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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:35 AM
Original message
STOCK MARKET WATCH, Monday December 8
Source: du

STOCK MARKET WATCH, Monday December 8, 2008

COUNTING THE DAYS
DAYS REMAINING IN THE * REGIME 43

WHERE'S OSAMA BIN-LADEN? 2595 DAYS
DAYS SINCE ENRON COLLAPSE = 2892
Number of Enron Execs in handcuffs = 19
ENRON EXECS CONVICTED = 10
Enron execs conveniently deceased = 3
Other Arrests of Execs = 54



U.S. FUTURES &
MARKETS INDICATORS>
NASDAQ FUTURES-----------------------------S&P FUTURES





AT THE CLOSING BELL WHEN BUSH TOOK OFFICE on January 22, 2001
Dow - 10,578.24
Nasdaq - 2,757.91
S&P 500 - 1,342.90
Oil - $27.69/bbl
Gold - $266.70/oz.
$1 USD = EUR 1.06678
$1 USD = JPY 116.6200


In recognition of those prescient of the Dow's precipitous return of Bush values (9/29/08): JuneBourder and AnneD

AT THE CLOSING BELL ON December 5, 2008

Dow... 8,635.42 +259.18 (+3.00%)
Nasdaq... 1,509.31 +63.75 (+4.41%)
S&P 500... 876.07 +30.85 (+3.65%)
Gold future... 752.20 -13.30 (-1.77%)
30-Year Bond 3.11% +0.03 (+0.84%)
10-Yr Bond... 2.66% +0.09 (+3.39%)






GOLD,EURO, YEN, Loonie and Silver



PIEHOLE ALERT

Heads Up!
Preliminary info on appearances by Bush & Co. throughout the country. Details & links are added as they become available so check back. And if you know more, are organizing something, or would like to, contact actionpost@legitgov.org

For information on protests and other actions Citizens For Legitimate Government









Read more: du
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. Retail sales dropping like a rock
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Consumer spending, the backbone of the U.S. economy, has been battered, if not broken.

The worsening recession is now in a self-reinforcing downward spiral, as the weak economy leads to reduced spending and tighter credit, leading to further job losses and even less spending.

....

Economists have been lowering their forecasts for growth in light of the sharp drop off in November. The median forecast for fourth-quarter growth is now negative 4.1%, with negative 2.9% expected for the first quarter. Most economists don't see a rebound in growth until next summer.

....

The big number in the coming week arrives Friday with the release of the retail sales report for November. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch are expecting another big drop in seasonally adjusted sales of around 2% after sales plunged 2.8% in October.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/retail-sales-drop...
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
28. I don't see much of a retail bump until next fall, if then
because I know parents will be shopping thrift stores and yard sales for summer clothes for the kids to knock around in. They'll only get new stuff when the school year starts.

Parents will be doing without, of course.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:45 AM
Response to Original message
2.  Market WrapUp
Yield Up Ahead?
BY BRIAN PRETTI


Up ahead? Are you kidding us? At least in terms of current numbers, we're seeing individual equity yields we have not seen in decades right now. On face value, these yields are nothing short of mouthwatering. But, as always, and especially in the current environment, we need to think through visceral reactions to immediate perceptions. Time to talk about yield for a few minutes. First, as we have been highlighting in our early year themes and considerations discussions for a number of years now, we continue to believe yield will be an important macro equity market theme ahead based simply on demographics. Maybe more so now given events of the current year. We remain convinced the baby boom generation as a whole simply has not saved for retirement in any meaningful fashion, relying quite heavily on residential real estate values and equity market "savings," as opposed to wage based savings, for net worth acceleration. As a very rough estimate, we have to believe close to $8+ trillion in perceived household wealth has been lost over the last few years. The illusion of "saving" that has been real estate and equity price inflation has been shattered. But in no way does that mitigate the forward reality income need as the boomers walk ever more swiftly into theoretical retirement years. Amid the terror, panic, paranoia and hysteria of the moment in the financial markets, the need for yield has, if anything, grown ever more pressing for the boomer crowd. This "theme," if you will, is not about to abate any time soon. So, its just a wonderful thing that so many stocks now sport quite the attractive dividend yields, right?

.....

But as we look ahead, we need to at least be open to potential perceptual change. Let's face it, as of the Thursday prior to the Thanksgiving week, the S&P on a price only basis was down 49.1% YTD. In essence, the S&P had lost half its total recorded history value in a little over one year. Enough to spark change in forward investor "demands" from equities? Enough to refocus investor attention from primarily price only return to a combination of yield and price return? Meaningful change that is more secular than not takes time, so we have no current certainty in terms of answering that question regarding the character of forward investor attitudes toward yield, and how that potential change would be discounted in equity prices. We just thought it important to step back and have a multi-generational look at the shifting character of the equity market and investor perceptions. Personally, in the current period we need to remind ourselves at all points in time to remain open to almost any outcome. The only thing we really know at the moment is that no one knows what lies ahead in this special environment. Comforting, right?

An observation from the chart above that we do believe has implications for the current market is the history of nominal dollar S&P dividends. As you look back over the period of the 1910's through 1940's, there were a number of periods where equity market dividend yield spiked very significantly. We all know that was a result of a decline in equity prices as opposed to a massive increase in company dividends. But the important issue is that post these clear and significant spikes, aggregate equity yields dropped like a rock. Was the subsequent drop in S&P dividend yield a result of massive equity market rallies? Far from it. It resulted from huge drops in nominal dollar S&P dividends themselves. Companies either went bankrupt or cut dividends very meaningfully. What we've done in the following graph is to chart nominal dollar S&P dividends over the 1900-1950 period, and the 1950 to present period. Two different time frames representing two different "eras" in investor thinking and equity price discounting regarding dividends and yield, as we explained above. In the top clip you can see the cyclical contractions in actual nominal dollar corporate dividends that occurred with some regularity during the first half of the last century. No wonder investors demanded meaningful dividend yields as they priced equities during that period. Not only were actual equity prices volatile, so too was the stream of actual cash received by investors in the form of dividends.

http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. no goobermental reports today n/t
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:51 AM
Response to Original message
4. Oil bounces off 4-year lows to above $43 a barrel
SINGAPORE Oil prices bounced off four-year lows to above $43 a barrel Monday in Asia after OPEC's president suggested the group could surprise investors with a large production cut later this month.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery was up $2.45 to $43.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by late afternoon in Singapore. The contract fell Friday nearly $3 to settle at $40.81. Prices fell as low as $40.50, levels last seen in December 2004.

Chakib Khelil, president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said Saturday the group could announce a "severe" reduction of output quotas at its next meeting on Dec. 17 in Algeria.

.....

In other Nymex trading, gasoline futures rose 5.18 cents to 95 cents. Heating oil gained 5.80 cents to $1.48 a gallon while natural gas for January delivery slid 20.6 cents to 5.59 per 1,000 cubic feet.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/oil_prices
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
21. These guys...
Need meaningful cash flow worse than they need more demand destruction. Those threatened production cuts, if enacted, will last about 5 minutes, maybe 10.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:59 AM
Response to Original message
5. One could call this "Stock Speculating for Dummies"
Stocks surge as investors bet on consumer spending

NEW YORK (Reuters) Stocks jumped on Friday as investors bet that a steep drop in oil prices will boost consumer spending, lifting retail stocks and offsetting government data showing half a million jobs were lost in November.

Investors snapped up shares of discounter Wal-Mart (WMT.N) and iPod maker Apple Inc as oil slid below $41 a barrel to its lowest level in nearly four years and set aside early jitters stemming from a dismal November employment report.

....

"It means more discretionary spending for consumers, who are starting to feel better about themselves because they don't have to drop $100 every time they want to fill up their tank," said Angel Mata, managing director of listed trading at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore. "All of this is starting to feed together. That's what counting for this rally and for the strength we've had all this week."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081206/bs_nm/us_markets_st...



