Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quick Notes for the Day - June 22

Credit Is Not an Obstacle for Growth - Testifying before the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in prepared remarks that forceful government actions, which included the $700 billion TARP, created an environment where overall credit conditions are no longer an obstacle to the recovery. According to earlier statements by the panel, TARP might have stopped the global financial meltdown but it did not keep its promise in other areas like credit availability. TARP expires in October 2010 (end of the fiscal year), and after that time, the fund can only look to exit current investments (like AIG and GM). According to Geithner, TARP's estimated cost would be $105 billion to taxpayers.

Home Prices Up 0.8% in April, Existing Home Sales Down in May - The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that home values increased 0.8% in April versus March but fell 1.5% year over year. The FHFA said that the federal tax credit for home buyers helped contribute to the higher prices.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released date that reported that sales of existing homes and condos fell 2.2% in May versus April. Inventories of unsold homes fell 3.4% to 3.89 million, an 8.3-month supply at the May sales pace.

Judge rules against Obama's drilling moratorium - Reuters - "A judge on Tuesday ruled against the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a blow to the White House which had hoped the ban would provide time to ensure other wells are operating safely."

UK Raises VAT and Capital Gain Taxes for 2011 - The British government said on Tuesday it would raise value-added tax to 20% from 17.5% on January 4, 2011 as part of a raft of tax increases and spending cuts aimed at reducing record levels of government borrowing. Capital gain taxes were increased to 28% from the current 18% levels.

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