Total Confusion: Did Merkel Take a Selfie With Brussels Attack Suspect?

A photo depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel taking a selfie with a man allegedly resembling Brussels bomber Najim Laachraoui has gone viral.

The image published online depicts Merkel posing for a selfie with a refugee whose resemblance to the Paris bomb-maker and Brussels attacker Najim Laachraoui has been vividly discussed by Internet users.

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Sparkassen trauen der EZB nicht, wollen Bargeld im Tresor lagern

Die Sparkassen wollen sich gegen die Strafzinsen der EZB auf originelle Weise schützen: Sie planen, das Geld nicht mehr bei der EZB zu parken, sondern in eigenen Tresoren. Die Sparkassen sprechen von einem „EZB-Bargeldschutz“.

A Shortage of Bonds to Back Derivatives Bets

Starting next year, new rules will force banks, hedge funds, and other traders to back up more of their bets in the $648 trillion derivatives market by posting collateral. While the rules are designed to prevent another financial meltdown, a shortage of Treasury bonds and other top-rated debt to use as collateral may undermine the effort to make the system safer.

The ratio of debt to GDP has increased in all advanced economies since 2007.

A new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Debt and (not much) deleveraging, examines the evolution of debt across 47 countries—22 advanced and 25 developing—and assesses the implications of higher leverage in the global economy and in specific sectors and countries. The analysis, which follows our July 2011 report Debt and deleveraging: The global credit bubble and its economic consequences and our January 2012 report Debt and deleveraging: Uneven progress on the path to growth, focuses on the debt of the “real economy”: governments, nonfinancial corporations, and households. It finds that debt-to-GDP ratios have risen in all 22 advanced economies in the sample, by more than 50 percentage points in many cases (Exhibit 2).



China’s Debt Bomb

It’s a bomb! A mountain! A horror movie and a treadmill to hell! To doomsayers, China’s $28 trillion pile of public and private debt is a threat to the global economy. Or maybe it’s just a manageable byproduct of the boom that created the world’s second-biggest economy. Either way, the buildup has been breathtaking, with borrowing quadrupling in seven years by one estimate. (China doesn’t give a complete tally). Weaning the nation off that debt without intensifying an economic slowdown is tricky. Because China is a key driver of global growth, the solution is everybody’s concern. Propping up borrowers to prevent defaults is one approach. That could leave the country mired in bad debt and susceptible to years of stagnation.