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Loose change

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 3, 2002

COMPETITION FROM CHINA: Many of Silicon Valley's movers and shakers are looking over their shoulders to the East. California venture capitalist Michael Moritz tells Business Week magazine China is developing into a high-tech powerhouse. "Over the next 10 years, China will become a ferociously formidable competitor for companies that run the entire length of the technology food chain," Moritz says.

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SHRINKING 401(K)S: Many investors who recently received 401(k) statements for the third quarter have something in common: less money. Sixty-nine percent of 554 investors surveyed by Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs say the value of their 401(k) has dropped since July. And 5 percent got a big surprise: The quarterly statement was the first they realized how deeply the value of their holdings had been hit.

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LUCKY PROMOTION: What counts most in job advancement? A nationwide telephone survey of 1,010 employees by J. Howard & Associates found that while 39 percent think merit is key to promotion, more than half cite other factors. Those include seniority (26 percent), personal connections (17 percent) and luck (6 percent).

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A DAY OF REST: Seattle public television producer John de Graaf thinks most Americans are overworked and don't have enough leisure time, so he's leading a national effort to give the country a day off. De Graaf wants to establish "Take Back Your Time Day" on Oct. 24, 2003. He chose that day to commemorate the nine weeks before the end of the year, which symbolizes the average 350 more hours Americans work than Europeans.

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MAKING A STATEMENT, WITH HELP: The more than 80 printed messages include "On the Rebound," "I Just Want to Be Held" and "Can I Get Your Number?" Candy hearts? Try again. Molson beer. The messages are on the backs of 12-ounce bottles of Molson Canadian and Canadian Light. Molson USA hopes its new ad campaign will stimulate conversation -- and sales.

-- Compiled by Cathy Keim from Times wires.

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