January 9, 2009 / 5:32 AM / in 11 years

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Jan 9

Jan 9 (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.

* Three federal agencies and a loose consortium of state attorneys general have for several years been gathering evidence of what appears to be collusion among the banks and other companies that have helped state and local governments take approximately $400 billion worth of municipal notes and bonds to market each year.

* Under pressure from federal authorities, Swiss bank UBS AG UBSN.VX is closing the hidden offshore accounts of its well-heeled American clients, potentially allowing their secrets to spill into the open.

* In a move that would help troubled homeowners, Citigroup Inc (C.N) agreed to support legislation that would let bankruptcy judges adjust mortgages for at-risk borrowers, leading Congressional Democrats said.

* President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team urged Congress to extend the Feb. 17 cutoff date for analog broadcasting, injecting new uncertainty into a switch that has confused customers and cost the government more than $1.3 billion in subsidies.

* The Congressional panel overseeing the $700 billion federal bailout has expressed growing concern about the effectiveness and execution of the rescue plan.

* Many chains reported the worst holiday shopping season in decades, and the stores are entering the new year so weakened that some might not survive. A wave of corporate failures that has already taken out stores like Sharper Image and Linens’n Things is expected to grow substantially worse in coming months, sending some of the well-known names of American retailing into bankruptcy.

* Arguing that Bernard Madoff’s bail should be revoked, prosecutors cited more evidence that he was hiding assets.

* The president-elect’s economic recovery plan ran into cross-fire from his own party, suggesting that it could take more time to pass than Democrats once hoped.

* Indian outsourcing company Satyam Computer SATY.BO was struggling to determine the extent of a financial fraud that left it fighting for survival as investors began to search for ways to recoup their losses.

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