March 18, 2009 / 5:32 AM / 10 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - March 18

March 18 (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.

* Outrage over $165 million in bonuses is likely to lead to intense scrutiny on Wednesday morning as Edward Liddy, the chief executive of American International Group Inc (AIG.N), testifies before Congress.

* The World Bank lowered its growth forecast for China to 6.5 percent, reflecting the extent to which the global slowdown is hitting even that nation’s relatively well-insulated economy.

* Japan’s central bank is keeping its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.1 percent but is boosting the purchase of government bonds to pump cash into the financial system.

* Money market funds would promise investors greater safety, but at the price of lower yields, if regulators agreed to a set of changes that the mutual fund industry’s leaders will release on Wednesday.

* The Internal Revenue Service said it would allow victims of Bernard Madoff’s huge investment fraud to claim a tax deduction related to the bulk of their losses.

* An unexpected rise in housing starts and a more moderate increase in wholesale prices offered some brighter economic news as the Federal Open Market Committee gathered for its scheduled two-day meeting.

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