- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 29, 2008

Regional

U Boeing Co. and Textron Inc. received a $10.4 billion contract for the V-22 Osprey that ensures production of 167 more of the tilt-rotor aircraft through 2012, the Pentagon said.

U Lockheed Martin Corp., the Bethesda defense contractor, and its partners beat a Boeing Co. team for a $766 million contract to supply the Defense Department with advanced radios.

National

U The Federal Reserve announced it will auction another $100 billion in April to cash-strapped banks as it continues to combat the effects of a credit crisis. Through the end of March, the Fed has provided $260 billion in short-term loans to banks through the innovative auction process.

U President Bush will nominate two Democrats to join the all-Republican Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Bush will pick Elisse Walter, a brokerage regulator, and Luis Aguilar, a securities lawyer, the White House said. They replace former Democratic Commissioners Roel Campos and Annette Nazareth, who have stepped down in the past seven months.

U Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin is investigating the sale of auction-rate securities by UBS AG, Merrill Lynch & Co. and Bank of America Corp. to individual investors in the commonwealth. Mr. Galvin said the probe was prompted by investors’ complaints that they can no longer sell the securities.

U FGIC Corp., the New York bond insurer owned by Blackstone Group LP and PMI Group Inc., had its financial strength rating cut six levels to below investment grade by Standard & Poor’s after the company failed to raise new capital.

U A federal judge issued an arrest warrant for former National Century Financial Enterprises Inc. executive Rebecca Parrett for failing to report to authorities after her conviction in a $2 billion fraud case. Parrett, 59, was convicted March 13 with four other former company executives after a trial in federal court in Columbus, Ohio.

U Oil futures pulled back sharply after fears of a major disruption of Iraqi crude exports dissipated. Light, sweet crude for May delivery fell $1.96 to settle at $105.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Over the previous three days, oil prices rose $6.72, or 6.6 percent.

U Unauthorized “malware” that was secretly installed on servers in Hannaford Bros. Co.’s supermarkets across the Northeast and in Florida enabled the massive data breach that compromised up to 4.2 million credit and debit cards, the company said. At least 1,800 cases of fraud have been linked to the data breach.

U Newspapers last year suffered their worst drop in print advertising sales since industry recordkeeping began 57 years ago, with revenue plunging 9.4 percent to $42.2 billion from $46.6 billion in 2006, the Newspaper Association of America said. The drop was cushioned by a 19 percent rise in Internet advertising to $3.17 billion.

International

U The International Monetary Fund’s board approved a plan to change the lender’s voting structure after 18 months of negotiations intended to give greater authority to developing countries. The voting share of developing countries would rise to 42 percent from about 40.5 percent under the plan. Advanced economies would have 58 percent of the voting share, down from 59.5 percent.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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