Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Georgia Banking Company Offers Customers Safety and Peace of Mind on Large Deposits

BUSINESS WIRE --Georgia Banking Company now offers their customers expanded FDIC protection on Money Market Accounts. In todays economic climate, consumers across the nation have become aware of the value of deposits being insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Normal insurance limits by the FDIC, depending on the styling of accounts by name, are largely limited to $100,000. For many savers, this insurance ceiling has been the cause of maintaining certificates of deposit and money market accounts at multiple institutions.

At Georgia Banking Company, they can insure large deposits, due to its affiliation with the M3 Mega Money Market Account program offered by Institutional Deposits Corp (IDC Deposits). M3 allows banks to accept up to $5 million in money market accounts from any one retail or commercial customer.

From a practical standpoint, M3 allows a retail or commercial customer to walk into Georgia Banking Company and place up to $5 million in a money market account, with full FDIC insurance on the account balance, said Mr. Miller, GBC President and CEO.

With all of the uncertainty in the financial markets, M3 provides the community banks customers with the assurance that their deposits are safe and secure and fully FDIC insured, said Kimberly Weeks, President of IDC Deposits. In addition, we recognize the need for bank customers across the nation to be able to accomplish one-stop shopping, so to speak, allowing a customer to maintain large deposits in one bank rather than spreading out those deposits among multiple banks.

Only well capitalized banks as designated by the FDIC are allowed to participate in this Money Market program. Georgia Banking Company is proud to be one of the 250 banks that currently participates in this network offered by IDC Deposits, said Mr. Miller.

By enhancing our products, we are now able to offer M3 and CDARS (an insured CD program) to our retail and commercial customers. This allows us to be a full service bank and give our customers a convenient banking experience with the peace of mind of full FDIC insurance protection for their funds, he said.

Any current or prospective money market savers interested in learning more about the M3 program should contact the bank at (770) 226-8800.

Georgia Banking Company is a community bank located in Atlanta and Griffin, Georgia. For more information please visit or call (770) 373-2361.

Georgia Front Page
Fayette Front Page

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Home Depot Announces Second Quarter Results

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Home Depot(R), the world's largest home improvement retailer, today reported fiscal 2008 second quarter consolidated net earnings of $1.2 billion, or $0.71 per diluted share, compared with $1.6 billion, or $0.81 per diluted share, in the same period in fiscal 2007. Earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 were $0.71, compared to $0.77 per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2007, a decrease of 7.8 percent.

Sales for the second quarter totaled $21.0 billion, a 5.4 percent decrease from the second quarter of fiscal 2007, reflecting negative comparable store sales of 7.9 percent, offset in part by sales from new stores.

The Company's fiscal 2007 contained 53 weeks of operations. This shifted the Company's 2008 fiscal calendar. Because of this shift, and given the seasonal nature of its business, second quarter sales, on a like for like calendar basis, were negatively impacted by approximately $160 million. Excluding the calendar shift, on a like for like basis, comparable store sales for the quarter were negative 7.2 percent.

"We continue to see pressure on our market and the consumer, generally," said Frank Blake, chairman & CEO. "Despite the macroeconomic conditions, we saw improved execution in our merchandising and operations initiatives during the past quarter. I am very proud of what our associates have accomplished in a difficult environment," said Blake.

Fiscal Year 2008 Financial Outlook

Given the continued softness in the housing and home improvement markets as well as the commitment to invest in its key retail priorities, the Company believes fiscal 2008 sales will decline by approximately five percent and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations will decline by approximately 24 percent. This is consistent with its previous guidance. The Company's 2008 earnings per share guidance does not include its store rationalization charge from the closing of 15 stores and removal of 50 stores from its future growth pipeline.

The Home Depot will conduct a conference call today at 9 a.m. ET to discuss information included in this news release and related matters. The conference call will be available in its entirety through a webcast and replay at in the Investor Relations section.

