Good morning. Here’s the news:1. Markets dropped sharply yesterday and overnight. US stock futures point to a lower opening in New York this morning. London’s FTSE is down but off its morning lows. European and Asian stock exchanges have both been hammered. The Wall Street Journal is live blogging markets around the world. Never a good sign.
2. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Commodities are sliding steadily Friday in the worst pan-asset class selloff since October 2008, as fear of another severe downturn tightens its grip on the financial markets.”
3. Global stock markets plunged yesterday despite central bank interventions in Europe and Japan. “We are seeing a widespread crisis of confidence. Central banks have lost their credibility,” said Ed Yardeni.
4. European leaders are scheduling conference calls today in an effort to reassure investors. It is unclear whether the conference call strategy will be reassuring to investors.
5. Gillian Tett notes the unnerving similarities between August of 2011 and September of 2008. She’s not the only one who thinks that the crisis of the eurozone just might ignite the next great financial conflagration.
6. Paul Krugman writes: “It’s not just that the threat of a double-dip recession has become very real. It’s now impossible to deny the obvious, which is that we are not now and have never been on the road to recovery.”
7. AFP reports: “US gross debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 per cent of gross domestic product after the government’s debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed.”
8. Washington Post columnist Steve Pearlstein asks: Why is this happening? He answers: “Because we never really fixed underlying structural problems in the U.S. and global economies that had been building for decades and caused the financial and economic crisis in 2008.”
9. Two new polls find that disapproval of Congress is at record highs. In a New York Times/CBS News Poll, Congress’s disapproval rating stands at 82%. In a CNN survey, Congress’s approval rating stands at 14%.
10. House Republicans wil spend much of the August recess test-marketing a call for a balanced budget amendment. Their leadership believe that it could be a winning issue for them next November.
11. The Wall Street Journal reports that the rise of Rep. Michele Bachmann in the 2012 GOP presidential contest is attributable to the fact that she makes “an emotional connection” with GOP primary voters and caucus attenders. It’s more likely that they support her because they agree with her on issues, especially the issue of abortion.
12. Former Amb. Jon Huntsman yesterday reiterated his support for his principal political strategist, John Weaver. There was a report in Politico yesterday alleging that the Huntsman campaign was a disaster because Mr. Weaver was a mean bastard.
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