- - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

PARIS — The head of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised the possibility that Greece could leave the eurozone in an orderly fashion.

“If the country’s budgetary commitments are not honored, there are appropriate revisions to do, which means either supplementary financing and additional time or mechanisms for an exit, which in this case must be an orderly exit,” Christine Lagarde said in an interview with France 24.

“It is something that would be extremely expensive and would pose great risks but it is part of options that we must technically consider,” she said.

She spoke as political leaders in Greece said the country was facing new elections as they had failed to agree on a governing coalition in crunch talks following May 6 inconclusive polls.

Observers say that new elections in Greece will likely hand more parliament seats to anti-austerity parties and could push Greece out of the eurozone.

“They have undertaken important reforms, they have made a certain number of sacrifices,” Ms. Lagarde said. “To throw all of this away because of profound political disagreements, it’s really a shame for the Greek people.”


Ex-tabloid editor decries phone-hacking charges

LONDON — Ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks says she is baffled by the decision to charge her in Britain’s phone-hacking scandal, calling the move a waste of public money.

Mrs. Brooks, her husband and four others were charged Tuesday over alleged attempts to conceal evidence of phone hacking, the first prosecutions since police reopened inquiries almost 18 months ago into tabloid wrongdoing.

Mrs. Brooks said that people will eventually see the charges as just “an expensive sideshow.”


Cardinal Health ends DEA inquiry with settlement

NEW YORK — Pharmaceutical wholesaler Cardinal Health Inc. said Tuesday one of its Florida facilities will be barred from shipping controlled substances for two years under a settlement with federal authorities over alleged ineffective controls.

The Lakeland, Fla., facility will remain open and other operations will continue under the agreement with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Cardinal Health also intends to improve procedures that are designed to prevent prescription drugs from being abused.

The Dublin, Ohio, company said the DEA is not planning to take further actions against other Cardinal Health facilities.

The DEA said the Cardinal Health distribution center and two Orlando-area CVS Caremark Corp. pharmacies were distributing amounts of the oxycodone that were far in excess of legitimate medical needs. Oxycodone is a powerful painkiller and the active ingredient in drugs like Percocet and OxyContin.

The DEA ordered the facilities shut down in February. Cardinal Health went to court to stop the move, but in March a federal appeals court allowed the DEA’s suspension to proceed.

The agency cited the same Cardinal Health facility for failing to prevent illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals in 2008. The company paid $34 million to resolve claims that it did not tell the DEA about suspicious orders for hydrocodone, the main ingredient in painkillers like Vicodin.

Shares of Cardinal Health lost 47 cents to $42.29 in afternoon trading.


Carlyle Group 1Q net income falls, revenue dips

The Carlyle Group LP, which went public earlier this month, said Tuesday that its first-quarter net income fell 30 percent as expenses climbed and revenue fell.

The private equity firm earned $629.2 million for the three months ended March 31, down from $896.2 million, a year earlier.

Pro forma net income for the current period was $299 million, or 93 cents per unit, which takes into account changes related to Carlyle’s initial public offering.

Carlyle raised $671 million from its IPO of 30.5 million units, before underwriter commissions and other expenses. The IPO priced at $22, below the range of $23 and $25 given by Carlyle in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The company first filed plans to go public in September, a rocky time in the market when many companies with planned offerings were delaying them. But the market’s appetite for IPOs has improved since then.

Total quarterly expenses rose to $477.2 million from $360.7 million, while assets under management increased to $159.2 billion from $107.5 billion.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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