Saturday News and Notes

Jackson Hole Meeting
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered – as expected – little certainty of future policy actions. However, some analaysts interpreted his defense of bond purchases as a signal that he plans to provide further easing.

Former Board monetary affairs staffer Robert Perli said, “The question is will they happen at the September meeting, or will they prefer to wait to see if a stronger case can be made later.”

Read Bernanke’s speech at the Jackson Hole conference.

September Is A Crucial Month For Europe
Meanwhile, September should prove to be a pivotal month for the Eurozoneas ECB president Mario Draghi is expected to outline what action the central bank will take on Spain and Italy and Holland faces parliamentary elections.

Tensions Increase Over Iranian Nuclear Programme
United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon offered terse criticism of Iran’s efforts to block nuclear inspectors from its sites. The UN report that Iran is moving forward with its nuclear programme comes as the rogue nation says its reactor in Bushehr has reached full capacity. The report of advancement in Iran’s program is causing greater concern as officials in Israel may seize on it to legitimize a preventive attack on Iran. But some within Israel say now is not the time for a military strike.

Can California’s labor unions be reformed? A former union official outlines the future for education in the Golden State.

As the Syrian government continues to shell Damascus without an end in sight, the suffereing of the ordinary Syrian grows increasingly worse, says The Economist.

Nearly 50 years later, a German pharmaceutical manufacturer offers an apology for birth defects caused by the drug thalidomide. Is it enough?


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