Stocks subdued: Ongoing concern about the global economy and whether indebted nations can pay their bills. Otherwise, pretty quiet. Dow is up a bit in early trading.
Bailout plan extended: Feds say they need more time "to assist American families and stabilize financial markets." Foreclosures and small banks are among the areas that they want to focus on. (AP)
TARP program effective: An independent panel that examined the government's financial bailout program found lots of problems, but.... From the NYT:
"There is broad consensus that the TARP was an important part of a broader government strategy that stabilized the U.S. financial system by renewing the flow of credit and averting a more acute crisis." It added, "Although the government's response to the crisis was at first haphazard and uncertain, it eventually proved decisive enough to stop the panic and restore market confidence."
Late on checks: An archaic state computer system is blamed for delays in getting unemployment checks to about 117,000 Californians. Some haven't received checks for more than a month. From the LAT:
The people whose checks have been held up are among the neediest of the unemployed -- those who have been out of work so long that their benefits have expired. Under legislation signed by President Obama on Nov. 6, they were supposed to get unemployment checks for an additional 14 weeks or more. State Employment Development Department officials say they are doing everything they can to issue the checks, even postponing some staff furloughs to deal with the demand for services. But they say the state's 30-year-old computer system isn't programmed to recognize the extensions, requiring technicians to write new code.
Money fight update: Jeffrey Gundlach, who was fired by L.A. money manager TCW in a power struggle, said he expects to be managing portfolios again within "30 to 45 days." Could be a start-up or another asset management firm. (LAT)
Airport charges: Six current and former officials at Los Angeles World Airports are accused by city ethics investigators of accepting discounted trips from a group that represents international airlines. Mostly mid-level airport folks are involved. (LAT)
Bridge multiplex sold?: It's believed to be on the list of theaters that Sumner Redstone's National Amusements chain is selling to Dallas-based exhibitor Rave Motion Pictures. Redstone has been trying to pare down National's debt. (LAT)
Tesla battles continues: The Long Beach City Council wants that auto assembly plant so much that it's willing to offer $28.6 million in financial incentives. No word from Downey, which appeared to have the Tesla deal wrapped up. (AP)
Samueli testifies: The Broadcom co-founder denies that the OC-based chipmaker broke any laws in backdating stock options. Prosecutors accuse former CFO William Ruehle of bilking investors through granting stock options after their effective date. Also implicated is co-founder Henry Nicholas, who is being tried separately. (Reuters)