Funny how one could correlate the relationship between historically high job losses, falling gasoline prices and increased spending on frivolous stuff.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. It looks like it's going to happen again today...
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 05:09 AM by Prag
No doubt accompanied by chants and incantations praising the sacrifice of the UAW on the altar of Mammon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammon
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Ah yes. There's always hope.
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 05:20 AM by ozymandius
I hope to win the lottery Tuesday. Anyone want to buy a stake in my hope?

Honestly. How people can correlate this data and declare some sweeping direction in the correlation is beyond me. But then brokerage firms still have ponies to sell.

On edit: Today's surge in enthusiasm appears to be spurred by Obama's economic stimulus plan. That makes sense when a massive amount of money is spent on public works projects that return capital into the hands of people who will spend it. It will also undo the damage from neglect during the Bush years.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Since the bailout selling garbage is a win-win for the brokerage firms.
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 05:31 AM by Prag
Since they get paid regardless of the outcome.

Oh, and fees too.

Nothing is as sweet as having a Debit Card drawing directly from the U.S. Treasury.

Edit: I hope your edit is the real reason. Would be nice if Obama's stimulus is the reason for the season.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
54. Obama's 2.5 Million Jobs Wouldn't cover Even ONE Year of Bushwhacking
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 05:52 PM by Demeter
Between the real jobs lost and the needed growth in employment that didn't happen.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #5
26. People that bought 'Stock Speculating for Dummies' also bought:
Liberating Failed States for Dummies
Real-Estate Speculation under Right-Wing Dictatorships for Dummies
Lying for Dummies
Retaliating against Political Enemies for Dummies
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #26
33. Right ON! Wish I could rec this post. Maybe it deserves it's own OP!
Awesomely and humorously "kidding on the square"!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Coming from you
I'm flattered. :hi:
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. Debt: 12/04/2008 10,653,883,024,152.80 (DOWN 22,049,861,237.40) (-528% of report-avg)
(This time the FICA hardly moves, it rises a small amount. The public debt comes down, not as much as it went up on Monday, but down just the same; that's good. Good day all.)

= Held by the Public + Intragovernmental(FICA)
= 6,411,650,143,809.01 + 4,242,232,880,343.86
DOWN 22,902,653,130.86 + UP 852,791,893.51
(NOTE: Excel 2007 cannot handle ten-trillion plus to the penny. It zeroes the penny.)

Source: Debt to the penny:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=n...

THINKING IN BILLIONS: 3 or 4 dollars per billion in a 300-Million person America.
If every American, man, woman and child puts in $3.33 each THAT'S 1B$.
A family of three: Mom, Dad, Child: THEIR SHARE IS TEN BUCKS in a 1B$ federal program.
I hope that is clear. However, I'd suggest using $3 per 1B$ to underestimate it.
Use $4 per 1B$ to overestimate the cost when thinking: Is a federal program worth it?
Aid to Dependant Children: 2B$/yr =$8/yr(a movie a year) Family of 3: $24/yr(an hour of bowling)
(I hate those end to end dollars to the moon and back, or years to spend $100/second. Just say'n)
If you read this and have a suggestion or comment, good or bad, I'd love to see it.

ANALYSIS:
There were 21 reports in the last 30 days.
The average for the last 21 reports is 4,177,944,174.40.
The average for the last 30 days would be 2,924,560,922.08.

There were 252 reports in 365 days of FY2007 averaging 1.99B$ per report, 1.37B$/day.
There were 253 reports in 366 days of FY2008 averaging 4.02B$ per report, 2.78B$/day.
There were 44 reports in 65 days of FY2009 averaging 14.30B$ per report, 9.68B$/day.

PROJECTION:
GWB** must relinquish the presidency in 47 days.
By that time the debt could be between 10.7 and 11.1T$.
It could be higher. It could be lower.

HISTORICAL:
President's term begins and ends on Jan 20.
(Guess who might want to hide the Reagan Bush years. Jan 20 data is missing before 1993.)
01/20/1993 _4,188,092,107,183.60 WJC Inaugural
01/22/2001 _5,728,195,796,181.57 WJC (UP 1,540,103,688,997.97)
12/04/2008 10,653,883,024,152.80 GWB (UP 4,925,687,227,971.23 so far since Bush took office.)

Fiscal Year ends: Sep 30
Borrowed in FY1993: (Maybe later.)
Borrowed in FY1994: 281,261,026,873.94
Borrowed in FY1995: 281,232,990,696.07
Borrowed in FY1996: 250,828,038,426.34
Borrowed in FY1997: 188,335,072,261.61
Borrowed in FY1998: 113,046,997,500.28
Borrowed in FY1999: 130,077,892,735.81
Borrowed in FY2000: _17,907,308,253.43 Bill alone
Borrowed in FY2001: 133,285,202,313.20 Bill and George
Borrowed in FY2002: 420,772,553,397.10 All George
Borrowed in FY2003: 554,995,097,146.46
Borrowed in FY2004: 595,821,633,586.70
Borrowed in FY2005: 553,656,965,393.18
Borrowed in FY2006: 574,264,237,491.73
Borrowed in FY2007: 500,679,473,047.25
Borrowed in FY2008: 1,017,071,524,650.01
Borrowed in FY2009: 629,158,127,240.40 so far this fiscal year.

LAST FIFTEEN REPORTS OF ADDITIONS TO PUBLIC DEBT(NOT FICA):
11/13/2008 -037,830,308,231.82 -
11/14/2008 +039,714,906,312.49 ------------**********
11/17/2008 -001,168,758,314.18 -- Mon
11/18/2008 +035,027,406,490.17 ------------**********
11/19/2008 -000,433,628,717.22 ---
11/20/2008 -000,189,695,810.14 ---
11/21/2008 -000,151,096,322.01 ---
11/24/2008 -000,086,920,504.20 ---- Mon
11/25/2008 +001,468,316,558.23 ------------*********
11/26/2008 +000,650,427,812.76 ------------********
11/28/2008 +000,783,239,406.89 ------------********
12/01/2008 +038,288,359,563.07 ------------********** Mon
12/02/2008 +000,199,375,927.74 ------------********
12/03/2008 -000,525,799,120.43 ---
12/04/2008 -022,902,653,130.86 -

52,843,171,920.49 Total of 15 above reports.

Heavy borrowing seems to start after 09/18/2008.
US borrowed $989,251,220,893.73 in last 77 days.
That's 989B$ in 77 days.
More than any year ever, except last year, and it's 97% of that highest year ever only in 77 days.
And it is over 100% of ANY dismal Bush, for any dismal Bush-year, ONLY IN 77 DAYS NOT 365.

For a prettier and more explanatory view of our nation's debt:
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock

(Debt to the penny keeps changing. Stuff is missing. Best to keep our own history.) LAST REPORT:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #6
29. Borrowed 1000b in the last 77 days? My family of 5 borrowed $16,650? In 11 weeks? n/t
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Yup, and the government has you owing TEN TIMES that.
And, you might not have even known about that, it was so painless to run the credit card up and up and up.

You might know what the monthly payment is on a $160,000 loan. Imagine two of them.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
46. Debt: 12/05/2008 10,653,271,333,099.90 (DOWN 611,691,052.90) (-15% of report-avg)
(Hundreds of million is hardly anything all. Good day all.)

= Held by the Public + Intragovernmental(FICA)
= 6,411,463,069,240.95 + 4,241,808,263,858.96
DOWN 187,074,568.06 + DOWN 424,616,484.90
(NOTE: Excel 2007 cannot handle ten-trillion plus to the penny. It zeroes the penny.)

Source: Debt to the penny:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=n...

