24 September, 2008

The McSky is Falling!

I thought I smelled something Filet-O-Fishy when I heard about this story on ABC News last night...
McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant company, told some U.S. franchisees to seek other ways to finance store improvements after Bank of America Corp. declined to increase lending.

Store owners have exhausted financing used to pay for upgrades and equipment to make lattes and espressos, and Bank of America won't provide more money as it works on the planned purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co., McDonald's said in a memo that was obtained by Bloomberg News.

The boys on MSNBC/CNBC are using it as I type to impress upon the naughty populous that it had better get in line behind the Big Bailout or else!

Now the clarifications appear to be flying:
McDonald's said franchisees still have access to more than 50 national, regional and local lenders to provide financing.
"There are no credit issues at McDonald's," spokesman Walt Riker said in an email. "There continues to be more than sufficient liquidity available to our franchisees to fund capital improvements in their restaurants."
And, of course, since you need a new car to drive through the drive-thru, the same ABC News segment threw in a mention of the apparently increasing difficulty of borrowing (as opposed to saving up) money to buy a new car every couple of years.

But the biggest financing problem financing dealers face right now is one brought on by auto dealers and auto financing companies themselves, said Tawny Arnaud, vice president of sales for Galpin Motors, a chain of nine dealerships in the Los Angeles area.

Many customers who want to trade in vehicles today are still paying off extra-long loans they arranged on their last car purchase, he said. Loans of long as or six years have become commonplace in the industry.

Well, mercy!

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