Mixed market: After yesterday's 200-point drubbing, the Dow is down slightly in early trading.
Boeing delays Dreamliner: No word on the new schedule -- the first flight of the 787 was supposed to have taken place in the second quarter of 2009, in time for deliveries early next year. Actually, there have been several delays going back to last year. (NYT)
Madoff asks for leniency: The Ponzi schemer is requesting as little as 12 years when a federal judge sentences him next week (good luck on that). Here's how his lawyer, Ira Sorkin, figures it (from DJ):
"Mr. Madoff is currently 71 years old and has an approximate life expectancy of 13 years," Sorkin said. "A prison term of 12 years - just short of an effective life sentence - will sufficiently address the goals of deterrence, protecting the public and promoting respect for the law without being 'greater than necessary' to achieve them."
More cuts at MySpace: Two-thirds of its international staff (300 jobs) will be laid off and at least four offices outside the U.S. will be eliminated. The Bev Hills-based social network service has had a tough time competing with Facebook in overseas markets. (NYT)
Sobering stat: More than half of companies surveyed expect to employ fewer people in three to five years than they did before the recession began. (WSJ)
Why the loss of factory jobs?: A new report by the Milken Institute cites onerous regulations and high taxes - as usual - for pushing businesses elsewhere. From the LAT:
The state is shedding manufacturing jobs at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, the report said. Though many jobs left the country in the 2002 recession, states such as Arizona, Nevada and Oregon saw an increase in manufacturing employment in 2003. Part of the problem, [said Perry Wong, senior managing economist], is that regulations change so often in California that it's difficult for companies to plan. The state enacted an average of 15 changes in labor law each year from 1992 to 2002, four times more than state legislatures averaged nationwide.
Apple's secret world: It's not just keeping quiet about the health of CEO Steve Jobs. As the NYT puts it, secrecy "is baked into the corporate culture."
Employees working on top-secret projects must pass through a maze of security doors, swiping their badges again and again and finally entering a numeric code to reach their offices, according to one former employee who worked in such areas. Work spaces are typically monitored by security cameras, this employee said. Some Apple workers in the most critical product-testing rooms must cover up devices with black cloaks when they are working on them, and turn on a red warning light when devices are unmasked so that everyone knows to be extra-careful, he said. Apple employees are often just as surprised about new products as everyone else.
"Jon & Kate Plus 8" goes on: Of course it does - despite the couple's announcement that they have filed for divorce, ratings have been strong. From Variety:
Long term, the [TLC] channel must also now contend with the fact that they've now got a very different show on their hands. What was once a pleasant chronicle of a young family struggling to raise eight children - one pair of twins and a younger group of sextuplets - has now turned into a darker take on divorce. Kate Gosselin said she didn't blame the show for the marital breakdown. "It's the next chapter," she said. "It was not brought on by our show or caused by our career choices at all... We've always done the show for the kids, to be able to provide for them, to collect the memories for ourselves."
U-T properties on the block: Bev Hills-based Platinum Equities, new owners of the San Diego Union-Tribune, are putting up for sale at least two properties it acquired in the deal. One of them is the building that houses the paper's north coastal newsroom. (Voice of San Diego)
Lacter on radio: This morning's biz chat with KPCC's Steve Julian covers the growing underemployment problem in L.A. and the decline of the state's credit rating.