Stocks pulling back: Uncertainty - both the good and bad kind - appears to be the watchword. Dow is down 10 points.
Local economy on the rebound?: "Modest improvement" is how the Economic Development Corporation describes the L.A. situation in its mid-year forecast, with trade, tourism, and entertainment looking good. But the employment outlook remains week. From the report:
The county's unemployment rate will continue at painfully high levels during the forecast period, though it will gradually taper down. Business firms will be cautious in rehiring until they believe the recovery in their own sales and profits is well established. The County's unemployment rate averaged 12.6% during 2010. In 2011, the jobless rate is expected to edge down to 12.2%. In 2012, the unemployment rate will fall to 11.5%.
Dodgers bankruptcy hearing: At issue is whether owner Frank McCourt or Major League Baseball should be financing the team during the Chapter 11 proceedings. The two sides have their own $150 million loan packages. From the LAT:
Who provides the loan is important because of the control that comes with it. Selig would rather not use the money of 29 other owners to prop up the Dodgers' owner, but the commissioner worries that McCourt would use his loan to take more money out of the Dodgers. McCourt would be happy to save a few million bucks, but he worries that Selig would use his loan to push the Dodgers toward new ownership.
Studies trumpet value of downtown stadium: The proposed complex would help generate additional tax revenues of $41 million, according to the findings, which were paid for by stadium developer Anschutz Entertainment Group. A draft agreement between the city and AEG is expected next week. (LAT)
AEG's condos are flops: As of Tuesday, grant deeds had been recorded for only 32 of the 224 units above the convention center hotel, reports AP. Two of the 32 have been purchased through AEG.
Calpers not happy with Murdoch: California's giant pension fund owns nearly seven million News Corp. shares, and Anne Simpson, head of corporate governance, said, "We don't intend to be spectators. We're owners.'' From the WSJ:
Calpers is exploring various ways to respond to the News Corp. situation, "but we have strong experience in governance reform,'' the pension fund official said, citing one lawsuit that resulted in damages, governance improvements and a voice in the selection of a board member. "All options are on the table,'' Ms. Simpson noted.
Apple's succession plans?: Some board members are talking to executive recruiters and at least one high-profile tech executive, the WSJ is reporting. The contacts were described as an informal exploration. CEO Steve Jobs has been on medical leave.
Countrywide overcharged 450,000 borrowers: The number of ripped-off consumers who will be receiving settlement money is the biggest in the history of the Federal Trade Commission - double what the commission had estimated. From the NYT:
"It is astonishing that one single company could be responsible for overcharging more than 450,000 homeowners, which is more than 1 percent of all the mortgages in the United States," Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the trade commission, said in an interview. Countrywide's "was a business model based on deceit and corruption and the harm they caused to American consumers is absolutely massive and extraordinary."
Persian-type "Jersey Shore": Tentatively titled "Shahs of Sunset," the Bravo series follows a group of rich young Persian-Americans all over L.A. Ryan Seacrest is producing the nonsense. (Deadline)