Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2001

Briefcase

September 6, 2001

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Boeing employees land at Windy City headquarters

Six months after Boeing Co. announced major structural changes including the elevation of Lawrence High and Kansas University graduate Alan Mulally to a CEO position the company's move into a new headquarters this week drew little notice.

"The key change was when those three were named CEOs," Boeing spokesman John Dern said. "There's been so much focus on the move that a lot of people forget that."

Phillip Condit, Boeing's chairman and chief executive officer (above), on Wednesday welcomed employees to the new headquarters at 100 North Riverside Plaza in Chicago. The company previously had been based in Seattle.

Television: China open to trading of cable TV programming

Looking to spread its culture through television, China said Wednesday that it was near an extraordinary agreement to allow direct foreign broadcasts into citizens' homes if an English-language channel run by the Chinese government also is disseminated across the United States.

The agreement, if successful, would mean U.S. cable boxes could serve up authentic Chinese cooking shows, homegrown kung-fu dramas, even newscasts straight from the central government in Beijing.

Under the proposed deal, News Corp. and AOL Time Warner Inc. could broadcast programming to homes in parts of southern China.

In return, the two companies would ensure wide access to the United States for CCTV-9, which is part of China's main state television network.

Economy: Retailers register gains from school shopping

In a first glimpse of the back-to-school shopping season, two major retailers reported sales gains for August on Wednesday, but the results generally were disappointing.

Kohl's reported a 4.9 percent gain in stores open at least a year, known as same-store sales, which was below the consensus from Thomson Financial/First Call of a 5.4 percent gain.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. said same-store sales edged 0.2 percent higher, though the results beat forecasts of a 1.6 percent decline.

Forecast: Treasury leader optimistic

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said Wednesday that the yearlong economic slowdown appeared to be coming to an end, and predicted that $40 billion in tax rebates would spur stronger growth in coming months.

He rejected arguments by some analysts that consumers may thwart the government's efforts to stimulate demand by saving their refund checks rather than spending them.

The Bush administration is counting on the rebate checks and the Federal Reserve's aggressive credit easing to boost demand and lift the country out of a serious slowdown that has seen the loss of more than 800,000 manufacturing jobs over the past year.

O'Neill said it is ridiculous for analysts, using only sketchy data from late July, to be theorizing that consumers had decided to save the rebate money or use it to pay down personal debts. The first checks were mailed July 20.

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