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Weekender Papandreou, Bernanke and the Twist

ThehousingmarketwillalsobeafocuswhennewandexistinghomesalesdataisreleasedTuesdayandWednesday。

Newdatathispastweekshowedajumpinforeclosurestarts,signalingthatabigwaveofforeclosedpropertieswillhitthestrugglinghousingmarketearlynextyear。

TheDowandSP500hadtheirbestweeksinceJulyandsecondbestweeksinceJuly2010,asEuropeanofficialsshowedsupportforGreece。

TheNasdaqdidevenbetter—jumping6。

3percent,foritsbestweeksinceJuly,2009。

MarketexpectationsarehighthattheFedwillannounceanewprogram—dubbedoperationtwist—attheendofitstwo-daymeetingWednesday。

TwistisdifferentthanthemuchlargerscaleQE2quantitativeeasingprogramwhichinvolvedthepurchaseof$600billioninTreasurysecurities。

FedwatchersexpectthisprogramtoraisethedurationofthesecuritiestheFedholds,nottheamount。

Theprogram,intheory,couldreducelong-terminterestratesastheFedbuysmoresecuritiesinthemiddleandlongerendoftheyieldcurve。

NYT

FRANKFURT—EuropeappearedtobelurchingtowardamomentofdecisioninitssovereigndebtcrisisSunday,asGreecestruggledtomeetconditionsforadditional?

aidamidrisingGermanimpatiencewiththecost。

PrimeMinisterGeorgeA。

PapandreouofGreececanceledaplannedtriptoWashingtontomeetwithhiscabinetSunday,inwhatlookedlikeanincreasinglydesperateattempttoshowforeignbenefactorsthatthegovernmentcankeepthepromisesitmadeinreturnforaid。

Withouttheaid,thecountrywouldcertainlydefaultonitsdebt,aneventthateconomistshavewarnedcouldleadtobankfailuresinothercountriesandigniteanotherfinancialcrisis。

“Greece’simminentdefaultisassured,”CarlB。

Weinberg,chiefeconomistatHighFrequencyEconomicsinValhalla,NewYork,wroteinane-mailSunday。

“Withoutaninjectionofcashwithinthenextweeks,thenationwillrunoutofresourcestoserviceitsdebt。



Otheranalystsarelesspessimistic,arguingthatEuropeanleaderswilldowhatisnecessarytosaveGreeceoncetheyareconfrontedwiththeuglyramificationsofadefault。

Thesemightincludehavingtorescuebanks,particularlyinFranceandGermany,thathavelargeholdingsofGreekbonds,aswellasputtingevenmoreacutepressureonotherhighlyindebtedeurozonecountrieslikeItalyandSpain。

Intheworstcase,theeurocouldcomeapart,settingbackthecauseofEuropeanunitybydecades。

Whenpoliticalleadersdothemath,theymayrealizeitischeapertosaveGreecethanengineerabankrescueonlytwoyearsafterthelastroundofbankbailouts,analystssaid。

“Youcanstabilizethebankingsystemandletthesovereigngothroughtheroof,butthatisnotthemostefficientwaytodoit,”saidGuntramB。

Wolff,deputydirectorofBruegel,aresearchorganizationinBrussels。

Still,politicalleadersoutsidetheeurozonehavedisplayedconcernthattheEuropeanapproachtothecrisislacksurgency。

TimothyF。

Geithner,theU。

S。

Treasurysecretary,attendedpartofameetingofEuropeanfinanceministersonFridayandSaturdayinWroclaw,Poland。

ItisrareforaU。

S。

officialtoattendsuchameeting,knownasEcofin,anditwasMr。

Geithner’sfirsttime。

“Ican’trememberthelastEcofinmeetingaU。

S。

Treasurysecretaryhasattended,”saidNickMatthews,aneconomistatRoyalBankofScotland。

“ItisaclearsignalofhowseriousthesovereigndebtcrisishasbecomeandanindicationthatithasgonebeyondEuropeandisthreateningonaglobaldimension。



ThefinanceministersfailedtomakesubstantialprogresstowardresolvingthedebtcrisisortomakeanypledgetorecapitalizeEurope’sbanks。

Reuters

GreeceonSundaypledgedtotakethetoughdecisionsneededtoavoiddefaultbutannouncednonewausteritymeasurestosecureinternationalbailoutfundsnextmonth。

PrimeMinisterGeorgePapandreoucanceledavisittotheUnitedStatestochairacabinetmeetingonSunday,adaybeforeEuropeanUnionandInternationalMonetaryFundinspectorsholdaconferencecallwithFinanceMinisterEvangelosVenizelostohearhowGreecewillplugthisyearsbudgetshortfall。

VenizelostoldreportersafterthemeetingGreeceneededtofullymeet2011and2012budgettargets,stopgeneratingdebtandstartproducingsurplusesnextyear,butdidnotoutlinehowthesewouldbeachieved。

Ifwewanttoavoiddefault,tostabilizethesituation,toremainintheeurozonewemusttakebigstrategicdecisions,hesaid。

ThecabinetwillmeetagainaftertalkswiththeEUandIMFinspectorstospecifypolicy,hesaid。

HehintedatstepstofurthershrinkthepublicsectorbysayingGreecewouldfocusoncuttingstatespendingratherthangeneratingrevenuesin2012。

Atstakeisan8billioneuro($11billion)loantranchefroma110billioneurobailoutsecuredlastyear,whichGreeceneedsbyOctoberbeforeitrunsoutofmoney。

PapandreoucanceledhisU。

S。

visittodealwiththedeepeningcrisisathomeaseurozonepartnersmadeclearfurtherfundingforthedebt-riddencountrywouldhingeonadheringtoagreedfiscaltargets。

Bloomberg

PresidentBarackObamawillproposeanewlevyonU。

S。

taxpayersmakingmorethan$1milliontohelptrimthenation’sdebt,adoptingasuggestionfrombillionaireinvestorWarrenBuffett,accordingtoanadministrationofficial。

Thetaxwillbeamongrecommendationsthepresidentmakestoaspecialcongressionalcommitteechargedwithfindingwaystocut$1。

5trillionfromthenation’slong-termdeficit,accordingtotheofficialwhowasn’tauthorizedtospeakontherecord。

Obamaissettounveilhisdeficit-cuttingproposalstomorrow。

Thepresidenthasn’tsettledonthetopearners’newminimumtaxrate,whichisdesignedtomakesurethewealthiesttaxpayersdon’tpayalowereffectiveratethanmiddle-incomeearners,theofficialsaid。