February 16, 2009 / 5:55 AM / 10 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Feb 16

Feb 16 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The Obama administration will not name a “car czar” to help oversee the auto industry’s restructuring and will instead create an inter-agency task force to deal with the issue.

* Satyam Computer Services Ltd SATY.BO has begun considering offers from suitors looking to buy the fraud-riddled Indian outsourcer, said new Chief Executive A.S. Murty.

* Japan’s economy shrank at its sharpest pace in over three decades in the final quarter of 2008, as the financial crisis and languishing overseas demand dealt a blow to the export-driven economy.

* A group of Sirius XM Radio Inc (SIRI.O) creditors says it is prepared to seek the ouster of CEO Mel Karmazin and other senior executives if the company files for bankruptcy.

* Friday’s decline in Treasurys prices could be the beginning of the correction the market has been bracing for since the Obama administration took over, with promises of a recession-era boom in government spending.

* An offshore bank at the center of two U.S. federal investigations recently curtailed financing commitments to two small American companies, regulatory filings show.

* The giant stimulus package that cleared Congress includes a last-minute addition that restricts bonuses for top earners at firms receiving federal cash — including those that already received it — more severely than the Obama administration’s previous pay limits.

* One vote shy of a budget deal, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pressured reluctant Republicans in the Legislature to pass a complex plan to close the state’s $42 billion deficit.

* Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) disclosed unexpectedly big losses related to its acquisition of mortgage-lender HBOS PLC, possibly roiling the U.K. government’s efforts to bail out the country’s banks.

* Building the biggest brokerage firm on Wall Street is proving costly to Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N), which are planning to pay brokers about $3 billion to keep them from being poached away from the joint venture, people familiar with the matter said.

* A federal appeals court has agreed to reconsider whether an enormous sexual-discrimination lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) will proceed as a class-action case.

* The U.S. and its major allies softened their criticism of China’s controversial currency policy, in a shift that reflects the West’s eagerness for Beijing’s help in resolving the global financial and economic crisis.

* The Greek government may have trouble meeting its 2009 privatization goals in the current economic climate, adding pressure to an economy already burdened by high levels of debt.

* The House and Senate gave final congressional approval to sweeping economic-recovery legislation, marking a new milestone of federal intervention in the nation’s economy.

* General Motors Corp (GM.N) and the United Auto Workers are expected to break a stalemate over how to change a health-care trust and resume negotiations on changing an existing labor contract. The move comes amid mounting pressure from the Obama administration.

* The Obama administration has tapped a Washington executive of Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N) to help run an agency that shapes telecommunications policy and will dole out stimulus money to wireless providers.

* Venture-capital investors have poured an additional $35 million into Twitter Inc, an Internet service that enables users to spontaneously post brief messages online.

* Credit Suisse Group CSGN.VX was ordered to pay a $400 million arbitration award to STMicroelectronics NV (STM.PA), after the Swiss semiconductor maker alleged Credit Suisse mishandled its investment in auction-rate securities, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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