June 30 is the target date for the International Monetary Fund to name its new managing director in the wake of the resignation last month of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The executive board will meet on June 28 to weigh the qualifications of the two leading candidates, Reuters reports. Mexican central bank governor Augustin Carstens is scheduled to visit early this week, with French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, said to be the favorite, scheduled to visit mid-week. The candidates will meet both with the executive board as a group as well as individually with country executive directors. Their statements to the board will be posted on the IMF website after their meetings.
Moody's Downgrades Japan's Tepco Credit Rating
Moody's Investor Service sharply cut Tokyo Electric Power's (Tepco) credit rating to junk status, to B1 from Baa3, as the operator of Japan's troubled nuclear power plant continues to struggle financially, the BBC reports. The four-level downgrade is due to rising costs and compensation fees related to the nuclear disaster. Japan's government has proposed a support plan for Tepco, but faces opposition in Parliament. "The latest downgrade reflects further escalation of costs and damages from the continuing Fukushima nuclear plant disaster and increased concern that government support measures may not completely protect creditors from losses," Moody's said in a statement.
Leave it to the EPA
On the same day that the United States Supreme Court dismissed a mammoth class action bias suit against Wal-Mart, the justices also killed a suit in federal court brought against the nation's five largest electric power companies, The New York Times reports. The court ruled unanimously 8-0 that the Environmental Protection Agency must resolve whether to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. According to the Times, this outcome "puts more pressure on the Obamaadministration and the EPA to follow through with promises to propose new regulations in the fall that will restrict carbon pollution from power plants." Eight states had filed suit against Midwest and Southern power producers based on the old doctrine that a state or a private party could file a "public nuisance" suit against another party for polluting its air or water.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce to Wednesday his administration's plan to start bringing home thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan next month as well as a broader withdrawal blueprint designed to give Afghans control of their own security in 2014, the Associated Press reports. The President, his spokesperson said on Monday, is "finalizing his decision. He's reviewing his options. There are reportedly divisions in his administration, with military leaders favoring a gradual reduction in troops, but other advisors advocating a significant troop decrease in the coming months. Obama, the AP said, is considering a range of options presented to him last week by Gen. David Pretaeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.
It May Be a Decade before Cities Regain Lost Jobs
The U.S. Conference of Mayors said at a meeting in Baltimore Monday that there are 48 metropolitan areas that won't see the jobs lost in this recession return until 2020 CBS News reports. The mayors voted to ask the president to end the war in Afghanistan and to spend that money on jobs at home. Unemployment has stayed higher for longer than in any past recession. The study by the Mayor's Conference forecasts it will be in 2015 that San Francisco regains the 166,000 jobs it has lost since 2008. The report also states that it will be about a decade before gets back the 323,000 jobs it has lost.