Warren Buffett withdrew an offer Monday to rescue several distressed lenders by backing $800 million in loans. After he said on television that the offer was no longer “on the table,” shares of troubled companies weakened.
“Stocks in Europe and Asia retreated and U.S. futures fell as Intel Corp. cut its profit forecast and investors speculated that surging commodity costs will curb earnings growth,” reports Bloomberg. Analysts predict profits for U.S. companies will shrink this quarter and have trimmed 2008 earnings-growth forecasts for Europe by more than half.
Troubled bond insurer Ambac has decided not to split as it completes a $2 to $3 billion recapitalization plan, according to the Financial Times. Ambac, the second biggest bond insurer, considered splitting into a triple-A-rated municipal bond insurance business and a structured finance business.
Alex Markels projects that commercial real estate may be the “next shoe to drop” in the real estate crisis. He writes in U.S. News and World Report that demand for commercial space is falling and new construction hit the biggest decline in 14 years in January, “as the massive commercial real-estate market slowly grinds to a halt.”
Texas is geared up for its big role in the primary today, reports the Houston Chronicle. "We count and matter!" said Irene Barrientos, a 57-year-old records clerk from Grand Prairie. "Most of the time, all the attention is up in New York, Washington or any other state besides Texas."
All eyes are on Ohio, too, as the primary there could determine the Democratic presidential candidate. CBS correspondent Steve Kroft talked to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as “60 Minutes” followed their campaigns in Ohio this week. Video clips of the interviews are available.
“The reality is that Obama now holds not only the lead among delegates to the Democratic National Convention, but control of a campaign narrative that appears to be steering the party leaders—superdelegates—who will ultimately determine the nominee inexorably into his camp,” reports Politico.
While the Democratic candidates are in the spotlight today, Republican front runner John McCain hopes to firm up his position by getting the 60 delegates necessary to secure the nomination. McCain caused an uproar recently when he accepted the endorsement of controversial televangelist Pastor James Hagee.
In the face of the U.S. sub-prime crisis Gulf banks have been forced to write down an additional $1.5 million in mortgage-related losses. Arab Banking Corporation and Gulf Investment also took provisions of $230 million and $246 million respectively to cover sub-prime-related losses.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Israel Tuesday where she is promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. “I continue to believe that they can get to a deal by the end of the year if everyone's got the will to do it,” she said in Cairo, her first stop of the trip before flying to Israel.
Foreign Policy lists the best places to be a senior citizen. Mexico, Andorra, Italy, Australia and Japan make the list, which includes average life expectancy in each location as well as perks available for seniors.
Blogging may be good for your health according to a new Australian study. Research reports that after two months of regular blogging, “people felt they had better social support and friendship networks than those who didn't blog,” reports Australian newsgroup ABC.
The writer of “Love and Consequences” admits to making up the biography of growing up among gangbangers in South Los Angeles. Margaret Seltzer, who wrote under the name “Margaret B. Jones,” was outed by her sister.
Evidence at the scene suggests that the attack on five luxury suburban homes that were damaged or destroyed by fire might have been the work of radical environmentalists concerned about sprawl in the wooded Seattle wetlands.
The California Supreme Court this morning took up a case challenging the constitutionality of a state law that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, combining suits from nearly two dozen same sex couples and another by the city of San Francisco.