Government-bond reform is OK'dLegislation to reform the $4...

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 24, 1993

Government-bond reform is OK'd

Legislation to reform the $4 trillion government-bond market passed Congress yesterday, more than two years after a scandal prompted lawmakers to investigate the market that finances the national debt.

The reform bill, combined with a measure to protect the rights of small investors in limited-partnership consolidations known as roll-ups, was passed by the Senate on Monday night and the House in the early hours of yesterday. The bill, prompted by the 1991 Salomon Brothers Inc. government-bond scandal, has White House support and is expected to be signed by President Clinton.

Warner-Lambert to cut 2,800 jobs

Warner-Lambert Co. will cut 2,800 jobs and close seven manufacturing plants as part of a restructuring to become more competitive, the drug and consumer-products manufacturer announced yesterday.

The changes will result in a one-time after-tax charge of $327 million, or $2.43 a share, against fourth-quarter 1993 earnings.

UMW strikers cite breakthrough

Members of the United Mine Workers took down picket lines yesterday as the union and coal companies reached agreement on how to handle amnesty for dismissed strikers, a development that observers believe could clear the way for an end to the six-month strike.

About 17,500 miners have been on strike against the Bituminous Coal Operators Association in what the union called a dispute over job security. Most of the mines that were struck are in West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia.

GM plans to sell 3 plants

To streamline its parts-making operations, General Motors Corp. said yesterday that it plans to sell most of its ownership in three plants that manufacture starting motors, generators and other products.

GM said it had reached a preliminary agreement to sell the plants to Transportation Systems Inc., a group of investors led by Harold K. Sperlich, a former president of Chrysler Corp. and a well-regarded car and truck developer.

Britain cuts key interest rate

Britain yesterday cut its key interest rate by half a point, to 5.5 percent, stirring speculation that taxes were about to rise.

Bank of England Governor Eddie George later confirmed that the decision to cut the minimum lending rate, the lowest rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks, had been taken in light of the "broad budget judgment."

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