February 20, 2009 / 5:43 AM / 10 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Feb 20

Feb 20 (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 Obama administration hopes to encourage new lending by effectively subsidizing the profits of hedge funds and private equity firms that serve as bankers to the banks.

* In another assault on Swiss banking secrecy, the Justice Department is seeking more names of Americans suspected of dodging taxes.

* Two days after he was accused of running an $8 billion financial fraud, Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford was located by federal agents and served with civil papers in the case.

* University agricultural scientists are protesting what they say are unreasonable restrictions on the industry’s genetically modified crops.

* A Justice Department inquiry into Stryker Corp’s (SYK.N) marketing of human bone growth products has resulted in guilty pleas by former company sales representatives.

* Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in January, but inflation remained a remote concern amid a deepening recession.

* While stocks have been trading in a broad range over the last three months, analysts said that the indexes might be carving out a new, deeper trench.

* The New York Times Co (NYT.N) suspended dividend payments to shareholders for the first time in four decades as a publicly traded company, another in a series of concessions because of sharply lower newspaper revenue.

* Facing Japan’s worst recession in decades, the Bank of Japan said it would buy 1 trillion yen, or $10.7 billion, in corporate bonds, extend its purchases of commercial paper and maintain its near-zero interest rate to ease a crippling credit squeeze.

* Sprint Nextel (S.N) reported that 1.3 million subscribers dropped its wireless service in the fourth quarter, contributing to a 14 percent decline in revenue.

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