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Voice of America, 98-12-31

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] RUSSIA CYPRUS (S) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [02] EURO LAUNCH (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] EURO LAUNCH UPDATE (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] RUSSIA / EURO BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [05] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [06] WALL STREET YEAR REVIEW (L-ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY GARY EDQUIST (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] RUSSIA CYPRUS (S) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/30/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243655
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS IT IS WILLING TO DELIVERY THE S-300 ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES ANYWHERE CYPRUS WANTS THEM. V-O-A'S PETER HEINLEIN IN MOSCOW EXPLAINS.

    TEXT: FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN VLADIMIR RACHMANIN ISSUED A CAUTIOUSLY WORDED STATEMENT WEDNESDAY SAYING RUSSIA IS FULFILLING ALL TERMS OF THE 500 MILLION DOLLAR MISSILE CONTRACT AND EXPECT CYPRUS TO DO THE SAME. HE CALLED THE DEAL STRICTLY COMMERCIAL ADDING ANY CHANGES WILL BE NEGOTIATED BETWEEN CYPRUS AND RUSSIAS' ARMS EXPORTS AGENCY.

    A SENIOR MINISTRY OFFICIAL LATER SAID CONSULTATIONS HAD BEGUN ON CHANGING TERMS OF THE DEAL, THE CHANGES MAY AFFECT THE POINT OF DELIVERY BUT NOT THE CONTRACT ITSELF. NEWS SERVICES SAY THE S-300'S ARE AWAITING SHIPMENT FROM A RUSSIAN PORT.

    DEFENSE EXPERTS SAY THE S-300 HAS AN INTERCEPTION RANGE OF 150 KILOMETERS. DEPLOYMENT IN CREEK WOULD PUT THE MISSILES MORE THAN 500 KILOMETERS FROM SOUTHERN CYPRUS AND MORE THAN 160 KILOMETERS FROM THE TURKISH COAST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PH/WDC/PT
    30-Dec-98 7:01 PM EST (0001 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] EURO LAUNCH (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/31/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243669
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FINANCE MINISTERS FROM 11 OF THE 15-NATION EUROPEAN UNION THURSDAY/TODAY ADOPTED PERMANENT EXCHANGE RATES BETWEEN THEIR NATIONAL CURRENCIES AND THE NEW SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY -- THE "EURO" -- WHICH BEGINS TRADING FRIDAY, NEW YEARS DAY. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, WHERE THE EURO HAS BEEN LAUNCHED.

    TEXT: THERE IS NO TURNING BACK NOW. JUST LIKE THE THREE-THOUSAND BALLOONS, BEARING THE "EURO" SYMBOL SENT UP FROM THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL!BUILDING, THE CURRENCY HAS BEEN LAUNCHED. BUT IT WILL BE THREE YEARS UNTIL EUROPEANS IN 11 COUNTRIES -- FROM IRELAND TO FINLAND -- HAVE EURO COINS AND NOTES TO PUT IN THEIR POCKETS. STILL, THE EURO IS UNDERWAY. AFTER THE NEW YEAR'S HOLIDAY, ALL PRICES WILL BE LISTED IN EUROS AS WELL AS IN THE NATIONAL CURRENCIES. ALL STOCK MARKETS IN THE 11 COUNTRIES WILL TRADE IN EUROS. BANK ACCOUNTS CAN BE ESTABLISHED IN EUROS. CHECKS CAN BE WRITTEN AND CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS CAN BE MADE IN THE NEW CURRENCY. PRICE COMPARISONS SHOULD BECOME EASY ACROSS EUROPEAN BORDERS.

    EUROPEAN UNION FINANCE MINISTERS TOOK THE LAST STEP BY FREEZING THE EXCHANGE RATES BETWEEN THE EURO AND THE GERMAN MARK, THE FRENCH FRANC AND THE OTHER PARTICIPATING CURRENCIES. FROM FRIDAY, ONLY THE EURO WILL COMPETE WITH THE AMERICAN DOLLAR AND THE JAPANESE YEN ON THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE MARKETS. //OPT// THE VALUES OF THE 11 OTHER CURRENCIES WILL BE LOCKED WITH THE EURO'S VALUE. //END OPT//

    THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, AUSTRIAN FINANCE MINISTER RUDOLF EDLINGER TELLS REPORTERS THE CEREMONY ON THE LAST DAY OF 1998 CULMINATES A LONG-AWAITED PROJECT OF A SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY.

