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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Briefcase

March 31, 2004

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American icon to move production work to China

Radio Flyer Inc., maker of the little red wagon, plans to move manufacturing of its metal wagons to China.

The 87-year-old company said it would keep its headquarters and distribution business in Chicago but decided the Chicago plant where the metal wagons were built was too expensive to maintain. With the plant closing later this year, Radio Flyer will lay off nearly half its 90 employees.

Radio Flyer's tricycles, scooters and most of its other products are already made in China. A Wisconsin company makes its plastic wagons and will continue to do so.

Investigation

NYSE firms to settle allegations for $241M

Five New York Stock Exchange specialist firms will pay $241.8 million to settle charges that they profited from illegal trading practices on the floor of the exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission and NYSE said Tuesday.

The five firms are Bear Stearns subsidiary Bear Wagner Specialists, FleetBoston subsidiary Fleet Specialist Inc., LaBranche & Co., Van der Moolen Specialists and Goldman Sachs subsidiary Spear, Leeds & Kellogg. Regulators said the firms violated securities laws by executing their own orders for the shares they managed ahead of customers' orders, thus depriving clients of fair trades and possibly better prices.

Under the agreement, first reached in mid-February, $154 million will go to customers damaged by the firms' actions. The rest of the money represents fines that will go to the SEC and NYSE, according to the commission.

Trade

Treasury leader defends outsourcing of U.S. jobs

Treasury Secretary John Snow reignited the political argument over U.S. companies shipping jobs overseas Tuesday with comments that "outsourcing" was an integral part of a global trading system.

Snow's comments in economically hard-hit Ohio were published as President Bush was delivering a speech defending his free trade policies in Wisconsin, a state that has lost 80,000 manufacturing jobs.

Asked in a newspaper interview whether he thought outsourcing of jobs to other countries made the U.S. economy strong, Snow replied, "It's one aspect of trade and there can't be any doubt about the fact that trade makes ... America strong."

Event

Health care group to hear LMH speaker

The Lawrence Professionals in Aging will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Eldridge Hotel. The meeting will feature a presentation by Nadine Dexter, of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Geriatric Psychology Unit.

The event is open to area health-care provider. Reservations can be made by calling 842-0656. The cost, which includes lunch, is $10.

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