Freddie Mac's Investment Holdings Shrinks

Freddie Mac said its investment holdings of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities shrank at an annualized rate of 11.1 percent in October, ending the month at $678.2 billion. The McLean mortgage-finance company has increased its investment portfolio at an annualized rate of 4.6 percent for the year to date.

The company, which buys mortgages and bundles them into securities to sell to investors, has been challenged over its investment portfolio, which critics contend does little to help fulfill its mission of promoting homeownership. Congress is considering giving a new regulator for Freddie Mac and rival Fannie Mae the authority to adjust the size of their investment holdings.

Bernanke Urges Portfolio Limits

Ben S. Bernanke, the nominee to become the next Federal Reserve chairman, said Congress should limit the massive holdings of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an effort to limit any danger their debt poses to the overall economy. Bernanke's comments came in a written response to a list of questions from Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), who released the responses yesterday. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who retires Jan. 31, has repeatedly called on Congress to scale back the size of the mortgage giants' holdings.


Integral CEO's Trial Date Set

Integral Systems chief executive Steven R. Chamberlain, right, will face trial Jan. 20 on misdemeanor sex-offense and assault charges filed in June by Howard County police. The alleged victim is a 14-year-old girl.

The charges were announced to investors last week. Officials at the Lanham company did not explain the five-month delay in disclosing the allegations.

Integral said in a statement filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Chamberlain, 49, "maintains his innocence" and plans to "vigorously fight the charges." Chamberlain and company officials, through spokeswoman Staci Schmidt, declined to comment.

The company's stock closed unchanged yesterday at $22 on volume of 9,154 shares.


Court Approves Flyi Bidding Procedures

Flyi and its operating unit, Independence Air, which sought bankruptcy protection Nov. 7, received court approval of bidding procedures for the company's sale. Bidders for the Dulles airline must submit bids by Dec. 16. If there is more than one qualified bid, an auction will be scheduled for Jan. 3, according to court papers.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.