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Old February 12th, 2009 #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notmenomore View Post
So what happens to the owners of life insurance policies if/when "The Hartford" goes belly up? Do the policies become worthless, like so much common stock? What about the "cash values?" Are we approaching the time when life policy-holders are going to find that those "investments" are worth about the same as 1,000 shares of Lehman Bros. common stock?
My insurance agent wife says, yes, they are worthless. Probably, I should add.
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Old February 12th, 2009 #262
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The more I think about all this, the more I'm convinced that it is absolutely imperative that we continue to hammer on the fact that this entire financial meltdown has its origins in the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, and that the great chorus of voices that cried so intently for that repeal was 100% kike.

Those goddamned kikes knew exactly what they were doing and why they were doing it. (Yeah, we've got one of them sitting in the Kwan Treasury Secretary's Office, courtesy of Barry Soetoro.)
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Last edited by notmenomore; February 12th, 2009 at 09:00 PM. Reason: spelling
 
Old February 12th, 2009 #263
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Glass = Steagall? Splain Yo Self!
 
Old February 12th, 2009 #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General_Lee View Post
Glass = Steagall? Splain Yo Self!

Quote:
The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States and included banking reforms, some of which were designed to control speculation.[1] Some provisions such as Regulation Q, which allowed the Federal Reserve to regulate interest rates in savings accounts, were repealed by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980. Provisions that prohibit a bank holding company from owning other financial companies were repealed on November 12, 1999, by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.[2][3]
I think the last sentence is probably what he is really concentrating on here.
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Old February 12th, 2009 #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathtozog View Post
I think the last sentence is probably what he is really concentrating on here.
Yes, dtz & GL, that was what I had in mind. Glass-Steagall was also mimicked in several other western-style governments (including, I believe, Japan).

The huge part of the fiasco - moreso than freeing the bank holding companies - was the concomittant refusal to provide any regulatory structure (or regulation) for the newly enabled derivative products. Greenspan was a huge influence in allowing this to happen. (Now, like Madeoff, he cries crocodile tears and pretends remorse.) Since there was no law and no regulation of the derivatives, there can be no crime in what happened! The new AG, Holder, has already allowed that there will be no effort to prosecute anything so ordinary as common-law fraud. So all the ripoff artists get to skate back to their Jew York condos (or Tel Aviv) with ill gotten gains 100% intact.


I'll look for the link: China (yes, China!) prohibits the mix of commercial and investment banks!
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Last edited by notmenomore; February 12th, 2009 at 09:02 PM. Reason: spelling & comment
 
Old February 12th, 2009 #266
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I won't past the whole article but a worthwhile read, itz:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ba857be6-f...077b07658.html

Here's the quote:


Quote:

Mr Luo said China intends to maintain its separation of investment and commercial banking based on its observations of the US after repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that enforced a similar division of banking activities.

“To some extent, Glass-Steagall has fuelled the crisis,” Mr Luo said. “The separation of commercial and investment banking is likely to stay longer [in China] than before.” Like senior financial officials in other developing nations – such as Mohammad Al Jasser, vice-governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency – Mr Luo also spoke out against what he called America’s laissez-faire capitalism.

“Government ownership was viewed as something negative but the pendulum is swinging the other way. Perhaps banking is [no different from] public utilities where government participation is necessary,” he said.

“Deregulation in the US has gone a little bit too far. The market can’t be omnipotent.”
Nevertheless, they're still going to buy Kwan paper, since it's the only game in town.
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Old February 12th, 2009 #267
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Of course these Chinese and Saudis don't have to put up with a cacophony of caterwauling kikes every time they turn around.

What does Linder say? No jews, just right?
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Old February 14th, 2009 #268
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CHICAGO (Reuters) - General Motors Corp, nearing a Tuesday deadline to present a viability plan to the U.S. government, is considering as one option a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that would create a new company, the Wall Street Journal said in its Saturday edition.

"One plan includes a Chapter 11 filing that would assemble all of GM's viable assets, including some U.S. brands and international operations, into a new company," the newspaper said. "The undesirable assets would be liquidated or sold under protection of a bankruptcy court. Contracts with bondholders, unions, dealers and suppliers would also be reworked."
Citing "people familiar with the matter," the story said that GM could also ask for additional government funds to stave off a bankruptcy filing.
GM declined to comment, the story said.

General Motors and Chrysler LLC face a Tuesday deadline to file restructuring plans to the government in exchange for receiving $17.4 billion in federal loans.

