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Fri, Nov 15, 2002 - Page 12 News List

World business quick take

US economy

O'Neill calls economy mixed

The Federal Reserve's interest-rate cut last week was an appropriate response to a "mixed" economic outlook and the value of the dollar isn't a concern, US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said. "The reduction in the rate that they made last week is a good idea given what feels like, as the chairman of the Federal Reserve said today, a soft spot in our economy right now," O'Neill said in an interview with public television's Charlie Rose in New York. "The thing that we feel a responsibility for now is that this economy stays on the positive side of the line." O'Neill said he's not worried about the dollar, which has weakened in the past three straight weeks against the euro and the yen. Asked whether he's concerned about the value of the dollar, O'Neill said, "No."

World markets

Afghans gain more access

Afghan carpets, Moroccan bowls and South American knitwear might soon sit alongside super-sleek suits and sofas in Giorgio Armani stores around the world. Armani was made a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in May and on Wednesday said his billion-dollar business could also play an active role in helping poorer countries. "Right now it seems designing dresses is rather worthless. I would like to help in other ways, for example by helping these people to work and sell their products in my shops," Armani said at the start of a fund-raising campaign for Colombian refugees. Armani hosted a showing of a UNHCR documentary filmed in Colombia and Ecuador last year, featuring fellow goodwill ambassador, American actress Angelina Jolie. "After this film, I'd say I'm ready to leave [fashion] tomorrow," said Armani.


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