Advanced Micro Devices

Today in the Fortune 500: Taxpayers pay $160 million for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac legal fees, BP's dangerous road to the Gulf oil spill and the Galleon insider trading investigation snags a Morgan Stanley banker.

January 24, 2011: 9:44 AM ET
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The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today's highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.

By Shelley DuBois, reporter

TAXPAYERS STILL FOOTING THE BILL for Frannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC), three years after the government bailed out both companies. It has cost $160 million dollars to defend the companies and their top executives in court, all of which has come from taxpayer money. Apparently, it's going to be tough for the government to recover any of it. [New York Times]

BUILT TO SPILL An investigation into BP's (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil spill turns up a long-standing corporate culture that set the stage for disaster. [Fortune]

THE GALLEON SCANDAL CONTINUES Morgan Stanley (MS) banker Kamal Ahmed is next on the list of people accused of selling illegal trading tips to former Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam. Prosecutors say that Galleon bought five million shares of Advanced Micro Devices before its $5.4 billion deal in 2006 to buy ATI Technologies. [New York Times]

SO LONG, SINGAPORE General Electric (GE) is selling it's automotive financing arm in Singapore to UK emerging markets bank Standard Chartered for $780 million. The sale fits into GE's larger strategy to focus less on financing and more on manufacturing. [Financial Times]

THE HIGH PRICE FOR JIMMY DEAN and other Sara Lee (SLE) brands reflected in the new bid that Apollo Global Management LLC and a group of other investors offered the food company. The offer approaches $20 per share, which adds up to higher than the $12 billion value for all of Sara Lee. Staple Sara Lee brands include Jimmy Dean breakfast foods and Ball Park hot dogs. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

KEEPING THE SPARK of creativity at major tech companies requires some effort. A video looks at strategies to stay innovative at companies like Microsoft (MSFT), Intel (INTC) and Nokia. The death knell for the kind of organic creativity that you want, says an Intel executive, is starting an "office of innovation." [BBC]

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