BOEING TANKER DEAL DRAWS SCRUTINY: The White House has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate whether Air Force Secretary James Roche misused his position in the controversial plan to lease 100 Boeing refueling tankers, the Washington Post reports, quoting unnamed sources. The sources' concerns were reportedly raised after a Senate Armed Services Committee review of Roche's correspondence and other documents. Roche, a former Northrop Grumman Corp executive, has been at the center of the three-year battle over the plan to lease and buy 100 Boeing 767s to replace the current fleet of aerial tankers. MacDill Air Force Base supporters had counted on the aircraft to help secure MacDill's future during the next round of base closures in 2005. The base had been scheduled to get 16 new tankers in 2010 and 16 in 2011.
MORTGAGE RATES DRIFT LOWER: Mortgage rates around the country dropped this week, with 30-year mortgages sinking to their lowest level in five months. Freddie Mac, in its weekly survey released Thursday, reported that rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages declined to 5.70 percent for the week ending Sept. 23. That was down from 5.75 percent last week and marked the best showing since rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 5.52 percent at the beginning of April. For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, rates decreased this week to 5.10 percent from 5.13 percent last week. Rates on one-year adjustable rate mortgages dipped to 4 percent, compared with 4.03 percent the previous week.
EX-CEO ENTERS PLEA: The former chief executive of Computer Associates International Inc. pleaded not guilty to federal securities fraud and other charges Thursday in a multibillion-dollar accounting scandal at the business software maker. Sanjay Kumar, 42, was charged in a 10-count indictment with obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to law enforcement officers. Also pleading not guilty was the company's former head of worldwide sales, Stephen Richards.
FANNIE MAE UNDER FIRE: Federal regulators have raised the possibility of removing the management of mortgage giant Fannie Mae after finding accounting problems they described Thursday as more serious than those that brought the ouster of top executives at rival Freddie Mac. The findings by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight warrant "immediate remedial action," the agency's director said in a letter to the Fannie Mae directors that was released Thursday. In addition, "we must consider the accountability of management and whether we have sufficient confidence in management to fully implement these corrective measures and bring about broad cultural and operational changes," Armando Falcon wrote in the letter dated Monday. "The analysis and findings of this report make it difficult to assert such confidence." The Securities and Exchange Commission also is investigating Fannie Mae, the second-largest U.S. financial institution behind Citigroup Inc.
BofA GOES TO BOSTON: Bank of America Corp., which endured sharp cries of broken promises from state officials after it cut jobs at former Fleet branches, announced Thursday that it would move its wealth and investment management business from Charlotte, N.C., to Boston. The move concentrates one of the company's four major business lines in the city and seeks to reassure Massachusetts officials that the company, which completed its acquisition of FleetBoston Financial Corp. in April, is committed to the Northeast. Key executives and staff will join Brian Moynihan, president of wealth and investment management. About 100 employees will relocate.
Colourations Hair Studio is at 17 73rd St. North in St. Petersburg. A cutline gave incorrect information in Monday's Business section.