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The Ticker

June 29, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

Turning the corner into the second half of 1992, we print today some notes, quotes and other items relating to your workplace and your pocketbook:

MIDSUMMER MEMOS: The top one percent of U.S. earners are, in order, corporate executives, business owners, attorneys, doctors, dentists and "others" (sports stars, actors, consultants, etc.), according to the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis . . . A Camp Hill, Pa., reader sends her 1992 "Charitable Request Chart," showing rising number of charity appeals she received this year: January (16), February (27), March (38), April (38), May (39). She asks, "Doesn't this show how badly the economy is doing?" . . . Over the last 40 years July has been a strong Wall Street month with the Standard & Poor's composite index moving up 1.1 percent on average, making next month the year's fourth best, topped only by November, January, December and April in that order.

QUALITY KEYS: Want to improve the quality of your product and/or service? Fortune, dated today, says the CEO must: Focus quality effort on customer service and not on cost-cutting, show willingness to change everything, set up pilot programs where employees learn to solve problems, let workers make changes they suggest, reward employees who improve ways the company treats its customers, keep workers informed on success or failure of quality program and stay actively involved throughout the effort.

BITS & PIECES: America's largest privately held companies are, in order of sales volume, Cargill (grain trading, food processing), Koch Industries (petroleum refining and production), United Parcel Service (delivery), Continental Grain (grain trading), Carlson Cos. (hotels, travel agencies), M&M Mars (candy and snacks), Northwest Airlines, Bechtel Group (construction engineering), Goldman Sachs, Macy's, Ernst & Young, Publix Super Markets, KPMG Peat Marwick, Pritzker Family Cos. (hotels, manufacturing) and Supermarkets General. (Data from Fortune, July 13).

NOTES & QUOTES: A reader mails a quotation from Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," explaining, "Shakespeare had things to say that business people can profit from reading. The quote is: "One doth not know how much an ill word may empoison liking." . . . "To get the best from newspapers, radio and TV, businessmen and women should be honest with the media at all times, keep the press informed, become a quotable source (send short quotes that may be lifted), avoid cheap publicity stunts and let bad publicity roll off your back." (Nation's Business). . . The latest Kiplinger Washington Letter says, in effect, that when companies begin to recover from the recession they will not add high-pay, low-skill positions as they did before because they then could not compete in worldwide markets with cheap foreign labor. . . . National Business Employment Weekly, dated today, runs a good piece titled, "Speed Up Your Job Search." ("Walk in without an appointment. . . . Arrange interviews for Saturdays, holidays or evenings. . . . Volunteer for night work. . . . Be willing to relocate.")

MARYLAND & MORE: Baltimore's T. Rowe Price stock is mentioned favorably in Forbes, July 6. ("The firm has made more than three dozen acquisitions during the last decade and most recently signed a letter of intent with U.S.F.& G. to acquire the firm's six mutual funds with $650 million in assets.") . . . Success magazine, August, profiles Johns Hopkins' pediatric neurosurgery chief, Dr. Ben Carson, under the title, "He Rose from the Slums and Succeeded." The article also favorably reviews Dr. Carson's new book, "Think Big." . . . Business Week, dated today, recommends these paperbacks for summertime reading: "Under The Influence: The Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty" by Peter Hernon ($12.50) and "Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line" by Ben Hamper ($9.99) . . . "To be a successful consumer, do business in the right places, pay with plastic, know where to complain, know who to complain to, keep copies of everything, state your demands." ("Let the Seller Beware" by Elias Portney, $9.95).

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