Good morning. Here are 10 things you need to know:
- The European Central Bank announced a massive €720 billion bailout fund to deal with the sovereign debt problems of the PIIGS members of the eurozone. Simultaneously, the ECB moved to support markets by saying it would begin purchasing the sovereign debt of eurozone members, initiating a quantitative easing program.
- Futures on U.S. indices are up HUGE on news of the ECB financial stability measures. Gold (GLD) is, however, down as investors now have more confidence in riskier assets.
- Other markets this morning are reacting with extreme positivity to the news. The euro is rising dramatically against the dollar, and European indices are all up in morning trading. France’s CAC-40 is up 9%!
- Uncertainty in Britain over the next government is beginning to abate as the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats appear close to a deal, which would see a majority coalition of some sort formed. The prospect of such stability is having a positive impact on UK markets, with the FTSE up nearly 5%.
- Goldman Sachs (GS) looks set to cut a larger than usual 400 of its partners as there are fewer higher level positions for them to enter this year than previous. The FT suggests this will allow Goldman Sachs to revamp how it does business in the wake of the SEC charges against the firm.
- BP (BP) has suggested that the current cost of the oil spill to the company is $350 million, and is set to rise in the coming weeks as the cleanup continues and the threat of lawsuit looms. It has come to light that the company charged with managing the well, Transocean, has a less than perfect safety record.
- The U.S. government now believes that the Times Square bomber is connected to the Pakistani Taliban. This would mark the first attempt for the organisation to attack the U.S. mainland.
- President Obama is set to nominate Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court today. The announcement of the progressive to the court is set to occur at 10 AM and receive some Republican support, according to Mike Allen of the Politico.
- The volcano ash cloud crisis has resurfaced in Europe over the weekend, with ash now affecting flights to and from Spain. Significant rerouting has occurred and some closures may be necessary as it looks like the volcano is set for another magma burst.
- Republicans are set to continue their war against Sen. Dodd’s financial regulation bill this week by targeting the Consumer Financial Protection Agency portion of the document. Republicans are concerned the bill goes too far in how it regulates small businesses that deal in financial instruments.
- Bonus: Lindsay Lohan is set to play the role of the main character from porn film “Deep Throat” in a biopic of the film’s star. Her father is not pleased about this decision, and says it will hurt her career.
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