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The big picture view of an ever-changing global economy.

Macro chatter: Could QE3 be on the way?

Around the world in business: ECB leaves interest rates unchanged, the US Fed thinks QE3, and Elmo won't get to hang out with his Pakistani friends much longer.
paycheck fairness act fails senate vote june 5 2012Enlarge
The Paycheck Fairness Act which would have made it illegal for companies to retaliate against employees who asked about their colleagues' salaries failed in a Senate vote on June 5, 2012. President Obama and Senate Democrats were strongly supporting the bill. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Need to know:

The European Central Bank kept a key interest rate unchanged today, but noted that growth in the euro area remains weak. 

The ECB's key interest rate is currently at 1 percent, and some economists were expecting it would cut rates to spur growth in the struggling euro zone. 

Want to know:

Women across America are not happy, this one included. 

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which aimed to address the issue of pay equality in the US, failed to pass a Senate vote

The Act would have made compensation policies more transparent and held companies accountable for not paying women as much as their male counterparts. 

Dull but important: 

Thanks in part to this month’s lackluster jobs report, QE3 could be back on the table.

The Fed’s meeting later this month could be too soon for the US central bank to make a definitive decision but a slew of negative data already has the possibility on decision makers minds, the Wall Street Journal said.

Even if there is no decision on QE3 this month, the Fed’s meeting in the next few weeks should be interesting. It will mark the first time in years the Fed has had a full board. 

Just because: 

Stagflation is looming in India, and the growing Indian middle class is having trouble coping.

“There's no more cutting back for me,” Samujh, told my GlobalPost collegue Jason Overdorf. “I'm already down to only the absolute necessities.”

India's got a 50-50 chance of making it into the ranks of developed nations by 2050, by some estimates. 

Strange but true: 

Elmo will not be sticking around Pakistan.

The US has cut funding for a Pakistani version of Sesame Street because of allegations the puppet theater working on the project is corrupt, NPR reported. The Rafi Peer Theater Workshop, based in Lahore, was expecting $20 million from the US to continue developing the series, which first aired last year.

Elmo and his Pakistani friends were supposed to stay on the air for three seasons. The US had hoped they would improve education and tolerance across the country, but instead learned US funds may have been diverted for other purposes.

A Pakistani newspaper said US Sesame Street money had been used to pay off old debts and award contracts to people closely linked to the theater company. The US had spent just under $7 million on the initiative before yanking its funding.