Today’s Links: December 19, 2011


“When [Havel] died Sunday at age 75, he knew his legacy lived on with freedom-seeking people around the world, not least the imprisoned signatories of China’s Charter 08 who took their inspiration directly from him. Their day of freedom is coming.”

MICHAEL MORAN: “SEC Puts Small Downpayment on Justice
“Hardly worth the fanfare the SEC gave it Friday – taken in context, this remains enormously underwhelming – but the charges against six pre-cataclysm Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives could be the beginning of a new attitude I referenced in this post.”

GENE EPSTEIN: “Why Has the Recovery Been So Slow?
“Begin with a detailed score card. The recovery from the 2008-09 recession has been the slowest since any recession in the post-World War II era. It has taken nine calendar quarters since the recession ended in the second quarter of 2009 for real gross domestic product to climb back to its fourth-quarter ’07 peak. Assume the same rates of growth during the recoveries from the two previous recessions that rank second and third in severity since World War II — ’81-’82 and ’74-’75 — and the recovery from the recent recession should have taken half as long.”


MARKET – Alwaleed Bin Talal Invests $300 Million in Twitter
“Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his investment company said Monday they are investing a combined $300 million into Twitter, giving the microblogging site a cash boost as it looks to entice more users and paying advertisers.”

INTERNATIONAL – French Credit Downgrade Could Come Within Days
“France could be stripped of its triple-A credit rating before Christmas, raising new doubts about the survival of the euro, analysts have predicted. Standard & Poor’s – one of the three top rating agencies – is expected to cut France’s rating within days, in a move that would weaken its ability to raise funds on financial markets.”