The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $36 billion contribution toward the latest Greek bailout. Along with more than $170 billion from other European governments and institutions, the IMF loans will be doled out over the course of four years, hopefully allowing the country and the eurozone to regain their financial standing.
The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the results of the latest bank stress tests this Thursday, which are expected to signal healthy balance sheets—a marked difference from the 2009 round of stress tests, and another indicator that our slowly recovering economy has been on an even sunnier upswing the past few months. The previous round of stress tests—which ended last March—weren't released to the public.
The unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent after a gain of 227,000 jobs this February, according to the monthly report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning. This marks the third month in a row where the economy gained more than 200,000 jobs, a streak we haven't seen since early 2011.
Perhaps afraid of tarnishing their hard-earned obstructionist cred, congressional Republicans look like they're heating up for another big fight over the budget. Tea Party legislators are pushing a plan that would cap agency appropriations at almost $20 billion below the $1.047 trillion limit agreed to last August as part of the Budget Control Act. This cap is already substantial and will force cuts or freeze spending in many government agencies—imagining Congress trying to agree on where to shave off an additional $20 billion the federal budget is headache-inducing.