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									C6 Thursday, January 31, 2008 — DAILY REPUBLIC




BUSINESS




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                                                                                                                                                                4.50 GOLD $920.60         .034 SILVER $16.711
                                                                                                                                                                   dollar exchange rateS
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                                                                                                                                             EURO $1.4898              SWISS FRANC 1.0857         MEXICAN PESO 10.816




Fed cuts interest rates half-point to boost ailing economy
BY JEANNINE AVERSA                     President Bush and Congress             Commercial banks fol-           October through December,                families and galvanized politi-       “Credit has tightened fur-
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS                   raced to enact a separate res-       lowed the Fed action by low-       and for all of 2007 it logged its        cal figures, including those        ther for some businesses and
                                       cue package – including tax          ering their prime lending rate     weakest performance in five               vying to be the next president.    households,” the Fed said.
   WASHINGTON — The                    rebates for individuals and          by the same half percentage        years.                                      “The economy is hanging         “Moreover, recent informa-
Federal Reserve delivered              tax breaks for companies – to        point – to 6 percent, the lowest      The collapse of the housing           by a thread,” said Stuart Hoff-    tion indicates a deepening of
powerful new relief to people
                                       help energize an economy in          in nearly three years. That        market, sour mortgage invest-            man, chief economist at PNC        the housing contraction as
and businesses squeezed by
                                       danger of stalling.                  prime rate applies to certain      ments and much harder-to-                Financial Services Group.          well as some softening in la-
the ailing economy Wednes-
day, cutting interest rates               Heartened by the Fed’s            credit cards, home equity          get credit are weighing on                  While Wednesday’s inter-        bor markets.”
ever deeper in an effort to            newfound      aggressiveness,        lines of credit and other loans.   people and businesses alike.             est rate cut was welcome, the         In its 9-1 decision, the Fed-
avert or at least soften the           Wall Street rallied but then            Hours before the Fed’s ac-      Foreclosures have hit record             Fed’s blunt new assessment of      eral Reserve dropped its key
blow of a recession.                   pulled back, still wary. The         tion, the government reported      highs, and banks have racked             the economy was sobering for       rate to 3 percent at the end of
   The bold, half-point reduc-         Dow      Jones      industrials      that the nation’s economic         up multibillion-dollar losses.           everyone from business own-        a two-day meeting. Richard
tion approved by Fed Chair-            jumped more than 200 points          growth had stumbled to a vir-      The fallout has shaken Wall              ers to people worried about        Fisher, president of the Fed-
man Ben Bernanke and all but           after the announcement but           tual halt. The economy grew        Street, catapulted the econo-            debts to anyone without a job      eral Reserve Bank of Dallas
one of his colleagues came as          ended up down 37.47.                 at just a 0.6 percent pace from    my to Topic A among worried              – or fearful of losing one.        was the sole dissenter.




  Green steel
  Bamboo emerging as eco-friendly building material
  BY JOSHUA GOODMAN
  THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


