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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

Monday, #26: darkest before the dawn

Another messy week begins, after Lombard Street Research, macroeconomics research bureau, dubbed the eurocrisis the moronic inferno, which is not only hilarious, but also hard to dispute.

Standard&Poor’s downgraded Belgium on Friday evening from AA+ to AA. It might have had a positive effect though, because the FT reported on the weekend that the country was close to forming a new government (finally) and had agreed on a budget. A quick reminder: Belgium has been without an actual government for 19 months now and the guy who was meant to make all worries go away tried to quit last week, only to be turned down by the king in that endeavour. The new budget cuts the Belgian deficit from 3.6% to 2.8% of GDP by next year. But none of those things are as interesting to Belgians as the first language of the man who will run their country. If we all had our priorities straight like that, things would be … yeah… even worse. read article

Meanwhile, the OECD stroke down on George Osborne’s new budget, which included £20bn for small and medium sized companies and £25bn for infrastructure. That’s what happens if you over-regulate those whose job it is to invest, I suppose, you have to do it yourself. Anyway, the OCED says the UK will be in a slight recession throughout the first quarter of 2012, despite the new plans. But it’s always darkest before the dawn, and growth should pick up in early summer. read article

Felix Salmon shows us what a lender of last resort should look like, exemplified by a chart showing Federal Reserve lending to Morgan Stanley in 2008, which was dug out by Bloomberg. read article

Also, ICAP, electronic foreign currency trading platform, admitted on Sunday that, just to be sure, they had test-run the drachma. No worries though, it was just a test. Really. Purely hypothetical. Only a fun idea. By an intern! … It’s happening, people, brace yourselves. read article

But is there nothing fun out there today? Well, there is a sentiment infographic of the Bible… view graphic

So long.

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