Monday, March 30, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - March 30

Obama Wants Permanent Middle-Class Tax Cuts - President Obama says he wants to make good on a campaign promise to deliver long-term tax relief for the middle class. Such tax cuts have run into some trouble in budget negotiations on Capitol Hill because congressional leaders are pressing for reductions in spending to offset the revenue loss for government coffers. Obama said in an interview on CBS that the tax reductions in place for the next two years are something he'd like to see made permanent and that he'd revisit this issue in the budget next year and the year after.

Geithner Defends the Moves Made to Stabilize the Financial System - Treasury Secretary Geithner said there remains about $135 billion in funds uncommitted under the government's TARP. When asked directly about asking Congress for more funds for the TARP, he would not say yes they would need more, but he would also not say no that they would not. "The market will not solve this," Geithner said on ABC, his first Sunday talk-show interview. "We need banks to take chances, we need them to take risks again," he said in explaining the rationale behind the government's various big-bucks recovery moves. Geithner also said there is a greater risk in not doing enough than in doing too much, and there is much still to do.

Barclays Will Note Seek Government Asset Guarantee - U.K. bank Barclays will not seek a government deal to insure its risky assets after the U.K. Financial Services Authority's determined that the bank doesn't need more capital, according to a Bloomberg report citing a person familiar with the situation. The report said Barclays will inform the U.K. Treasury of its decision by the Tuesday deadline, adding that the bank's board has not made a final decision. Barclays said on Friday that it had passed the FSA's stress test, sending its shares sharply higher.

Treasuries Rise on GM Outlook - Treasury prices rose early on Monday, sending yields lower, after the White House said bankruptcy was a possibility for General Motors and Chrysler. Yields on the 10-year notes fell 6 basis points to 2.699%.

Crude Oil and Gold Fall Again - Crude oil fell on Monday morning as thinking that oil demand would not pick up quickly hit the market. Crude for May was down $1.42 (2.7%) at $50.96 a barrel in early trading. It ended last week's trading up 0.6%. Meanwhile, gold fell on a strengthening US dollar. Gold for April was down $10.50 (1.2%) at $912.70 an ounce in early trading. It ended last week's trading down 3.5%.

Sources: CBS News, ABC News, Marketwatch, Bloomberg

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