Some big companies say worst is over, others disagree (WSJ). Good anecdotal quotes. More fodder for both crowds: “green shoots” and “sucker’s rally”.
Stress test assumptions designed to protect Wall Street, shaft regional banks (AP). Stress tests reportedly much harsher on whole loans than securities, which helps the big money-centre folks and hurts regionals. More ammo for those who say Washington is in Wall Street’s pocket.
Global markets basically flat (AP). Not much follow-up to yesterday’s rebound.
House prices still plummeting, says NYT’s David Leonhardt, who went to some auctions to see. No surprise here. Another 20% fall seems likely, especially in markets that haven’t cracked yet (like New York).
Flint Michigan’s solution for housing crisis: bulldoze whole neighborhoods (NYT). Startling, but effective, especially in cities that aren’t likely to come back. Reduces supply and blight, concentrates people in more vibrant neighborhoods.
Chrysler debtholders tell auto task force to go screw themselves (WSJ). Bondholders counter Obama administration demand that they voluntarily cancel 85% of debt with an offer to exchange 35% of it for an equity stake. Quite a bid-ask spread.
Car czar Rattner and Quadrangle in more hot water over NY pension kickback scheme (TBI). This one hasn’t caught fire in the mainstream media yet, but it could. Quadrangle’s customers may also decide to yank money from the firm (decision Friday)
Citi’s Pandit vows not to get fired. Can’t say he’s not a fighter.
$48 VIP meals at the new Citi field. But Danny Meyer Shake Shack burger on sale for only $6.
Those green shoots will die, says Martin Wolf (FT). “Is the worst behind us? In a word, No. The rate of economic decline is decelerating. But it is too soon even to be sure of a turnround, let alone of a return to rapid growth. Yet more remote is elimination of excess capacity. Most remote of all is an end to deleveraging. Complacency is perilous. These are still early days…”