     GIRARDOT, Colombia —
  Forget steel and concrete.
  The building material of
  choice for the 21st century
  might just be bamboo.
     This     hollow-stemmed
  grass isn’t just for flimsy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Associated Press
  tropical huts any – it’s getting
  outsized attention in the                                                                                                                             Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd earned
  world of serious architec-                                                                                                                            $1.4 million in salary as well as $12 million in incentives.
  ture. From Hawaii to Viet-
  nam, it’s used to build every-
  thing from luxury homes and
  holiday resorts to churches
                                                                                                                                                        HP CEO Hurd
                                                                                                                                                        gets $26M in 2007
  and bridges.
     Boosters call it “vegetal
  steel,” with clear environ-
  mental appeal. Lighter than
  steel but five times stronger                                                                                                                          BY JORDAN ROBERTSON                cause the company beat its fi-
  than concrete, bamboo is na-                                                                                                                          THE ASSOCIATED PRESS               nancial targets in all business
  tive to every continent ex-                                                                                                                                                              segments in 2007, despite ag-
  cept Europe and Antarctica.                                                                                                                              SAN JOSE — Hewlett-             gressive goals set by the
     And unlike slow-to-har-                                                                                                                            Packard Co. CEO Mark Hurd          board after an especially
  vest timber, bamboo’s woody                                                                                                  The Associated Press     received compensation the
                                                                                                                                                                                           prosperous period the year
  stalks can shoot up several                                                                                                                           company valued at $26 mil-
                                           Bamboo lines the walls inside the Nomadic Museum as Canadian artist Gregory Colbert, right,                                                     before.
  feet a day, absorbing four                                                                                                                            lion for the 2007 fiscal year,
                                           is interviewed by a television reporter in Mexico City, Jan 18. The museum, designed by                                                            In nearly three years at the
  times as much world-warm-                                                                                                                             reflecting the board’s satisfac-
                                           Colombian architect Simon Velez, features Colbert's exhibition “Ashes and Snow.”                                                                helm, Hurd has guided HP to
  ing carbon dioxide.                                                                                                                                   tion with HP’s aggressive
                                                                                                                                                        sales growth and cost-cutting      a number of significant mile-
     “The relationship to                     The museum, open until        bamboo, to build cathedral-           The 21,500-square-feet
  weight and resistance is the                                                                                                                          moves.                             stones, including recapturing
                                           May, is the brainchild of        like vaults and 28-foot can-       structure has a domed roof
  best in the world. Anything              Canadian artist Gregory Col-     tilever roofs capable of sup-      made of guadua – instead of                 Hurd, 51, took home $1.4        the title of world’s biggest PC
  built with steel, I can do in            bert, who wanted a monu-         porting 11 tons.                   sun-absorbing metal – that               million in base salary, another    seller from rival Dell Inc. and
  bamboo faster and just as                mental structure built entire-       Curing the stalks with a       will cut down on air condi-              $1.4 million in bonus money        cracking $100 billion in annu-
  cheaply,” said Colombian ar-             ly of renewable resources to     borax-based solution de-           tioning costs.                           and nearly $12 million in cash     al sales for the first time.
  chitect Simon Velez, who al-             house his tapestry-sized pho-    terred termites.                      In Bali, German Joerg                 incentive payouts. The figures         Profits have more than
  most single-handedly thrust              tos of humans interacting in         He perfected his tech-         Stamm applied the same                   were revealed in the Palo          tripled under Hurd’s leader-
  to the vanguard of design a              dreamlike sequence with an-      nique on hundreds of proj-         technique – learned as an ap-            Alto-based company’s proxy         ship, rising to $7.26 billion in
  material previously associat-            imals.                           ects, mostly in Colombia but       prentice to Velez – in con-              filing Tuesday with the Secu-       fiscal 2007.
  ed with woven mats and An-                  He turned to Velez, who       also in Brazil, India and Ger-     structing a 160-foot bridge              rities and Exchange Commis-           The company has cut costs
  dean pan pipes.                          two decades ago made a sim-      many with structures as            strong enough to hold a                  sion.
                                                                                                                                                                                           by consolidating data centers
     Velez created the largest             ple discovery.                   graceful as they are muscu-        truck.                                      Hurd also received shares
                                                                                                                                                                                           and corporate offices and ag-
  bamboo structure ever built:                By using small amounts of     lar.                                  But Velez, the son and                of restricted stock valued at
                                                                                                                                                        $6.8 million and stock options     gressively slashing its head-
  the 55,200-square-foot No-               bolted mortar at the joints –        In steamy Girardot, a two-     grandson of architects who
                                                                                                                                                        worth nearly $4 million dur-       count, including the elimina-
  madic Museum, a temporary                instead of traditional lashing   hour drive from his bamboo         grew up in a Bauhaus-in-
