Wednesday, April 23, 2014

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Banker Death "Epidemic" Spreads To China?!

April 23, 2014 - CHINA - Until now, the terrible trail of dead bankers has been only among US and European financial executives. However, as Caixin reports, the increasing pressures on the Chinese banking system appear to have take their first toll. Li Jianhua, director of China's Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), died this morning due to a "sudden heart attack" - he was less than 49 years old. Li was among the main drafters on new "caveat emptor" market-based rules on China's shadowy banking system and recently said in an interview that "now is not only a time to control risk, but to transform the trust industry.. if it's too loose, it's a big problem." Li was found by his wife.

Via Caixin,

Li Jianhua, director of the CBRC AfDB died due to heart attack, still less than 49 years old.
As planned, Li Jianhua this morning to attend a major industry conference.
According to several sources close to the CBRC said, Li Jianhua was revising to 12 o'clock at night.

Unexpectedly around 6:00 this morning, his wife found him passed away, due to sudden heart attack.

Both inside and outside China Banking Regulatory Commission expressed sorrow and regret.
Li was well-known as the author of major China Trust regulations...
Li Jianhua was born in July 1965, Hunan Yongxing, graduated from Wudaokou Finance Institute.

Li Jianhua was the main drafter of "one law two rules" or "People's Republic of China Trust Law," "Trust management approach" "Trust Capital Trust scheme management approach,"
It seems clear that Li was somewhat anti-bailout, preferring market forces to fix the trust industry...
Li Jianhua has made it clear for the new financial reporters that this understanding is wrong. No. 99 Wen emphasized that "sellers responsible" does not mean that the buyer can zero-risk, high-yield.

Now China has not yet Trustee Ordinance, if the trustee's duty to strengthen and plug loopholes flaws, accordingly, "caveat emptor" is also strengthened. This is the market rules.
For the trust industry has experienced many ups and downs rectification, Li Jianhua was believed that this industry is still promising, but trust industry needs to find new profit model, there is also the process of transformation...

"if too loose, I'm afraid to be a big problem."
This brings the sad list of senior financial services exectives who have died in the last few months to 13:

1 - William Broeksmit, 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London, on January 26th.

2 - Karl Slym, 51 year old Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok on January 27th.

3 - Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of the JP Morgan European headquarters in London on January 27th.

4 - Mike Dueker, 50-year-old chief economist of a US investment bank was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.

5 - Richard Talley, the 57 year old founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead earlier this month after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.

6 - Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, however the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.

7 - Ryan Henry Crane, a 37 year old executive at JP Morgan died in an alleged suicide just a few weeks ago.  No details have been released about his death aside from this small obituary announcement at the Stamford Daily Voice.

8 - Li Junjie, 33-year-old banker in Hong Kong jumped from the JP Morgan HQ in Hong Kong this week.

9 - James Stuart Jr, Former National Bank of Commerce CEO, found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz., the morning of Feb. 19. A family spokesman did not say whatcaused the death.

10 - Edmund (Eddie) Reilly, 47, a trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, commited suicide by jumping in front of LIRR train.

11 - Kenneth Bellando, 28, a trader at Levy Capital, formerly investment banking analyst at JPMorgan, jumped to his death from his 6th floor East Side apartment.

12 - Jan Peter Schmittmann, 57, the former CEO of Dutch bank ABN Amro found dead at home near Amsterdam with wife and daughter.

13 - Li Jianhua, 49, the director of China's Banking Regulatory Commission died of a sudden heart attack. - Zero Hedge.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: The Latest Incidents Across The Earth - Insect Population In Louisiana Marshlands Declining Four Years After BP Oil Spill; Millions Of Dead Fish Found Floating In Thondamanaru Lagoon, Sri Lanka; Drug That Wiped Out 95% Of Indian Vultures May Cause An EU Eco-Disaster; And Another Report Of Dead Whales Stranded By Ice Off Newfoundland!

April 23, 2014 - EARTH - The following stories constitutes some of the latest incidents of mass animal die-offs across the globe.

Insect Population In Louisiana Marshlands Declining Four Years After BP Oil Spill
Weathered oil found coating the surface of the marsh in Bay Baptiste, Louisiana on April 9, 2014Julie Dermansky

Louisiana State University entomologist Linda Hooper-Bui has been studying the impact of the BP oil spill on insects and spiders for almost four years. She started her study shortly after the Macondo well blew out on April 20, 2010, before any oil washed up on shore. Her work documents the dwindling of the insect population in areas directly hit with the oil.

