Early Briefing: Moffett Leaves Fannie in Frustration

David M. Moffett said yesterday that he is stepping down after just six months as the government-appointed chief executive of Freddie Mac. Associates said he was frustrated with the intense scrutiny by federal regulators and the short leash they keep the company on, according to Zachary Goldfarb. His resignation comes amid growing losses at the McLean mortgage-finance company and unresolved questions about whether it should follow the path of a private firm trying to make its way back to profitability or that of a government agency whose overriding goal is carrying out public policy.

Yesterday on the blog we mentioned troubles at three other local companies. Find the final versions of the stories on Allied Capital, American Capital and Sunrise Senior Living here.

W.R. Grace said it may delay its exit from bankruptcy protection because it cannot get acceptable terms for a $1 billion loan that it says it needs to help to pay creditors. The Columbia chemicals and construction materials company, in bankruptcy protection since 2001, has promised to pay creditors and people hurt by its asbestos products $3.9 billion under a reorganization plan that it plans to submit to a court for approval later this year.

Gannett, the McLean-based publisher of USA Today, had its credit rating cut below investment grade by Standard & Poor's, which said it anticipates the drop in advertising will accelerate this year. Gannett's rating was reduced to BB from BBB-, or two levels into junk status, S&P said.

Today, we're expecting earnings reports from JER Investors Trust and USA Mobility.

By Terri Rupar  |  March 3, 2009; 7:30 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Morning Brief
Previous: Sunrise May Seek Bankruptcy Protection | Next: JER Has Less Cash, More Delinquencies

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