THINKING IN BILLIONS: 3 or 4 dollars per billion in a 300-Million person America.
If every American, man, woman and child puts in $3.33 each THAT'S 1B$.
A family of three: Mom, Dad, Child: THEIR SHARE IS TEN BUCKS in a 1B$ federal program.
I hope that is clear. However, I'd suggest using $3 per 1B$ to underestimate it.
Use $4 per 1B$ to overestimate the cost when thinking: Is a federal program worth it?
Aid to Dependant Children: 2B$/yr =$8/yr(a movie a year) Family of 3: $24/yr(an hour of bowling)
(I hate those end to end dollars to the moon and back, or years to spend $100/second. Just say'n)
If you read this and have a suggestion or comment, good or bad, I'd love to see it.

ANALYSIS:
There were 21 reports in the last 30 days.
The average for the last 21 reports is 4,114,318,849.36.
The average for the last 30 days would be 2,880,023,194.55.

There were 252 reports in 365 days of FY2007 averaging 1.99B$ per report, 1.37B$/day.
There were 253 reports in 366 days of FY2008 averaging 4.02B$ per report, 2.78B$/day.
There were 45 reports in 66 days of FY2009 averaging 13.97B$ per report, 9.52B$/day.

PROJECTION:
GWB** must relinquish the presidency in 46 days.
By that time the debt could be between 10.7 and 11.1T$.
It could be higher. It could be lower.

HISTORICAL:
President's term begins and ends on Jan 20.
(Guess who might want to hide the Reagan Bush years. Jan 20 data is missing before 1993.)
01/20/1993 _4,188,092,107,183.60 WJC Inaugural
01/22/2001 _5,728,195,796,181.57 WJC (UP 1,540,103,688,997.97)
12/05/2008 10,653,271,333,099.90 GWB (UP 4,925,075,536,918.33 so far since Bush took office.)

Fiscal Year ends: Sep 30
Borrowed in FY1993: (Maybe later.)
Borrowed in FY1994: 281,261,026,873.94
Borrowed in FY1995: 281,232,990,696.07
Borrowed in FY1996: 250,828,038,426.34
Borrowed in FY1997: 188,335,072,261.61
Borrowed in FY1998: 113,046,997,500.28
Borrowed in FY1999: 130,077,892,735.81
Borrowed in FY2000: _17,907,308,253.43 Bill alone
Borrowed in FY2001: 133,285,202,313.20 Bill and George
Borrowed in FY2002: 420,772,553,397.10 All George
Borrowed in FY2003: 554,995,097,146.46
Borrowed in FY2004: 595,821,633,586.70
Borrowed in FY2005: 553,656,965,393.18
Borrowed in FY2006: 574,264,237,491.73
Borrowed in FY2007: 500,679,473,047.25
Borrowed in FY2008: 1,017,071,524,650.01
Borrowed in FY2009: 628,546,436,187.50 so far this fiscal year.

LAST FIFTEEN REPORTS OF ADDITIONS TO PUBLIC DEBT(NOT FICA):
11/14/2008 +039,714,906,312.49 ------------**********
11/17/2008 -001,168,758,314.18 -- Mon
11/18/2008 +035,027,406,490.17 ------------**********
11/19/2008 -000,433,628,717.22 ---
11/20/2008 -000,189,695,810.14 ---
11/21/2008 -000,151,096,322.01 ---
11/24/2008 -000,086,920,504.20 ---- Mon
11/25/2008 +001,468,316,558.23 ------------*********
11/26/2008 +000,650,427,812.76 ------------********
11/28/2008 +000,783,239,406.89 ------------********
12/01/2008 +038,288,359,563.07 ------------********** Mon
12/02/2008 +000,199,375,927.74 ------------********
12/03/2008 -000,525,799,120.43 ---
12/04/2008 -022,902,653,130.86 -
12/05/2008 -000,187,074,568.06 ---

90,486,405,584.25 Total of 15 above reports.

Heavy borrowing seems to start after 09/18/2008.
US borrowed $988,639,529,840.83 in last 78 days.
That's 989B$ in 78 days.
More than any year ever, except last year, and it's 97% of that highest year ever only in 78 days.
And it is over 100% of ANY dismal Bush, for any dismal Bush-year, ONLY IN 78 DAYS NOT 365.

For a prettier and more explanatory view of our nation's debt:
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock

(Debt to the penny keeps changing. Stuff is missing. Best to keep our own history.) LAST REPORT:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #46
51. Debt: 12/08/2008 10,653,930,363,287.90 (UP 659,030,188.00) (41% of report-avg)
(Hundreds of million is hardly anything all. Mostly a FICA change report. Good day all.)

= Held by the Public + Intragovernmental(FICA)
= 6,410,703,126,587.23 + 4,243,227,236,700.68
DOWN 759,942,653.72 + UP 1,418,972,841.72
(NOTE: Excel 2007 cannot handle ten-trillion plus to the penny. It zeroes the penny.)

Source: Debt to the penny:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=n...

THINKING IN BILLIONS: 3 or 4 dollars per billion in a 300-Million person America.
If every American, man, woman and child puts in $3.33 each THAT'S 1B$.
A family of three: Mom, Dad, Child: THEIR SHARE IS TEN BUCKS in a 1B$ federal program.
I hope that is clear. However, I'd suggest using $3 per 1B$ to underestimate it.
Use $4 per 1B$ to overestimate the cost when thinking: Is a federal program worth it?
Aid to Dependant Children: 2B$/yr =$8/yr(a movie a year) Family of 3: $24/yr(an hour of bowling)
(I hate those end to end dollars to the moon and back, or years to spend $100/second. Just say'n)
If you read this and have a suggestion or comment, good or bad, I'd love to see it.

ANALYSIS:
There were 20 reports in the last 30 to 31 days.
The average for the last 20 reports is 1,588,171,082.82.
The average for the last 30 days would be 1,058,780,721.88.
The average for the last 31 days would be 1,024,626,505.04.
There were 252 reports in 365 days of FY2007 averaging 1.99B$ per report, 1.37B$/day.
There were 253 reports in 366 days of FY2008 averaging 4.02B$ per report, 2.78B$/day.
There were 46 reports in 69 days of FY2009 averaging 13.68B$ per report, 9.12B$/day.

PROJECTION:
GWB** must relinquish the presidency in 43 days.
By that time the debt could be between 10.7 and 11.0T$.
It could be higher. It could be lower.

HISTORICAL:
President's term begins and ends on Jan 20.
(Guess who might want to hide the Reagan Bush years. Jan 20 data is missing before 1993.)
01/20/1993 _4,188,092,107,183.60 WJC Inaugural
01/22/2001 _5,728,195,796,181.57 WJC (UP 1,540,103,688,997.97)
12/08/2008 10,653,930,363,287.90 GWB (UP 4,925,734,567,106.33 so far since Bush took office.)

Fiscal Year ends: Sep 30
Borrowed in FY1993: (Maybe later.)
Borrowed in FY1994: 281,261,026,873.94
Borrowed in FY1995: 281,232,990,696.07
Borrowed in FY1996: 250,828,038,426.34
Borrowed in FY1997: 188,335,072,261.61
Borrowed in FY1998: 113,046,997,500.28
Borrowed in FY1999: 130,077,892,735.81
Borrowed in FY2000: _17,907,308,253.43 Bill alone
Borrowed in FY2001: 133,285,202,313.20 Bill and George
Borrowed in FY2002: 420,772,553,397.10 All George
Borrowed in FY2003: 554,995,097,146.46
Borrowed in FY2004: 595,821,633,586.70
Borrowed in FY2005: 553,656,965,393.18
Borrowed in FY2006: 574,264,237,491.73
Borrowed in FY2007: 500,679,473,047.25
Borrowed in FY2008: 1,017,071,524,650.01
Borrowed in FY2009: 629,205,466,375.50 so far this fiscal year.

