George Soros says Germany has three months to save the eurozone “The issue of “too big to fail” has not been solved at all.” The proposed solution of a European banking union does not address the underlying problems, Mr Soros adds. “A real danger to the financial system is the incestuous relationship between national authorities and bank managements. France in particular is famous for its inspecteurs de finance, who end up running its major banks. Germany has its Landesbanken and Spain its caixas, which have unhealthy connections with provincial politicians.”
Who Really Uses Twitter, and How? Who Really Uses Twitter, and How? The Pew Research Center has released the findings (PDF) of their first study focused exclusively on Twitter. According to the report, Twitter is still a niche product used by 8% of U.S. More Activist Intrusions at Belgian Nuclear Base Stoke Worries PrintShareEmailTwitterFacebookLinkedIn By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire WASHINGTON -- At least three times since January, peace activists have slipped onto a Belgian military base and on one occasion, they contend, made it inside an aircraft shelter where nuclear weapons are stored (see GSN, Feb. 17). The Belgian organization Peace Action in February produced an initial video documenting how five of its members on Jan. 31 wandered unimpeded for roughly an hour at the Kleine Brogel Air Base, northeast of Brussels, before being apprehended by an unarmed guard.
BlogTalk: Perceptions of Obama’s Prize - The Caucus Blog - NYTim Stephen Crowley/The New York TimesPresident Obama reacted to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning. Reaction to President Obama’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize has been spinning out so fast, it well, made our heads spin. Twitter’s been wild all morning; John Dickerson of Slate predicted early that “Twitter is a joke flusher. All the Nobel prize jokes will be fully distributed by 9 a.m.”
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the silly stereotypes about American and European morals. - By Christopher Hitchens Why is it that we cannot read any discussion of a political sex scandal, or a sex scandal involving a politician, without pseudo-sophisticated comments about the supposedly different morals of Americans and Europeans? And why is it that this goes double if the politician is French, or if the reactions being quoted are from Gallic sources? And when did this annoying journalistic habit become so prevalent? It must have sprung up quite recently, or at least since the time when Charles de Gaulle and John F. Kennedy were presidents of their respective countries. The first man was a strict and fastidious Puritan who never gave his wife Yvonne a moment's cause for complaint, while the second was a sensational debauchee who went as far as importing a Mafia gun-moll into the White House sleeping quarters.
Angela Merkel’s mania for austerity is destroying Europe Which world leader poses the biggest threat to global order and prosperity? The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Wrong. Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu? How Twitter changed the face of dissent If its founders hadn't invented such a silly name for Twitter, it would almost certainly have been closed down by now. The name suggests the cheery inanity of birdsong: it does not imply a considered and coherent back-channel of radical dissent. Without tweets, twibbons and hashtags, however, the public might not be aware that officers of the law recently assaulted a wheelchair user and dragged him behind riot lines.
The Belgian case for anarchy - Ezra Klein Okay, not really, but John Lanchester has a piece in the London Review of Books this week about the global economy that includes this tidbit on why Belgium is experiencing healthier economic growth than its European neighbors: “Because Belgium doesn’t have a government,” Lanchester writes. “Thanks to political stalemate in Brussels, it hasn’t had one for 15 months. No government means none of the stuff all the other governments are doing: no cuts and no ‘austerity’ packages. In the absence of anyone with a mandate to slash and burn, Belgian public sector spending is puttering along much as it always was; hence the continuing growth of their economy. It turns out that from the economic point of view, in the current crisis, no government is better than any government — any existing government.”
The White House - Blog Post - Building a World that "Gives Life In reacting to the news this morning that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, the President struck a note of humility and recognized that the award was a nod to a vision of what is to come: THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Well, this is not how I expected to wake up this morning. After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, "Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo's birthday!" And then Sasha added, "Plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up."
The Generally Sensible Parisian reaction to DSK The DSK drama has pretty much replaced the weather as the default topic of conversation in Paris this week. It’s very easy to find self-parodic essays in various French journals that try to justify DSK’s alleged crimes, or turn this into an indictment of American “frontier justice.” But among the people I know here, the reaction to the whole event has been completely recognizable.