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Voice of America, 97-10-31

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] EDITORIAL: SECURITY COOPERATION WITH EUROPE
  • [02] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [03] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [05] THE WEEK ON WALL STREET BY JOE CHAPMAN (NEW YORK)

  • [01] EDITORIAL: SECURITY COOPERATION WITH EUROPE

    DATE= NOVEMBER 1, 1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-07507
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    NOVEMBER 1, 1997.

    ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE:

    AT A MEETING OF SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN DEFENSE OFFICIALS IN SOFIA, BULGARIA, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EUROPEAN AND CANADIAN AFFAIRS MARC GROSSMAN PROMISED THAT THE U.S. "WILL STAND WITH SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE -- BUT THE NATIONS OF THIS REGION MUST LEAD THE WAY." "WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY BEFORE US AS GREAT AS IT IS RARE," SAID MR. GROSSMAN, "WE HAVE THE CHANCE TO BUILD A EUROPE WHOLE, FREE AND AT PEACE, A EUROPE WHOSE SECURITY IS NOT BASED ON ITS DIVISIONS BUT IS BASED INSTEAD ON ITS POTENTIAL FOR INTEGRATION." MR. GROSSMAN POINTED OUT THAT "SECURITY IN EUROPE DOES NOT JUST MEAN AVOIDING LARGE-SCALE MILITARY CONFLICT." HE EMPHASIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF "BUILDING SECURITY WITHIN SOCIETIES -- CONSOLIDATING DEMOCRATIC REFORM, ENSURING RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, AND SUSTAINING ECONOMIC REFORM UNTIL IT BRINGS EVENTUAL PROSPERITY."

    TWO MAJOR GOALS GUIDE THE U.S. IN ITS SECURITY RELATIONSHIP WITH SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE -- SECURING PEACE IN BOSNIA AND SUPPORTING REGIONAL INTEGRATION. "EACH OF THE COUNTRIES OF SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE HAS ITS OWN HISTORY, HAS ITS OWN IDENTITY, AND HAS FACED ITS OWN CHALLENGES," SAID ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE GROSSMAN. "THE PACE AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH WE CAN COOPERATE AND THE PACE OF INTEGRATION ITSELF DEPEND ON THE UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH PARTNER AND EACH PARTNER'S WILLINGNESS TO COMMIT TO THIS JOINT EFFORT."

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
    31-Oct-97 11:25 AM EST (1625 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)

    DATE=10/31/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-222007
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES STABILIZED SOMEWHAT FRIDAY IN EUROPE, ENDING A WEEK OF WILD FLUCTUATION. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: MOST MARKETS TOOK A BEATING IN THE PAST FEW DAYS. AND ANALYSTS SAY IT IS STILL TOO EARLY TO PREDICT AN END TO THE BIG PRICE SWINGS. BUT,IN EUROPE ANYWAY, THE MARKETS ON FRIDAY SHOWED SOME SIGNS OF STABILITY. IN LONDON, EUROPE'S BIGGEST MARKET, PRICES ACTUALLY WENT UP FOR THE DAY. THE FOOTSIE-100 INDEX ROSE MORE THAN 40 POINTS, ABOUT EIGHT-TENTHS PERCENT. DESPITE THE HUGE PRICE GYRATIONS OF THE PAST DAYS, THE LONDON MARKET FINISHED THE WEEK DOWN ONLY JUST OVER TWO-AND-ONE-HALF PERCENT.

    IN FRANKFURT, THE DAX-30 INDEX CLOSED WITH A LOSS OF LESS THAN ONE POINT, OFF EIGHT PERCENT FOR THE WEEK.

