Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

March 27, 2009

Shore Bancshares to return TARP aid

Shore Bancshares Inc., the Easton-based holding company of three banks in the Eastern Shore, said Thursday that it plans to return financial assistance it received from the federal government. Shore said it filed a notice to repay about $25 million in Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. Shore President and Chief Executive Officer W. Moorhead Vermilye said the terms of TARP have changed so that the public views banks that participated in TARP as being weak. "We now believe that our participation in TARP puts us at a competitive disadvantage," Vermilye said, noting that Shore has sufficient capital without TARP money. The repayment is subject to Treasury Department approval.

Hanah Cho

Megabus to double departures to N.Y.

Megabus.com is increasing the number of trips from Baltimore to New York, more than doubling daily departures of the low-cost bus service. As of April 5, Megabus.com will operate 32 scheduled departures daily from two locations, the White Marsh Park & Ride and the Cherry Hill light rail station in Baltimore. The change in service reflects a partnership with Eastern Travel, which was acquired by CoachUSA in December 2008.

Michelle Deal-Zimmerman

Court OKs rules on Ritz sales

Ritz Camera Centers Inc., the largest U.S. camera store chain, has won court approval of rules governing the sale of assets at about 400 photo stores it plans to close. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath agreed that the bidding procedures are fair and in the estate's best interests at a hearing Thursday in Wilmington, Del. She also authorized Ritz to borrow $85 million from Wachovia Bank NA, as the agent for lenders, to help fund operations as it shuts the stores. Beltsville-based Ritz wants liquidators to bid for rights to oversee the sales by Monday, court papers show. If more than one acceptable bid is received, the company would hold an auction Wednesday.

Bloomberg News

Google targets 200 in second layoff

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. : Google will lay off 200 workers as the recession squeezes even the Internet's most profitable company. The job cuts announced Thursday mark the second round of cuts at Google this year. The Mountain View-based company earlier decided to jettison 100 employee recruiters because it doesn't expect to hire as many people this year. The latest layoffs are concentrated in the sales and marketing division that brings in advertising. In a blog posting, Google said it had hired too many employees doing the same jobs when it rapidly expanded its payroll over the past four years. The about-face affects less than 1 percent of Google's 20,200 employees.

Associated Press

Generic biotech bid gains impetus

WASHINGTON : Biotech drugs that now cost thousands of dollars per month would have to compete with lower-cost generic versions after just five years on the market, under a new congressional proposal. The bipartisan bill introduced Thursday is the latest salvo in a years-long effort to lower the price of biotech drugs, high-tech injectable medications that cost more than $40 billion per year.

Associated Press

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