PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Sept 19

viernes 19 de septiembre de 2008 07:11 CEST

Sept 19 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The U.S. government is working on programs that could represent the biggest intervention in financial markets since the 1930s, including a mechanism to take bad assets off the balance sheets of financial companies.

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission prepared an aggressive assault against short-sellers, saying it would temporarily prevent investors from making bets on stock declines in an attempt to stem some of the worst stock-market slides in years, according to people briefed on the proposal.

* American International Group Inc's (AIG.N: Cotización) new chief executive Edward Liddy hopes to keep intact many of AIG's largest insurance operations in a publicly traded company, after selling assets to pay back a federal loan.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N: Cotización) is seriously considering making a bid for Washington Mutual Inc (WM.N: Cotización), while other suitors are reviewing the thrift's books.

* Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Cotización) CEO John Mack went on the offensive, lobbying for intervention and rule changes targeting short selling. Shares rose 3.7 percent.

* Freddie Mac FRE.N disclosed that it has not received principal payments of $1.2 billion plus interest on short-term loans to Lehman Brothers that were due Monday.

* A last-ditch effort to rescue Italian airline Alitalia SpA AZPIa.MI fizzled when a group of Italian investors withdrew an offer to privatize the struggling state-controlled carrier. The pullout leaves Alitalia at the threshold of liquidation with no safety net in sight.

* Warren Buffett moved to rescue Constellation Energy Group Inc CEG.N Thursday, boosting other power-company stocks, but questions remain about whether the industry will continue to have access to the capital it needs to conduct business amid Wall Street's crisis.   Continuación...