Life insurance to get a bailout
WASHINGTON : The Treasury Department confirmed Wednesday that life insurers are qualified to join banks and carmakers on the list of industries getting taxpayer bailouts. In a statement, the agency confirmed that certain life insurers are eligible to receive an unspecified amount of the money that remains from October's $700 billion Wall Street rescue program. The $218 billion program was created as part of October's bailout and is designed to help bolster the balance sheets of financial institutions. In exchange for receiving capital, participating companies provide senior preferred shares to the Treasury Department, paying a dividend of 5 percent annually for five years and 9 percent if the money hasn't been repaid after that.
Judge approves Greenbrier auction
RICHMOND, Va. : A U.S. bankruptcy judge approved financing and auction procedures Wednesday for the sale of West Virginia's historic Greenbrier resort, which is owned by Jacksonville, Fla.-based railroad company CSX Corp. and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month. At the time, the hotel announced plans to sell itself to Marriott International Inc. for up to $130 million. Other interested parties may also make bids for the 721-room hotel in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Feeling the impact in the drop of demand for luxury hotel rooms, the Greenbrier has lost more than $90 million in the past five years, including $35 million in 2008. During a hearing in Richmond, Judge Kevin R. Huennekens gave final approval of $19 million in debtor-in-possession financing. CSX's agreement to the financing requires a new contract that satisfies Marriott or other potential buyers. If a deal isn't reached, the resort would default on the financing unless Huennekens intervenes. Huennekens also set a June 12 auction.
SEC weighs short-selling rules
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is weighing multiple rules to dictate when traders can bet shares will fall, after lawmakers and business groups said short-sellers fed the financial crisis by targeting banks. The agency's five commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to seek feedback from investors, brokerages and companies on five rules, including a measure similar to the so-called uptick rule that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank urged the agency to reinstate.