Stocks drop sharply: On the 25th anniversary of Black Monday, the Dow is down more than 130 points. Weak earnings from McDonald's and other Dow components are being cited.
Gas update: Prices are falling at a somewhat more accelerated pace, with an average gallon of regular in the L.A. area dropping three cents overnight, to $4.556, according to the Auto Club. From press release:
"Oil industry analysts reported significant drops in the wholesale market on Wednesday which, if they hold, should bring prices well below $4 a gallon in Southern California," said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. "The only question is how quickly that will happen."
Big drop in Jobless rate: See post below.
Pushing for higher taxes: The hikes on parking revenue and real estate sales would generate up to $125 million annually for the city budget. L.A.'s top budget official, Miguel Santana, is proposing that they be on the March ballot. From the LAT:
[Mayor] Villaraigosa said he is open to both tax proposals, which are scheduled to be reviewed Friday by a committee headed by Council President Herb Wesson. But the mayor also warned that he would embrace them only if the council agrees to make other decisions, such as privatizing the zoo and the Convention Center and proceeding with a delayed package of layoffs.
Garcetti opposes 401(k) plans: Another sign that the councilman and mayoral candidate is doubling down on the wishes of City Hall unions. From the LAT:
Appearing with three rivals at a Westside forum, Garcetti said Wednesday that he would oppose any shift to 401(k)-style retirement accounts, which can grow or shrink with investments. Some political and civic leaders want the city to switch to such plans for new hires to reduce ballooning costs of pension plans that guarantee future payouts to retirees. Garcetti argued that such a change would cost the city money and not produce savings for at least 15 years.
Ari Emanuel sues: But it has nothing to do with Hollywood. The superagent and his wife Sarah allege that the proprietors of a clothing store in which they had invested more than $600,000 were misusing their money. (THR)
U-T owner interested in Tribune Co.: San Diego developer Doug Manchester, whose purchase of the San Diego daily has drawn all sorts of heat, says he wants to go after the parent company of the LAT, still in bankruptcy protection. (KPBS)