    AND IN PARIS, THE CAC-40 INDEX WAS DOWN A FRACTION OF A POINT FRIDAY AND ENDED THE WEEK OFF JUST UNDER FOUR PERCENT.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY EXCHANGE, THE U-S DOLLAR WAS DOWN SLIGHTLY AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK, THE BRITISH POUND, AND THE JAPANESE YEN.
    NEB/JWH/RRM
    31-Oct-97 1:30 PM EST (1830 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=10/31/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10420
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 31ST //

    INTRO: THE U-S CHINESE SUMMIT AND THE INTRANSIGENCE OF IRAQ'S DICTATOR SADDAM HUSSEIN ARE AMONG THE MOST POPULAR TOPICS FOR EDITORIALS IN THIS FRIDAY'S U-S PAPERS ON THIS HALLOWEEN, A DAY CELEBRATING GHOSTS AND GOBLINS.

    [OPT]

    TODAY IS THE EVE OF ALL SAINT'S DAY, CALLED, IN AMERICA, HALLOWEEN, AN ANCIENT CELTIC CELEBRATION TRANSFORMED IN THIS COUNTRY TO A NIGHT WHEN CHILDREN IN AMERICA DRESS UP IN COSTUMES, OFTEN OF SKELETONS, AND GO FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE DEMANDING "TRICK OR TREAT." THE TREAT IS USUALLY CANDY FROM THE RESIDENTS OF THE HOUSE.

    [END OPT]

    IN OTHER EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES ON THIS HALLOWEEN WE READ ABOUT MORE CAMPAIGN FINANCING ALLEGATIONS, THIS TIME INVOLVING SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR BRUCE BABBITT; THE CHRONIC PROBLEM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; RUSSIAN PASSPORT CONTROL; AND GENDER EQUALITY COMES TO AMERICA'S MAJOR LEAGUE PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL.

    TEXT: MANY PAPERS ARE ASSESSING THIS WEEK'S SUMMIT BETWEEN PRESIDENT'S JIANG ZEMIN AND BILL CLINTON, AND THIS IS HOW "THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" SEES IT.

    VOICE: "PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCED A HUGE AND CONTROVERSIAL AGREEMENT WEDNESDAY TO SELL CHINA BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF U-S NUCLEAR ENERGY TECHNOLOGY. A FEW MINUTES LATER, HE GAVE CHINA A WELL-DESERVED PUBLIC DRESSING DOWN [CRITICISM] ON HUMAN RIGHTS, DELIVERED IN A JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE WITH VISITING CHINESE PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN. THAT ODD JUXTAPOSITION - - A LUCRATIVE DEAL WITH AN IMPORTANT BUSINESS PARTNER FOLLOWED BY STERN CRITICISM OF THAT PARTNER IN PUBLIC - - WAS ORCHESTRATED TO SYMBOLIZE THE TWO-TRACK APPROACH OF U-S POLICY TOWARD CHINA. AMERICAN POLICY-MAKERS WILL COOPERATE WITH THE CHINESE IN MAJOR UNDERTAKINGS WHILE RESERVING THE RIGHT TO PRESSURE CHINA TO MODERNIZE AND UPDATE ITS APPROACH TO HUMAN RIGHTS. AFTER EIGHT YEARS OF STAGNATION IN U-S-CHINESE AFFAIRS FOLLOWING THE TRAGEDY AT TIANANMEN SQUARE, THIS IS A CAUTIOUS AND TIMELY STEP FORWARD."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: FRIDAY'S LOS ANGELES TIMES IS ALSO PLEASED WITH THE STEPS FORWARD MADE AT THE SUMMIT, BUT WARNS OF THE CONTINUING FRAGILITY OF RELATIONS WITH BEIJING.

    VOICE: "FOR [PRESIDENTS] CLINTON AND JIANG, THE GOAL IS TO DEFINE THE RELATIONSHIP WITHIN THE REALM OF MUTUAL INTERESTS WHILE TOLERATING STRAINS ON DIVISIVE MATTERS. ....... MAKE NO MISTAKE, THE FLEDGLING ADVANCES IN U-S-SINO COOPERATION ARE AS DELICATE AS A FEATHER ON A PACIFIC BREEZE. BUT THE TWO LEADERS CLEARLY ARE CONSCIOUS OF THE IMPLICATIONS SHOULD THEY SUCCEED IN FASHIONING A RELATIONSHIP FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. NEXT YEAR'S SUMMIT IN BEIJING SHOULD PROVIDE A MEASURE."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST, NOT TOTALLY IMPRESSED WITH THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, WEIGHS IN WITH THESE THOUGHTS.

