PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - June 6

June 6 Fri Jun 6, 2014 1:47am EDT

June 6 (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.

* A report released on Thursday after an internal investigation of General Motors set off the dismissal of 15 G.M. employees, including a vice president for regulatory affairs and a senior lawyer responsible for product liability cases, and forced broad changes in how the company handles vehicle safety. (r.reuters.com/heq89v)

* Banks typically make money on the cash they park at a central bank. Now the European Central Bank wants them to pay for the privilege. The move, a so-called negative interest rate, is part of a wide-ranging set of measures aimed at combating the crippling combination of slow growth and super low inflation. The bank president, Mario Draghi, also signaled that he may employ the same powerful, albeit controversial, bond-buying program that was used to restart growth in the United States. (r.reuters.com/keq89v)

* Mark Spitznagel, the founder of the $6 billion hedge fund Universa Investments, on Thursday brought 20 billy goats to graze among abandoned homes and general detritus in Brightmoor, one of Detroit's most blighted neighborhoods. But his goat experiment - called the Idyll Farms Detroit project - appears to have a bigger objective. Spitznagel has a vested interest in seeing Detroit make a comeback. He has personally invested millions of dollars in commercial real estate, something he says has no bearing on the Brightmoor project. (r.reuters.com/neq89v)

* The Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman, Mary Jo White, unveiled on Thursday a sweeping package of recommendations for new rules and other changes aimed at strengthening the structure of the market and improving disclosures for investors. (r.reuters.com/peq89v)

* Investment banks typically hold tens of billions of dollars of Treasury bonds on their balance sheets, enormous positions that can create trading profits if the prices of the bonds rise. But this year, the banks slashed those holdings, so much so that they actually had a negative position in government bonds in March, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. (r.reuters.com/qeq89v)

* Federal safety regulators warned on Thursday that another disastrous offshore oil well blowout could happen despite regulatory improvements in the four years since a BP well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and dumped millions of gallons of oil into the sea. (r.reuters.com/req89v)

* Verizon fired back at Netflix on Thursday with a cease-and-desist letter sent to Netflix's top lawyer, David Hyman. Randal Milch, Verizon's general counsel, demanded that Netflix's error message blaming Verizon's network for slowing the streaming of Netflix's programming be taken down. The accusation "is self-serving, deceptive, inaccurate and an unfair business practice," Milch said. (r.reuters.com/veq89v)

* On Thursday, the OpenSSL Foundation issued a warning to users that a decade-old bug that makes it possible for an attacker to conduct a so-called man-in-the-middle attack on traffic encrypted with OpenSSL. The advisory warns users that someone could use the bug to intercept an encrypted connection, decrypt it, and read the traffic. (r.reuters.com/xeq89v)