Automakers have struggled as U.S. auto sales have tumbled amid a recessionary economy. U.S. auto sales in January tumbled to a 27-year low.

GM has been in talks with bondholders and the United Auto Workers union to get an agreement on a restructuring that would wipe out about $28 billion in debt for the auto maker, sources have told Reuters. However, it appears unlikely a deal could be reached by the Tuesday deadline, they said.

GM has already announced plans to cut 10,000 salaried workers worldwide, or 14 percent of its staff, impose pay cuts for most remaining white-collar U.S. workers and has offered buyouts to its 62,000 U.S. workers represented by the UAW.

In addition, it is trying to sell its Hummer SUV and Swedish Saab brands and is reviewing the status of its Saturn brand
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Old February 14th, 2009 #269
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ichard Dai, CEO of SouFun Holdings Ltd., talks to people in his office in Beijing, China, Monday, Feb. 9, 2009. SouFun Holdings Ltd., a real estate web site that is sponsoring a home-buying trip later this month from Beijing to California and New York, has had over 500 applicants of all income levels apply for its overseas tours. Since late 2008, more than 100 local Chinese have traveled with tour groups to the U.S. to view and purchase commercial and residential property and the number is expected to double in the coming months, according to Chen Hang, vice president of real estate at Pittsburgh-based Fortune Group, a real estate company that introduces Chinese to foreclosed commercial property in the U.S.
(AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan
)
BEIJING -- Beijing lawyer Ying Guohua is heading to the United States on a shopping trip, looking not for designer clothes or jewelry, but for a $1 million home in New York City or Los Angeles.
He expects to get a bargain. Ying is part of a growing number of Chinese who are joining tours organized especially for investors who want to take advantage of slumping U.S. real estate prices amid a financial crisis.
"It's a great time to buy because of the financial crisis, and houses in large cities like New York and Los Angeles will definitely go up in a few years," Ying said. The home is an investment, but he's also planning long-term: He hopes his 5-year-old son might use it if he goes to college in the United States.
While China's ultra-rich have been buying property in the U.S. for years, the buying tours are new, made attractive by still-rising Chinese income levels and American real estate prices that have been falling for two and a half years.
More than 100 Chinese buyers have joined such tours since late 2008, according to Chen Hang, the China-born vice president of real estate at Fortune Group. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, company shows foreclosed commercial property to Chinese buyers.
"The Chinese are going to seize the opportunity to take advantage of some great deals," Chen said.
Ying, the Beijing lawyer, is one of 40 investors going to New York, California, Boston and Las Vegas on a Feb. 24-March 6 tour organized by Beijing-based SouFun Holdings Ltd., a real estate Web site. SouFun plans to show participants foreclosed properties priced at $300,000 to $800,000.
"We never thought these tours would garner such interest, but we've had an overwhelming response," said SouFun CEO Richard Dai. "Before, we heard of Chinese or Hong Kong movie stars buying homes in the U.S., and now more and more Chinese can afford to have the same."
The home-buying opportunities mirror a larger trend. Cash-rich Chinese companies are looking to buy resources made suddenly cheaper by the downturn or companies suffering under the global debt meltdown. On Thursday, the Aluminum Corp. of China, also known as Chinalco and the world's leading aluminum producer, invested $19.5 billion in debt-burdened global miner Rio Tinto Group - China's biggest overseas investment to date.
Because the authoritarian government has imposed controls limiting China's exposure to international capital flows, the country has largely avoided the worst of the global financial crisis. Meanwhile, high-level incomes have continued to rise. China had the world's fifth-largest population of millionaires in 2008 with 391,000, up 20 percent from the previous year, according to Boston Consulting Group.
But Chinese with money in the bank have few good investment options at home. Real estate prices have cooled and stock prices peaked in October 2007 after a two-year boom that saw shares rise six-fold in value. After years in which foreign money poured into China to take advantage of the hot economy, economists estimate that tens of billions of dollars began leaving the country in the last three months of 2008 as Chinese investors began bargain-hunting.
Chinese buyers are looking at both commercial property and homes to rent out or use on business trips. And the U.S. has plenty of unsold homes to offer - 3.67 million as of the end of December, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Many buyers are unfamiliar with U.S. markets, so they focus on well-known ethnic Chinese neighborhoods, according to John Wu, president of the Chinese American Real Estate Professionals Association in San Gabriel, Calif.
Lion's Property Development Group in New York City organizes Chinese groups to visit New York homes. The company also treats visitors to Broadway shows and famous restaurants in hopes that they will take to the city and buy a $1 million to $2.5 million home.
Trips are pricey. Ying, the lawyer, paid $2,200 - nearly the equivalent of the annual income for many Chinese - plus airfare.
Participants in a 10-day January tour organized by Beijing-based Environment International Travel Agency had to show proof of an annual income of at least $30,000 and that they owned a car and property in China.
A real estate developer from the southern city of Changsha said he spent $3,500 for the 10-day trip to view $500,000 to $1 million homes, and it worked.
He found a house in California's Silicon Valley that he planned to buy for his 20-year-old daughter, a university student in Boston who plans on attending graduate school in the Bay area.
"My daughter's monthly rent is $1,000, so it makes sense to buy a place, because I'm getting a return rather than throwing money away," said the developer. He would talk on condition that he be identified only by his surname, Zeng.
The price of the house, he said, was $1 million, compared with $1.3 million before the crisis in early 2007.
"The price is low now, but it's in a good neighborhood with breathtaking views, so it will definitely appreciate," he said.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/nation...erty_hunt.html
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Old February 14th, 2009 #270
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090214/...autos_bailouts