At the end of the second quarter, the Company operated a total of 2,257 retail stores, which included 1,965 The Home Depot stores in the United States (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the territory of Guam), 167 stores in Canada, 72 stores in Mexico, 12 stores in China, as well as 2 THD Design Centers, 5 Yardbirds stores and 34 EXPO Design Center locations. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index. HDE

Certain statements contained herein, including any statements related to the state of the home improvement market, the state of the construction and housing markets, our reinvestment plans and financial outlook, constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. While these statements are based on currently available information and current expectations and projections about future events, such forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: economic conditions in North America; changes in our cost structure; our ability to attract, train and retain highly qualified associates; conditions affecting customer transactions and average ticket, including, but not limited to, improving and streamlining operations, and customers' in-store experience. Undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements as they speak only as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update these statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances except as may be required by law. Additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties is contained in our periodic filings with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2008. HDE

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

WGNB Corp. Appoints Two New Directors and Names Additional Bank Director

BUSINESS WIRE --WGNB Corp. (NASDAQ: WGNB), the holding company for First National Bank of Georgia, announced that William (Bill) W. Stone has been appointed to the boards of directors for the Bank and the Company; Gelon E. Wasdin, Jr., who currently serves on the Bank board, will also join the board of directors for WGNB Corp.; and Helen Tyus Roberts will join the Bank board.

Stone is President and Chief Financial Officer of Systems & Methods, Inc., where he manages all administrative and financial aspects of the business. Additionally, he is involved in the community, serving in leadership roles for the Salvation Army, Community Foundation of West Georgia, Dawnbreakers Rotary Club, Kennesaw State University Family Enterprise Center, as well as several others. Stone attended the University of West Georgia and Jacksonville State University. He has also served as a board member for two other financial institutions.

Wasdin is a Certified Public Accountant and currently offers advisory services to middle market and small companies in the areas of investments and acquisitions. He is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelors degree in accounting. Wasdin is a member of the Georgia Society of CPAs and serves on boards for numerous organizations, such as Tanner Medical Foundation, Community Foundation of West Georgia and the Richards College of Business at the University of West Georgia.

Bill and Gelons commitment to and confidence in our Company are evident in their intentions to participate in our preferred stock offering at a substantial level, said H. B. Rocky Lipham, III, CEO of WGNB Corp. and First National Bank of Georgia.

Roberts will serve on the Banks board in place of her father, Oscar W. Roberts, III, who is retiring after 12 years of service. She earned her bachelors of business administration degree in finance from the University of West Georgia, where she was also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Honor Society. Roberts has worked in the financial industry in various positions since 1996.

Each of these directors has extensive knowledge of the communities we serve and valuable expertise in the financial industry, added Lipham.


Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Coweta Bank Announces Results for 6/30/2008

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- First Coweta Bank (BULLETIN BOARD: FCWT) based in Newnan, Georgia reports a net loss of ($1,330,414) or ($0.47) per share for the six month period ending June 30, 2008 vs. net income of $606,439 or $0.22 per share for the same period in 2007. Net interest income totaled $2,318,237 and $2,875,267 during the six month periods ending June 30, 2008 and June 30, 2007, respectively. Gross loans decreased over the first half of 2008 from $148.5 million at December 31, 2007 to $142.4 million at June 30, 2008. The bank had total assets of $167 million as of June 30, 2008, a decrease of 7% compared to December 31, 2007.

For the six month period ending June 30, 2008 the net loss was primarily due to an increase in non performing assets and "provision for loan loss" expense as well as compressed net interest margins. Non performing assets totaled $11.4 million and $1.3 million at June 30, 2008 and June 2007, respectively. The bank took provisions for loan loss of $500,000 and $1.6 million during the first and second quarters of 2008, respectively. Our resulting allowance for loan loss was approximately $3.7 million at June 30, 2008, which represented approximately 2.61% of total loans. Our interest margin for the first half of 2008 was 2.87% as compared to 4.75% for the same period in 2007. The reduction was caused by the declining interest rate environment since last fall and our elevated level of non performing assets. As of June 30, 2008, however, we continued to qualify as "well capitalized" under regulatory guidelines with a total capital ratio of 10.84%.