    ///EDLINGER W/ INTERPRETER IN ENGLISH ACT///

    A VISIONARY PROJECT OF EUROPEAN UNION IS TAKING EFFECT. THE FUTURE EURO AREA WILL, IN ITS ECONOMIC WEIGHT AND POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE, BE COMPARABLE WITH THE U-S DOLLAR AREA. THE CAPACITY OF THE SINGLE MARKET WILL ALSO BE INTENSIFIED BY THE SINGLE CURRENCY AND BARRIERS TO TRADE, SUCH AS DISPROPORTIONATE FLUCTUATIONS IN EXCHANGE RATES WILL BE CONSIGNED TO THE PAST.

    /// END ACT///

    A NUMBER OF FINANCE MINISTERS EXPRESS THE HOPE THE ECONOMIC UNION CAN BE FOLLOWED BY MORE POLITICAL UNITY IN EUROPE.

    FOUR COUNTRIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ARE NOT TAKING PART IN THE EURO -- BRITAIN, SWEDEN AND DENMARK BY CHOICE, AND GREECE BECAUSE ITS ECONOMY DOES NOT MEET THE STANDARD REQUIRED.

    FROM NEW YEARS DAY, THE 11 FINANCE MINISTERS HAND OVER ALL MONETARY POWER TO AN INDEPENDENT EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK IN FRANKFURT, GERMANY. THE BANK WILL SET COMMON INTEREST RATES FOR ALL 11 COUNTRIES.

    THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN SAYS NATIONAL CHARACTER WILL BE ENHANCED BY A SINGLE CURRENCY.

    ///STRAUSS-KAHN ACT///

    FROM LISBON TO HELSINKI, FROM PARIS TO VIENNA, THIS REMARKABLE SYMBOL OF OUR IDENTITY IS OUR COMMON ACHIEVEMENT. THE REALITY OF EUROPE FOR ORDINARY EUROPEANS IS SOMETHING THAT MANY HAVE NEVER BEEN AWARE OF. //OPT// I WILL NOT BE LESS FRENCH TOMORROW, CARLO CIAMPI WILL NOT BE LESS ITALIAN, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER WILL NOT BE ANY LESS LUXEMBOURGISH (EDS: OTHER FINANCE MINISTERS) BUT WE WILL ALL WILL BE A LITTLE BIT MORE EUROPEAN. //END OPT//

    //END ACT///

    MR. STRAUSS-KAHN CLOSED HIS REMARKS TO THE MINISTERS NOT WITH "LONG LIVE FRANCE," BUT INSTEAD SAYING "LONG LIVE FRANCE IN EUROPE." (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF/JO
    31-Dec-98 11:45 AM EST (1645 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EURO LAUNCH UPDATE (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/31/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243662
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    ///UPDATES WITH CURRENCY LAUNCH, ACTUALITY;!REWRITES THROUGHOUT///
    INTSO: FINANCE MINISTERS FSOM 11 EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES HAVE ESTABLISHED THE FINAL EXCHANGE RATES FOR "THE EURO" -- THE NEW SINGLE CURRENCY WHICH BEGINS FRIDAY, NEW YEAR'S DAY. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS ON THE NEW CEREMONY.

    TEXT: THREE THOUSAND BALLOONS BEARING THE EURO SYMBOL WERE RELEASED FROM THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL BUILDING TO MARK THE FORMAL ADOPTION OF A NEW CURRENCY. THE FINANCE MINISTERS EXPRESS THE HOPE THAT THE EURO WILL RIVAL THE AMERICAN DOLLAR AND THE JAPANESE YEN AS THE WORLD'S RESERVE CURRENCIES.

    EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT WIM DUISENBERG TELLS REPORTERS:

    ///DUISENBERG ACT///

    A CURRENCY IS ALSO PART OF THE IDENTITY OF A PEOPLE. IT REFLECTS WHAT THEY HAVE IN COMMON NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. MAY THE EURO BECOME A UNIFYING SYMBOL FOR THE PEOPLE OF EUROPE

    ///END ACT///

    THERE WILL NO EURO NOTES OR COINS UNTIL 2002 WHEN THEY WILL REPLACE ALL THE NATIONAL CURRENCIES IN THE 11 COUNTRIES, BUT THE EURO WILL BE USED BEGINNING NEW YEAR'S DAY IN BANK ACCOUNTS AND FOR CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS. (SIGNED).
    NEB/RDP/PCF
    31-Dec-98 9:49 AM EST (1449 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] RUSSIA / EURO BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/31/98
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42275
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: RUSSIA'S CENTRAL BANK WILL BEGIN SETTING AN EXCHANGE RATE FOR THE NEW EUROPEAN CURRENCY, THE EURO, AND THE RUSSIAN RUBLE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR. BUT AS MOSCOW CORRESPONDENT PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS, IT WILL BE SOME TIME BEFORE THE NEW CURRENCY MAKES A DENT IN RUSSIA'S DOLLAR-DRIVEN ECONOMY.

    TEXT: THE EUROPEAN UNION IS EASILY RUSSIA'S MAIN TRADING PARTNER. GERMANY ALONE DOES MORE BUSINESS WITH RUSSIA THAN ANY COUNTRY OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    BUT THE U-S DOLLAR IS FAR AND AWAY THE CURRENCY OF CHOICE IN MOSCOW. THE U-S TREASURY DEPARTMENT SAYS THERE ARE MORE DOLLARS IN RUSSIA THAN IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES -- 80-PERCENT OF THEM IN 100-DOLLAR BILLS.

    SO WHILE RUSSIA'S CENTRAL BANK AND THE MOSCOW INTERBANK CURRENCY EXCHANGE ARE SET FOR IMMEDIATE RUBLE-EURO TRADING, THE ATTITUDE AMONG RUSSIANS IS DECIDEDLY WAIT-AND-SEE.

    DAVID JOHN OF THE MOSCOW OFFICE OF THE "PRICE WATERHOUSE" ACCOUNTING FIRM, SAYS THE EURO'S INITIAL IMPACT IN RUSSIA WILL BE SMALL.

    /// JOHN ACT ///

    MY VIEW IS THAT THE ECONOMY HERE REVOLVES AROUND THE RUBLE AND THE DOLLAR, AND I AM NOT SURE THE INTRODUCTION OF EURO, CERTAINLY IN THE SHORT TERM, WILL HAVE MUCH IMPACT. THE DOLLAR IS THE SECOND CURRENCY OF RUSSIA.

    /// END ACT ///

    ANOTHER FINANCIAL ANALYST, EKATERINA MANAFAYEVA OF MOSCOW'S M-F-K RENAISSANCE INVESTMENT HOUSE, SAYS THE EURO IS BEING GREETED IN RUSSIA WITH SOME SUSPICION.

    /// MANAFAYEVA ACT ///

    THE EURO WOULD HAVE TO ESTABLISH ITSELF AS A VERY STRONG CURRENCY IN WHICH A LOT OF TRADE TAKES PLACE, AND NOT ONLY RUSSIA WOULD NEED TO ACCEPT IT AS THE BENCHMARK AS RUSSIA ACCEPTS DOLLAR AS BENCHMARK RIGHT NOW, BUT THE WHOLE WORLD WOULD PREFER EURO TO DOLLAR, AND I GUESS AT THIS POINT RUSSIA COULD BE TIED TO EURO.

    /// END ACT ///

    MS. MANAFAYEVA SAYS FINANCIAL TURMOIL AND FAILURE TO INSTITUTE FREE-MARKET REFORMS WILL GREATLY DIMINISH RUSSIA'S ABILITY TO BENEFIT FROM THE EURO.

