Fannie Mae wipes away $6.3B profit

Published December 7, 2006

Fannie Mae erased $6.3-billion in profit in a long-awaited restatement Wednesday, capping the accounting scandal that stunned financial markets and brought the ouster of top executives and a record fine against the government-sponsored mortgage leader. The correction of its earnings from 2001 through June 30, 2004, ordered by the Securities and Exchange Commission two years ago, was well below Fannie Mae's earlier estimate of $10.8-billion. Fannie Mae finances one of every five home loans in the United States.

Greenpeace ranks Apple dead last

In its latest report on major electronics manufacturers, Greenpeace ranked Apple computer Inc. last on environmental issues because it still uses harmful chemicals in many of its products and because it does a poor job promoting recycling efforts for its iPods and other products. Near the top of Greenpeace's list for best companies: Dell Inc., ranked only behind Nokia in terms of environmental friendliness. Dell scored points with the group because of its computer take-back and recycling program, which has become among the best in the industry.

Lufthansa gives Boeing prize order

In a blow to Airbus SAS, German airline Lufthansa AG said Wednesday it would order 20 Boeing 747-8 planes, with purchase rights for 20 more, becoming the first passenger airline to order the new long-haul jet. The Cologne-based airline said it would start taking delivery of the wide-body planes in 2010 as it expands into North America and Asia. The airline also approved an order for seven Airbus A340-600 long-haul jets, due for delivery by 2008. Boeing said its 20 firm orders had a $5.5-billion value at list prices, although customers typically negotiate discounts.

Amway, Mary Kay get China licenses

Amway Corp. and Mary Kay Inc. have received direct-selling licenses in China, ending an eight-year ban that limited the rival companies' recruitment of distributors. The relaxed rules could further open a market that, with more than $2-billion in annual sales, has become the largest for Amway's parent company, Alticor Inc. Almost a third of Alticor's sales are made by Amway's subsidiary in China.

Home Depot finds $200M in errors

The Home Depot Inc. said Wednesday an internal investigation of the company's stock option practices has concluded that errors caused it to have roughly $200-million in unrecorded option expenses over a 26-year period. Despite the errors, the review, conducted with the help of outside counsel, determined that there was no intentional wrongdoing by any current member of the company's management team or its board of directors.

Cell phone maker sues government

The country's largest provider of pay-as-you-go mobile services is suing the federal government over a recent ruling that allows people to disable the software that locks cell phones to a particular carrier. Tracfone Wireless Inc. contends the new exemption to copyright law would make it more difficult to crack down on people who disable the locks and sell the phones at a profit overseas. The complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Florida, seeks to force the U.S. Copyright Office to eliminate the exemption.