Deutsche Bank Drops $6.3 Billion in 4Q; Nortel Files for Chap. 11; Lehman Out of Chap. 11 in 18-24 Months; Work on World’s Tallest Building Delayed; Yahoo Tunes in to Asian Players; Record Job Cuts; More Adults Downloading TV; D-TV Switch Could be Delayed
- Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank AG, reported a fourth quarter loss of about $6.3 billion (4.8 billion euros), prompting its shares to fall as much as 13% on the news. A year earlier, the bank posted a profit of about $1.3 billion (1 billion euros), Bloomberg reported.
- Nortel Networks Corp., the largest telephone equipment maker in North America, yesterday (Wednesday) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. "Based on this filing, the board of directors must believe that not only is the fourth quarter bad, but that the first quarter is going to be just as bad or worse," Duncan Stewart, an analyst at DSAM Consulting in Toronto, told Reuters.
- Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (OTC: LEHMQ) said yesterday (Wednesday) that it hopes to pull itself out of bankruptcy protection in the next 18 to 24 months. “Too many people are saying this case is going to take five to six or 10 years. There's no reason for this thing to be in bankruptcy for that amount of time,” Bryan Marsal, chief executive of Lehman, said at a bankruptcy court hearing, Reuters reported.
- The global financial crisis has halted development on what’s supposed to be the world’s tallest building. Dubai-based building Nakheel PJSC said work will resume in 12 months on the tower that will stand 1 kilometer (3,280 feet) high when completed, Bloomberg reported.
- In a move aimed at buttressing demand for Web-enable TVs – and to support its online service – Internet-search pioneer Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) has forged HDTV partnership deals with Japan’s Sony Corp. (ADR: SNE), the privately held Vizio Inc., of Irvine, Calif., and LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, both of South Korea. The TVs will go on sale this spring, Yahoo announced at the just-completed International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
- Owners of small businesses slashed an average of 0.86 workers in December, the worst monthly drop ever for the survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). A net 6% of firms plan to cut staff, a total eclipsed only by downturns of 1974-75 and 1980-82.
- Making telephone calls, watching videos and downloading TV shows are the fastest-growing online activities, MediaMark Research & Intelligence reported. According to responses from MRI’s recently released Fall 2008 Survey of the American Consumer, 3.2% of adults said they had downloaded a TV program in the last 30 days. That represents a year-to-year increase of 141.4%. The number of adults who reported they watched online video increased 35.4% during the same period, to a total of 23.3% of the adult population, while 4.0% of respondents reported they had made an online phone call, an increase of 32.0%.
- Momentum is growing for Congress to delay the United States’ switchover to digital TV, currently slated to occur Feb. 17, according to a report in USA Today. John Podesta, co-chairman of the Obama-Biden Transition Team, last week wrote a letter to Congress and asked that the changeover be delayed until a number of problems can be addressed – the key one being the need to obtain more money for the federal digital converter box coupon program, which ran out of money last week. Gene Kimmelman, vice president of the Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, told the newspaper that Podesta’s request makes it “extremely likely” that the changeover will be delayed.