Frontrunning: August 22
- Merkel's Dilemma: Risk Euro Zone or Her Government (WSJ)... as first suggest by ZH 2 months ago, with only one resolution: referendum
- Russia warns West over Syria after Obama threats (Reuters)
- Consider keeping Bernanke, Romney adviser Glenn Hubbard says (Reuters)... Glenn Hubbard is the star of the movie Inside Job
- RBS Said To Be Probed By U.S. Regulators Over Iranian Sanctions (Bloomberg) - tiny settlement imminent
- Spain Deficit Goals at Risk as Cuts Consensus Fades (Bloomberg)
- Czech Austerity Revolt Threatens Cabinet as Slump Bites (Bloomberg)
- Greek cuts to be deeper than trailed (FT)
- Akin rebuffs Romney, Republican calls to quit Senate race (Reuters)
- Obama Leads Romney in Poll Showing Disdain for Congress (Bloomberg)
- Greece needs more time to reform, PM Samaras tells paper (Reuters)
- UK banks face scandal over toxic insurance products (Reuters)
- Iceland Shelves Monetary Tightening as Krona Seen Appreciating (Bloomberg)
- India Considers $35 Billion Debt Revamp After Biggest Blackout (Bloomberg)
- Zhou Signals China Rate Cut Possible After Injecting Cash (Bloomberg)
Overnight Media Digest
* U.S. homeowners with collapsed property values could have an easier time selling their homes for less than the outstanding mortgage amount under changes rolled out by a federal housing regulator.
* A federal appeals court rejected the Environmental Protection Agency's latest effort to limit soot- and smog-forming air pollution that blows across state lines, providing a short-term lifeline for aging coal-fired power plants.
* Web sweepstakes cafes have proliferated across the country, and in recent months, they have come under siege from state and local authorities in a number of states, with dozens of cafes branded illegal gambling parlors.
* Nineteen million Americans, or 6 percent of the U.S. population, live in areas where high-speed Internet isn't available, the FCC said. A majority of them, about 14.5 million people, live in rural areas.
* A federal judge threw out Lance Armstrong's lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, opening the door to an arbitration hearing that could strip the former cyclist of his seven Tour de France titles.
* On an annual tour of America's farm fields, many analysts and investors said they were taken aback by the poor state of the crops.
* An Iraqi refugee pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in Kentucky, in a case that intensified the dispute between Republican lawmakers and the Obama administration over where to try terror suspects.
* Pittsburgh's public transportation agency will be spared major service cuts and layoffs thanks to a deal that includes new state aid and $60 million in concessions from transit workers.
* Approval of Congress has matched its all-time low, according to a new WSJ/NBC News poll. Meantime, voters have a slightly more positive view of the Democratic Party over the GOP.
* Defense Secretary Panetta backs Marine Corps Gen Joseph Dunford, a supporter of U.S. drawdown plans, to command international forces in Afghanistan.
* Insurgent fire hit a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, damaging the aircraft of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff while he was on a visit.
* After years of struggling with too much debt and too few tenants, MPG Office Trust, the largest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles is considering selling itself to the highest bidder.
* A federal grand jury is examining ties between Regions Financial and an executive-recruiting company that entertained the bank's executives on golf trips and borrowed from the Alabama lender
GLENCORE CHALLENGES QATARIS ON STAND-OFF
Glencore has challenged Qatar's sovereign wealth fund to accept its all-share offer for miner Xstrata.
RALLY TAKES S&P TO HIGHEST IN FOUR YEARS
The benchmark S&P 500 index hit its highest level in more than four years, spurred by solid gains in energy, technology and financial stocks.
LONMIN WITHDRAWS THREAT TO FIRE STRIKERS
Lonmin has backed down on its threat to fire striking workers who failed to return to work by Tuesday.
FED PROBES RBS OVER DEALINGS WITH IRAN
Federal authorities in the U.S. are investigating Royal Bank of Scotland for possible breaches of Iran sanctions.
RONGSHENG SUFFERS AFTER CHINA SLOWDOWN
Rongsheng shipbuilders added only two ships in the first six months of 2012, evidence of how the global economic slowdown is hitting the sector in China.
NOOK E-READERS AND EROTIC FICTION HELP B&N
Barnes & Noble can thank an erotic novel for helping to boost traffic through its stores, lift sales of ebooks and narrow first quarter losses.
DATA UNDERMINE UK DEBT REDUCTION PLAN
Britain's public finances deteriorated in July as corporation tax receipts plunged.
AKIN'S RAPE COMMENTS GODSEND TO OBAMA
Republican Representative Todd Akin resisted pressure to quit the U.S. Senate race in Missouri after saying "legitimate rape" did not cause its victims to become pregnant.
RYANAIR CONSIDERS PURCHASE OF STANSTED STAKE
Ryanair is considering bidding for a 25 percent stake in Stansted airport in the UK.
GENERALI SEEKS EXIT FROM US REINSURANCE
Generali has become the latest European insurer to plan an exit from the U.S. after it put its U.S. life reinsurance business up for sale.
* Data exchanged over the Internet can go only so far, so online dating services are hosting offline events to bring people together more quickly.
* Congressional inaction on trade rules may put American exporters at a disadvantage in the Russian market.
* Robert Hauser says that a material used by St. Jude in a defibrillator that connects to a patient's heart may be breaking down prematurely.
* Electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc posted worse-than-expected second-quarter earnings, badly missing the average analyst estimate.
* A coalition of nearly 20 children's advocacy, health and public interest groups plans to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday, asserting that some online marketing to children by McDonald's Corp and four other well known companies violates a federal law protecting children's privacy.
* Comparable bookstore sales in the latest quarter increased 4.6 percent, Barnes & Noble Inc said, helped by sales of the erotic trilogy and the liquidation of the Borders chain.
* A Wi-Fi-like technology to warn drivers of hazards is being tested in a yearlong program in Michigan.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* Four companies have been jointly convicted and fined a total of C$1.1-million ($1.1 million) - one of the highest penalties in 20 years - under Ontario's Environmental Protection Act.
Reports in the business section:
* Canada's National Energy Board, in a letter dated Aug. 17, says TransCanada Corp is not meeting certain safety standards on its Keystone system in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
* Court documents filed by the Commissioner of Canada Elections show the number of complaints about misleading telephone calls in last year's federal election has almost doubled.
* Royal Dutch Shell plans to spend at least $1- billion a year exploiting China's potentially vast resources of shale gas, the firm's top China executive said, part of an aggressive strategy to expand in the world's biggest energy market.
European economic update:
- Norway Unemployment 3% - lower than expected. Consensus 3.1%. Previous 3.0%.