- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 18, 2007


U Two key legislators heading banking-oversight panels in Congress said lending limits on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be eased. Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, said Congress should allow the companies to buy mortgages of at least $500,000. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, said the government-sponsored entities’ overall portfolio limits should be raised.

U Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda acquired 3Dsolve Inc. to add simulation-based learning systems sold to government, military and corporate customers. Terms weren’t disclosed.

U Columbia, Md., data security company Sourcefire Inc. said it has acquired ClamAV, an anti-virus and anti-malware provider. It is Sourcefire’s first acquisition since its initial public offering in March.

U Sprint Nextel Corp. Chief Executive Officer Gary Forsee said a slowing economy and competition from Apple Inc.’s IPhone may hurt the Reston company’s ability to win new customers.


U Consumer confidence dropped in August to the lowest level in a year as slumping stocks and a widening credit crunch added to their worries about weakness in the housing market. The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 83.3, a bigger drop than forecast and the lowest reading since August 2006.

U Radian Group Inc., one of the nation’s largest mortgage insurers, has drawn down half its credit line and faces shareholder lawsuits accusing the company of securities violations. The suits accuse Radian of making “materially false and misleading” statements about the financial health of an affiliate.

U The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, lead plaintiff in a class-action suit against some New Century Financial Corp. officers and directors, asked a bankruptcy judge to force the failed subprime mortgage lender to release all documents related to investigations into reputed accounting fraud.

U Federal regulators appealed a court ruling that allowed Whole Foods Market Inc. to purchase Wild Oats Markets Inc. But the Federal Trade Commission lost its bid to have the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia delay the closing of the deal pending the outcome of the appeal.

U Hedge fund trader John Devaney, who has seen his high-flying career lose altitude due to mortgage-related trading losses, has put a multimillion-dollar helicopter, a yacht and a mansion in Aspen, Colo., up for sale, the New York Post said. Mr. Devaney manages the United Capital Asset Management fund.

U Dell Inc. executives have finally wrapped up a yearlong internal investigation into accounting problems at the computer company, and the mistakes could end up costing them as much as $150 million.

U American Airlines is suing Google Inc. over the company’s sale of keyword ads for rivals triggered by its own trademarks. A Google visitor who enters words or phrases that American trademarked — for example, AAdvantage — will get links to American’s Web site but also its rivals under “sponsored links.”

U Sharper Image Corp. shares surged as much as 30 percent after the seller of hair trimmers and exercise machines denied a report it may go bankrupt if forced to settle a lawsuit for $900 million. The shares plunged 32 percent Thursday, the most in 20 years.

U Pfizer Inc. lost an initial bid for a new patent on Lipitor, the world’s best-selling drug, that would extend the company’s monopoly on the medicine until 2011.

U Quaker Fabric Corp., a U.S. maker of woven upholstery for furniture, filed for court protection from its creditors, citing increased overseas competition from countries including China. The company listed $155.2 million in assets and $60.4 million in debt in papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

U Cintas Corp., the largest U.S. maker of uniforms, faces a $2.78 million fine after a federal probe into the death of a worker who became trapped in a laundry dryer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed the penalty after inspecting the Tulsa, Okla., accident site.

U CVS Caremark Corp. said the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department lawyers closed their investigations into Caremark Rx Inc.’s stock-option practices and will take no action on the matter.

U American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., the second-biggest U.S. residential lender in bankruptcy, can continue servicing $46 million worth of loans owned by a unit of Credit Suisse Group, a judge ruled, rejecting a request by Credit Suisse to block continued servicing.


U The world’s leading mobile phone maker, Nokia, pleaded for calm in India as thousands of anxious customers sought free replacements for potentially defective batteries made in Japan. Police laid on extra security at one Nokia customer center and crowds thronged others across India.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

U Users of Skype in Asia and parts of Europe were able to log on and use the free phone service, nearly 24 hours after a software bug hit the popular program.

U Borse Dubai, owner of the emirate’s two stock exchanges, offered $3.96 billion for Sweden’s OMX AB, topping a bid from Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. The Dubai exchange said it controls 28.4 percent of Stockholm-based OMX.

U Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee-shop chain, will open its first cafe in Russia next month after a decade of delays that included losing trademark rights.

U Union workers at Kia Motors Corp. voted to approve a new wage agreement, the carmaker said, putting an end to a series of strikes that took place amid negotiations. Kia is an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co., the world’s sixth-largest automaker.

U The first known pirated copy of “The Simpsons Movie” to make it onto the Internet was tracked to a home raided by Australian police, authorities said. Police ordered a 21-year-old Sydney man to appear in a Sydney court in October when he will be formally charged.

U Brazil’s real posted its biggest gain since 2002 after the U.S. Federal Reserve unexpectedly cut its discount rate, easing concern that investment into Latin America’s largest economy will slow. Economists covering Brazil, where the currency fell 3 percent Thursday, said the move may alleviate a global cash crunch.



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