Saturday, April 12, 2014

ECB Concedes that Deflation Is a Worry Requiring Immediate Action

Mario Draghi conceded that he is worried about deflation and is prepared to move toward unconventional monetary policy to combat it. He blames the strength of the euro and speaks of the need for "monetary stimulus" to combat it. According to the Financial Times, however, the plan is not to buy assets on the open market, as the Federal Reserve has done, but to cut interest rates on deposits by banks with the ECB, possibly into negative rate territory, which would effectively be a tax on these deposits.

The Hidden Story of the Municipals: An Arun Kapil Scoop

My blogging confrère Arun Kapil has a real scoop today:
One of the noteworthy stories of last month’s municipal elections—but which went absolutely, totally unreported in the national media, including in newspapers like Le Monde (in their hard copy, at least)—was the first-ever election of a mayor of Maghrebi/Muslim origin in a municipality of over 30,000 inhabitants in metropolitan France: Azzédine Taïbi, age 49 and of Algerian immigrant parents, who was elected mayor of Stains—a commune in the heart of the Seine-Saint-Denis (le neuf-trois)—on the PCF-headed Front de Gauche list.
All in all, the number of conseillers municipaux of non-European immigrant origin, according to La, went from 1,069 to 2,343 in this election, i.e. 6.7% of the total. That is not an insignificant increase. L’intégration est en marche.
Hats off to Arun for ferreting out this story and giving it the prominence it deserves. We need some good news to counter the pervasive reporting that it is the FN rather than integration that is en marche.

UPDATE: An FB friend of Arun's points to this interesting report on municipal councilors issus de l'immigration.