December 31, 2008 / 5:34 AM / in 9 years

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Dec. 31

Dec 31 (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.

* Starting Jan. 1, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry has agreed to a voluntary moratorium on the kind of branded goodies — Viagra pens, Zoloft soap dispensers, Lipitor mugs — that were meant to foster good will and, some would say, encourage doctors to prescribe more of the drugs.

* Offshore investment funds used as tax havens are being investigated as part of the Madoff fraud case.

* The day after an injection from the government, the financing affiliate of General Motors (GM.N) said it would immediately ease the conditions for borrowers to have access to its loans.

* The midsize Fusion Hybrid is Ford Motor Co’s (F.N) strongest effort yet to break the dominance of Japanese automakers in hybrid passenger cars.

    * After the financial markets collapsed, companies that were looking for space found accommodating deals.

    * Home values in 20 large metropolitan areas across the country dropped at an 18 percent annual pace in October.

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