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General Motors has told U.S. dealers it is accelerating its timetable for closing about 1,700 dealerships as it rushes to meet a June 1 deadline to restructure under U.S. government oversight, people with knowledge of the discussions said.
Ending months of speculation, the Chicago-based mall owner, which listed total assets of $29.56 billion and total debts of $27.29 billion, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors along with 158 of its more than 200 U.S. malls, while it seeks to restructure some of its debt.
U.S. consumers will spend $123.89 on average on Mother's Day, down more than 10 percent from a year ago, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Retail Federation.
See why they want Rio Tinto so bad???
A 'Copper Standard' for the world's currency system?
Hard money enthusiasts have long watched for signs that China is switching its foreign reserves from US Treasury bonds into gold bullion. They may have been eying the wrong metal.
China's State Reserves Bureau (SRB) has instead been buying copper and other industrial metals over recent months on a scale that appears to go beyond the usual rebuilding of stocks for commercial reasons.
Nobu Su, head of Taiwan's TMT group, which ships commodities to China, said Beijing is trying to extricate itself from dollar dependency as fast as it can.
See why they want Rio Tinto so bad???
Originally posted by Hx3_1963
East Europe's Recession to Deepen, May Cause Rating Downgrades, Fitch Says
April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Emerging Europe, the region hardest hit by the global economic crisis, will see its recession deepen before the outlook improves, which may lead to credit rating downgrades in about half the countries, Fitch Ratings said.
“There’s further to go,” Edward Parker, head of emerging Europe ratings at Fitch in an interview in London yesterday. “Real economic activity is still falling quite rapidly. This year will be by far the deepest recession since the early years of transition” from Communism to market economy two decades ago.
The worldwide credit drought, which has left banks with more than $2 trillion in losses and writedowns, is taking its toll on emerging markets by cutting access to credit and investment. A reliance on exports and a consumption-fuelled credit boom have left eastern Europe among the most vulnerable to the worst global economic slump since World War II.
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JPMorgan and Wells shares may be overpriced
NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co shares command premium valuations, particularly after a recent rally, but many analysts wonder if worsening loan losses will bring these stocks back to earth.
The two banks, which have largely avoided the mistakes that have hobbled rivals Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N), are now the two largest U.S. lenders by market value. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are seen as among the few strong big banks left, which could help them acquire even more troubled assets with regulators' blessings.
Investors are awarding them with some of the highest valuations in the financial sector. Wells Fargo (WFC.N) trades at about 1.3 times its book price, or accounting value, while JPMorgan (JPM.N) trades at 0.85 times. Most of their competitors trade at less than 0.7 times book value.
Stress test result format yet unclear
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Officials conducting stress tests to determine how the nation's 19 biggest banks would fare in a deeper downturn have not determined exactly how the results will be released on May 4, a regulatory official said on Thursday.
Authorities have not decided whether banks themselves will release some of the information, the official said.
One of the goals of the publication of the results will be to ensure they are presented in a way that will allow clear comparisons, the official added.
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Nathan's Economic Edge
Initial claims - BEAR IN MIND THAT LAST WEEK WAS A 4-DAY HOLIDAY-SHORTENED WEEK FOR FILING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS - were down on an adjusted basis, but the prior week's IC number was (surprise!) revised upward from 654k to 663k. Which means that the drop of 20k the prior week was actually only a drop of 11k, which was from a revised March 28 number of 674k, up from the first release of 669k. Which means that the actual rise in IC from March 28's final number from March 21 original reported number of 652k, revised upward to 657k a week later, was 22k.
Confused? Good, you goddamn very well should be.
I won't go any further with the unemployment claims report because IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH MUCH WORSE HAD LAST WEEK NOT BEEN A 4-DAY HOLIDAY SHORTENED WEEK. Next week we'll see over 700k. Guaranteed. Mark it down. No f'n way we don't.
When Did Your County's Jobs Disappear?
The economic crisis, which has claimed more than 5 million jobs since the recession began, did not strike the entire country at once. A map of employment gains or losses by county tells the story of how those job losses first struck in the most vulnerable regions and then spread rapidly to the rest of the country. As early as August 2007, for example—several months before the recession officially began—jobs were already on the decline in southwest Florida; Orange County, Calif.; much of New Jersey; and Detroit, while other areas of the country remained on the uptick.
The TARP money seems to be for bank bondholders (not bank lending), banks are gaming the system like crazy and winning the public relations earnings announcement battle, and step-by-step the Obama team has ended up painted into a corner and now needs to publicly announce the results of the bank "stress tests." No one wins when the government pronounces a bank "weak" (and thus destroys it) and no one wins when the government pronounces a bank "good" (and thus to some extent owns it).
That's the latest.
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Bank Test Results May Strain Limits Of Bailout Funding
As the Obama administration works to complete its stress tests for gauging the health of major banks, it could confront another problem: how to pay for shoring up any weaknesses the tests reveal.
No one yet knows the extent of the banks' needs. But a senior administration official said yesterday this will be clear once tests on the nation's 19 major banks are done and the results are released early next month.
The administration would be hard-pressed to ask Congress for more rescue funds to plug the holes. Anger on Capitol Hill is high, especially after the furor over bonuses paid to employees at American International Group. The troubled insurer had earlier received more than $170 billion in bailout funds.