The former CEO of Lehman Brothers has deeded his Florida oceanfront estate on exclusive Jupiter Island to his wife. Lehman Brothers collapsed in September. Richard Fuld remains under federal investigation into whether bank executives misled investors about the company's assets. Fuld could also face civil lawsuits from investors. He and his wife, Kathleen, had owned the home jointly since paying $13.7 million for it in 2004, according to property records. He deeded the property about 100 miles north of Miami to her exclusively on Nov. 10 for a nominal $100, the minimum needed for a property transfer. The home is now worth about $13.3 million, according to tax records. Miami bankruptcy attorney Timothy Kingcade said Fuld's reason for removing his name from the home's ownership wasn't clear, since the move may still not protect the mansion if there is a civil judgment against Fuld within four years of the deed transfer. Kingcade also noted that under Florida law, jointly owned property is protected from seizure by those seeking to collect a debt.Existing-home sales shoot up 6.5 percent
The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes rose 6.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.74 million last month. Buyers took advantage of dramatically lower prices, especially in distressed states like California, Florida and Nevada, where foreclosures are soaring. The nationwide median sale price sank to $175,400, down 15.3 percent from a year ago. That marked the biggest annual drop on records going back to 1968. The median is the middle point, where half the homes sell for more and half for less. For all of last year, existing-home sales totaled 4.9 million, down more than 13 percent from the previous year, and the lowest since 1997.Dow Chemical won't buy Rohm & Haas in time
Dow Chemical said it will not close on its $15.4 billion buyout of Rohm & Haas Co. by this week's deadline, an announcement followed almost immediately Monday by a lawsuit from the specialty chemicals maker. The news sent shares of Rohm tumbling 13.2 percent, or $8.72, to end at $57.10. Shares of Dow fell 7.6 percent, or $1.09, to $13.24. The Federal Trade Commission signed off on the acquisition Friday, creating a Tuesday deadline for Dow to close the deal. Dow cited the global financial crisis and the decision by a Kuwaiti state-owned petrochemical company to pull out of a $17.4 billion joint venture with Dow just days before the deal was to close at 2008's end.