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Originally posted by Hastobemoretolife
reply to post by Hx3_1963
Oh man, I don't want to be like the government...
And the G20 is almost doomed before it even starts. I have a feeling Obama is going to get smacked down in that meeting.
More at Link...
Stocks in U.S. Climb, Extending S&P 500's Biggest Monthly Rally Since '74
March 26 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rallied, extending the market’s best monthly gain since 1974, on better-than-estimated earnings at Best Buy Co. and ConAgra Foods Inc. and prospects for lower labor costs at General Motors Corp.
Best Buy, the largest U.S. electronics chain, jumped 13 percent and ConAgra, maker of Banquet frozen dinners and Slim Jim meat snacks, rose 9.2 percent. GM climbed 14 percent after saying 7,500 union members signed up for buyouts. Research In Motion Ltd. gained 4.9 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended buying shares of the maker of BlackBerry phones.
Best Buy rallied 13 percent to $37.67, its highest price since September, after saying fourth-quarter profit fell less than analysts estimated with results helped by mobile-phone sales in Europe. Best Buy’s earnings forecast for the year was also higher than analysts projected.
ConAgra added 9.2 percent to $16.99, the biggest gain since 2000. The company, which also makes Egg Beaters, Fiddle Faddle popcorn and Fleischmann’s margarine, cut prices for Banquet dinners and cooking oil after record high commodity prices receded and consumers moved to discounted brands.
S&P 500 companies are projected to report profit decreased 36 percent on average in the first quarter and 30 percent in the next, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Forecasts show earnings will decline until at least the third quarter, bringing the total slump to nine straight quarters, the longest since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 1998.
GM rose 14 percent to $3.41, the steepest gain in the Dow. The retirements and buyouts of 12 percent of GM’s union workforce open slots for the automaker to hire replacement workers for half the current union rate.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board quietly buckled to banking-industry pressure last week and proposed new accounting practices that would allow banks to value assets at a higher price than they could currently be sold for.
Banks have long demanded the "mark-to-market" accounting rule change, arguing that it's unfair to require them to mark toxic assets down to current market prices because the very market for those assets is frozen.
The move marks a shift for Robert Herz, head of the FASB, who recently told a panel of lawmakers that the harshest critics of mark-to-market accounting practices have been the very same banks that have gone under when regulators would not let them adjust their accounting. Herz and other regulators have been under intense congressional pressure to reform the rules.
"I will tell you that I get calls and visits from some of those institutions that are now in government hands, about two weeks before they get taken over, trying to get the accounting changed," he said. "Clearly some of the most vocal opponents of fair value and mark-to-market have been some of those institutions that ultimately failed and have had to have billions of taxpayer dollars put into them."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she's been consulting with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker regarding the reform.
"I've talked to Mr. Volcker about this, who knows a great deal about it. And I think caution is important in it, but I think attention is necessary," said Pelosi in a brief interview with the Huffington Post.
She said that she's following the issue closely. "I think it has to be done with care. But we have to pay some attention to it because the current system is not working," she said. "It's the whole thing: If you mark it too low, what's the price?"
Volcker chaired a financial reform study that reported its findings in January (PDF). It came down on the side of reforming mark-to-market rules. "Fair value accounting principles and standards should be reevaluated with a view to developing more realistic guidelines for dealing with less liquid instruments and distressed markets," it recommends. "The tension between the business purpose served by regulated financial institutions that intermediate credit and liquidity risk and the interests of investors and creditors should be resolved by development of principles-based standards that better reflect the business models of these institutions."
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fl.), who quizzed Herz on the accounting rule, said that the demand to change the rules is "representative of exactly the kind of thing that's put us in this position in general...We have people who break every rule in the book and then they think that the answer to their problems is to break more rules. It's given us some real insight into the human nature and the pathology of the people who have created these problems for America."
If banks are allowed to determine the value of their assets without regard to current prices, investors have less trust and confidence in the integrity of their books and their assets, which could further freeze markets and further drive down prices.
More at Link...
Obamarket Update #47 for Wednesday March 25, 2009: Bond Blowup
Enjoy the show gang because if the next couple of auctions go poorly, well that won’t save this market. Even the WSJ Heard on the Street’s column recognizes the problem with the story that “Bond Markets Don’t Buy the Rally” and equity markets don’t lead bonds gang, it is always credit first, equity second. Add in the accelerating problem of commercial property crashing faster by the day and a potential nuke going off on the markets at 5 p.m. on Friday with a long rumored General Growth bankruptcy filing and you can see why I don’t buy this rally going much beyond 7900 today if at all.
