Economic Outlook

It’s the holidays and the online retail sales are… well… who knows? We’re seeing data points all over the map. comScore is reporting better-than-they-expected 4% growth over the the previous year. U.S. online holiday spending has grown 4% to nearly $21 billion during the first 43 days of the November-December shopping season, according to comScore […]

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The Economist observes that the downfall of the telecom industry (1997-2003) offers foreboding lessons for today’s bankers. Just like banks, telecoms had imperial bosses, kamikaze deals and incomprehensible jargon—if collateralised-debt obligations troubled you, try gigabit Ethernet routers. In telecoms leading firms were reduced to indebted objects of ridicule. The consequences were bankruptcies, huge job losses, […]

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Today’s Globe and Mail has an interview by its economics reporter, Heather Scoffield, with Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson regarding the current financial crisis. In what is frankly a pretty depressing assessment of the crisis, Ferguson suggests: It is bound to destabilize some countries. It will cause civil wars to break out, that have been dormant. […]

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The December job loss numbers are not pretty and the markets are down. A good summary at MarketBeat and particularly nice graphics at the NYT (the charts are linked by animation at their site).

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CFO.com wraps up it's end of the year compilations with a list of the most popular articles on how corporate finance can deal with the crisis and manage its impact on company strategy (much better than rehashing all the bad news!) Well worth exploring: Downturn Disclosures: Expect Liquidity FocusRegulators will heavily scrutinize management's discussion about […]

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This does not bode well. Fed Statement is here. Coverage: New York Times Wall Street Journal Paul Krugman's Blog Bloomberg

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It's official. We entered a recession in December 2007. Read the statement from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) here. Coverage: Wall Street Journal New York Times The Economist Free Exchange Blog Bloomberg

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According to a recent survey by CFO.com of finance executives, not only does it cost more to borrow in the current climate, but the quality and breadth of services available from commercial lenders has deteriorated. Seems the bankers are too preoccupied trying to remain in business and keep their jobs to tend to their customers. […]

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In addition to the big bank recipients of TARP funds, seventy regional banks have applied. Graphic courtesy of American Banker:

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[via Alan Rappeport at CFO.com] Those seeking historical context for today's credit crisis and hoping to learn from John Kenneth Galbraith's The Great Crash of 1929 will have to wait. It's on back order at Amazon (until Nov 13) and apparently sold out of New York area bookstores. In his updated introduction penned in 1997, […]

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The market gyrations continue but over at The Economist, some signs of hope: THE world’s banking system may still be in intensive care, kept alive largely with the help of generous infusions of capital, liquidity and guarantees on lending from governments. Yet there are hopeful—albeit tentative—signs of recovery. The article goes on to cite three […]

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A survey of corporate finance professionals attending the annual Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) conference in LA this week reveals that they perceive the credit market is stabilizing due to recent government actions. The U.S. Treasury plan to purchase an equity stake in key financial institutions and guarantee money market funds, along with the Federal […]

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Nice to see an upward slope for a change… (updated) Coverage Wall Street Journal New York Times Bloomberg

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How does the current financial crisis compare to the Great Depression, and has the government learned the lessons of the 1930s? Watch this (brief) video commentary from Floyd Norris and Louis Uchitelle via The New York Times. And as long as you are watching videos, check out this commentary from Marcus Mabry, The Times's international […]

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Finance chiefs tell CFO.com what impact the financial crisis is having on their companies, their access to credit, and their cash management strategies. [ NEW ] Hughes Communications's Grant BarberWhile the satellite internet company is sitting on a ton of cash, its CFO worries about how well its customers are weathering the downturn. [ POSTED […]

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