A surprising pick for Pope, Argentina's 76 year old Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was not among the front-runners, is now the Pope of the Catholic Church. His chosen name is Pope Francis. He is the first non-European pope since 741.
In what is a modestly surprising development, Mirriam-Webster has reported that "socialism" and "capitalism" are the two most looked-up words of 2012, and thus, the words of the year. All we can say is, it is about time people learned the difference. And now that they know how the two differ on paper, they will get a front row seat to experience it in practice too.
- ECB's Nowotny - ESM banking license could be advantageous (Reuters) - just keep regurgitating headlines until they generate a short squeeze
- IMF Says China Downside Risks Significant as Growth Slows (Bloomberg)
- Moody's cuts outlook on EU stability facility to negative (Reuters)
- Rome places spending controls on Sicily (FT)
- Big banks' glory days feared to be gone for good (Reuters)
- China's CNOOC scoped Nexen, partnered, then pounced (Reuters)
- Germany backs Spanish austerity plans (FT)
- Are 2012 Games one too many for London? (Reuters)
- Euro Crisis Spreading East Damps Growth, Development Bank Says (Bloomberg)
- Japan Flags Yen-Sales Impact as BOJ Eyes More Easing (Bloomberg)
All you need to read and some more.
Economy? Systemic risk? Systematic fraud? Too Big To Fail? Wall Street? Fraudclosure? What's all that?
- Greeks Struggle to Resolve Their Differences (WSJ)
- China May See Deeper Slowdown on Crisis: IMF (Bloomberg)
- Banks to take a hit on US home loans (FT)
- Europe’s banks face challenge on capital (FT)
- Smaller Interest-Rate, Credit-Default Swap Trades Seen On Horizon (WSJ)
- Pro-European elected Finland president (FT)
- Push Sputters for Credit-Default Swap Futures (WSJ)
- China Money Rate Rises as Central Bank Gauges Demand for Bills (Bloomberg)
- China Takes On Skeptics of Aid to Euro Zone (WSJ)
Just like in the US, where we had our very own Treasury Secretary telling us there is "no risk" the US would get downgraded, about 3 months before America did in fact get downgraded, the cognitive dissonance between reality and fantasy is fully exposed today, this time in Europe. And whereas patriotic chauvinism has its good and bad sides, listening to politicians explain away how the impossible has just happened is always very amusing. Especially when translated by Google. Such as in this case, where we have grabbed the following article from Les Echos and dumped it into the modern version of the babel fish.
A French poet once wrote that the devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world he doesn’t exist. Funny that we can say the same thing about today’s American elite. Somehow, it is not polite, not PC to even acknowledge them as a class—much less to speak of them. We have a democracy, after all. We are all equal. Everyone has a vote. And if mere voting is not enough for you, you can shell out ten grand for a closed-door meeting with your fifteen-term career Congressman, like any other respectable person would do. Surely, there are no grounds for complaint.
Well, sorry but democracy means choice. In America, today, there is no real choice. The financial and corporate elites are funding both sides equally, and so they always come out ahead, no matter who is in charge. Otherwise, how is it that former Goldman Sachs Co-Chairman Robert Rubin was Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, and then former Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry Paulson was Bush’s Treasury Secretary? (And let’s not forget Goldman alumn Larry Gensler at Obama’s CFTC). Is this what you call a two party system?
Now that the SEC has finally taken action to complicate the lives of the vermin known as short sellers, it can turn to the next dire threat to capitalism: gay marriage.