Good morning. Here’s the news:
1. Reuters reports: “World stocks ticked lower while top-rated government bonds rallied on Wednesday as investors grew concerned that French and German plans for closer fiscal integration may be insufficient to stop the regional debt crisis from spreading further.”
2. The US still deserves a triple A credit rating with a stable outlook, Fitch Ratings said yesterday. “We do think the Budget Control Act was a pretty substantive commitment,” said David Riley of Fitch Ratings in London.
3. Alan Blinder dismisses the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US creditworthiness as risible. But he says that the Federal Reserve’s “downgrade” of US economic prospects is alarming indeed.
4. President Obama will give a “major speech” on the economy and job creation in September, according to the Associated Press. “The president’s plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed.”
5. President Obama is hoping that his three-day bus tour through the Midwest will help him reconnect with white voters — especially working class white voters — whose support is crucial to his re-election chances.
6. Texas Governor Rick Perry refused to “walk back” his remarks about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whom he said would be guilty of “treason” if he authorised further “stimulus” through quantitative easing.
7. Governor Perry did “walk back” his 2007 decision to order young girls in Texas to take the HPV vaccine. He said it was a “mistake.” Most people in Texas believe Perry instituted the order as a favour to a lobbyist friend.
8. A new poll shows Gov. Perry (29%) leading Mitt Romney (18%) by a double-digit margin. Rasmussen Reports interviewed 1000 Republican “primary voters” across the nation.
9. Mitt Romney’s campaign is trying to treat Rick Perry as just another candidate in the race. The Romney campaign remains focused on President Obama.
10. Yesterday brought more chatter about possible late entries into the 2012 Republican presidential race. Among those mentioned: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani. None are likely to get in.