PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - Sept 26

Sept 26 Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:39am EDT

Sept 26 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Detroit's municipal pension fund made payments for decades to retirees, active workers and others above and beyond normal benefits, costing the struggling city billions of dollars and helping push it into bankruptcy, according to people who have reviewed the payments. ()

* A group of Stanford researchers has moved a step closer to answering the question of what happens when silicon, the standard material in today's microelectronic circuits, reaches its fundamental limits for use in increasingly small transistors. In a paper in the journal Nature on Wednesday, the researchers reported that they had successfully built a working computer - albeit an extremely simple one - entirely from transistors fashioned from carbon nanotubes. ()

* No business represents the rapid rise of the Internet in China quite like Alibaba, a company that is part eBay, part Google and part PayPal. Alibaba is now moving forward with plans for one of the biggest initial public offerings since Facebook's Inc rocky debut last year - but in New York and not in its home market. ()

* The upstart stock exchange SecondMarket has made a name for itself allowing investors to buy shares of hot private companies like Twitter. Now that those companies are going public, SecondMarket is turning its attention to the next new thing - bitcoin. On Thursday, SecondMarket is expected to begin raising money for an investment fund - the first of its kind in the United States - that will hold only bitcoins, giving wealthy investors exposure to the trendy but controversial virtual currency. ()

* The Treasury has handed Congress an urgent deadline: Oct. 17. On that day, unless Congress were to raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury would have only $30 billion cash on hand, putting the United States on the precipice of an unprecedented default, the department said on Wednesday. ()

* Only one in three Americans has confidence in the Federal Reserve's ability to promote economic growth, while little more than a third think the Fed is spinning its wheels, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. The remaining respondents said they did not know enough to answer. ()

* American and British authorities moved a step further on Wednesday in their investigation into the manipulation of the benchmark interest rate known as Libor, fining the British financial firm ICAP Plc a combined $87 million for its role. ()

* The management of the ailing smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd canceled a conference call scheduled for Friday to discuss the company's quarterly financial results. While BlackBerry said on Wednesday evening that those results would still be released, it added that the call with analysts and investors was called off because of a conditional and tentative bid for the company announced by its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. ()

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