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Opening Bell: 8.22.08

GM to Open Formal Talks Tor Hummer Sale (WSJ)
That Hummer has been on the block is well known... but now things are getting serious. GM is drawing up the books, so it can talk to various parties that have reached out. While we can understand the cash-strapped company's desire to sell so out of favor unit, it is pretty hard to think of worse timing for the sale. News of the plans were announced at the same time GM announced a fresh investment into a big, small car plant. That tells you want tyou need to know right there.
Paulson Might Weigh Whom to Hurt in Any Fannie, Freddie Rescue (Bloomberg)
That's an interesting way to put it: Paulson needs to decide who to hurt. Cause obviously someone needs to feel pain. But who is it? The equity holders (should be). The counterparties (should be as well). Homeowners (probably should be as well). But if everyone gets hurt, it's not much of a rescue is it? So you have to make some redistributionist priorities based on... something: "Paulson's choices probably include buying Fannie's and Freddie's bonds, a special class of preferred shares or preferred shares convertible into common stock, analysts and investors said. The terms and conditions of any purchases would put the government ahead of other creditors and stockholders, while ensuring that bondholders are protected, they said. ``He's had zero clarity on this whole issue, and until the market knows where Hank's going to be in the capitalization structure, then it gets worse not better,'' said Paul McCulley, a fund manager at Pacific Investment Management Co., which has the world's largest bond fund. "
Warner Bets on Fewer, Bigger Movies (WSJ)
The Dark Knight was a huge hit. So huge in fact that it's obviously one of those power law, fat head, once-every-decade kind of events. What's the lesson there? That such hits are very rare and can't be counted upon. However, here's what Time Warner took away from it all: "Emboldened by this summer's success with "The Dark Knight," Warner Bros.' movie studio is setting a new strategy. The Time Warner Inc. unit, like some other Hollywood studios, is planning to release fewer films into the crowded marketplace. But the studio, known for making more big, expensive movies than most rivals, plans to make even more of those -- some centered on properties from its DC Comics unit, such as Batman." Dear Time Warner: May we suggest this book?
Seeking More Viewers, MSNBC Turns Left (NYT)
This election season, MSNBC has definitely turned into the left's Fox News. It took a hard stand in favor of Obama early on in the primaries, and it's strongest personalities (the intolerable Keith Olbermann, the awesome Rachel Maddow) come from the left. It's amazing irrelevent CNN has come. A bunch of bland, wish-washy "it's not about me" anchors is a real loser of a proposition this year.
Obama says he's made his veep choice (AP)
But he's not saying yet. That message will first go out to his follower over SMS. We'd have signed up for it, but we suspect that won't be the last we'd get texted from the Obama campaign, so not worth it, is it? For what it's worth, Biden is now up to $.53 on the $1 at Intrade. Eban Bayh is second. Also speaking of Obama --- remember when Instanpundit was a really fresh voice in online politics? Just kidding, us neither. But the guy who basically invented blogging has doesn't even try anymore to be interesting.