Early Briefing: An Accidental Breach

*Sometime late last year, an employee of a McLean investment firm decided to trade some music, or maybe a movie, with like-minded users of the online file-sharing network LimeWire while using a company computer. In doing so, he inadvertently exposed the private files of his firm, Wagner Resource Group, to the public.

That exposed the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of about 2,000 of the firm's clients, including a number of high-powered lawyers and Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

The breach was not discovered for nearly six months. A reader of washingtonpost.com's Security Fix blog found the information while searching LimeWire in June.

*James B. Lockhart III, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, said a proposed accounting change would not necessarily force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase the amount of capital they must set aside as a cushion against losses. In an interview, Lockhart said his agency and federal law, rather than accounting rulemakers, control the capital requirements for the government-sponsored firms.

"I don't think there is a prospect that the companies could require a bailout," Lockhart said.
Investors appeared to regain a measure of confidence in the companies. Their stock prices recouped more than half the ground they lost Monday. Meanwhile, mortgage securities they guarantee more than recovered the ground lost Monday relative to Treasury securities, according to analyst Jim Vogel of FTN Financial Group.


Sam Parsons, 5, of Gaithersburg, waits for his yogurt at Dupont's Mr. Yogato, the latest local business to jump on the tart frozen yogurt trend.

*Tart frozen yogurt has finally made its way to Washington from the West Coast, and several new businesses are tussling for your taste buds as the summer heat settles in. There is Tangysweet, and the past year and a half has also brought Sweetgreen, Mr. Yogato and Iceberry to the nation's capital. And Red Mango, which claims to have popularized the trend in South Korea, is scouting for locations.

*Maryland could experience a budget shortfall in the range of $200 million for the fiscal year that started last week if the sluggish economy continues, lawmakers learned. Legislative analysts reported that collections of income and sales taxes, the two largest sources of general fund revenue, have fallen short of expectations, a trend that shows no signs of changing soon.


Serena Williams didn't disappoint in the Washington Kastles opener. (Nick Wass - AP)

* For one night, World TeamTennis was the biggest show in the city.

The crowd rose to its feet cheering. Techno music boomed through the speakers. Cheerleaders pumped pompoms. Eighty-seven credentialed media members took their seats. By 7:10 p.m., nearly 2,200 fans in the stadium at 11th and H streets NW were stretching their necks, snapping photos on cellphone cameras and screaming for Kastles headliner Serena Williams.

"I could not have possibly imagined something better than this," team owner Mark Ein said. "Packed stadium, the stadium as good as it is, Serena being here, undefeated record."

By Terri Rupar  |  July 9, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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