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Formal central bank independence is increasingly under pressure as societal preferences for a lender of last resort savior grow ever stronger (and more priced into nominal risk markets) as do

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Think the blackouts were just a "publicity stunt" that didn't wake up the American people to a serious problem with the legislative process? Wikipedia has now revealed that an astounding eight million people used its tool to look up their elected officials' contact info. It's not yet clear how many actually called, but some information on calls is starting to come out, and it sure sounds

Read more: Techdirt.


Royce Financial Services Fund (RFS) seeks long-term growth of capital. Royce uses a disciplined value approach to invest primarily in a diversified portfolio of the equity securities of micro-cap, small-cap and/or mid-cap
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Every morning the Street of Walls team puts out an update on market levels, today’s top stories, and active M&A deals. Today’s Top Stories: Debt
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Pakistan's foreign minister visited Kabul to declare support for Afghan-led peace talks with the Taliban, signaling a thaw in relations between the two uneasy neighbors.

Read more: WSJ.com: World News

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp reported a fourth-quarter profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, boosted by one-time items and lower expenses for bad loans.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Since the start of the year, one phrase has tripped off the lips of European leaders more than any other: "jobs and growth." After two years of debt crisis and budget austerity, there is a strong desire to shift the narrative on.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to join French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the campaign trail in the coming weeks to forcefully support his re-election.

Read more: WSJ.com: World News

Since "to QE3 or not to QE3" is once again the big question on investors minds, I'm going to share my thoughts on this before we get to the charts.

The Federal Reserve Board meets next week, and as has become something of a tradition over the past several months, there's been even more QE3 talk lately.  The Fed is starting to sound like the boy in the old Aesop's Fable, The Boy Who Cried QE3.  How many more times will this Virtual QE talk work?

Several
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(Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co, which invented the hand-held camera and helped bring the world the first pictures from the moon, has filed for bankruptcy protection, capping a prolonged plunge for what remains one of America's best-known companies.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan returns to the world stage this week as a global antinuclear activist nearly a year after he oversaw his government's widely criticized handling of the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

Read more: WSJ.com: World News


We have already highlighted the breakout in the PowerShares QQQ Trust Series (symbol: QQQ), and it

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We've been following the somewhat bizarre legal situation in Houston, involving a legal fight over the red light cameras in that city. The details have been somewhat confusing, but the short summary is that there was a public referendum that voted against the red light cameras, which created a legal mess. That's

Read more: Techdirt.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took the fight to chief rival Newt Gingrich on Thursday in his most aggressive debate performance yet, five days ahead of Florida's primary vote.
Taliban field commanders in several volatile Afghan provinces said that they are largely supportive of their leadership's decision to open talks with the U.S., but cautioned that some of their fellow militants might reject any peace deal.

Read more: WSJ.com: World News

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece and its private bondholders resume debt swap talks on Friday amid signs they are inching closer to a long-awaited deal needed to prevent a chaotic default by Athens.
Syria agreed Tuesday to give Arab League observers another month to monitor a supposed cease-fire in the country, even as Gulf Arab nations characterized the mission as failed and turned their attention to addressing the crisis at the United Nations.

Read more: WSJ.com: World News

The Bangladesh military says it has foiled a bid by mutinous officers to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Read more: WSJ.com: World News

European Union finance ministers on Tuesday further pressured Greece and its private-sector creditors to ensure a proposed deal to restructure Greece's private-sector debt will be enough to put the country back on a firm fiscal footing.

Read more: WSJ.com: World News

Malaysian prosecutors are appealing a decision to acquit opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges, a move that could potentially plunge the nation into a fresh period of volatility ahead of its next elections.

Read more: WSJ.com: World News

``JPMorgan Chase routinely fabricated documents to deceive bankruptcy judges, going so far as to Photoshop documents to "create the illusion" of standing "in tens of thousands of bankruptcy cases," according to a federal class action. Lead plaintiff Ernest Michael Bakenie claims that Chase's "pattern and practice of playing 'hide-and-seek' with debtors, judges and other bankruptcy players" bore rich fruit: that Chase secured motions for relief of stay and proofs of claim in 95 percent of its cases.''

Read more: Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed

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