Private-equity firm J.C. Flowers has reportedly submitted a bid for Northern Rock that offers a "nominal" value to shareholders, while repaying GBP15 billion of Bank of England debt. J.C. Flowers would make additional repayments of around GBP10 billion to the Bank of England by the end of 2010, reports said. Cerberus Capital Management is also rumored to have scrapped plans to bid for the bank.

Three former Countrywide Financial executives were sentenced to three years' probation each for criminal insider trading. Alan Cao, Quan Zhu and Jun Shi all plead guilty earlier this year to using confidential data to sell off their shares ahead of an earnings report that showed Countrywide's 2004 third-quarter shares would not meet Wall Street projections. The securities fraud brought in more than $100,000 in combined profits. The former executives have also been ordered to serve several hundred hours of community service and pay a total of $8,000 in fines. The three men worked in financial planning or portfolio management for Countrywide.

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