Tuesday morning headlines

Car talk: Today is the day that the heads of Detroit's Big Three tell Congress why they need a $25 billion bailout. Otherwise, GM says it might be out of business before the end of the year. (AP)

Mixed day on Wall Street: Countering all the bailout-related gloom is a better-than-expected earnings report for Hewlett-Packard. The Dow is actually up a bit in early trading.

Yang gets socked: In the hours after his resignation as CEO, Yahoo's market value jumped by more than $2 billion. Ouch. {DealBook)

Confusion over loans: Remember when Bank of America announced an $8.4 billion loan modification program to settle charges involving its newly purchased mortgage company, Countrywide Financial? Well, it's a lot more complicated than B of A was letting on. The problem is that not all loans can be easily modified. From the WSJ:

Under terms of contracts with investors, mortgage companies generally have the authority to rework loans when it is likely to benefit investors. But just how much authority the mortgage companies have is open to debate. Modifications also can benefit some bondholders at the expense of others. Reducing a borrower's loan balance, for instance, may hurt holders of the riskiest piece of a mortgage securitization more than investors who bought securities that had higher credit ratings.

Steve & Barry's to close: There were hopes that the trendy retailer could reorganize from bankruptcy, but apparently it's not going to work out. A liquidation firm has been hired to handle the going-out-of-business sale. Roughly 5,000 employees will be let go. From the WSJ:

When he acquired the company on Aug. 21, Bay Harbour managing principal Douglas Teitelbaum said "this company offers better value than I've seen anywhere." Mr. Teitelbaum said he was attracted to the company's celebrity brands. A former junior tennis player, Mr. Teitelbaum expressed excitement that Venus Williams wore her Steve & Barry's Eleven athleticwear line at Wimbledon this summer. In mid-October Steve & Barry's said it had hired Harold Kahn, who has been at the helm of retail chains such as Macy's East, to run the revamped chain. Mr. Kahn is no longer with the company, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Rose Bowl to cable? With ESPN about to take over the BCS games from Fox, itís a real possibility. The Rose Bowl had cut a separate deal with ABC, but apparently there's a clause that would allow the game to be moved to cable if the BCS signs a contract with a cable network. Fox did not match ESPN's $500 million bid for the BCS rights. (LAT)

Univision to make cuts: The Spanish-language media giant, already under a mountain of debt, posted a $2.9-billion third-quarter loss and its CFO said the L.A.-based company would probably trim expenses. Univision took in about 25 percent less auto advertising in the third quarter compared with last year. (LAT)

Lacter on radio: Time slot moved a few minutes to accommodate KPCC's ongoing pledge drive. I talk to Steve Julian about the economic impact of the fires and local layoffs in the newspaper business. Also on kpcc.org and on podcast.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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