Early Briefing: The Troubles Spread

*One part of the mortgage market seemed okay: mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae of the District and Freddie Mac of McLean. But that doesn't seem to be holding up anymore, with supply growing and prices dropping. See story

Those dropping prices may hit another local firm. Carlyle Group runs Carlyle Capital, a publicly traded fund that has bought up AAA-rated securities from Fannie and Freddie. The fund has gotten notice that it's in default because the prices of its holdings have dropped too far. While none of Carlyle's buyout funds back Carlyle Capital, money from its owners does - plus, it does carry the Carlyle name. See story

*The state of Maryland and Prince George's County brokered a deal to keep the county's hospitals open while looking for a new owner. The system is owned by the county and managed by the nonprofit Dimensions Healthcare System, which has been losing money. See story

*The Virginia House and Senate both passed a bill to reform the payday loan industry. It limits borrowers to one loan at a time, restricts how many they can get in a year, provides them more time to repay the mone, and limits interest rates. Jamie Fulmer, a spokesman for Advance America, the nation's largest payday loan company, said the changes would translate into at least a 20 percent decrease in revenue for Virginia stores, which could force some to shut down. See story

*A day after National Public Radio announced that it would move its headquarters to the NoMa area of the District, the General Services Administration selected the neighborhood to house offices of the Justice Department. About 2,000 employees will move to 521,000 square feet at Two Constitution Square, 145 N. St. NE, starting in 2010, the NoMa Business Improvement District said in a statement.

*Lockheed Martin of Bethesda will compete against Boeing and Northrop Grumman for as much as $5.4 billion in Air Force orders to support the service's weapons systems. Work includes maintenance, spare parts and repairs for programs including C-130 transport planes and B-52 bombers.

*Emergent BioSolutions of Rockville, maker of the only anthrax vaccine approved by U.S. regulators, said it purchased a group of experimental antibody drugs for people who have been exposed to the pathogen. The seller, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, said in a news release that it could receive as much as $1.75 million plus royalties.

*The developer of a major office, retail and residential complex being built on the outskirts of Annapolis is suing an investor for allegedly reneging on an agreement to buy property at the site. Hovnanian Land Investment Group was sued last month for breach-of-contract by Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole for failing to close on the purchase of residential property at the site by Feb.1, according to court records.
Annapolis Towne Centre contends that Hovnanian agreed in 2005 to buy the property for more than $33 million, a price that was later reduced, the documents said.

By Terri Rupar  |  March 7, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
Previous: Carlyle Unit Fails To Meet Margin Calls | Next: Carlyle Capital Considers "All Available Options"

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