“In some cases we’ve been outright constrained where dealers were just out of cars,” said Mark LaNeve, GM’s sales chief on a conference call. GM estimated vehicle shortages cost the auto industry 40,000 sales last month.

Drop in $5-coffee supply forecast

Starbucks is shuttering five hundred stores in addition to the hundred it announced earlier this year, the Journal says on B1, the FT on page one, and the NYT on C1. About 12,000 decent-paying service jobs will be lost.

It’s a sign of how hard-hit consumers are pulling back on non-essential, quasi-luxury purchases, though it also shows how Starbucks aggressive saturation of the American landscape was overdone. That happens when you open seven stores every day for the last year, as the Journal reports.

The Journal says it’s bad for commercial real-estate developers, who we’d note are already feeling the heat on the strip-mall side from fast-rising vacancies. While Starbucks is closing 8 percent of its U.S. stores—never fear!—that will still leave about 6,400 where you can get your fix.

Has-been mating rituals

The on-again/off-again Microsoft-Yahoo buyout talks are back on.

The Journal on A1 says Microsoft is talking to Time Warner, News Corporation, and others about teaming up to break up Yahoo and feast on the pieces. The Journal says up high that the discussions are “unlikely to result in a deal”, though.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.