Opening Bell: 4.14.08

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Wachovia Corporation Announces Concurrent Offerings of Common Stock And Convertible Preferred Stock, for an Aggregate of $7 Billion
As anticipated, Wachovia says it will raised $7 billion via the issuance of common and convertible stock. Rumors to this effect had been floating all weekend, so they appear to have been pretty spot on. Said CEO Ken Thompson: "We are taking appropriate and prudent actions to further enhance our capital position in response to unprecedented economic conditions." Separately, the company posted an unexpected loss, so once again, some convenient timing with the raise announcement.
Airline Says Fleet Is Back in Service (NYT)
...and we're back. After causing massive headache's to the nation's travelers over the past several days, AA says it has performed the requisite mechanical checks on its fleet, and that they're back to full strength. Meanwhile, have you heard the old joke about Delta and Northwest merging again? Yeah, we heard that one too.
Anatomy of a Merger (Dealbook)
Just in case you're too lazy to actually read through the whole S-4 itself, the Deal Professor delves into the details of JPM's bid for Bear. Seeing as the post is already a summary of key highlights, no need to summarize that further. Just go check it out. Good stuff.
Blockbuster Proposes Combination With Circuit City
Blockbuster says that in February it sent a letter to Circuit CIty proposing a merger, but that heretofore the company has been rebuffed. Blockbuster has of course been beset by challenges related to the decline of physical media, and a big, transformational merger with Circuit City would sort of spell the end of the concept of the big box store dedicated just to renting out DVDs.

Google and Salesforce Join to Fight Microsoft (NYT)
Google continues its assault on the enterprise, teaming up with Salesforce.com to bundle its productivity apps with CRM. The two have already partnered on some limited stuff, like letting folks buy Google ads via Salesforce online software, but nothing too groundbreaking. This is definitely bigger, though probably not as big as the forthcoming convulsions will suggest.
Food Inflation, Riots Spark Worries for World Leaders (WSJ)
Food inflation: another subject of a lot of buzz. So far it hasn't happened here, but around the world, there are riots over the cost of food, which is kinda understandable. Also, we don't think it'll be that long before we see the same here. Lately, whenever we stop in a restaurant, we see that the proprietors have posted an article on the wall about higher ingredient costs, sending the message that price increases are beyond their control. And of course they're trying to mollify the mob at the same time. Eventually the articles won't be able to hold back the hordes.
The Upside of the Credit Crunch: Less Mail (Infectious Greed)
With credit tightening, there are a lot less unsolicited credit card and other lending offers going out in the mail. And you know, now that he mentions it, we've definitely seen the flow of credit card offers taper off in our mailbox.
Deutsche Bank Seeks to Sell Up to $20 Billion of Debt (WSJ)
More hope that debt can trade... Deutsche Bank is gearing up to sell $20 billion in unwanted LBO debt in small parcels. The news comes several days after it was reported that Citi was set to sell off a $12 billion chunk of unwanted debt.

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