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Who sguardingyour datainthecybervault Home builders loans


									                                                               Monthly Stock Mutual Fund Report, 6-7B
                                                                                                                                                        Have they
     '                                                                                                                                                  planned
                                                                                                                                                        well for

                                                                                                                                                        Al and Joanna
                                                                                                                                                        Viviano want to
                       SECTION B                                                                                                                        make sure they’re
                                                                                                                                                        on the right track
                                                                                                                      By Brian Bohannon for USA TODAY   with their retire-
                                                                          At home: Al and Joanna Viviano have amassed $1.7 million.                     ment. 5B
Monday, April 2, 2007

       Moneyline Pfizer to resume airing ads for Celebrex
Friday markets                                                           Aims to dispel links                           cardiovascular risk and that they, too,
                                                                                                                        pose risks to stomachs and intestines.             More drug ads
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Celebrex and another painkiller, Bextra,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                in several ads, including a 27-minute in-
Index                                          Close   Change
Dow Jones industrial average               12,354.35 1    5.60           between it, Vioxx                                 “It’s one of the longest TV ads I’ve
                                                                                                                        ever heard of,” says Louis Morris, an ex-
                                                                                                                                                                           Spending for consumer drug ads rises
                                                                                                                                                                           (in billions):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fomercial that named Pfizer but not the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                drugs. Print ads for Celebrex returned
Dow for the week                                     2 126.66                                                           Food and Drug Administration official                                                                    last year. Bextra was pulled from the
USA TODAY Internet 50                         139.08 1    0.11 By Julie Schmit                                          who monitored drug ads and is now an                                                                    market in 2005 after the FDA said its
  e-Business 25                               108.40 1    0.28 USA TODAY                                                industry consultant.                                    $2.9                                            risks exceeded its benefits.
  e-Consumer 25                               240.43 2    0.51                                                             The return of Celebrex to TV follows            $4                                                      The new Celebrex ad, “Understand
                                                                  Pfizer plans to launch a 2½-minute                     its financial comeback. Celebrex sales                                                     $5.5          the risks. See the benefits,” shows a
Nasdaq composite                             2421.64 1    3.76
S&P 500                                      1420.86 2    1.67 TV commercial today for arthritis pain-                  hit $3.3 billion in 2004 then dropped                                                                   man bending, riding a bike, fishing and
T-bond, 30-year yield                          4.84% 5   unch. killer Celebrex, which has been off TV                   48% in the year after Vioxx’s withdrawal.          $2                                                   dancing. Risks are mentioned early.
T-note, 10-year yield                          4.65% 1    0.01 for more than two years due to safety                    Last year, Celebrex sales were $2 billion.                                                              Many drug ads have been criticized for
                                                                                 concerns about drugs                   Still, it ranks behind ibuprofen and na-                                                                giving risk information only at the end.
T-bill, 3-mo., discount rate                   4.92% 1    0.01                                                                                                              0
Gold, oz. Comex                              $663.00 1    1.50  Health care in its class.                               proxen in arthritis prescriptions, accord-
                                                                                                                                                                                2002                                2006
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   “They do a responsible job,” says Ste-
                                                                                   The spot is five                      ing to market tracker Verispan. Before            Source: Nielsen Monitor-Plus                          ven Nissen, chair of cardiovascular
Oil, light sweet crude, barrel                $65.87 2    0.16 times as long as most TV ads. Pfizer says                 the Vioxx recall, Celebrex was ahead of                                                                 medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, who
                                                                                                                                                                                                    By Frank Pompa, USA TODAY
Euro (dollars per euro)                      $1.3355 1 0.0020 the time is needed to explain Celebrex’s                  naproxen but behind ibuprofen.                                                                          saw the ad but favors a ban on consum-
Yen per dollar                                117.81 2    0.18 risks and benefits and to dispel confu-                      The FDA in 2005 reiterated its belief                                                                er drug ads. In 2005, the industry adopt-
Sources: USA TODAY research,                   sion. Many consumers wrongly assume                      that Celebrex’s benefits outweighed its           and prescription-strength ibuprofen,                   ed guidelines to improve consumer ads.
uMarket Trends, 4B                                             it was withdrawn with Vioxx, a similar                   risks, even though it was in the same            naproxen and other NSAIDs, or non-                        Long drug ads won’t become the
                                                               drug, in 2004, Pfizer says.                               class of drugs as Vioxx. The Merck drug          steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.                      norm, says Mark Bard, president of mar-
                        Live stock quotes on                      The ad also points out that prescrip-                 was withdrawn after studies showed in-              Pfizer agreed to halt consumer ads for               keting consulting firm Manhattan Re-
                                                               tion-strength ibuprofen and naproxen —                   creased heart attack and stroke risk in          Celebrex after the Vioxx recall and be-                search. “This is a unique situation,” he
                        your cellphone                         Celebrex’s chief rivals — carry similar                  some users. The FDA in 2005 also re-             fore the FDA cited Pfizer for down-                     says. “You’re basically trying to re-brand
                        Send text message to 44636 (4INFO)     government-mandated warnings about                       quired its strongest warning on Celebrex         playing risks and overstating benefits of               a familiar brand.”
                     with STOCK TICKER (DELL) or
                     FUND TICKER (AGTHX).

