Monday, June 25, 2012

Europe’s Leaders Need to Stop Meeting and Start Acting;

 And Other Short Comments on the News Because It’s Too Hot for Long Comments

Following a meeting of the G-20 countries, European leaders are meeting again in Rome to deal, once again, and again and again, with the European economic crisis. 

Germany's Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande of France, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and host Mario Monti of Italy will get together to push for consensus to give momentum to a crucial summit of European Union leaders in Brussels on June 28 and 29.

Monti has warned of severe consequences for the 17 countries that use the euro and the world economy if next week's summit fails. 

No, if that summit fails Europe can always take up the problems at the next summit, probably scheduled for four days later. 

Europe – stop meeting and start doing.

Moody’s has just issued a down grade in the credit ratings for major banks all around the world.  In a related development Moody’s said that it was concerned that a cow could kick over a lantern and start a fire that would severely damage Chicago.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that the plan to save Spanish banks by infusing $125 billion of new capital might not be a workable plan.  The IMF severely criticized the plan because it funnels funds through the Spanish government, making it and not the banks liable for the funding.  An IMF official later said that Spain needs help from some international finance agency, but then retracted that statement after the official realized that is what the IMF is.

In Washington the Senate passed a ten year extension of the Farm program.  The cost is about $1 trillion over 10 years, but contains huge cost savings

The package is expected to reduce future government spending by roughly $24 billion over 10 years compared with what would have been spent if current policies were extended.

In Washington this is what passes for fiscal restraint and causes celebration.  Of course the largest component of the program is SNAP, what used to be known as Food Stamps.  The Senate did make a major reform by disqualifying big lottery winners from getting Food Stamps.  In Washington this is what passes for fiscal restraint and causes celebration.

There is a new movie out this past week, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  Really, there is, we are not clever enough to make that kind of stuff up.  A Washington Post review says that it is both “terribly silly and a lot of fun. “  Well, we are going to have to take his word on that. 

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