Archive for December 2008

Past share buybacks haunt some US companies

Standard & Poor’s 500 companies have spent $1.73 trillion on buybacks up to September since the fourth quarter of 2004, according to the ratings company. With the U.S. in a recession, the companies face the threat of additional credit-rating downgrades after being punished for the earlier borrowing.

But what was the trick behind, which pushed serious companies such as Macy’s or Gannet to buy back their shares? And (hard to believe), even by borrowing money to do so? Read more

Retail sales drop

Here we go further in the crisis. As mentioned a few months ago, this December was supposed to be a sad one for the retailers – and the poor figures confirm this.

U.S. retailers’ sales declined last week the most in almost six years as steeper markdowns before and after Christmas failed to salvage what may be the worst holiday shopping season in four decades. Read more

Auto industry plunging further

 Yes, we are living THOSE times. Less than one our ago Toyota announced that it will make in the last quarter an operating loss of 150 billion yen ($1,65 billion loss). This would mean that its total 2008 net profit forecast would go down by 91% to 50 billion yen ($556 million) from 550 billion yen.
Toyota is by no means outside the normal trend in the auto industry. Read more

Yet another huge banking fraud

Yes, you might have heard about it. Bernard Madoff, ex-CEO of NASDAQ, orchestrated a pyramidal scheme in order to get money out of the investors. By promissing them huge returns, Madoff managed to attract more than $50 billion. But the entire scheme was a fake… Read more