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from Breakingviews:

Election reveals clear calculus: 47 pct > 1 pct

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

This U.S. election provided a valuable math lesson for those worried about the consequences of income inequality: the 47 percent of the population dismissed by Mitt Romney during his campaign can wield greater power than the richest 1 percent.

Ultra-wealthy Republican candidates included professional wrestling maven Linda McMahon, who ran for a Senate seat in Connecticut. Rich GOP supporters like the billionaire Koch brothers also worked spreadsheets hoping to somehow reverse the algebraic reality. They learned the hard way that money can’t buy everything in America.

The Occupy movement’s 1 percent label distinguished the haves from the have-nots. And Romney, for many the personification of that financially elite group, inadvertently provided the 47 percent reference. Roughly speaking, he quantified that mostly Democrat proportion of the U.S. population as irredeemably reliant on the government.

from Breakingviews:

New banking sheriff will aim further to the right

By Daniel Indiviglio
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The newest banking sheriff will be aiming further to the right. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas, will probably be the next chairman of the agenda-setting U.S. House Financial Services Committee. Like most GOP legislators, he wants to gut the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. Hensarling is also keen to get Uncle Sam out of the housing market and has supported refocusing the Federal Reserve. Especially following President Barack Obama’s re-election, though, such a bold agenda could be tough to advance.

from Breakingviews:

The biggest winner in U.S. election: Mr. Uncertainty

By Daniel Indiviglio
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Mr. Market might as well concede now to Mr. Uncertainty. Although American polls won’t close until Tuesday evening, neither President Barack Obama nor his challenger Mitt Romney is likely to emerge with a robust mandate. It doesn’t take a worst-case, state-by-state recount scenario to foresee market gridlock.

from Breakingviews:

Chris Christie may soon feel Barack Obama’s pain

By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Chris Christie’s budding bromance with Barack Obama may grow even stronger. New Jersey’s Republican governor, who praised the president as they surveyed superstorm devastation together last week, faces a Sandy-related revenue hit that will make it hard to balance the budget, as mandated by the state constitution. That could leave Christie stealing a page from Obama’s election playbook.

from Breakingviews:

There’s something rotten with U.S. labor picture

By Martin Hutchinson
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

There’s something rotten with the American jobs picture - even if it’s not immediately apparent from the latest report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In October the economy created 171,000 new jobs, and 84,000 more were added to previous months’ tallies. That’s good for President Barack Obama’s re-election chances. But only half the recession’s job losses have been regained, and with the recovery from each recession becoming harder to overcome than the previous one, it’s clear the next president will need to grapple with some deep structural problems to succeed.

from Breakingviews:

Storm dents Wall Street but spares U.S. election

Richard Beales, Rob Cox, Agnes T. Crane, Martin Hutchinson and Daniel Indiviglio contributed to this view.
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

America’s “Frankenstorm” lived up to the hype. A record storm surge on Monday evening left train and car tunnels flooded, much of Lower Manhattan dark, and bank headquarters like those of Goldman Sachs running on backup power. The overall economic damage could run as high as $20 billion, according to risk modeler Eqecat, and that was before Hurricane Sandy completed her destruction. Luckily for American voters, the weather arrived a full week before the Nov. 6 elections.

from Breakingviews:

To fix U.S. finances requires compromiser-in-chief

By Rob Cox and Daniel Indiviglio
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Who is best suited to be the next compromiser-in-chief? That may be the most important question American voters will have to answer when they head to the polls to elect a new president on Nov. 6. A sweeping, bipartisan agreement to reform the tax code, cut spending and ensure the safety of entitlement programs is an essential precondition for stabilizing the country’s finances and getting the economy back on track.

from Breakingviews:

Last U.S. debate neglects foreign policy realities

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The last U.S. presidential debate was an oratorical rendition of Saul Steinberg’s 1976 illustration of the myopic world view from New York. Listening to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spar on Monday night, it would have been easy to forget Europe exists and imagine the Middle East is as big as the African continent and Asia combined. Free trade got short shrift and the global coordination of finance nary a mention. Worse, politically facile China-bashing suggests both men may miss a big opportunity.

from Breakingviews:

Breakingviews e-book: The U.S. election

Edited by Richard Beales
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.


America is divided. That at least is the message from the two parties in the run up to Nov. 6 U.S. presidential and congressional votes. With Barack Obama and Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in polls, our latest e-book examines how we got here, and the main fiscal and economic challenges facing the next American president.
Download the e-book

from Breakingviews:

Romney’s foreign policy doesn’t seem so austere

By Daniel Indiviglio
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Mitt Romney’s foreign policy doesn’t match his thrifty approach to other spending. The U.S. Republican presidential candidate’s speech on Monday suggests a George W. Bush-like interventionist streak, another step away from the party’s pre-World War Two isolationism. That could lead to more Middle East conflict and defense spending. It’s also just as risky as President Barack Obama’s stance.

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