Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - March 25

First, an editorial by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appeared in The Wall Street Journal. It is pretty much a must read, so read the summary and click the link.

Second, yes, some good news is starting to slowly creep its way into recent economic reports. New home sales rose in February, and durable goods orders were also positive. Granted the prices in the housing report showed a decline, but the fact that sales were up for the first time in seven months is indeed a positive.

My Plan for Bad Bank Assets - By Timothy Geithner - The Wall Street Journal - "The private sector will set prices. Taxpayers will share in any upside... The depth of public anger and the gravity of this crisis require that every policy we take be held to the most serious test: whether it gets our financial system back to the business of providing credit to working families and viable businesses, and helps prevent future crises."

New-Home Sales Rise as Prices Fall - By Jeff Bater - The Wall Street Journal - "New-home sales climbed for the first time in seven months during February, another favorable sign for the housing sector, but the data also showed prices tumbled. Separately, durable-goods orders unexpectedly climbed during February, but demand in the prior month was revised down deeply, an adjustment countering the idea of a rebound in the slumping manufacturing sector."

Oil Falls as Inventories Rise - U.S. crude inventories rose 3.3 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected an increase of 1.4 million barrels. Oil fell by $0.80 on the news.

The Dollar is the World's Currency - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday the U.S. dollar remains the main global reserve currency and he does not see a change in that status in the foreseeable future. His comments were made in response to comments made by China stating that there should be a global currency to replace the dollar.

Fed Purchased $7.5 Billion of U.S. Treasurys in First Purchase - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York bought $7.5 billion in Treasurys on Wednesday. It's the first such operation since the central bank announced last week that it intends to buy $300 billion in Treasury securities to help improve conditions in private credit markets and spur lending. The debt bought Wednesday included notes maturing between 2016 and 2019.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Platts, Reuters

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