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    French economic growth ground to a halt in the second quarter of 2011, raising pressure on President Nicolas Sarkozy to cut spending and abolish tax breaks ahead of elections as he tries to convince nervous financial markets that he will deliver on debt reduction targets.

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    Senior government sources tell Class CNBC, CNBC’s Italian partner, that a short-selling ban will be imposed in France and Italy after Thursday's market close.

  • Financial Crisis

    It feels eerily familiar: Stocks are plummeting. The economy is slowing. Politicians are scrambling to find solutions but are mired in disagreement, the New York Times reports.

  • Here’s the first super-committee interview with newly appointed member Sen. Pat Toomey.

  • Cramer Sounds Off: Get Off the Beach!

    Mad Money host Jim Cramer sounds off on Wall Street's financial crisis, complaining while he has to cancel his vacation plans, political leaders are sitting on the beach.

  • LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08: A rioter throws a rock at riot police in Clarence Road in Hackney on August 8, 2011 in London, England. Pockets of rioting and looting continues to take place in various boroughs of London this evening, as well as in Birmingham, prompted by the initial rioting in Tottenham and then in Brixton on Sunday night. It has been announced that the Prime Minister David Cameron and his family are due to return home from their summer holiday in Tuscany, Italy to respond to the

    Police appear to have brought under control the rioting and looting that gripped the UK on the fifth night since violence flared up in the North London borough of Tottenham on Saturday and spread like fire across the country, but politicians and society at large are struggling to grasp the economic and social root causes of the unrest.

  • France

    Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has given his finance and budget ministers one week to come up with new measures to cut France's crippling debt burden as concerns mount over prospects for growth and the country's ability to meet its deficit reduction targets. reported the FT.

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    The past week's market drops and swings are dizzying. Everyday people are commenting that it is scarier than 2008. Now, that probably isn't true because no one is anticipating the inability to take money out of ATMs or the commercial paper market shutting down. Yet, there is something unnerving about the market declines, the uncertainty surrounding the economy and the lack of confidence in political leaders.

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    Analysts point out that U.S. banks have become much better capitalized than they were during the financial crisis of 2008. But shares of US major banks continue to move sharply lower.

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    We had a flash crash. Then we had a flash rally. Now we're flashing again to the downside. I think we should all go away for a few days and give it a rest.

  • A riot police officer attempts to break down the door of a house next to a burning car as he is targeted by rioters after local residents claimed a baby was still in the property in Clarence Road in Hackney in London, England.

    The insured costs of the riots that have rocked the United Kingdom for four days look set to exceed 100 million pounds ($163 million), according to early estimates from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

  • The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, DC.

    Goldman Sachs on Wednesday reviewed its position on further monetary stimulus, saying that further quantitative easing had a greater than ever chance of being implemented in the United States.

  • An aerial view of the Sony distribution center engulfed in fire on the 9th August, 2011 in London. Widespread looting, arson and clashes with police continued for a third day in parts of the capital, as well as in Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol, as the disruption carries into a fourth night.

    London's streets were quiet Tuesday night after three nights of rioting, but police battled with looters in several other UK cities, including Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham as the country's violent unrest continued for a fourth night.

  • Traders work in the ten-year U.S. Treasury Note options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

    The US Federal Reserve managed to spark a stock rally on Tuesday, but some economists are now left wondering if it will take tax cuts to inject real life into the broader US economy.

  • Ben Bernanke press conference following rate decision.

    Big moves are not being anticipated today and, truth is, the Fed has no big moves left in its deck of cards. The Benjamin might not say anything. But there are some policy steps that could be taken, even though the benefits are modest.

  • Market expectations for future growth shifting rapidly towards uncertainty over global debt servicing.

  • John Wayne

    Investors woke up Monday to a world in which America is seen as a greater credit risk than anytime in recent history, and they didn't like what they saw. The conversation around why we were downgraded can get as wonky as we want, but let’s not get caught up in the weeds. We are where we are because the problem is simple: Our country spends far more than it takes in—trillions more.

  • LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08: A rioter throws a rock at riot police in Clarence Road in Hackney on August 8, 2011 in London, England. Pockets of rioting and looting continues to take place in various boroughs of London this evening, as well as in Birmingham, prompted by the initial rioting in Tottenham and then in Brixton on Sunday night. It has been announced that the Prime Minister David Cameron and his family are due to return home from their summer holiday in Tuscany, Italy to respond to the

    Central London's police cells are full to the brim as more than 200 people were arrested on a third night of disorder in the U.K.'s capital. Some 16,000 police officers will hit the city's streets Tuesday night, as the government tries to stem the rising tide of violence.

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    The Swiss franc and yen are flying high as investors bail out of riskier currencies — it's time for your Tuesday FX Fix.

  • ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MAY 10: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves the Second Annual Conference of International Monetary Fund held at the Baur au Lac Hotel on May 10, 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. The conference hosted by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), brought together central bank governors and senior policymakers, to debat about the reform of the international monetary system with topics such as global liquidity p

    Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a housekeeper in a "violent and sadistic attack" in his hotel suite in Manhattan in May, a civil lawsuit filed on Monday alleges.