Morning Report: Possible Mall Merger And Growth In The Empire State Index

Good morning! Here's what we're reading:

Simon Bids for General Growth
The WSJ reports:

The Chicago-based owner of 200 U.S. malls, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, taking 166 of its malls into the case with it. Since then, it has restructured and extended the due dates of $11.6 billion in mortgages on its malls. But it still needs to reach similar deals with holders of another $3 billion of mortgages and to pay its $7 billion of unsecured debt with either cash or equity. Simon said Tuesday its proposed deal would accelerate General Growth's emergence from bankruptcy court.

Manufacturing in New York Area Expands at Faster Pace
Bloomberg reports:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's general economic index rose to 24.9 this month, higher than anticipated, from 15.9 in January. Readings above zero in the so-called Empire State Index signal growth in the area covering New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.

Juncker warns Greece to step up efforts
The Financial Times reports:

Mr. Juncker, who heads the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, said if Greece failed to convince its peers within the monetary union with its austerity measures, it faced the risk of sanctions. Finance ministers of the 16-nation eurozone told Greece on Monday night it would have to introduce more spending cuts and revenue-raising measures next month if it appeared unable to slash this year's budget deficit by as much as promised.

Tougher financial regulations not coming fast or easy for SEC's Mary Schapiro
The Washington Post reports:

Among the proposals that have not been finalized are new rules to make it easier for shareholders to shape the upper echelons of corporate management, an overhaul of the credit-rating industry that judges the quality of investments and measures to curb corruption in state pension plans. Each of those measures is aimed at failings that became apparent during the past two years.

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