* A global effort to avert economic disaster (Michael Boskin, San Diego Union-Tribune)
With the global economy mired in recession and financial crisis, policy-makers everywhere have launched a series of monetary, financial and fiscal responses. Nevertheless, economies continue to contract, unemployment to rise and wealth to decline.
* ECB dithers as eurozone dives (Ian Campbell, The Daily Telegraph)
Economists had predicted it might cut euro rates by 50 basis points, and could go further given the collapse in eurozone economic output. They even tipped the ECB to unveil some quantitative easing policies, with the bank buying corporate bonds to bolster the money supply.
* Agony of filling up on euros (Teresa Hunter, The Scotsman)
From Wednesday, fuel duty increased by 1.84p per litre. This pushes up the price of petrol and diesel by 2.12p after VAT is added. The AA estimates that this adds £54.53 to the average family’s tax burden.
* Fed’s Kohn Warns on Deflation’s Risks (Jon Hilsenrath, Wall Street Journal)
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn offered a sobering assessment of the economic landscape and warned in starker terms than he has before about the risk of deflation — a widespread drop in consumer prices that can sap the economy’s strength.
* College tuition hikes lower than expected (Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times)
Private colleges and universities in California and around the nation are announcing relatively modest tuition boosts, averaging about 4%, for the 2009-10 school year. That is among the smallest such increases in about 30 years and is in marked contrast to the rate hikes being considered at public universities in California and elsewhere, which are larger in percentage terms if not dollar amoun…
* Brewery calls on Government to ditch ‘beer tax’ (Joanna Kilvington �, Newsquest London Newspapers)
Axe the beer tax is the message Fullers brewery is sending to the Chancellor ahead of this months budget announcement on April 22.
* Gold prices slump further on lack of demand (Sara Lepro, Sacramento Bee)
Gold prices extended their decline Monday, falling to their lowest close in more than two months amid a lack of demand.
* Inflation: the bogey that never went away (Anm Blog, The London Evening Standard)
First inflation was the bogey. Then deflation. Now there are already the first vague stirrings of inflation making a come back.
* Four at Four: The Earnings Alphabet Begins with AA (David Gaffen, Wall Street Journal)
For as much of a marker of the beginnings of earnings season as Alcoa is, the stock s performance and the company s results do not serve as a predictor for the rest of the quarter. (And why should they? It s not as if every S&P component is an aluminum company.) Regardless of all of this, the aluminum giant is looking at a big loss in the first quarter due to falling prices for aluminum, lower …
* 32.2 Million Americans on Food Stamps, 10 Percent of Population (Michael Krebs, Digital Journal)
For 10 percent of the U.S. population, food stamps are now a necessity to weather the deep worldwide recession. 32.2 million Americans are now receiving food stamp assistance, a record.