                                                                                                                                                        ing fiscal 2007, which encom-       tion of nearly 15,000 jobs in a
  building that recently de-               methods with vines or rope –     home in Bogota, the 58-year-       spired glass house in western
                                           he was able for the first time    old Velez has just completed       Colombia, has little patience            passes the 12-month period         massive           restructuring
  buted in Mexico City and
  takes up half of the Zocalo,             to fully leverage the natural    a prototype of an energy-sav-      for environmentalists now                that ended Oct. 31.                launched shortly after Hurd’s
  Latin America’s largest                  strength and flexibility of       ing store for French retail gi-    drawn to his work for its                   Also included in Hurd’s         arrival as CEO and completed
  plaza.                                   guadua, a thick Colombian        ant Carrefour.                     planet-saving possibilities.             pay package was $515,000 in        in October.
                                                                                                                                                        additional compensation, in-          Some 3,000 workers also
                                                                                                                                                        cluding more than $138,000 in      left the company as part of an
                                                                                                                                                        restricted stock dividends,        early retirement program that
BUSINESS NEWS                                                                                                                                           nearly $126,000 in expenses        HP initiated last year.
                                                                                                                                                        for home security services            Since Hurd took the reins
                                                                                                                                                        and a mortgage subsidy of
 IN BRIEF                                                                                                                                               about $111,000, according to
                                                                                                                                                        the document.
                                                                                                                                                                                           of HP in April 2005, the com-
                                                                                                                                                                                           pany’s stock price has more
                                                                                                                                                                                           than doubled, from around
                                                                                                                                                           In addition, Hurd made
Local company wins                     lations owner Deloris Roach
                                       stated in the press release.
                                                                               The increases, starting as
                                                                            early as February in southern
                                                                                                               than doubled, helped by fast-
                                                                                                               growing international sales.             $4.8 million on stock options      $20 to more than $40 today, a
                                                                                                                                                                                           rise that has created more
national design awards                    To view the award-winning         California, could push the av-        The Web retailer also is-             he exercised, and he had $7.4
                                                                                                                                                        million worth of HP stock          than $50 billion in additional
                                       projects,         go         to      erage national price to a          sued better-than-expected
   FAIRFIELD — Garson De-                                                                                      guidance and appeared un-                vested during the latest peri-     shareholder wealth.
                                       http://www.awards.garsonde-          record $3.50 a gallon or more
sign Services recently won                                                                                     concerned about a possible               od. The document noted that           HP calculated that Hurd’s
                                       sign.com or contact Garson at        by June.
five American Graphic De-                                                                                       recession.                               the pay for Hurd and other ex-     pay package was worth $25.3
                                       428-1743 or mail@garsonde-
sign Awards from the national                                                                                     Amazon’s earnings in the              ecutives was increased be-         million.
                                       sign.com.
publication Graphic Design
USA, according to a press re-
                                                                            Amazon.com reports                 crucial     holiday    quarter
lease by company owner                 Experts predict gas                  huge 4Q profits                    climbed to $207 million, or 48
                                                                                                               cents per share, from $98 mil-
Steve Garson.                                                                                                  lion, or 23 cents per share, in
   The company was honored             spike for the summer                    SEATTLE — Amazon.com
                                                                            Inc. said Wednesday its            the same period last year.
for its work on projects for the
Gaw Van Male law firm; Quail               NEW YORK — Experts are            fourth-quarter profit more                           — Staff, wire reports
Creek, an assisted living facil-       predicting gas pump prices,
ity at Paradise Valley Estates;        which jumped by almost a
Renovo Communities, a land
development company; and
TLW Public Relations.
                                       dollar a gallon in each of the
                                       last two springs in many parts
                                       of the United States, will spike               BUSINESS
   “I think Steve’s work is the
best in the region. It’s always
exceptional,” TLW Public Re-
                                       again this year as refiners and
                                       gas stations switch from win-
                                       ter- to summer-blended fuels.
                                                                                       OWNERS
                                                                                     SAVE 50% ON SPACE
                                                                                      AND OVERHEAD
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