PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – May 20

May 20 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Reuters has not verified
these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Germany’s restrictions on some bearish financial bets
caught much of the rest of Europe by surprise, and signaled
that the euro zone’s largest economy is willing to move ahead
with tighter oversight of traders while the European Union’s
own regulatory package trundles along.

* Some of the world’s largest money managers and central
banks say they are becoming increasingly skeptical of the euro
and European assets. That could put even more pressure on the
common currency.

* Critics say Greece’s sprawling civil service has tried to
secure its own survival through an opaque patchwork of fees,
taxes and red tape and has prevented the country from
generating the growth it needs to pay its debts.

* Companies like Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: ) and BP Plc
(BP.L: ) continue to do a brisk business buying Iranian oil
products. But they keep a low profile, hiding their ships’
movements – even though the deals are perfectly legal.

* Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) co-founder Sergey Brin Wednesday said
the Internet giant “screwed up” by collecting personal data
through wireless networks and promised new oversight as
European officials pledged to open investigations of the data
collection.

* A handful of Democrats joined with Republicans to block a
bid by the Senate Democratic leadership to end more than three
weeks of debate on sweeping legislation overhauling regulation
of U.S. financial markets.

* As the stock market spiraled out of control two weeks
ago, two major firms that handle trades for retail brokerages
suffered trading breakdowns.

* Japan’s economy is getting a sharp lift from exports to
rapidly growing Asian neighbors and rising consumer spending,
suggesting the country’s recovery is gaining traction.

* French hotel group Accor SA (ACCP.PA: ) is remaking itself
as a major hotel franchiser and operator instead of a hotel
owner as it scrambles to catch up with faster-growing
competitors.

* People suing Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: ) over reports that
some of its vehicles suddenly accelerate hope they will be
compensated for the loss in resale value of their Camry,
Corolla or other model. But plaintiffs in similar
product-liability cases have been disappointed.

* Federal Reserve officials at the end of April were more
optimistic about the U.S. economy, but a majority opposed
selling anytime soon the mortgage-backed assets bought by the
Fed to combat the recession.

* HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L: ) was accused by a
court-appointed receiver of aiding an international fraud
perpetrated by the late California financier Danny Pang.

* GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L: ) is facing difficulties
recruiting patients in the U.S. for a large clinical trial of
its diabetes drug Avandia, in the wake of several studies
linking the medicine to an increased risk of heart attack.

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PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – May 20