    VOICE: "WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO WORK UP ANY ENTHUSIASM FOR THE ACCORD, OR FOR THE SUMMIT IN GENERAL? ONE REASON IS THE LINGERING SUSPICION THAT MR. CLINTON HAS BECOME SO SET ON DEVELOPING WARM RELATIONS WITH CHINA THAT HIS ADMINISTRATION WOULD BE TEMPTED TO OVERLOOK CHEATING IN THE FUTURE. ANOTHER IS THE UNDENIABLE FACT THAT THIS SUMMIT PRODUCED PROGRESS IN NUCLEAR COOPERATION (GOOD FOR WESTINGHOUSE [A MAJOR MAKER OF COMMERCIAL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS]), COMMERCIAL AVIATION (GOOD FOR BOEING) AND TARIFFS ON HIGH-TECH PRODUCTS (GOOD FOR IBM AND MOTOROLA), BUT NO PROGRESS ON HUMAN RIGHTS. NOT ONLY WERE NO DISSIDENTS RELEASED, BUT THERE WAS NO MOVEMENT ON A FRAMEWORK THAT MIGHT POINT TO FUTURE PROGRESS - - NOTHING, FOR EXAMPLE, ON RED CROSS ACCESS TO CHINESE PRISONS AND LABOR CAMPS."

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE EVER-INTERESTING MIDDLE EAST, THERE IS CONSIDERABLE COMMENT ON THE LATEST LATENT CRISIS BREWING AS FAR AS U-N WEAPONS INSPECTIONS IN IRAQ ARE CONCERNED. U-S-A NOTES THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF HIS LATEST BLUNDER.

    VOICE: "IN A DISPARATE WORLD, IRAQI PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN DISTINGUISHES HIMSELF AS A UNIFIER. HIS LATEST COUP: PROVOKING IRAQ'S MOST ARDENT SYMPATHIZERS TO JOIN ITS MOST VOCAL CRITICS. FRANCE AND RUSSIA, WHICH ABSTAINED LAST WEEK ON A HARSH ANTI-IRAQ RESOLUTION AT THE UNITED NATIONS, JOINED IN CONDEMNING SADDAM'S ATTEMPT THURSDAY TO BAR U-S MEMBERS OF A U-N ARMS-INSPECTION TEAM FROM ENTERING HIS COUNTRY. THE ISSUE IS NON-NEGOTIABLE. INTERNATIONAL WEAPONS INSPECTIONS ARE VITAL SEVEN YEARS AFTER THE PERSIAN GULF WAR BECAUSE BAGHDAD REFUSES TO COME CLEAN [BE HONEST ABOUT ITS ARMS BUILDUP]."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" IS ALSO VERY FIRM IN ITS CRITICISM, SUGGESTING THE POSSIBILITY A MILITARY STRIKE MAY BE IN ORDER.

    VOICE: "IRAQ'S LATEST DEFIANCE OF U-N RESOLUTIONS HAS BROUGHT SWIFT CONDEMNATION FROM THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND UNAMBIGUOUS WARNINGS FROM WASHINGTON AND LONDON OF A POTENTIAL MILITARY RESPONSE. ..... A MILITARY RESPONSE MIGHT WELL BE THE NEXT STEP. CERTAINLY PURPOSEFUL MEASURES ARE NEEDED TO SHOW THERE HAS BEEN NO WEAKENING IN INTERNATIONAL DETERMINATION TO DENY IRAQ WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION OR THE CHANCE TO HIDE THEM."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: IN DOMESTIC AFFAIRS, THE LATEST SENATE TESTIMONY IN THE ON-GOING INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED CAMPAIGN FINANCE IRREGULARITIES DURING LAST YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, FOCUSES ON INTERIOR SECRETARY BRUCE BABBITT. HE WAS INVOLVED IN A CONTROVERSIAL DECISION REGARDING CONSTRUCTION OF A GAMBLING CASINO BY AN INDIAN TRIBE, A CASINO VIGOROUSLY OPPOSED BY THE INDIAN OWNERS OF TWO COMPETING CASINOS. "THE NEW YORK TIMES" CALLS HIS TESTIMONY "TROUBLING."

