Profits tumbling. Stock market in disarray. Real estate is ugly. And now Mervyns files for Chapter 11. Also, today, Bennigan's (and its sister Steak N Ale) filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (which means liquidation); all company-owned restaurants closed. Even Starbucks had to close stores.
"Merrill Lynch says will sell most of its troubled asset-backed securities and terminate hedges linked to bond insurers... [USA Today]. " The White House has increased its estimate for next year's deficit to nearly $490 billion..."
After another glum quarter, Russo out at Alcatel-Lucent. A former ATT marketing exec gets CEO job at Vonage just in time to pay the loan shark that refinanced Vonage's debt.
Speaking of debt re-fi, XO has finally refinanced its debt to the benefit of Carl Icahn, who was issued two kinds of preferred stock -- total value: $780M [TJS]
With all this going on, VZ and ATT add millions of cell users (from where?) and do very well this past quarter. BT bought Ribbitt, the Silicon Valley Phone Company that made a soft iPhone, for $105M (that's USD. It's a lot less in Euros!) The best this week was the FCC telling Qwest to take its 4-MSA Forbearance petition and stuff it.