PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – Dec 8

Dec 8 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in The
New York Times business pages on Wednesday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* A slow permit process has idled oil rigs and threatened
prospects for rig owners, despite the end of the moratorium on
drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

* It is the battle that could well determine the fate of
the euro. On one side is the European Central Bank, which is
spending billions to prop up Europe’s weak-kneed bond markets
and safeguard the common currency. On the other side are hedge
funds and big financial institutions that are betting against
those same bonds and, by extension, against the central bank,
that mighty symbol of Europe’s monetary union.

* A federal advisory committee recommended approval of what
could become the first new prescription diet pill in more than
a decade. The advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration voted 13 to 7 that the benefits of the drug,
Contrave, outweighed its risks. The drug was developed by
Orexigen Therapeutics of San Diego.

* The deal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years
includes a bevy of additional credits and deductions that will
reduce the burden on nearly all households. But the tax
benefits will flow most heavily to the highest earners, just as
the original cuts did when they were passed in 2001 and 2003.
At least a quarter of the tax savings will go to the wealthiest
1 percent of the population.

* The Transit Connect is Ford Motor Co’s (F.N: ) first
electric vehicle, coming to market about a year before it plans
to challenge the Leaf and the Volt with a battery-powered car,
the Focus Electric.

* As the debate continues about a potential privacy system
that would allow consumers to opt out of having their data
collected online, Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: ) announced a feature
for the newest version of Internet Explorer that would permit
users to stop certain Web sites from tracking them.

* Banc of America Securities (BAC.N: ) has agreed to pay $137
million to settle charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission and state and federal authorities related to its
participation in a bid-rigging scheme in the municipal
securities market as part of a continuing federal
investigation.

PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – Dec 8