AP source: UAW walks away from GM concession talks
By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT – Negotiators for the United Auto Workers walked out of concession talks with General Motors Corp. Friday night in a dispute over payments to a union-administered retiree health care fund, a person briefed on the talks said Saturday.

The breakdown comes at a critical time as GM races against a Tuesday deadline to submit a plan to the government showing how it can become viable.

The Detroit-based auto giant is living on $9.4 billion in government loans, and the Treasury Department must approve its viability plan for GM to get $4 billion more. Chrysler LLC, which has received $4 billion in government loans and wants an additional $3 billion, faces the same deadline.

At GM, UAW negotiators walked away because the company made demands that were "detrimental to retirees and the ability to provide health care," according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

GM spokesman Tony Sapienza would say only that GM is working on its viability plan.
 
Old February 14th, 2009 #271
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It's pretty obvious that the UAW is about to be busted. Probably just one of the many things planned by the recession's architects.
 
Old February 14th, 2009 #272
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These fucking unions (a very jewy thing in and of themselves) have cut off their noses to spite their faces. Fuck em. I have worked since age 15. I have never been union, nor do I have need of them. I talk to my employer. If I don't like the deal they offer, I go work elsewhere. Look at Michigan, a union state if there ever was one....

Ok, on to Japan.

Quote:
Japanese economy in free fall
Tokyo's GDP faces steepest drop since '74
David M. Dickson THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Sunday, February 15, 2009

Japan, the world's second-biggest economy, will likely report on Monday that its fourth-quarter output plunged at an annual rate of nearly 12 percent, according to a survey of economic forecasters.

As world demand for imported goods collapses, the export-dependent economy of Japan has been hammered. The survey forecast that Japan's gross domestic product plummeted 11.7 percent during the October-December period. That would be three times steeper than the decline experienced in the United States during the fourth quarter.

Japan probably suffered its worst quarter since the oil shock of 1974, when Arab OPEC members slashed output in response to the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, according to the consensus of market forecasts. The October-December period will mark the third consecutive quarterly decline in Japan's economic output.

"Japan is likely mired in its deepest recession since it emerged from the devastation of the Second World War," Wachovia Economics Group said in a report issued Friday.

Japanese ministries and Japan's central bank have been reporting dreadful numbers and forecasts in recent weeks.

Exports collapsed at a record pace in December, plummeting 35 percent from December 2007 levels. It was the steepest fall on record, far surpassing November's plunge of 27 percent.

A worldwide recession has dried up demand for Japan's autos and electronics. Japanese exports to the United States in December were down 37 percent from year-earlier levels as auto shipments plunged more than 50 percent and audio-equipment exports declined more than 60 percent.

As exports collapsed, industrial production fell off a cliff. Japanese manufacturers cut output 9.6 percent in December, compared with November. It was the largest monthly drop since the government began compiling the data in 1953. Manufacturing production was expected to fall a further 9.1 percent in January, the government said.

Household spending dropped nearly 5 percent in December, marking the 10th consecutive month of decline. Not surprisingly, business investment is falling as well.

"The fallout from the worldwide recession has rippled through the Japanese job market," Economy Minister Kaoru Yosano said late last month.


Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index closed Friday nearly 50 percent below its 52-week high.

One after another, premier Japanese companies have been announcing massive job cuts.

NEC, the global electronics giant, will lay off 20,000 workers, half of them in Japan, where the unemployment rate jumped from 3.8 percent in November to 4.4 percent in December. It was the biggest monthly jump in more than four decades.

