Friday, May 28, 2010

Washington News : Washington considering bailout of faltering pensions jointly run by companies and unions


· Washington considering bailout of faltering pensions jointly run by companies and unions (so called “multi-employer plans”) – some Dems are pushing a plan that would provide assistance to faltering pensions.  An ’09 study from Moody’s found that the largest multi-employer plans have long-term deficits of $165B.  WSJ 

· Bernanke’s “extended period” may be curtailed as credit availability improves; Bloomberg article published this morning (the article isn’t citing sources and just quotes a single economist – the headline is a bit misleading vs. the text). 

· House Dems struggling w/tax and spending bill; vote was supposed to happen Wed/Thurs but support not yet in place; now scheduled for Fri; leaders forced to scale back spending plans and are working to soften the “carried interest” tax but still don’t have votes in place; unemployment and Cobra benefits expire May 31 and leaders are hoping to have a vote take place by then – WSJ

· Senate Democratic leaders do not expect to pass an extension of unemployment benefits before they leave for the Memorial Day recess.  Roll Call. 

· Senate passes $60B war funding bill in 67-28 vote; passage expected – Bloomberg 

· Gulf drilling – WSJ article says “nobody in charge” on doomed Deepwater Horizon; article says the rig was unprepared for the disaster and was overwhelmed when it occurred (WSJ)  

· FX swap line update – there was $210MM drawn by the BOJ and $1.032B by the ECB; $9.3B matured in the week; total $1.242B outstanding.

· US hurricane warning – this hit during trading on Thurs – the FT says “commodities markets surge” after forecast of above-average ’10 hurricane season; NOAA said June1-Nov 30 season would bring 14-23 named storms w/14 strengthening into hurricanes; at the upper end, ’10 would be one of the most active seasons on record (FT)

· JNJ unit may face criminal penalties over Tylenol recall – NYT

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