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Monday, February 23, 2009


Citigroup wants more capital but not nationalization
After a slump in Citigroup's shares last week, bank officials are urging the U.S. government to inject additional capital but stop short of nationalizing the company. The plan would increase the government's stake to about 40%. Insiders expect a decision in the next few weeks but said if Citi's shares decline further, the decision will have to come earlier. Financial Times (23 Feb.)

Obama's budget to describe path toward dividing deficitWhen U.S. President Barack Obama presents his first budget proposal this week, it will show the $1.3 trillion deficit, inherited from the Bush administration, plummeting to $533 billion by 2013. Efforts include raising income by selling carbon-emission permits, reducing military spending in Iraq, and hiking taxes for businesses and wealthy individuals. Financial Times (22 Feb.)

WTO: "Buy America" clause doesn't violate trade rules
World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy said the "Buy American" provision in U.S. stimulus is a sign of "protectionist pressures," but it does not break international trade rules. The final "Buy American" compromise in the stimulus "will be implemented in a way that is consistent with U.S. WTO obligations," he said. The New York Times/Reuters (22 Feb.)

GOP governors divided on whether to take stimulus money
The Republican governors of Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina said they might reject some of the U.S. government's economic-stimulus money, while the Republican governors of California and Minnesota said they welcome the financial help. The governors leaning toward rejection said funds designated for extended unemployment benefits come with strings attached that could do their states more harm than good in the long term. Forbes/Reuters (22 Feb.)

Obama to appoint experienced inspector to oversee funds: Earl Devaney, inspector general of the U.S. Department of the Interior, is President Barack Obama's choice to manage a team that will ensure proper use of the $787 billion economic stimulus. Devaney headed up several investigations into scandals within the Interior Department. Reuters (22 Feb.)

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