1. Whew!

    E.U. Agrees to Closer Alliance

    French President Francois Hollande, right, speaks with Belgium's Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo during a round table at an EU Summit in Brussels on Thursday, June 28, 2012. European leaders gathering Thursday in Brussels are set to sign off on a series of measures to boost economic growth but expectations of a breakthrough on the pooling of debt have fallen by the wayside. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP Photo

    It looks like French President François Hollande is the real thing, after he led a revolt against Germany’s austerity doctrine while the European Union agreed Friday to a closer union—and to fight the financial crisis—at the 19th European summit in Brussels. Hollande, elected on a mandate to fight austerity, fought German Chancellor Angela Merkel and pushed through concessions for Spain and Italy, winning easier requirements for them to take bailouts and reshaping the balance of power in Europe. Stocks in Asia and Europe surged on the new agreements, the scale of which were unexpected.

    Read it at Bloomberg News