July 16, 2008 / 5:00 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - July 16

July 16 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in the New York Times business pages on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* A sense of economic gloom gripped Washington as President George W. Bush urged Americans not to lose faith, the Federal Reserve chairman offered a mostly bleak assessment of the difficulties ahead for the economy, and the administration’s latest effort to help the housing sector faced tough questioning in Congress.

* U.S. Democratic leaders have begun fashioning a package of stimulus measures, but President George W. Bush and the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, both pronounced such action premature.

* The Bush administration’s plan to rescue the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies ran into sharp criticism in Congress as some lawmakers questioned the open-ended request for money that could be used to help the companies.

* With concern growing among investors about a possible bankruptcy filing, General Motors Corp (GM.N) announced sweeping cost cuts and other measures to bolster its tenuous cash position. But even as the company unveiled plans to increase its liquidity by $15 billion, the automaker warned of more tough times ahead.

* Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp NWSa.N owns The New York Post, and Mortimer Zuckerman, the owner of The Daily News, are considering the unthinkable — cooperation.

* Despite the economic downturn and troubles on Wall Street, some New York landlords are demanding higher rents than ever.

* Countrywide Home Loans has agreed to pay $325,000 to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee in Pittsburgh, settling a matter that accused the lender of abusive practices in almost 300 mortgage loans overseen by the court.

* By investing $80 million in the flailing Indian airline SpiceJet, Wilbur Ross Jr is betting that high oil prices have hit bubble territory, and bubble that should pop in the next 12 months.

* Problems linked to the braking system of Boeing Co’s (BA.N) much-delayed 787 Dreamliner conspired with a dearth of new orders from Western airlines to darken the mood at the aerospace industry’s showcase event.

* Despite high gas prices and widespread fears of an economic downturn, Intel Corp (INTC.O), the largest chip maker, reported a sharp rise in profit and said strong demand worldwide for computer chips would continue in the current quarter.

* Erin Callan, whose rise and fall at Lehman Brothers Holdings LEH.N transfixed Wall Street, has resigned to join Credit Suisse CSGN.VX.

* At a Congressional hearing, Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Yahoo Inc YHOO.O lawyers argued that their advertising partnership did not violate antitrust laws and would help to keep Yahoo competitive.

* In an ongoing lawsuit over copyright violations, Viacom Inc VIAb.N agreed to accept information from Google Inc (GOOG.O) on the usage of YouTube users, with identifying information replaced by anonymous code numbers.

* President George W. Bush cast a futile veto, rejecting a bill that would protect doctors from cuts in Medicare payments.

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