Rolling out bank plan: Treasury Secretary Geithner announces a joint Treasury and Federal Reserve program to encourage investors to acquire sour mortgage-related assets from banks. Initial cost: $250 billion to $500 billion. The Fed will use its balance sheet to provide the financing. From the NYT:
“This program will provide government capital and government financing to help leverage private capital to help get private markets working again for the legacy loans and assets that are now burdening the entire financial system,” Mr. Geithner said in his prepared remarks. A second component of the plan would broadly expand, to $500 billion to $1 trillion, an existing $200 billion program run by the Federal Reserve to try to unfreeze the market for commercial, student, auto and credit card loans. A third component would involve a review of the capital levels of all banks, including projections of future losses, to determine how much additional capital each bank should receive.
Wall Street reaction: Doesn't seem great - the Dow is down 100 points in early trading.
New hike in gas: The average price of regular in the L.A. is up to $2.19 a gallon, up more than 35 cents since the beginning of the year. Oil prices have been hovering around $40 a barrel, but the recent gas hikes are more related to production issues in the state. (LAT, EIA)
Ticketmaster-Live Nation: The joining of the world's largest ticketing company and the world's largest concert promoter was announced this morning. It's a tax-free, all-stock deal with shareholders of each company holding a 50 percent stake in the new entity, which will be named Live Nation Entertainment. Barry Diller will be chairman. (MarketWatch)
DreamWorks gets Disney cash: As part of the distribution deal worked out in the last few days, Disney will put up hundreds of millions of dollars for film print and advertising costs involving DreamWorks features. Disney will also provide a cash advance of $100 million and a potential $75-million credit line. DreamWorks has had trouble raising money. (LAT)
Bad news for gossip magazines: Some examples of circulation declines in the second half of 2008: In Touch Weekly, down 29.3 percent, Star, down 10.3 percent and the National Enquirer, down 11.2 percent. Sales of People increased 2 percent, to almost 3.7 million. (NYT)
Bigger Grammy audience: A total of 19 million viewers watched the Sunday night broadcast, a 10 percent bump from last year. The awards show was probably helped by "60 Minutes," which featured a heavily promoted interview with the pilot of US Air Flight 1549 that ditched in the Hudson River. (LAT)
Lacter on radio: This morning's business chat with KPCC's Steve Julian covers the most recent home price numbers and the pending deal involving Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Also on kpcc.org and on podcast.