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Best of the Blogs: Mario Draghi's Pledge Likely Just Empty Words


Plus, will the federal government let the US Post Office default?

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Use our comments section to post your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.

Naked Capitalism
Link: More on Draghi's "The ECB is All In" Bluff

"The more news comes out, the more it looks like Mario Draghi's pledge that the ECB would do all it would take to save the Euro was a bluff. The best guess is that he hopes to appease the market gods until September 12, when the German Constitutional Court will render its decision on whether the "permanent" rescue mechanism, the ESM, is permissible. The assumption, of course, is the the ESM will be approved. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong, but in parallel to the lack of a Plan B when a private bailout of Lehman failed, there does not seem to be any Plan B in the works if the German Constitutional Court nixes the ESM. And the odds of that are not trivial.

"The headfake earlier today was a photo op between Geithner and Finance Minister Schaeuble which was touted by Bloomberg as Germany supporting the Draghi move, when a more level headed reading would see this as a non-endorsement."

24/7 Wall Street
Link: US Post Office Ready to Collapse

"The US Postal System probably will default on about $5 billion owed to the Treasury as soon as this week. There are actually two payments, one of $5.5 billion due now and another in September for $5.6 billion. Each is earmarked for benefits for postal employees who will retire in the future. An analysis by the federal government claims the USPS loses $25 million a day. There may be no solution to how retiring postal workers gain access to future benefits."

Link: Google+ Catching Facebook in Brand Pages but Not Fans … and Why That's OK with Companies

"A new study of Facebook (FB), Twitter, and Google+ (GOOG) tracked the ongoing evolution of brands interacting with consumers and concludes that while growing, Google+ is still definitely playing second fiddle to Facebook and Twitter. But with the SEO benefits Google+ can deliver, brands may not care.

"The study, by enterprise SEO company BrightEdge, shows that Google+ is catching up to Facebook and Twitter in terms of numbers of top companies on the site, with three quarters of the top brands in the U.S. now on Google+. Which is starting to compare relatively favorably to the number of top brands on Facebook and Twitter: 90% and 80%, respectively.

"Unfortunately, that silver lining has an enormous grey cloud."

The New York Times: DealBook
Link: As Profit Plunges, Deutsche Bank to Slash Jobs

"Deutsche Bank (DB), Germany's largest lender, said Tuesday it would slash jobs in its investment banking division after profit plunged in the second quarter amid the European sovereign debt crisis.

"The bank, the subject of several official probes related to its activities in the United States and other countries, also said it was reviewing its compensation practices and its internal code of conduct "as part of a range of measures to bring about a cultural change."

"'We are firmly convinced that the industry must change its compensation model, and we are determined to be in the forefront,' Anshu Jain, who shares chief executive duties with Jürgen Fitschen, said during a conference call with analysts."

The Wall Street Journal: Deal Journal
Link: Lowe's Looks to Build In Canada, Welcome or Not

"Lowe's (LOW) wants to build something with Canadian competitor Rona.

"Only problem is, Rona doesn't seem interested.

"The home-improvement retailer made an approach to buy Rona Inc for C$14.50 (about $14.44) in cash, which would value Rona at about $1.75 billion.

"But rejection isn't stopping the can-do attitude at Lowe's, which says it already has support from shareholders representing 15% of Rona shares. Rona said in its own release, which first revealed the offer, that Lowe's declined to confirm it wouldn't go hostile."

Link: Jonathan Ive: Apple Almost Scrapped the iPhone

"In an alternative 2012, the Palm Pre IV is the most popular consumer phone on the planet. At the White House, President Obama carries around his secure BlackBerry, which he wishes had a larger screen, like an electric tablet would.

"In Redmond, Wash., Windows Vista II is being prepped for its debut. Soon, Microsoft's latest OS will be installed on 95% of desktops and laptops around the world, with that iPod company in Cupertino, Calif. taking the little that's left.

"This all could have been reality had Apple scrapped plans for the first iPhone. And this almost happened 'multiple times,' Apple (AAPL) Senior Vice President of industrial design Jonathan Ive told The Telegraph."

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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