In the markets today, well the chart says it all. The bananas were able to bail out Turbo Timmy after he endorsed the idea of an IMF based currency then had to back track when Benron called and said “you’re not supposed to say that yet” and those slippery yellow creatures had to buy a lot of JPM and GS to pull that slide down out of the potential abyss. It signals to me just how fragile and shallow this “rally” has been and as with all bear market rallies of this size, when the jaws snap shut, a lot of Cramermaniacs will be looking for a peg leg to replace what they lost. Or would that be a replacement peg leg if you followed his advice? Whatever, here is your dancing banana and Dow chart of the day as Cowboy “O” got on that bull (well, it was a cow or he had one when Turbo spoke) and rode it back up for a nice advance.
Good thing for old Tex there they close the markets at 4. Because the downgrading of WFC and BAC preferreds to junk status by Moody’s will flat knock the horse out from under this market once they permabulls wake up and sober up.
The UTT-BUGLY Chart of the Day says a lot about the new Geithner program; keep crappy banks open no matter what. Bank Atlantic has been making new lows on a regular basis but today’s action seems to hint that the end is nigh. Right. Like I believe that. BKUNA is still open despite being a penny stock for ages now. But it does open the possibility of a new S&P index: The S&P Banking 250.
The 250 being the maximum amount of pennies that can be used to buy any one of these stocks.
Get ready for a wild Thursday and Friday gang as no matter what you hear, the bond markets are telling the tale of the tape.
This doesn't sound very good to me...you?
General Growth Properties: Bondholders won't extend loans
Shopping mall owner pushes back deadline for its effort to win extension
Cash-strapped General Growth Properties Inc. said Monday that it has been unable to persuade holders of five series of bonds totaling $2.25 billion to agree to hold off demanding immediate repayment, but it pushed back the expiration of its effort to win approval of an extension.
"We continue to believe that giving the company time to work with its creditors to develop a comprehensive restructuring plan without the threat and distraction of ongoing defaults is in the best interests of the company and all its constituencies," said Chief Executive Adam Metz.
General Growth, a Chicago-based real estate investment trust that specializes in mall properties, made extensive use of leverage as part of its expansion strategy and has been driven to the brink of Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the turmoil that hit credit markets several months ago. The company had been expecting to refinance billions of dollars in debt with new borrowing, but it has been unable to find lenders willing to advance it the money.
Last week, General Growth missed a deadline on $395 million of its bonds. That default touched off cross-default provisions, under which holders of the $2.25 billion in bonds that come due between now and 2013 could demand immediate repayment.
General Growth has been trying to forestall such a demand through a bond consent solicitation, under which the bondholders would agree not to press for repayment through the end of 2009. The company would halt payment of interest, though it would accrue, and the company would pay holders later. General Growth also would pay a quarterly fee in exchange for the lenders' forbearance until year-end.
On Monday, General Growth said it had come up short on some of the five issues.
An issue of 3.625 percent notes and an issue of 8 percent notes, both due this year, had to reach a minimum of 90 percent acceptance, but reached only 42 percent and 67.4 percent, respectively, the REIT said.
"What are they going to do different between now and the end of the week to get that number to 90 percent?" said Rich Moore, managing director of RBC Capital Markets in Solon, Ohio.
It's more likely, Moore said, that General Growth will use the extra time to negotiate the sale of malls to pay down debt.
"You could see the whole company bought, perhaps. It's a bigger stretch, in this environment, to buy a whole company the size of [General Growth]," he said.
Of the three other issues, which come due in 2012 and 2013, holders of two of the three tendered 75 percent or more, but without full participation of all five groups, General Growth will still be vulnerable.
The solicitation had expired at 4 p.m. Central time Friday, but General Growth said Monday that it has extended the solicitation by a week.
General Growth shares advanced 22 cents, or 50 percent, to 66 cents.
More at Link...
General Growth Announces Extension of Expiration Date of TRCLP Bond Consent Solicitation
General Growth Properties, Inc. is a U.S.-based, publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust. The Company currently has an ownership interest in or management responsibility for more than 200 regional shopping malls in 44 states, as well as ownership in master planned community developments and commercial office buildings. The Company portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet of retail space and includes more than 24,000 retail stores nationwide. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results suggested by these forward-looking statements for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, a potential bankruptcy filing, our ability to refinance, extend or repay our near and intermediate term debt, our substantial level of indebtedness and interest rates, retail and credit market conditions, impairments, land sales in the Master Planned Communities segment, the cost and success of development and re-development projects and our ability to successfully manage our strategic and financial review and our liquidity demands. Readers are referred to the documents filed by General Growth Properties, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which further identify the important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this release. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
This press release is not an offer of securities for sale or an offer to purchase securities or a solicitation of consents. The consent solicitation is being made by means of a Consent Solicitation Statement that may be obtained by contacting Financial Balloting Group LLC, which is acting as the Information Agent for the Consent Solicitation at (646) 282-1800.