Markets poised to reopen but nervous
After an historical two day shut down, the New York Stock Exchange is poised to re-open today. CNBC indicates that the biggest concern is that there will be some type of glitch that will panic the markets. An emergency response team of roughly 30 members has been sleeping at the Lower Manhattan headquarters and has talked with more than 400 regulators, exchange executives, traders and New York City officials. The SEC spent much of Tuesday walking the exchanges through checklists that aim to detect potential mishaps. The last time the exchange closed for weather related reasons was 1888. It also closed for 4 days after September 11th. Critics indicate that back up plans should have been properly tested, but many traders were not willing to rely on the backup plans.
Eurozone unemployment rises to new record
According to the Associated Press, unemployment in the 17 country eurozone rose to a record 11.6 percent in September as large parts of the region slide toward recession. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone at 25.8 percent, followed by Greece at 25.1 percent. Youth unemployment in both countries is over 50 percent.
Mickey Mouse to marry Darth Vader
Reuters reports that Walt Disney has agreed to buy filmmaker George Lucas’ Lucasfilm, Ltd, and its “Star Wars” franchise for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. The deal promises a new film in the Star Wars series in 2015. The last Star Wars picture was released in 2005. Three more films in the saga will be released with Lucas acting as a consultant. Lucas will become the second largest individual holder of Disney stock with 2.2 percent.
UBS takes swift action
UBS put bankers on leave the very same day it confirmed its sweeping job cuts. According to the Financial Times, some 100 bankers discovered their turnstile passes no longer worked when they tried to return to work on Tuesday morning. Others found out they had lost their jobs when their emails kept repeatedly bouncing back. The cuts came as the bank said it aimed to save $3.6 billion in the next three years by cutting 10,000 jobs, mostly from its investment bank. The restructuring will reduce the bank’s staffing levels to 54,000, a third fewer than at the onset of the financial crisis five years ago.
Chinese companies fail to pay bills
Chinese listed companies have reported a sharp rise in unpaid bills during the third quarter, in one of the clearest signs their economy is slowing down. CNBC reports that 66 percent of Chinese companies have reported an increase in unpaid bills, or accounts receivable, in the third quarter. China’s economy is set to grow less than 8 percent this year, the slowest pace in a decade.
Insurers to begin tallying Sandy’s damage
Teams of insurance adjusters are making their way eastward to tally the claims coming out of Hurricane Sandy. According to USA Today, Sandy is predicted to have caused $10 to $20 billion of damages and $5 to $10 billion of insured losses. While it is agreed that the insurance industry can absorb the damages, claim repayment will depend on how well individuals have documented the value of their potential losses. State Farm, based in Illinois, sent a team of adjusters to the East coast on Sunday. AIG has 2500 claims people on call. Liberty Mutual has trained auto adjusters to do property claims as well to effectively handle the onslaught of claims. This year large disasters have resulted in $16 billion in claims thus far compared to $32 billion last year after devastating tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, AL and Joplin, MO. Profits for US property and casualty insurers were $16.4 billion in the first half of 2012.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.