French banks are feeling the pain today. Some CNBC commentators say that France should have been downgraded before the USA. Marketwatch says that France might be the next downgrade.
Another commentator noted that France is a lynchpin of Euro rescue efforts. If France were downgraded, it might not be able to contribute to the European Financial Stability Fund, or EFSF. That might explain why S&P does not want to downgrade France: doing so might break the Euro. For the English commentator, the current markets are reminiscent of the breaking of the pound out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992.
The treaty of Maastricht, signed in 1992 called for governments to maintain an annual deficit of 3 percent or less and to have debt no higher than 60 percent. Although Japan leads the league in government debt as a percentage of GDP at 225 percent, EU members Italy and Belgium are at close to 100 percent. France is at 83 percent. These countries have violated the rules of the treaty for years, and as a a result, they cannot call on today’s problem nations to be forced to adhere to the terms of the treaty.
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“Getting Media Right: A Call to Action” was hosted by the Columbia School of Journalism on December 2, 2010. It opened with an introduction by Bill Moyers and a clip from his 2003 show on media consolidation.
Then FCC Commissioner Copps addressed the session (the video is archived at the link above). He opened by thanking the Columbia School of Journalism and the “pathbreaking research of the New America Foundation.”
Copps pointed out that Reagan’s FCC Commission chief had called the television “a toaster with pictures” by which he meant to say that it did not need to be regulated. Most of our current problems can be traced back to the Reagan administration. As Copps has noted in an article in The Nation, Reagan’s FCC “went on to dismantle nearly every public-interest obligation on the books and to enable a tsunami of media consolidation. The results have been disastrous — reporters fired, newsrooms shuttered and our civic dialogue dumbed down to fact-free opinions and ideological bloviation.”
Copps noted that the urge to be a monopoly appears again with every new technology. In order to prevent the re-monopolization of the information industies, Copps proposed:
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