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Top 4 Business Stories of the Day

Australia's Treasurer Joe Hockey said the Group of 20 meeting of rich and developing nations is close to setting concrete growth goals for members, and said it would be ideal if central banks could improve policy coordination. "I think if there was a "no surprises policy" in relation to monetary policy activity, and that central banks around the world have reasonable warnings of what may be events that do create market volatility, then I think that is not unreasonable," Hockey said. The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task say the White House released details of President Obama's fiscal 2015 budget and already the "partisan sniping" has begun. Republicans are accusing Obama of abandoning efforts to reduce the nation's long-term debt. The official budget proposal will be unveiled March 4th. The White House wants to make it more difficult for U.S. multinational corporations to hold profits in offshore tax havens, a practice that has generated strong enmity from shareholders and taxpayers alike. The Federal Reserve financed most of the government’s deficit in 2013, in sharp contrast to the year before, when the Fed did not add to its holdings of Treasury securities. The American private sector appears to have been a net seller of Treasuries in 2013, but the foreign private sector was a substantial buyer, according to government estimates released this week. In 2013, the government issued a net $759 billion in Treasury securities to the public. That was the lowest figure in six years, as the budget deficit declined because of a healthier economy, which increased tax receipts, and to government austerity that cut spending. Sales of existing U.S. homes plummeted in January to the worst pace in 18 months. Cold weather, limited supplies of homes on the market and higher buying costs held back purchases. The National Association of Realtors says sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million units last month. That was down 5.1 percent from the December pace. The median home price has risen 10.7 percent to $188,900 since January 2013.

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