Sony will close 10 percent of its factories around the world and slash 8,000 jobs. Pioneer, another electronics giant, announced Friday it was slashing its work force by 10,000 employees. Toshiba is laying off 4,500 contract workers in Japan. Nissan, which said last month that it was cutting domestic auto production by 64,000 vehicles in February and March, is reducing its global work force by 20,000 jobs.

A surging yen has exacerbated the collapse in demand for Japan's exports by making its products more expensive overseas. Because exports have been falling much faster than imports, Japan recorded trade deficits during the last three months of 2008.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index closed at 7,779 Friday, nearly 50 percent below its 52-week high. The Nikkei 225 peaked at nearly 39,000 in late 1989.

And if all of this weren't bad enough, the Wachovia report predicted that "Japan appears headed for another bout of mild deflation," or falling prices, which were associated with Japan's "lost decade" of the 1990s after the bursting of its stock-market and housing bubbles.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...-in-free-fall/
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Old February 15th, 2009 #273
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WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- You know things are bad when the best economic news over the coming week is likely to be a report showing that consumers paid higher prices for goods and services. Any hopes that the economy is beginning to bottom will probably be quashed by the data due in the coming week, which are likely to show further worsening in the housing industry, manufacturing and employment, economists say.

The most meaningful news could come at mid-week, when President Barack Obama outlines his government's plans to reduce home foreclosures, and possibly in the process, put a floor under the economy.

As for the regularly scheduled releases for the week, "the data flow suggests no let-up in the recession," wrote Ethan Harris, co-head of domestic economics for Barclays Capital. "Economic releases will be generally tilted on the downside," agreed Brian Bethune and Nigel Gault, U.S. economists for IHS Global Insight.

The major releases -- housing starts, industrial production and jobless claims -- should be as bad as any in the past 25 years.

Housing

The home building industry is still collapsing, according to two major indicators. Home builders are still as pessimistic as ever. Construction on new homes has fallen to the lowest levels since just after World War II, and is likely to weaken further in January, economists said.

After falling to a record-low of 550,000 annualized in December, housing starts are expected to fall another 5% to 525,000 in January, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The figures will be released on Wednesday. See Economic Calendar.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders will release its monthly sentiment survey, which has fallen to record low levels, with fewer than one in 10 builders confident about the business. A couple of economists are looking for an increase in housing starts because they think the reported 44% decline in starts of apartments and condos over the past three months overstates the reality. However, "we do not believe there has been any fundamental improvement in the housing market," said Peter D'Antonio, an economist for Citigroup Global Markets.

Builders are trying to reduce the supply of new homes, but can't seem to stay ahead of the glut of older homes coming on the market because of foreclosures. Some of the major lenders have announced they'll forgo any foreclosures for the next month or so to give the government a chance to a plan in place to prevent some of the millions of foreclosures still expected. See full story on foreclosure moratorium.

Manufacturing

Industrial production is expected to have plunged again in January after falling 7% in the past six months. The automakers essentially took half the month off, and assemblies of new vehicles probably skidded to the lowest level in 32 years, according to Global Insight. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were looking for a decline of 1.7%, following a 2% drop in December. The figures will be released Wednesday.

It will "only get worse over the coming months as the global recession squeezes demand both at home and abroad," wrote Meny Grauman, an economist for CIBC World Markets. Total hours worked in the manufacturing sector is seen falling 2.1% in January, with the number of jobs down in almost every industrial sector.

The capacity utilization rate in the factory sector probably fell to the lowest level since 1982, and close to the lowest ever in the 60-year history of the industrial production report, said Citigroup's D'Antonio.

Layoffs

The weekly jobless claims figures should command slightly more attention than usual, with the report covering the same week that the Bureau of Labor Statistics canvasses hundreds of thousands of households and businesses for its monthly employment report for February. MarketWatch doesn't survey economists for their predictions of the claims data, but continuing claims have been at record high levels -- at nearly 5 million -- while initial claims have settled above 600,000 per week.

Inflation

Energy prices have stopped falling, which means the consumer price index and the producer price index could show increases for the first time in months. The CPI is expected to rise 0.3%, and the PPI 0.4%, according to economists.

Core inflation -- which looks at the underlying inflation rate by stripping out food and energy prices -- should be relatively tame, rising just 0.1% for both the core CPI and core PPI, the survey says. Consumer prices in January were likely 0.1% lower than they were a year before, the first year-over-year decline since 1955. Core prices haven't fallen, but the increases have been slowing.

