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SEC: Mortgage Execs Took Pains To Hide Risky Loans

In fraud charges filed Friday, the agency accused six former top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of lying about the number of subprime loans on their books. The SEC said the executives knew what was happening and even encouraged the deception.
NPR

Amid A Blizzard Of Discounts, 'The Thrill Of The Hunt'

Consumers are clawing through coupons and prowling the "deal blogs" in search of the ultimate discount. For retailers, though, technology can make the last full shopping weekend before Christmas a bit bloody.
NPR

No Government Shutdown Thanks To Last-Minute Deal

It's not clear how close Congress is to resolving two nagging issues: extensions of both the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. What we do know is that nothing will be resolved until Monday. That's because the House has gone home for the weekend. But the government won't be shutting down Friday, as a result of a last-minute deal.
NPR

SEC Charges Ex-Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac CEOs

The mortgage giants had to be taken over by the government in 2008 and then propped up by taxpayers. In a lawsuit, the SEC accused the officials of misleading investors about the firms' exposure to subprime mortgages.
NPR

Popularity Bankrupts Early Retiree Program

A $5 billion federal program to pay for the health benefits of early retirees is proving to be more popular than expected. So popular that it's running out of money earlier than planned. The fund, part of the health care overhaul, was to provide a bridge of insurance coverage until 2014 when early retirees would have many more options under the health care law.
NPR

Negotiators Reach Deal To Keep Government Open

Congressional negotiators have reached agreement on a compromise spending bill to avert a weekend federal shutdown. They also worked toward a deal renewing the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for another year.
NPR

In Greece, A Technocrat Faces Life In Prison

Andreas Georgiou wants to make Greece's statistical office boring and reliable. His efforts have been met with a strike and a criminal investigation that could lead to life in prison.

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