Every other newspaper you open today says that yesterday’s summit was a win for Angela Merkel, meaning she got 25 out of 27 EU member states to agree to her beloved fiscal pact: the EU’s control over national budgets needs to be written into each constitution. The odd ones out are the Czech Republic and of course the UK (maybe the lack of a constitution is the issue…). Furthermore, the setting up the €500bn European Stability Mechanism (ESM) as a permanent rescue fund was agreed upon. Unsurprisingly, David Cameron couldn’t make statements to the press without pointing the finger at others, calling for them to deal with “the mess that is the euro” according to Reuters. Only reason that’s still amusing is because the UK is not exactly the fastest growing country on the planet right now, and actually hasn’t been for a long while. read article or read Philip Stephens column on it in the FT read article
While the majority of developed countries can’t convince women to sit down and have [a thought about] children, things look quite different in London. Apparently, the city is drowning in babies… The Economist says that can be attributed to the crisis that made everything so goddamn sticky: labor markets, mortgage markets, etc. Because of the never-ending downturn, nobody moves out to the suburbs anymore when the stork comes knocking. But London’s schools and health system can’t cope, so if the urban planners in charge don’t come up with a solution, they might become the next hated profession (yesterday: lawyers, today: bankers…). read article
But for the moment, it is still the City that has to suffer from popular hatred. On that note, did you know that, 1. there are still Occupy London people around, and 2. that they lived up to their name and actually occupied a building? Good call, you may think, considering the low temperatures outside. But more importantly, the building these approximately 60 people are squatting in now is owned by UBS, who never got around to renovating it… read article
Meanwhile, the OECD‘s latest report is prepping us for the brave new world that lies ahead of us. The title reads “Machine-to-Machine Communication: Connecting Billions of Devices” and the summary is here.
Finally, a chart: Graphic Detail shows why growing out of the crisis is going to be harder than EU leaders like to thing. view chart