PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - July 16

miércoles 16 de julio de 2008 06:59 CEST

July 16 (Reuters) - 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 sense of economic gloom gripped Washington as President George W. Bush urged Americans not to lose faith, the Federal Reserve chairman offered a mostly bleak assessment of the difficulties ahead for the economy, and the administration's latest effort to help the housing sector faced tough questioning in Congress.

* U.S. Democratic leaders have begun fashioning a package of stimulus measures, but President George W. Bush and the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, both pronounced such action premature.

* The Bush administration's plan to rescue the nation's two largest mortgage finance companies ran into sharp criticism in Congress as some lawmakers questioned the open-ended request for money that could be used to help the companies.

* With concern growing among investors about a possible bankruptcy filing, General Motors Corp (GM.N: Cotización) announced sweeping cost cuts and other measures to bolster its tenuous cash position. But even as the company unveiled plans to increase its liquidity by $15 billion, the automaker warned of more tough times ahead.

* Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp NWSa.N owns The New York Post, and Mortimer Zuckerman, the owner of The Daily News, are considering the unthinkable -- cooperation.

* Despite the economic downturn and troubles on Wall Street, some New York landlords are demanding higher rents than ever.

* Countrywide Home Loans has agreed to pay $325,000 to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee in Pittsburgh, settling a matter that accused the lender of abusive practices in almost 300 mortgage loans overseen by the court.

* By investing $80 million in the flailing Indian airline SpiceJet, Wilbur Ross Jr is betting that high oil prices have hit bubble territory, and bubble that should pop in the next 12 months.   Continuación...