Mike Barber, President and Chief Executive Officer stated, "The loss during the first six months of 2008 was primarily from steps we took relating to the economic downturn and to cope with the real estate market specifically. Although actual charge-offs for the first half of 2008 were $523,875, the large addition of $2.1 million to our loan loss reserve reflects our commitment to provide for potential losses in our loan portfolio and to recognize these unusual economic conditions. Our Board of Directors, officers, and employees are committed to maintaining a sound financial institution during these difficult times. We will continue to monitor our loan quality and will make adjustments to our reserves as necessary to adequately cover any potential losses."

First Coweta Bank opened for business on July 12, 2004. The bank's stock is publicly traded over the counter under the symbol "FWCT." For further information, log on to our website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This report contains "forward-looking statements" relating to, without limitation, future economic performance, plans and objectives of management for future operations, and projections of revenues and other financial items that are based on the beliefs of management, as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. The words "may," "will," "anticipate," "should," "would," "believe," "contemplate," "expect," "estimate," "continue," and "intend," as well as other similar words and expressions of the future, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

Georgia Front Page
Fayette Front Page

Secretary of State Handel Congratulates the Georgia State Board of Accountancy on 100 Years

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel today congratulated the Georgia State Board of Accountancy on its 100 year anniversary. In recognition of the anniversary, Governor Sonny Perdue recently issued a proclamation naming August 17, 2008 as Accountancy Law Day in Georgia.

The Georgia General Assembly formed the Georgia State Board of Accountancy on August 17, 1908 for the purpose of protecting the public welfare by providing for the regulation of the practice of public accountancy and the certification of those who are entitled to engage in this practice. Today, the Board uses their authority to license public accountants and public accounting firms.

Karen Handel was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2007. The Secretary of State's office offers important services to our citizens and our business community. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.
Community News You Can Use

New Picture of Personal Finances Shows, in Case of Emergency, Two in Three ''Household CFOs'' Are at Risk

BUSINESS WIRE --A recent national survey of “Household CFOs” - people who are primarily responsible for the financial management of their household - reveals that a majority are not adequately prepared for short-term financial setbacks or long-term financial needs like retirement. In fact, 68 percent of households do not have emergency savings accounts, putting them at financial risk in the event of a crisis.

The survey was conducted by Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Greater Atlanta, a national credit counseling agency that has been educating consumers on money and debt management, housing, and bankruptcy and foreclosure prevention since 1964.

In response to survey findings(a) and current economic conditions, CCCS is launching a national awareness campaign, “Household CFO,” and enhancing its CredAbilityU online education program to offer free, easy-to-use interactive webinars and financial management tools.

“The time and energy it takes to manage the day-to-day leaves little time for thinking about what lies ahead. People often become overwhelmed and forget to include savings and long-term planning in their budget. But, it’s essential,” said Mechel Glass, director of education for CCCS. “We launched the Household CFO campaign to share what we’ve learned in our 44-year history, encourage proactive financial education and help individuals better prepare for financial stability.”

Survey results showed that Household CFOs recognize the importance of financial planning and are comfortable with daily financial management tasks. However, respondents were more likely to rate their knowledge of more complicated and long-term financial preparations as “Average” or “Below Average.” In fact, one in six respondents do not have any financial goals or long-term plans in place, such as a budget, retirement plan, investment portfolio or any kind of savings, and nearly one in three households has not prepared a will, purchased insurance of any kind or made other preparations for a significant life-changing event.

“A long-range financial plan is particularly critical during times of economic uncertainty like the present,” said Ilyce Glink, nationally-syndicated personal finance and real estate journalist and member of the National Advisory Council for CCCS. “A general guideline is to save 10 percent of net income and have 6 months income available in an emergency fund or savings account. But if saving 10 percent of your net income seems impossible in a time where gas prices are rising, try to set aside five percent and build in an extra one percent each month until you've reached that 10 percent threshold.”

Though many aren’t prepared, nearly half of survey respondents experienced extenuating circumstances within their household in the past 12 months that negatively affected their finances. Almost one in three experienced a medical emergency or a change in health status. One in six reported a job loss, and one in ten went through a divorce.

