Radio and Regulators XM and Sirius, the two money-losing satellite radio pioneers that continue to spend millions of dollars to attract new paying subscribers, have decided to join forces. The merger faces an uphill battle before federal regulators normally wary of monopolies. But company officials said intense competition from old-fashioned radio, iPods, the Internet and cellphones has created a highly competitive music market that would restrain the combined company from raising prices or reducing the quality or range of services. Subprime Slide The subprime mortgage market continued to deteriorate as more lenders reported financial troubles. NovaStar Financial's stock fell sharply after it reported a quarterly loss as a result of rising delinquencies on recent loans. And bids for another financially troubled lender, ResMae Mortgage, were reduced after Merrill Lynch demanded that the bankrupt lender buy back $308 million of loans that had gone bad. On Wall Street, the value of the riskiest packages of subprime loans has now fallen 30 percent since January.
Turf War at AirbusApproval of a financial restructuring plan for Airbus, the ailing European plane maker, was delayed again as the French and German governments continued to feud over which plants would be closed and jobs would be cut. German officials insist the reductions must be evenly divided between the two countries, while French officials demand few if any cuts in their country because their factories are more efficient. As many as 10,000 jobs may be eliminated or outsourced as part of a plan to cut $2.6 billion a year in expenses. They're Not Worried Hedge funds? Not to worry. That's the word from federal regulators asked to consider whether more oversight was needed for the largely unregulated investment pools that now dominate global financial markets. The President's Working Group on Financial Markets concluded that pension funds and other investors should be more careful about which hedge funds they choose. And banks and other lenders should strengthen internal controls to ensure they have sufficient collateral and could weather a serious market crisis.
Holding Back at FannieFannie Mae, under pressure from regulators, said it would not distribute $44.4 million worth of shares to 46 present and former executives. The bonuses were earned based on the company's financial performance in a period in which profit was overstated. Among the withheld payments: $11.2 million to former chief executive Franklin Raines, and $4 million for current chief executive Daniel Mudd. Don't feel too bad for Mudd, however: His pay for 2006 totaled $14.4 million, up 25 percent from the year before.