Stocks keep climbing: More positive signals from Europe. Dow is up about 150 points.
First-class mail to move slower: Starting next spring, no more next-day delivery, says the U.S. Postal Service. From AP:
The estimated $3 billion in reductions, to be announced in broader detail later Monday, are part of a wide-ranging effort by the Postal Service to quickly trim costs and avert bankruptcy. They could slow everything from check payments to Netflix's DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities.
L.A. faces $72 million budget shortfall: And that's less than six months into the fiscal year. Budget chief Miguel Santana is calling for cuts to the LAPD, Bureau of Street Services and city attorney's office. From the LAT:
Santana warned that the shortfall could grow once city officials calculate the cost of cleanup in the wake of this week's ferocious windstorms and the two-month encampment outside City Hall by Occupy L.A. "These are unforeseen problems that we have to pay for one way or the other," Santana said in an interview. "The timing was not helpful."
Big payday for ousted city official: L.A.'s housing authority board quietly agreed to pay Rudolf Montiel nearly $1.2 million in connection with his dismissal - much of that to be paid by insurance. From the LAT:
News of the agreement, reached in meetings over the last six weeks, sparked swift, sharp criticism of an agency already buffeted by a criminal investigation, probing auditors and allegations that officials have lavishly and improperly spent taxpayer funds intended for the poor on travel and entertainment. City Controller Wendy Greuel, who has been auditing the agency's travel expenses, released information Friday showing that officials billed the public for limousine rides and meals at pricey downtown hot spots, including Bottega Louie, Rivera and The Palm.
Questions about LAPD airport payments: The FAA is looking into whether the money paid to L.A. police for law enforcement services at LAX was misappropriated. From the LAT:
Federal Aviation Administration officials say they have begun reviewing a recent complaint alleging that the LAPD overcharged the airport and used the money to bolster city coffers and pay for police expenses unrelated to security at LAX, which has been described as a top potential target for terrorists. According to federal regulations, revenue earned by an airport from landing fees, terminal rents, concessions and other charges must be used only for airport purposes. Should violations be found, the city could be required to pay money back to the airport.
Another protest planned at City Hall: This one, set for this afternoon, will call on the City Council to pass the so-called Responsible Banking Ordinance that would assign blame among the major banks for foreclosures.
Volt sales are sluggish: Only 8,000 of Chevy's battery-powered vehicles are expected to be sold this year, below the target of 10,000. From the WSJ:
"We're getting a lot of interest, we're just not getting a lot of buyers," says William Willis, a Chevy dealer in Smyrna, Del. Mr. Willis says he has sold two Volts since the fall and has two on his lot. "Customers come in, they are wowed by the display, the quick acceleration. It's just going to take a while for the American public to accept the price." The $41,000 Volt solved the biggest hurdle with electric cars: range. But that came with compromises on price and space. Now questions have arisen about safety in the wake of fires caused by government crash tests.
Dodgers short of cash: Opening-day payroll is expected to be less than $90 million, well below previous years. (LAT)
American might cut capacity by 10%: That could be the fallout from its bankruptcy filing, with the deepest cuts likely to be in domestic operations. From Bloomberg:
American faces a balancing act between paring flights to save money and keeping its route system large enough to retain business travelers. The third-largest U.S. carrier has fallen behind United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc., which both expanded through mergers since 2008. "I don't expect them to come out and say they're going to slash their network because that would raise questions on how viable this entity is," Hunter Keay, a Wolfe Trahan & Co. analyst, said in an interview. "Something in the range of 5 to 10 percent is possible."
Hollywood office tower sold: The 12-story TV Guide Hollywood Center, located across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theatre, was purchased by Hudson Pacific Properties for $92.5 million. Seller was CIM Group. (LAT)