On April 9th, she returned to Bay Jimmy and Bay Baptiste, areas that were heavily impacted by the oil spill in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

"Insects are the basis of the food chain. They are like nature's Twinkies," Hooper-Bui says.

Her studies also monitor fish and birds, since they eat insects. She sweeps areas designated for her study by walking back and forth waving a net, catching whatever insects are present. She then empties the net into alcohol, preserving the insects for testing. She takes note of the wind speed and temperature at each location and collects a sample of sediment to be tested for hydrocarbons.

Back in the lab, Hooper-Bui sorts insects by species. She sends some out for testing and stores the rest so other scientists can study them. The results of the test reveal the nutrients found in them, including carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. Knowing what the insects are eating helps her evaluate changes in the environment. She compares the data from sites that were oiled to those that were not.

Linda Hooper-Bui holds a bag containing insects collected in Bay Jimmy, one of the areas hardest hit by the BP oil spill

Hooper-Bui makes it clear that she is an independent scientist collaborating with other scientists at other institutions. Her work is not part of any government studies or studies subsidized by BP. Funding for her work has come from competitive grants from the National Science Foundation, the Northern Gulf Institute, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative and two grants from LSU. She believes being a scientist is a civic duty, and will not allow her work to be compromised.

Hooper-Bui's first peer-reviewed reports should be available by this summer, but she has been sharing her observations with interested parties all along. She hopes her work will be utilized by those who have to deal with future spills and by those making policy decisions that involve the oil industry as well as locals who are still dealing directly with the aftermath of this disaster.

Since there are fewer insects and spiders for birds and fish to eat, she is seeing a decrease in other species' success.

"This is what happens when the ecosystem seems to be disrupted," Hooper-Bui says. Her studies show that not only does oil remain in the marsh in Plaquemines Parish, it is still emitting volatile aromatics. Preliminary results indicate the volatiles naphthalene and methylnaphthalene remain in the oil contaminated parts of the marsh, and could be responsible for the dramatic decline in insect population. Naphthalene is an insecticide, according to Hooper-Bui.

While standing on weathered oil on the shore of Bay Jimmy, Hooper-Bui told DeSmogBlog, "I am looking at how an environment rebuilds itself after a catastrophic disturbance. It is a chronic situation in the marsh, not an acute one because the oil is still here," she notes. "The oil gets remobilized when storms hit, and when the tide is low and the temperature heats up, volatile compounds emit from the exposed weathered oil coating the surface."

Weathered oil coats the surface on the marsh in Bay Jimmy, one of the areas hardest hit by the BP oil spill

Hurricanes affect insects too, so weather factors into Hooper-Bui's data as well. She has been involved with research about storm effects on insect populations since 2009. Her earlier work gave her benchmark data on how insect populations are affected by storms.

"A healthy environment will rebuild itself after a storm," Hooper-Bui says. "We know that from Isaac - a compromised eco-system is of concern. The plants might look o.k. but the insects are constantly fumigated when the water is not on the marsh (due to north wind or low tides) and the temperatures are high - when sediment is exposed - the volatile compounds come off the marsh and fumigate the insects and they die - we have results for three years to show that, in the field and in the lab."

Critics of her studies claim there are no volatiles coming off the marsh. But Hooper-Bui stands by her findings.

"We put cages with insects in them where the only interactions the caged insects had with the environment were with the air in the marsh - and they were dying in oiled areas and surviving in non-oiled areas. When the marsh's sediment is exposed and the temperature gets above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the oil is being biologically degraded, the oil is releasing volatiles and is killing the insects."

A report released by The National Wildlife Federation before the fourth anniversary of the BP disaster deals with 14 species higher up in the food chain than insects. On dolphins, the report cites the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report that states, "NOAA researchers found strong evidence that the ill health of the dolphins in Louisiana's Barataria Bay was related to oil exposure."

And on tuna, "20% of larval fish could have been exposed to oil, with a potential reduction in future populations of about 4%. For a species already in peril, reductions in reproductive success and lower populations can be major impediments to recovery."

The report goes on to cite a study co-authored by John Incardona, research toxicologist at NOAA. From the NWF report:

"A more recent study shows that a chemical in oil from the spill can cause irregular heartbeats in bluefin and yellowfin tuna that can lead to heart attacks, or even death. The effects are believed to be particularly problematic for fish embryos and larvae, as heartbeat changes could affect development of other organs. The researchers suggest that other vertebrate species in the Gulf of Mexico could have been similarly affected."

