The Independent Market Observer

Generic Title: Politics, China, Europe—Rinse and Repeat for Next Three Months

Posted by Brad McMillan, CFA®, CFP®

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This entry was posted on Aug 22, 2012 12:16:05 PM

and tagged Europe, Politics and the Economy, Yesterday's News

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With no overarching stories out there, and with the dog days seeming to lie back down for a nap, each of the papers chose a different front page today. The New York Times stayed with politics, as expected, and chose to focus on the “legitimate rape” controversy with “Ignoring Deadline to Quit, GOP Senate Candidate Defies His Party’s Leadership” and “Missouri Controversy May Endanger Republican Chances This Fall,” both on the front page. The stories are pretty much captured in the headlines. The final front pager touches on another story we have been following, “Dispute Over Islands Reflects Japanese Fear of China’s Rise,” which is also pretty self-explanatory. I have said it before and I will say it again—keep an eye on this.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) put Europe on the front page; “Europe Pressures Intensify” focuses on the problems facing Angela Merkel, the head of the German government. Nothing new there—we have known for a long time that the problem wasn’t solved and that there were no easy solutions—but by putting this on the front page, the WSJ is bringing it back into the conversation in a big way. Look for euro risk to make its way back into discussions and into the market as we come closer to September 12, the deadline for the German Constitutional Court ruling on what Germany can do to aid other countries. U.S. politics only made it to page A5, with “Akins Defies His Party’s Pleas to Quit.” Interesting to see the differences between the papers’ treatments and headlines, and that is why we read both.

Deeper in the WSJ, China comes up again with “China Spends to Boost Economy” and “China’s Graduates Face Glut,” both focusing on how the Chinese economy is slowing. We have heard a lot about this, and there is most probably a causal link between Chinese (and Japanese) belligerence over the reefs and the fact that they need to distract their populations from a weak economy. One probably won’t go away until the other does—which will not be for some time.

Finally, the Financial Times’ front page led with “Rally takes S&P to highest in four years.” Very true, and I suppose it’s a good sign that that is the headline news of the day. Deeper in the paper we have politics, with “Akin’s rape remarks a godsend for Obama” and “A Squall in the East China Sea,” which recap the same points made in slightly different ways in the other papers.

Have a great day!

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