"We project that the core inflation rate will slip below 1% this year, with a considerable risk that the rate will approach zero," D'Antonio wrote. The Federal Reserve has warned it sees a risk of near-term deflation, but there's not much more they can do about that risk. The danger in the medium- and longer-term, of course, is that massive increases in the money supply and in the federal deficit will be inflationary.
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/stor...8AAF25A747F%7D
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Old February 15th, 2009 #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathtozog View Post
Inflation

Energy prices have stopped falling, which means the consumer price index and the producer price index could show increases for the first time in months. The CPI is expected to rise 0.3%, and the PPI 0.4%, according to economists.

Core inflation -- which looks at the underlying inflation rate by stripping out food and energy prices -- should be relatively tame, rising just 0.1% for both the core CPI and core PPI, the survey says. Consumer prices in January were likely 0.1% lower than they were a year before, the first year-over-year decline since 1955. Core prices haven't fallen, but the increases have been slowing.

"We project that the core inflation rate will slip below 1% this year, with a considerable risk that the rate will approach zero," D'Antonio wrote. The Federal Reserve has warned it sees a risk of near-term deflation, but there's not much more they can do about that risk. The danger in the medium- and longer-term, of course, is that massive increases in the money supply and in the federal deficit will be inflationary.
I´ve read in Der Spiegel that 2010 and beyond could bring 6% inflation per year because of all the government debt being created.

What´s bugging me right now is the thought that this recession, depression, whatever you want to call it, could last several years, maybe even ten or more years. I don’t see any growth bringing trends on the near horizon, no new market changing technology, China is starting to mature, India will always be a dysfunctional stain of curried shit, Brazil is full of criminals and niggers, and the West is literally drowning under an ocean of debt and miss investment.
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Old February 15th, 2009 #275
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The West is also drowning (Amerikwa, anyway) under criminal niggers just like Brazil.

You are correct, IMO, though. No new tricks to pull out of the hat to turn things around.

War got Amerikwa out last time. I guess the jews will tell Mr. Obongo where to send the troops.
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Old February 15th, 2009 #276
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At least 200,000 stores and 2,000 to 3,000 malls will close in the United States this year, the bulk of them in the next few months, forecasts Burt Flickinger III, managing director of New York consulting firm Strategic Resource Group.

"In the more marginal malls, a quarter to a half of the space will have the lights turned off, and then you'll see whole abandoned shopping centers," he said.

After one of their worst holiday seasons in decades, few retailers are in expansion mode and few banks are eager to hand stores cash, so much of the space is likely to sit empty for the foreseeable future.

That will place considerable pressure on landlords - especially those who bought or developed buildings near the top of the market.

Publicly traded mall real estate investment trusts hold more than $23 billion in debt coming due this year and next, according to a report by Newport Beach (Orange County) real estate research and consulting firm Green Street Advisors.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&type=business
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Old February 15th, 2009 #277
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2....

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s resignation from debt-laden Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. may kill the $270 million sale of the company’s Trump Marina Hotel Casino.

The price of the sale includes the settlement of a lawsuit Trump Entertainment filed against the property’s buyer, Richard T. Fields. The deal, inked in May for $316 million and discounted in October, was viewed by some analysts as overpriced for the Atlantic City, New Jersey, property, which Fields’ Coastal Marina LLC planned to refurbish into a Margaritaville casino resort.

Trump Entertainment’s lawsuit alleged that Fields had done improper deals with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to develop two Hard Rock casinos. Donald Trump had earlier hired Fields to help the company win development deals with the American Indian tribe.

Bondholders, who may push Trump Entertainment into involuntary bankruptcy this week, would be stuck with all three casinos in the declining Atlantic City market should Trump’s unusually structured sale fall through.

“I strongly disagree with the bondholders’ decisions and actions,” Trump said in a phone interview yesterday. “Part of the reason that these bondholders can’t make a deal is they’ve lost so much money on other deals, they’ve lost so much money on this deal, and they’re probably going to lose so much money on other deals, that my impression is they don’t care.”

The lawsuit has been placed on hold pending closure of the sale in May, and will be dropped with prejudice should the deal be completed as disclosed, regulatory filings show.

Walk Away

Fields may walk away from the deal because of Trump’s departure from the company’s board and the decline of Atlantic City gambling revenues, a person familiar with matter told Bloomberg News. Calls to Coastal Marina’s office weren’t returned yesterday.

Gambling revenue in the seaside resort city fell a record 7.6 percent in 2008, the second straight annual decline as the recession deterred some gamblers, and slot-machine competition from nearby states wooed others. The decline continued in January, with revenue down 9.4 percent.

