Good Morning! Here’s what you need to know right now.
1. Have the chicken. Cattle futures are trading at an all-time high. Beef prices are expected to remain high for the foreseeable future. Ranching and farm states in the US are enjoying a robust economic recovery.
2. “Now [we must help] those people who have lied – this is the suspicious mind up north, because quite many people think the south is milking our cow.” So says the head of the True Finns Party of Finland. Public backlash against Eurozone “bail-outs” now threatens the governments of Germany, the Netherlands and Finland.
3. Moody’s Investor Services today downgraded Spain’s sovereign debt. The FT reports that the move shook “financial markets already unsettled by the Libyan civil war and by debt crises in other eurozone economies.”
4. Pimco boss Bill Gross sold off all of the fund’s US Treasury debt instruments. Pimco is the world’s largest bond fund. The bond market didn’t even twitch.
5. “Munis are going to go down. There are going to be other shoes to drop. There might be so many it looks like Imelda Marcos’ closet when all the shoes drop…. Between here and the endgame lies the valley and the valley is full of fear. And I think the muni market is going to go down by at least 15 to 20%. At least.” So said DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach on CNBC yesterday.
6. The NYT reports: “many in Europe worry that they will face new waves of illegal immigration not only from the liberated areas in the north (of Africa), but from much of sub-Saharan Africa as well. The immigrants would arrive at a time when much of Europe — struggling with high unemployment and lethargic economies — is already awash with anti-immigrant sentiment…”
7. Egyptians are getting a first look at the secret police files of the State Security apparatus. Names of informers within the Muslim Brotherhood and judges who fixed elections have emerged from the records.
8. Deficit reduction is picking up support from US Senators from both political parties. The effort to get “serious” about deficit reduction is being spearheaded by Senators Warner (D-VA) and Chambliss (R-GA).
9. That said, the Senate yesterday rejected budget-cutting proposals from both parties. OMB Director Jacob Lew, looking on the bright side, said that the dual rejection paves the way for compromise.
10. The Wisconsin State Senate, using a procedural manoeuvre, passed legislation stripping public employee unions of their right to collective bargaining and ended mandatory union dues check-off. The legislation is expected to pass the Wisconsin State Assembly. Mickey Kaus on why it’s a big loss for big labour, but a potential win for Democrats down the road.
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