April 18, 2008 / 7:24 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - April 18

April 18 (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.

* Shrinking of hours and pay for millions of workers appears to be a bigger contributor to the economic decline than loss of jobs and the risk of layoffs.

* Internet search giant Google Inc (GOOG.O) reported better-than-expected financial results for the first three months of the year, igniting a huge rally in the company shares.

* Iceland’s long economic boom has ended in a painful bust, with a collapsing currency, rising inflation, double-digit interest rates and predictions of its first recession since 1992.

* In a shake-up that reflects the end of an era, Sony BMG Music said that the longtime industry executive Clive Davis would relinquish daily control of his label, the RCA Music Group.

* The chairman of the Samsung Group, Lee Kun-hee, has been indicted on charges of evading taxes on billions of dollars that he hid in stock accounts under the names of his aides, a special prosecutor announced.

* Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), the French bank that was rocked by a multibillion-dollar rogue trading scandal, said Daniel Bouton would step aside as chief executive but would remain nonexecutive chairman as part of a management reorganization.

* Federal regulators plan to announce a legal settlement with executives of Fannie Mae FNM.N over their roles in an accounting scandal that surfaced in 2004.

* The Bank of England and the British government are considering actions that would mirror steps taken by the United States Fed to restore liquidity to the money markets.

* Nalgene, the brand that popularized water bottles made from clear and nearly unbreakable polycarbonate, will stop using the plastic because of concern over one of its ingredients.

* Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices AMD.N posted its sixth consecutive quarterly loss, but company executives vowed a return to profitability in the second half of the year.

* Merrill Lynch & Co MER.N announced a total write-down of $9.7 billion, including $3.1 billion of write-downs that were not included in the bank’s income statement. The write-downs are on top of $25 billion taken in the second half of last year, and there could be more to come.

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