Convictions Upheld of Twenty-Three CIA Agents for Their Role in Kidnapping and Rendition in Italy

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 9:00 am

The highest appeals court in Italy upheld verdicts against twenty-three Americans, all of whom are CIA agents except one. They were found guilty of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric known as Abu Omar in 2003. Omar was flown to Egypt and tortured.

Though they each were given sentences of seven years or more, none of the American intelligence agents, including former Milan station chief Robert Seldon Lady, will ever serve a day in jail in Italy. However, they will be (and have been) limited in their abilities to travel to Europe since their convictions.

 

German Court Approves European Bailout Fund

By: Wednesday September 12, 2012 8:00 am

A German constitutional court has allowed the new European bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to go forward, with only one condition that appears surmountable.

European Central Bank Announces Conditional Bond Purchase Scheme

By: Thursday September 6, 2012 9:55 am

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi wrapped up his major press conference this morning, and the news was pretty much what we heard yesterday. Draghi announced the formation of the OMT, or Outright Monetary Transactions. It’s an unlimited sovereign debt purchase scheme for those countries which submit to giving the ECB a vote on their fiscal policies.

Mario Draghi’s Cunning Strategy to Subjugate Weak European Nations

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 11:10 am

This is about the worst possible policy announcement the ECB could make. The only hope is that the bond market finds it credible enough to never test it.

ECB’s Draghi Hints at Purchases of Sovereign Debt; Is Just Saying So Enough?

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 10:40 am

Yesterday I noted what a consequential week this would be for the European economy, as the European Central Bank prepared to make its decision on how to deal with soaring bond yields in Italy and Spain. ECB President Mario Draghi let some of the cat out of the bag yesterday, hinting that the central bank would purchase short-dated sovereign debt instruments from those nations. Just hinting at this is already affecting markets.

ECB Prepares to Reveal Its Decision on Eurozone Rescue

By: Monday September 3, 2012 11:00 am

We have another week where the speeches at a national convention won’t be the most important in the context of the world economy. The European Central Bank meets this week amid high expectations that they will take action to finally arrest the unusually large bond price spikes from troubled Eurozone sovereigns like Spain and Italy. Shares in European stock markets drifted higher in anticipation of the announcement of a program to purchase bond debt from those countries and push the yields lower. However, that may not be part of the initial announcement this week

ECB Bond-Buying Proposal Confirmed By Second Media Outlet

By: Tuesday August 21, 2012 10:00 am

The European Central Bank spent most of yesterday rejecting any hope of an imminent intervention in the European bond markets, to put a cap on the spread between the yields of the cheapest and most expensive sovereign bonds. But Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph (UK) not only confirmed the existence of the program, but said Germany would get behind it.

EuroZone Economy Sinks Towards Recession

By: Tuesday August 14, 2012 9:10 am

The emerging recession continues in the Eurozone, as GDP contracted by 0.2%. The loss was slightly smaller than expected, but that’s something of a double-edged sword. The economy grew in Germany but dropped in more struggling areas like Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece. This means that one governing authority must apply a unified monetary policy on a widely divergent region.

Lakeside Diner

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 4:45 am

A variety of links to articles/interviews/speeches on current issues that may be of interest.

Draghi’s Pieces Falling into Place for Bond Buying Program

By: Monday August 6, 2012 8:20 am

Bond yields in the trouble spots of Europe have actually come down a bit, as observers get more comfortable with Mario Draghi’s unfolding strategy at the ECB. He appears now to have at least qualified approval from Merkel’s government, if not from the German Central Bank, provided the German Supreme Court finds the use of the bailout mechanism to support bond purchases permitted by the German Constitution.

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