Toyota's troubles: It's not just Detroit's Big Three - the Japanese auto giant says it will lose money making cars for the first time in 70 years. The president of Toyota calls it "an unprecedented emergency." From the NYT:
Worse, analysts said that they expect next year to be even more painful, amid forecasts that the global economy will continue to slide until at least the summer. This could cause a significant shakeout, driving cash-strapped smaller and weaker companies into the arms of a smaller number of bigger, richer players.
Retailers are desperate: Looking to generate sales however they can, a number of chains are staying open 24 hours a day through Wednesday night. As if merchants didn't have enough to worry about, this year's holiday season has been made worse by five fewer calendar days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the weekend's bad weather in much of the nation. (WSJ)
Slow trading week: Stocks are barely budging this morning, the start of a holiday-shortened week.
Where's the bailout money?: The AP contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked how much has been spent, what was it spent on, how much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest? None of the banks provided specific answers.
Nearly every bank AP questioned -- including Citibank and Bank of America, two of the largest recipients of bailout money -- responded with generic public relations statements explaining that the money was being used to strengthen balance sheets and continue making loans to ease the credit crisis.
Sign of the times: OC filings in November for new fictitious business names dropped 31 percent from a year earlier and 33 percent from October. November is usually one of the slowest months of the year, but the drop is considered especially striking. (OC Register)
SAG update: Opponents to the strike authorization vote have added John and Ann Cusack, Jeff Garlin, George Lopez, Virginia Madsen, Susan Sarandon and Charlie Sheen to its roster of stars urging a no vote. As of Sunday afternoon, 1,373 members had endorsed the No SAG Strike petition. Support by 75 percent of those voting is needed. (Variety)