March 11, 2016

Europe Tries To Ease, Republicans Debate Again



MARCH 11, 2016  /  SUBSCRIBE



The Catastrophe of Success” was first published in the New York Times on November 30, 1947. This annotated version of Tennessee Williams’ essay shows how it’s just as relevant today.

Super Mario Throws Kitchen Sink At European Economy… Falls Short European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi (Super Mario) stepped up his Quantitative Easing (“QE” — see below) program, promising to throw trillions of Euros at the European economy (80 billion a month) and cutting the deposit rate (see below) to -0.4%. The markets initially were ecstatic at all this free money, only to be disappointed that he might not give out even more free money later on and wiping out all their gains. The ECB also revised inflation down from 1% to 0.1% (see below).  What do these terms mean?

  • QE: This is when a central bank prints a ton of money and uses it to go on a shopping spree (buy government bonds) in the hope to get long term interest rates down and banks lending again. 
  • Deposit rate: This is the rate the ECB gives banks when they leave money there. A negative rate means that the ECB is “charging” the banks for having cash. Again, this is meant to encourage them to lend money. But think about it, banks are charged for holding cash, and the ECB is trying to bring interest rates down to zero (see QE)… how then are they supposed to make money without charging you, the consumer, for having a deposit account? You guessed it, in shady ways, like “overdraft fees.”
  • Inflation: Simple, when prices rise. Most people hate inflation, that is until you have deflation (when prices fall). Deflation might sound good if you think it will make that car you want to buy cheaper, but it isn’t so good when your salary is also falling. It gets even worse if you have debt (see shady bank practices). So the ECB is desperate to avoid deflation and is printing tons of money to stop it.

#pnut4prez: Another Day, Another Damn Debate “I can’t believe how civil it’s been up here,” Donald Trump said, complimenting his own self restraint. Feeling like he has the Republican nomination in the bag, he didn’t have much reason to exert himself. And so, last night’s debate took a surprisingly grown-up tone. After the poor showings on Super Tuesday, Marco Rubio stayed aggressive, challenging Trump’s policies on immigration and the Middle East. Kasich, whose prospects are also looking grim, was the most explicitly denying Trump’s imminent win. Defending his relevance, he said, “math doesn’t tell the whole story in politics.” No, just the fact-based parts.


Ireland’s Parliament Had One Job: Elect A Prime MinisterIt wouldn’t be fair to call Parliament the least effective branch of the Irish government, but that’s only because it is the only branch in operation. Following last month’s inconclusive general election, Parliament was expected to select a Prime Minister and choose a government. Incumbent Enda Kenny failed to collect enough votes so will not be appointed taoiseach, leaving Ireland in new constitutional territory. Negotiations to break the deadlock and, you know, form a government, are now likely to continue until Easter. 

Female MPs In Iran Sue Over Sexism In GovernmentIran’s female deputies are suing one of their colleagues, conservative MP Nader Ghazipour, for his sexist comments during an election campaign last month. In a video that has now gone viral, Ghazipour said, “Parliament is not a place for foxes, donkeys, and women.” The more he tried to sound well-meaning, the worse it got. Taking on a fatherly, protective tone, he warned that women in parliament could face men who “might do things to them and disgrace you.” (Spoiler: he got elected anyway.) Despite numerous apologies and weak attempts at backtracking (“I didn’t mean all women, only some”), the plaintiffs refuse to draw the lawsuit. #WhoRunTheWorld.  Keeping Our Eye On…
  • North Korea: The country shot two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, leaving many uneasy. The DPRK’s attempt at showing off also does more than increase tension, especially when the country claims to now have nuclear warheads that can fit on the heads of such missiles.
  • Brits Named George: Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin denies being dead, despite mass panic amongst his fans. Many confused the author with George Martin, the famed Beatles producer and fellow Briton of the same name, leading to the type of confusion and hysteria you might find in his books.
  • World Leader BFFs: US President Barack Obama welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to announce joint efforts at fighting climate change. It seemed like a bond was formed immediately, and the inside jokes and banter were pretty cute.  


Hot Convict Gets A Warm Welcome Home Jeremy Meeks, the convicted felon whose devilishly handsome mugshot went viral in 2014, has been released from prison. It’s clear that many people (besides him, obviously) have dreamed of this day. “Mugshot McDreamy” collected over 100,000 followers on Instagram before even announcing his agency contract, and he is now considering a move toward the entertainment business.  

Weekend Reads

Receive this email from a friend?
Get the Daily Pnut every day — subscribe now!

Want to advertise in the Pnut? Got feedback?
Drop a line to Tewfik at
Copyright (C) 2016 Opedspace. 950 Mass Ave. Cambridge, MA 02139
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website.
Unsubscribe or Update Profile

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: