Opening Bell: 03.10.09

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Meredith Whitney On The Perils Of Credit Cards (Reuters)
She has a point in that the reduction of credit limits will cause a hiccup in consumer confidence; you can't limit the amount of money people have access to and expect them to spend all the same. But, at this point there's no saving consumer confidence, it's very much down the toilet. Baby's gone with the bath water.
"Just six months ago, I estimated that at least $2 trillion of available credit-card lines would be expunged from the system by the end of 2010. However, today, that estimate now looks optimistic, as available lines were reduced by nearly $500 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 alone. My revised estimates are that over $2 trillion of credit-card lines will be cut inside of 2009, and $2.7 trillion by the end of 2010."
Vikram Announces Best Quarter Since 2007 (Bloomberg)
With a metric asston of losses under its collective belt, Vikram and gang have announced they're having the best quarter since 2007.
In related news, the government has been meeting to plan on what to do next when Citi fucks up (but it's not expecting Citi to fuck up, just planning for it.) Meeting attendees included: ".. the Treasury Department, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp."
I'm rooting for Citi at this point. I've pulled a switcheroo. I don't like the government licking its chops to get a hold of a bank (such as it is) - it makes me nervous.
J.P. Morgan Tops M&A Rankings (MarketWatch)
"J.P. Morgan ranks first in the global M&A advisory league table with $190.3 billion of deals, up from second place this time last year, Dealogic said.
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs rank as second and third, the firm added."
A Retouch Of The Lehman PE House (FT)
Mostly done before, but worth a quick read.
J.P. Morgan To Dump Bear Wagner (WSJ)
Estimated price is in the $30MM range - down from $625 in 2001.
Unemployment Could Hit 9.4% (Bloomberg)
"The U.S. jobless rate will reach 9.4 percent this year and remain elevated through at least 2011, threatening the nation's longer-term growth potential, a monthly Bloomberg News survey indicated.
The peak in unemployment surpasses the 8.8 percent estimated last month, according to the median of 54 projections in a survey taken from March 2 to March 9. The average rate for the next two years will exceed the 25-year high of 8.1 percent reached in February, the survey shows."


BOE Plans 3Yr Bond (DJNewsWire)
"The Bank of England is planning to sell a $2 billion, three-year bond, one of the banks leading the deal said Tuesday.
Price guidance on the forthcoming issue has been set in the area of 40 basis points over mid-swaps.
BNP Paribas SA, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Holdings PLC and Morgan Stanley have been hired to manage the deal, which should be priced later Tuesday.
The issuer is rated triple-A by the three major ratings agencies."

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