“With free resources available to Household CFOs, it’s easier than ever to become more knowledgeable about managing finances in their own time and at their own pace,” said Glass. “Through courses like 'How do I save my home?,' 'Why am I a 678 credit score?,' and 'Living on 70 cents a day,' Household CFOs can easily build their confidence while building financial stability for the future.”

Glass recommends the following Web sites as resources for effectively managing household finances: - Free webinars and financial management tools via CredAbilityU, including mortgage calculators and budget trackers - Useful news, tips, advice and information from Ilyce Glink, financial expert, regarding personal finance, real estate and consumer issues – Credit score reporting and education - Free annual credit reports - (Mutual Fund Investor’s Center) Basics on investing in mutual funds

Fayette Front Page

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Find Out Where Your Money Goes

Food prices are up, and gasoline costs more than ever. Most paychecks have stayed the same, but there are ways to make them seem like they too are growing, says a financial expert with the University of Georgia.

“You can increase the amount of money you have to spend each month by as much as 20 percent by paying more attention to where your money goes and developing an action plan to target problem-spending areas,” said Michael Rupured, consumer economic specialist with the UGA Cooperative Extension. “Paying more attention to the family budget can also go a long way toward preparing your children to be good money managers.”

To find out where your money goes, track it. Record everyday purchases for a few weeks to determine spending habits. Costs associated with daily activities like smoking, eating out and buying coffee to go can add up in a month. And the longer you keep track, the more you will learn about where your money goes, he said.

Another way is to see how low you can keep your expenses for a few months. For example, pretend your income has been cut in half, Rupured suggests.

“Stripping away all but essential spending can be an eye-opening family activity,” he said. “At the end of the trial period you can make decisions about which of your normal expenses you want back and which you are happy to live without. The best part of this option is the opportunity to save as much as half of your income for several months.”

With both approaches, the idea is to really think about where your money goes.

“Spending is such a routine part of life that it’s easy to lose track,” Rupured said. “You can’t know what you should do differently until you know what you’ve been doing with your money.”

To identify where you are spending the most, group regular expenses into categories. Combine similar expenses into one category. For example, add up the total spent on utilities such as water, electricity, gas, cable and phone bills. Required monthly payments for credit cards and non-mortgage loans can be lumped together into a debt category.

Once spending habits have been identified, work to change areas where you are spending more than you’d like to.

Encourage everyone in the family to get involved. Talk about the budget and ways to cut spending. It is often better to find cheaper alternatives than to cut something out all together, he said. For example, eliminate the weekly trip to the movie theatre, and rent a movie and make snacks at home. Or, borrow a movie from a friend or check one out from the library.

“Whatever the family decides, write it down and have everyone sign it,” he said.

Put the plan where the whole family will regularly see it. It may help keep them focused. Review spending habits every couple of weeks and discuss the status with the whole family.

“It is a good idea to decide upfront what you will do with the money your family saves by reducing spending,” Rupured said. “Family members will be more committed to the task if they know what the reward will be and how the savings will be used. Be sure some of the money saved gets put in the bank for emergencies or family goals.”

Author April Sorrow is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Community News You Can Use

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SunTrust Declares Quarterly Dividend

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Board of Directors of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI) today declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.77 per common share. The dividend is payable on September 15, 2008, to shareholders of record on September 2, 2008. The indicated annual cash dividend is $3.08 per common share.

The Board of Directors also announced a quarterly cash dividend of $1,022.22* per share on SunTrust's Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A, declared payable in cash on September 15, 2008, to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 2, 2008.

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of June 30, 2008, SunTrust had total assets of $177.4 billion and total deposits of $119.8 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels. The Company also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the Company provides mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, investment management, equipment leasing and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is

Monday, August 11, 2008

Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Renews Call for Special Session

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute has released a new report examining the growing state budget crisis and calling for a special session to address the state's budget woes.

On July 29th, GBPI released its first look at the FY 2009 budget, "Uncertain Times Call for Sensible Measures: FY 2009 Budget and Revenue Outlook" (report available at

Today's report, "Deficit Reduction Step Two: Bringing Other Voices Into the Planning Process," provides a more detailed look at what six, eight and ten percent cuts will look like for state agencies and calls for a balanced approach to deficit reduction - an approach that prioritizes cuts and includes revenue enhancements.