    VOICE: "REPUBLICANS SUSPECT ... THE INTERIOR SECRETARY WAS PRESSURED BY THE WHITE HOUSE INTO MAKING AN IMPORTANT DEPARTMENTAL DECISION IN EXCHANGE FOR CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. MR. BABBITT SAYS HIS STAFF MADE THE DECISION ON THE MERITS. . THE MATTER CANNOT REST THERE. ...THE SENATE INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE .... HAS NOW MADE PUBLIC A STACK OF DOCUMENTS SHOWING THAT WHEN THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT BLOCKED A GAMBLING CASINO PROPOSED BY THREE WISCONSIN CHIPPEWA TRIBES, RIVAL TRIBES THAT OPPOSED THE CASINO GRATEFULLY PONIED UP [GAVE] MORE THAN 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO STATE AND NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FUNDRAISING COMMITTEES. [OPT] ...MUCH AS WE ADMIRE MR. BABBITT'S RECORD AT INTERIOR ... HIS UNCONVINCING LEGALISMS WERE EERILY REMINISCENT OF VICE PRESIDENT GORE'S CONTORTED ASSERTION THAT 'NO CONTROLLING LEGAL AUTHORITY' GOVERNED HIS FUNDRAISING PHONE CALLS. [END OPT] .... IT IS CLEAR THAT EVEN THE SHINIEST [BEST] REPUTATION GETS ABRADED WHEN RUBBED UP AGAINST MR. CLINTON'S FUNDRAISING MACHINE."

    TEXT: TODAY'S "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" IS CALLING FOR MORE GOVERNMENT ACTION TO REDUCE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ON THE LAST DAY OF OCTOBER DESIGNATED AS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH.

    VOICE: "THAT'S BEEN DRIVEN HOME OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS IN MASSACHUSETTS, WITH NEWS OF THE DEATHS OF TWO WOMEN - - BOTH MOTHERS - - ALLEGEDLY AT THE HANDS OF THEIR PARTNERS. SINCE THE KILLINGS, THE NUMBER OF PHONE CALLS TO WOMEN'S SHELTERS IN MASSACHUSETTS HAS RISEN, ADVOCATES FOR BATTERED WOMEN SAY. .... CLEARLY, MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE. TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR CONVICTED BATTERERS. .... AND A GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS AND WHY SOME MEN, IN PARTICULAR, BECOME BATTERERS."

    TEXT: BACK OVERSEAS, "THE SUN" IN BALTIMORE SEES SOMETHING OMINOUS IN THE LATEST RUSSIAN REVIVAL OF SOVIET-STYLE IDENTIFICATION.

    VOICE: "ONE OF THE MOST INSIDIOUS INSTRUMENTS OF STATE CONTROL IN THE SOVIET UNION WAS THE INTERNAL PASSPORT. VIRTUALLY NO BUSINESS COULD BE CONDUCTED WITHOUT THAT IDENTITY DOCUMENT, WHICH REVEALED TO OFFICIALS ALL THEY NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT ITS BEARER ....... RUSSIA IS NOW REVISING THE INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEM. IT WANTS TO RETAIN THE PASSPORT AS A NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD ..... IN THE 1950S, THE SOVIET INTERNAL PASSPORT SYSTEM WAS DUPLICATED IN APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA, WHERE BLACKS WERE REQUIRED TO CARRY THEIR IDENTITY DOCUMENTS AT ALL TIMES AND PRESENT THEM TO ANY WHITE WHO DEMANDED TO SEE THEM. AFTER NELSON MANDELA'S AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CAME TO POWER, THAT SHAMEFUL SYSTEM WAS SIMPLY ABOLISHED. RUSSIA OUGHT TO DO THE SAME."

