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Muni Bond Smackdown! Bill Gross versus Meredith Whitney

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Muni Bond Smackdown! Bill Gross versus Meredith Whitney [Bloomberg] "Bill Gross, who manages the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., clashed with Meredith Whitney, the banking analyst, when he said he doubted there would be many local-government bankruptcies."

Bumping our Heads on the Debt Ceiling: And the Folks Don't Like it One Bit [CNBC] "The U.S. public overwhelmingly opposes raising the country's debt limit even though failure to do so could hurt America's international standing and push up borrowing costs, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday. Some 71 percent of those surveyed oppose increasing the borrowing authority, the focus of a brewing political battle over federal spending. Only 18 percent support an increase."

Wall Street Up After Portugal Sells Its Bonds [New York Times] "European shares rallied on hopes that finance ministers would beef up the European Union's rescue fund and after Portugal sold 1.25 billion euros ($1.62 billion) to strong demand. Lisbon's borrowing costs fell on the 10-year issue, but rose in the five-year."

Food Shock Fears after Harvest Forecasts Cut [Financial Times] "The world has moved a step closer to a food price shock after the US government surprised traders by cutting stock forecasts for key crops, sending corn and soyabean prices to their highest level in 30 months. The price jump comes after the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation warned last week that the world could see repetition of the 2008 food crisis if prices rose further. The trend is becoming a major concern in developing countries."

"Timothy Geithner details U.S. concerns over China" [LA Times] "With China's president set to arrive in Washington next week, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Wednesday laid out a list of concerns that he says the U.S. has with the rapidly rising Asian nation, including unfair government subsidies, theft of intellectual property and its undervalued currency."

What's New in Porn? [CNBC] Once again, I love writing for this network: "The pornography business is a tech bellwether, often sensing the shift in consumer sentiment long before the mainstream world makes a move."