GBPI believes that a special session is essential to a balanced approach as it would allow for public testimony by subject matter experts as to where and how to make cuts that prioritize state spending. A special session would be the only way to address potential revenue enhancements, such as eliminating newly passed tax credits or increasing the cigarette tax.

For the first month of FY 2009 (July 2008), revenues declined by 6.6 percent ($86.4 million), as compared to July 2007. Thus, revenues would need to grow by $1.57 billion over the next 11 months to meet the FY 2009 revenue estimate.

"A balanced approach to deficit reduction that prioritizes state spending cuts along with reasonable revenue enhancements and wise use of the Revenue Shortfall Reserve will put Georgia in a good position to weather the current economy," said Alan Essig, Executive Director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. "To assure the long-term fiscal health of the state, the Governor should appoint a blue ribbon commission to look at ways to comprehensively reform Georgia's tax system." The report outlines the following balanced approach to deficit reduction:

Implement and prioritize targeted budget cuts after gathering public input. Medicaid, PeachCare, Department of Human Resources, Board of Education and public safety programs should be the highest priority for funding. A decision to either eliminate or reduce the Homeowners Tax Relief Grant needs to be made in a timely fashion to give counties, cities and school districts sufficient time to notify property owners;

Redirect funding from low priority programs to high priority programs. For example, some of the tobacco settlement funds that are currently appropriated for economic development programs in the OneGeorgia Authority could be redirected towards Medicaid, PeachCare and Public Health programs.

Pass legislation that would increase revenues in order to avoid significant budget cuts to vital government services. Such legislation could include increasing the cigarette tax by $1 a pack, eliminating some of the special interest tax breaks passed during the 2007 and 2008 sessions of the General Assembly, implementing an income tax surcharge on those earning more than $400,000, and reinstating the estate tax; and

Plan on using between 50 to 75 percent of the funds available in the Revenue Shortfall Reserve in order to avoid significant budget cuts to vital government services.
A copy of the report is available on GBPI's website,

Community News You Can Use

National Endowment for the Arts Announces Domestic Indemnity Program

$5 billion in insurance coverage supports American museums

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced the addition of a domestic component to the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program that will provide significant assistance to American museums while increasing opportunities for audiences to view great works of art. For the first time, exhibitions drawn from U.S. collections are eligible for indemnity coverage while on view in American museums. With the program's history of unqualified success in covering international exhibitions, it is expected that the domestic component will have an equally profound impact on American museums and the publics they serve.

Since 1975, the NEA has administered the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program on behalf of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities to reduce the costs of insurance for American museums exhibiting collections from abroad or loaning their objects for exhibitions in other countries. The indemnity agreements are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury in the event of loss or damage. Because of this program, exhibition organizers, mostly non-profit museums, have been spared nearly $250 million in insurance premiums.

In December 2007, President Bush signed legislation amending the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act, to establish the domestic indemnity program. The statute authorizes a total amount of coverage available for all exhibitions taking placing at one time of $5 billion, with a maximum indemnity of $750 million for a single exhibition. The total value of an exhibition must be at least $75 million to be eligible for coverage. A sliding scale deductible, which applies per exhibition, is based on the dollar value of the coverage.

NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said, "It is difficult to overstate the importance of this $5 billion of domestic indemnity. It will save American museums millions of dollars in insurance and bring more great exhibitions to more communities than ever before."

The domestic program will operate parallel to the international program, with two application deadlines per year and review by an advisory panel of museum professionals, with final decisions made by the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Guidelines and applications for domestic indemnity are available at The first deadline is September 8, 2008 for coverage beginning as early as December 1, 2008.

Over the last 33 years, the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program has helped make possible more than 900 exhibitions of treasures from collections worldwide while on view in this country. Since the program's inception, there have been virtually no claims. In fact, earlier this year, a recovered painting was sold at auction, netting the Treasury a payout of more than five times the original claim reimbursement.

