Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
1. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her European counterparts discussed setting up a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace. The Pentagon repositioned assets off the coast of Libya to enforce such a zone or to deliver humanitarian aid.
2. Christopher Hitchens delivers a withering critique of the Obama Administration’s response to events in the Middle East, comparing the Administration’s handling of the crisis in Libya to “the futile squawkings of a cuckoo clock.”
3. A top NY Federal Reserve official offered an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy’s ability to weather rising oil prices. He said that the economic recovery is picking up steam and that policy makers (so far) see no reason to curb their efforts to stimulate growth.
4. The price of farm land in the United States has increased 12 per cent in the last year. Rising food prices around the world have turned agriculture into a “hot” economic sector. Gillian Tett reports.
5. Peter Peterson says US debt is “part of an international debt bubble being inflated simultaneously and unsustainably by fundamental demographic changes and vast unfunded promises in virtually every advanced economy. Bubbles eventually pop – and ignoring this one could be calamitous.”
6. US foreign policy is, to some degree, compromised by US indebtedness. China, for instance, now holds $1.16 trillion of US debt, according to new figures from the US Treasury.
7. The US dollar’s status as a “safe haven” is being threatened by higher oil prices. In recent days, investors have been seeking shelter from the storm in the Swiss franc and the yen.
8. US states are considering getting rid of guaranteed retirement benefits for public workers in favour of 401(k)-like plans. Utah did this successfully. But winding down a pension fund is not easy or inexpensive.
9. Muni bond “experts,” an optimistic bunch, see state and local tax revenues rising, thus easing the pressure on their market. The muni bond market needs all the help it can get.
10. You will not be shocked to learn that yet another commission has found massive bloat inside the operations of the Federal government. The bloat costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year.
11. Two conservative groups guided by Republican operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie set a goal of raising $120 million to defeat President Barack Obama, win a GOP majority in the Senate and protect the party’s grip on the House in the 2012 election.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.