Early Briefing: Potential Boon for Satellite Firms

National Intelligence Director Dennis C. Blair announced this week that the United States plans to rely more on the private sector for its satellite mapping and reconnaissance needs. While the National Reconnaissance Office develops, builds and operates a new type of intelligence-gathering satellite, the Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community will supplement and back up its current satellite imagery projects with products from commercial suppliers.
Two commercial satellite imagery firms are best positioned to benefit: Dulles-based GeoEye and a Colorado-based firm called DigitalGlobe. According to one industry analyst's calculations, the new policy could amount to about $750 million for each company over the next five years.

Marc Fisher writes about the promise of the neighborhood around the Nationals' stadium, saying it seems distant now. One hundred and fifty-four buildings have been demolished in what used to be the city's industrial zone, a back lot dotted with seedy nightspots and dingy warehouses, all bulldozed to make way for a stadium where men play games and fathers and sons dream together, he writes.
The idea was that by building the stadium, the city would unleash imaginations and wallets. Bars and restaurants would spring up, and tax dollars would flow. A grand circle of investment would be completed.
Then everything froze. Six buildings have been finished since the first Opening Day at Nationals Park last spring, according to JDLand, an encyclopedic blog by Washington Post computer wiz Jacqueline Dupree that chronicles the transformation of the stadium area. The same abandoned construction pit lies directly across the street from centerfield. The office buildings erected remain mostly empty.

Provident Bankshares of Baltimore said its shareholders have approved the acquisition of Maryland's largest independent bank by M&T Bank. Provident said holders of more than three-quarters of its common stock approved the merger yesterday, more than the two-thirds required by state law.
The deal is expected to close by the end of May, pending approval from regulators. M&T Bank has said it plans to lay off about 29 percent of Provident's employees after the merger, which would eliminate more than 500 jobs.

By Terri Rupar  |  April 9, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch
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