Links: 2008-11-03 []

Today, we prepare for an election in the U.S.. Markets look to be off their lows and probably won’t retest for some time. Yesterday was a very good day overseas as foreign markets seem to be outpacing the U.S. markets both in nominal terms and in curency-adjusted terms as the dollar falls.

  • BT pension deficit soars by £5bn – TelegraphThe deficit in BT’s pension scheme guaranteed by taxpayers is estimated to have soared by £5bn this year to about £16bn due to the falling stock markets according to estimates.
  • Today’s Polls, 11/3 (PM Edition) – FiveThirtyEight With fewer than six hours until voting begins in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, the national polling picture has cleared up considerably. Barack Obama is on the verge of a victory, perhaps a decisive victory, in the race for the White House. The national polls have all consolidated into a range of roughly Obama +7. That is right about where our model sees the race as well, giving Obama a 6.8 point advantage in its composite of state and national polling.

  • Obama’s grandmother dies of cancer in Hawaii – ReutersWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s grandmother died of cancer, he said in a statement on Monday, a little more than a week after he interrupted the White House campaign to say goodbye to her in Hawaii.
  • Will the YouTube Generation Take YouTube to the Polls? Heck Yes. – Mashable I’ve said it twice before already, but I’ll reiterate: This is the YouTube election.

  • Japan’s Obama town set to party for namesake – ReutersOBAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Dancing, singing and playing the guitar, residents in the sleepy Japanese fishing port of Obama are readying to party for Barack Obama before Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election.
  • Election Night Viewers’ Guide – FiveThirtyEight Virginia, for my money, is the most important state in this election. If John McCain loses it, his path to victory is exceptionally narrow—he would need to pull out an upset in Pennsylvania, while holding on to Florida and Ohio, and avoiding a sweep out West. Barack Obama has considerably more ways to win without Virginia, but a failure to close out the state would suggest at best a more circuitous route to victory. As Obama remains about five points ahead in most polls of Virginia, what we’re really looking for is a quick call on anything before 8 PM

  • Today’s Polls, 3 AM Edition (11/3) – FiveThirtyEightBarack Obama’s position has become somewhat stronger since our update this afternoon. We now have him with a 5.8 point lead in the national popular vote, and winning the election 96.3 percent of the time. Earlier today, those figures were 5.4 and 93.7, respectively.
  • What A McCain Win Looks Like… – FiveThirtyEight In each and every one of the 624 victory scenarios that the simulation found for him this afternoon, McCain won Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Montana. He also picked up Ohio in 621 out of the 624 simulations, and North Carolina in 622 out of 624. If McCain drops any of those states, it’s pretty much over.

  • 17th Bank Failure Could Cost $104 Million: Why? – Housing WireWhich should beg the question of how a bank with total assets of just $287 million — and whose entire deposit base and $36 million in other assets were acquired — could end up costing so much. It’s a trend that has gone largely unnoticed in most of the financial press, but is not lost on those versed in mortgage banking.
  • Commerzbank grasps €8.2bn from bail-out fund – FT Germany’s second largest bank is to boost its capital with an immediate €8.2bn ($10.5bn) injection from the government’s financial sector bail-out fund.

  • Outside Edge: The party Spain is desperate to crash – FTPrime minister Zapatero and the whole Spanish establishment are appalled that President George W. Bush has not invited Spain to the G20 summit in Washington, writes Victor Mallet
  • GM sales slump 45% in U.S.; Ford down 30% – National Post GM saw U.S. atuo sales drop 45% in October, while Ford sales slumped 30%.

  • Building societies set to merge – BBC NewsSkipton Building Society agrees to merge with the smaller Scarborough Building Society as the mutual sector continues to shrink.
  • Fed says credit conditions continue to tightenWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most U.S. and foreign banks have tightened lending standards across the board in the last three months as the economic outlook chilled and losses ate into their capital, the Federal Reserve said on Monday.
  • Credit card losses may surpass historical peaks – Reuters NEW YORK (Reuters) – Rising job losses, volatile energy prices and fewer refinancing options will lead to higher delinquencies that are likely to push U.S. credit card portfolio losses past historical peaks in 2009, Fitch Ratings said in a report on Monday.

  • Ford U.S. auto sales fall 30.2 percent in October – ReutersDETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co on Monday posted an unadjusted 30.2 percent plunge in U.S. auto sales in October under pressure across all vehicle segments amid the slowing domestic economy and weak consumer confidence.
  • Manufacturing crash adds to global gloom – Reuters NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. factory activity contracted sharply in October, falling to its lowest in 26 years as the financial crisis ravaged the world’s largest economy and its trading partners around the globe.

  • Six feet under and 20% off – National PostIn lean times, even a person’s final resting place is for sale.
  • Inside the world’s most luxurious plane – National Post In a down economy, Qantas starts service of its perk-filled A380 aircraft.

  • Citigroup loses $1.4 bln on securitizations – ReutersNEW YORK (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc lost $1.4 billion from packaging credit card loans into bonds in the third quarter, a regulatory filing showed on Friday.
  • Small Florida bank is 17th bank failure in ’08 – Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. bank regulators on Friday closed Freedom Bank in Florida, the 17th bank to fail this year as the weakening economy and falling home prices take their toll on financial institutions.

  • Lloyds TSB urges takeover of HBOS, despite £5bn of writedowns – TelegraphLloyds TSB has urged shareholders to vote for a £17bn capital injection granted on its takeover of HBOS, which today revealed £5bn of writedowns on exposure to collapsed banks and bad mortgages.
  • Spanish and French car sales dive – BBC News The economic slowdown continues to affect the sale of new cars in Spain and France, official figures suggest.

  • Circuit City set to close stores – BBC NewsU.S. electronics firm Circuit City says it will close about 20% of its U.S. outlets in a bid to return to profit.
  • Brazilian banks announce merger – BBC News Two of Brazil’s biggest banks, Itau and Unibanco, announce a merger that will create the biggest financial group in South America.

  • Eurozone is on verge of recession – BBC NewsThe eurozone’s economy shrank by 0.2% in the second quarter of the year, according to the European Commission.
  • Profits slump at Societe Generale – BBC News French bank Societe Generale has seen net profits slump 84% for the third quarter, hit by the credit crisis.

  • Sarah Palin duped by prank call – BBC NewsU.S. vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin has become the victim of a prank phone call by a Canadian comedian posing as the French president.

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