Early Briefing: Shoring Up Freddie's Reserves
*Freddie Mac plans to shore up its reserves against bad mortgage loans, saying it would sell $6 billion in new stock and cut its $2 annual dividend in half. See story
*Most consumers use credit and debit cards while shopping online, but some, concerned about sharing information on the Internet, are turning to services like Bill Me Later, of Timonium, Md. It allows consumers to buy online and then pay offline after receiving a statement in the mail. See story
*Montgomery County leaders started to confront the deepest-ever projected budget shortfall - 9.6 percent of the $4.2billion in projected spending for fiscal 2009, which begins in July - warning of potential tax increases. County Executive Ike Leggett said residents should be prepared for a reduction in public services. "Our worst fears, as it relates to the housing market and the national economy, are being realized," Leggett said. See story
*Fieldstone Mortgage, a Columbia company under bankruptcy protection, won interim court permission to borrow as much as $1.5 million from its owner, Credit-Based Asset Servicing and Securitization.
*Capital One of McLean said it was reorganizing its leadership structure. Dave Lawson, president of the auto-finance business, said he would retire at the end of April. A combination of tighter credit and rising delinquencies led the auto-finance unit to post a $3.8 million loss last quarter, one of the reasons Capital One posted its first quarterly loss. Lawson earned $8.4 million last year, according to regulatory filings.
In addition, Larry Klane, president of the global financial services unit, announced that he was stepping down from day-to-day responsibilities pending his nomination to the Federal Reserve board of governors. Several other executives were also given new responsibilities.
*Vanda Pharmaceuticals, a Rockville biotechnology firm, said the Food and Drug Administration accepted for review its application for its anti-psychotic drug candidate iloperidone. The drug is aimed at treating schizophrenia.
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