    /// 2ND MANAFAYEVA ACT ///

    I WOULD RATHER SAY THAT RUSSIA WOULD BE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF A SINGLE CURRENCY AS SOON AS IT IS ABLE TO OPEN ITSELF TO THE WORLD TRADE AND THE COMPETITIVE WORLD ENVIRONMENT.

    /// END ACT ///

    OTHER EXPERTS SAY RUSSIA'S GROWING RELIANCE ON THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR GOODS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT MEANS THE EURO COULD SOON BECOME A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. A SENIOR RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK OFFICIAL RECENTLY NOTED 50-PERCENT OF ALL WESTERN TRADE IS WITH E-U COUNTRIES AND 40-PERCENT OF RUSSIA'S DEBT IS IN EUROPEAN CURRENCIES.

    BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE DOLLAR IS USED FOR 80-PERCENT OF ALL TRADE TRANSACTIONS, AND DOLLARS ACCOUNT FOR 90-PERCENT OF RUSSIA'S HARD CURRENCY RESERVES. THAT IS NOT LIKELY TO CHANGE ANY TIME SOON.

    AS ONE WESTERN ANALYST REMARKED -- NOBODY YET UNDERSTANDS WHAT KIND OF SECURITY YOU HAVE WHEN YOU BUY EUROS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH/RAE
    31-Dec-98 10:18 AM EST (1518 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/31/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243677
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE GENERALLY DOWN TODAY (THURSDAY) BUT ONE INDEX CLOSED THE YEAR AT A RECORD HIGH. VOA CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 91 HUNDRED 81, DOWN 93 POINTS, OR ONE PERCENT. FOR THE YEAR, THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE GAINED 12 HUNDRED 73 POINTS OR MORE THAN 16 PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED THURSDAY AT 12 HUNDRED 29, DOWN TWO POINTS. HOWEVER THE NASDAQ INDEX CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH.

    THIS WAS THE FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR THAU MAJOR AMERICAN!STOCK AVERAGES POSTED!DOUBLE-EIGIT PESCENTAGE!GAINS. MANY ANALYSTS ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 1999 BUT SOME URGE CAUTION.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    HUGH JOHNSON OF THE FIRST ALBANY INVESTMENT COMPANY SAYS THE STEEP CORRECTION WHICH BEGAN LAST JULY SHOULD REMIND INVESTORS THAT STOCK PRICES CAN MOVE DOWN AS WELL AS UP.

    ///OPT///JOHNSON ACT///

    WE HAD A TASTE OF A VERY SHARP CORRECTION IN PRICES. WE HAD A 20 PERCENT DECLINE IN STOCK PRICES FROM JULY TO OCTOBER. I THINK THAT SHOULD CREATE SOME CAUTION.

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

    SOME ANALYSTS ARE ESPECIALLY WORRIED ABOUT MANY OF THE INTERNET-RELATED STOCKS WHICH THEY SAY HAVE RISEN BEYOND ANY REASONABLE VALUATIONS.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    ALL AMERICAN FINANCIAL MARKETS WILL BE CLOSED FRIDAY FOR THE NEW YEAR'S DAY HOLIDAY.

    THE WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY SAYS IT HAS REACHED AGREEMENTS WITH STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ON THE FIRM'S PLANNED ONE BILLION DOLLAR MERGER WITH EASTERN ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES. THE DEAL WILL CREATE THE LARGEST WASTE DISPOSAL COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES.

    THE MONSANTO COMPANY HAS RECEIVED U-S GOVERNMENT APPROVAL TO SELL A NEW DRUG NAMED CELEBREX WHICH IS DESIGNED TO RELIEVE THE PAIN OF ARTHRITIS. THE DRUG IS SAID TO HAVE FEW SIDE EFFECTS AND ANALYSTS SAY FIRST YEAR SALES COULD AMOUNT TO MORE THAN ONE BILLION DOLLARS IN THE U-S MARKET ALONE.

    FIRST VOLKSWAGEN RE-INTRODUCED THE BEETLE MODEL IN THE U-S MARKET AND NOW GENERAL MOTORS IS JOINING THE NOSTALGIA MOVEMENT IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY. G-M WILL BRING BACK THE CHEVROLET IMPALA MODEL WHICH WAS THE BEST-SELLING CAR IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 1960'S.

