Archive for Saturday, March 3, 2001

Business Briefcase

March 3, 2001


Greenspan defends action

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Friday defended the Fed's decision to delay cutting interest rates until January despite growing signs of an economic slowdown. He said acting sooner could have caused even more trouble down the road.

Greenspan, testifying at a House Budget Committee hearing, rejected the view of some critics that the dramatic slowdown occurred in part because the Fed botched monetary policy.


Cardiovascular Consultants strikes 5-year research deal

Kansas City, Mo.-based Cardiovascular Consultants announced Friday a five-year alliance with Siemens Medical Systems, Iselin, N.J.

The companies will develop protocols for using emerging imaging technology to diagnose and treat heart disease.

The alliance will represent the first time three, non-invasive imaging modalities PET, MR and high-speed, high resolution CT have been integrated in an office-based clinical setting dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular Consultants' research facility in Kansas City will serve as a cardiac demonstration site for Siemens, which will provide physicians, clinicians and researchers throughout the nation.

Cardiovascular Consultants has a Lawrence office at 330 Ark.

Engineering firm

Washington Group shares drop 79 percent

Shares of Washington Group International plummeted more than 79 percent Friday after the engineering and construction firm disclosed severe near-term liquidity problems that may force it to seek bankruptcy protection.

Washington Group said Friday it faces $700 million in unanticipated costs related to its acquisition of Raytheon Co.'s engineering and contracting business.

The Boise-based company said it has run so low on cash that it has defaulted on financial requirements imposed by lenders and is unable to secure insurance bonds needed to obtain new construction projects.


United Parcel to buy Mail Boxes Etc.

Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. said Friday it has agreed to buy retail shipping franchiser Mail Boxes Etc. in a bid to capture a bigger share of the growing business in home and small-office shipments.

Mail Boxes Etc., a privately held subsidiary of U.S. Office Products, has franchised 4,300 stores, including 900 in 29 countries outside the United States. Terms of the all-cash deal for San Diego-based Mail Boxes Etc. were not disclosed.


Sapient announces layoffs

Boston-based Sapient Corp. became the latest e-consultant forced into major cutbacks by the dot-com downturn Friday, announcing it would cut 720 jobs, or 20 percent of its work force, and warning it won't make its expected first quarter profit.

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