Regional Indexes Tumble As Bank Shares Plummet (WSJ)
A sea of red overseas, as bank shares led the charge downward. Among the hard hit markets; Taiwan -4.51 percent, Shanghai -3.85 percent, and Japan down -1.86. Evidently the top three banks in Japan hold a combined $44 billion in Fannie and Freddy debt, a figure that was published in a local newspaper.
IndyMac Reopens, Halts Foreclosures on Its Loans (WSJ)
At least a few consumers are winners of the IndyMac debacle. The bank isn't currently kicking anyone out of their homes. No foreclosures, as instead the government will work with borrowers to figure out how they can save their homes. Maybe this is the prudent thing to do. Or maybe the government has its hands really full running the bank, so there's nobody left over to bother kicking folks out of their homes. That's our guess.
Burberry Sales Rise 22% on Earlier Shipments of Goods (Bloomberg)
The rich are still spending it looks like, since Burberry (whose cultural stock seems to have dropped over the past couple of years, since rappers stopped getting Burberry-customized Nikes), said sales rose 22 percent in the latest quarter. That being said, the company is borrowing from the future a bit. It shipped more bags in advance for the fall, which it claims it did because of a new internal SAP setup promising better accuracy. Let's hope. There's a company looking to sell a bunch of excess chocolate bars for the same reasoning.
The Depressive Realism Economy (American)
The other day, McCain econ advisor Phil Gramm took some hits for suggesting that our recession might somehow be mental and that if Americans would only buck up, we'd be fine. That came off insensitive, but we think there's something to that. Problem is, that applies to every recession and boom. It's all in our minds, but does that make it any less painful? Anyway, Arnold Kling talks a bit more about the psychology of economic swings, and the challenges of adjusting to the new reality. Basically, when you're used to having an inflated view of yourself that's well beyond what's realistic, it's not easy ratcheting down your expectations.
Dean Hamrick Eliminated in 10th Place ($591,869)
While you were sleeping, the pokerers in Vegas were playing down to the final 9 of the WSOP Main Event. The 10th player was finally just eliminated at 6:34 ET after like 14 hours of play. Excited about the final table? Too bad. In their infinite wisdom. the authorities decided to play the final table in November. Surely it has to do something with money and TV. See here for chip counts.
How Many Silicon Valley Startup Executives Are Hopped Up On Provigil?
Evidently there's some prescription drug called Provigil that's become the pill of choice in Silicon Valley, among execs looking for the extra oomph, that extra dose of mental clarity and stamina. Well, Mike Arrington's friends say they know people on it. It's pretty sad though. You have to figure all these kids want to be the next Max Levchin, and the message they're being sent is: you have to get on pills to succeed. Not that Levchin is on pills, but the kids will assume that the best are. For more, check out its chemical name Modafinil.
InBev Looks to Expand Budweiser's Reach (NYT)
If you've gone drinking with the Opening Bell before, you know we're kinda into Budweiser. It's simple, consistent and it's got a nice, easy-to-peel label. What else do you want in a beer. So we're glad to see that as part of InBev's post acq. strategy, it hopes to expand Budweiser's global footprint. Of course, when we're abroad we're faced with that standard traveler's dilemma. Drink local or drink familiar? This will make it more tough, though we'll still lean towards drinking local.