05 August 2010

Power and Policy Team update (English)

U.S. midterm elections polls
These New York Times Senate Race Ratings and House Race Ratings suggest that the Senate will remain Democratic and the House will be divided. In the Senate, 51 seats are solid or leaning Democratic, 39 seats are solid or leaning Republican, and 10 are tossups. RealClearPolitics’s poll average gives a similar picture. In the Senate: 49 seats are likely/leaning Democratic, 43 seats are likely/leaning Republican, and 8 seats are tossups. In the House: 202 seats are at least leaning Democratic, 201 seats are at least leaning Republican, and 32 seats are tossups. A party needs 218 seats in the House to have the majority.

Monetary policy decisions in Europe
Both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank maintained their monetary policy rates (0.5% and 1%, respectively). No rate change had been expected. See the UK decision and the ECB decision. In his speech today, Jean Claude Trichet said that economic forecasts for the third quarter of 2010 look better than expected.

Greek crisis
According to the report released today by the EC, ECB and IMF, Greece has made impressive progress in reducing its deficit. The first part of the program, the strong cuts in public spending and the structural reforms made it possible for Greece to reduce the first-half deficit by 45%. (Read about it in FT $.)

Israel and Lebanon
Fears of a bloodier and more destructive conflict between Israel and Lebanon had kept both countries relatively calm, says this International Crisis Group report, which was published the day before last week’s violent clash. Read about the conflict in this LA Times blog.

Patrick Signoret and Isabel Gil

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