General Growth Gets Two-Week Loan Extension

One of the nation’s largest mall owners, General Growth Properties, Inc., reached an agreement Monday with the holder of a $58 million note to extend the maturity date to Dec. 11. The struggling REIT has been renegotiating with lenders for extensions including one made Sunday on $900 million in loans for two of its premier malls. However, the sharks are still circling. Forbes.com reported that on Monday, General Growth shares sank by 17.4 percent, or 24 cents, to $1.14. Its shares have tumbled by 97.2 percent since the beginning of the year. General Growth has $1.1 billion in debt coming due by the end of the year and $21.9 billion maturing by the end of 2012, according to Forbes. U.S. stock futures rose Tuesday as investors aimed to recoup some of the losses from the previous session, which saw the blue-chip Dow plunge 680 points, according to CNNMoney.com. Wall Street tanked Monday after the National Bureau of Economic Research said the U.S. has officially been in a recession since December 2007 with the Dow plunging 680 points, its fourth-biggest single-session decline on a point basis ever while the S&P 500 fell 8.9 percent and the Nasdaq composite gave up 9 percent, according to the report. November auto and truck sales are also due out today while the Big Three automakers are due to submit plans to Congress outlining how they would restructure their companies if they receive government loans, CNNMoney.com reported. The Detroit Free Press stated that Top UAW officials from across the country will meet in Detroit on Wednesday to consider key concessions in hopes of helping Detroit’s automakers gain congressional approval of $25 billion in federal loans. As suspected when J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. absorbed Washington Mutual Inc., layoffs are planned for 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. About 21 percent of Washington Mutual Inc.’s employees will be laid off by the end of 2009 with 4,000 workers gone by the end of January and another 5,200 by the end of 2009.