Opinionomics | 29 May 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. Featuring housing in the US and more on Facebook

1. Debt-Ceiling Deja Vu Could Sink Economy (Bloomberg View)

Europe is crumbling. China is slowing. The Federal Reserve is dithering. Yet the biggest threat to the emerging U.S. economic recovery may be Congress, write Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers.

2. Is the Bank of England doing enough? (BBC News)

Stephanie Flanders argues that "both the Bank and the Treasuiry might need to be less pessimistic about the underlying state of the UK economy - and more optimistic - and urgent - in their efforts to help."

3. The Housing Recovery: A Rethink (Forbes | Modeled Behaviour)

Karl Smith looks at the state of the US housing market.

4. Why Are Two-Class Shareholder Arrangements Proliferating? (Slate | Moneybox)

In the wake of the ongoing Facebook IPOcaplypse, Matt Yglesias looks at why shareholder arrangements like Mark Zuckerberg's concentration of power are becoming more popular.

5. No taxation without mastication (Financial Times)

Jonathan Ford delivers what will hopefully be the final word on the pasty tax.

Is there a housing recovery in the US? Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.