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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Economy Watch: June 7, 2009 - June 13, 2009

Chrysler: Rural Customers Will Still Have Dealers Close By

UPDATED at 2:26 p.m. Chrysler president Jim Press testified moments ago before the House Energy committee that, even after he closes 768 dealerships, Chrysler owners who live in rural areas will have to drive only .94 miles to reach another...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 12, 2009; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Fritz Henderson, GM, Jim Press  
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Consumer Confidence Highest In Nine Months

U.S. consumer confidence reached its highest level in nine months, and represents the third straight month of increases. The preliminary June numbers, prepared by the University of Michigan and Reuters, are slightly below economists' expectations and remain below the levels...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 12, 2009; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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Summers: I Don't Want To 'Supplant Or Replace' Markets

National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers defended the Obama administration’s approach to the financial crisis while laying out some of the thinking behind its upcoming proposal to overhaul financial regulation today, The Post's David Cho reports. He said the initiatives...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 12, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Lawrence Summers, Obama  
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GM Near Deal to Sell Saab

General Motors could be nearing a sale of its Swedish unit Saab. In a statement titled “A new investor for Saab?” the company acknowledged this morning that speculation surrounding the deal has reached “fever pitch.” “To set the record...

By Sara Goo  |  June 12, 2009; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Markets Open Slightly Down

Wall Street opened down this morning, as the markets continued to move sideways since the beginning of the month. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was down 23 points, or a third of a percent. The broader...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 12, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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B of A CEO Lewis Hammered On Hill Over Merrill Lynch Merger

UPDATED at 1:30 p.m.: Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) just wrapped up the three-and-half-hour hearing of his Oversight committee grilling of Bank of America chief executive Ken Lewis, trying to determine if he felt pressured by federal officials to conclude his...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 11, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bank of America, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Ken Lewis, Merrill Lynch  
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World Bank: Global Economy To Shrink 3 Percent in 2009

The global economy is on track to shrink 3 percent by the end of this year, the World Bank said this morning, a figure significantly greater than the 1.75 percent contraction predicted by the bank earlier this year, The Post's...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 11, 2009; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: World Bank  
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Markets Open Up

Wall Street opened up this morning as it attempts to regain momentum in the rally that began in early March. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is up about 80 points or nearly 1 percent. The broader...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 11, 2009; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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House GOP: Paulson, Bernanke 'Put a Gun to the Head' of Bank of America to Force Merrill Lynch Merger

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson placed "inappropriate pressure" on Bank of America to go ahead with its $50 billion acquisition of troubled brokerage Merrill Lynch last December, preventing a reluctant Bank of America chief executive Ken...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 10, 2009; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bank of America, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Ken Lewis, Merrill Lynch  
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New GM Chair: 'I Don't Know Anything About Cars'

Edward E. Whitacre Jr. the new chairman of GM admitted that he knows nothing about the auto industry. “I don’t know anything about cars,” Whitacre, 67, said in a Tuesday interview, Bloomberg said. “A business is a business, and I...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 10, 2009; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: AT&T, Edward Whitacre, GM  
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Chrysler, Fiat Sign Deal, Get Down To Business

UPDATED at 10:16 a.m. with official statement: Chrysler has concluded its breakneck bankruptcy and this morning signed the deal to transfer its good assets to Italian automaker Fiat. The deal concludes hours after the Supreme Court lifted its stay late...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 10, 2009; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bob Nardelli, Chrysler, Fiat  
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Taxpayers to Take Big Ownership Stake in Citigroup

The federal government will own about 34 percent of Citigroup after the troubled mega-bank completes a stock-swap exchange it is beginning today. Citigroup plans to convert $58 billion of its preferred stock into common stock as a way of raising...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 10, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Citigroup, Vikram Pandit  
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The Case Of the Mysterious Flaming SEC E-Mail

UPDATED with e-mail excerpts, further SEC reaction at 9:27 p.m.: NOTE: The Ticker initially decided not to publish the content of the e-mail discussed here because its source could not be verified. But after consulting with top editors here at...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 9, 2009; 9:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Linda Thomsen, Mary Schapiro, SEC  
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Bank Of America -- and Taxpayers -- Paying Mozilo's Legal Bills

Bank of America is paying the legal fees of Angelo Mozilo, founder of Countrywide Financial, which was purchased by Bank of America last year, the bank said today. Mozilo is facing civil charges of securities fraud and insider trading and...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 9, 2009; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Angelo Mozilo, Bank of America, Countrywide  
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BB&T, Morgan Stanley, Others Say Treasury Will Let Them Repay Bailout

UPDATED at 11:06 a.m. with all 10 banks: Regional bank BB&T is the first to announce today that the Treasury Department will let it pay back the bailout money it was given. Capital One followed shortly after, saying it too,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 9, 2009; 11:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: BB&T, Capital One, Morgan Stanley, Treasury, U.S. Bancorp  
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Markets Open Modestly Up as Treasury Lets 10 Banks Pay Back Bailout

Wall Street opened modestly up this morning, as traders awaited the federal government's announcement of which banks it will allow to pay back bailout money. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up 27 points, or about...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 9, 2009; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: dow, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Fiat: We Won't Walk Away From Chrysler

Italian automaker Fiat said that it will stick with its agreement to buy into Chrysler, despite yesterday's Supreme Court ruling staying the deal. "Fiat won't walk away from Chrysler," Fiat spokesman Gualberto Ranieri said in Milan, the Associated Press reported....

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 9, 2009; 9:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: chrysler, fiat  
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Live Blogging: Dealers Back In Court

This morning, Chrysler is in federal bankruptcy court asking for Judge Arthur Gonzalez's approval to terminate agreements with 789 dealers starting today. The hearing follows hours of testimony last Thursday from rejected dealers. Although the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday extended...

By Dan Beyers  |  June 9, 2009; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Supreme Court Stalls Chrysler-Fiat Deal

The Supreme Court ruled moments ago that Chrysler cannot yet sell most of its assets to Fiat, a move that has been opposed by three Indiana state pension and construction funds. The ruling grants a stay in the sale as...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 8, 2009; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Fiat  
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Credit Card Delinquency Spikes

The delinquency rate for bank-issued credit cards jumped 11 percent in the first three months of this year, credit-rating agency TransUnion said this morning. The percentage of credit card customers who are three or more months past due on their...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 8, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: american express, credit cards, equifax, experian, mastercard, transunion, visa  
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Markets Open Down on Big Banks News

Wall Street opened the unofficial second week of summer with downward pressure on the markets, as they await more White House word on the health of U.S. banks. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was down nearly...

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 8, 2009; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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