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Senin, 19 September 2011

Week Ahead: Fed Expected to Launch New Program While Europe Debt Troubles Bubble - CNBC

The Fed in the week ahead is widely expected to pull the trigger on a new easing program, as the European debt crisis continues to boil.
The housing market will also be a focus when new and existing home sales data is released Tuesday and Wednesday. New data this past week showed a jump in foreclosure starts, signaling that a big wave of foreclosed properties will hit the struggling housing market early next year.

The Dow and S&P 500 had their best week since July and second best week since July 2010, as European officials showed support for Greece. The Nasdaq did even better — jumping 6.3 percent, for its best week since July, 2009.

Market expectations are high that the Fed will announce a new program — dubbed "operation twist" — at the end of its two-day meeting Wednesday.

"Twist" is different than the much larger scale "QE2" quantitative easing program which involved the purchase of $600 billion in Treasury securities. Fed watchers expect this program to raise the duration of the securities the Fed holds, not the amount. The program, in theory, could reduce long-term interest rates as the Fed buys more securities in the middle and longer end of the yield curve.

"It's not their job to bail out the whole world, but next week there's high expectations for the Fed," said Nomura Americas Treasury strategist George Goncalves. The Fed this past week joined with the European Central Bank and others to provide more dollar liquidity for euro zone financial institutions.

European finance ministers ended their meeting in Poland with no signs of progress in handling the sovereign debt crisis. Some traders were looking for the officials to provide some clarity on the purchases of sovereign debt, which so far has fallen to the ECB. The euro zone countries are in the process of voting on enhancing the powers of the European Financial Stabilization Facility bailout fund, or EFSF.

In the coming week, the IMF meets in Washington and Europe will certainly be on the agenda. Ahead of that meeting, representatives of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are expected to meet to discuss whether they can help the European situation.

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou canceled his trip to the U.S. He said in a statement that the coming week is "particularly critical for the implementation of the July 21 decisions in the euro area and the initiatives which the country must undertake."

Inspectors from the IMF, EU and ECB will be working with Greek officials this week as they struggle to get approval for their next 8 billion euro funding tranche, without which Greece would default.

President Obama is expected on Monday to propose a new tax rate for people making over $1 million, dubbed the "Buffett Tax," after billionaire investor Warren Buffett famously complained he wasn't paying enough taxes. It will replace the alternative minimum tax and was designed to ensure that the wealthy will pay at least the same rate as the middle class. The president is also expected to put forth a proposal seeking $300 billion to $500 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings over the next 10 years. Read More

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