Northwest details executive awards
   Each of Northwest Airlines’ top 400 executives will
get an average payout worth $955,000 in company
                                                                                     Who’s guarding your                                                                                                                        Home
stock when the airline emerges from Chapter 11 bank-

                                                                                     data in the cybervault?
ruptcy this summer, the company said Friday. The
shares, in the form of restricted stock and stock op-
tions, have an estimated value of about $382 million,

based on the company’s preliminary $7.8 billion valua-
tion. Northwest expects to emerge from bankruptcy
by June 30. Executive compensation has been a flash
point among Northwest’s unionized employees, who

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                feel heat
swallowed $1.4 billion in cuts to keep the company
afloat. Northwest says the percentage of equity that
top managers will receive is below average for compa-
nies emerging from Chapter 11.
Central banks cool on dollar
  The share of the dollar in central banks’ reserves fell
to its lowest in a decade in the final quarter of 2006,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Regulators focus
while the euro’s share rose, the International Mone-                                                                                                                                                                            on shaky tactics
tary Fund said. The IMF data, covering about two-
thirds of the world’s foreign exchange reserves,                                                                                                                                                                                by desperate sellers
showed central banks held 64.8% of their reserves in
dollars vs. 65.8% in the previous quarter. That repre-                                                                                                                                                                          By Noelle Knox
sents the lowest share for the dollar since the end of                                                                                                                                                                          USA TODAY
1996, when it stood at 62%.
Maytag finds new lonely guy                                                                                                                                                                                                         The crisis in risky mortgage loans is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                shedding light on aggressive lending
   Maytag, which held a nationwide casting call for a                                                                                                                                                                           practices by some of the largest U.S.
new Maytag Repairman, is scheduled to announce to-                                                                                                                                                                                               home builders, which
day that Clay Jackson of Richmond, Va., will become its
latest ad icon. Jackson, a Realtor with professional act-                                                                                                                                                                       Real Estate stand accused of using
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 lax standards and illegal
ing experience, is the fourth person to play the lonely                                                                                                                                                                         sales tactics to arrange financing for
repairman since it was created in 1967. More than                                                                                                                                                                               buyers.
1,500 people auditioned, the company says.                                                                                                                                                                                         Last week, Beazer Homes acknowl-
U.S. plans new duties on Chinese imports                                                                                                                                                                                        edged that its mortgage subsidiary is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                being investigated by federal regulators
   The U.S. Commerce Department, reversing more                                                                                                                                                                                 for loans made to hundreds of people
than two decades of practice, said it would levy new                                                                                                                                                                            who bought Beazer homes. But the
duties on imports from China to compensate for Chi-                                                                                                                                                                             complaints about loan practices go be-
nese subsidies to exporters. The change of policy by                                                                                                                                                                            yond Beazer.
the Bush administration, which debated the action for                                                                                                                                                                              The Department of Housing and Ur-
months, applies initially to imports of coated paper                                                                                                                                                                            ban Development is taking more actions
from China. It also opens the way for steel companies,                                                                                                                                                                          against home builders and their affiliat-
textile producers and other manufacturers facing com-                                                                                                                                                                           ed lenders, says Brian Sullivan, a spokes-
petition from China to apply for the same protection,                                                                                                                                                                           man for HUD.
which retailers oppose because it will raise the cost of                                                                                                                                                                           “We are seeing increased consumer
Chinese-made goods. The Chinese government Sat-                                                                                                                                                                                 complaints about builders,” Sullivan
