Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Mar 26, 2009

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in a recession. The economy shriveled up in the fourth quarter, falling at an annual rate of 6.3 percent, according to GDP numbers out this morning. That’s on par with the recession of 1982, strictly numbers-wise. The drop in corporate profits set a record at $120 billion. Now, for some actual news:

First-time U.S. homebuyers likely to purchase: poll (Reuters)
“Buying a home has never been more affordable by some measures, and potential first-time U.S. buyers said they are likely to buy a home in the next two years, a survey released on Thursday found.”

Roubini Says Stocks Will Drop as Banks Go ‘Belly Up’ (Bloomberg)
“U.S. stocks will fall and the government will nationalize more banks as the economy contracts through the end of 2009, said Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who predicted last year’s economic crisis.”

Where’s the Plan, Wall Street? (DealBook)
“For the last several months, Americans have looked to Washington to lead them. But where’s the leadership on Wall Street?”

Citigroup’s Latest Dream: Comm’l Real Estate Loans Worth 100 Cents On Dollar (Clusterstock)
“What is commercial real estate? It’s a $6.5 trillion market financed with $3.1 trillion of debt.”

AIG execs in Europe resist returning bonuses: source (Reuters)
“AIG Financial Products unit head Gerald Pasciucco told a staff meeting for UK and Paris employees on Monday that he thought a demand for repayments was to a certain extent “blackmail,” said a London-based recipient of one of the retention bonuses from the bailed-out insurer.”

Best Buy Posts Lower Net, Issues Upbeat Outlook (WSJ)
“Best Buy has said it plans to offer more-interactive stores — where consumers can step inside a new videogame or see their faces captured by a high-definition video camera — in an effort to head off Wal-Mart’s brutal price competition.”

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