Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Headline Financial News 12/2/2009

Another relatively slow news day, but here are some highlights:
  • GM's CEO Fritz Henderson was given the boot after less than a year, and replaced on an interim basis by Chairman Ed Whitacre. Let's see how much better Mr. Whitacre is at getting US auto sales back up to a 16 million pace.
  • The ADP employment report showed companies axing 169,000 jobs in November. This is the smallest drop since July 2008, but, alas, still a negative. All eyes are on Friday's employment report to get a better picture.
  • If you are one of those crazy types (yours truly included) that are concerned that the extraordinary amount of monetary easing is going to lead to another bubble, then rest assured, you may not need to be institutionalized after all. The FT reports the return of covenant lite, PIK toggle notes and dividend recaps. Considered by many sane folks to be a preposterous assumption of risk for no upside, the fact that debt investors are willing to throw money at these types of deals again shows that the credit bubble might be back. Mission Accomplished Fed!
  • Across the pond, the UK Treasury has taken control of the bonus pool at RBS. Seems like a fair deal considering the fact that the UK Treasury owns a 70% stake. RBS bankers, however, may not be so thrilled.

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