BP refutes the report. BP spokesman Jason Ryan told UPI, "The National Wildlife Federation report is a piece of political advocacy, not science," he said. "It cherry picks reports to support the organization's agenda, often ignoring caveats in those reports or mischaracterizing their findings."

However, BP has been criticized for claiming the company will make things right in their advertisements. BP's ads stress they are committed to the Gulf and committed to America and that business is back to normal, yet BP continually objects to a claims settlement the company already signed off on. They have also been accused of acting as trolls on internet sites and spreading misinformation.

Linda Hooper-Bui checking sediment in Bay Jimmy, some of it mixed with weathered oil

Hooper-Bui explains, "Insects are important to study because they are the basis of the food chain - and because people don't care about them, I can manipulate them for my studies without upsetting anyone. Insects are like a canary in a coal mine," she says. "There is a big problem when they start dying."

To anyone who thinks the oil isn't still out there, Hooper-Bui says, "Come out here and I'll show you. It wasn't cleaned up." - Desmog Blog.

Millions Of Dead Fish Found Floating In Thondamanaru Lagoon, Sri Lanka

A shoal of fish, may be a couple of million - our reporter lost count of it, were seen dead floating and lying in the shores of Thondamanaru and around the Barrage area located in the Valvetiturai Kankesanthurai Road.

Mysteriously all those dead fishes found in Thondamanaru Lagoon area were almost one kind which in Tamil called "Thirali," a typical edible small fish found solely in Palk Strait area.

These fishes were said to be dead and floating and were seen in heaps in the shore from last Thursday and Friday.

As the dead fishes started polluting the Selva Sannathi Temple area, Karaveddy Divisional Secretary K. Sivasri, Valvetiturai Urban Council Chairman N.Anandarajah and representatives of the Fisheries Societies visited the area and took measures to remove dead fishes.

Asian Tribune learnt the Sri Lankan Army personnel were also involved in the cleaning operation along with workers of Valvetitural and Valikamam East Pradesha Sabhas.

Three tractor loads of dead fishes were collected and taken and buried around the sea shores in Thondamanaru.

It remains mysterious why particularly Thirali fish only died.

According to an opinion, due to very warm atmospheric conditions prevailing these days, the sea water must have evaporated to a great leve and the water might have turned more brackish and fishes would not be able to bear up saltiness newly developed in the sea water. - Asian Tribune.

Drug That Wiped Out 95% Of Indian Vultures May Cause An EU Eco-Disaster
Spain approves use of drug beneficial to mammals - that will kill any vulture that feeds on
a carcass containing traces of it.

Bureaucratic ignorance has allowed a drug that almost wiped out India's vultures to be sanctioned for use in Europe - raising fears that authorities will have to spend vast sums collecting and incinerating animal carcasses which the birds usually dispose of.

Despite their unappealing looks, vultures make a vital contribution to public health in southern Europe.

But Spain, which is home to about 100,000 vultures, has horrified conservationists and bird lovers by approving the use of diclophenac - a powerful anti-inflammatory drug used that is beneficial to mammals but will kill any vulture that feeds on a carcass containing traces of the drug.

Diclophenac can also be used legally in Italy, where it was first developed. The country also has a small population of wild vultures.

About 95 per cent of India's vultures disappeared after diclophenac was introduced in the mid-1990s, before eventually being banned in 2006. The result was a dangerous increase in rotting animal carcasses, which caused a rapid rise in the number of feral dogs, and the spread of rabies. One study put the resulting cost to Indian society at £20bn.

Spain, where vets can now legally use diclophenac, has about 90 per cent of all Europe's vultures, including 97 per cent of one species, the Black Vulture.

A campaign has now begun to get the European Union to change its guidelines so the drug can be banned. A senior Conservative MP, the former Tory deputy Chief Whip, Sir John Randall, has promised to lobby the British Government to call for a Europe-wide ban. Sir John, who was a professional bird watcher before becoming an MP, said the introduction of diclophenac is "potentially devastating".

Sir John added: "There is a real problem of ignorance. There is a false assumption that what is good for mammals is good for everything else, or at least not harmful. People assume that vultures belong in the Serengeti with the lions, but they are common in Spain and France; a wild vulture has even been seen in Holland. There was a Black Vulture spotted in Wales, but they think it escaped from somewhere. Vultures have always been disregarded because of the way they look, but actually they do a very, very good job."

