Links: 2008-10-23 []

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  • Inequality in major U.S. cities rivals Africa: U.N. UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Major U.S. cities including New York, Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans have levels of economic inequality that rival cities in Africa, according to a U.N. report published on Thursday.
  • Ugly election incidents show lingering U.S. racism – Reuters By Carey Gillam KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – Two weeks before an election that could install the first black U.S. president, scattered ugly incidents have reflected a deep residue of racism among some segments of white America.
  • Avalanche! Early voting at record pace – Politico In 2004, one out of every five Americans voted early, and if reports so far this year are any indication, an even larger proportion will wake up on Nov. 4 with their ballots already cast.
  • WaMu Swaps Auction Sets Payout of 43 Cents on Dollar – Bloomberg An auction held among 14 dealers today set a value of 57 cents on the dollar for WaMu senior bonds, less than the 63.6 cents after the first round and lower than where the bonds were trading yesterday.
  • Bair: 3,500 Mortgages Modified at IndyMac Under FDIC Program : HousingWire In testimony Thursday on Capitol Hill, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman Sheila Bair provided the first public update on the FDIC’s loan modification program put into place at IndyMac Federal Bank since it was introduced roughly two months ago.
  • Bernanke May Seek New Ways to Ease Credit as Fed Rate Nears 1% – Bloomberg Federal Reserve officials are likely to bring interest rates down so aggressively over the next few months that they will have to search for fresh tactics to continue easing credit.
  • Canada to Guarantee Up to C$218 Billion in Bank Debt – Bloomberg The Canadian government will provide guarantees on as much as C$218 billion ($173 billion) of commercial bank debt to revive lending and match bank bailouts offered by other governments.
  • Goldman Sachs to cut 10% of staff – BBC News Financial firm Goldman Sachs is to reduce its global workforce of 32,000 staff by 10%, it has confirmed.
  • Dow Chemical profit drops, warns of recession – Reuters NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dow Chemical Co reported lower third-quarter profit on Thursday, citing a drop in sales volumes and shutdowns from hurricanes, and warned that the global economy was likely to suffer through a recession for most of 2009. The…
  • Today’s Polls, 10/22 – FiveThirtyEight While there are plenty of individual results for Matt Drudge to get excited about (or for that matter the Huffington Post), the fact is that the overall trend in this election is roughly flat, and has been for about a week or so. That is bad news for the candidate trailing in the race, which in this case is John McCain.
  • Dollar Demise? – BBC News In the longer term, some experts believe this crisis could mark a turning point in the dollar’s fortunes, hastening a fall from power which has seen its value decline over several years before its recent rally.
  • Economic turmoil forces Ontario into $500M deficit – National Post Ontario’s Liberal government downgraded its growth forecasts, cut some spending commitments and will run a $500 million deficit in 2009, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said Wednesday
  • LinkedIn Nabs $22.7 Million from Goldman and Others – Deal Book LinkedIn has raised an additional $22.7 million to help insulate the steadily growing online business network from the economic storm and provide more financial flexibility. The investment announced Thursday was made by one of LinkedIn’s long-time backers, Bessemer Venture Partners, and three newcomers — business software maker SAP Ventures, banker Goldman Sachs Group and McGraw-Hill.
  • U.S. Insurer of Pensions Has Lost $2 Billion – Deal Book The federal agency that guarantees pensions has lost $2.1 billion on its investments so far this year, foreshadowing expected losses among corporate pension funds, state retirement systems and others that provide a financial backstop for an aging population, The New York Times’s Mary Williams Walsh reports.
  • Lehman Debt Swaps Settled for $5.2 Billion – Deal Book Sellers of insurance on Lehman Brothers debt made net payments of $5.2 billion to settle an estimated $400 billion or more in credit default swaps, the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation said Wednesday. “The portion of this net funds settlement allocable to trades between major dealers was settled through the normal settlement procedures of CLS
  • The problem with banks is even bigger than you think – MarketWatch The world’s financial system’s problems are far greater than the public or the people in the banks seem to realize. That’s what some have concluded after looking over preliminary results of an ongoing banking study being conducted by IBM
  • Credit Suisse Posts Third-Quarter Loss on Writedowns – Bloomberg Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG reported its second quarterly loss this year after writing down the value of leveraged loans and mortgage-backed securities, and as financial market swings hurt trading.
  • ANZ Bank’s Second-Half Profit Drops 35% on Provisions – Bloomberg Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., the worst-performing Australian bank stock this year, posted a 35 percent drop in second-half profit after provisions for delinquent loans surged.
  • Belarus Asks IMF for Credit Line as Economy Falters – Bloomberg Belarus requested aid from the International Monetary Fund, joining Iceland, Pakistan, Hungary and the Ukraine in asking for assistance in weathering the global financial crisis.
  • Investors flee emerging markets, boosting dollar – Reuters By Jeremy Gaunt, European Investment Correspondent LONDON (Reuters) – A flight from emerging market debt and stocks helped push the dollar to a two-year high against major currencies on Thursday as fears built about a global recession. Investors…
  • Buffett advice: Buy smart…and low – May. 5, 2008 – CNN Money There’s no reason we should become fearful if a stock goes down. If a stock goes down 50%, I’d look forward to it. In fact, I would offer you a significant sum of money if you could give me the opportunity for all of my stocks to go down 50% over the next month.
  • Goldman to cut 10 pct of jobs: report – Reuters (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc is preparing to cut about 10 percent of its 32,500 employees, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. The cuts are expected throughout the company, the paper said. Goldma
    n Sachs did…
  • Title insurer Fidelity cuts jobs, pay, dividend – Reuters NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fidelity National Financial Inc (FNF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which controls one of the largest U.S. title insurers, on Wednesday posted a surprise third-quarter loss and cut its dividend in half, as the nation’s…
  • Amazon predicts weaker holiday, shares fall 14 percent – Reuters By Alexandria Sage SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Inc said sales in the holiday quarter would fall short of Wall Street expectations, sending its shares down nearly 14 percent as consumers cut back on spending and a strengthening U.S. dollar…



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