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Scam Diego Entries for March, 2009

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Parent of Chicago Sun-Times Files for Bankruptcy

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Sun-Times Media Group today (March 31) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and intends to continue operating. The paper has a weekday circulation of 300,000 and Sunday of 250,000. The company operates 59 papers. In December, Chicago's Tribune Co., which includes ...

San Diego Real Estate Values Back to August 2002 Levels

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San Diego metro real estate values have now plunged 40.8 percent from their peak in November of 2005, according to data from Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller, released this morning (March 31). Local prices are back to their August 2002 levels. Indices ...

Arena Pharmaceuticals' Stock Plunges on Disappointing Results of Weight Loss Drug

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Here's the skinny on biotech Arena Pharmaceuticals' experimental weight loss drug, Lorcaserin: Wall Street thinks late-stage study results don't measure up. The stock is down 27.56% today (March 30) to $3.26. Last week it had climbed from $4.20 to $4.50 ...

Lead Indicators of San Diego Economy as Gloomy as Ever

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Pundits are desperately looking for positive signs for the national economy, but San Diego can't offer any. The lead indicators of the San Diego economy, compiled by Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, continue the dismal drumbeat. The ...

Shed a Tear: Top Hedge Fund Managers' Average Pay Dropped 48% Last Year -- to $464 Million

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The people who run the 25 top-performing hedge funds had to live on a mere $464 million average income last year, according to Alpha Magazine. That was down from the average $892 million they made in 2007. Could you take ...

Citigroup Employees in Company's Stock Plan Sue in District Court

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Citigroup employees who participated in the ailing company's stock purchase plan filed a suit in district court yesterday (March 24), charging that the financial services firm concealed its exposure to toxic subprime-related and derivative products. The suit, filed by lead ...

Two Nobel Economists Denounce Geithner Plan for Lining Wall Street Pockets

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Nobel Prize-winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman today (March 24) lambasted the plan by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to take more than $1 trillion of smelly assets off banks' books. The plan would use massive amounts of taxpayer funds ...

Economist Who Correctly Called Downturn Leaves Bank of America

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This announcement sounds like an economist getting punished for having the courage and intelligence to be right. David Rosenberg, economist for Merrill Lynch, (and for Bank of America after it purchased the Wall Street firm), is leaving the bank to ...

Geithner Caves in to Blackmail; Participants in Financial Rescue Package Won't Have Pay Limits

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Sunday evening (March 22), President Obama uttered some intelligent words: Wall Street was overpaid, he said, noting that 25 years ago, Wall Streeters made 20 times what teachers make, and now it's 200 times (an understatement, but who's counting?Then the ...

Owner of Plane that Crashed in Montana Appears to Have San Diego Connections

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Reader document sleuth Matt Potter has traced the apparent San Diego connections of the owner of the plane that crashed in Montana. Records show that the owner of the plane is Eagle Cap Leasing of Enterprise, Oregon. President of the ...

Florida Marlins Agree to Share Profits with Governments if Team Sold

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The Florida Marlins professional baseball team, begging for a big government subsidy for a new ballpark, agreed this week to split its profits with the City of Miami and Dade County if the team is sold within nine years of ...

Councilmember Frye Says City Budget Deficit Actually Much Higher; Also Derides Bond Issuance

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Councilmember Donna Frye, consistently the only member of the body to have a grasp of economics, today (March 20) sent a letter to Mayor Jerry Sanders, stating that the actual budget deficit could be $60 million, not the $45 million ...

San Diego Unemployment Rises to 8.8% in February, but Narrowly Trails National Rate

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San Diego County's unemployment rate rose to 8.8% in February, up from a revised 8.7% in January and up sharply from 5% a year ago. California's unadjusted rate is 10.9% and the nation's 8.9%. San Diego has had a higher ...

U-T Heads Will Be Chopped More Severely; Economics Dictates It

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Union-Tribune employees expected another mass axing in February. It didn't come. But an even larger head-chopping than expected will inevitably come. Here are some numbers that I have gleaned. U-T annual revenue is at most $250 million and probably closer ...

Union-Tribune Sold to Private Equity Group Teaming with Black Press, Long-Time Rumored Buyer

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The Union-Tribune announced this morning that it has been sold for an undisclosed price. The buyer was announced as a Beverly Hills private equity firm, Platinum Equity. However, a member of the Platinum Equity "team" is Vancouver's Black Press, whose ...

Copley Slashes Retiree Health Benefits

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Copley Newspapers today (March 17) announced deep cuts in health care coverage for retirees. In trying to lure certain employees to take buyout offerings the last several years, the company had promised to pay 75 percent of medical coverage until ...

Newspapers Should Go Totally Online, Says Writer for Business Week Magazine

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"To stop the red ink, newspapers need to get rid of the ink altogether. It's high time for online-only operations." This is what Rick Wartzman, director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University, wrote for Business Week Magazine this ...

Next Will Come No-Newspaper Markets, Says New York Times Story

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"In 2009 ad 2010, all the two-newspaper markets will become one-newspaper markets, and you will start to see one-newspaper markets become no-newspaper markets," says an analyst for Fitch Ratings in this morning's (March 12) edition of the NY Times. The ...

No Plea Deal for Madoff; Could Spend Remaining Days in Prison

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There will be no plea agreement for notorious New York Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, a prosecutor said in Manhattan court this afternoon. Because of certain procedures last week, skeptics worried that Madoff, who has confessed to running a $50 billion ...

Sempra's Federal, State Relationships in the Spotlight

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David Hayes, President Obama's nominee to be deputy interior secretary, hasn't lobbied the department in more than two years, as required, but filings reveal he has continued to represent companies with business before the department, according to Politico.com. Hayes was ...

Most Newspaper Chains' Stocks Down At Least 90% in Last Year

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Here's how much the market has knocked down newspaper stocks in the last 52 weeks. I picked 10 representative newspaper stocks; half of them are significantly diversified into other media. The list includes the cream from a quality standpoint: Washington ...

Hedge Fund Disasters Lead to Resignation of Chief Investment Officer of County Retirement Fund

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David Deutsch, chief investment officer of the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association, resigned today (March 5), as a result of bad hedge fund experiences and performance. Formerly, the county had 20 percent of the portfolio in hedge funds. That ...

County Unemployment Surges to 8.6% in January; Jobs Down 28,300 in Month

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The San Diego County unemployment rate jumped to 8.6% in January from a revised 7.5% in December and 5.1% a year earlier. The state's rate is 10.6% and the nation's 8.5%. The county lost 28,300 jobs, or 2.2%, in the ...

EDC PR Machine Takes Credit for NY Times Fluff Piece

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Here is the first paragraph of a release this morning (March 4) from the Economic Development Corp. (EDC). "San Diego Regional EDC's media relations program is gaining momentum, with a feature article in the Wednesday, March 4, 2009 issue of ...

If 3 Major Dailies Are Worth $22 Million, What Is U-T Worth?

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There is a Dallas company named AH Belo Corp. that owns 3 major daily papers: the Dallas Morning News, Press-Enterprise of Riverside, and Providence Journal. The company has little debt: in fact, it has almost as much cash as debt. ...

USD 29th in Undergrad Business Education, Says Business Week

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The University of San Diego's undergraduate business school has risen sharply to 29th in the U.S., according to the annual ranking of Business Week Magazine. Last year, USD's B school was ranked 47th. USD gets a grade of A-plus for ...

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