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Disney CEO Bob Iger to hold town hall with employees on Monday

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Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger will speak to employees at 9 a.m. PT Monday in a town hall, marking his return to the company.
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Iger said in a memo to employees he will discuss the future of Disney and answer questions about what’s ahead. He’ll speak from the Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank, California. The memo was obtained by CNBC.

The town hall will come just a week after he was reinstated as CEO, replacing Bob Chapek in a stunning turn of events.

“On Monday, I will be returning to the Walt Disney Studio Lot, a place I have always loved. I’m eager to be rejoining dear colleagues and meeting new team members who’ve become part of our company this past year,” Iger wrote in the message.

Iger has already started changing things at the company, which he led for 15 years until he stepped down and handed the reins over to Chapek in early 2020.

On Monday, the day after he took over the CEO job, Iger said the company would reorganize its media unit and announced the departure of that unit’s boss, Kareem Daniel, who was Chapek’s right-hand man.

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Manhattan renters face sticker shock with average rent at $5,200

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An “Apartments For Rent” sign outside a building in the East Village neighborhood of New York, U.S.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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Manhattan rents rose 2% in November, dashing hopes that prices would cool and forcing many renters to give up their leases or downsize, according to brokers.

The median rent for a Manhattan apartment in November hit $4,033, up from $3,964 in October, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel. The average rent, which is often skewed by luxury sales, fell slightly for the month but is still up 19% over last year, hitting $5,249 in November.

The increases continue to defy predictions that New York’s sky high rents would fall after the summer and give renters some relief after rents hit all-time records. While rents are easing in many parts of the country, New York’s rents remain stubbornly high and the number of unrented or empty apartments remains low.

“Rents are not coming down as quickly as many would hope,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel.

The rise in New York rents also adds pressure to overall inflation, since rents are a large component of inflation indexes and New York is the nation’s largest rental market.

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Manhattan rents are so high that many tenants have started to balk at the prices — either moving out of the city or finding smaller, less expensive rentals. The number of new leases signed in November plunged 39% over October, marking the biggest decline since the start of the pandemic in 2020, according to Miller.

Brokers and real-estate experts say landlords over-reached when they started renewing the leases signed in 2020 and 2021, often demanding rent increases of 20% or more. With landlords typically requiring renters to have annual income of 40 times the monthly rent, the rising median rents have stretched many tenants to the breaking point.

“There is some gridlock,” said Bess Freedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens. “In 2021, rents took off like a rocket and now tenants are stuck. People aren’t going to sign new leases at these prices, they’re just too expensive. Landlords need to start getting more reasonable.”

Freedman said one of her friends faced a rent increase of 30% with a recent lease renewal. “She felt like she was being gouged,” Freedman said.

Vacancy rates remain low, putting little pressure on landlords to lower rents anytime soon. The vacancy rate in November was 2.4% — still below the historical norm in Manhattan of about 3%, according to Miller Samuel.

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There are some early signs that landlords may start capitulating in 2023. The number of landlord concessions — which may include a month of free rent and other deals — rose to 16% in November from 13% in October. Real-estate experts say the big drop in new leases, if it continues, will eventually force landlords to meet renters at a lower price point.

Joshua Young, executive vice president and managing director of sales and leasing at Brown Harris Stevens, said landlords were overly bullish expecting rent increases of 20% or more, and many are now starting to lower prices or adding more concessions to keep their apartments filled.

“A lot of landlords are getting stuck with inventory so and they’re not getting their increases, so they’re reducing price,” he said.



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Cramer’s lightning round: AGNC Investment is not a buy

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Paramount Global: “Too cheap to believe. … I don’t know where it bottoms, but it sure isn’t close to the top.”

Hasbro Inc: “I don’t like the earnings, and I think that Mattel‘s actually cheaper.”

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Citigroup Inc: “The book value is so different from where the common stock is, the price. Something is very wrong there.”

Cramer's lightning round: AGNC Investment is not a buy

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Jim Cramer says not to fear bearish economic talk from bank CEOs – there’s no ‘financial apocalypse’

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Jim Cramer says not to fear bearish economic talk from bank CEOs
CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday told investors that they should take gloomy economic commentary from bank executives with a grain of salt. 

“Don’t panic the next time you hear one of these bank CEOs say something terrifying — they don’t know the impact of their words,” he said, adding, “Sure, we’ve got plenty of problems, but they’re not financial apocalypse problems.”

The S&P 500 slipped for a fifth trading session on Wednesday as investors mulled the possibility of a recession.

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Adding to investors’ worries, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said on Tuesday that inflation is eating away at consumers’ pocketbooks and could create a recession. 

The chief executives of Bank of America and Wells Fargo also warned that the economy is slowing down as Americans cut back on spending.

“Memo to America’s bankers: Don’t try to frighten us. Don’t try to get us to sell everything,” Cramer said. “Don’t be Grinches telling us a hurricane could be coming.”

He urged the chief executives to remind investors of what’s going right in the Fed’s fight against inflation, and gave an example of what he believes one of the CEOs should have said: 

“There will come a day when the Fed will be done tightening, although that may be when the S&P 500 is a good bit lower. But I don’t know if I want to take the chance of possibly missing the [next] big rally. Hey, maybe buy small,” he said.

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Disclaimer: Cramer’s Charitable Trust owns shares of Wells Fargo.

Watch Jim Cramer's message to U.S. bank leaders

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