TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: On the line with us live from St. Louis is Juli Niemann from Smith, Moore and Company. Juli, good morning.
Juli Niemann: Good morning.
Chiotakis: So Juli, we got word this morning that orders for durable goods merely slipped, but didn’t plummet as had been the case. What does that tell us about the overall economy?
Niemann: Well, economists have been forecasting the worst possible case scenario, and of course the market’s rallying when it’s not as bad as they’d been anticipating. They’re hoping here that the manufacturing plunge could be nearing an end. But bottom line is there’s no recovery, even if we do hear the thud right at the bottom here.
Chiotakis: So not a bottom just yet.
Niemann: No it’s not. You know the, what we saw today was nice uptick in commercial and military aircraft, but big negatives in automotive, appliances. And probably the key thing is businesses are not expanding and updating, so you’re seeing negative results in machinery and computers. That’s where you have to see the uptick.
Chiotakis: You saw automotive, of course, Ford reporting this morning that there was a decline, a loss. Their shares are up 17 percent, because that wasn’t as bad as Wall Street had expected, right?
Niemann: Well, and it looks like they may be the only one who doesn’t declare bankruptcy. They’re even anticipating that they could break even in 2011, or as Chrysler, the big basket case, is preparing for bankruptcy, and it looks like General Motors will as well. In fact, Canada is even preparing debtor possession financing to take care of the bankruptcy and usher them through it.
Chiotakis: You know Juli, we’ve got Treasury’s Tim Geithner talking about bank stress tests today. How did financials react to all of that?
Niemann: Well the whole question is, how much are you really going to disclose? It looks like they’re only going to be talking about the methodology. What we won’t know is what, anything but the gross numbers happen to be out there. The banks that are in trouble basically have to raise funds and the Fed, if they tell them that it’s necessary. I don’t know that’d I really want to invest my remaining few coins into the losers, distress situation. So I think what you’re going to see with the banks, a lot of shotgun marriages here.
Chiotakis: All right, Juli Niemann, thanks for joining us this morning, we appreciate it.
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