Stocks opened mildly lower with Coca Cola posting strong numbers, sending that stock higher by 3%. Bernanke speaks today, but I don’t expect anything material to come from his comments. The European Central Bank – the equivalent of the Fed for the EU, is looking for a successor to Jean-Claude Trichet. I have not been impressed at all with his leadership – he has been behind the ball every step of the way, throughout the global recession.
Locally, Pacific Capital reported a $20 million profit for the fourth quarter. They used “push down accounting” for the purchase transaction, when Ford Financial bought the bank holding company, which has significantly altered their costs bases for the loans they hold. It appears that it will take several quarters for a true picture of their balance sheet to emerge.