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Current Topic: Economics

Metromedia Fiber Network Files for Chapter 11
Topic: Economics 8:55 pm EDT, May 20, 2002

Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. said on Monday it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest high-speed communications network operator to buckle under a heavy debt load and stiff competition.

Busted ...


Metromedia Fiber Network Files for Chapter 11

Adelphia Is Said to Plan Disclosures of Dealings
Topic: Economics 6:46 am EDT, May 20, 2002

Adelphia plans to disclose the details of its dealings with the Rigas family. The disclosures are aimed at regaining the support of regulators and creditors in an effort to avoid being delisted by Nasdaq, a step that could lead to bankruptcy.

Let the backpedaling begin ... Too little, too late.

Adelphia Is Said to Plan Disclosures of Dealings

A Tough Sale for WorldCom in Latin America
Topic: Economics 6:45 am EDT, May 20, 2002

WorldCom, short on cash and intent on selling some of its international assets, could have trouble finding buyers because of problems at the company and in the industry.

Deutsche Bank: "Embratel is basically doomed ..."

Surprise, surprise! Overpriced telcos don't sell!

A Tough Sale for WorldCom in Latin America

Enron Has Link to Global Crossing
Topic: Economics 6:43 am EDT, May 20, 2002

Enron and Global Crossing used a complex deal brokered by a third company to sidestep accounting rules in a March 2001 transaction that was designed to help Global Crossing disguise a loan and allow each company to book revenue. ... The details shed light on the way Enron and Global Crossing operated in the formerly frenetic market for trading high-speed communications capacity.

Scapegoat says: "We were told to buy a bag of goods and to sell a bag of goods. It's earnings management."

Didn't we know this already? And where can you get a degree in earnings management?

Enron Has Link to Global Crossing

Things looking up for telecom in Asia
Topic: Economics 9:21 am EDT, May 18, 2002

Gartner Dataquest says the data services of Asian telecoms are poised for explosive growth. They recommend looking to China for the most promising telecom opportunities. Meanwhile, they say the US telecom industry is not in danger of collapsing and that the worst declines are over. Such a statement is likely to confuse people ... it is obvious, for example, that the "worst" is over at WorldCom, percentage-wise, because the stock is down 98%. But that last 2% will be particularly rough for the employees, bondholders, and shareholders ...

Things looking up for telecom in Asia

New Questions Surfacing in Inquiry Into Adelphia
Topic: Economics 9:09 am EDT, May 18, 2002

Investigations into accounting problems at Adelphia Communications are turning up a far broader number of questionable transactions between the company and its controlling family than had been apparent at first, an executive close to the situation said yesterday.

Financial intrigue at Adelphia over deals for hockey teams, golf courses, and more. The execs are taking this seriously -- they've brought David Boies onto their legal team. But no one is going to buy them or bail them out. The firm will soon be delisted, and from there the bankruptcy filing is only a matter of time.

New Questions Surfacing in Inquiry Into Adelphia

3 Ex-Chiefs Discover Perils of Borrowing and Believing
Topic: Economics 6:20 am EDT, May 16, 2002

Three chief executives who made millions and were leading citizens now find themselves out of work and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

Yesterday John J. Rigas, whose debt is well above a billion dollars, was forced to step down as chief executive of Adelphia Communications. Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom was forced out last month and has five years to repay over $400M. WorldCom's share value is now down 98% from its peak.

Stephen Hilbert of Conseco was ousted in the spring of 2000.

At least theoretically, all these executives should face a debt crisis as a result of the loans. But none have yet suffered by being forced to come up with the cash or file for bankruptcy, and some doubt they ever will be.

3 Ex-Chiefs Discover Perils of Borrowing and Believing

Teleglobe to File For Bankruptcy
Topic: Economics 6:05 am EDT, May 16, 2002

Teleglobe announced plans yesterday to restructure itself under bankruptcy protection. It also laid off 850 employees, shut down its data operations and accepted the resignation of its chief executive.

Teleglobe filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and had a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware yesterday. Teleglobe will file for US bankruptcy protection shortly and in the UK on Friday.

"We will renew our focus on our core [voice] business. By doing this, Teleglobe will free itself from the high cost of its recently built infrastructure that was primarily developed to support its data and hosting operations we are discontinuing."

Teleglobe to File For Bankruptcy

Chief Executive Resigns Post as Adelphia Widens Inquiry
Topic: Economics 6:01 am EDT, May 16, 2002

Underscoring the breadth of the crisis facing Adelphia Communications, the company said yesterday that its founder and chief executive, John J. Rigas, had resigned and that it was conducting an investigation into issues raised during the preparation of its 2001 financial statements.

Mr. Rigas's son, Timothy, the company's chief financial officer, may resign both his post and his board seat today. Trading in Adelphia's shares was halted yesterday. Adelphia may be delisted, which could lead the company into bankruptcy.

Adelphia has $1B in convertible bonds with a covenant that allows holders to exchange them for cash if the company is delisted. Because the company does not have enough cash to cover any such conversion, such demand could force the company to seek bankruptcy protection.

Chief Executive Resigns Post as Adelphia Widens Inquiry

Did Standard & Poor's Make a Mistake?
Topic: Economics 5:57 am EDT, May 15, 2002

WorldCom has plenty of problems, and well-publicized ones. But does it really deserve to be exiled from the Standard & Poor's 500?

So far this year, WorldCom is down 91%.

S&P takes pride in not leaving companies in the index until they file for bankruptcy.

S&P acknowledged that it was possible it had erred in taking out WorldCom when it was still a $4B company. "We'll know the answer in six months to a year. If then it is still around and is selling for $5 a share, we will have made a mistake."

The author argues that S&P acted too early in deciding to oust WorldCom from the index.

Did Standard & Poor's Make a Mistake?

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