November 21, 2007 / 7:56 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business - Nov 21

Nov 21 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The New York Times on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve expects economic growth to slow sharply next year, and policy makers there are worried that even this forecast may prove too optimistic, according to an assessment that the central bank released.

* Losses at Freddie Mac FRE.N underscored the continuing turmoil in the housing industry. The big mortgage finance company posted a $2 billion loss for the third quarter and warned that it might not have enough capital on hand to cover the mandatory reserves for its mortgage commitments.

* Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) and Schering-Plough Corp SGP.N said they would publish only a portion of the results from a long-awaited trial of their cholesterol-lowering drugs Zetia and Vytorin.

* BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), the big investment firm, is expected to be the main asset manager for a $75 billion fund being created by three large banks to help shore up the market for asset-backed securities.

* A German court ruled that T-Mobile, which won an exclusive deal to sell Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) coveted iPhone in Germany, must offer the iPhone to everyone, even without the 24-month contract that it had required for buyers of the phone. T-Mobile is appealing the ruling.

* Sixteen days into a work stoppage, Hollywood screenwriters and their employers are scheduled to talk on Monday for the first time since Nov. 4. A rapid settlement would jump-start the entertainment industry.

* In a setback for American producers fighting Chinese imports, a federal trade panel ruled against the American glossy paper industry’s request for tariffs on imported Chinese paper. The decision threw out duties that had been authorized by the Bush administration early this year.

* Airlines are fond of saying that they have a success rate of more than 99 percent in getting luggage to its destination along with its owner. Despite increased efforts by the major airlines, the baggage problem is getting worse, and by the end of the year, close to five million travelers will have been stuck scratching their heads at the luggage carousel.

* On the back of record profit so far this year, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is starting a donor-driven philanthropy fund that aims to reach $1 billion over the next few years.

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