Countrywide Congressional Probe Ends, Blackstone Sticks with SAC: Financial Business Review

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IntercontinentalExchange’s (NYSE:ICE) affiliate ICE Clear Europe Limited has reached a Clearing and Financial Intermediary Services Agreement, dated December 20th, with LIFFE Administration and Management, an affiliate of NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX). ICE Clear will supply LIFFE central counterparty clearing services and LIFFE will provide ICE Clear with certain financial intermediary services.

An inquiry by the United States House of Representatives into alleged preferential lending by the now defunct Countrywide Financial Corporation owned by Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) had ended with no action taken and investigators saying that the “serious matters” submitted for review are outside its jurisdiction. Ethics Committee Chairman Jo Bonner (R-AL) and Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) said in a statement that the allegations over mortgage loans to House members and staffers through Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo’s “Friends of Angelo” initiative or other so-called VIP programs are either too old or involve persons no longer employed in the House.

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On Friday, American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS) said that in the fourth quarter, it conducted open market purchases of about 8.8 million shares of its common stock, or 2.8 percent of its outstanding shares as of September 30th, which were bought an average price of $11.72 and totaled roughly $103 million.

For now, The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) is in no hurry to take its money — $550 million —  out of the $14-billion hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors in the face of the United States government investigating the fund in its ongoing insider trading inquiry, according to three sources who say that Blackstone has had a minimum of three discussions with SAC executives concerning the investigation and also talked to its own investors including state pension funds, endowments, and wealthy individuals.

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