U.S. home prices are not likely to plunge and the housing market is not in the middle of a national "bubble," according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "Our analysis of the U.S. housing market in recent years finds little evidence to support the existence of a national home price bubble," said the authors, senior economist Jonathan McCarthy and vice president Richard W. Peach. "Rather, it appears that home prices have risen in line with increases in personal income and declines in nominal interest rates."
Suit Authorized on IBM Holocaust Role
Gypsies can sue International Business Machines over published allegations that the computer company's technology helped the Nazis commit mass murder more efficiently during World War II, a Swiss court has ruled. The campaigners began planning the lawsuit after U.S. author Edwin Black wrote in a 2001 book, "IBM and the Holocaust," that IBM punch-card machines enabled the Nazis to methodically choose victims and organize and track mass deportations and killings. IBM has consistently denied it was responsible for the way its machines were used in the Holocaust.
CCE Holdings submitted an offer to Enron creditors to buy the bankrupt company's U.S. natural-gas pipeline system, its last remaining business, for $2.3 billion -- about $500 million more than a group including energy investor Oscar Wyatt said last month that it was offering.
Michael J. Rigas, a former operations chief at Adelphia Communications, was "clueless" about finances and accounting and never engaged in financial fraud or looted the company his father founded, his lawyer told jurors. Rigas, who is on trial with his father, John, and his brother, Timothy, never knowingly lied about finances or operations at Adelphia, the No. 5 cable television operator, as prosecutors allege, attorney Andrew Levander argued in his summation to jurors.
House Republicans moved to raise the government's borrowing limit, angering Democrats by muscling the provision into next year's $417 billion defense spending bill and allowing lawmakers to avoid a direct vote in an election year. The provision added says: "The United States government shall take all steps necessary to guarantee the full faith and credit of the government." When House-Senate negotiators write a compromise bill, Republicans are expected to rework the provision into one that boosts the debt ceiling by hundreds of billions of dollars. It now stands at $7.4 trillion.
HealthSouth said all bondholders have consented to amend debt agreements that had threatened to force the company into bankruptcy. The Alabama-based rehabilitation-hospital company, which has been accused by federal regulators of $2.7 billion in accounting fraud, is restructuring its debt.
The House, on a voice vote, passed a bill to allow families to roll over to the next year up to $500 in unused child care savings held in a flexible spending account.
The music industry filed copyright infringement lawsuits against 482 suspected online music file-swappers, including 206 in Washington. The lawsuits were filed against unnamed defendants, identified only by their computers' Internet protocol addresses, allowing plaintiffs to ask the court to subpoena Internet access providers to reveal the names of their customers. In all, 3,429 people have been sued by the recording industry.
Interim local-phone rules should be in place within two weeks, said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell. He declined to comment on the substance of the rules, which would govern wholesale terms for leasing of local-telephone networks by competitors. The regulations would temporarily replace those that were struck down by a federal appeals court in March.
Former Vivendi Universal chairman Jean-Marie Messier was placed under formal investigation by French authorities for suspected financial wrongdoing, his lawyer said. Messier was then released from custody; he had been held since Monday. Police are probing allegations of insider trading, share price manipulation, publication of misleading information and misusing company funds when Messier was head of the French media and telecom group. Messier was put under investigation himself on all those counts, except for insider trading.
Hollinger International agreed to sell London's Daily Telegraph to British billionaires David and Frederick Barclay for $1.33 billion, bringing Conrad Black's 18 years as owner of Britain's biggest broadsheet newspaper closer to an end.
Shell workers in three Nigerian cities walked off the job in a one-day "warning strike" intended to force the oil giant to abandon proposed job cuts, union and company officials said. The subsidiary of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group pumps about half of all oil produced in Nigeria, which is the world's seventh-largest oil exporter and the source of one-fifth of U.S. oil imports.
Parmalat Finanziaria, Italy's biggest food company, filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection to shield assets from creditors while the company tries to reorganize in Italy, hoping to bar the company's creditors from filing lawsuits or other actions in the United States to recover their debt.
Molson Deputy Chairman Ian Molson quit the board of Canada's biggest brewer in a dispute over succession that may put pressure on Chairman Eric Molson to end his family's 218-year control of the company. At the company's annual meeting, William Molson demanded to know why Ian, his brother, wasn't in line to become chairman. Eric Molson, their cousin, told shareholders that Ian Molson didn't offer to stand for reelection for "personal reasons."
The Italian government agreed to guarantee an emergency loan to Alitalia that could allow the country's flagship airline to reorganize and stay in business. No details were given. The European Commission must evaluate whether the loan constitutes state aid, which is forbidden in the EU.
USA Today's single-copy price will rise from 50 cents to 75 cents on Sept. 7, publisher Craig Moon said. The McLean-based paper, owned by Gannett, has the largest circulation of any U.S. newspaper.
Post Properties said it paid $83 million for a 500-unit apartment building in Tysons Corner. The seller was Alder Branch Lincoln LLC. The apartments are 98 percent leased and the complex, called Lincoln at Tysons, is within two blocks of Tysons Galleria and Tysons Corner Center.
Goldman Sachs Group said its fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 71 percent, to $1.19 billion. Revenue for the quarter ended May 28 rose 28 percent, to $7.68 billion.
Kroger, the largest U.S. grocer, said first-quarter profit fell 25 percent, to $262.8 million, after a strike in Southern California hurt sales. Revenue for the quarter ended May 22, which includes the strike's last month, rose 3.9 percent, to $16.9 billion.
Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest securities firm, said profit in its second quarter more than doubled, to $1.22 billion, as revenue from fixed-income sales and trading surged 43 percent.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.