Jan 23 (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.
* Timothy Geithner stated that the president believed that China was “manipulating” its currency, signaling a more confrontational approach to a delicate issue.
* Three weeks after his foundering brokerage firm was sold to Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) for $50 billion in stock, John Thain was pushed out by the bank’s chief executive, Kenneth Lewis, who is struggling to contain the damage from his bank’s daring gamble on Merrill Lynch.
* China is starting to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on infrastructure projects, fearing that widespread joblessness could lead to social unrest.
* Capital One Financial (COF.N), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB.O), KeyCorp (KEY.N), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN.O) and SunTrust Banks (STI.N) announced sharp fourth-quarter losses, the start of a trickle of red ink at the nation’s small and midsize lenders that could result in a flood of mergers in an industry that is already consolidating.
* In a research milestone, the federal government will allow the world’s first test in people of a therapy derived from human embryonic stem cells.
* With sales of PCs falling, Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said it would lay off 5 percent of its work force, and warned that technology spending could wane for years to come.
* The head of Satyam Computer Services Ltd SATY.BO confessed to making up more than 10,000 employees to siphon money from the software company and to using his elderly mother’s name to buy land with the cash, a prosecutor said in a court appearance Thursday.
* Google Inc (GOOG.O) said its net income for the fourth quarter of 2008 fell 68 percent from a year earlier largely because of one-time charges related to the declining value of two investments. But its revenue grew 18 percent, to $5.7 billion, beating Wall Street’s recently lowered expectations.