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

Economy Watch: July 5, 2009 - July 11, 2009

AIG in Talks With U.S. Over Another $250 Million in Bonuses

BY BRADY DENNIS WASHINGTON POST STAFF WRITER American International Group’s recent discussions with President Obama’s compensation czar have centered on whether the company should pay about $250 million in promised bonuses that come due during the next nine months....

By Mike Shepard  |  July 10, 2009; 9:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Geithner: No, Really -- the Stimulus Is Right On Track

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told two congressional committees this morning that President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus bill is right on track. This, despite an unexpected jump in June unemployment, sinking stock markets, sagging consumer sentiment and growing concerns among...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 10, 2009; 4:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Kevin Bacon, Obama, Tim Geithner, stimulus plan  
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Consumer Confidence Dips to Lowest Level Since March

Consumer confidence in early July retreated back to sour spring levels, indicating that it's not just Wall Street traders who are not trusting this so-called recovery. The preliminary July index of confidence fell to 64.6 from 70.8 in June, according...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 10, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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'New GM' Launched With Frank News Conference

The new General Motors -- the post-bankruptcy, largely government-owned, four-brands-instead-of-eight GM -- opened for business this morning and the company just held a news conference to describe the way forward. A surprisingly frank news conference, it turns out. It is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 10, 2009; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Fritz Henderson, General Motors  
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Markets Open Mixed

Wall Street opened mixed this morning, as the markets digest the nature of the new, post-bankruptcy GM and await preliminary July consumer confidence numbers, out later this morning. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down about...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 10, 2009; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, consumer confidence, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Economy Puts Annual 'Billionaire Summer Camp' In Glum Mood

Back when The Ticker covered the media and entertainment industries here at The Post, we always intended to go out to Sun Valley, Idaho, for the annual Allen & Co. summit of media titans. It has been known as "summer...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 9, 2009; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Allen & Co., Barry Diller, Bob Iger, Bob Johnson, CBS, Disney, Jeff Zucker, Les Moonves, News Corp., Rupert Murdoch  
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'Good GM' Out Of Bankruptcy In 36 Days

General Motors has emerged from Chapter 11 restructuring bankruptcy in 36 days, beating Chrysler's exit from bankruptcy by six days, thanks to your taxpayer dollars. Though some futile last-minute appeals remain, GM was essentially cleared to sell its good assets...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 9, 2009; 2:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, General Motors, Rick Wagoner  
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Bush Official: Second Stimulus a Bad Idea

Ed Lazear, top economic adviser to former President George W. Bush, is a conservative, free-market economist. While his beliefs may not typically appeal to those on the left, his argument against a second stimulus in today's Wall Street Journal may...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 9, 2009; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Edward Lazear, Obama, stimulus plan  
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Buffett: Second Stimulus May Be Needed

Add super-investor Warren Buffett's voice to the growing chorus broadly hinting that a second taxpayer-funded economic stimulus may be needed, even as the effectiveness of the first one is being debated. "I think a second one may well be called...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 9, 2009; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, stimulus plan, unemployment  
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Markets Open Flat

Wall Street opened flat, possibly digesting weak June retail numbers released this morning. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is down about 5 points, or an insignificant percentage. The broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq are...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 9, 2009; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Costco, Dow Jones, Target, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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July 9, 2009

The Washington Post staff share their picks for reading around the Web. Why Homeowners Walk Away University of Chicago | This study draws a few conclusions about why some people walk away from their homes if they are underwater...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  July 9, 2009; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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Alcoa Kicks Off Q2 Earnings Season in Fine Not-As-Bad-As-Expected Form

Per custom, aluminum giant Alcoa kicked off earnings season today, reporting a third straight quarter of losses -- as expected -- but reported not-as-bad-as-expected revenue and profit. For the second quarter, Alcoa had a loss of $454 million on revenue...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 8, 2009; 5:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Alcoa, earnings  
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Ballplayer-Turned-Financial Adviser Lenny Dykstra Files For Bankruptcy

Former Mets and Phillies all-star outfielder Lenny Dykstra was a feel-good story of the past few years: one of the rare pro athletes who managed to prosper after his playing days were over. Turns out, not so much. In his...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 8, 2009; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Lenny Dykstra, bankruptcy  
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Lunch With Buffett Worth $1.7 Million This Year

As mighty as this recession is, it cannot completely kill Warren Buffett's annual charity lunch. Last year, before everything blew up, the winning bidder paid $2.1 million for lunch with Uncle Warren, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and lead director of The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 8, 2009; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Warren Buffett  
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Another Stimulus Needed? G8 Leaders Say: Quite Possibly

As the leaders of the northern hemisphere's eight most important economies meet in Italy right now, they appear to be of two minds: Governments need to start finding ways out of the massive and unprecedented incursions they've made into the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 8, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Obama, stimulus plan  
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Markets Open Largely Flat

Wall Street opened essentially flat this morning, as traders await the closing-bell second-quarter results of aluminum giant Alcoa, kicking off earnings season. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is up about 34 points, or less than half...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 8, 2009; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Alcoa, Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Exactly How Big Is AIG's Bailout?

A popular figure used to tally the federal bailout of troubled insurance giant AIG is $180 billion. Big number. Tidy number. Sure-to-get-Congress's-ire-up number. But it may be a little too big of a number, the independent nonprofit journalism outfit ProPublica...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 7, 2009; 3:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: AIG, ProPublica  
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Clinched-Up Wall Street Awaits Second-Quarter Earnings

You know how you tense up when you think you're going to get punched? That's what Wall Street is doing today. Aluminum giant Alcoa is expected to report its second-quarter earnings after market close on Wednesday, taking its usual position...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 7, 2009; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Alcoa, earnings  
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Delinquencies On Home-Equity Loans, Credit Cards Hit Historic Levels

Delinquencies on home-equity loans and credit card payments hit record highs in the first quarter of this year, according to data released today by the American Bankers Association. Home-equity loans were one of the major culprits of the current crisis....

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 7, 2009; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: credit cards, home equity loans  
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The Ticker Spars On CBNC

Last night, CNBC's Dennis Kneale was nice enough to invite The Ticker on his show, where we mixed it up on topics ranging from Vice President Biden's statement that the White House underestimated how bad the economy was to doing...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 7, 2009; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: CNBC, Dennis Kneale  
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Markets Down At Opening

Wall Street opened slightly down this morning, possibly owing to two factors: increasing worries that this recovery, such as it is, is running out of steam and the seasonal summer doldrums. In the first 30 minutes of trading, the Dow...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 7, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Economists: No Job Growth Until Mid-2010. If We're Lucky.

Even though the economy is predicted by many to come out of recession later this year (achieving positive GDP), the U.S. will not see job growth until the middle of next year, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's, told Kiplinger...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 6, 2009; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: unemployment  
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Service Sector Shrinks, But Less Than Expected

The U.S. economy's service sector continued to shrink in June, but at a less-than-expected rate. Whether that's a sign of an economic bottoming or a meaningless blip is up for debate. According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) --...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 6, 2009; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Institute for Supply Management, retail, service sector  
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World Bank To Global Leaders: 2009 Remains 'Dangerous' Year

There is what top government and banking officials tell us; then, there's what they tell each other. Thanks to an enterprising reporter at Reuters, today we get a glimpse of what World Bank president Robert Zoellick told the leaders of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 6, 2009; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Robert Zoellick, World Bank  
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Markets Down Slightly At Opening

Welcome to the unofficial start of the second half of the financial year. Wall Street has kicked off the rust from its three-day weekend and headed right into a dip. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  July 6, 2009; 9:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nas, s&p 500  
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