Wednesday morning headlines

Oil tops $130: All the usual explanations are cited: a weak dollar, production worries, and the role of speculators. T. Boone Pickens expects oil to hit $150 a barrel, which is no longer much of a stretch. (Reuters)

Airport traffic is flat: Almost 20 million passengers are expected at LAX during the summer travel season, about the same as last year. The flat forecast is mainly the result of higher ticket prices and a trimming of flight schedules. The fun begins this weekend when about 820,000 passengers are expected to arrive at or depart from LAX. Try to avoid Friday or Monday. (LAT)

First class travel down: Biz class too. The number of international air travelers fell in March by the largest amount in five years. But travel across the North Atlantic remained relatively strong, and travel across the Pacific was the strongest of the larger premium markets. (AP)

Airport satisfaction: It's an oxymoron, according to the new J.D. Power survey. The study found more dissatisfied customers, with flight delays, lost baggage and lousy concessions among the biggest complaints. LAX received an overall score of 675, which is one point above average. Philly ranked highest, at 690. Huh? (Daily Breeze)

Mozilo presses wrong button: The Countrywide chairman can't seem to get anything right these days. He received what appeared to be an email form letter from a borrower who asked that the terms of his loan be modified so he wouldn't lose his home of 16 years. Mozilo apparently wanted to forward the email but instead pressed reply. "This is unbelievable," Mozilo said in his response. "Most of these letters now have the same wording. Obviously they are being counseled by some other person or by the Internet. Disgusting." From the LAT:

The reply touched off debate on housing websites. At, a self-described notary public called Mozilo's e-mail "a perfect example of the 'help' they can expect to receive when contacting their lenders." Another correspondent countered: "I am tired of hearing borrowers complain that they didn't understand what they were signing. . . . If borrowers want the freedom to take out credit for hundreds of thousands of dollars, they are equally responsible to not sign something they don't understand."

Lawyer charged in scam: Jeanne M. Rowzee is accused of bilking investors in a scheme where returns of as much as 40 percent had been promised. The Irvine securities lawyer was picked up after she agreed to pay about $66 million in damages in a separate civil lawsuit. There are at least half a dozen suits filed in state and federal courts accusing Rowzee and insurance salesman James R. Halstead of bilking investor money. (LAT)

Remember Peter Adderton?: He ran Amp'd Mobile, the cell phone service aimed at 18-25-year-olds that wound up in bankruptcy last year. Now he's cut a deal with the William Morris Agency to create a hybrid firm that somehow connects Hollywood and digital media. WM will be taking an undisclosed stake in the new venture, called Agency 3.0. (LAT)

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook