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FDA Takes Over 3 Tylenol Plants

Johnson & Johnson division under scrutiny for manufacturing practices

(Newser) - After multiple drug recalls and an FDA safety probe, federal authorities are taking control of three Tylenol plants, CNNMoney reports. The plants, run by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil division, are in trouble for dodging federal manufacturing rules; now, the company has agreed to let the FDA supervise the three—... More »

Don't Blame Fannie for Mess

Wall Street, banks, and government also at fault

(Newser) - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the "toxic twin" housing financing behemoths blamed for setting the world on fire, were not operating any differently than the entire financial sector, Bethany McLean writes in Vanity Fair. McLean documents Fannie Mae's history starting from conception in FDR's New Deal, when it was... More »

Putin Pounces on Private Companies

Kremlin uses financial crisis to further its aims of 'renationalizing'

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin has insisted for years that Russia made a colossal mistake by privatizing the nation's giant reserves of oil, gas, and other natural resources after the fall of the Soviet Union. The president-turned-prime minister has made muscular efforts to renationalize those industries—most notoriously the Yukos oil company, whose... More »

Wells, Citigroup Call Truce in Wachovia Battle

Fed brokers cool-off, banks may be working out carve-up deal

(Newser) - Citigroup and Wells Fargo have agreed to back off from their legal tug-of-war over Wachovia until tomorrow, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The Fed-brokered agreement comes after days of furious legal wrangling and a $60 billion lawsuit filed by Citigroup against both Wells and Wachovia yesterday. Insiders say Citigroup and... More »

Feds Work to Cement Wachovia Deal

Citi and Wells Fargo would each get a piece of the struggling bank

(Newser) - Federal Reserve officials are pushing Citigroup and Wells Fargo to agree to a compromise giving each a piece of struggling Wachovia, with the Charlotte-based bank's 3,346 branches divided along geographic lines and Wells Fargo acquiring its investment units, reports the Wall Street Journal. The new deal, still being negotiated... More »

Citi Demands Wells Fargo Give Wachovia Back

Bank says new buyout violates an exclusivity agreement

(Newser) - Citigroup is seeking to nullify the Wells Fargo takeover of Wachovia announced this morning, Bloomberg reports. Citi claims the $15.4 billion deal violates an exclusivity agreement it had worked out with Wachovia early this week. "Citi has substantial legal rights regarding Wachovia and this transaction,'' the bank... More »

WaMu Looks to Private Equity as Bank Teeters

Blackstone, Carlyle in talks after overtures to other banks flop

(Newser) - Washington Mutual is hoping private equity will save the bank after its efforts to broker a sale to another financial institution came to nothing. Both the Carlyle Group and Blackstone are considering a takeover of WaMu, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal, although a deal is not yet assured. Many... More »

Lehman Employees Feeling the Pain

With the share price plunging and no buyers on the horizon worry turns to fear

(Newser) - Lehman Brothers employees who watched their colleagues at Bear Stearns lose their jobs earlier this year are preparing for a similar fate in an already clogged field, reports the New York Times. “Everyone is walking around like they have just been Tasered,” said one Lehman employee. Making matters... More »

Bailout Likely to Sink Some Small Banks

Those with significant Fannie/Freddie stock face capital crunch

(Newser) - The government’s takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the resulting crash of the value of the companies’ shares, has started a domino effect that likely will push some smaller banks into failure, the Washington Post reports. Some institutions heavily invested in the seemingly safe stocks will find... More »

Fannie, Freddie Deal May Ease Rates, Cut Foreclosures

Federal takeover may help refresh housing market as dust settles

(Newser) - How will the government’s seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac affect homeowners and buyers? In the short term, the New York Times says, interest rates may fall some, but probably not enough to stop the slide in home prices. Some facing foreclosure could have a better chance at... More »

Roche Makes Genentech Takeover Bid

Swiss pharma bids $43.7B for remaining shares of biotech firm

(Newser) - Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche today offered $43.7 billion for the outstanding shares of Genentech, the San Francisco-based biotech firm in which Roche already owns a 55.9% stake, the Wall Street Journal reports. The $89-a-share offer is the latest in a series of big pharma companies, whose new drug... More »

Anheuser-Busch: The Deal That Sleeps With the Fishes

If relationship with Modelo hadn't soured on fishing trip, Belgians might have been staved off

(Newser) - Anyone mourning the takeover of Anheuser Busch by Belgium's InBev might want to know that the real turning point in that battle occurred more than a decade ago. On a fishing trip. In Mexico. The last real chance to outmaneuver InBev was lost when the US brewer failed to get... More »

Feds Seize Failed IndyMac Bank

Senator's comments led to takeover, regulator says

(Newser) - As mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae crowded the headlines today, Washington snatched up IndyMac Bank in the second-largest US bank failure in history, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Pasadena, Calif. savings and loan, which owns about $32 billion in assets, saw stocks fall from $45 last year... More »

Yahoo Chair Hits Back at Icahn

Says corporate raider 'grossly' distorted, lacks 'credible plan' other than Microsoft sale

(Newser) - The chairman of Yahoo's board was quick to fire back at accusations leveled by Carl Icahn yesterday, reports the New York Times. An open letter from Roy Bostock to the corporate raider said Icahn's claim that Yahoo's board had sabotaged a Microhoo deal grossly distorted the board's position, and went... More »

Icahn to Yang: I've Got Your Pink Slip

Says Jerry wrecked Microsoft deal, and he's out if proxy bid wins

(Newser) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn wants Jerry Yang out of Yahoo's CEO seat, and has a pink slip waiting if his proxy action to take over the board is successful, reports the Wall Street Journal. Icahn yesterday unleashed a torrent of criticism of Yang’s role in the aborted Microsoft buyout... More »

Ballmer's Competitive Streak Drove Yahoo Bid

Microsoft CEO once vowed to 'kill Google'

(Newser) - Microsoft's Yahoo bid put CEO Steve Ballmer to the test: How much would he pay to fulfill his promise to "(expletive) kill Google"? Forty-seven billion bucks was too high, but many say he'll try again—and may have a tough time convincing investors it's all cool calculation. Microsoft... More »

Microsoft's Price Wasn't Right: Yahoo Offer Expires

Talks quietly die after Yahoo demands $35 a share

(Newser) - Microsoft may get nasty now that its deadline for a friendly Yahoo purchase expired yesterday. Talks died quietly after Microsoft refused to up its offer from $29.68 a share on Friday; Yahoo execs wanted $35. Microsoft could now press Yahoo, tack back the offer, or deal directly with Yahoo... More »

Bear Stearns Staffers Gird for Mass Layoffs After $3B Hit

After losing their shirts, half will also lose jobs

(Newser) - The Icarus-like fall of Bear Stearns stock, trading as high as $170 a share a year ago before plummeting to $2 last week, has cost Bear employees—who once owned nearly a third of the company—more than $3 billion. That's even after JPMorgan raised its bid for the investment... More »

Tumbling Yahoo Now a Target?

Rumors of Microsoft takeover still swirling

(Newser) - Yahoo's falling core value threatens the company's future and is ringing alarm bells for investors, the New York Times’ Saul Hansell warned in his "Bits" blog. The central business of Yahoo.com, excluding subsidiary holdings, is worth less than half of its current share price, and a paltry 7%... More »

Software Titan Oracle Eyes Another Conquest

It makes $6.7B offer for BEA, but Icahn and execs reject it as too low

(Newser) - Software maker BEA Systems is under pressure from shareholder Carl Icahn to sell, but executives say this week’s $6.7 billion offer by Oracle is too low. Icahn agreed the unsolicited bid wasn’t good enough but said he was pleased an offer was made, the New York Times... More »

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