February 27, 2009 / 5:40 AM / 10 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Feb 27

Feb 27 (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.

* The U.S. Treasury Department reached a deal late Thursday to take a stake of 30 to 40 percent in Citigroup Inc (C.N) as part of a third bailout of the embattled bank, according to people close to the deal.

* Though they were led to believe that the second wave of money released by the Treasury would help some of them, the insurance industry has not yet received direct help, and it isn’t sure that it will.

* The Obama budget would sharply raise taxes on the rich, beyond where Bill Clinton had raised them. It would reduce taxes for everyone else, to a lower point than they were under either Mr. Clinton or George W. Bush. And it would lay the groundwork for sweeping changes in health care and education, among other areas.

* Rick Wagoner, the chief executive of General Motors Corp (GM.N), met with government officials to discuss the carmaker’s finances after the company reported a $9.6 billion loss for the quarter.

* President Obama’s budget plan tries to trim a deficit estimated at $1.75 trillion for 2009 as it redirects wide streams of spending.

* Kenneth Lewis, the chief executive of Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), testified in a meeting with the New York attorney general’s office for four hours about $3.6 billion in bonuses handed out to Merrill Lynch employees on the eve of its merger with the bank last year.

* Some experts say the debate about a Medtronic Inc (MDT.N) heart device would not exist if efforts to develop a national database of patients who get heart devices had received more support.

* After reporting the biggest annual loss in British corporate history, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) became the first bank to sign up for Britain’s asset protection plan.

* The Obama administration outlined a vast overhaul of financial aid programs for college students, one that would end years of federal support to banks and other lenders.

* A drug developed by Acorda Therapeutics Inc (ACOR.O) improved the walking ability of some people with multiple sclerosis in a clinical trial, doctors reported. The results could lead to approval of the first drug to treat a specific symptom of the disease.

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