January 17, 2008 / 5:46 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Jan 17

Jan 17 (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.

* Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, has told lawmakers that he can support tax cuts or spending measures to stimulate the economy, even if they increase the budget deficit, provided the measures are quick and temporary.

* Government reports released on Wednesday provided additional evidence that the economy was slowing amid credit problems and the housing downturn and raised expectations that the Federal Reserve is likely to cut interest rates when it meets this month.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income dropped 34 percent as problems stemming from the housing downturn widened in both its investment banking and consumer businesses.

* Oracle Corp ORCL.O has finally won its prize, the rival BEA Systems Inc BEAS.O, after sweetening the offer by 14 percent, just three months after BEA soundly rejected its original bid.

* Antitrust regulators on Wednesday raided big European drug makers as part of an investigation into whether patents and lawsuit settlements are being manipulated to keep generic products off the market.

* A former chief executive of Brocade Communications Systems Inc BRCD.O was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in prison for orchestrating a plan to tamper with the company’s records of stock option grants.

* Six months after taking over as president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick faced new turmoil on Wednesday over a campaign against corruption in bank lending, with the resignation of the chief of the bank’s antifraud unit.

* The Ambac Financial Group Inc ABK.N, the bond insurer, ousted its chief executive Wednesday, cut the dividend 67 percent and said it planned to raise more than $1 billion to preserve its AAA credit rating after announcing the biggest write-down ever taken by a bond insurer.

* Sun Microsystems Inc JAVA.O, the large U.S. seller of open-source software, said it would buy MySQL, the world leader in open-source database software, for $1 billion.

* Federal prosecutors plan to introduce into evidence at least 29 recorded phone calls in the trial of retired General Re executives.

* Three months after being repudiated by Europe’s highest court, Germany plans to salvage a central provision of a law that safeguards the role of the state in Volkswagen (VOWG.DE), the nation’s largest carmaker.

* The president of Canada’s nuclear industry regulator, embroiled in a dispute with the government over the closing and later reopening of a reactor, was fired.

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