LAST FIFTEEN REPORTS OF ADDITIONS TO PUBLIC DEBT(NOT FICA):
11/17/2008 -001,168,758,314.18 -- Mon
11/18/2008 +035,027,406,490.17 ------------**********
11/19/2008 -000,433,628,717.22 ---
11/20/2008 -000,189,695,810.14 ---
11/21/2008 -000,151,096,322.01 ---
11/24/2008 -000,086,920,504.20 ---- Mon
11/25/2008 +001,468,316,558.23 ------------*********
11/26/2008 +000,650,427,812.76 ------------********
11/28/2008 +000,783,239,406.89 ------------********
12/01/2008 +038,288,359,563.07 ------------********** Mon
12/02/2008 +000,199,375,927.74 ------------********
12/03/2008 -000,525,799,120.43 ---
12/04/2008 -022,902,653,130.86 -
12/05/2008 -000,187,074,568.06 ---
12/08/2008 -000,759,942,653.72 --- Mon

50,011,556,618.04 Total of 15 above reports.

Heavy borrowing seems to start after 09/18/2008.
US borrowed $989,298,560,028.83 in last 81 days.
That's 989B$ in 81 days.
More than any year ever, except last year, and it's 97% of that highest year ever only in 81 days.
And it is over 100% of ANY dismal Bush, for any dismal Bush-year, ONLY IN 81 DAYS NOT 365.

For a prettier and more explanatory view of our nation's debt:
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock

(Debt to the penny keeps changing. Stuff is missing. Best to keep our own history.) LAST REPORT:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:05 AM
Response to Original message
7. In Factory Sit-In, an Anger Spread Wide
CHICAGO The scene inside a long, low-slung factory on this citys North Side this weekend offered a glimpse at how the nations loss of more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs in a year of recession is boiling over.

Workers laid off Friday from Republic Windows and Doors, who for years assembled vinyl windows and sliding doors here, said they would not leave, even after company officials announced that the factory was closing.

Some of the plants 250 workers stayed all night, all weekend, in what they were calling an occupation of the factory. Their sharpest criticisms were aimed at their former bosses, who they said gave them only three days notice of the closing, and the companys creditors. But their anger stretched broadly to the governments costly corporate bailout plans, which, they argued, had forgotten about regular workers.

....

The workers, members of Local 1110 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, said they were owed vacation and severance pay and were not given the 60 days of notice generally required by federal law when companies make layoffs. Lisa Madigan, the attorney general of Illinois, said her office was investigating, and representatives from her office interviewed workers at the plant on Sunday.

....

Still, as they milled around the factorys entrance this weekend, some workers said they doubted that the company was really in financial straits, and they suggested that it would reopen elsewhere with cheaper costs and lower pay. Others said managers had kept their struggles secret, at one point before Thanksgiving removing heavy equipment in the middle of the night but claiming, when asked about it, that all was well.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/us/08chicago.html?em
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. Obama: Workers staging sit-in 'absolutely right'
I really like the way Obama thinks. - Ozy

CHICAGO (AP) President-elect Barack Obama is weighing in on behalf of workers staging a sit-in on the factory floor of their former Chicago employer to protest abruptly losing their jobs last week.

Obama told a news conference Sunday that Republic Windows and Doors should follow through on its commitments to the 200 workers, who say they won't leave the plant until they are assured they'll receive their severance and vacation pay.

"The workers who are asking for the benefits and payments that they have earned, I think they're absolutely right and understand that what's happening to them is reflective of what's happening across this economy," Obama said.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ildwr...
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
37. If there's one thing Obama should know.....
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 01:27 PM by AnneD
and that is contract law. :) Sorry but I am really busy today just fly bys.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:45 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. If equipment has been moved,
creditors will want to know, too, in the event of a potential bankruptcy.

And if the CREDITORS get concerned about this outfit liquidating assets ahead of bankruptcy, maybe something will happen.

The workers' concerns, not so much.




Tansy Gold
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:50 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. I also wonder under which flag flies their letters of incorporation.
If that has changed too - as has happened previously before workers got screwed - then the owners could have hell to pay.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. good point, especially since one of the week-end reports
indicated that the company had been sold. Raises red flags to me, to be sure.


TG
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:09 AM
Response to Original message
9. Outside Pressure Grows for GM to Oust Wagoner
DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner is coming under increasing pressure from outside the company to resign as part of any broad bailout of the auto maker by the federal government.

On Sunday, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), a supporter of emergency loans for Detroit, suggested Mr. Wagoner should go if the government follows through and provides billions of dollars to help the auto giant restructure and return to profitability.

....

Mr. Dodd and other Democrats on Capitol Hill are hoping for a vote on bailout legislation as soon as Tuesday to avoid a collapse of either GM or Chrysler LLC. Both companies have said they need billions of dollars this month to be able to stay in business.

....

But calls for Mr. Wagoner and others to step down appear to be growing. In a statement from his office Sunday, Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), said that, "while it can't happen tomorrow because of the urgency of the companies' financial situation, I would like to see management changes as part of any restructuring."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122868452234486231.html...
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #9
23. Well, that makes sense.
Any anacephalic could have done a better job of steering the GM ship than Wagoner.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
25. Ah, the art of scapegoating running strong up on the hill these days.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend Wagoner. He's just a bean-counter that's been with GM for his entire adult career. His complacency toward innovation in favor of turning a quick buck had much to do with the regulatory standards and local market environment he was operating in. He actually did quite well in turning GM around when he stepped up to the helm (if you only measure a corporation's success on short-term, monetary only gains) just as any good bean-counter would do.

Why look long-term and spend money on innovating fuel efficient vehicles when CAFE standards, (1996)tax break incentives, NHTSA and auto insurance rates combined to create this bizzare monster truck demand in this alternate reality people have been living in. No, there's plenty of blame to go around here. Wagoner was not the only one seduced and blinded by Mammon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_ (film)

The film contains a scene where Maria retells a variation of the story of the Tower of Babel from the Biblical book of Genesis, but in a way that connects it to the situation she and her fellow workers face. The scene changes from Maria to creative men of antiquity deciding to build a monument to the greatness of humanity and the creator of the world, high enough to reach the stars. Since they cannot build their monument by themselves, they contract workers to build it for them for wages. The camera focuses on armies of workers led to the construction site of the monument. They work hard but cannot understand the dreams of the Tower's designers, and the designers don't concern themselves with the mind of their workers. As the film explains, "The dreams of a few had turned to the curses of many". It then ironically inverts the original story's conclusion, noting that the planners and the workers spoke the same language but didn't understand each other. The workers revolt and in their fury destroy the monument. As the scene ends and the camera returns to Maria, only ruins remain of the Tower of Babel. This retelling is notable in keeping the theme of the lack of communication from the original story but placing it in the context of relations between social classes.


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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #25
49. Yep, you are right. Wagoner is a bean counter.
Harvard MBA. Worked in Treasurer's department at GM. Rose to Chief Financial Officer before he became CEO. In other words, not a car guy. I thought we settled this back when Iaccoca came riding in to rescue Chrysler. The bean counters wreck car companies because they only care about the money issues. Quality, reputation, and planning for the future get ignored. The bean counters insist on using some plastic part instead of steel, despite the objections of the engineers because the plastic part costs a buck less and over a million cars that just saved the company a million bucks! And ends up costing them 3% market share.

Companies need to be run by people who understand the product. When you bring in financial managers they ruin it. With car companies especially, you have got to have leaders who can tell good cars from mediocre cars. That means they have to know cars and love cars.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. In defense of bean counters. . . . . . . seeing as how I are one. . . .
Don't dismiss the bean counters out of hand.

Companies need to be run by people who understand the product, who understand the market, and who have enough sense to call in the bean counters AND LISTEN TO THEM when it comes to the cost of producing the product. NOT the investment bankers and the stockholders who are only interested in one thing. Listen to the people who matter, and some of them are the bean counters. Then make an informed decision.


Tansy Gold, former bean counter
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #50
56. You need bean counters, but I don't think they should be in charge.
I think we agree on that. And I'm willing to stipulate to the necessity of having bean counters to advise the boss and keep count of all those beans. Don't want Jack getting any. That just leads to trouble.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:25 AM
Response to Original message
12. GM's Bust Turns Detroit Into Urban Prairie of Vacant-Lot Farms
Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler LLC are fighting for their lives. Large stretches of Detroit are already dead.