Trump Marina is a 27-story hotel with a casino, theatre, nightclub, and spa on 14 acres in Atlantic City.

Analysts including Fitch Ratings’ Michael Paladino, and Gimme Credit LLC’s Kimberly Noland have questioned the likelihood of the sale closing since the deal was first disclosed in May.

The lawsuit is referred to as “Power Plant Litigation” in Trump Entertainment regulatory filings, in reference to Power Plant Entertainment LLC, a collaboration between Coastal Marina and the Cordish Co. that built Hard Rock casino hotels in Hollywood and Tampa, Florida with the Seminoles after Fields left Trump.

Trump Lawsuit

Trump Entertainment’s TER Development is suing for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and interference with prospective business relationship in the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial District for Broward County, Florida, company filings show.

Donald Trump resigned from the board of debt-laden Trump Entertainment on Feb. 13, saying he has nothing to do with the company anymore.

Trump’s departure comes ahead of a Feb. 17 deadline to make a $53 million interest payment and after bondholders rejected his offer to buy the company. The target has been extended four times since an initial grace period ended Dec. 31. If an agreement can’t be reached over the weekend Trump Entertainment may file for Chapter 11 early next week, or the bondholders may force it into involuntary bankruptcy, a person familiar with the discussions said.

Buyout Rebuffed

Trump controls 28 percent of the stock, according to a March 21 regulatory filing. His daughter, Ivanka Trump, also quit the board, according to an e-mailed statement. Trump offered to buy the rest of the company and was turned down by bondholders, he said in an interview.

Tom Hickey, a spokesman for Trump Entertainment, Chief Executive Officer Mark Juliano and Chief Financial Officer John Burke didn’t return phone messages left Feb. 13 and yesterday.

“Unless we’re going to be responsible for management it’s just not something that’s worthwhile,” Trump, 62, said in an interview Feb. 13. The Atlantic City, New Jersey-based casino operator said in December it needed to conserve cash and hold debt-restructuring talks with lenders.

‘It’s a Disaster’

Trump said the fate of Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino Hotel and the under-construction Revel Entertainment LLC project factored into his decision to leave Trump Entertainment.

“It’s a disaster and I see what’s happened with so many others, and I don’t want to be a part of it,” Trump said.

Tropicana Entertainment LLC was pushed into bankruptcy after being stripped of its New Jersey gambling license. State officials said in December 2007 that the Tropicana Casino Hotel’s service and cleanliness had declined and the property wasn’t being run according to state regulations.

Revel Entertainment last month suspended interior work, unable to secure needed financing to finish construction at the 20-acre boardwalk site. Revel had been scheduled to open mid- 2010.

Trump is “not thrilled” the company may continue to use his name, he said.

Trump Entertainment’s three casinos have been through bankruptcy twice. Holders of most of company’s $1.25 billion in notes and Beal Bank Nevada, which is owed $490 million, have agreed not to exercise default rights for interest or principal payments until 9 a.m. New York time on Feb. 17.

‘Bad Decisions’

The company’s market value has tumbled to $7.3 million from its peak at $842 million in August 2005.

Trump Entertainment’s 8.5 percent notes due June 2015 traded at 14 cents on the dollar Feb. 13, according to Trace, the bond-pricing system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Bondholder representatives “have made a series of bad decisions and encouraged wasteful spending, which has led to severe problems within the company,” Trump said in the statement. “The company is no longer operated to a standard consistent with other of my holdings.”

Legal and consulting fees “will suck the blood from the company” as Atlantic City “tanks and competition from local markets grows,” he said.

Past Bankruptcy

Trump Entertainment emerged from bankruptcy 3 1/2 years ago. Its predecessor, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc., sought court protection in November 2004. It had lost money for nine years because of high interest payments that Trump claimed prevented the company from refurbishing and expanding its casinos.

The three casino resorts also went through bankruptcy in the 1990s.

The company’s biggest bond investors include Franklin Mutual Advisers Inc., Northeast Investors Trust and Massachusetts Financial Services, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Representatives of bond investors Northeast Investors Trust, Putnam Investments LLC and the John Han**** High Yield Fund couldn’t be reached for comment after business hours.

Bondholders hired Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP law firm to file the involuntary bankruptcy documents, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Trump Entertainment hired law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP as bankruptcy counsel.
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Mr Luo, speaking at the Global Association of Risk Management’s 10th Annual Risk Management Convention, said: “Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold?” he asked. “Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.”

Mr Luo, whose English tends toward the colloquial, added: “We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion-$2 trillion [$1,000bn-$2,000bn] . . .we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do.”

