Opening Bell: 05.08.09

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RBS Shits In Pot, Hands To Investors (WSJ)
RBS managed to further truncate its sack, turning in a $1.29B for the last quarter. The company warned of rough times to come on market buoyancy, intimating returns would have been much worse had the market not been artificially inflated.
"The loss reflected £2.86 billion in write-downs on the value of assets, compared with £656 million in the same period a year earlier. These were somewhat offset by a strong performance from investment banking operations, which Chief Executive Stephen Hester said would be "foolhardy" to expect to be repeated in future quarters.
The first quarter loss at RBS, which is 70.3% owned by the U.K. government, compares to a profit of £245 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 26% to £9.7 billion from £7.72 billion a year earlier."
Stress Tests May Cut Loans Available To Public (WSJ)
Oh, if not for the unintended:
"Experts warn that the tests could have a serious unintended consequence: Loans could be harder to come by for consumers and businesses. That's because the government's intense focus on thicker capital cushions might prompt banks to hoard cash and further curtail lending, said Jim Eckenrode, banking research executive at TowerGroup, a financial consulting firm. He said banks will have less room to offer consumers low interest rates, while corporate customers may have a tougher time getting financing for commercial real-estate and property development."
Toyota Posts $4.4B Loss (NYT)
The almost-made-in-America Japanese super-brand lost around $4.4B last year, their first annual loss since 1950. Sadly, this means nothing for the UAW; there's nothing here for them to seize.
"The loss capped a bittersweet year for Toyota, which eclipsed General Motors as the world's biggest automaker by unit sales in 2008 -- a position Detroit-based G.M. held for 77 years only to be hit by a crisis of its own."
ECB Cuts Rates (FT)
The European Central Bank cut its main interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1 per cent, the lowest yet, and announced plans to buy €60bn of covered bonds, which are backed by mortgage or public sector loans.
Separately, the Bank of England said it would pump a further £50bn (€56bn) into the UK economy through its programme of "quantitative easing."
Jobs Numbers! (Bloomberg)
Consensus: -630k to 8.9%, Range: -810k to -580k

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