Monthly Archives: September 2008

Schadenfreude is all we have left

Mountain Brook on BusinessWeek.com list of communities poised for a hard economic hit – al.com

It’s an ill wind that doesn’t at least knock down the rich guy’s home while tearing the roof off of yours.

Well, that’s just dandy

Regions stock plummets 41 percent; CEO Dowd Ritter says business is strong – al.com

Regions stock is only at about a quarter of what it was at the time of the merger with AmSouth. There’s nothing wrong with Regions, which didn’t do the foolish things Wachovia did, but it’s caught up in the maelstrom. And I’m guessing it’s going to get bought, probably by Chase. This would be a disaster for Birmingham. Regions is the only major bank left headquartered in the city after the mergers, and is the area’s largest private employer, with 6,200 employees, most of whom would lose their jobs if the bank is bought. And it’s a huge bargain — Chase would be nuts not to buy it.

Screw you, Irondale!

Trinity Medical to buy HealthSouth’s abandoned hospital – al.com

This is the famous “digital hospital”, which would have seen all diseases as a series of ones and zeroes. It was abandoned when the HealthSouth scandal hit, with the shell of the building completed but everything else unfinished. Birmingham gave Trinity $55 million in incentives (I’m guessing dome money) to buy the place and finish it. Trinity was going to build a new hospital in Irondale, but so much for that.

Mergers are fun

Update: Citigroup will acquire Wachovia – Breaking News from The Birmingham News – al.com

So once, there was a bank called SouthTrust. (Actually, I remember when it was Birmingham Trust National Bank. I am old.) It was a perfectly good bank. In fact, it was so good that another bank, from North Carolina, bought it for $14.3 billion in stock, and fired a bunch of people in Birmingham who had helped to make SouthTrust a good bank.

However, that bank from North Carolina, it turns out, had given a whole lot of money to people who could not pay them back because those people shouldn’t have borrowing that much money. And now, the bank’s stock has cratered, so that $14.3 billion is now worth only about $2.9 billion. And an even bigger bank, from New York, is going to buy the bank from North Carolina, and fire a whole lot of people in Birmingham, who didn’t do anything wrong.

Though at least “Citibank” is a better name than “Wachovia”. What the hell is a Wachovia?

If you want a translation…

Embezzling case dismissed against deceased former Bessemer library bookkeeper – Breaking News from The Birmingham News – al.com

“I have assured the family that I’m not commenting on this,” said Jonathan Cross, who represented Ronilo. “All I can say is that he passed away.”

That sure looks like “he killed himself”. Personally, I’m not sorry at all.

Trash talk

Petroleum exec says governor should cancel Georgia-Alabama football game to save gas | Political Insider

They ought to cancel it to save Georgia’s ass.

That is legitimately scary

Something Wrong With John McCain’s Eye » Oliver Willis

Hopefully it’s just an artifact of the picture, because that sort of drooping can be a sign of stroke.