Here’s what you need to know this morning:1. The Muslim Brotherhood on Monday said it was reconsidering its participation in talks with Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s vice president. The banned group and other members of the opposition complained that the regime shows no real interest in reform.
2. Egypt’s anger has become focused on the rampant corruption and crony capitalism that flourished under the Mubarek regime. Ahmed Ezz, a steel tycoon and close friend of Mubarek’s son Gamal, has emerged as a primary target of public resentment.
3. Obama’s foreign policy message has been uncertain and, at times, confusing as the administration struggles to “manage” the political developments in Egypt, writes David Sanger of the New York Times.
4. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood are beginning to speak more openly with members of the press corps covering the uprising in Egypt. This Reuters report is worth reading in full.
5. Paul Krugman explores what’s behind the global food crisis that may have sparked rioting across the Middle East. He argues that extreme weather is the primary culprit.
6. Wall Street is building a more robust market for derivatives that allow banks and investors to profit from (or hedge against) US state and municipal bond defaults.. Concerns about the fiscal health of states like California and Illinois have already led to a sharp increase in trading of CDS contracts on U.S. state and municipal debt.
7. Governors across the nation are not raising taxes to balance their budgets. They are cutting some services and pushing the cost of other services back down on municipalities.
8. Pittsburgh is going broke as its unfunded pension liability hits $700 million. Is receivership next?
9. Back on the ballot in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel is calling for union give backs. The former W.H. chief of staff has turned his attention to how he would manage Chicago’s $1 billion budget shortfall and huge unfunded pension liability.
10. Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’s not running for president. But Dems say his agenda suggests otherwise.
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