April 12, 2010

$60 Billion for Greece Moves Currency Markets: Editor's Choice for the Week of April 12, 2010

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It seems like old times: the big economic news took place on Sunday as eurozone finance ministers and the IMF pledged $60 billion in three-year loans to Greece at below-market interest rates, following George Soros's warning in the Financial Times that Europe was "on the brink.." The lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal on April 12 details the lessons the United States can learn from Greek's woes.

While Greece likely will move at least the currency markets this week, the quarterly earnings season begins in earnest as well, with Charles Schwab and JPMorgan Chase scheduled to report on April 14 and Bank of America on April 16.

As for economic reports this week, on April 12, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research will issues its latest assessment of the so-called Great Recession. The CPI is released April 14, along with retail sales and business inventories. On April 15, the housing market index and weekly first-time jobless claims are reported.

Several articles in the mainstream press are of interest to advisors: an op-ed by Robert Reich in April 12's Wall Street Journal delivers a highly bearish take on unemployment; Paul Krugman's April 12 column in The New York Times explores why Georgia has more bank failures than any other state in the Union; and appearing in the Journal on April 12, in its wealth management supplement, are the most recent portfolio construction thoughts of five advisors well-known to members of NAPFA and the FPA: Bill Baldwin, Dick Bellmer, Michael Joyce, Diahann Lassus, and Tom Orecchio.

Housing starts and consumer sentiment are released on April 16.

Speaking of housing, the full House Financial Services Committee meets on April 13 and April 14 on housing finance. Finally, Ben Bernanke will testify on April 14 before the Joint Economic Committee on the overall economic outlook.

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