Examples of indemnified exhibitions are Treasures of Tutankhamun at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Dali's Optical Illusions at the Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, CT), Louvre Atlanta at the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), Treasures from the First Emperor of China at the Birmingham Museum of Art (AL), Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (CA).
Community News You Can Use

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Announces Second Quarter 2008 Operating Highlights

PRNewswire/ -- Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (the Bank) today released the results for the quarter ended June 30, 2008.

2008 Second Quarter Operating Highlights

As of June 30, 2008, the Bank had total assets of $193.2 billion, an increase of $4.3 billion, or 2.28 percent, from December 31, 2007. This increase was primarily a result of increases in trading securities, held-to-maturity securities and advances, partially offset by a decrease in federal funds sold. Advances, the largest asset on the Bank's balance sheet, increased by $2.2 billion, or 1.52 percent, during this same period.

The Bank's net income for the second quarter of 2008 totaled $108.7 million, an increase of 16.6 percent from $93.2 million for the second quarter of 2007. The increase in net income was due to an increase in net interest income, resulting from higher average advances and mortgage-backed securities balances during the period and an increase in interest rate spread.

The 2008 second quarter performance resulted in an annualized return on equity (ROE) of 5.13 percent for the Bank as compared to the 6.05 percent for the second quarter of 2007. The ROE spread to three-month average LIBOR improved between the periods, equaling 2.38 percent for the second quarter of 2008 as compared to 0.69 percent for the second quarter of 2007.

For the three months ended June 30, 2008, the Bank distributed $114.3 million of earnings to members as a return on their capital investment in the Bank, representing an annualized dividend rate of 5.57 percent, as compared to 6.0 percent for each of the previous two quarters. The Bank's retained earnings balance was $465.3 million as of June 30, 2008.

The Bank filed its full financial report on Form 10-Q on Monday, August 11, 2008.

On July 30, 2008, the President of the United States signed into law the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, H.R. 3221 (the "Housing Act"). The Housing Act abolishes the Federal Housing Finance Board and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (each, one year after the date of enactment) and establishes the Federal Housing Finance Agency as the single regulator of the Federal Home Loan Banks, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

"The Bank has performed well through its second quarter, and intends to continue as a reliable source of wholesale funding," said Richard A. Dorfman, the Bank's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to working closely with the newly established regulator to ensure the continued strength of the Bank."

Georgia-Pacific to Distribute Second Quarter 2008 Financial Information on Aug. 14

PRNewswire/ -- Georgia-Pacific LLC will make available to current or potential investors in its corporate notes or debentures selected second quarter 2008 financial information on Aug. 14, with a supplemental presentation to follow.

Qualifying individuals who have not previously done so must request this financial information by providing their contact information (including e-mail address, telephone number, institution or company name, and bonds held) to

Distribution of the financial information and supplemental presentation will be limited. Recipients may use the information only as set forth in the accompanying private email and may not provide a copy of or disclose to any other person the information contained in the financial statements or supplemental presentation.

Additional questions regarding the distribution of financial information may be directed to Georgia-Pacific at (404) 652-6188.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Peachtree City Man Sentenced for Part in $3 Billion Securities Fraud Scheme

8/8/08 (10:20 p.m.) Four former National Century Financial Enterprises (NCFE) executives have been sentenced for their roles in a scheme to deceive investors about the financial health of NCFE, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich and U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Lockhart of the Southern District of Ohio announced today. NCFE, formerly based in Dublin, Ohio, was one of the largest healthcare finance companies in the United States until it filed for bankruptcy in November 2002.

Donald H. Ayers, 72, of Fort Myers, Fla., an NCFE vice chairman, chief operating officer, director and owner of the company, was sentenced on Aug. 6, 2008, to 15 years in prison for conspiracy, securities fraud and money laundering.

Randolph H. Speer, 57, of Peachtree City, Ga., NCFE’s chief financial officer, was sentenced on Aug. 6, 2008, to 12 years in prison for conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

Roger S. Faulkenberry, 47, of Dublin, a senior executive responsible for raising money from investors, was sentenced on Aug. 7, 2008, to ten years in prison for conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

James E. Dierker, 40, of Powell, Ohio, associate director of marketing and vice president of client development, was sentenced on Aug. 7, 2008, to five years in prison for conspiracy and money laundering.