urday called on the U.S. to reconsider.                                                                                                                                                                                         says. “Including kickbacks and illegal re-
Spending and incomes rise                                                                                                                                                                                                       ferral fees, phantom incentives and oth-
                                                                                                                                                                                                    By Web Bryant, USA TODAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                er violations of our real estate laws.”
   Despite a sluggish economy, consumers spent more                                                                                                                                                                                One of those complaints was from
in February as their incomes showed strong gains. Un-
derlying inflation pressures grew at the fastest pace in
six months, however. The Commerce Department re-
                                                                           ChoicePoint redeemed itself,                                           descript business park 20 miles north of Atlanta, also em-
                                                                                                                                                  braced extensive reforms. The result: ChoicePoint is re-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Griff Carmichael, who looked at a new
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                home built by Ryan Homes in Winches-
ported consumer spending and personal incomes rose                         but not all brokers as careful                                         garded by a dozen leading privacy advocates interviewed
                                                                                                                                                  by USA TODAY as the most responsible company among
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ter, Va., in October. The builder said it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                would finish the basement and give him
0.6% last month. The report showed that an inflation                                                                                               dozens in the lightly regulated, fast-growing field of aggre-                  $10,000 toward closing costs, if he used
barometer that excludes energy and food shot up by                         By Jon Swartz and Byron Acohido                                        gating and selling sensitive information.                                     its lender, NVR.
0.3% in February, the most since a similar rise last Au-                   USA TODAY                                                                 “ChoicePoint transformed itself from a                                        Carmichael signed a contract to buy a
gust. That left core inflation at 2.4% over the past 12
months, higher than the Federal Reserve’s 1% to 2%                            ALPHARETTA, Ga. — In a remarkable turnaround, Choi-
                                                                                                                                                  poster child of data breaches to a role model
                                                                                                                                                  for data security and privacy practices,”
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cover                 $378,000 home and put down a 10% de-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                posit. He had a good credit history. But
comfort zone. The year-over-year increase has not
been exceeded since a 2.5% jump in April 1995.
                                                                           cePoint, the giant data broker excoriated two years ago for
                                                                           its lack of precautions as it went about gathering and selling
                                                                                                                                                  says Gartner analyst Avivah Litan.
                                                                                                                                                     Despite ChoicePoint’s makeover, there’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                          story                 with his auto and student loans, NVR’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                loan broker said Carmichael would
10 outside directors proposed at Delta                                     personal data, has recast itself as a model corporate citizen.         rising concern among privacy experts and legislators about                    qualify only for an interest-only mort-
                                                                              California’s milestone data-theft disclosure law forced             the frenetic business of assembling and distributing per-                     gage, according to a letter from James
   Delta Air Lines, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorgani-                     ChoicePoint in February 2005 to reveal that it had sold sen-           sonal data. Everyone, it seems, wants Social Security num-                    Sack, NVR’s general counsel.
zation, proposed 10 outside directors for its new                          sitive information for at least 166,000 people to a Nigerian           bers, birth dates, maiden names, criminal records, civil                         Carmichael, 34, was willing to apply
board. They include Richard Anderson, the former CEO                       con artist posing as a debt collector. The Federal Trade Com-          judgments and real estate records. Lenders, landlords and                     for the loan but insisted it be a “full doc-
of Northwest Airlines; Cleveland-Cliffs Chairman John                      mission hit ChoicePoint with a record $10 million fine and              employers want as much data as they can get their hands                       umentation” loan, which has a lower in-
Brinzo; and former chiefs of Eastman Kodak, American                       ordered it to set aside $5 million to aid data breach victims.                                                                                       terest rate than “low-doc” loans. But the
Express, Norfolk Southern and Target Stores. Safeco                           The once-obscure data broker, tucked away in a non-                                        Please see COVER STORY next page u                     broker said he would likely be denied.
CEO Paula Rosput Reynolds will remain a Delta direc-                                                                                                                                                                            Sack wrote that Carmichael’s “refusal to
tor. Current Delta CEO Gerald Grinstein will exit this                                                                                                                                                                          apply for loan programs for which he is
summer but remain on the board.                                                                                                                                                                                                 more likely to be approved is evidence

