The Journal says on C1 that Wall Street is trying to organize to self-regulate the exponentially growing market for credit-default swaps—contracts bought to insure bonds or other debt against the possibility that a company won’t be able to pay it off.
Any steps to shore up this $45 trillion market and to make it more transparent are, to say the least, welcome.
The Times reports on C1 that a former Bristol-Meyers Squibb executive has been indicted on federal charges that he negotiated a secret deal to keep a competitor from producing a generic version of Bristol-Meyers’s best-selling drug Plavix—and then kept it from regulators.
The company pleaded guilty to related charges last year and paid a million-dollar fine.
Hey, I could buy a home now!
The WSJ notes in its quarterly house-price report on D1 something that we haven’t seen enough reporting on: falling house prices are good—for people who want to buy a house, especially for those who couldn’t afford to buy one because everyone else was in a home-buying orgy that sent prices into orbit.
During the boom, home prices rose far faster than incomes. Home prices as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller national index shot up 74% in the six years through 2006, while median household income rose 15%. (Neither figure is adjusted for inflation.) Now prices in many areas are adjusting back toward more affordable levels, a process that could take several years.
Here’s a good chart.