Rebecca S. Parrett, 59, of Carefree, Ariz., an NCFE vice chairman, secretary, treasurer, director and owner of the company, became a fugitive following the March 2008 jury verdict. She faces a maximum penalty of 75 years in prison and $2.5 million in fines.

U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley also ordered the defendants to forfeit $1.7 billion of property representing the proceeds of the conspiracy and to pay restitution of $2.3 billion.
“In a scheme which lasted for years, these defendants purposely misled the investing public about National Century, its financial health, and the way in which it did business,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich. “When the facade collapsed and National Century filed for bankruptcy, investors were left holding the bag for billions of dollars in losses. The sentences handed down in this case justly reflect the gravity of the offenses.”

“These sentences mark the end of a nearly six-year march to justice for the architects of the financial house of cards known as National Century,” said Gregory G. Lockhart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. “These crimes touched hundreds of thousands of Americans if they participated in a pension that invested in National Century, or had money in any of the financial institutions who bought securities from National Century.”

“Unfortunately today’s sentencing does not immediately restore investor confidence or offer complete financial restitution for the victims of one of the largest corporate fraud investigations,” said Assistant Director Kenneth W. Kaiser of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI and our law enforcement and regulatory partners will do whatever it takes so that no company, in small town America or major metropolitan cities alike, misrepresents their financial health and defrauds investors.”

“The IRS, along with our law enforcement partners, will vigorously pursue corporate officers who victimize their investors and violate the public trust,” said Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division Eileen Mayer. “Today's sentence demonstrates the government's determination to restore and ensure that trust.”

Evidence was presented at trial in February 2008 that the defendants engaged in a scheme to deceive investors and rating agencies about the financial health of NCFE and how investor monies would be used. Between May 1998 and May 2001, NCFE sold notes to investors with a combined value of $4.4 billion, which evidence showed were actually worth approximately six cents on the dollar at the time of NCFE’s bankruptcy in November 2002.

Court documents show that NCFE presented a business model to investors and rating agencies that called for NCFE to purchase high-quality accounts receivable from healthcare providers using money NCFE obtained through the sale of asset-backed notes to institutional investors. Evidence at trial showed that the defendants knew that the business model NCFE presented to the investing public differed drastically from the way NCFE did business within its own walls and that NCFE was making up the information contained in monthly investor reports to make it appear as though NCFE was in compliance with its own governing documents.

Ayers, Speer, Faulkenberry, Dierker and Parrett were five of eight individuals indicted in the case in July 2007. Lance K. Poulsen was severed from the other defendants following his arrest on obstruction of justice charges on Oct. 18, 2007. He will be sentenced on the obstruction of justice charges on Aug. 8, 2008. Poulsen’s trial on conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering charges is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, 2008. James K. Happ, a certified public accountant and former executive vice president for servicer operations will face charges of conspiracy and wire fraud at trial scheduled to begin Dec. 1, 2008. Jon A. Beacham, who was responsible for raising money from investors through the sale of notes, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud on July 13, 2007, and awaits sentencing.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Squires of the Southern District of Ohio, Senior Litigation Counsel Kathleen McGovern and Trial Attorney Wes R. Porter of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section, with assistance from Fraud Section Paralegal Specialists Crystal Curry and Sarah Marberg. The investigation was conducted by FBI agents Matt Daly, Ingrid Schmidt and Tad Morris; IRS Inspectors Greg Ruwe and Mark Bailey; U.S. Postal Inspector Dave Mooney; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Celeste Koszut.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Home Depot to Host Second Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call on August 19, 2008

PRNewswire-FirstCall/-- The Home Depot(R), the world's largest home improvement retailer, announced today that it will hold its Second Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call on Tuesday, August 19 at 9 a.m. ET.

A webcast will be available by logging onto and selecting the Second Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call icon. The link will be displayed on the home page as well as under the Investor Relations section. The webcast will be archived and available beginning at approximately noon on August 19.

Arcapita Profits Increase by 90 Percent to $362.2 Million

BUSINESS WIRE --Arcapita Bank B.S.C.(c), a leading international investment firm headquartered in Bahrain, with Atlanta-based subsidiary Arcapita Inc., today announced record profits of $362.2 million for fiscal 2008, the year ending June 30, 2008, representing a 90 percent increase on the annualized figure of $190 million recorded in fiscal 2007.

Overall since inception, Arcapitas net income has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 40.6 percent. Total operating revenue for fiscal 2008 was $648.5 million, an increase of 59.1 percent compared to the figure of $407.5 million achieved in fiscal 2007. Arcapitas balance sheet footing at the end of June 2008 was $5.1 billion, up 35 percent on the $3.8 billion at the end of fiscal 2007. Worldwide, the bank now employs more than 300 people, a third of whom are located outside of the banks headquarters in its offices in Atlanta, London and Singapore.

Arcapitas Chief Executive Officer, Atif A. Abdulmalik stated We have witnessed considerable economic turbulence in much of the worlds economy during the last 12 months, but Arcapitas international network of resources has allowed us to move quickly and with flexibility to maintain a good flow of attractive investment opportunities for our investors. We made 13 new investments during the year with a total transaction value of more than $8 billion, bringing our funds under management to almost $5 billion.

Arcapita Executive Director Charlie Ogburn, head of the Atlanta office, added, Each of our markets has experienced challenges in the last 12 months, and this has been most pronounced here in the United States. Nonetheless, we have made several substantial investments, as well as a number of successful exits, and we continue to see value opportunities in each of our business lines of private equity, real estate, asset-based investments and venture capital.

During the year, Arcapita exited from six investments, and together with recapitalizations during the period, was able to return more than $1.1 billion to investors.

Significant transactions overseen by Arcapitas Atlanta office during 2008 include the acquisition of Varel International Energy Services Inc., PODS Inc. and the Bosque power facility in Texas. The Arcapita venture fund completed new investments in Intelleflex Corporation, Fidelis SeniorCare, Inc. and Aspen Aerogels, Inc., as well as their first exit, with the sale of Navini Networks. In addition to the new investments, there were three exits from the US portfolio, with the sale of Transportation Safety Technologies, Inc., Working Rx and TLC Health Care Services, Inc.

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use

Monday, August 4, 2008

SunTrust Acquires Insured Customer Deposits of First Priority Bank from FDIC

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI) announced today that it has acquired from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approximately $225 million in FDIC-insured deposits of First Priority Bank of Bradenton, Florida.

The FDIC separately announced today the closing of First Priority Bank by the Commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

Under terms of an agreement with the FDIC, SunTrust will provide banking services to more than 4000 former First Priority customers, including operating First Priority Bank's six branches beginning on Monday, August 3 for a 90-day transition period.

During the transition period, First Priority customer accounts will be transitioned to SunTrust accounts with clients ultimately enjoying access to SunTrust's robust Southwest Florida branch network and its more than 1600 other branches throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

"Today's announcement underscores that despite the challenges facing all banks today, the current environment also presents opportunities for strong institutions like SunTrust to expand our client base," said James M. Wells III, SunTrust Chairman, President and CEO. "In addition, we are pleased to be in a position to support the FDIC in its effort to resolve a problematic situation while also offering former First Priority customers the advantages of banking with SunTrust."

During the transition period, SunTrust will work with First Priority's approximately 50 employees to identify possible job opportunities within SunTrust.

"We look forward to welcoming First Priority customers, and soon offering them the channels, choices and convenience enjoyed by existing SunTrust customers," said Margaret L. Callihan, chairman, president and CEO of SunTrust Bank, Southwest Florida. She noted that pending completion of the transition period, First Priority customers should continue to conduct their banking at their usual branch location.

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of June 30, 2008, SunTrust had total assets of $177.4 billion and total deposits of $119.8 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24- hour delivery channels. The Company also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the Company provides mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, investment management, equipment leasing and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Friday, August 1, 2008

AGL Resources Board of Directors Declares Quarterly Dividend

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Board of Directors of AGL Resources Inc. (NYSE:ATG) has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.42 per share on the company's common stock. The dividend will be paid September 1, 2008 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 15, 2008. The dividend payment will mark the 243rd consecutive quarterly dividend the company has paid since 1948.