March 9, 2009 / 6:09 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - March 9

March 9 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The fear and uncertainty that sent stocks to 12-year lows is now roiling the market for corporate bonds and loans, which have given back much of the gains they chalked up earlier in the year.

* A longtime aide to disgraced financier Bernard Madoff instructed two assistants to generate trading tickets, now believed to be bogus, for Madoff’s investing clients, according to information the assistants gave the government in the investigation.

* President Barack Obama’s auto team will spend Monday at the Detroit home of the Big Three as the administration begins to narrow its options for helping the reeling auto sector.

* A top Kremlin official warned that Russia’s debt-burdened tycoons might have to part with their assets amid the deepening global crisis — and says the government no longer has the resources to bail them out.

* Japan recorded its first current account deficit in 13 years in January due to plunging exports and a big decrease in its overseas financial earnings.

* General Growth Properties Inc GGP.N intends on Monday to begin formally soliciting holders of $2.3 billion of its bonds to grant the mall giant another nine months of breathing room as it juggles its debts and strives to avoid bankruptcy.

* BNP Paribas SA (BNPP.PA) agreed to new terms with Belgium’s government on a deal to buy beleaguered Fortis Bank NV FOR.BR, in an effort to persuade shareholders to sign off on a sale they have blocked twice.

* Dolce & Gabbana, the fashion house that parlayed provocative clothes and advertising into a $2 billion-plus luxury business now wants to seduce American women with makeup. Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup marks Procter & Gamble Co’s (PG.N) first foray into upscale cosmetics, a huge jump from its drugstore CoverGirl and Max Factor brands. The move is an extension of a partnership forged three years ago to produce fragrances.

* A start-up founded by former Apple Inc (AAPL.O) engineers said it has developed technology that could bring film-like realism to computer games and change the way movie makers and other design professionals work.

* Activist investors want to drive nails into what they call “golden coffins” — generous posthumous payouts to senior management.

* Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N) named Antonio Weiss, a banker in its Paris office, to the new position of global head of mergers and acquisitions, as the firm seeks to bolster its M&A franchise amid the global financial turmoil.

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