Fannie seeks $8.4B after posting a loss

WASHINGTON -- Fannie Mae again has asked taxpayers for more money -- this time $8.4 billion -- after reporting another steep loss for the first quarter. The taxpayer bill for rescuing Fannie and its sibling Freddie Mac has grown to $145 billion -- and the final tally could be much higher.

The rescue of Fannie and Freddie is turning out to be one of the most expensive aftereffects of the financial meltdown, and Fannie Mae's first-quarter financial report Monday made clear that there is no end in sight. "The losses are not going to stop" soon, said Anthony Sanders, a finance professor at George Mason University.

Honda's N.C.-made jets 2 years behind

GREENSBORO -- A Honda Motor subsidiary says initial deliveries of a lightweight private jet being built in North Carolina are now more than two years away.

Honda Aircraft said Monday that delays in receiving unspecified major components from suppliers will force the delay until the third quarter of 2012.

Honda Aircraft began taking sales orders for its HondaJet in 2006, with initial deliveries originally scheduled late this year. Last year, however, the company said Honda's first aircraft would be delayed until late 2011 because of supply delays.

The $4 million jet features a bullet nose and engines mounted above the wings. It still must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Ex-car czar weighs in on GM, Chrysler

DETROIT -- Former U.S. auto task force head Steven Rattner said Monday that General Motors and Chrysler have performed better than he expected they would a year ago.

Rattner said both companies have exceeded the federal government's metrics in sales and restructuring. GM and Chrysler received billions in federal aid and went through bankruptcy protection last year.

Rattner said during a speech that, based on public statements by GM executives, GM has a good possibility of making a quarterly profit when it announces first-quarter earnings this month. He said based on the trading price of GM's bonds last week, the government is likely to recover around $40 billion of its $50 billion investment in GM.

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Union: Deal near to open idle mill

A Georgetown union representative said Monday that a deal is in the works to reopen the idle steel mill there, but plant officials say the factory will remain closed until market conditions improve.

James Sanderson, head of United Steel Workers of America Local 7898, said employees and management are "extremely close" to an agreement that initially would rehire 150 to 175 workers before ramping up to 225. "We are close to being able to put the mill on a more competitive footing and with the market in the condition it is right now, we are more advantageous to getting the mill opened back up," he said.

Sanderson wouldn't say when the mill would reopen because any deal would have to be go before union members, who meet again next week.

In a statement, mill owner ArcelorMittal said it "has indefinitely ceased operations at the ... Georgetown facility, which will continue unless market conditions appreciably improve or the plant is put on a more competitive footing."