February 17, 2012 / 7:05 AM / 8 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Feb 17

Feb 17 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories on The New York Times business pages on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Next week, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will recommend whether the agency should approve the first new prescription diet pill in 13 years. The F.D.A. rejected the drug under review, Qnexa, in 2010, amid safety concerns, and the drug’s manufacturer is now presenting additional data to argue its case.

* Debt collectors and credit reporting companies are bracing for intense scrutiny after the government’s consumer finance watchdog unveiled a broad plan to regulate financial firms that have largely evaded federal oversight. On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed regulations that would allow the agency to supervise those two controversial corners of the finance industry, which have drawn complaints of aggressive tactics and unfair practices.

* Moody’s is reviewing 17 global banks, including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Credit Suisse, for possible downgrades to their long-term credit ratings, dulling optimism caused by a monthlong rally in which major banks have recovered some of last year’s losses.

* The president of a nonprofit group hired by Apple to inspect its suppliers’ factories has begun praising the Chinese plants of Foxconn, Apple’s largest supplier, just days after his group began inspections there. Heerden’s apparent praise of conditions at Foxconn came despite previous reports of employees committing suicide, dying in factory explosions and complaining of sometimes working more than 70 hours a week.

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