March 20, 2009 / 5:21 AM / 10 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - March 20

March 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.

* Spurred by anger over AIG (AIG.N) bonuses, the House voted 328 to 93 to levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid by any company owing more than $5 billion in bailout money.

* The depth and speed of the manufacturing plunge are striking, and recall conditions that led to the Great Depression.

* The Obama administration signaled its intent to provide broad relief to the American auto industry with the creation of a $5 billion fund to aid troubled parts suppliers.

* General Electric Co (GE.N) presented analysts a detailed look inside GE Capital in an attempt to prove that its finance division is better positioned than the competing banks.

* A company has begun marketing its laser for use on toenail infections, even though it has not received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to inject $1 trillion into the economy dragged down the value of the dollar and pushed the prices of oil and gold higher.

* Bernard L. Madoff’s lawyer went before a federal appeals court and argued that he should be freed from jail and allowed to return to his Manhattan penthouse apartment until he is sentenced in June for running a $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

* Some of the world’s most powerful central bankers and financial regulators are proposing that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and its counterparts in other countries extend their powers to include the regulation of executive compensation.

* The Obama administration launched a Web site to help troubled homeowners find out if they’re eligible for any relief under its loan modification or refinancing programs.

* The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that it would lend investors $4.7 billion next week in the first installment of a highly anticipated program intended to help revive lending to consumers and businesses.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N) surprised Wall Street with news that it was considering a bit of financial gymnastics to raise its sunken share price. The financial giant said it might execute what is known as a reverse stock split — the market equivalent of giving investors a $10 bill in exchange for two fives.

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