Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Comment Policy

Henceforth all blog comments will be moderated. Comments will not appear until I approve them. Approval will be granted if three conditions are observed:

1. Temperate language must be used.
2. No personal attacks on individuals will be tolerated.
3. Comments should be related to the content of the blog.

Thank you.

Immigration Is Down

Immigration is down, but Sarkozy's policies have nothing to do with it.

An OECD report shows that immigration into OECD countries is down an average of 7% owing to the global economic downturn. (h/t Mediapart)

Italy, US: Republicans Fiddle while Rome Burns

So it's no longer just the PIGS:



Still, if the crisis were to take hold in Italy, the problems for the euro union would dwarf all others to date. European banks have total claims and potential exposures of 998.7 billion euros to Italy, more than six times the 162.4 billion euro exposure they have to Greece, according to Barclays Capital. European banks have 774 billion euros of exposure to Spain and 534 billion euros of exposure to Ireland.
In the United States, banks are also more exposed to Italy than to any other euro zone country, to the tune of 269 billion euros, according to Barclays. American banks’ next biggest exposure is to Spain, with total claims estimated at 179 billion euros.
But at the end of the day, “If Italy goes, it’s no longer a domino,” said Mr. Gros, the analyst in Brussels. “It’s a brick.”

Aubry-Hollande, Hollande-Aubry

So, yesterday Hollande was up in the polls, today it's Aubry. With left sympathizers. Hollande leads with "all the French." Whatever. I'd bet most of the people polled would be hard pressed to name any significant programmatic differences between the two. Of course, a presidential preference is a visceral as well as a programmatic choice. And when it comes to the gut, Aubry and Hollande seem to be running about neck and neck. It would have been interesting to see how either fared against DSK, but now we'll never know. Take your pick. It seems as though it will be one of these two.

Juppé: Libya in Contacts with France

I didn't even report Saïf Qaddafi's boast yesterday that Libya was "in negotiation" with France, because I thought he was bluffing. But now Alain Juppé has confirmed that there are contacts between the Libyan regime and his ministry with an eye to Qaddafi's departure. And the Libyan prime minister is prepared to negotiate with the rebels without Qaddafi. Sounds like victory is nigh. Bastille Day would be a fine time to announce a breakthrough, don't you think? Coup de comm', anyone?

UPDATE: Jean Daniel's thoughts. He also speaks of a Bastille Day announcement!

A summary of the war so far.