    DAIMLER-CHRYSLER, THE GERMAN-AMERICAN AUTO COMPANY, SAYS 1999 WILL BE A GOOD BUT MODEST YEAR FOR THE AUTO INDUSTRY AFTER A RECORD 1998. HOWEVER, THE COMPANY SAYS IT IS IN A GOOD FINANCIAL POSITION TO WEATHER ANY SALES DOWNTURN.

    A SURVEY SHOWS AMERICAN CORPORATIONS WILL INCREASE THEIR SPENDING ON RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN 1999 BY ALMOST SEVEN PERCENT TO 236 BILLION DOLLARS. THE SURVEY SHOWS MANY COMPANIES ARE INCREASING RESEARCH SPENDING IN THE HOPES OF CREATING NEW AND MORE PROFITABLE PRODUCTS.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    31-Dec-98 5:17 PM EST (2217 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] WALL STREET YEAR REVIEW (L-ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/31/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243675
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES MADE IMPRESSIVE GAINS IN 1998, MORE THAN SOME ANALYSTS HAD PREDICTED. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED DOWN 93 POINTS THURSDAY, AT 91-HUNDRED-81, BUT POSTED A GAIN OF OVER 16 PERCENT FOR THE YEAR. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS FROM NEW YORK:

    TEXT: ALL THE STOCK MARKET INDICES CLOSED UP FOR THE YEAR. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 -- A BROADER MEASURE OF MARKET PERFORMANCE -- GAINED ABOUT 27 PERCENT IN 1998. IT WAS THE FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR OF MORE-THAN-20-PERCENT GAINS FOR THAT INDEX.

    THE TECHNOLOGY-DOMINATED NASDAQ WENT UP 38 PERCENT IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS, DRIVEN BY INTERNET-RELATED STOCKS. 1998 SAW INTERNET STOCK PRICES SOARING TO THE POINT WHERE MANY ANALYSTS FEARED THEY WERE GROSSLY OVER-VALUED/ THEY CAME DOWO A BIT IN THE LAST TWO DAYS OF TRADING. WALL STREET SEEMED RELIEVED.

    THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR WENT SMOOTHLY FOR THE U-S STOCK MARKET. THE DOW JONES CLIMBED TO OVER NINE-THOUSAND BY MID-JULY. ANALYSTS PREDICTED IT WOULD REACH 10-THOUSAND BEFORE THE YEAR WAS OUT.

    BUT FINANCIAL FAULT LINES SUDDENLY OPENED UP UNDER WALL STREET. A SHARP SELL-OFF THAT BEGAN IN LATE JULY WIPED OUT MOST OF THE YEAR'S GAINS. THE DOW JONES [INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE] SHED 20 PERCENT DURING A 10-WEEK SLUMP.

    RECOVERY BEGAN IN OCTOBER, AND THE RALLY PERSISTED UNTIL YEAR'S END. ANALYST ALAN ACKERMAN (OF THE FAHNESTOCK BROKERAGE FIRM) PREDICTS THE RALLY WILL CARRY OVER INTO 1999. HE SAYS THE STOCK MARKET THIS PAST YEAR WAS DRIVEN BY MOOD, MOMENTUM AND, OF COURSE, MONEY -- PLENTY OF CASH FLOWING INTO IT:

    /// ACKERMAN ACT ///

    WE'VE HAD A VERY LIQUID MARKET. FOREIGN INVESTORS HAVE PUT MONEY INTO THE BIG-CAP [BIG CAPITALIZATION] STOCKS HERE. I SEE NO REASON WHY THAT MONEY WILL LEAVE, FOR NOW. U-S COMPANIES ARE GENERALLY SPEAKING IN EXCELLENT HEALTH. WE'RE MOVING INTO 1999 WITH A SENSE OF OPTIMISM. THIS MAY NOT BE THE YEAR OF DOUBLE-DIGIT GAIN. BUT IT WILL BE A YEAR WHERE STOCK-PICKERS WILL HAVE UNUSUAL OPPORTUNITY.

