Sluggish rebound: There's just no interest in buying stocks, unless it's absolutely necessary. The Dow is up only 12 points after 90 minutes of trading - even after the Fed said it would buy companies' short-term debt.
Look out for speculators: Officials in the Inland Empire are worried that the $700 billion rescue plan will lead to the purchase of foreclosed homes by outsiders who have no stake in the community - similar to what happened during the S&L crisis. A bill sponsored by Rep. Gary Miller would let local businesses and governments buy up some of the distressed real estate. From the WSJ:
San Bernardino and Riverside counties are determined to avoid a repeat of what happened 20 years ago, when the savings-and-loan crisis led to a massive selloff of distressed real estate in the area by the federal government's Resolution Trust Corp. Many of those properties, including foreclosed homes, were sold at fire-sale prices to investors who unloaded them quickly. In some cases, entire neighborhoods of what had once been homeowners turned into largely rental communities, further depressing property values and delaying an economic rebound.
Good news!: Once again, gas prices in the L.A. area have taken a substantial drop in the government's weekly survey. The average price of self-serve regular is $3.559, down from $3.632. With oil prices continuing to plummet - $91.18 a barrel at last check - expect gas to become even cheaper. All this is happening because of weakening demand around the globe. (EIA)
Lakers feeling no pain: Season ticket holders have renewed for the upcoming season at a 99 percent rate - despite the bad economy and despite an across-the-board increase in ticket prices. Season-ticket renewal averages across the league are 79 percent. (LAT)
OC Spending dips: The latest edition of the OC Register's Big Orange Index - a collection of three dozen economic benchmarks compiled by Jon Lansner - shows an annualized decline of 9 percent, the worst in the Big O's database going back to 1989. Everything is down.
Trouble at House of Blues: The landmark Sunset Strip nightclub might lose its business license or have it suspended as a result of a series of violent incidents. The most recent bar fight, on Sept. 4, left one woman hospitalized, involved more than 100 people brawling, and shut down Sunset Strip for most of that evening. (LAT)
Violating loan agreements?: Freedom Communications, owner of the Register, said it drew down the balance of its revolving credit "several weeks ago" because of uncertainty in the financial markets. No details were announced. One ominous sign: Sitrick & Co., the L.A. crisis PR firm, is now representing Freedom. (Bloomberg)
Lacter on radio: This week's business chat with KPCC's Kari Moran (Steve Julian is out) includes the Bank of America settlement involving Countrywide mortgage holders and a likely drop in international visitors. Also on kpcc.org and on podcast.