April 30 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.
* Federal prosecutors are nearing criminal charges against some of the world's biggest banks, according to lawyers briefed on the matter, a development that could produce the first guilty plea from a major bank in more than two decades. In doing so, prosecutors are confronting the popular belief that Wall Street institutions have grown so important to the economy that they cannot be charged. (r.reuters.com/duv88v)
* The TXU Corp, the Texas energy giant that was taken over in a record-shattering buyout in 2007, finally collapsed into a long-awaited bankruptcy early Tuesday. On the surface, the long, slow decline of the company, renamed Energy Future Holdings , has caused few ripples, though it is the state's largest electricity generator and provides power to 3 million customers. (r.reuters.com/fuv88v)
* British bank Barclays Plc said that Hugh McGee, head of its business in the United States, will leave on Wednesday, becoming the latest in a series of senior executives to depart in the last two years. (r.reuters.com/guv88v)
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc plans to add a new consumer service to its arsenal of offerings on Wednesday, teaming up with a website that helps customers to review prices at several insurance companies and contrast them with their current auto insurance. (r.reuters.com/juv88v)
* In an effort to end what he sees as another way into borrowers' accounts, Benjamin M. Lawsky, New York State's top financial regulator, is sending cease-and-desist letters to 20 companies suspected of making illegal payday loans, 12 of which appear to use debit card information to do so. (r.reuters.com/kuv88v)
* In a pair of unanimous decisions, the Supreme Court on Tuesday made it easier for the winning side in patent cases to recover its legal fees from the loser. The decisions were welcomed by some technology companies, which said the rulings would help address what they say are abusive and coercive lawsuits brought by "patent trolls," or companies that buy patents not to use them but to collect royalties and damages. (r.reuters.com/zuv88v)
(Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore)