Monday, March 22, 2010

Quick Notes for the Day - March 22

Dollar Rises, Euro, Gold, Commodities Fall - The dollar moved higher against the Euro on concerns about Greece's debt and rising interest rates around the world. The thought is that the rising interest rates (like in India) would slow growth, thus the commodities pulled back. Oil dropped to below $80 (an important level) before rising slightly back above $80. Meanwhile, gold dropped below $1,100 an ounce for the first time in three weeks.

Overall, the dollar rose to a 10-month high versus the euro on Monday on signs of a deepening divide within Europe over aid to Greece. The euro fell to $1.3480. The dollar index which measures the dollar against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies rose to 80.849.

Health Care Reform Passes the House - The obvious "big" story is the passage of the health care reform bill last night in the House. The bill now goes to the Senate in a "reconciliation" move that should speed it through, but Senate Republicans are saying that it might not be that easy. Either way, it looks like it will be the focus of the media for the next week or so. Please see the stories and editorials below.

The House passed the overhaul — now what? - MSNBC - "Relieved Democrats may still be celebrating the passage of landmark health care overhaul legislation, but Republicans in the Senate still have an opportunity to try to derail the bill.

And if history is any guide, they are likely to force the House to vote on health care again before Easter. 'Anybody that thinks that this is only going to be a one-time deal today in the House, I think, is grossly mistaken,' said Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch on CNN's "State of the Union.""

Healthcare Overhaul Faces New Challenges - Reuters - "Republicans vowed to fight back on Monday after Congress passed President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul while states promised new legal challenges and health industry stocks rose."

Health Care Reform, at Last - The New York Times - "The process was wrenching, and tainted to the 11th hour by narrow political obstructionism, but the year-long struggle over health care reform came to an end on Sunday night with a triumph for countless Americans who have been victimized or neglected by their dysfunctional health care system. Barack Obama put his presidency on the line for an accomplishment of historic proportions."

Show Time for Health Care - By Ross Douthat - The New York Times - "As a conservative, I suspect they’re wrong. But now that the bill has passed, as a citizen of the United States, I dearly hope they’re right. Indeed, I hope that 20 years from now, in an America that’s healthier, richer and more solvent than today, a liberal can brandish this column and say “I told you so.” Because the alternative would mean that we’re all about to be very sorry, and for a very long time to come."

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