Good morning. Here’s the news:1. Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf, back from vacation, undertakes an examination of the global economy. He writes: “The depth of the contraction and the weakness of the recovery are both result and cause of the ongoing economic fragility. They are a result, because excessive private sector debt interacts with weak asset prices, particularly of housing, to depress demand. They are a cause, because the weaker is the expected growth in demand, the smaller is the desire of companies to invest and the more subdued is the impulse to lend. This, then, is an economy that fails to achieve “escape velocity” and so is in danger of falling back to earth.” He calls for more stimulus.
2. Officials at the Federal Reserve Bank are deeply divided over how to spur the flagging US economy, according to records released yesterday. Quantitative Easing 3.0 is a particularly contentious issue.
3. US consumer confidence sank to its lowest level in more than two years, amid gloom about jobs and the economy. Confidence may have been further eroded by inept political leadership.
4.The New York Times reports: “Hurricane Irene will most likely prove to be one of the 10 costliest catastrophes in the nation’s history, and analysts said that much of the damage might not be covered by insurance because it was caused not by winds but by flooding, which is excluded from many standard policies.”
6. President Obama yesterday addressed the American Legion conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The National Journal reports that he “focused his remarks almost exclusively on job creation and other domestic issues, underscoring the president’s growing push to persuade the American public that he is working hard to fix the ailing economy.”
7. However, in a full pander, President Obama vowed yesterday that he would not allow cuts in programs for veterans as Congress and the administration look for ways to balance the budget.
8. Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry also addressed the Legionnaires. They both used the platform to portray President Obama’s foreign and national security policies as weak and feckless.
10. The Romney campaign is not panicking yet about Rick Perry’s reshuffling of the 2012 GOP presidential campaign. They say they have a plan to cut Perry down to size. They might want to panic anyway.