Good morning. Here’s the news:1. Martin Wolf writes: “Today, raging fire must be put out. Only then can attempts at building a more fireproof eurozone begin. The least bad option would be for the ECB to ensure liquidity for solvent governments and financial institutions, without limit.” He adds that the collapse of the eurozone would be “devastating.”
2. German Chancellor Angela Merkel set out on Tuesday to quash speculation that a Greek default was imminent. She insisted, according to an FT report, “that no such event could happen before 2013 even as markets continued to gyrate wildly over eurozone fears.”
3. Reuters reports: “Moody’s cut the credit ratings of two French banks on Wednesday because of their exposure to Greece’s debt, highlighting growing risks to Europe’s financial sector from the deepening euro zone sovereign debt crisis.”
4. An item about horses and barn doors: Reuters reports: “The European Commission will soon present options on how the euro zone might issue bonds jointly, its President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday, but warned there was no simple solution to a debt crisis that threatens Europe’s economic and political future.”
5. European leaders who are hoping that China might ride to their rescue received cold comfort from Chinese Premier Wen Jiaibao. Jiabao made it clear China would expect heavy concessions in return for any financial assistance it might offer.
6. The Wall Street Journal reports: “The income of the typical American family—long the envy of much of the world—has dropped for the third year in a row and is now roughly where it was in 1996 when adjusted for inflation. The income of a household considered to be at the statistical middle fell 2.3% to an inflation-adjusted $49,445 in 2010, which is 7.1% below its 1999 peak, the Census Bureau said.”
7. Meanwhile, poverty in America is at its highest level since the early 1990s. The Washington Post reports: “Last year, 46.2 million Americans lived below the poverty line — $22,314 a year for a family of four — marking the fourth year in a row that poverty has increased.”
8. How bad is the US economy, by standard statistical measures? National Journal looks at the Census Bureau data and reports that it’s worse than you think.
9. The Census Bureau data make plain that President Obama cannot “run on his record,” as incumbent presidents are sometimes wont to do. Instead, Obama must focus the election on the contrasting futures offered up by both parties if he is to have any shot at winning re-election.
10. Rick Perry’s “relationship” with pharmaceutical giant Merck is much more substantial than he let on in his remarks at Monday night’s CNN/Tea Party debate.
11. Republicans won both special Congressional elections last night; one in Nevada that they were expected to win and one in New York that they were expected to lose. The defeat in New York was especially bad news for Democrats because it suggested that the Social Security issue might no longer work as effectively as it once did.
12. Here’s your influence peddling data point of the day. National Journal reports: “Nearly 5,400 congressional staffers have left the Hill for K Street over the past decade, according to a new study by LegiStorm, a non-partisan organisation that tracks Congress and sells some of that data.
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