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Report: Germany wants smaller EU Monetary Union

The investment bank Morgan Stanley said today Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is considering exiting the European Monetary Union, as the country believes some European nations pose a significant risk to the country.

Germany is reportedly proposing a smaller bloc of European nations that are more economically sound to unite in a new and smaller monetary union.

Specifically, with the Greek debt bailout looming, Germany believes it is setting a bad precedent for other European members that are also heavily indebted and not well capitalized to seek their own bailouts.

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Obama set to outline Home Star energy efficiency rebate program

Obama to outline home energy rebate program, could top $5-billion

U.S. President Barrack Obama will soon outline specific details about the efficient energy rebate program, the Home Star Program, which he has recently been promoting.

Under the program, people who renovate their homes with approved energy efficient equipment would be eligible for a rebate of up to $1,500. Eligible renovations include insulation, heaters, new windows, roofing, doors, among other renovations and equipment. Consumers would receive the rebates immediately from vendors, who would later be reimbursement by the government. Special financing for projects will also be offered through the program to help consumers complete more expensive projects.

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GM starts repaying government loans

GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre

GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre (left)

Breaking now: General Motors just said that it has made payments to both the U.S. Treasury and Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments to start paying down the emergency government loans made by the respective countries.

GM confirmed today the company returned $192 million to Canada, and $1 billion the U.S. Treasury. Aggregately, GM still owes both nations $5.77 billion.

The Canadian government firstly committed $2.8 billion in emergency loans to the Canadian auto sector, a proportional amount based on Canada’s 20-percent North American auto sector market share.

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Obama wants new stimulus, small business tax cuts

Obama urges government to do more to create jobs during Washington speech

President Obama today just wrapped up a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington urging the federal government to do more to help smaller businesses to help create jobs.

Obama’s new proposal aims at investing $50 billion for infrastructure, the removal of capital-gains taxes on new investments for up to a year, more investments in clean energy, and likely most importantly, a tax break for small businesses. The main hope, besides getting firms to increase capital spending, is to get small businesses to hire more people as U.S. unemployment remains above 10-percent.

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GM says it lost $1.2B post-bankruptcy exit

GM said today the company is turning the business around after posting only a $1.2B loss after emerging from bankruptcy

General Motors announced today that it has lost $1.2 billion since emerging from bankruptcy protection through September 30, 2009.

The company says the number is far better than expected and that it is making progress towards change.

GM chief executive Fritz Henderson said today in a statement, “today’s results provide evidence of the solid foundation we are building for the new GM,”

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Canada says GM, Chrysler plans are inadequate but still awards loans, Obama says GM, Chrysler could use short-term bankruptcy

The Canadian government announced plans today to offer GM, Chrysler up to $4 billion in bridge loans to continue operations.

Under the announced plan today, the Canadian government will earmark $1 billion for Chrysler, $250 million of witch will become available immediately, and an additional $500 million by sometime in April. Part of the deal, Chrysler must interest notes equal to 6.67% of the aggregate loan.

GM would receive the remaining $3 billion. Read the full story

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GM CEO Rick Wagoner quits from White House pressure

GM CEO Rick Wagoner, 56, has just announced he will be stepping down from his post because of pressure from the Obama administration. Wagoner has worked at GM during his entire career, joining GM’s treasury department in 1977 immediately following earning his MBA from Harvard.

GM and Chrysler have already received $17.4 billion in loans since December 2008. GM and Chrysler collectively say they need an additional $21.6 billion in loans just to survive. Ford says it will not require any more government help to wither out the financial crisis.

The news comes as Obama is set to unveil his new round of emergency government bailout loans for the auto sector Monday 11AM EST. Obama says the big three have not yet done enough to restructure.

It is currently unclear as to who will replace Wagoner.

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AIG Posts Largest Quarterly $66B Loss in US History, $99B for 2008

aigAmerican International Group (AIG) has just posted the biggest U.S. quarterly loss ever recorded in history, a whopping $61.7 billion ($22.95 per share) Q4 2008 loss, compared to a $5.3 billion ($2.08 per share) loss in Q4 2007. The American government has also opted to give AIG $30 billion in new loans. Q4 2008 revenue was down $23.8 billion. AIG’s insurance division reported a loss of $2.8 billion with premiums down 16.3% to $9.2 billion. For all of 2008, AIG posted Read the full story

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GM Posts Massive $9.6B Q4 Loss As it prepares to ask for More US Aid. Nissan to Cut 1,400 Barcelona Jobs

GM has just posted a massive $9.6 billion Q4 loss right as GM CEO Rick Wagoner prepares to meet with Obama’s economic team this Thursday to seek more help. Q4 sales were down to $30.8 billion, down 52% YoY. For all of 2008, GM posted a $30.9 billion loss. GM also posted a massive $38.7 billion loss in 2007. Reports indicate Wagoner may ask the Obama camp for an additional $2 billion for March just to continue operating. GM may need up to $17 billion by the end of 2009 to stay alive. The question remains with gloomy sales figures if GM can change, or if the bailouts will continue to mount for the taxpayer without any improvement.

In related news, Japanese carmaker Nissan reached a deal with its union to cut 1,400 jobs in Barcelona as part of a cost cutting restructuring plan outlined in October 2008. Nissan now forecasts a net loss of $2.8 billion by the end of March 2009.

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Obama Tax Cuts Coming April 1, 2009, Aims to Cut Deficit in Half by 2013

President Obama has now directed his U.S. Treasury Timothy Geithner to begin implementing tax cuts that will benefit 95% of all Americans by April 1st. The tax cuts come part of the recently passed $787 billion stimulus package, of which $282 billion has been earmarked for tax cuts. Obama just said in his weekly presidential radio address that “a typical family will begin taking home at least $65 more every month,” and went on to say, “Never before in our history has a tax cut…gone to so many hard-working Americans,”

Fixing the economy remains Obama’s top priority, which will be a very tuff task given he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit from the Bush Administration and of course, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Obama recently pledged thousands of more troops to be assigned to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Canadians.

Obama also aims to cut the current $1.3 trillion (9.2% of GDP) U.S. deficit by half by 2013 as his administration is set to reduce spending on the Iraq war, cut unneeded public programs, and by increasing taxes on wealthier people.

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