PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Feb 8
Feb 8 (Reuters) - 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.
* Moving with uncommon speed, Congress gave final approval on Thursday to a $168 billion economic rescue package, including rebates for taxpayers and tax breaks for businesses, that lawmakers and U.S. President George W. Bush hope will set off a rush of springtime spending and spark the slowing economy.
* Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these "green" fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.
* Under fire for their role in the mortgage crisis, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Corp are scrambling to restore confidence in their credit ratings. Their proposals to restore the credibility of their ratings have met with skepticism from some of their toughest critics.
* The oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Cotización) has won court orders freezing as much as $12 billion in petroleum assets controlled by Venezuela's government in an escalation of a dispute over efforts by President Hugo Chavez to assert greater control over the country's oil industry.
* Abandoning recent threats to raise interest rates, the European Central Bank hinted Thursday that it would soon follow the Federal Reserve's lead and cut them. The move, coming the same day the Bank of England decided to cut rates, highlighted rising fears of an economic slowdown.
* A Congressional committee investigating the Lipitor advertising campaign featuring Dr Robert Jarvik wants information about payments to people who might have served as stunt doubles for the doctor in televised ads.
* To the short list of global banks that avoided being badly burned by the subprime bonfire, a roster led by Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Cotización), add Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Cotización). The bank said it did not suffer any subprime-related losses in the fourth quarter of 2007, though market turbulence did affect its overall profit and it could not rule out future write-downs of other loans.
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