The Independent Market Observer

9/28/12 – Worth Noting

Posted by Brad McMillan, CFA, CAIA, MAI

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This entry was posted on Sep 28, 2012 12:24:15 PM

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Progress in Europe

Both Spain and Greece actually made some progress. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has “Spain Unveils New Set of Overhauls” and “Seeking Aid, Greek Coalition Partners Strike Deal” (p. A10); the Financial Times (FT) has “Spain eyes E40bn of cuts in fresh reforms” on the front page and “Greece agrees fresh cuts and tax rises” (p. 4); and the New York Times (NYT) has “Greece Agrees on New Package of Budget Cuts and Taxes” (p. A4) and “Despite Public Protests, Spain’s 2013 Budget Plan Includes More Austerity” (p. B6). Forward is better than backward.

Israel and Iran

This is front-page news in both the WSJ—“Netanyahu demands ‘Red Line’ on Iran”—and the NYT—“Nod to Obama by Netanyahu on Iran Bomb.” At some point, Israel will really hit its red line and need to act, but it does not appear to be there yet. In my opinion, yelling about an attack is probably not good tactics if you actually plan to attack soon. When Israel stops talking about it will be the time to worry.

Chinese trial questioned by government official

It is not just foreigners who have questions about China’s justice system. The WSJ has “Chinese Forensics Expert Joins Trial Skeptics” (p. A11) and the NYT has “Chinese Government Scientist Raises Doubt in Evidence in a Murder Case” (p. A6). A Chinese government forensic scientist publicly stated in a blog post that the evidence she saw was not consistent with the charge of cyanide poisoning, suggesting that the prosecution may have cooked the evidence in the trial of Gu Kailai for the murder of a Briton. It must have taken tremendous courage for the scientist to make that blog post, especially with a trial that was as politically charged as this was. Kudos to her. In the age of the Internet, it gets harder and harder to make sure the fix sticks.

Libor to be revised

After extensive review, the authorities were shocked—shocked!—to find that Libor needed to be redone. So it will be, as reported on the front page of the FT with “Total overhaul for ‘broken’ Libor,” as well as on page C1 of the WSJ and page B5 of the NYT.

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