Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow May 21, 2009

Stocks are down this morning seemingly because the economy isn’t all better yet. I’m starting to think our short attention spans lead to irrational expectations about recovery. It takes time. And by time, I don’t mean a few Twitter cycles. You can’t look at the numbers coming in from other countries or the unemployment figures in this country and seriously have a conversation about green shoots or jello shooters or whatever people are saying now. Read on:

World Economies Plummet (WSJ)
“All three countries depend on exports to the U.S. But they have nose-dived as U.S. consumers cut back purchases of autos, electronics and other goods mass produced abroad. For the first three months of 2009, U.S. merchandise imports declined about 30% to $352.5 billion compared with the same period a year earlier.”

Second bailout for GMAC (NY Times)
“The Treasury Department has decided to bail out GMAC, the former financing arm of General Motors, with $7.5 billion, which would bring its total federal assistance to more than $12 billion, The New York Times’s Edmund L. Andrews reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.”

Chrysler’s latest press release (24/7 Wall Street)
Now, Chrysler is hinting that if it cannot close a deal to sell a large part of its assets to Fiat, it may not be able to keep any dealers at all. Chrysler executive warns in a statement that, “If the sale to Fiat is not approved by the Bankruptcy Court, the stark reality is all 3,181 dealers will face elimination.”‘

The Sorry State of Our Sorriest State, California (WSJ/Mean Street)
“It’s really the fault of the “people” of California who live beyond their means – and the laws of economics. You cannot pay police officers $190,000 a year in salary and benefits or pay your school employees 35% more than the national average and keep your state solvent. You cannot provide three million illegal immigrants with social services — spending 70% more per capita on social services than the national average — and keep your state solvent. And you cannot tax your state into solvency with the highest personal income tax rates in the country.”

In 10 Years, Your TV Will Only Get 20 Channels (Silicon Alley Insider)
“The idea: You’ll get about 20 linear channels from cable — a legacy broadcast network, a few big-brand cable networks like ESPN, maybe another live sports channel, some major lifestyle channels, and that’s about it. The rest will be handled via video-on-demand or streamed over the Internet. If that’s what happens, the effects on the TV industry would be colossal.”

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