1. The New York Stock Exchange is close to an agreement to be acquired by Deutsche Borse AG, a “merger” that would create the world’s largest financial exchange. The sale of the NYSE to the Germans will become a political issue.2. German Bundesbank President Axel Weber has withdrawn as a candidate to become the European Central Bank’s new president. Weber’s exit will not reduce German influence on eurozone decision-making.
3. The next test for the eurozone is Portugal. Its cost of borrowing has soared to 7.35%, leading many to believe that a bail-out will be required, and soon.
4. Surplus stocks of US corn are at their lowest levels since 1995, the USDA reports, exerting upward pressure on food prices. Iowa’s farmers, among others, could not be happier.
5. Egypt “moved closer to a full rupture between its autocratic government and a growing popular rebellion,” the Washington Post reports. It’s a report worth reading in full.
6. The House GOP leadership has twice been embarrassed (in two days) by rebellion in the ranks on relatively straightforward votes. Disunity among House Republicans will be a theme of this Congress.
7. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) announced that he would not seek re-election. Democrats hope that former Virginia Governor Thomas Keane will take Webb’s place as the Democratic US Senate nominee in 2012.
8. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says he can raise enough money and attract enough political support to make a credible run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. But his wife is ambivalent (to say the least) and he fretS that his message may be too gloomy.
9. Standard & Poor’s cut New Jersey’s credit rating yesterday, citing its unfunded pension liabilities, which are enormous by any measure.
10. Bad management plagues the Central Intelligence Agency. Incompetents get promoted and mistakes get rewarded, the AP and the Washington Post report.
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