José Tavares, director of the Swiss-based Vulture Conservation Foundation, added: "Vultures fulfil an incredibly important role. They clean the countryside, they provide an ecological service that is free and unique. In a few depressed areas of Europe, they bring tourist income. If diclophenac becomes widespread in Europe, carcasses would have to be collected and incinerated at huge cost.

"There is some evidence that the drug may be toxic to other species. We are trying to get that evidence published. In the UK, there are no vultures, but if the drug is toxic to other birds of prey then the problem starts to be extremely relevant to the UK," he added.

The Vulture Conservation Foundation has been lobbying the European Commission and is planning to post a video on YouTube. An online petition addressed to Janez Potočnik, the EU Commissioner for the Environment, has attracted 21,000 signatures. - Independent.

Another Report Of Dead Whales Stranded By Ice Off Newfoundland
Kayla Kendall tweeted this photograph on Saturday of a whale stranded at Rocky Harbour because of ice.
Kayla Kendall

The Canadian Coast Guard has issued a new report of dead whales off western Newfoundland.

Mariners have been warned about four whale carcasses at different locations at the entrance to Bonne Bay.

It has not said what kind of whales have died.

Earlier this month, at least nine blue whales died in ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In March, dozens of dolphins were killed when they were crushed by ice near Cape Ray, on Newfoundland's southwest coast. - CBC.

EARTH CHANGES: Monumental Signs Of The Times - 27 Killed As A Severe Storm Dust Storm Hits Several Parts Of India; Second Quake In 24 Hours Recorded In Rutland, England; Over 100 Wildfires In Russia Occupy Almost 60 Square Kilometres; And Scotland Left In Dark About Cause Of "Incredibly Severe And Massive" Blackout!

April 23, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of Earth changes across the globe.

Over 100 Wildfires In Russia Occupy Almost 60 Square Kilometres

Over 100 wildfires in Russia occupy almost six thousand hectares, representative of the Russian emergency situations authority, EMERCOM, Anatoly Elizarov said on Sunday.

"In the territory of the Russian Federation 104 wildfires occupy 5,834 hectares. The most complicated situation is in the Far East Federal District - in the Amur region, Jewish autonomous region, and the Maritime and Khabarovsk territories, and also in Siberia's Baikal territory," he said.

The wildfires do not threat cities, towns or the economy, he told a meeting of a governmental working group, chaired by EMERCOM's head Vladimir Puchkov.

The spokesperson reported the authority had organised a group of over 18,000 people, who are using over 5,000 specialised vehicles to extinguish the fires. The rescuers are using 23 aircrafts. EMERCOM is using its eleven planes and helicopters: two Il-76 planes, two Be-200 amphibian planes, two Mi-26 helicopters and five Mi-8 helicopters.

"Every day, EMERCOM's aviation is making about 15 flights, making about 100 droppings of over 1,000 tonnes of water," Elizarov said.

He continued adding the authority had been attracting new forces for extinguishing the wildfires.  - ITAR-TASS.

Second Earthquake In 24 Hours Recorded In Rutland, England
A street in Oakham, Rutland. A British Geological Survey said it was 'unexpected' for there to be
a second earthquake in exactly the same location.

Another earthquake has struck Rutland in the East Midlands, 24 hours after one shook houses for around 10 seconds.

Initial data released by the British Geological Survey (BGS) said the latest quake struck Oakham at around 7.50am on Friday and that it was bigger than Thursday's, measuring magnitude 3.5.

Thursday's 3.2-magnitude quake occurred at 7.07am and was the biggest in the region since October 2001.

A BGS spokesperson said that it was unexpected for there to be a second earthquake in exactly the same location. The organisation had already received 600 reports from members of the public, compared with 450 on Thursday.

In comments posted on the BGS Facebook page, residents in Rutland and neighbouring Lincolnshire claimed the latest quake was more powerful than the first.

Dave Stevens, who lives in Oakham, wrote: "Definitely another quake, but different to yesterday's. This one rumbled for several seconds, suggesting it might be centred further away.

"Yesterday's was a sudden loud bang. This morning's felt more like the 2008 Market Rasen quake. It really rattled the doors of my shower!"

Ian Barron, another visitor to the BGS social media site, posted: "Just experienced a second earthquake at 7.50 am the next day. Scary stuff living in Whissendine."

