September 24, 2013 / 5:17 AM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Sept 24

Sept 24 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* BlackBerry struck a preliminary deal in which a group led by a former board member would take the company private for about $4.7 billion after an effort to stay competitive in the smartphone market failed. ()

* Chrysler Group filed for an initial public offering, a move forced by the failure of the auto maker’s Italian majority owner and its main union to agree on the company’s value.()

* Two former traders at JPMorgan Chase accused of overstating the value of their group’s positions are pointing the finger at Bruno Iksil, the so-called London whale, claiming that Iksil was the one responsible for valuing the group’s positions, not the two men, according to people close to the matter. ()

* The end of the refinancing boom continues to shake up the U.S. banking sector, as Citigroup Inc said Monday it laid off 1,000 workers in its mortgage business. Citi is the latest bank to cut back on its mortgage workforce in the wake of rising interest rates, which have curbed consumer interest in purchasing new homes and refinancing mortgages. ()

* Five years after the financial crisis, 113 small to midsize U.S. banks still owe taxpayers about $2.7 billion, turning what was supposed to be a short-term government lifeline into a long-term source of capital. ()

* Lenders to LightSquared Inc on Monday questioned the selection of an independent director to help oversee a sale of the wireless telecom company. The lenders claim the director, Donna Alderman, isn’t independent because she previously sparred with Dish Network Corp, which is offering $2.22 billion for LightSquared. ()

* Air France KLM’s board discussed whether to increase the airline’s stake in struggling Alitalia or to bail out but said it wanted more information from the Italian carrier. ()

* Activision Blizzard and parent Vivendi filed an emergency appeal of a ruling that blocked Vivendi’s $8.2 billion sale of most of its controlling stake in the videogame maker. ()

* Microsoft unveiled the second generation of its Surface tablets in New York on Monday, tweaking them with faster speeds and better battery life. ()

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