First Past the Post: August 8

FT Alpahville has a nice primer on the appreciation of the Australian dollar (or the South Pacific Swiss franc).

Fresh out of prison, Conrad Black calls Pauline Marois a “mediocre sovereigntist bag-lady.”

Italian prime minister Mario Monti walks back his comments from yesterday that Italy’s debt yield spread would be 1200 basis points if his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, were still in charge.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy makes his first public comments since losing the May presidential election in calling for France and international intervention in Syria.

The Dutch Socialists takes the lead in the poll in advance of Sept. 12 elections.

Pia Kjærsgaard, who founded Denmark’s populist right-wing party, the Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party) in 1995 (which is now the third-largest party in the Danish parliament, is stepping down as leader.

Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi fires his intelligence chief (with the military’s blessing).

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