California Drought in 1943-51 (just about the time the warming of the ’30s to early ’40s ended) then floods in 1950 (Kern and American River basins only) and 1955. So several of the last years were sparse on rain, then last year was lots, now we’re back into a drought. I guess the question becomes: Is this 1943, or 1951? I suspect it will take a pattern match on PDO and solar cycles to sort that one out…
Drought 1943- 51 Statewide 20 to 80 Simultaneously in effect for entire State, 1947- 49. Most extreme in south.
Flood Dec. 1955 Northern two-thirds of State. 10 to 100 Deaths, 76; widespread damage of $166 million.
Those numbers, 20 to 80 and 10 to 100, are deaths…
At any rate, if anything similar happens this cycle, it looks like there is a drought / flood ‘whipsaw’ that happens just a little ways into the cooling phase. Not looking forward to that…
Welcome to the 1950s. Break out the history books and the umbrellas, and make sure the water storage is working.
I’ll just leave with this one Australian note. Not from a news crawler tickle, nor from the precipitation maps above. Just a general “Is Australia getting the same pattern?” websearch:
Australia flood crisis deepens
04 February 2012 | 06:35 | FOCUS News Agency
Sydney. Australia’s flood crisis deepened Saturday as authorities braced for waters to peak in Queensland where one woman is missing after being swept away while elsewhere thousands remain stranded by the surge, AFP informs.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said eight military helicopters would help in search, evacuation and resupply missions in the eastern state, where days of heavy rainfall have prompted hundreds of evacuations and dozens of rescues.
“The helicopters will be available to assist in rescue operations as required until the immediate crisis has passed,” Gillard said in a statement.
In the inland Queensland town of Charleville authorities are on alert amid fears a temporary levee will collapse as the Warrego River continues to rise, flooding the whole town.
The weather bureau’s Paul Birch told the ABC the situation was “touch and go” as the water will be “rushing in quick over the levee”.
“If it does that you find it tends to erode out part of the levee fairly quickly. So then it will just open up the river into town — it’s quite catastrophic,” Birch said.
So looks like Australis isn’t in the news so much, not for lack of flooding, but due to the even larger floods elsewhere.
Wonder where we can find a Mayan Weatherman…