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Good morning. Here’s the news:1. Reuters reports: “European shares turned negative in morning trade on Thursday as banking shares gave up early gains, with French banks coming under renewed pressure on concerns about their outlook.”
2. The Wall Street Journal reports: “U.S. stock futures rose early Thursday, but trading remained very volatile after the previous session’s plunge.”
3. France has become the key concern inside the eurozone. The Financial Times reports: “All three main rating agencies have reiterated that France’s triple A credit rating is stable, but several investors and analysts have said it could be next in line following the downgrade of the US from triple A to double A plus last Friday.”
4. Doubts about whether the Italian government can deliver on its promise of a balanced budget by 2013 are acute, to put it generously. Italy’s economic and political future are on the line.
5. In the words of Yogi Berra, it’s “deja vu all over again.” For many people, the financial crisis of late summer 2011 feels eerily similar to the financial crisis of early autumn 2008. It feels that way because, in many respects, it is that way.
6. And in some respects, it’s worse. “If you own Treasuries you should sell them at this point,” says Ajay Rajadhyaksha, head of US fixed income strategy at Barclays Capital tells the Financial Times. “You are getting compensated nothing for the next 10 years.”
7. Democrats are increasingly concerned about President Obama’s leadership and political standing. They want him to be “bolder.” And they are beginning to think he might lose in 2012.
8. As well they might. A new poll in Iowa finds that President Obama’s job approval rating among Independent voters in Iowa is 32 positive and 61 negative. Not good news for team Obama.
9. Eight 2012 Republican presidential candidates will be in Ames, Iowa tonight for a nationally televised debate. Iowa front-runners Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney are likely to come under fire from the others. The debate will be aired on the Fox News Channel from 9pm-to-11pm Eastern Time.
10. Members of the so-called deficit reduction “Super Committee” include some of Washington’s most veteran and capable politicians. They will need all of their skills to reach consensus on deficit reduction.