Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Update $GOOG

Weekend Update – it was a pretty quiet weekend, although some developments on the China, health care, and Greece fronts.  On China, Premier Wen made closing comments at the country’s People’s Congress and touched on the yuan (he pushed back on US pressure to adjust the value and repeated that it wasn’t undervalued) and US relations (which he acknowledges have deteriorated, although blames Washington).  Wen didn’t really break new ground although emphasized that the yuan won’t be touched in a meaningful way in the near-term at least (there was some speculation Fri that China may adjust the yuan as early as this weekend but that didn’t happen).  On the health care front, the WSJ and a few political sites are reporting that the votes don’t yet exist in the House for passage although Dem leaders were confident support would be in place soon.  Regarding Greece/Europe, there is a two-day European finance ministers meeting that kicks off Mon and officials are expected to discuss the creation of a formal aid mechanism to put in place in case Greece or any other country needs assistance.  Its not clear whether a formal agreement will be reached this week or what will be made public, but various officials this weekend repeated that Greece doesn’t require assistance at the moment.  Also this weekend, the FT is reporting that senior U.S. financial executives said they had received worried calls from U.S regulators early on Friday asking about the use of transactions like “Repo 105” – a device that helped Lehman flatter its financial health.  The FT and WSJ are both reporting that Google is probably going to end up shutting its search engine in China due to an inability to come to an agreement w/officials there. 


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