With enough abandoned lots to fill the city of San Francisco, Motown is 138 square miles divided between expanses of decay and emptiness and tracts of still-functioning communities and commercial areas. Close to six barren acres of an estimated 17,000 have already been turned into 500 ``mini- farms,'' demonstrating the lengths to which planners will go to make land productive.

....

Now, business coalitions such as Detroit Renaissance are moving forward with plans to identify neighborhoods where resources should be concentrated and help the area diversify away from cars. The organizations want to use local research hospitals to attract health-care and biotech startups, according to Doug Rothwell, president of Detroit Renaissance, as well as foster a creative community around the city's legacy of advertising agencies.

....

``We're looking at pretty innovative ideas,'' said George Jackson, Detroit Economic Growth's chief executive.

One is urban farming. In many parts of Detroit, land that once held houses now grows cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and collard greens.

The city has more than 500 gardens and ``we plan to triple that every year,'' said Michael Travis, deputy director of Urban Farming, a Detroit-based nonprofit corporation that helps clear land and provides topsoil and fertilizer.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aMV...



It's the new economy.
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:30 AM
Response to Original message
13. Pension Funds Beg Congress to Suspend Billions in Contributions
Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Pension funds at Pfizer Inc., International Business Machines Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and dozens of other companies have joined the parade of businesses seeking relief from Congress amid this years economic meltdown.

Instead of money, they want legislation to suspend a federal law that would make them pump billions of dollars into retirement plans to offset stock-market losses as many struggle to find enough cash just to stay in business. Theyre pressing Congress to consider the issue this week before this years session adjourns.

About 800 companies in the Standard & Poors 1500 Index have pension funds, and they were collectively $280 billion short of the sums needed to pay projected benefits as of Nov. 30, according to a study by New York-based benefits consulting firm Mercer LLC. Those 800 funds started the year with a $60 billion surplus, Mercer estimated.

.....

Previously, plans generally had to have about 90 percent of what they needed to meet future obligations. At the end of this year, the new threshold will be 92 percent. By the end of 2011, the law requires 100 percent funding. Companies that dont reach a given years threshold can be required to immediately jump to full funding. Plans falling below 80 percent funding may face added limits on actions that would further drain assets, such as some lump-sum payments.

About half of the 800 companies in Mercers study are in danger of missing this years target, Mercer analyst Adrian Hartshorn says. World markets have been so volatile, though, that the outlook may change significantly -- for better or worse -- before years end, Hartshorn says.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aBA...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:33 AM
Response to Original message
14. U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Obama Pledges Spending; GE, GM Gain
Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures rallied after President-elect Barack Obama pledged the largest infrastructure- spending package since the 1950s to stimulate economic growth and lawmakers worked to reach an agreement on automaker aid.

Citigroup Inc. and General Electric Co. rose more than 2 percent in Germany after Obama said hes planning the biggest spending package since President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the interstate highway system. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. jumped more than 20 percent after U.S. lawmakers agreed in principle with the Bush administration on providing funds to prevent the collapse of GM and Chrysler LLC.

....

Obama said Dec. 6 he will boost investment in roads, bridges and public buildings to create or preserve 2.5 million jobs after companies cut payrolls at the fastest pace in 34 years.

....

The legislation is taking shape after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dropped her opposition to drawing on $25 billion in funds from the Energy Department intended to help automakers develop more fuel-efficient vehicles, according to a Democratic aide who declined to be identified.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601084&sid=aeW...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:42 AM
Response to Original message
16. Tribune Co. Taps Lazard,Weighs Filing for Chapter 11
Tribune Co. is preparing for a possible filing for bankruptcy-court protection as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter, in a sign of worsening trouble for the newspaper industry.

In recent days, as Chicago-based Tribune continued talks with lenders to restructure its debt, the newspaper-and-television concern hired investment bank Lazard Ltd. as its financial adviser and law firm Sidley Austin to advise the company on a possible trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, people familiar with the matter say.

A Tribune spokesman said the company doesn't comment on rumors or speculation. Tribune owns eight major daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, plus a string of local TV stations.

....

Tribune's latest actions underscore the deepening distress enveloping Tribune and other newspaper publishers. Their businesses are being battered by dwindling advertising sales, and many are carrying debt loads that are unmanageable in current market conditions. Industry insiders expect some papers will need to fold in coming months or seek protection from creditors to reorganize.

....

One of Tribune's most pressing concerns: The company is likely to be in violation of debt terms that limit borrowings at the end of the year to nine times its adjusted profits. The ratio stood at 8.3 at the end of the second quarter, before Tribune reported an 83% decline in operating profit for the three months ended Sept 28.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122868944355686385.html...
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
18. Volcker Warns of Tough Times Ahead
From the LA Times: Paul Volcker is back, and he warns of tough times ahead

In speeches, interviews, public policy reports and congressional testimony, Volcker, 81, has laid out a fairly clear outline of what he thinks is wrong with the present-day financial system and the government's management of the economy.

His concerns go to the very core of how America lives and how Wall Street operates. A child of the Great Depression and a man of legendary personal thrift, Volcker thinks Americans have been living above their means for too long.

....

Bringing consumption back in line with income would not only crimp individuals and families, but also require major readjustments in the global economy, which has relied on the U.S. as consumer of last resort.

....

Volcker has become a skeptic of modern Wall Street, worried that the nation's entire financial system has evolved to a point that the government no longer has effective control over all of its important components. And the financial industry has become beholden to complex financial engineering that clouds the picture.

....

Clearly, he wants tough new regulations on securities markets, including oversight of hedge funds, in order to avoid the need for a bailout effort by the Fed ever again. It seems likely that he will advise Obama that the growth of U.S. consumption -- everything from government spending to household outlays -- should not be financed by selling ever larger amounts of debt to foreign interests.

Found at Calculated Risk
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #18
30. Love the imagery of addicts Volcker invokes in my mind. Have Steppenwolf's 'The Pusher'
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 11:31 AM by 54anickel
stuck in my head after reading that. Looks like we're all heading into rehab.

snip>
...Volcker thinks Americans have been living above their means for too long.

"It is the United States as a whole that became addicted to spending and consuming beyond its capacity to produce," Volcker lectured the Economic Club of New York in April. "It all seemed so comfortable."

Bringing consumption back in line with income would not only crimp individuals and families, but also require major readjustments in the global economy, which has relied on the U.S. as consumer of last resort.

More oversight

Volcker has become a skeptic of modern Wall Street, worried that the nation's entire financial system has evolved to a point that the government no longer has effective control over all of its important components. And the financial industry has become beholden to complex financial engineering that clouds the picture.

"The market was being run by mathematicians who didn't know financial markets," he said this year after the crisis struck.



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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
38. And yet somehow....
hearing that we are in for tough times sounds more reassuring coming from Paul Volkers mouth than Paulson's.

Must be the honesty factor. I don't have trouble dealing with bad news as long as you tell me the truth instead of sweet little lies.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #38
55. Maybe Because You Know Volker Won't Be Personally Profitting From Inflicted Bad Times on You!
Unlike certain Federal officials we could name, who all came from Golden Sacks and don't ever confuse the public good with their personal good.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. Yahhhhhh
that's it.
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
22. National City shareholders sue over PNC sale

12/6/08 National City shareholders sue over PNC sale

CLEVELAND National City Corp. shareholders have filed about a dozen lawsuits in courts in Delaware, Cuyahoga County and elsewhere opposing the pending sale of the Cleveland-based bank to PNC Bank.

National City is being acquired by Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc. for $5.6 billion. Shareholders of National City and PNC will get a chance to vote on the proposed sale at meetings scheduled for Dec. 23.

Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann represents a shareholder who has asked a judge to grant an injunction delaying the sale. Dann, who resigned as Ohio's attorney general amid a sexual harassment scandal in May, said the sale price is too low.

