PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – March 5

March 5 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
the New York Times business pages on Friday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Sean David
Morton, who said he could foretell the stock market’s
direction, of swindling $6 million.

* The House on Thursday approved a $15 billion measure
intended to spur job creation by granting tax breaks to
businesses that hire workers, as Democrats, bracing for new
jobless figures, tried to show that Congress was doing
something about stubborn unemployment.

* The presidents of the nation’s 12 Federal Reserve
districts worked to buttress arguments that the Fed’s
regulatory powers should stay as they are.

* Despite fears that snowstorms in February would dampen
sales, the nation’s stores posted their strongest results on
Thursday since late 2007, suggesting the beginnings of a broad
recovery in retailing.

* The chief executive of Citigroup Inc (C.N: ) told a
government panel on Thursday that no financial institution
should be too big to fail and that he was aggressively moving
to break up the bank and rein in excessive risk-taking.

* Federal safety regulators said on Thursday that they were
investigating cases of unintended acceleration in Toyotas that
have already been repaired as the number of such reports grew
to 60.

* The number of people filing first-time unemployment
claims retreated from a three-month high last week, the
government said Thursday, reviving hopes that the labor market
was on the track to recovery.

* After pledging to mend its profligate ways, Greece took a
crucial step on Thursday toward raising the billions needed to
pay its bills and contain the crisis threatening the euro.

* The American International Group Inc (AIG.N: ) moved closer
to the $15 billion sale of a second major life insurance unit
on Thursday after the Internal Revenue Service indicated that
it would rule favorably on a tax issue that had stymied the
deal, people briefed on the matter said.

* The European Central Bank and the Bank of England left
their benchmark interest rates unchanged at record lows on
Thursday, as both worried about the strength of the economic
recovery.

* Thousands of processed foods – from soups to hot dogs to
dips – contain a flavoring ingredient contaminated with
salmonella, but government food safety officials say most
affected products are safe because cooking, either before or
after sale, eliminates the risk.

* The European Commission took steps on Thursday to avoid
future crises over supplies of natural gas, as new evidence
emerged that another of its main energy goals – encouraging
biofuels – might need to be revised.

* UBS (UBSN.VX: ) and Ernst & Young won a court ruling
Thursday in Luxembourg, potentially blocking hundreds of claims
by investors who had lost money in funds tied to Bernard
Madoff’s fraud.

* U.S. President Barack Obama, beginning a full-court press
for his health care overhaul, met Thursday with insurance
industry executives and House Democrats as party leaders on
Capitol Hill struggled to figure out whether they could meet
the president’s timetable for enacting legislation within a few
weeks.

* Unemployment rates for New York City and the state dipped
in January, providing a faint signal that the waves of layoffs
set off by the financial crisis may be subsiding.

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PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – March 5