Quick roundup on a busy morning:
Tough retail month: November sales were lower than expected for a number of big chains, even with Black Friday. Even Costco struggled. (AP)
Bernanke defends Fed: He tells lawmakers that the financial crisis would have been a lot worse without intervention by the central bank. But he's getting grilled.(NYT)
Business as usual: at NBC: CEO Jeff Zucker says in a memo that the Comcast deal could take up to 12 months to get past the regulators. So no changes for quite a while. Other Comcast posts below. (Media Decoder)
FHA tightens up: Homebuyers will have to come up with more cash and higher credit scores in order to get a government-backed mortgage. (LAT)
Amazing stat: One in four U.S. households have little or no interaction with a conventional bank. From the LAT:
Many households seemed to have made a conscious choice to shun conventional financial services, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila C. Bair said. But households without bank accounts could be more vulnerable to loss or theft and less able to build a credit profile or reach financial security, the report said. Households that rely mainly on services such as payday loans or overdraft programs are often hit with enormous fees and interest rates.
CDs alive and kicking: Susan Boyle's new release sold 701,000 copies in the U.A., the biggest opening-week sales for any album this year. Only 6 percent of the sales were digital downloads. (NYT)
Scary forecast: Goldman Sachs doesn't expect U.S. unemployment to peak until mid-2011, when it's supposed to reach 10¾ percent. (Reuters)
Great Tiger quote: WSJ found this nugget from a Sports Illustrated interview in 2000: I've learned that you can always tell the truth," he said, "but you don't have to tell the whole truth."