PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Oct 24

Reuters

Oct 24 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on theNew York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified thesestories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Bank of America, one of the nation's largestbanks, was found liable on Wednesday of having sold defectivemortgages, a jury decision that will be seen as a victory forthe government in its aggressive effort to hold banksaccountable for their role in the housing crisis. ()

* Prosecutors are said to be considering criminal penaltiesagainst JPMorgan over its dealings with Bernard Madoff,suspecting it turned a blind eye to his Ponzi scheme. ()

* As technical failures bedevil the rollout of PresidentObama's health care law, evidence is emerging that one of theprogram's loftiest goals - to encourage competition amonginsurers in an effort to keep costs low - is falling short formany rural Americans. ()

* The legal battle over Detroit's eligibility for bankruptcypits the city against unions and retirees, with a star witness,Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan, to come. ()

* Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday proposed aspending plan for his city next year that is full of nips andtucks: a 75 cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax, higherzoning permit fees for big developments, an end to someretirees' health insurance subsidies and a rolling hiringfreeze. ()

* Pinterest confirmed on Wednesday that it has raised $225million in a new round of financing that values the company at$3.8 billion. ()

* To help finance the expansion into America, Britishpeer-to-peer lender Funding Circle, has raised $37 million frominvestors led by the venture capital firm Accel Partners. ()

* A decision by a federal appeals court has ended Delaware'sexperiment with confidential arbitration. In an opinion releasedWednesday, a three-judge panel for the United States Court ofAppeals for the Third Circuit upheld a lower court ruling thatDelaware's state-sponsored arbitration program violated theFirst Amendment. ()

* Two of Caterpillar's biggest-ever deals may haveplayed a role in the $3 billion of market value that thecompany's stock shed on Wednesday morning. The maker of heavyequipment disclosed that its third-quarter profit tumbled 44percent from the same time last year, while revenue fell morethan 18 percent for the same period. ()

* Properties and Cole Real Estate Investments, twoof the largest commercial property owners in the country, haveagreed to a $7.2 billion deal on Wednesday in which AmericanRealty will buy Cole with a mix of cash and stock, bringing anend to tensions between the companies that have simmered much ofthe last year. ()

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