Roundup: Circuit City, Fannie Mae,
From staff and wire reports
*Wattles Capital Management, the activist hedge fund that wants to change Circuit City's management, said in a letter to the consumer electronics retailer that it should let Blockbuster examine its finances and start good-faith negotiations on a bid for Circuit City. Blockbuster went public last week with a takeover bid of just over $1 billion for Richmond-based Circuit City.
*Fannie Mae, in response to criticism that new, tougher lending standards discriminated against women and minorities, may retool the rules. Fannie Mae and competitor Freddie Mac began introducing or raising fees late last year on mortgages that they buy from banks because of rising loan defaults and the slump in home sales and prices. More than 80 housing advocates, mostly small community groups, sent letters to the companies' chief executives asking them to change the new pricing structures, which they said "is tantamount to both ethnic and gender discrimination."
The new policies include higher down-payment requirements and mortgage fees for loans to borrowers with low credit scores or for people living in certain zip codes where home prices have dropped. The housing advocates say the changes are akin to redlining, the illegal practice of banks denying loans and other services for certain areas, typically minority neighborhoods.
*UPDATE: Shares of Sallie Mae (SLM) fell 6.8 percent, to $16.44 today, after three federal officials said the government couldn't buy loans from education lenders through a Treasury Department bank.
*Expected tomorrow: earnings reports from Virginia Commerce Bancorp, Genworth Financial; Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group; Massey Energy; T. Rowe Price; Celera Group; and NII Holdings.
April 23, 2008; 3:57 PM ET
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