IndyMac says it's OK: Well, OK may be pushing it, but the Pasadena-based mortgage company says it's not close to collapse - despite its stock price dropping to 62 cents a share. An IndyMac spokesman says the company is working with regulators "to further improve the safety and soundness of IndyMac, and we will provide more information as that plan becomes more fully developed." Worried depositors have been taking out their money. (Pasadena Star-News, LAT)
SAG gets "last" offer: The media companies finally matched the deals they’ve made with the directors, writers, and AFTRA, the other actors union. But leaders of the Screen Actors Guild say the proposal is badly flawed. They'll meet tomorrow with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, the bargaining arm for the studios and networks. Don't expect much movement from either side until the results of AFTRA's contract ratification vote are announced next week. SAG has campaigned actively against the AFTRA deal. From THR:
SAG did not request a contract extension, and the pact's expiration limits the union's options. It can tentatively accept the studios' offer and send it to its membership for ratification, continue working under the current contract or go on strike. SAG leadership repeatedly has said that it has taken no steps toward a strike authorization vote. It would require a 75% approval and take at least two weeks to complete the process. The studios also could impose the terms of their final offer, let the actors continue working under their current terms or lock out the employees. The last step seems unlikely, since the studios already have ratcheted production down to a handful of films now shooting and the networks have taken similar steps to protect themselves.
Third quarter begins: The Dow was off around 100 points in early trading, but has since come back a bit on a better-than-expected report on factory activity. Later today, the U.S. automakers will announce June sales, which could be the worst in 15 years.
MySpace to Playa Vista: Fox Interactive, which operates the social networking site, will lease 421,000 square feet in two buildings under construction in the Horizon at Playa Vista complex. The move consolidates more than 2,000 employees who are part of the Fox Interactive Group and had been spread out in a bunch of locations. No price given on the lease, but the LAT reports that it's been valued at about $350 million over 12 years.
Oxy boosts production: The L.A.-based energy company will build a $1.1-billion plant and pipeline in West Texas that should increase its oil and natural gas production in the area by the equivalent of at least 50,000 barrels of oil a day within five years (current output runs 200,000 barrels a day). The plant would strip excessive carbon dioxide from natural gas. SandRidge Energy gets the cleaned-up natural gas; and Oxy will use the carbon dioxide to tease more oil from oil fields in West Texas. (LAT)
Live Nation's latest mega-deal: This time it's pop star Shakira, who is close to signing a $70-million "360 deal" in which the L.A.-based company gets recording, touring and merchandising rights. The NY Post reports that Live Nation and Shakira have agreed to terms and are now going over the fine print. The agreement would come just shortly after Live Nation Chairman Michael Cohl resigned over a dispute concerning the number of these 360 deals the company should cut. Cohl wanted a lot more of them than the CEO.
Port update: Still no deal between dockworkers and shipping companies on a new contract - and nothing expected today. But a strike authorization has yet to be called by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The three-year labor pact would cover longshore workers, marine clerks and foremen working at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington. (Daily Breeze)
Lacter on radio: This morning's business chat with KPCC's Steve Julian covers a round-up of local stocks for the first half of the year and the troubles at IndyMac. Also available at kpcc.org or on podcast.