Occupy the Alps

Thousands of the world’s business and political leaders are all heading to Davos, Switzerland—the home of Thomas Mann's fictional sanatorium—for this year’s five-day World Economic Forum.  The euro crisis will be a dominant theme of the conference and Angela Merkel will serve as the keynote speaker. The conference comes as public confidence in world leaders' ability to fix the economic crisis hits a new low. In 2011’s “truth barometer” poll, conducted by the Edelman PR firm, 11 countries—twice as many as last year—said they are "skeptical" of government, business, non-governmental organizations, and the media. The drop in trust is most attributable to a loss in faith in political leaders—52 percent of "informed people" polled trusted government last year; this year the figure has dropped to 43 percent. Trust in business dropped too, from 56 to 53 percent.  "European policy makers at Davos will keep doing everything possible to try to calm markets,” William Browder, a Davos-goer for 12 years, told Bloomberg. “People are still petrified.” The Occupy movement will also be present at Davos, where they have made igloos to stay warm during the forum. "We'll make small actions in the village, we're going to disturb things a little bit," said one Swiss politician occupying Davos for the week.


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Chart of the Day

When you graph the laughter at the Federal Open Market Committee meetings, you see that the meetings got funnier as the economy worsened, hitting a high of approximately 44 times per meeting in 2006—the year the Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index also peaked. 


Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning


Yesterday was the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. President Barack Obama released a statement saying he "remain[s] committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right."