Hearing set on Blues' rates
Maryland Insurance Commissioner John A. Donaho said yesterday that he has scheduled a public hearing for 10 a.m. Sept. 11 on a request from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland to raise its health insurance rates between 8.8 percent and 15.1 percent for several plans covering individuals. About 32,000 policyholders under the age of 65 would be affected. The hearing is scheduled for Room 15 in the Department of Licensing and Regulation building at 501 St. Paul Place in Baltimore.
PR firm gets new D.C. chief
Hill and Knowlton, one of Washington's most powerful public relations firms, appointed a new manager of its Washington office yesterday in the wake of negative publicity concerning its international lobbying efforts.
Howard Paster, executive vice president of the Washington lobbying firm Timmons and Co., has been named Hill and Knowlton's chairman of public affairs and the general manager of its Washington office, the company confirmed yesterday.
Cool weather hits utilities hard
The unusually cool summer has hit local utilities so hard that analysts are lowering their earnings estimates by 5 percent.
Amy Caplan Stern, an analyst for Legg Mason, said 12 Midwestern and mid-Atlantic utilities, including Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., Delmarva Power & Light and Potomac Electric Power, have been affected by the temperate summer. The new per-share estimates for the three local companies' third-quarter earnings are: $1.65 for BG&E; $1.65 for Delmarva; and $1.80 for Pepco.
Ruble falls to all-time low
The Russian ruble collapsed to an all-time low against the dollar yesterday as government economists grimly predicted that prices and unemployment would keep rising in the next 18 months.
Losing 20 percent of its value in four days, the ruble plummeted to 205 rubles per dollar.
Developer files for Chapter 11
Baltimore real estate developer Michael Silver filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code this week, listing assets of $51,000 and $567,049 in liabilities.
FDIC premium rise still planned
The interim head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. says that he intends to press ahead for a premium increase on Jan. 1. But the official, Andrew Hove, left open the possibility that an increase might be smaller than the one proposed by the agency in May.