PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - March 20

jueves 20 de marzo de 2008 07:17 CET

March 20 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in the New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The gloomy outlook - reflecting credit turmoil, the housing crisis and the softening economy - will probably lead to more production cuts by car companies.

* James Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Cotización), attempted to win over executives at Bear Stearns BSC.N who have vowed to fight his offer.

* With the blessing of the Bush administration, the regulator of Fannie Mae FNM.N and Freddie Mac FRE.N, the nation's two largest mortgage finance companies, eased a major restriction on the companies in an effort to unfreeze credit markets and stabilize housing prices.

* Starbucks (SBUX.O: Cotización) announced sweeping changes as it seeks to reconnect with customers who have left for competitors or pared back their coffee budget in hard economic times.

* Catapulted by the biggest IPO in American history, Visa Inc (V.N: Cotización) shares soared 28 percent in their stock market debut as investors bet an accelerating shift to electronic payments will enrich the company.

* The top post at Japan's central bank now sits empty after a political standoff in Parliament blocked selection of a successor to the departing governor.

* In an unusual move to calm investors' nerves, two of Britain's top financial authorities stepped forward to quash a spate of rumors that had sent some financial stocks in London into a tailspin.

* Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Cotización) gave Wall Street a shot of confidence, reporting profits that surpassed analysts' estimates, but the dosage soon wore off.   Continuación...