                                                                         Banks branch out to lure family, friends
Compiled from staff and wire reports                                                                                                                                                                                            of not using good faith.” Ryan Homes is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                refusing to return Carmichael’s deposit.
Interested in small business?                                                                                                                                                                                                      The company has declined to com-
          See what’s cooking in the world of small busi-
          ness. Read Jim Hopkins’ Small Business Con-                    Wachovia joins others                          Now, banks are offering rewards for re-
                                                                                                                        ferrals so they can attract new business
                                                                                                                                                                         and introducing others — because con-
                                                                                                                                                                         sumers have come to expect these free-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Most of the largest builders have their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                own mortgage companies or joint ven-
          nection blog at
                                                                         offering gifts for referrals                   as well as boost the loyalty of existing         bies for everyday transactions.                        tures with outside lenders. The business
                                                                                                                        customers. The trend comes amid a                   The referral program is “not rocket                 reasons are compelling: Why let a buyer
USA TODAY Snapshots®                                                     By Kathy Chu                                   low-interest-rate environment, when              science because everyone gives out                     walk out of your model home and into a
                                                                         USA TODAY                                      more customers are shopping for higher           gifts,” says Juan Carlos Cruz, a spokes-               bank when you can provide the loan
                                                                                                                        rates on interest checking, savings and          man at Banco Popular, which offers gifts               and collect the fees and interest?
  Average home equity rates                                                 Amid fierce competition for deposits,        certificates of deposit. Brick-and-mortar         such as a panini grill and a luggage set.                 Once the housing market slowed,
                                                                         a growing number of banks are relying          banks are also fighting competition from          “But it’s working for us.”                             builders were stuck with unsold homes.
  Home equity lines of credit                                            on customer referrals to expand their          Internet banks — which don’t have                   Why offer rewards for checking ac-                  More buyers canceled contracts. Mean-
                                                                         business. And they’re using freebies to        physical branches — whose assets have            counts? They provide the “foundation”                  time, the builder-mortgage companies
   This quarter                                         8.06%            attract your friends and family.               surged in recent years.                          for customers’ relationship with the                   faced stiff competition in a lending in-
                                                                            Today, Wachovia plans to roll out its          “Deposits have always been compet-            bank because customers think of their                  dustry with loose loan standards.
  6 months ago                                          8.21%            first national referral program, giving         itive, but it’s more competitive today           primary bank as the one where they                        Last year, the lending arm of Pulte
                                                                         customers a $25 Visa gift card if they get     because of Internet banks,” says Gary            have a checking account, says Cece Sut-                Homes settled a case with the North
        Year ago                                      7.73%              a friend to open a checking account. The       Cohn, president of Datatron, a Palm              ton, an executive vice president at Wa-                Carolina Commissioner of Banks, which
                                                                         new customer gets the same gift.               Beach Gardens, Fla., company that con-           chovia.                                                found that 53 of Pulte’s mortgage bro-
  Home equity loans                                                         In recent years, a handful of large and     sults with banks. “It’s no longer just              She adds, “When you have a checking                 kers were unlicensed. The $780,000
                                                       7.77%             small banks — including Bank of Ameri-         about a bank’s location.”                        account, then we have the opportunity                  fine was reduced to $60,000 after Pulte
    This quarter
                                                                         ca, Banco Popular and Bank of Oklaho-             Adds Cohn: “The harder a bank                 to cross-sell different products and ser-              Mortgage agreed to move operations to
                                                                         ma — have adopted a similar program,           makes it for you to leave, the less you’re       vices.”                                                Charlotte, creating 230 jobs in the area.
  6 months ago                                          8.00%            offering incentives such as cash to points     likely to do so. If I bring a friend or family      Yet with so many banks competing                       “Pulte Mortgage takes licensing re-
                                                                         that can be redeemed for airline tickets.      member in, then it complicates my life.”         for your business, consumers shouldn’t                 quirements very seriously, and we took
        Year ago                                      7.66%                 The development is a new twist on an           Consumers already get points or gifts         open accounts just for the gifts. “Even if I           prompt corrective action,” said Mark
                                                                         old strategy. For years, banks have dan-       for using their credit card, shopping at         recommend you to a bank, you’re the                    Marymee, a Pulte spokesman. He also
  Source: Informa Research Services (
                                                                         gled free toasters and iPods to new cus-       the supermarket or drugstore. Banks say          one who ultimately has to decide”                      noted that no customer complaints
                                By Jae Yang and Karl Gelles, USA TODAY   tomers who open checking accounts.             they are enhancing reward programs —             whether it works for you, Cohn says.                   were involved in the case.

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