Rutland has been hit by the biggest earthquake of 2014 so far. However, it was not as strong as the 5.2-magnitude Lincolnshire earthquake in 2008. Tremors were felt widely across the country, and even in the far north of France. No one was killed but one man's pelvis was broken when a piece of chimney fell on to his bed.

The most powerful earthquake recorded in Britain was at the Dogger Bank in 1931, off the coast of Yorkshire in the North Sea. The magnitude was 6.1 but as the quake was in the ocean, the damage was significantly less. Some buildings suffered structural collapse, and at Madame Tussauds in London the waxwork head of homeopath Dr Crippen fell off.

The most damaging earthquake in Britain was the 4.6-magnitude 1884 Colchester "Great English Earthquake". Reports claimed that more than 1,250 buildings were damaged and up to five people were killed.

The British Geological Survey says that is it unclear why earthquakes occur in the UK, but some reasons may include regional compression caused by the movement of Britain's tectonic plates, and uplift resulting from the melting of ice sheets that covered parts of Britain thousands of years ago.  - The Guardian.

Scotland Left In Dark About Cause Of "Incredibly Severe And Massive" Blackout
Electric power lines (Archive)
REUTERS/ Vasily Fedosenko

Investigators are still trying to ascertain why 200,000 homes in northern Scotland lost power earlier this week.

The blackout on Wednesday evening left almost a third of the country in darkness and was described by the distribution company, Scottish Hydro-Electric Power, as "incredibly severe."

The precise cause of the fault still remains unknown and a number of scenarios are being considered.

A spokeswoman for the utility company told RIA Novosti that such an occurrence is extremely rare.

"Our network transmission is 99.9 percent reliable. This is highly unusual, given the scale of the area. Our engineers have not heard of such an outage in recent times," the spokeswoman said.

The blackout affected communities over a 44,000-square-kilometer area, including island communities in Orkney and the Western Isles as well as larger population centers such as Inverness.

A spokesman for First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond told RIA Novosti the problem was "transient" and "such faults can be caused by foreign objects striking the lines such as debris in windy weather, lightning strike, pollution or equipment failures."

The incident occurred just weeks after UK Government ministers warned that the "lights would go out" if Scotland backed independence, claiming the UK would halt renewable energy investment worth $3 billion.

But Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing claimed it was the rest of the UK that depends on Scottish electricity generation.

"Scotland is keeping the lights on for the rest of the UK at the moment," he told RIA Novosti.

"The rest of the UK's capacity over its demand is very precarious. Scotland currently exports 26 percent of its energy to England and Wales and would continue to if our nation became independent," Mr Ewing added. - RIA Novosti.

27 Killed As Severe Storm Dust Storm Hits Parts Of India
Dust storm that took place in Rajasthan, India in 1983.

At least 27 persons were killed and more than 30 injured in incidents of roofs collapse and uprooting of trees and poles after a severe dust storm hit several districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Ten persons were killed in Farukhabad, six including two children in Barabanki, three each in state capital Lucknow and Sitapur, two each in Hardoi and Jalaun and one in Faizabad last evening, officials said today.

The gusty winds, which were followed by showers, uprooted trees, electricity poles and hutments, causing severe damage to public and private property.

The Meteorological Department said that storm and rainfall were a result of western disturbance over Rajasthan. - Business Standard.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Bright Blue Fireball - Spectacular Meteor Fireball From Space Explodes Over Russian City!

April 23, 2014 - RUSSIA - A suspected meteorite explosion has been recorded by citizens of the northern Russian city of Murmansk.

Screenshot from @RussiaToday

Multiple drivers with dashcams out on the streets of the 300,000-people city at 2.10am on Saturday noticed a bright blue trail speed across the night sky, then explode while still in the air.

Most observers identified the object as a meteorite, though officials have neither confirmed it nor said where the fragments are likely to have landed. Others speculated that the object may have been space debris, re-entering the atmosphere.

WATCH: Meteor-like object over Russia's Murmansk region.


Emergency services say there were no injuries as a result of the astral event.

While tens of tons of cosmic dust reaches the Earth's atmosphere each day, the number of meteorites that reach the surface may be about 500 a year, though most are small, and scientists do not have a precise calculation.

The most spectacular meteorite of recent years was over the Urals city of Chelyabinsk last year, when an astral body exploded in the sky with the strength of 40 Hiroshima bombs, temporarily blinding and deafening hundreds of people below. - RT.