The Wall Street Journal reports, weekend elections in France and Greece led to a flight of money out of assets perceived to be risky into those seen as havens. The euro, European stocks, bank shares and “peripheral” euro-zone sovereign bonds, all suffered, as funds moved into the safety of the dollar, and assets like German bunds. Investors were reacting to the outcome of the Greek and French votes. In a stinging rebuke to Greece’s two mainstream parties and the austerity policies they backed, the conservative New Democracy party and the Socialist Pasok party garnered less than a third of the vote combined. And in France voters elected Socialist Party candidate François Hollande as president, who has pledged to shift the economic hardship onto the rich and soften austerity measures. Reuters reports, Vladimir Putin took the oath as Russia’s president today, with a ringing appeal for unity at the start of a six-year term in which he faces growing dissent, economic problems and bitter political rivalries. Outside the Kremlin’s high red walls, riot police prevented protests by rounding up 120 people, including men and women in cafes, wearing the white ribbons, symbolizing opposition to Putin, a day after detaining more than 400 people during clashes. Parliament is expected to approve Medvedev, as prime minister on Tuesday, completing a job swap, that has left many Russians feeling disenfranchised. Many of the protesters are angry that Putin is extending his 12-year domination

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