Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

December 24, 2008

Legg's issuer default rating lowered to A-

Legg Mason Inc. had its issuer default rating lowered one level to A- by Fitch Ratings because slumping investment performance and rising costs to support money funds have reduced the money manager's profits. Legg Mason's previous issuer default rating was A, Chicago-based Fitch said in a statement yesterday. Fitch maintained its negative rating outlook on the Baltimore-based company. Legg Mason's earnings have been cut by $1.29 billion since the credit crisis began last year because of expenses to support money funds that have mortgage-linked debt. Legg Mason has raised $2.4 billion in capital this year to protect money funds from losses. Market declines and investor redemptions dragged down Legg Mason's assets by 12 percent this year to $842 billion as of Sept. 30. "The downgrade reflects the negative impact" on Legg Mason's "profits and debt service ability from the current turbulence in financial markets," Fitch said in the statement.

Bloomberg News

2 Md. banks among 92 getting bailout funding

The Treasury Department said yesterday that it has provided $4.7 billion to 92 banks, including two in Maryland, as part of the $700 billion rescue of the financial system. The department released a list of 49 banks that received final approval Friday to receive $2.8 billion. Another 43 banks received final approval yesterday for $1.9 billion. Those banks will be announced Monday. Tri-County Financial Corp in Waldorf will get $15.5 million, and Patapsco Bancorp. Inc in Dundalk will receive $6 million.

Andrea K. Walker

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