PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Feb 3

Fri Feb 3, 2012 2:41am EST

Feb 3 (Reuters) - The New York Times reported the following stories on its business pages on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Rising wages in developing countries and other factors have made keeping manufacturing work in the United States a much more viable option, the Obama administration argues. Few economists now consider manufacturing a potent engine for job growth in the United States. Manufacturers have added about 330,000 jobs in the country in the last two years.

* A group of private exchanges has popped up in recent years to accommodate a fast-growing trading market in the private shares of the Internet companies like Twitter and LinkedIn . Facebook has driven much of this growth, and private exchanges, would lose a lucrative client when it holds its public offering.

* The Treasury issued several new regulations intended to make it easier, and maybe cheaper, for middle-class people in retirement to transfer the money they accumulated in their 401(k)s into an annuity that would guarantee monthly payments until they die.

* James Davis, former chief financial officer of the Stanford Financial Group, testified against R. Allen Stanford, the Texas financier accused of defrauding investors in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

* The Fed's chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, was criticized by Congressional Republicans for working to reduce unemployment and revive the housing market rather than maintaining a single-minded focus on inflation, after it announced plans to hold short-term interest rates near zero until late 2014, a measure that the Fed described as necessary to support a faster pace of economic recovery.

* Wegelin & Co, the 270-year-old Swiss private bank, was indicted in New York on Thursday on federal charges that it had helped Americans evade taxes.

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