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Twilight books and iPads added to inflation markers in UK

Tablet computers and teenage fiction have replaced the step ladder, the casserole dish and camera film development, as indicators of inflation in the UK.

Ron Paul v. Ben Bernanke

Paul: "The Fed's going to self-destruct."
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Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul at a town hall meeting at the Erickson Public Library in Boone, Iowa, on Dec. 8, 2011. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

High drama in Washington, D.C. today, especially if you're a fan of presidential politics, Fed policy, or both. 

The venue: the semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, given by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

In one corner, US congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Best line: "The Fed is going to self-destruct when the money's gone." 

In the other corner, Fed Chairman Bernanke.

Best line: "Good to see you again, Congressman Paul."

Yes, both were ready to rumble, in a classic wonkfest-death-match. 

Of course, there's video.


European economic daily news round-up

At market close: bonds sell, stocks up, inflation down

Yesterday's late breaking news that Standard & Poor's was downgrading the European Financial Stability Fund from AAA in line with its earlier downgrade of France hardly made a ripple in today's bond action.

The EFSF, once promoted as one of the main tools for preventing the spread of the debt crisis to the euro zone's bigger economies, held an auction of short term bonds today and sold 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) worth of them.


Finger pointing continues over Britain's "veto"

EC President Barrosso condemns Britain's negotiating stance at last week's summit
EC President Jose Manuel Barrosso reports on last week's summit. He was diplomatic - but clearly unhappy with David Cameron (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
David Cameron continues to reap the whirlwind over his actions at last week's EU summit

British inflation hits three year high

Inflation is now over 5 percent, wages - for those with jobs - are not keeping pace.
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British Prime Minister David Cameron at a conference on energy prices yesterday. Today's inflation figures show that energy costs are the main factor in driving inflation in Britain to a three-year high (WPA Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
Economic news from Britain continues to be bad. News from Israel/Palestine for a change is good.

South America money roundup

Brazil inflation pulls stocks down and other Latin America finance news

The Beyond Brics blog today has a roundup of Latin American currency and market news. It lands squarely in the boring-but-maybe-important category, so we’re doing you the favor of summarizing and condensing their condensed summary. Brazil: inflation continues to rise, which caused the stock market to fall 1.7 percent, and Brazilian currency continues to trade at an absurdly-high 1.66 reals to the dollar.


Rio de Janeiro now more expensive than New York

Surging prices in Rio surpass New York City for the first time

We’ve been feeling it more each month, but now it’s official: Rio is now more expensive than New York City. A study completed by the global real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield found recently that rents for office space in Rio de Janeiro are now the 4th-most expensive in the world, ahead of New York City, Paris, Mumbai and Milan. Rents in Rio increased 47 percent last year to $120 per square foot, the costliest in the Americas. It’s not just office rent either. Last year, another study found the cost of food, drinks, entertainment and household items in Rio eclipsed those in New York City, too. For the top three costliest cities for office rent, read on.

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