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May 4, 2009
Posted: 1819 GMT

fiat

Is it just human enthusiasm and the desire to leave bad times behind that keeps getting investors so excited?

After all, there are as many bad economic indicators as there are good ones. Yet at the smallest twinkle of the possibilty that the economy might be rebounding, stock markets jump as if we'd confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt that we've reached bottom.

Today, it's a surprise number in the housing market. Pending home sales figures are better than expected and builders spent more on construction than what markets had anticipated.

Also, the Italian carmaker Fiat, after increasing its stake in Chrysler lat week, is now merging its car division with General Motors' European auto unit.

Soon, it will be Fiat-Opel, a European car behemoth. Markets are loving that idea (but what aren't they loving these days?)

But the question is: does the marriage make sense? In the car industry today, it's adapt or die. Will Fiat/Opel (plus Saab and Vauxhall) make sense? Will cars coming out of the new merged entity sell well? We'll ask Lauren Fix, a woman known as the "car coach," for her take on it all.

We will also be looking at the latest from Afghanistan/Pakistan. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said today that America's focus has to shift immediately from Iraq to Afghanistan. The urgency comes from the fact that the Taliban and the insurgency in Afghanistan are making territotial gains. In Pakistan, they're moving closer to the capital.

We'll go live to Kabul and to the Pentagon for the latest.

Also today, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will soon be a bachelor. And he and his future ex are lashing out at each other in the newspapers; the wife accusing the perma-tanned premier of flirting with teenagers and the husband demanding public apologies from his spouse. We'll take a look at the drama and tell you how Italians are reacting to the whole thing.

Plus the rest of the day's top news stories, as always.

See you on TV!

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Allan Borch   May 4th, 2009 7:10 pm ET

I really dont see how Fiat can buy this big in a time like this, and i truly believe that Opel will see a huge drop in sales if Fiat takes ownership.
Fiat is really good at small cars, but Opels larger models like the Insignia is so much better than anything Fiat ever build, i will call this a very bad thing for a brand like Opel

Julie   May 5th, 2009 12:45 am ET

I have a very solid Off-Road Fiat 2009 model with a GM motor (they have a partnership on this specific car) and it's my fourth model. I'm very satisfied. I have nothing to complaint about, alongside several other consumers, at least in Brazil.
However, I'd like to complaint about not having access to CNNI in Canada and United States. Whenever I'm here I can't watch my favorite shows. Today, I'm in Canada with no access to CNNI. I love CNN Domestic but I miss watching shows with international perspectives. Thanks.
Julie – Canada.

anglistika   May 5th, 2009 1:20 am ET

My dad has been driving a cramped but comfortable Fiat Marea for about 3 years now and he seems very happy with it.
It's a bit puzzling, though, how Fiat is able to make these big offers and purchase names such as Chrysler and Opel. Is Fiat the only auto company that was recession-minded before the actual recession? What gives?

sidi   May 5th, 2009 1:01 pm ET

hi hala

I'm one of I Desk watcher and just to express you my wonder about your news program I Desk, really it is intresting and usefull, so continue.

king regards
sidi

johnnie   May 5th, 2009 1:04 pm ET

I'm from wichita kansas and I was wondering why I have not heard about how bad it is in the aircraft like cessna, hawker-beach-lear jet arter obama made his speach about the car maker takeing there there jets to washington, every body who works in aircarft has been layed off why is it the ari capital of the world hasn,t been in the news are we not inportant that the layoff ,s in kansas do not matter. just take a look how family have sufferd because of a statement obama made our own governer did'nt stand up for us because she was being appointed to his cabnet thank you johnnie

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