Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon has previously written that “if you wanted to put a face to the famous bond vigilantes, it would probably feature that famous moustache” of PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian. Well, this morning Chrystia sat down with this famous bond vigilante for an hour-long Thomson Reuters Newsmaker interview and asked him why PIMCO decided to dump all of its holdings of U.S. government bonds earlier this month. Here’s what he had to say…
Mr. El-Erian is not particularly optimistic about any of the world’s three major currencies. “The dollar, the euro and the yen, all have issues.”
In terms of choosing which of the three is likely to hold up better than the others, he likened the dilemma to a wardrobe decision on an extended business trip. “You have to determine your cleanest dirty shirt. That’s what the three largest currencies have become,” he said.
“I was happy to see that Newt Gingrich has staked out a position on the war, a position, or two, or maybe three. I don’t know. I think he has more war positions than he’s had wives. […] There’s a big debate over there. Fox News can’t decide, what do they love more, bombing the Middle East or bashing the president? It’s like I was over there and there was an anchor going, they were pleading, can’t we do both? Can’t we bomb the Middle East and bash the president at the same time? How are we going to make this work?”—
Reports of the demise of newspapers may be greatly exaggerated.
According to a new Harvard study, the denizens of the digital age — 18-to-29-year-olds — would prefer to get most of their political news about the next presidential campaign from — believe it or not — major national newspapers.
In the survey from the Harvard University Institute of Politics, 49 percent of respondents in that age group said national newspapers were their preferred source of political news, outranking friends’ Facebook pages (35 percent), official Facebook pages (29 percent), and partisan blogs (22 percent). Mobile alerts scored 19 percent, while friends’ Twitter feeds and official Twitter feeds garnered 17 and 16 percent, respectively.
$33billion in cuts in the latest, tentative budget proposal source
» Still not a sure thing: Joe Biden, who has been negotiating a budget with the Republicans, says that he and Republicans are now “working off the same number” in their talks. However, John Boehner’s spokesman made it clear that “there is no deal until everything is settled.” If this budget passes, the cuts will fall drastically short of the $100 billion Republicans pledged to cut during last November’s elections. If it doesn’t, a government shutdown will become a near-certainty.
Former police officer Greg McRae was sentenced this morning to more than 17 years in federal prison for burning Henry Glover’s body after he was shot by a fellow police officer in the days after Hurricane Katrina.
U.S. District Judge Lance Africk immediately remanded McRae to federal authorities.
Africk called McRae’s conduct “barbaric,” saying it was “unforgivable” to burn Glover’s body — particular for a 26-year police veteran.
Because of McRae, Africk said, the last photo the Glover family has of him is that “of a pile of bones.”
“At some point, you lost your compass,” Africk said.
McRae’s lawyer, Frank DeSalvo, argued that the judge should consider the circumstances of the storm as a mitigating factor when sentencing his client. He said McRae saved many lives during the hurricane.
McRae was convicted of violating the 31-year-old Glover’s civil rights by burning a car that contained his corpse. The car belonged to William Tanner, a good Samaritan who picked up Glover and tried to get him medical attention after he was shot.
DeSalvo argued that McRae did not know that Glover had been shot by fellow officers. Burning the car at the time didn’t seem so serious, DeSalvo said, adding that McRae now understands the implications of what he did and has taken responsibility for it.
McRae, clad in a blue blazer, addressed the court personally, saying that he “acknowledged his mistakes.” He also apologized to the families of Glover and Warren.
“This is a major defection and a significant blow to the Gaddafi regime. Moussa Kusa is one of Gaddafi’s most trusted aides who can help provide critical intelligence about Gaddafi’s current state of mind and military plans. It also demonstrates that the people around Gaddafi understand his regime is in disarray. As the President said the other night, ‘it should be clear to those around Gaddafi, and to every Libyan, that history is not on his side.’ The people around Gaddafi have to choose whether to place their bet on a regime that has lost all legitimacy and face grave consequences, or get on the right side of history. Moussa Kusa’s decision shows which way the wind is blowing in Tripoli.”—Statement on Moussa Koussa by Tommy Vietor, National Security Council Spokesman (via neighborhoodr-tripoli)
Reuters is reporting that President Obama has already signed off on a presidential “finding”—i.e. an order—authorizing covert U.S. support for Libyan rebels. The order, which Reuters says was given “within the last two to three weeks” is described by the news service as the “principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency” and is typically ”crafted to provide broad authorization for a range of potential U.S. government actions to support a particular covert objective.”
Some nice attention for everyone’s favorite short form news reader: Check out Jaclyn Schiff’s interview with Ernie Smith, editor of the Short Form Blog on Tumblr. Nice shout out to SFB writers Seth and Chris on Page 2 (and a couple of other shoutouts for Pantsless Progressive, Kateoplis, Newsflick, Soupsoup and a couple of other great news and political Tumblrs).
Thanks Ernie! Nice to see ShortFormBlog get the attention it deserves. Quite frankly, all the others Ernie mentioned should be getting a lot more buzz outside of Tumblr as well. You’re all among my most frequently preferred sources of news.
“It is absurd to think that the reasons for bombing Tripoli or for the turkey shoot outside Benghazi are designed to protect civilians. This particular argument is designed to win support from the citizens of Euro-America and part of the Arab world. “Look at us,” say Obama/Clinton and the EU satraps, “we’re doing good. We’re on the side of the people.” The sheer cynicism is breathtaking. We’re expected to believe that the leaders with bloody hands in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are defending the people in Libya. The debased British and French media are capable of swallowing anything, but the fact that decent liberals still fall for this rubbish is depressing. Civil society is easily moved by some images and Gaddafi’s brutality in sending his air force to bomb his people was the pretext that Washington utilised to bomb another Arab capital. Meanwhile, Obama’s allies in the Arab world were hard at work promoting democracy.”—Libya is another case of selective vigilantism by the west says Tariq Ali. Bombing Tripoli while shoring up other despots in the Arab world shows the UN-backed strikes to oust Gaddafi are purely cynical. Read more at The Guardian. (via newsflick)
“News Corp has named Rupert Murdoch’s son James as the company’s new COO, and chairman and CEO of its international operations. What are the odds, the boss’s son achieving such a high rank in the same company as his dad? And not long after his sister sold her own company to dear old dad for hundred of millions of dollars! Must be astronomical odds. It’s almost as if News Corp isn’t a public company at all, right? Weird.”—Hamilton Nolan
“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”—