Further ECB Intervention—Portugal on the Brink [Financial Times] "The European Central Bank intervened to prop up the eurozone bond markets on Monday as political leaders and bankers warned the debt crisis was deepening amid fears Portugal was edging closer to an international bail-out. Although European Union officials denied they were talking about a bail-out for Portugal, the ECB had to buy the country's government bonds to stop the market selling off steeply before important debt auctions in Lisbon on Wednesday. Investor attention is also turning towards Belgium, which has the third highest public debt-to-GDP ratio in the eurozone. The king of Belgium asked the country's caretaker prime minister to draw up a tighter budget for 2011 than the one already agreed with the EU to ease market concerns over his country's debt."
"Portugal Says Economy Will Shrink" [Wall Street Journal] "The Bank of Portugal Tuesday forecast the Portuguese economy will shrink in 2011, as the government's austerity measures take a toll on private consumption, but return to growth in 2012, buoyed by strong exports. Elsewhere Tuesday, the European Union's weaker states comfortably sold planned amounts of Treasury bills, with Italy and Greece paying only marginally higher yields than previously, while Hungary's funding costs actually dipped. The smooth outcome of the T-bill tenders, or sales of short-term debt, is good news ahead of Portuguese, Spanish and Italian government bond sales in the next two days, but investors remain cautious."
iPhone Sparring Goes Bare Knuckles [New York Times] "In the Verizon-AT&T fight, the gloves are officially off. Lowell McAdam, the president of Verizon Wireless, which is expected to announce on Tuesday a plan to carry the iPhone. AT&T, which has been the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the United States, took a public swipe at the competition on Monday, a day before Verizon was expected to announce plans to offer the iPhone as well. 'I'm not sure iPhone users are ready for life in the slow lane,' Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, said in a company statement. He suggested that Verizon's version of the iPhone would not be as fast because of the network technology the company uses."
Another List I Won't Make: Bloomberg Hires Forbes Ranker to Write Rich List [Wall Street Journal] "Bloomberg LP is preparing to launch a ranking of the world's billionaires, capitalizing on the swelling numbers of wealthy individuals around the world and taking direct aim at the core franchise of Forbes magazine. Bloomberg on Monday said it is hiring Forbes veteran Matthew Miller as part of an effort to expand its coverage of the wealthy. Mr. Miller will help Bloomberg launch a global rich list sometime in 2012 or 2013, though the details and exact schedule are still uncertain. Mr. Miller spent seven years at Forbes and was the editor for the Forbes 400 list and co-editor of the Forbes World's Billionaires list until 2010. Rich lists have become big media franchises as publications compete to feed reader fascination with the money and lifestyles of the super-wealthy. There are now rich lists in China, the U.K. and Australia, with several more on the way."