Gail (17 Dec 2011)
"The next big 'quake' & tsunami?"



Beijing China


LONDON (Reuters) - The sovereign debt crisis crippling the euro zone still threatens other developed economies, leaving Britain and Japan teetering on the edge of recession but with the United States seen several paces away from a slump, a Reuters poll found.

Reuters polls of over 250 economists taken over the past week found hatchets taken to 2012 forecasts for the euro zone, Britain and Japan as ultra-loose monetary policies have failed to stimulate enough growth.

Once-booming economies in Asia have also felt the effects of the slowdown, but earlier on Wednesday China pledged to guarantee growth in the face of an "extremely grim" outlook for the global economy in 2012. But the U.S. economy, the world's biggest, probably picked up speed in the last few months and will grow moderately in 2012, staving off the need for additional stimulus from the Federal Reserve. But GDP growth is expected to slow sharply to 1.8 percent in the first quarter, providing scant relief to U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of an election year.

At its annual policy-setting conference Beijing delivered a series of commitments to deliver economic stability, laying out a blueprint for the world's second-biggest economy in the year ahead. It promised to keep monetary policy "prudent," fiscal policy "pro-active" and consumer prices stable.

Strait of Malacca

#2 Malacca Chokepoint

#2 Malacca
"The key chokepoint in Asia with an estimated 13.6 million bbl/d flow..."

EIA: The Strait of Malacca, located between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, links the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean. Malacca is the shortest sea route between Persian Gulf suppliers and the Asian markets –notably China, Japan, South Korea, and the Pacific Rim. Oil shipments through the Strait of Malacca supply China and Indonesia, two of the world's fastest growing economies. It is the key chokepoint in Asia with an estimated 13.6 million bbl/d flow in 2009.

From an economic and strategic perspective, the Strait of Malacca is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.

The strait is the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, linking major Asian economies such as India, China, Japan and South Korea. The maximum size of a vessel that can make passage through the Strait is referred to as Malaccamax. The strait is not deep enough (at 25 metres or 82 feet) to permit some of the largest ships (mostly oil tankers) to use it. A ship that exceeds Malaccamax will typically use the Lombok Strait, Makassar Strait, Sibutu Passage and Mindoro Strait instead.

At Phillips Channel close to the south of Singapore, the Strait of Malacca narrows to 2.8 km (1.5 nautical miles) wide, creating one of the world's most significant traffic choke points.

Latest Earthquakes in the World

MAP 7.1 2011/12/14 05:04:57 -7.518 146.767 121.2



Mid-Point - March 21st 2013

God Bless,