    /// END ACT ///

    NOT EVERYONE SEES IT THAT WAY. HIRSCH COHEN, AN ANALYST WITH SMITH BARNEY, IS LESS OPTIMISTIC. HE EXPECTS THE EARLY DAYS OF 1999 WILL BE MARKED BY PROFIT-TAKING:

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    I'M GUESSING THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN ALL THE SELLING THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE. WE HAD AN ENORMOUS RALLY HERE, WITH A BIG SPECULATIVE ELEMENT TO IT IN ANYTHING RELATED TO THE INTERNET AND COMPANIES INVOLVED IN COMMUNICATIONS -- PEOPLE [WERE] REALLY FORGETTING ABOUT RISK. I THINK AFTER THE FIRST OF THE YEAR YOU MIGHT SEE SOME PEOPLE STARTING TO TAKE PROFITS. THAT IN TURN WILL BEGET SOME ADDITIONAL SELLING. I DON'T THINK THE LAST WORD IS WRITTEN ON THIS MARKET YET.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE IMPACT OF PAST MARKET PERFORMANCE ON FUTURE TRADING MAY NOT BE ENTIRELY CLEAR. BUT THE NUMBERS ARE IN AND THEY ARE CONSIDERED IMPRESSIVE. THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE POSTED 30 RECORD HIGHS IN 1998. 1998 WAS NOT A BAD YEAR FOR U-S STOCKS, AS THEY PERSISTED THROUGH UNCERTAINTY AND DEFIED EARLIER PREDICTIONS OF SMALLER GAINS. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/WTW
    31-Dec-98 4:26 PM EST (2126 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY GARY EDQUIST (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/31/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11077
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: OUTDATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T /////

    INTRO: EUROPE'S NEW SINGLE CURRENCY; CALLS FOR A SPEEDY CENSURE AND NO IMPEACHMENT -- OF THE PRESIDENT; AND AN EDITORIAL CALL FOR BETTER HIGH-LEVEL U-S - RUSSIAN COMMUNICATION. THOSE ARE A FEW OF THE TOPICS LEADING THE EDITORIALS IN SOME AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS THIS FINAL DAY OF 1998. NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME EXCERPTS IS _________________

    TEXT: THE NEW EUROPEAN CURRENCY -- THE EURO -- BECOMES A REALITY AT MIDNIGHT. /// OPT /// IT WILL SELL FOR ONE-POINT-NINE GERMAN MARKS OR SIX-AND-A-HALF FRENCH FRANCS. IT IS EXPECTED TO EXCHANGE INITIALLY FOR ABOUT ONE DOLLAR-17 CENTS. /// END OPT /// "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" WRITES THAT "THE ADVENT OF THE EURO ARGUABLY WILL BE THE MOST AMBITIOUS MONETARY EXPERIMENT SINCE THE LAUNCHING OF THE BRETTON WOODS SYSTEM AT THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO." THE NEWSPAPER ADDS:

    VOICE: MONETARY UNION MAY BE UNPRECEDENTED, BUT ITS SUCCESS IS NOT SO MUCH A MATTER OF SERENDIPITY AS SOUND MACRO-ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT BY NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS. GERMANY AND FRANCE HAVE BEEN ARGUING FOR A LINK BETWEEN THE DOLLAR AND THE EURO THROUGH TRADING BANDS. AS A STEP TOWARD A MORE STABLE GLOBAL MONETARY SYSTEM, IT IS AN IDEA WITH MUCH TO RECOMMEND IT.

    TEXT: LEADERS OF THE U-S SENATE ARE CONSIDERING A PLAN THAT WOULD AVOID A FULL TRIAL OF PRESIDENT CLINTON, AND CENSURE HIM INSTEAD. /// OPT /// THE PLAN IS DESIGNED TO AVOID A LONG TRIAL, WHICH REPUBLICANS ACKNOWLEDGE WOULD LIKELY RESULT IN ACQUITTAL BECAUSE A TWO-THIRDS VOTE IS REQUIRED TO CONVICT. /// END OPT /// REPUBLICAN LEADER TRENT LOTT AND DEMOCRATIC LEADER TOM DASCHLE ARE REPORTED TO BE CONSIDERING CALLING A VOTE EARLY IN THE PROCESS ON WHETHER THE CHARGES AGAINST THE PRESIDENT ARE SERIOUS ENOUGH TO RESULT IN HIS REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" ADVISES THE SENATE TO MOVE "TOWARD CENSURE -- QUICKLY."

