In the Region

PSERS seeks payroll surcharge

The Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement Fund called for an 8.22 percent surcharge on school payrolls in 2010-11 - up from 4.78 percent this year after its "plan net assets" used for calculating future pension subsidies shrank to $43 billion as of June 30, from $63 billion a year earlier. The change means PSERS wants $1.1 billion next year, up from $617 million this year, to supplement investment profits and payroll deductions taken from school workers' checks, so it can pay about $5 billion in annual pensions to retired school workers and administrators. The increase would require either local property-tax increases, plus more money from the state's pinched revenues, or legislative action to delay the increase. - Joseph N. DiStefano

Icahn buys debt of Trump's company

Billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn said he had agreed to buy a majority of the first-lien bank debt of Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings. The deal is part of a reorganization plan Icahn negotiated to help the casino company emerge from bankruptcy. Trump Entertainment owns Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino. - AP

Capmark acquirers announce hires

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Leucadia National Corp. completed their acquisition of the servicing and mortgage-lending business of bankrupt Capmark Financial Group Inc. Their venture, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage L.L.C., will hire more than 1,000 of Capmark's 1,500 employees, the company said in a statement. Michael Lipson, a member Capmark's executive team since 1996, has been named president of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage and will continue to lead the business. - Bloomberg News

E3bank to return investors' money

E3bank, a Malvern company that is organizing to open for business, said it was changing its business plan and would return the money it received from investors. The amount was not disclosed. The bank said the step was prompted by "the changing regulatory environment." For example, chief executive Frank Baldassarre said, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is increasing its scrutiny of new banks. The bank will start a campaign early next year to raise $30 million and to open for business by the end of June. The bank's focus now will be on the Philadelphia area. - Paul Schweizer

Good news, bad news for Crestor

Federal scientists say AstraZeneca's cholesterol pill Crestor lowers the risk of heart attack, death, and stroke in patients without a history of heart disease, though safety concerns remain. The Food and Drug Administration cites the findings of AstraZeneca's study. The British drugmaker, which has U.S. headquarters near Wilmington, wants the FDA to broaden Crestor's labeling based on the results. But the FDA's review also cites concerns including a higher rate of diabetes in patients taking Crestor. - AP

Del. loan to have green jobs benefits

Delaware, a state hit with a recent spate of bad news on the jobs front, had some good news: the prospect of 67 new green jobs at PTM Manufacturing L.L.C. in Newark. The company specializes in energy-

efficient heating, ventilation, and air-

conditioning technologies. It had been a fabrication division of Eastern Industrial Services Inc., Newark. With a $645,000 Delaware Strategic Fund loan, PTM will establish a separate headquarters in northern Delaware within the next year, said Nikki A. Boone, spokeswoman for the Delaware Economic Development Office. The company also plans to expand its line of green products, Boone said. The announcement comes three weeks after Valero Energy Corp. said it would close its refinery in Delaware City. - Diane Mastrull


Regulators close three more banks

Regulators yesterday shut banks in Florida, Arizona, and Kansas, bringing to 133 the number of U.S. banks that have failed this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over Republic Federal Bank, Miami, with $433 million in assets and $352.7 million in deposits. The FDIC also took over Valley Capital Bank, Mesa, Ariz., with $40.3 million in assets and $41.3 million in deposits; and SolutionsBank, Overland Park, Kan., with $511.1 million in assets and $421.3 million in deposits. - AP

House leader urges debt increase

A top House Democratic leader said Congress would have to permit at least $1.8 trillion in additional federal borrowing next year to avoid a default on the U.S. debt. Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D., Md.) said an increase in the debt limit would have to be about $1.8 trillion to $1.9 trillion to allow the government to borrow enough money to keep the government running through December of next year. - AP