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The NYT, JNJ & That Tricky "Billion"

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New York Times

We all make mistakes. Gosh knows I've made more than a few. And a part of me hesitates to call attention to this one. I mean, you know what they say about paybacks and karma. But this one is too good a doozy to let pass.

According to the Sunday Business section of "The New York Times," which always highlights a handful of stocks that made news during the week, Johnson and Johnson just closed the biggest deal in corporate history. Yeah, I know you thought AOL-Time Warner was number one. But that was until JNJ bought Omrix Biopharmaceuticals , according to Sunday's Times, for $438 billion. That's billion with a b. I know big pharma is loaded with cash and has relatively good credit, but wow!

Well, it probably goes without saying, but the deal was actually priced at $438 million. That's million with an M.

After doing a double take, it gave me a chuckle and I just wanted to pass it along in case you might have missed it. Of course, we journalists always strive to get it first and to get it right, but there's a certain degree of consolation when even the ol' gray lady can make such a gaffe. Look for a correction soon.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com