Good morning. Here’s the news:
1. Reuters reports: “An ugly sell-off in global stocks gathered pace on Friday, on mounting concerns the U.S. economy is heading into another recession and as some European lenders faced a short-term funding crunch, highlighting the risk of a banking crisis.”
2. The Wall Street Journal reports: “A dramatic selloff in European financial markets on Thursday renewed fears that Europe’s banks are too weak to withstand the Continent’s debt crisis, increasing the chances that the region’s leaders will be forced to pursue radical steps toward fiscal union in order to preserve their common currency.”
3. The Financial Times reports: “Benchmark US borrowing costs fell below 2 per cent for the first time in at least 60 years as markets took fright at increasing signs of global economic weakness and equities worldwide.” Prices of gold and other precious metals soared to record highs.
4. Concern that the US economy is at “stall speed” preoccupies the Federal Reserve and major investors. “Stall speed” is defined as an economic growth rate that is “too slow to be sustainable.”
6. The Obama administration said yesterday that it will review the deportation cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants and might allow many of them to stay in the United States. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the “review” amounted to a “backdoor amnesty.”
7. National Journal‘s Ron Brownstein notes that Rep. Michele Bachmann’s staying power (in Iowa, at least) draw votes away from Rick Perry, which strengthens Romney. Romney is now the clear favourite of “managerial” Republicans, who make up about 40% of the party’s primary electorate.
8. Congressional Republicans are concerned that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “fiery” rhetoric won’t play well with general election voters. They’re urging him to tone it down, reports Politico.
9. Control of the United States Senate may be decided by the race in the state of Montana. Incumbent Democrat Jon Tester is fighting hard to retain his seat in a state where politics is personal.
10. Massachusetts Democrats may field a strong candidate for US Senate after all. Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and former White House official has established an “exploratory committee” to assess her chances against Sen. Scott Brown (R).
11. Former US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman “tweeted” yesterday that he believed in Darwin’s theory of evolution and in the science behind global warming. “Call me crazy,” he said.