    VOICE: (PRESIDENT) CLINTON MERITS CENSURE IN THE STRONGEST TERMS FOR THE DISGRACE HE BROUGHT ON HIS OFFICE. BUT THE LIKELY RESULT OF VOTING IN THE SENATE MAKES IT PLAIN THAT THE TERMS OF CENSURE HAD BETTER BE NEGOTIATED BEFORE A VOTE TO CONVICT OR ACQUIT. A PROTRACTED IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN ANY EVENT IS NOT IN THE NATION'S INTEREST. THE PROPER ALTERNATIVE IS A HARSH RESOLUTION OF CENSURE, WITH (PRESIDENT) CLINTON AGREEING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS MISDEEDS.

    TEXT: PRESIDENT CLINTON AND RUSSIAN LEADER BORIS YELTSIN SPOKE BY TELEPHONE WEDNESDAY TO EXCHANGE HOLIDAY GREETINGS AND DISCUSS FOREIGN POLICY. THE TWO LEADERS SAID BUILDING BILATERAL TIES IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THEIR DISAGREEMENTS OVER IRAQ. IN AN EDITORIAL, "THE ORLANDO (FLORIDA) SENTINAL" URGES THE TWO COUNTRIES TO KEEP COMMUNICATIONS LINES OPEN.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// ALTHOUGH IT WAS LARGELY SYMBOLIC, PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON'S TELEPHONE CALL TO ... PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN ... SERVED A USEFUL PURPOSE -- REINFORCING U-S - RUSSIA TIES. /// END OPT /// RECENT AMERICAN-LED MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAQ HAS DRAWN RUSSIAN PROTESTS. WITHOUT AN EXTRA DIPLOMATIC EFFORT BY U-S OFFICIALS, IT'S THE KIND OF TENSION THAT COULD LEAD TO CLEAVAGES IN THE RELATIONSHIP. DIFFERENCES OVER IRAQ SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO DAMAGE U-S INTERNATIONAL INTERESTS -- NOT WITH RUSSIA AND NOT WITH OTHER NATIONS.

    TEXT: "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" SAYS THAT "IT WOULD BE TOO EASY TO PEER INTO 1999 AND SEE A WORLD BESET BY STUBBORN, NEARLY UNSOLVABLE PROBLEMS." INSTEAD, WRITES THE "MONITOR," "CURRENT TURBULENCE IS FORCING MANKIND TOWARD SOLUTIONS." IT CITES TWO EXAMPLES: GLOBAL ECONOMIC PROBLEMS, AND WAR AND PEACE.

    VOICE: THE CRISIS PRECIPITATED BY ASIA'S MONETARY MELTDOWN AND DEEPENED BY RUSSIA'S CREDIT COLLAPSE STILL GENERATES TREMORS. ... LONG-RANGE, THE DESTINATION IS A GLOBAL SYSTEM LESS VULNERABLE TO SUDDEN DOWNTURN. SOUNDER BANKING SYSTEMS, FREER TRADE, GOVERNMENTS LESS PRONE TO CORRUPTION AND CRONYISM, MORE-RELIABLE SOCIAL SAFETY NETS -- THESE AND OTHER ELEMENTS WILL HELP SOLIDIFY THAT SYSTEM. ... A WORLD SYSTEM FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT IS NEEDED MORE THAN EVER AS THE COLD WAR YEARS RECEDE. COOPERATION FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND MUST SUPERCEDE REKINDLED NATIONALISM. AS WITH GLOBAL ECONOMIES, IT'S NOT A DISTANT IDEAL. IT'S A PRAGMATIC NECESSITY.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS FINAL EDITION OF EDITORIAL DIGEST FOR 1998.
    NEB/GE/KL
    31-Dec-98 10:28 AM EST (1528 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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