    TEXT: LASTLY SEVERAL PAPERS ARE TAKING NOTE OF A GENDER BREAKTHROUGH IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, THE FIRST PAIR OF WOMEN REFEREES EVER HIRED TO OFFICIATE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION GAMES. "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND CALLS IT "A BREAKTHROUGH OF SOME NOTABLE PROPORTION," ADDING:

    VOICE: "[OPT] UNLIKE JACKIE ROBINSON'S ENTRY INTO ALL-WHITE BASEBALL 50 YEARS AGO, THESE WOMEN WILL HAVE MORE HELP. AFTER ALL, THEY WILL BE CARRYING WHISTLES OF AUTHORITY TO SHOUT DOWN PLAYING-FIELD CONFRONTATIONS AND HARASSMENT. NEVERTHELESS, IT WILL BE A DIFFICULT ROAD FOR THESE WOMEN: STAR NBA PLAYERS CHARLES BARKLEY, DENNIS RODMAN AND TIM HARDAWAY ALREADY HAVE SPOKEN OUT AGAINST [THE] ... DECISION .... [END OPT] THERE ARE SEXISTS IN EVERY SPORT WHO THINK A WOMAN'S PLACE IS IN THE STANDS WITH A POMPON AT THE READY. THE BOLD DECISION BY THE N-B-A TO HIRE WOMEN REFEREES WILL HELP SPORTS IN GENERAL OVERCOME THOSE PREJUDICES."

    TEXT: ON THAT ATHLETIC AND SOCIOLOGICAL NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS FROM THE U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/EH
    31-Oct-97 11:00 AM EST (1600 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=10/31/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-222016
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP TODAY (FRIDAY) IN REACTION TO SIGNS THAT STABILITY MAY BE RETURNING TO SOME ASIAN FINANCIAL MARKETS. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS UP 60 POINTS, CLOSING AT 74 HUNDRED 42. FOR THE WEEK, THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE LOST 405 POINTS OR ABOUT FIVE PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED FRIDAY AT 914, UP 11 POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY TRADERS WERE ENCOURAGED BY SIGNS THAT SOME ASIAN MARKETS APPEAR TO BE RETURNING TO STABILITY. THEY SAY THE TWO AND ONE-HALF PERCENT GAIN FRIDAY IN THE HONG KONG STOCK MARKET WAS AN ENCOURAGING SIGNAL.

    THE U-S GOVERNMENT REPORTED THE NATION'S ECONOMY GREW BY A THREE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT ANNUAL RATE IN THE THIRD QUARTER, STRONGER THAN WALL STREET HAD EXPECTED. HOWEVER, THE REPORT DID NOT SPARK ANY INFLATION FEARS BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT ALSO SAID THAT THE RATE OF PRICE INCREASES IN THE QUARTER WAS AT ITS LOWEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    KELLOGG, THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRODUCER OF BREAKFAST CEREALS, REPORTED A 30 PERCENT INCREASE IN QUARTERLY PROFITS, WELL BEYOND WALL STREET EXPECTATIONS.

    THE R-J REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY HAS WON A LAWSUIT IN WHICH A WOMAN CLAIMED THE COMPANY'S CIGARETTES CAUSED HER TO DEVELOP LUNG CANCER. A JURY IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA DECIDED REYNOLDS IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WOMAN'S DISEASE.

