- The European Central Bank, acting on fears of increasing inflation, has raised interest rates by 25 bps to 1.25%. The ECB is specifically concerned that oil prices could boost inflation. Far from being surprised, European financial markets are actually pricing in expectations that there will be at least two additional 25 bps increases this year.
- French forces assisted in destroying heavy weapons emplacements manned by troops loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo, then rescued the Japanese ambassador to the Ivory Coast from Gbagbo-affiliated soldiers that broke into the ambassador's residence. The soldiers were in the process of setting up rocket launchers on the roof of the residence.
- The European Union is expecting a formal request for a bailout of Portugal "soon", defined here as "as soon as the Prime Minister's cabinet determines it has the political power to ask for a bailout".
- Now that Portugal has all but taken the bailout, Spain is vowing that it will not follow it's little buddy to the west into that good night. No, they will instead rage, rage against the dying of their economy and focus on debt reduction. And since the EU thinks they're on track, they may very well have good odds of success.
The Whole Wide World
- The World Trade Organization expects international trade (as measured by exports) to grow by 6.5% this year, with developing nations trade increasing 9.5% and developed countries trade growing 4.5%.