Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

November 12, 2008

Skelton steps down as McCormick VP

Robert W. Skelton will retire as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary from McCormick and Co. Inc. after a 32-year career, the Sparks-based spice company announced yesterday. The retirement is effective Jan. 1. Skelton will be succeeded by W. Geoffrey Carpenter, the company's associate general counsel and assistant secretary. Skelton joined McCormick in 1976 and was promoted to vice president, general counsel and secretary in 1996. He was promoted to his current position in 2002. Carpenter joined the company in 1984 and has served in his current position since 1996.

Andrea K. Walker

Legg says it has capital to back money funds

Baltimore-based Legg Mason Inc. has enough capital to support its money funds after setting aside $2.7 billion to insulate investors against losses on mortgage-backed debt, Chief Executive Officer Mark Fetting said yesterday. "We feel strongly that with $2.5 billion of free-and-clear cash, we are well positioned to work through with our existing capital," Fetting said during an investment conference in New York. Legg Mason raised capital twice this year to cushion money funds that bought debt issued by structured investment vehicles, or SIVs.

Bloomberg News

Price of crude oil hits 20-month low

The price of crude fell to a 20-month low yesterday, settling below $60 a barrel. Retail gasoline prices fell overnight to a national average of $2.22 a gallon, dragged down by the falling price of crude, which now costs 60 percent less per barrel than it did in mid-July. The average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen nearly 32 percent in the past month. Light sweet crude for December delivery fell $3.08 to settle at $59.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest closing price since March 2007. Prices had dipped a dollar below that earlier in the day.

Associated Press

CFTC head wants new regulatory regime

WASHINGTON : The head of the federal agency that oversees commodities trading wants to replace it and the Securities and Exchange Commission with three new regulators to better deal with an increasingly complex financial system. "I believe the United States should scrap the current outdated regulatory framework in favor of an objectives-based regulatory system consisting of three primary authorities: a new systemic risk regulator, a new market integrity regulator and a new investor protection regulator," said Walter Lukken, acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Associated Press

Toll Brothers 4Q revenues down 41%

Blaming the U.S. financial crisis for squelching early signs that the housing market was beginning to stabilize in recent weeks, home builder Toll Brothers Inc. reported a 41 percent plunge in fourth-quarter sales yesterday and called on government intervention to help shore up the housing market.

Associated Press

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