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Quick Hits: Recession To Cramp Wall Street Style


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines

Hamilton Shirts, purveyor of $300 to $500 custom-made shirts, is a family-owned small business based in Houston. In its 125 years of operation, the company has survived the Great Depression, two World Wars and a slew of recessions. Now it's bracing for the most recent economic downturn.

David Hamilton, the company's 29-year old co-owner, used to be an investment banker at Lehman Brothers (LEH). He says Hamilton's secret is cash and credit management. The company carries no debt and the nature of the custom order business helps control inventories.

But one potential headwind for Hamilton is the influx of expensive shirts that's likely to hit the market as layoffs continue on Wall Street. The aforementioned Lehman has already dumped 18% of its workforce, Citigroup (C) 1.7%, Morgan Stanley (MS) 6.2% and Merrill Lynch (MER) 4.5%. To make ends meet, former executives and other high-paid employees may resort to selling shirts on eBay (EBAY). Some, like this must-have, could fetch upwards of $300, and cut into Hamilton's margin.

For more on eBay check out Hoofy & Boo's always astute report.

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