Vital Signs: Companies Slow to Fill Job Openings There were 52.8% more job openings in July than there were two years earlier, according to the Labor Department. But hiring was up by just 8.7%.

Initial Jobless Claims: 414K vs. 405K consensus. Continuing claims -30K to 3.72M.

U.K. Business Leaders Call for Stimulus U.K. business leaders on Thursday called on the Bank of England to restart a stimulus program known as quantitative easing to ward off a potential double-dip recession.

BOE Resists Calls to Add More Monetary Stimulus The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee, led by Mervyn King, maintained the target of its bond program at 200 billion pounds ($319 billion), a move forecast by all but one of 41 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. It also held the benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent today.

Merkel promises ‘euro will not fail’ Court rejects challenges to rescue packages
Greece promises immediate job cuts Public sector to be slashed by almost 20%

Dennis Gartman: “Finally (…) S&P has said over the weekend through one of its senior spokespeople in Europe that if a EUR-bond is underwritten it shall have the rating of the lowest rated constituent country involved and thus will have coupon far, far above that of Germany, or France or Belgium et al. A EUR-bond would thus have the credit rating of Greece!”

In Euro Zone, Banking Fear Feeds on Itself  “This crisis has the potential to be a lot worse than Lehman Brothers,” said George Soros, the hedge fund investor, citing the lack of an authoritative pan-European body to handle a banking crisis of this severity. “That is why the problem is so serious. You need a crisis to create the political will for Europe to create such an authority, but there is still no understanding as to what the authority will do.”

The ECB holds policy steady, keeping its benchmark rate at 1.5%. In response to a question, Trichet reiterates that inflation risks have gone from “upside risks” to “balanced,” and growth has gone from “balanced” to “downside risk.” It’s about as clear a signal as you’ll get that the bank has rate cuts on its mind.

Asian Central Banks Hit Pause  Four Asian central banks opted Thursday to hold off on further monetary tightening, putting aside for now a yearlong battle against inflation as concerns mount about slowing global growth. Central banks in South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines left key interest rates unchanged after policy board meetings Thursday. The pause underscores the fine line Asian central banks must walk in trying to keep a handle on inflation even as manufacturing and export growth slow and Western economies flirt with renewed recession.

Is a Bottom in for the Dollar?

Yuan to Be Fully Convertible by 2015, Chinese Officials Tell EU Chamber Chinese officials told European Union business executives that the yuan will achieve “full convertibility” by 2015, EU Chamber of Commerce in China President Davide Cucino said. “We were told by those officials by 2015,” Cucino told reporters in Beijing yesterday, declining to identify the government departments involved. He said the step-by-step process was indicated at a meeting in the last several weeks.

U.S. Hits Builders With Pay Probe The Labor Department is investigating pay practices at many of the top companies in home building, hitting them with a broad demand for records that has led to complaints of regulatory overreach

Facebook Doubles Revenue Facebook is continuing its rapid pace of growth, with the social network doubling its first-half revenue to $1.6 billion, said a person familiar with the matter. The company has appointed Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Clinton, to its board of directors.

Europe’s Problems Summed Up: (From Grant Williams via John Mauldin)

Pythagorean theorem: 24 words
Lord’s prayer: 66 words
Archimedes’ Principle: 67 words
Ten Commandments: 179 words
Gettysburg address: 286 words
US Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words
US Constitution with all 27 Amendments: 7,818 words
EU regulations on the sale of cabbage: 26,911 words


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