"There are so many questions about this deal," said Dann, now a private attorney in Cleveland. "This is a community asset, a community treasure. All we're asking for is to take a breather."

National City, Ohio's largest bank, has long been a business and civic pillar of Cleveland with a downtown headquarters that stands out on the city's skyline. U.S. Reps. Steven LaTourette and Dennis Kucinich have criticized the sale and questioned why PNC got federal bailout money and National City didn't.

Several lawsuits were rolled into a class-action suit filed three days after the sale was announced. That suit names National City Corp., its board of directors and PNC and accuses National City board members of failing to find the best possible deal.

A suit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Cleveland also names both banks and National City's board. Shareholders James and Caroline Tharp accused National City and PNC of filing a "false and misleading proxy statement," and said the sales process favors the banks and company insiders.

National City executives could receive tens of millions in severance payments, the Tharp's lawsuit said.

A second federal case, filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh by another shareholder, said National City misled investors into believing the bank was on solid footing.

A National City spokeswoman and a PNC spokeswoman wouldn't comment on the lawsuits.

Another suit in Cuyahoga County, filed by shareholders in California and Ohio, may be joined with Dann's case. But with the Dec. 23 shareholder vote drawing near, there's little time left for Common Pleas Court Judge Jose Villanueva to rule on the injunction.

"I'm afraid it's close to being too late," Dann said.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/gen/ap/OH_Nati...
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
24. ---AP IMPACT: How Freddie Mac halted regulatory drive
(Scroll to middle of page) AP IMPACT: How Freddie Mac halted regulatory drive
By PETE YOST
Dec. 8, 2008 - AP
http://www.progressivesplayground.com/dc/dcboard.php?az...

WASHINGTON (AP) From a hefty lobbying budget to the use of free baseball tickets, Freddie Mac fended off any meaningful regulation in the years before the housing mortgage giant crashed, records obtained by The Associated Press show.

When the Washington Nationals played their first-ever baseball game in the nation's capital in April 2005, two congressmen who oversaw Freddie Mac had choice seats courtesy of the very company they were supposed to be keeping an eye on.

Efforts to tighten government regulation were gaining support on Capitol Hill, and Freddie Mac was fighting back.

According to internal Freddie Mac documents obtained by the AP, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac's in-house lobbyists. Both were members of the House Financial Services Committee.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #24
58. Too late to rec, Kick for more eyeballs. nt
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
27. News from the trenches: Accountants and Elvis Shrines

Late last week, I was out and about, doing my thrift store tour. In the Salvation Army, I had come across some still-packaged, unassembled laundry shelving. White wire shelving that fits across a washer-dryer set up (as the picture helpfully showed) or it could be used as free standing shelves on which you hung your just ironed shirts after taking them off the clothes line ....one assumes.


We had just come into a decent, but by no means perfect, washer-dryer set for the price of moving it out so the owners could install their new set. The dryer will be convenient during those rare spells when it rains for several days or when the laundry simply won't dry because it won't unfreeze. Otherwise, our solar powered dryer works just fine, thanks. The washer has problems with the top of the agitator. But compared to our rusted, beat up 17 Y.O.+ version with the missing foot -which means one is constantly nudging a wooden shim under one corner during the spin cycle to keep it from walking off to Buffalo- it looked store boughten.


The folks who originally built our house were from New England. Practical sorts. So in my imaginings, they were Shaker-esque in their possessions. This eases my frustrations somewhat when I agonize over the lack of storage space in the house. And while we are not exactly pack-rats, we have never traveled light. An impoverished and rootless childhood has left me with a sense that stuff anchors me, keeps me rooted whether it is an authentic Balinese Shadow Puppet or a small cheap, pink plastic bubble gum machine shaped like a bunny in coveralls.


The shelving would be handy. For $9.99 it could be thrifty. But, best to check my sounding board to get feedback on my initial blink.


Cell phone out, dial the Spousal Unit. I realize that the SU is not in the office when I hear the open-ness of the sound upon answering. After a brief discussion on the merits of cheap wire shelving for a cheap price, I learn that the SU is out on a special building code inspection, and Seeing how the other half lives. Well, not exactly the other half. Fraction of a percentile, perhaps.


It seems that Dale Earhart, Jr. is building a multi-million dollar manse on his 300 acre compound where the buffalo and long-horned cattle roam free.


The SU, a NASCAR fan but not necessarily of a particular driver, was enjoying himself enough that I knew I would get a full accounting later. So we settled on splurging for the shelving and I got on with my day.


Later on, while I was making dinner and the SU was setting the table, I learned that, while DE, Jr. had originally lived on his father's property in a doublewide trailer, Jr. had moved on once Sr. died in the racing accident and Jr. and the StepMother began to diverge in their personal and professional relationship.


Dale Jr. 28 is, as yet, a bachelor. He has owned this property for a while; living, I assume, in the same doublewide relocated from the other property. His accountant recently informed him that he needed to spend all of it you can, so he decided to build a French Provincial with the works, slate roof ($$$$), masonry walls ($$$), formal landscaping around the facade ($$$), with engineered wood ($$$) and steel ($$$). Like this....



But the interior is pure American Bachelor with Money.


The kitchen is only slightly bigger than mine and trust me, 2 adults attempting to work in my kitchen is pushing the space limits (hence the SU setting the table and doing chores while I cook). The bar downstairs however, is a different story. It is several hundred square feet, with tables and chairs, LEDs embedded in the floor, a full and sure to be well-stocked bar with a -in the process of being crafted on the spot- full sized 1950's beer delivery truck with kegs to be stacked on the back. A modest sized night club in other words.


The full sized pool which is finished, has living palm trees and also sports an underwater bar complete with stools. And of course the pool house and accompanying furniture.


There is the gaming room with home theatre sized screens and sound system in which Jr and his friends do race car gaming. I would think that after growing up in a racing household and making your living in the life, that maybe skateboarding or airplane simulators or even World of WarCraft might be with focus of leisure time. But in the words of Nick Carraway, "The rich are different from you and me"

And speaking of different, there is of course the coup de grace. While some of the wealthy dedicate an entire room of their house to year-round Christmas dcor, Dale Jr. has settled on instead, ... The Elvis Room.


An entire room of all things Elvis. A shrine to the eternal and fully sexualized teen. Unlike other teen heroes of that era, James Dean who was so condensed and frustrated one couldn't imagine him as having experienced sexual intimacy or Marlon Brando, who was already seemingly jaded by sex and now needed to assert control with violence instead. But I digress......


According to the contractor, this house and it's sudden opulence is not an aberration. The rich are in the process of funneling their monies into Real Estate, throughout the region (and I suspect throughout the country) Both for reasons discussed on the SMW, like the lack of a safe haven for investments, but also, I suspect for reasons to come. President-elect Obama has promised to increase the tax on the wealthy. Hiding it in hand-welded replicas of 1950's beer trucks may not return your full investment in the next 20 years, but it won't go to feed the slovenly, stupid poor who haven't earned it off their Daddy's name or through obscene commercial sponsorship.....


My gut clenches when I hear these kind of stories. On the one hand: Yes, it's your money. Spend it as you will. It's a free country.


On the other hand...well, all of us here could contribute to the other hand. I'm libertarian enough that imposing my moral world-view on others does not sit well with me. But I keep thinking of all the positive ways that money could be utilized. Ways that would satisfy the need for a tax haven while supporting a socially responsible agenda. And, as the SU constantly reminds me: Dale Jr. is feeding the families of every contractor, sub-contractor and supplier on that job. It's not the way we would do it, but people in the community are benefiting.


So today, I will finish out the sheetrock in the pantry where the freebie washer and dryer will be housed. I will prime and touch up so later this week I can paint and we can build the rest of the shelving for the pantry with the lumber we have salvaged from dumpsters, friends and tearouts. There will be no shrines to Elvis or LED pathways on our reclaimed pine floors.


