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Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Resolution remains elusive for Fannie, Freddie
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were effectively nationalized about 15 months ago, and neither the White House nor U.S. lawmakers have figured out a way to repair the mortgage giants without handing a disastrous blow to the housing market and stemming the flow of credit to homeowners. The Obama administration had said it would outline a course for the companies with its budget proposal. "The administration continues to monitor the situation of the [government-sponsored enterprises] closely and will continue to provide updates on considerations for longer-term reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as appropriate," according to the White House. The New York Times (01 Feb.)

Moody's: $700 billion in high-yield debt will come due by 2014
Companies in need of financial flexibility have tapped the high-yield debt market, but Moody's Investors Service said those firms are facing looming maturities. More than $700 billion is set to come due from 2012 to 2014, according to the credit rating agency. "If everything behaves normally and you have an efficient market, things should be OK," said Kevin Cassidy, senior credit officer at Moody's. "But that's a big if." The Wall Street Journal (02 Feb.)

Wind energy is generating more electricity but not many jobs
Boosted by tax credits and other stimulus measures, the U.S. wind industry enjoyed in 2009 its best year in history, putting an additional 10,000 megawatts into service. But green-energy jobs that were expected to be created have been slow in coming. Government economists said only 52,000 green-energy jobs have been created or saved by President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus. Los Angeles Times (02 Feb.)

Robust factory output globally boosts hopes of recovery
Fears of a double-dip recession sweeping across the globe faded with recently released statistics that show a strong expansion in factory output in Europe, Asia and the U.S. The data suggest that economies are picking up momentum, as inventory reduction eases and orders start to flow. "[Manufacturing] is where the action is in the economy right now," said Peter Hooper, chief economist at Deutsche Bank. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (02 Feb.)

Manufacturing output increases 6 months straight in U.S.
The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing-activity index for the U.S. reached 58.4 points in January, the strongest performance since August 2004 and the sixth monthly increase in a row. "This month's report provides significant assurance that the manufacturing sector is in recovery," said Norbert J. Ore, chairman of the committee that oversees the index. The Washington Post (02 Feb.)

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