However, Mr Luo said Chinese officials would encourage its banks to finance domestic mergers and acquisitions rather than provide rescue finance to distressed financial companies in other countries: “There will be no bottom-fishing of financial institutions, particularly in the US, because there is a lot of uncertainty about the quality of the books.”

The bolded paragraph, particularly, was removed. Completely. I know because a copy was originally emailed to me. Note: Reuters did not disclose that this was an updated version of the release, nor did they change the timestamp on it from Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:22am EST, yet I can confirm the story has changed since 6:56pm on the 13th.

It seems like Reuters couldn't take the heat on how touchy this barely-balanced standoff between the US and China is, and how the runaway deficit spending threatens devaluation or hyperinflation.

Or maybe someone told them this part had to go.

Update: The full version of the quote can still be found in this FT version of the remarks.

Update 2: John from HousingDoom points out that this isn't the first time in recent memory that negative news about Treasuries has been snipped from a major wire service. It isn't disturbing to me that the government wants to minimize concern aMr Luo, speaking at the Global Association of Risk Management’s 10th Annual Risk Management Convention, said: “Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold?” he asked. “Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.”

Mr Luo, whose English tends toward the colloquial, added: “We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion-$2 trillion [$1,000bn-$2,000bn] . . .we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do.”

However, Mr Luo said Chinese officials would encourage its banks to finance domestic mergers and acquisitions rather than provide rescue finance to distressed financial companies in other countries: “There will be no bottom-fishing of financial institutions, particularly in the US, because there is a lot of uncertainty about the quality of the books.”

The bolded paragraph, particularly, was removed. Completely. I know because a copy was originally emailed to me. Note: Reuters did not disclose that this was an updated version of the release, nor did they change the timestamp on it from Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:22am EST, yet I can confirm the story has changed since 6:56pm on the 13th.

It seems like Reuters couldn't take the heat on how touchy this barely-balanced standoff between the US and China is, and how the runaway deficit spending threatens devaluation or hyperinflation.

Or maybe someone told them this part had to go.

Update: The full version of the quote can still be found in this FT version of the remarks.

Update 2: John from HousingDoom points out that this isn't the first time in recent memory that negative news about Treasuries has been snipped from a major wire service. It isn't disturbing to me that the government wants to minimize concern about the area where virtually all funding pressure is building in our economy. What is disturbing is that private wire services are pliantly censoring concern about these pressures, which are really just simple statements about supply and demand as pertains to Treasuries. Thank God for blogs...

Update 3: Yes, it happened -- here's a video record of Rep. Dan Burton reading out the shocking remarks on the floor of Congress.

bout the area where virtually all funding pressure is building in our economy. What is disturbing is that private wire services are pliantly censoring concern about these pressures, which are really just simple statements about supply and demand as pertains to Treasuries. Thank God for blogs...

Update 3: Yes, it happened -- here's a video record of Rep. Dan Burton reading out the shocking remarks on the floor of Congress.
http://ml-implode.com/viewnews/2009-...sOnUSTrea.html
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TOKYO/DETROIT, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) offered buyouts to some 18,000 U.S. workers and said it would cut pay for executives and blue-collar workers in North America, and an analyst warned it may soon cut working hours in Japan.

The world's No.1 automaker, struggling as the global credit crunch sends auto sales sliding, said it would shut down production for more days in April at plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico and would cut executive pay and bonuses.

"The global economy is in a once-in-a-century situation ... Nobody knows if these steps will be enough given the uncertain outlook," said Shotaro Noguchi, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities.

"Inventory levels are still high, and a recovery in demand is not in sight yet. Toyota may have to adopt work-sharing in Japan in line with production cuts, at the same time as reducing overtime work."

The cost-cutting underscores how the world's top automaker and a perennial blue chip in a notoriously volatile sector is struggling amid the worst auto slump in decades.

Toyota said the North American moves were intended to keep as many of its North American workers on the payroll as possible.

"We hope the new measures will help us adjust while protecting jobs," Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing Vice President Jim Wiseman said.

Toyota is on track to post an operating loss of some $4.95 billion for the year to March 31, the first group-wide operating loss in its 70-year history.

Shares of the world's largest carmaker ended flat on Friday, underperforming a 0.5 percent rise in Tokyo's transport equipment subindex .ITEQP.T.

Noguchi said Toyota's North American announcement detailed previously disclosed plans to cut costs by 500 billion yen ($5.5 billion) in the year from April 1.