According to our tax returns, we are considered middle-class and stable in terms of our financial security. I have been poverty stricken. I have known large numbers people in generations of 3rd world poverty and abysmal living conditions in the Appalachian mountains and I know that in the American spectrum of wealth, Dale Jr. is by no means at the top of the heap in terms of his net worth. So what I wonder is; if the SU and I literally have to scavenge in order to maintain our current standard of living, how are we the American Middle Class?


Point blank: We have been lied to.
And trust me, it's not about the label- poor, middle class, wealthy. It's about the lie behind the label. We are being sold shit and assured, quite sincerely, that it's shinola. There is a constant murmuring that if we work hard, keep our heads down and our mouths shut that we will get ahead.


And interestingly, in light of the broad, subsonic rumbles of discontent, Fox Television has decided on a cynically exploitive meeting of the worlds; a late 9th inning attempt to humanize the monied. The new show, Secret Millionaires shows us that the rich are not the thoughtless, frivolous snobs we believe them to be. They are merely misinformed about the true conditions the poor live in. It shows the wealthy that in spite of their presumptions: I used to think that poor people were poor because they were lazy or stupid. (yes, a direct quote from the show) that these mass of mindless, ill-clothed, cattle who have helped created the bulk of the monied's wealth and comfort by the sweat of their uneducated brow, possess real humanity. They need, they hurt, they love their children. They even have enough innate humanity to love and provide for children who are not their own or help the downtrodden of different races or cultures.

It borders on pathetic. Let's present Marie Antoinette's courtiers for 7 days of poverty and have them stroll through the barnyard dressed in their work clothes. They might even touch something dirty!!! They might converse with a peasant!!! They might even grow to love one, as one would a pet. How transgressive!!! How thrilling!!!


While the monied participants might be sincere, the concept and execution are incredibly cynical and manipulative. And the unsuspecting poor are in such dire straights, that the thought of refusing the money they desperately need on moral or ethical grounds is simply out of the question.


Enjoy the caperings of the wealthy while they last. We may not need the guillotine to bring them down to our level. The economy may do that work for us.


And that's my rant for today. I hope you are all well.


TD



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MattSh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. Maybe this needs it's own thread.
Seriously...
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TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Thanks MattSh
and welcome to DU.

I'll post it over in GD in honor of the workers who have taken over the Republic Windows and Doors factory.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #27
40. The wealthy today are different.......
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 02:18 PM by AnneD
I had a very well to do best friend when I was in elementary. I didn't understand until I had a sleep over at her house and realized she had a bed all to herself and their house was so big. She did sleep over at our house several times and we had a great time (we rearranged the sleeping arrangements). Her mother and my mother became good friends and my friend's mom went out of her way not to make us feel embarrassed or ashamed.

I work at a school in a wealthy area and there are some well to do here that have this air of entitlement that infects them and their kids. We have uniforms so it cuts that down a bit, but as some of these folks are learning, you are not entitled and wealth does not make you better, smarter, or superior. It means you were lucky, had a few connections, and were prepared (or your parents were)to take advantage of a break. Some of the Upper middle class and Upper wealthy are going to discover how much exposure to risk they have and they are closer to poverty than they thought.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
34. This story turned out really wierd
The story begins with this this short article in this morning's hedge blog:
Lawyer Arrested At Fortress-Pension Meeting

Marc Dreier was arrested last week, accused of pretending to be Michael Padfield, a lawyer for the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan. Dreier impersonation took place during a meeting between the Pension Plan and Fortress at the pensions Toronto headquarters.

What the meeting dealt with, and why Dreier was there in the first place, remain unclear.


Which was curious. So going to google there was this blog entry:

Breaking: Dreier Indicted in Federal Court

Dreier has retained noted lawyer Gerald Shargel and is scheduled to appear at U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today, our friends at the NYLJ tell us.

As detailed in the Am Law Daily Friday and in a nice piece in today's Wall Street Journal, Dreier allegedly impersonated a lawyer for the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund during a meeting with an executive for Fortress Investment Group--even using the pension fund lawyer's business card, which Dreier had received earlier that day when he met that lawyer, according to some accounts. Dreier was allegedly seeking money for a sham transaction.

He spent three nights in an Ontario jail before making bond Friday and flying back to New York with Shargel. Federal authorities were waiting at the airport and arrested Dreier, the NYLJ tells us.

Meanwhile, Am Law Daily sibling publication the New York Law Journal reports that Robert Gold, of the New York office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, have been retained to examine the operations and finances of the Dreier firm, including escrow accounts. As Gold confirmed , the three will be representing a "substantial group of partners and associates at the firm."



Then just a few minutes ago google shows Wacovia got into the mix

Lawyer Dreier Sued by Wachovia Over Millions in Loans

-- Marc Dreier, managing partner of the 250-lawyer New York firm Dreier LLP, was sued by Wachovia Corp. for defaulting on at least $9 million in loans, days after he was arrested in Canada on a charge of criminal impersonation.

Wachovia filed its lawsuit today in Manhattan federal court, accusing Dreier of breach of contract and other claims stemming from a revolving credit note and a term note issued to him and his firm.

The borrower has failed to pay Wachovia the sums due under the revolving credit note, the complaint by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said.


Dreier got himself an attorney. The attorney, Gerald Shargel, has represented several high-profile clients, including mob bosses, lawyers who allegedly bribed and threatened witnesses, and an elderly Texas oil man who scammed the U.N.' s oil-for-food program with Iraq.

So, the attorney who knows he is running into money problems, impersonates himself as a representative from a Canadian Pension Fund and tries to get money from that Pension Fund's hedge fund. Gets caught, gets arrested, gets out on bail and then because of his shenanigans his bank finds out he is broke and files suit. From Friday to Monday the man goes from being a respected owner/partner of a 250 lawyer law firm to spending three days in jail, being indicted for a felony and then also sued for breach of contract by his bank.

Some bad weekend.

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specimenfred1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
39. Nobody has a job or any money so of course people are speculating on stocks!
with all the money they don't have, they are bottom fishing for bargains! Aren't xmas fables wonderful! It's like we're all in a snow globe being shaken everyday, shaken down that is.
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
41. Pension funds beg Congress to suspend billions in contributions--employer group press release
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 02:27 PM by antigop
oops, just noticed ozy posted the article upthread...

Here is a press release from an employer group about the funding issue:
ERIC Warns Congress about Inaction on Pension Funding Relief
http://eric.org/forms/documents/DocumentFormPublic/view...

In a letter sent today to all Members of Congress, The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing America's major employers, warned lawmakers of the severe consequences of not acting on pension funding relief legislation. ERIC for the past several weeks has been actively engaged and in contact with staff from the Administration and Capitol Hill to press the importance of relief to both pension plan sponsors and participants.

"If Congress fails to act, employers will face unprecedented funding obligations next year that will dwarf those Congress anticipated when it passed the Pension Protection Act in 2006," said ERIC President Mark Ugoretz. "The impact on jobs, pension plan freezes, and 401(k) cutbacks will be significant," he said.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
42. Goldman analysts: Credit crisis only halfway over
Goldman analysts: Credit crisis only halfway over
Monday December 8, 12:21 pm ET
Goldman analysts predict that banks are only halfway through a 3-year credit cycle

NEW YORK (AP) -- Back in April, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said that the credit crisis, if it were a football game, was "probably in the third or fourth quarter." Eight months later, Goldman analysts are saying the current credit cycle has only now reached half-time.


Investment research analysts at Goldman issued a report Monday that said banks are "only halfway through a three-year credit cycle" -- indicating how much more prolonged than predicted the industry's struggles will be.

Because there is no national precedent for the housing market downturn and ensuing collapse in credit, one must examine similarly large home price drops and unemployment spikes that happened on a regional basis, wrote the analysts, led by Richard Ramsden. In those cases, the report said, reserve building by banks lasted three years, with reserves to loans reaching 3 percent.

