PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Aug 7

Thu Aug 7, 2014 12:39am EDT

Aug 7 (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.

* Bank of America Corp and the U.S. Justice Department have reached a tentative deal to settle an investigation into the sale of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the financial crisis. The tentative deal is expected cost Bank of America more than $16 billion. (nyti.ms/1ko1uS4)

* Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, the two Americans infected with Ebola in West Africa, appeared to be responding to an experimental medicine devised by an obscure biotechnology company with ties to the Defense Department. Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the primary developer of the drug, was consumed Wednesday with how to manufacture more of it with an eye to providing the drug to more patients, probably in the form of clinical trials. (nyti.ms/1uoRVTq)

* Searching for ways to hit back at Western sanctions without causing Russian consumers too much pain, President Vladimir Putin gave his government a broad mandate to issue one-year bans on food and agricultural imports. But he included a proviso that the bans be lifted if they drive up prices or cause undue dependence on a single source. (nyti.ms/1nugtEU)

* Google Inc and Barnes & Noble Inc are joining forces to tackle their mutual rival Amazon.com Inc , zeroing in on a service that Amazon has long dominated, the fast and cheap delivery of books. Book buyers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to get same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express, Google's fledgling online shopping and delivery service. (nyti.ms/V3kyZA)

* High-speed rail was supposed to be U.S. President Barack Obama's signature transportation project, but despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009 to develop faster passenger trains, the projects have gone mostly nowhere and the United States still lags far behind Europe and China.(nyti.ms/V3223I)

* The Italian economy shrank in the second quarter, according to an official estimate on Wednesday, taking economists by surprise and provoking concern that violence in Ukraine and tension with Russia could be pushing the broader eurozone back into recession. (nyti.ms/1ko5kuk)

* Bitcoin supporters are stepping up the pressure on New York State's top financial regulator to extend the comment period for the state's new virtual currency rules. (nyti.ms/1pDiOS2)

* Financial prosecutors in Greece are asking the former head of the central bank there to explain his actions in approving a bank sale to a Greek businessman later jailed on fraud charges. (nyti.ms/1y7DuU8)

* The European market for initial public offerings has been on fire this year, with 200 deals raising $58 billion, compared with 89 deals worth $15.2 billion in the same time period a year ago. Rob Leach, BlackRock Inc's head of capital markets for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, recently sent an email to bankers, reminding them that quantity does not equal quality. It was at least his second attempt to address "failing IPOs" this year. (nyti.ms/1lCc4Qs)

* Deal-making has boomed this year. So has deal-breaking. So far this year, $428.2 billion of deals have been withdrawn. That is the highest level for this period since 2007, when $566.8 billion of deals were withdrawn. And it far surpasses the level of withdrawn deals for all of 2013, which was $278.5 billion. (nyti.ms/1AWqyVi) (Compiled by Rishika Sadam in Bangalore; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)