Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pumping Draws Arsenic Toward a Big-City Aquifer

Arsenic and alternative explanation to Nalin de Silvas unscientific views. 

The Red River and its surrounding aquifer is a source of organic carbon that encourages release of arsenic into groundwater further inland. (Credit: Benjamin Bostick/LDEO)
Now, scientists working in Vietnam have shown that massive pumping of groundwater from a clean aquifer is slowly but surely drawing the poison into the water. The study, done near the capital city of Hanoi, confirms suspicions that booming water usage there and elsewhere could eventually threaten millions more people.

Arsenic is moving." The good news, he said: "It is not moving as fast as we had feared it might." This will buy time -- perhaps decades--for water managers to try and deal with the problem, he said.
Arsenic is found in rocks across the world, but it seems to pollute groundwater only under specific conditions. The huge scale across south Asia came clear only in the 1990s, when researchers from universities, nonprofit agencies and governments started testing wells systematically. Van Geen has been working in the field for 13 years, and is leading a new collaborative effort in the region under the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program.


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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

US: Depositors in Foreign US Bank branches will have No Deposit Insurance

Starting today, following a 5-0 vote by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) , depositors in foreign US bank branches will officially no longer have recourse to a $250,000 in deposit insurance. The notional amount of deposits at risk: $1 trillion. This is not a new development: the FDIC rule to curb insurance on this category of deposits was proposed earlier this year, and today was the formalization.

I think Citibank is the only major US bank with branches in Sri Lanka.

The FDIC's action was prompted by the move last year by U.K. regulators to propose changes in the way deposits held at overseas branches should be treated. FDIC officials said.

If the UK proposals are implemented then HSBC deposits in Sri Lanka will no longer be insured.

More at

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Poland Confiscates Half Of Private Pension Funds To "Cut" Sovereign Debt Load

First Cyprus Bailed in by freezing deposits over EUR 100K to reduce its debt load to comply with ECB mandates. Now Poland confiscates private pensions funds.  Indian are busy trying to smuggle diamonds into Singapore. What next

To summarize the Polish Pensions fund confiscation
  1. Poland Government has too much debt to issue more debt
  2. Government nationalizes private pension funds making their debt holdings an "asset" and commingles with other public assets
  3. New confiscated assets net out sovereign debt liability, lowering the debt/GDP ratio
  4. Debt/GDP drops below threshold, government can issue more sovereign debt
To quote
In the aftermath of Cyprus, we now know what the two most recent European blueprints for preserving the myth of solvency are: bail-ins, which confiscate deposits, and pension fund "overhauls", which confiscate, well, pension funds.

More here