Two hearts beat as one

Jun 16, 2002 | 08:16 PM |

Fresh from his trip around Africa with rock star Bono, Paul O'Neill--one-time boss of Alcoa Inc., now U.S. Treasury Secretary--waded into the debate on unethical behavior among the country's chief executives. O'Neill described the antics of his former peers as a "disgrace" that threatened to "poison confidence in our system." Melting Pot wonders what conversations he and Bono may have had on the matter while they were on tour. We note that both have earned phenomenal amounts of money. A recent report by Bloomberg showed that on top of his annual salary of $161,200 as Treasury Secretary, O'Neill had assets valued at between $67 million and $253 million as of Dec. 31. Since he sold his shares and options in Alcoa they have fallen some 15 percent, the news agency reported.

What goes up . . .

Steel guru Peter Marcus of New Jersey-based World Steel Dynamics (WSD) should see a sea of happy faces at the Steel Success Strategies XVII conference co-sponsored by AMM and WSD that gets under way Monday night at New York's Plaza Hotel. Last Thursday, Marcus issued an "alert" to clients that a global steel sheet shortage was developing, giving it a 75-25 chance of becoming reality in 2003. The report cited "panic" buying, a less-than-expected decline in global steel demand and buyers caught short on inventory as contributing factors. The report said that hot-rolled coil on the export market, which was moving at $175 a tonne back in December, could eclipse $400 a tonne early in the New Year. But Marcus dampened the euphoria with a warning that similar market scenarios in 1995 and 2000 led to steel price collapses as buyers, fearful of rising prices, sat back, did nothing and caused a pricing "death spiral." So much for smiling faces.....

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