    THE BORDERS BOOKSTORE CHAIN SAYS IT PLANS TO OPEN HUNDREDS OF SO-CALLED BOOK "SUPERSTORES" WORLDWIDE. IT'S FIRST INTERNATIONAL "SUPERSTORE" OPENS SATURDAY IN SINGAPORE. REUTERS, THE BRITISH-BASED NEWS AND INFORMATION COMPANY, SAYS IT WILL BUILD ITS NEW U-S HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK CITY'S TIMES SQUARE AREA. CITY AND STATE GOVERNMENTS AGREED TO GIVE REUTERS 26 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF TAX INCENTIVES IN THE DEAL.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    31-Oct-97 4:46 PM EST (2146 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] THE WEEK ON WALL STREET BY JOE CHAPMAN (NEW YORK)

    DATE=10/31/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-37954
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///FOR WEEKEND NEWSLINE USE///

    INTRO: THE STOCK MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD MADE HISTORY DURING THE FINAL TUMULTUOUS WEEK OF OCTOBER. VOA'S JOE CHAPMAN HAS THIS REPORT FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THIS BELL ///ACTUALITY-STOCK MARKET BELL/// OPENS THE TRADING DAY ON THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE EVERY DAY AT 9:30 A.M. AND STOPS TRADING EXACTLY SIX AND ONE-HALF HOURS LATER. BUT THAT BELL RANG FOUR TIMES ON THE LAST MONDAY OF OCTOBER.

    IT RANG FOR THE OPEN. IT RANG A SECOND TIME WHEN A 350-POINT DECLINE TRIGGERED A SO-CALLED "CIRCUIT BREAKER" THAT CLOSED THE MARKET FOR ONE HALF HOUR. THE BELL REOPENED THE MARKET WITH 55 MINUTES LEFT IN THE TRADING DAY. IT RANG THE LAST TIME A FEW MINUTES LATER AT A 550-POINT DECLINE THAT REQUIRES A ONE HOUR CLOSING AND EFFECTIVELY CLOSED THE MARKET.

    WALL STREET SEEMED TO HAVE DEVELOPED WHAT IT CALLED THE "HONG KONG FLU" OR THE "ASIAN CONTAGION." A PRECIPITOUS DROP IN THE ASIAN MARKETS HAD LED WALL STREET DOWN. THE WIDELY-FOLLOWED DOW-JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS OFF 554 POINTS, A RECORD POINT DECLINE FOR A SINGLE DAY, ALTHOUGH THE PERCENTAGE LOSS -- JUST OVER SEVEN PERCENT --- WAS NOT A RECORD.

    CIRCUIT BREAKERS ON THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE TRIGGER LIMITED TRADING CURBS ALMOST ROUTINELY AND ALMOST UNNOTICED, BUT NEVER BEFORE THE TWO THAT REQUIRE THE CLOSING OF AMERICAN MARKETS. THE CIRCUIT BREAKERS WERE IMPOSED BY GOVERNMENT REGULATORS AFTER THE 1987 STOCK MARKET CRASH TO PREVENT A PRECIPITOUS DECLINE IN STOCK PRICES BY GRADUALLY SLOWING PANIC SELLING.

    BY THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS THE NEXT DAY-- TUESDAY -- THE ASIAN FLU SEEMED TO ONLY A CASE OF THE SNIFFLES. BARGAIN-HUNTERS FOUND WHAT THEY SAW AS CHEAP STOCKS. THE STOCK MARKET ZOOMED UP 337 POINTS, A NEW RECORD FOR A SINGLE DAY ADVANCE IN THE DOW-JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE.

    PERHAPS MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, BOTH THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE AND THE NASDAQ EXCHANGES SET NEW RECORDS FOR THE NUMBER OF SHARES TRADED.

    WHEN ALAN GREENSPAN, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE U-S CENTRAL BANK, DISCUSSED THE STOCK MARKET ACTIVITY, HE SAID THE 1987 CRASH HAD A GOOD EFFECT ON THE OVERALL U-S ECONOMY AND HE SAID HE FELT THE SAME WAY ABOUT THE ONE DAY SELLOFF IN OCTOBER OF 1997.

    SPEAKING TO A CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE, MR. GREENSPAN ALSO URGED MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND THE FINANCIAL WORLD TO KEEP THE EVENTS OF THIS OCTOBER IN PERSPECTIVE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE AMERICAN ECONOMY HE WATCHES SO CLOSELY.

