January 29, 2008 / 6:33 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Jan 29

Jan 29 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Bush used his final State of the Union address to begin rehabilitating his legacy, while pushing the economic-stimulus package to reassure anxious Americans.

* Liberty Media took steps to seize control of IAC/InterActiveCorp IACI.O from IAC Chairman Barry Diller, signaling a breakdown in relations between Liberty’s John Malone and his longtime partner.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission chided 21 companies for not giving enough data about the role of performance in executive-pay decisions.

* Legg Mason Inc (LM.N) announced that Mark Fetting will become its new chief executive and president, concluding one of the most important and closely watched succession races in recent mutual-fund history.

* Societe Generale’s (SOGN.PA) account of how a rogue trader triggered billions of dollars in losses is coming under strain, as it emerges that his risky trades may have begun over a year earlier than the bank has said and warnings were repeatedly missed.

* The Food and Drug Administration cannot keep up with requirements to inspect domestic makers of medical devices to assure manufacturing quality, and the agency rarely examines foreign facilities, according to Congressional investigators.

* The fear of potential regulatory crackdowns helped drive Countrywide Financial Corp CFC.N into the arms of acquirer Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), people familiar with the situation say.

* Investors are growing increasingly concerned that Wendy’s International Inc WEN.N won’t be sold, leaving few clear options for how the chain can pull itself out of its slump.

* American Express Co’s (AXP.N) fourth-quarter profit dropped 9.9 percent, as the company set aside more money to cover loan losses amid what it called clear signs of a weakening economy and business environment.

* The New York State Insurance Department has hired Wall Street firm Perella Weinberg Partners for advice on the financial health of bond insurers.

* Activist New York investor Carl Icahn moved to appoint three members to Biogen Idec Inc’s (BIIB.O) board and argued it put up too many barriers against takeovers.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission has reached a tentative deal with former Dow Jones & Co Inc director David Li in which he would pay more than $8 million to resolve insider-trading charges related to the company’s sale to News Corp NWSa.N, according to people familiar with the matter.

* A Russian court upheld a ruling that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP essentially was a participant in massive tax evasion by former oil giant OAO Yukos.

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