Toyota said on Feb. 6 it would slash fixed costs, including labour and other costs, by 10 percent in the year to March 2010, partly by reviewing employment terms globally. [ID:nT115762]

SLIDING SALES

The automaker has cut North American production of top-selling cars such as the Camry and Corolla after sales in the United States, its largest market, fell 15 percent in 2008.

It has also suspended work on a new plant in Mississippi that was due to produce its Prius hybrid car beginning in 2010. Rivals Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T) and Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) have also been forced to cut output. Continued...

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssConsu....
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Budget writers in the Legislature are dealing with a lot of uncertainty as they draw up a spending plan for the 2009-11 biennium -- but they're pretty certain things will be even worse than anticipated by Gov. Chris Gregoire when she proposed her severely straitened budget in December.

That's because tax collections continue to fall short of expected levels because of the recession, making even the most pessimistic revenue forecasts look too optimistic.

In the short term, that means deeper cuts will be needed to finish in the black at the close of the current biennium, which ends June 30. In the longer term, it means putting together a 2009-11 budget that could be as much as $8.5 billion short of the amount needed to maintain the current level of services through the next two years.

What will that budget look like?

"Pick a bad adjective, look it up in your thesaurus and then pick a worse one," House Finance Committee Chairman Ross Hunter, D-Bellevue, said last week. His choice: "horrific."

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Margarita Prentice, D- Renton, settled on "horrendous" to describe the impending budget cuts. "My expectation is that we will be making some heartbreaking decisions," she said. "Taking votes we figured we would never, ever have to take."

There is a potential source of light amid the gloom: The Obamaadministration's economic stimulus package, which was approved by Congress last week. But Hunter, for one, isn't counting on that to save the day. He said any money coming to the state could arrive with strings attached -- or, in the case of money for highway construction, for example, won't have a direct effect on the operating budget, which doesn't include transportation projects.

Gregoire's trimmed-back, $33.5 billion December budget is $5.8 billion short of the amount needed to continue existing services at their current level in 2009-11. But that was based, Hunter said, on a midrange revenue projection, between the optimistic and pessimistic extremes. As it happens, he said, the events tied to the most pessimistic forecast, such as layoffs in high tech and aerospace, have come to pass, or -- as in the case of nationwide housing starts in December -- have turned out to be even worse than what was factored into the projections.

Taking into account that steeper downward trend (and doubling Gregoire's proposed $500 million cash reserve to guard against future oscillations) widens the $5.8 billion cap to about $8.5 billion, Hunter said. With some areas of spending protected by constitutional mandates or court decisions, such as kindergar- ten-through-12th-grade education, debt service and pension contributions, the burden falls on the rest of the budget, such as higher education, corrections, public safety or environmental protection.

So, Hunter said, the Legislature could look at reducing prison costs by releasing nonviolent offenders and keeping tabs on them electronically. But the majority Democrats have not reached a consensus on cuts, he said: "I really don't have a handle on exactly what we're going to do."

Prentice thinks the cuts relative to current services may be in the range of $7 billion to $8 billion.

"Everybody is still in denial about the depth and seriousness of what this is going to mean," she said. "It's, 'Don't cut us because we're special'; well, everybody's special."

The alternative to cutting spending is increasing revenue by raising taxes. Prentice said there's talk of putting together a list of endangered programs the public might support and then asking for a vote to approve the taxes to finance them. But Hunter said Gregoire has clearly said she doesn't want any tax increases.

A spokeswoman for Gregoire said it's premature to talk about an $8 billion budget shortfall in 2009-11. But Gregoire is reading the dismal revenue reports, the spokeswoman said, adding, "She wants people to understand that it's going to get worse before it gets better."

Part of what's getting worse is the financial situation for the four-plus months remaining in the current budget cycle. Last fall, pessimistic forecasts put revenue at $300 million less than previously anticipated for the balance of the cycle -- but the numbers came up $200 million short in the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, Hunter said.

"That's a cash-flow issue," he said. "You actually can't run out of cash money." That means immediate cuts to curtail spending.

"The actions you have to take as the end gets closer and closer and the gaps get bigger and bigger get harsher and harsher," Hunter said.

The next official revenue forecast is scheduled for mid-March, but the Legislature has asked for an interim projection Thursday.

One major issue the Legislature has acted on already would seem to conflict with the picture Hunter and Prentice paint: increasing spending on unemployment compensation by raising the payouts to jobless workers. But that money comes from a separate trust fund, outside the budget, that is financed by payroll taxes, and administrators say it's healthy enough to provide for the expanded benefits.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/...deficit16.html
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