January 14, 2009 / 5:31 AM / 10 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Jan 14

Jan 14 (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.

* Even before word came on Tuesday that Citigroup Inc (C.N) might split into pieces to shore up its finances, an unpleasant message was moving through Congress and President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team: the banks need more taxpayer money.

* Staggered by losses despite two federal rescues, Citigroup (C.N) is accelerating moves to dismantle parts of its troubled financial empire in an effort to placate regulators and its anxious investors.

* Allergan Inc (AGN.N), the company that turned an obscure muscle paralyzer for eyelid spasms, Botox, into a blockbuster wrinkle smoother, hopes to perform cosmetic alchemy yet again. At the end of the month, the company plans to introduce Latisse, the first federally approved prescription drug for growing longer, lusher lashes.

* Several states are considering the rare step of raising gasoline taxes to help fill growing budget gaps and potholed roads.

* Yahoo Inc YHOO.O said that it had named Carol Bartz, the chairman and former chief executive of the software maker AutoDesk (ADSK.O), as its new leader, succeeding its co-founder Jerry Yang.

* Timothy F. Geithner, the president-elect’s choice for Treasury secretary, failed to pay more than $34,000 in taxes early this decade.

* After lunch at the Capitol with President-elect Barack Obama, Senate Democrats said that the proposed $800 billion economic recovery plan was on track for passage by mid-February, and that the incoming administration had agreed to substantially increase the amount of money in the package for energy-related tax breaks.

* The Internal Revenue Service is considering expanding its scrutiny of colleges and universities to focus on billions of dollars associated with academic research, federal financing and intellectual property, a senior agency official said.

* Skidding oil prices helped push the United States trade deficit to its lowest point in five years in November as the country imported fewer goods amid a sharp economic slowdown.

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