Now, about 18 months into the current crisis, the industry's reserves have doubled to 2 percent, and banks have taken half of the estimated $1.8 trillion in losses related to U.S. credit, the analysts said.
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081208/credit_cycle_goldman_ana...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
43. GLOBAL MARKETS-World stocks surge on economic stimulus hopes
Mon Dec 8, 2008 1:41pm EST LONDON/NEW YORK, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Stock markets around the world rebounded on Monday, helped by several governments reinforcing their plans for countering the global economic crisis and by signs the U.S. was close to providing emergency finance for its automakers.

Bond yields rose as a result and the U.S. dollar slipped as the need for a safe haven diminished.

There's "some chance" that equities markets made a bottom on Nov. 21, Bob Doll, global chief investment officer for equities at fund manager, BlackRock (BLK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), told Reuters.

"I think we've broken the downtrend and gone sideways," he said.

European Union leaders met to discuss proposals to give the eurozone ecomomy a 200 billion euro boost, India announced a $4 bln spending package, and U.S. President-elect Obama reiterated his plan for a massive public works program over the weekend. .

In the U.S. the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 2.65 percent at 8,865.325 at midday, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 2.59 percent at 898.78, and the Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was 3.23 percent higher at 1,558.04

The advance pushed the S&P 500 index into positive territory for the month and extended the index's recovery since it hit an 11-year low on Nov 21. The index is up 20 percent since Nov. 21 but remains 38.6 percent lower on the year.

Companies associated with large construction projects, such as Dow component Caterpillar (CAT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) were among the top gainers. Shares of Caterpillar, a maker of construction and mining equipment, climbed over 14 percent to $43.66 on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Look at the sectors that are working, anything infrastructure-related is getting a lift," said Kevin Kruszenski, head of listed trading at KeyBanc Capital Markets in Cleveland. "Definitely the people who make 'stuff' is on the on the upside."

Signals that the three U.S. automakers -- General Motors (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Ford (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chrysler -- were closer to procuring a financial lifeline from the government to stave off possible bankruptcy also boosted investor sentiment. Both GM and Ford soared over 14 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top European shares closed 6.9 percent higher at 848.48 points.

The Morgan Stanley Capital World Stock Index .MIWD00000PUS was up 5.1 percent at midday in New York.

/... http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINN0849244...
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. "That's why you shoot them".
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 05:14 PM by Ghost Dog
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. delete - posted below n/t
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 06:18 PM by slipslidingaway
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
45. Quittin' time
Dow 8,934.18 Up 298.76 (3.46%)
Nasdaq 1,571.74 Up 62.43 (4.14%)
S&P 500 909.70 Up 33.63 (3.84%)
10-Yr Bond 2.734% Up 0.077

NYSE Volume 7,429,264,000
Nasdaq Volume 2,345,876,250

4:15 pm : The stock market kicked off the week on a strong note after investors were pleased with news that President-elect Obama plans to launch the largest infrastructure investment program in 50 years and word that progress is being made on a financial relief package for U.S. automakers.

Obama said over the weekend that he will focus on making sure an economic stimulus is large enough to get the economy moving, noting that he can't worry about the fiscal deficit in the short term. Obama said he aims to create a least 2.5 million new jobs by 2011 and launch the largest U.S. infrastructure investment since the 1950s.

Ford (F 3.32, +0.60) and General Motors (GM 4.81, +0.73) rallied on reports that the government was making progress on a bailout package. Late in the session, it was reported that U.S. Democrats had sent a $15 billion rescue plan to the White House for consideration.

In corporate news, more job cuts were announced due as the poor economic environment takes a toll. 3M (MMM 57.38, -2.47) issued downside earnings guidance for fiscal year 2008 and 2009 and said it will cut 1,800 jobs in the fourth quarter. Dow Chemical (DOW 20.41, +1.41) plans to lay off 11% of its global full-time workforce, or 5,000 positions, close 20 facilities and reduce its contractor workforce by 6,000.

Privately-held Tribune Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The weak economic environment combined with a high amount of debt proved to be too much for the Chicago-based company. The Tribune Company will continue to operate its media business as it restructures. The Chicago Cubs franchise, including Wrigley Field, is not part of the Chapter 11 filing.

On a positive note, McDonald's (MCD 60.89, -1.83) reported another solid month of sales as consumers flock to the fast food giant's relatively inexpensive offerings. November comparable sales increased 7.7% worldwide and 4.5% in the U.S.

All of the ten sectors posted a gain. Defensive sectors such as consumer staples (+0.1%), utulities (+0.8%) and healthcare (+1.1%) underperformed on a relative basis.

Cyclical sectors materials (+7.7%) and energy (+5.7%) saw the most buying interest, benefiting from Obama's potential stimulus plan and a spike in commodity prices. The financial sector (+6.9%) also outperformed as investors showed an increase willingness to take on risk.

Overseas markets rallied on news of the potential U.S. stimulus and on reports that other countries are considering stimulus packages of their own. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 8.8% and the MSCI Asia Index rose 7.9%.

The strength in world equity markets and a steep 1.8% drop in the dollar sparked buying interest in commodities (+5.2%). Oil rose 7.9% to $44.05 per barrel.

In the end, the S&P 500 rose 3.8% in volume that was modestly above average. The index has posted a gain in nine of the last ten sessions and is up 22.8% from its multi-year low reached on Nov. 21.DJ30 +298.76 NASDAQ +62.43 NQ100 +4.0% R2K +4.4% SP400 +3.8% SP500 +33.63 NASDAQ Dec/Adv/Vol 779/1991/2.32 bln NYSE Dec/Adv/Vol 686/2467/1.74 bln
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
48. Daytrade & Invest Stock Market Review 12/8/08
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPhI4yQIdiI

Also I have been posting some additional charting info in the Personal Finance and Investing Group

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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CatholicEdHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
52. Hutchinson Technology to cut 1,125 workers or 20-25%
http://www.startribune.com/business/35821144.html

Hutchinson Technology Inc., the Hutchinson, Minn., maker of disk-drive components, said today that it will cut 20 to 25 percent of its workforce -- or as many as 1,125 jobs out of its workforce of 4,500 -- as demand for its products continues to weaken amid the economic slowdown.

The employees that remain will take a 5 percent pay cut, the company said. These and other moves -- including cutting capital spending for the coming year to $40 million from a planned $60 million -- are expected to save the company $65 million to $80 million a year.

The company's headquarters are on a 163-acre campus in Hutchinson that includes executive offices, a manufacturing plant and a training center. The company also has manufacturing plants in Eau Claire, Wis., and Sioux Falls, S.D., as well as offices in Plymouth and a warehouse in Brooklyn Park.

In a prepared statement released today after the markets closed, the company said shipments of disk-drive suspension assemblies, Hutchinson Technology's key product, in its fiscal first quarter are expected to be down 20 percent from the previous quarter.

The job cuts will result in a charge against earnings of $12 million to $16 million in the first quarter, which ends Dec. 28, because of severance costs.

For its most recent fiscal year, which ended Sept. 28, Hutchinson Technology reported a net loss of $117.8 million, although much of that was because of a noncash charge related to deferred tax assets. On an operating basis, the company lost about $30 million.

Hutchinson Technology shares have lost 90 percent of their value this year. On Tuesday, they closed at $2.62 a share, down 59 cents.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
53. Dear Friends, Sorry for the Absence
I am not dead, but my computer is. It doesn't even remember it has a hard drive. I guess I'm getting a new computer for Christmas, or maybe sooner....

I will peek in from the library server (slow as molasses, but steady). Can somebody take on the Weekend Economists, in the event I can't get a system before then? If not, I will announce when I can return to regular service.

I knew it was slowly degrading, and it totally died Saturday night. I've watched 3 movies, cleaned several rooms in the house, and slept a lot....

Tomorrow we got back to Probate Court to petition for my daughter's official return home. She's been living there since Labor Day, when I yanked her out of the foster home for the unsanitary and unsafe conditions the state had put her in. Wish us luck!

Have a good week, and keep those fingers crossed!

Demeter

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