All-night negotiations over the rescue of Opel, General Motors' European unit, collapsed after GM insisted on an additional $415 million in cash, catching bidders and the German government off guard. German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck noted "surprises and disappointment" stemming from the negotiations. A GM bankruptcy would be largest ever for a U.S. industrial company.
President Barack Obama had said the federal stimulus would create or save millions of jobs. To that end, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled $1.5 billion in tax credits fueled by the stimulus. "Many communities have been left with a shortfall of financial support and are unable to pursue desperately needed projects, leaving residents to fall even further behind," Geithner said. "The New Markets Tax Credit program helps break that cycle."
Moody's Investors Service said the sovereign debt of the U.S. will continue to be rated Aaa, the agency's highest category, despite concerns about the nation's exploding debt. The growing burden could put "negative pressure on the rating in the future," said Steven Hess, vice president and senior credit officer at Moody's, but the Aaa rating is stable for now.
Stock markets across Asia were mixed today, although South Korea's Kospi Composite was up after five sessions of losses. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 inched up 0.1% and the Kospi jumped 2.2%, but Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2%. New Zealand's NZX-50 gave up 1.7%, Singapore's Straits Times edged down 0.6% and shares in Mumbai, India, were up 1.3%. Markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed.
The Financial Reporting Council said in its annual report that the International Financial Reporting Standards, as written by the International Accounting Standards Board, are at risk from interference by European Union politicians. "We continue to have significant concerns that the EU might adopt its own version of IFRS, rather than the standards as published by the IASB," the council said. For IFRS daily updates, training and other resources, visit www.ifrs.com.