Leveraged loans, like the one Wachovia is trying to back out of above, are likely to be the main culprit. It is committed to fund loans worth more than 10% of its entire market value and with the value of those loans having tumbled, it will likely face a big writeoff this quarter. Some equity investments also have fallen in value.
Revenue in its core investment banking business is likely to be down, too, up to 50% from last quarter, says the WSJ, weighing further on results.
The Washington Post reports the Army is spending $800,000 to Walt Disney Company to sprinkle some stardust on Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s woeful care system, impressively exposed in the paper’s pages last year.
Apparently the hospital’s employees are learning from Donald Duck and the like how to and how not to treat “customers.”
Even more comforting, the Post says the FBI, CIA, and other government agencies have also paid the Disney Institute to teach them “the business behind the magic.”
Wednesday afternoon’s training session at Walter Reed, held in a hospital meeting room decorated with Disney balloons and loaded with cookies and soft drinks, began with more than a little skepticism evident.
Donnelly, who started working for Disney in the summer of 1986 as a guide on Disney World’s Jungle Cruise ride, warmed up the crowd. “We’re going to kick it off today with what we call ‘Sizzle,’” he said. “Here it comes!”
Not everyone in the crowd looked impressed. “If you are skeptical right now, that’s okay, I am with you,” Donnelly said.
We’re in favor of anything that will help folks who’ve been traumatically injured serving our country get the best care and service possible, and the government should spend what it needs to in order figure out how to do just that. But, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more reporting on just how well this $800,000 was spent.
That brings us to our Quote of the Day, from the Disney Institute’s Bruce Jones: “People will joke about ‘[a Mickey Mouse operation,’” Jones said. “We generally have to inoculate against that with the audience.”
You might want to shoot up the taxpayers, too, while you’re at it.
The Times takes note of Josh Marshall and his impressive (and burgeoning) Talking Points Memo empire and their landmark win last week of a George Polk award. We’d like to congratulate Marshall and TPM for leading the way in finding new models to support the business of journalism, as the Columbia Journalism Review noted in last September. As the newsrooms of the Neolithic newspapers dwindle away (and will continue to for the foreseeable future), this kind of entrepreneurialism will help keep the watchdog barking.
Sig Gissler, the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, said in an e-mail message that online articles are eligible for the awards, but they must have been published on a weekly or daily newspaper’s Web site.
“A freestanding Web site does not qualify,” he said.
Time to get with the (HTML) program, Sig.