    ///GREENSPAN ACT///

    WE NEED TO ASSESS THESE DEVELOPMENTS AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF A CONTINUING IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IN RECENT MONTHS. GROWTH APPEARS TO HAVE REMAINED ROBUST AND INFLATION LOW, AND EVEN FALLING DESPITE AN EVERTIGHTENING LABOR MARKET.

    ///END ACT//

    SMALL INVESTORS SEEMED TO HAVE TAKEN THAT POSITIVE VIEW BEFORE SETTING OFF THE TUESDAY RALLY. MANY INVESTMENT ANALYSTS BELIEVE WALL STREET PROFESSIONALS PANICKED ON MONDAY, BUT NOT THE SMALL INVESTOR. ANALYSTS NOTE THAT WHILE THE 554 POINT DOW-JONES LOSS ON MONDAY SET A RECORD, IT REPRESENTS ONLY A SEVEN PERCENT FALL. THE CRASH 10 YEARS AGO, WITH A 508 POINT DROP, REPRESENTED A DECLINE OF 22 PERCENT.

    THESE FIGURES INDICATE HOW MUCH THE AMERICAN STOCK MARKET HAS INCREASED IN VALUE. MANY INVESTORS HAVE FELT THE MARKET COULD NOT SUSTAIN ITS HIGH LEVELS. OTHER INVESTORS SAW LITTLE FUTURE OR PROFIT IN MANY AMERICAN STOCKS BECAUSE OF THEIR HIGH LEVEL. SO, MR. GREENSPAN SAYS, INVESTORS LOOKING FOR HIGHER RETURNS POURED INVESTMENT MONEY INTO STOCK EXCHANGES IN ASIA, LATIN AMERICA AND EUROPE. HE SAYS IT WAS TOO MUCH MONEY, TOO FAST.

    ///GREENSPAN ACT///

    IN RETROSPECT IT IS CLEAR THAT MORE INVESTMENT MONIES FLOWED INTO THESE ECONOMIES THAN COULD BE PROFITABLY EMPLOYED AT MODERATE RISK.

    ///END ACT///

    MR. GREENSPAN PAID SOME COMPLIMENTS TO FISCAL MANAGEMENT IN HONG KONG, WHERE A MARKET DECLINE SET OFF THE NEW YORK DROP. HE WAS NOT SO KIND TO OTHER DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND THEIR FINANCIAL SYSTEMS.

    ///GREENSPAN ACT///BEGIN OPT///

    IN MANY INSTANCES, THOSE FINANCIAL SYSTEMS WERE LESS THAN ROBUST, BESET WITH LAX LENDING STANDARDS, WEAK SUPERVISORY REGIMES AND INADEQUATE CAPITAL. MOREOVER, IN MOST CASES, THE CURRENCIES OF THESE ECONOMIES WERE CLOSELY TIED TO THE U-S DOLLAR AND THE DOLLAR'S SUBSTANTIAL RECOVERY SINCE MID 1995, EXPECIALLY RELATIVE TO THE YEN MADE THEIR EXPORTS LESS COMPETITIVE.

    ///END ACT///END OPT///

    THE STOCK MARKET REACTED POSITIVELY TO GREENSPAN'S REMARKS FOR A FEW HOURS WEDNESDAY, BUT THE AVERAGES SOON DECLINED AND FOR THE MOST PART THE LAST THREE DAYS OF OCTOBER SAW HEAVY TRADING WITH LITTLE CLEAR DIRECTION.

    THE LAST DAY OF THIS TUMULTUOUS WEEK BROUGHT ANOTHER HISTORIC EVENT AT THE NEW YORK EXCHANGE.

    PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN OF CHINA, A COMMUNIST, OPENED TRADING ON THE WORLD'S LARGEST, RICHEST CAPITAL STOCK MARKET. HE EVEN GAVE TRADERS A SMILING THUMBS UP. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/JMC/LSF/EH
    31-Oct-97 2:47 PM EST (1947 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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