"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

World News: Seven Days And Counting!

  • The Greek government is looking to institute a voluntary program, granting banks the option to swap existing Greek debt for new bonds with up to 30 years of maturity.  Greece and the International Institute of Finance are assuming that there will be a 90% participation rate in the offer, which is estimated to cause a 21% loss to investors.  JPMorgan, among other investment banks, questions both the participation and the investment loss estimates.
South Korea
  • A paper presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (held in Barcelona), has demonstrated a possible way to predict the behavior of the market.  Their research showed a strong correlation between the trends in the use of words by financial journalists and changes in the leading stock indices.  As the market draws closer to the peak of a bubble, "reporters converge on the same language - 'stocks rose again', 'scaled new heights', or 'soared'", and "they also appear to refer to a smaller-than-usual set of market events - presumably because of an increased fixation on a small number of rapidly rising stocks."
United States
  • In two televised addresses last night - the first by President Obama and the second a response by Speaker of the House John Boehner - it was confirmed that we are not particularly close to any sort of an agreement on the US debt ceiling.  The President still wants to see what he describes as a "balanced approach" to balancing the budget by combining spending cuts and tax increases, while the Republicans still want deep spending cuts and state that "tax increases will destroy jobs".
  • The text of the President's speech can be read at WhiteHouse.gov.
  • The text of Speaker Boehner's speech can be read at Speaker.gov, although that link is currently showing a "Server too busy" error.
  • In "did this happen in Pulaski County" news, McGehee Secondary School in Arkansas is being sued for refusing to allow Kymberly Wimberly, the graduate with the highest GPA in her graduating class - to be class valedictorian.  Because she is black.
[1]  He claimed to be a "Justiciar Knight" and a member of the "Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici" or "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon"  If you're reading this at work the site with his actual manifesto is probably blocked.  Amongst other things, he states that the PCCTS exists to serve "the interests of the free indigenous peoples of Europe and to fight against the ongoing European Jihad" and "as an armed Indigenous Rights Organization and as a Crusader Movement (anti-Jihad movement)", and wants to preserve Western civilization by degrading women's rights and discouraging women from seeking higher education or careers.  You can read some excerpts at Pharyngula.  That's a blog written by a rather vocal atheist, so keep that in mind if you click on the link.
[2]  Surely there's no way the Syrian government would misuse a list of people forming an opposition party?

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