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Good morning. Here’s the news:1. Reuters reports: “World shares clawed back more ground on Wednesday as investors rattled by a run of heavy losses took comfort from the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep interest rates near zero for two more years.”
2. S&P 500 futures, Dow futures and Nasdaq 100 futures are all down about a percentage point at this hour, as yesterday’s rocket fuel from the Federal Reserve seems to have burned off.
3. Europe remains the key concern of world markets. Edward Hugh argues in Foreign Policy magazine that “the European economies are in a life-or-death struggle. And the only smart solution now is to split the common currency in two.” The Geuro and the Euro!
4. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a political revolt from within her governing coalition. As a result, the Financial Times reports, “Ms Merkel is determined to resist pressure from her partners, and from the European Commission, for any further measures – such as increasing the size of the €440bn European Financial Stability Facility, or introducing eurozone bonds – for fear of losing her parliamentary majority.”
5. The New York Times reports: “With 10,000 additional police officers deployed across London, and trouble flaring in other cities, Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday threatened sustained police measures including the possible use of water cannons to curb the looting and arson that have shaken many parts of Britain for four consecutive days.”
6. President Obama’s political fortunes continue their downward spiral. Today’s New York Times features a headline with the phrase “one term presidency,” always a bad sign. Maureen Dowd has a political pre-obituary following up on Dana Milbank’s acid bath of yesterday.
7. Republicans in Wisconsin withstood a strong and well-financed challenge from Democrats in six state Senate “recall” elections, winning four and losing two. The Wisconsin results are a setback for organised labour and its allies.
8. Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) reads the election results differently. He tweeted early this morning: “Dems would be silly” not to proceed with a recall campaign against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R). “The results project to a toss-up if you extrapolate out statewide.”
9. The Ames, Iowa Straw Poll is “organised bribery on a grand scale,” writes Roger Simon in Politico. Be that as it may, it’s also a politically important event and it will winnow the GOP field this weekend.
10. Dan Balz reports on the Rick Perry that Texans know. They know him as a hard-nosed pol who is more interested in winning than making friends. What they don’t know is whether he is ready for the national stage and national politics.
11. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid named Senators Murray, Bachus and Kerry to the so-called Super Committee on deficit reduction. None of the three were members of the so-called “Gang of Six.”