Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Paddy Hirsch Jul 23, 2009

Earnings are likely to move the markets today, and they’re swamping the headlines this morning, but there is some more color out there.

Reuters reports that Warren Buffett has cut his stake in the ratings agency Moody’s. That should certainly provoke a reaction (and, in fact, already has in after-hours trading).

The CIT story continues to run. News today from the New York Times’ Dealbook that the company could opt for bankruptcy after all. Not all that surprising given the terms of the loan provided CIT by its bondholders.

Some arts news now: fine art appears to be losing its luster somewhat. Bloomberg reports falling sales for fancy pictures at auctioneer Christies.

The NYT reports Javier Bardem (the assassin with the crazy haircut who offed people with a humane killer in No Country for Old Men) has turned down a role in the “Wall Street” sequel. Michael Douglas and Shia leBeouf are (unfortunately, in the later case) still in play.

And Amazon is getting into show shoe business by acquiring Zappos.

Finally, we’ve aired a couple of stories recently on Marketplace about bank earnings, and whether or not it’s a good thing that some banks are making out like, well, like bandits again. Credit Suisse announced today it joins GS and JPM by reporting thumping good numbers.

On the one hand, we’re happy these banks look healthier: on the other, we know that the only reason they’re coining it again is because they’re taking risky bets with taxpayer money. And wasn’t this crisis supposed to rein in those kinds of excesses? Yesterday Morgan Stanley said it lost money in the quarter, in part because it obeyed the stern injunctions made by outraged pols and pundits – invest more conservatively. But it seems no good deed goes unpunished on Wall Street.

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