Bombardier announces 3,000 aerospace job cuts, but still hiring

Montreal-based airplane and rail maker Bombardier has announced it will cut 3,000 (10% of its total worldwide headcount). jobs from its aerospace division. The jobs cuts will affect workers in Toronto, Montreal, Mexico, Ireland, and the U.S.

Bombardier sales of airplanes have fallen significantly given lower demand as a result of the global financial crisis. Bombardier reported it delivered 349 planes last fiscal year, down from 361 delivered planes the year before.

Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin said today, “We believe we are well positioned to face this difficult economic environment with a strong balance sheet, high level of liquidity,”

Despite the new job cuts, Bombardier is still actively hiring for other aircraft divisions such as the CSeries division.

More recently, Bombardier’s biggest competitor Boeing announced 10,000 job cuts. Competitor Cessna Aircraft also recently announced 2,000 more job cuts.


Facebook CFO out, Facebook looking for CFO with public company experience

Facebook has just confirmed that CFO Gideon Yu has just left the company. Facebook praised YU’s contributions to the company. Yu, 39, previously worked for Google, YouTube, and served as Treasurer and Senior Vice President of Finance at Yahoo. Yu has been with Facebook for just about two years to date.

Facebook said in a statement, “We have retained Spencer Stuart to lead our search for a new CFO and will be looking for someone with public company experience.”

With Yu leaving and Facebook looking for a CFO with public company experience, it is fueling speculation Facebook is heading for an IPO.

Facebook up to now has raised just over $450 million in funding. The WSJ is reporting that an internal person familiar with Facebook’s financials said the company expects revenue in 2009 to increase more than 70% year over year, but declined to say how much the company previously earned. The same person also said Facebook had positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the past five quarters. The person also said they expect Facebook to be cash flow positive in 2010 for the first time.

Facebook is expected to reach 200 million registered users within the next few days.


Porsche makes EUR 6.8B from VW options, VW opens India plant

German sports carmaker Porsche has made EUR 6.8 billion by buying long Volkswagen options. The money was made in only six months ended Jan 31, 2009.

Porsche went long in VW while others shorted the company, including German billionaire Adolf Merckle, 74, who lost $400 million by shorting the VW shares, who later apparently committed suicide by stepping into the path of a train in his home town of Blaubeurennear in southwestern Germany. Read the full story


Sun-Times files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Media publications are being hit hard during this tuff economic time from falling advertising revenues.

The Sun-Times, owner of 58 newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the company reorganizes its cost structure.

The company says it will continue to operate its newspapers and websites normally why it restructures. It also says to remain viable it will consider new investments and the sale some of its assets.


Canada says GM, Chrysler plans are inadequate but still awards loans, Obama says GM, Chrysler could use short-term bankruptcy

The Canadian government announced plans today to offer GM, Chrysler up to $4 billion in bridge loans to continue operations.

Under the announced plan today, the Canadian government will earmark $1 billion for Chrysler, $250 million of witch will become available immediately, and an additional $500 million by sometime in April. Part of the deal, Chrysler must interest notes equal to 6.67% of the aggregate loan.

GM would receive the remaining $3 billion. Read the full story


GM CEO Rick Wagoner quits from White House pressure

GM CEO Rick Wagoner, 56, has just announced he will be stepping down from his post because of pressure from the Obama administration. Wagoner has worked at GM during his entire career, joining GM’s treasury department in 1977 immediately following earning his MBA from Harvard.

GM and Chrysler have already received $17.4 billion in loans since December 2008. GM and Chrysler collectively say they need an additional $21.6 billion in loans just to survive. Ford says it will not require any more government help to wither out the financial crisis.

The news comes as Obama is set to unveil his new round of emergency government bailout loans for the auto sector Monday 11AM EST. Obama says the big three have not yet done enough to restructure.

It is currently unclear as to who will replace Wagoner.


AIG to return $50M in bonuses

aigAIG has said today that its financial products division will in fact return $50 million in bonuses amid a public uproar given the U.S. fed has provided the failing company with $170 billion in aid.

15 AIG executives from the financial products’ is set to return $30 million, and the rest of the $50 million coming from other AIG division.

Obama has been widely criticized for the recent bill passed by The House of Representatives who imposed a 90% tax on bonuses aimed at executives who earned more than $250,000 of firms who got more than $5 billion in government aid.

In Q4 2008, AIG posted the largest corporate loss recorded in America, $61.7 billion.


China, Russia call to replace dollar as global reserve currency

Update: President Obama rejected the claims of replacing the dollar as the global reserve currency. Obama said that the United States is considered “the strongest economy in the world with the most stable political system,” and described the dollar as “extraordinarily strong”.

Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the Chinese Central Bank, is calling to replace the dollar as the main global reserve currency, citing the dangers of the current economic crisis on heavily relying on one currency essentially controlled by the west.

Zhou said, “A super-sovereign reserve currency managed by a global institution could be used to both create and control global liquidity.” Read the full story


India’s Tata Motors unveils Nano, world’s cheapest car


Tata Motors has just launched the Tata Nano 5-door car in Mumbai that costs only $2,000.

Tata Motors says the car will not be profitable for at least 6 years, and hopes to have a European ready model by 2011.

The Tata Nano currently does not comply with US emissions or safety standards.

It has drum all-round breaks instead of front discs, and only has basic panels such as the speedometer, fuel, and odometer gauges. The wheels measure at only 12-inches. The vehicle can impressively travel up to 90km per hour.

The Tata Nano comes in three variants as outlined below

* Tata Nano Standard (BSII* and BSIII*): The standard version, in three colour options, single-tone seats, and fold-down rear seat.

* Tata Nano CX (BSII* and BSIII*): In five colour options, with heating and air-conditioning (HVAC), two-tone seats, parcel shelf, booster-assisted brakes, fold-down rear seat with nap rest. Read the full story


Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany posts profits down 75%

Luxury New York-based jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co has posted earnings as of the quarter-ended January 31, 2009.

The company reported that sales were down 20% to $841.2 million from $1.05 billion. Net income for the quarter was down to $31.1 million ($0.25 per share) from $127.4 million ($0.96 per share) a year ago in the same period. Same store sales were down 23% over last year.

The sharp decline in demand as a result of the global economic downturn prompted the jewelry retailer to close its Irdesse pearl chain. Demand for items costing more than $50,000 dropped significantly.

Tiffany CEO Michael Kowalski previously announced plans to cut 10% of the company’s worldwide workforce by the end of the year to deal with the downturn.

Tiffany now forecasts total sales to be down 11% for 2009. Actual sales could fall below that given more tuff economic times projected ahead as consumer confidence dips.

The Tiffany stock today is surprisingly up about 14% to $23.06 following the news in mid-day trading.


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