Good morning. Here’s the news:1. Stock index futures point to a sharply lower open on Wall Street today. Asian markets took a beating overnight. European markets are down on the day so far. Global growth prospects and the ongoing crisis of the eurozone seem to be the “macro” concerns.
2. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Federal and state regulators, signaling their growing worry that Europe’s debt crisis could spill into the U.S. banking system, are intensifying their scrutiny of the U.S. arms of Europe’s biggest banks, according to people familiar with the matter.”
3. Reuters reports: “Standard & Poor’s head of France said on Thursday that the agency was confident of maintaining France’s AAA credit rating unchanged with a stable outlook.”
4. The surge in US money supply (M2) signals trouble. Only two times has the the weekly jump in M2 been higher; the week after 9/11 and the week after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
5. President Obama’s approval rating for his “handling” of “the economy” has collapsed. By a margin of almost 3-to-1, voters disapprove of his performance on economic issues.
6. The Washington Post reports that President Obama “is thinking about proposing tax cuts for companies that hire workers, new spending for roads and construction, and other measures that would target the long-term unemployed, according to administration officials and other people familiar with the matter. Some ideas, such as providing mortgage relief for struggling homeowners, could come through executive action.”
7. President Obama today begins his summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Island off the coast of Massachusetts.
8. Texas Gov. Rick Perry campaigned in New Hampshire yesterday, toning down his rhetoric but staying on message. The Boston Globe reports: “Perry continued emphasising the economy and drawing sharp contrasts with Romney on both style and substance. He also reiterated emphatically that he does not believe climate change is caused by man, a position Romney holds.”
9. The Republican candidates for President all agree that the Environmental Protection Agency is a disaster. Candidates Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann have called for its abolition. The EPA was created by President Richard Nixon during his first term in office.
10. There was more chatter yesterday about possible new entrants into the 2012 GOP presidential campaign. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office denied reports that he was thinking about a late entry into the race. Rep. Paul Ryan is not expected to run. Sarah Palin is not expected to run. No one knows what Rudy Giuliani is doing.
11. The New York Times reports: “A shadowy Islamist insurgency that has haunted northern Nigeria — surviving repeated, bloody efforts to eliminate it — appears to be branching out and collaborating with Al Qaeda’s affiliates, alarming Western officials and analysts who had previously viewed the militants here as a largely isolated, if deadly, menace.”