Balance Sheet



Path Cleared? Peru's government captures Maoist Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman—once dubbed "Charlie Manson with an army." (See Trends, Oct.) President Alberto Fujimori's next challenge: peaceful, democratic parliamentary elections November 22.

Privacy Righted. Homosexual sodomy is no longer a crime in Kentucky. The state constitution explicitly protects individuals' privacy and guarantees equal protection of the law. So by a 4-to-3 vote, the state Supreme Court overturns a law specifically banning same-gender intercourse. Court challenges in other states with similar protections will follow.

Call Forwarding. The FCC inches local telephone competition closer. Potential competitors once had to string their own lines to compete with GTE and the Baby Bells. Now upstart companies must be allowed access to the local monopoly's central switching office. The New York Times estimates the cost of running one circuit will drop from $270 to about $5 per customer.

Bashed Brothers. The Economist reports that alliances between U.S. and Japanese companies have surged—from 477 in 1990 to 753 last year. American firms get Japanese capital and managerial patience; Japanese companies get American R&D sooner. Each gains access to the other's market. Such joint ventures may make protectionism impossible.


Greed Grounded. Hurricane Andrew slams Florida. Bottled water and building supplies get scarce. Merchants raise prices. Fortune's Daniel Seligman reports that Attorney General Bob Butterworth may fine retailers for "gouging" shoppers. Indeed, says Butterworth, "I don't see any difference between the looters…and the business people who [gouge] consumers."

Border Crossing. Companies incorporate in Delaware to enjoy the favorable tax code. Greedy state treasuries elsewhere feel cheated. They're relentlessly raising taxes on local businesses headquartered out of state. Ohio alone expects $40 million a year from these "foreign" corporations. "The states are like a pack of hyenas," Citicorp tax counsel Haskell Edelstein tells Forbes. "They all want a piece of the carcass."

Mini-MITI. In 1993, opines Business Week, Congress will get serious about industrial policy. A bill passed by the House would establish a technology-extension service similar to agricultural-extension agencies (Hank Kimball, computer nerd?) and set aside $430 million in tax money for loan guarantees and venture capital for risky technology. "If government gets involved," warns Undersecretary of Commerce Robert White, "it's likely to…end up funding dogs."

Malpractice Suits. The latest alternative to higher taxes: When the government needs money, it can expand civil-forfeiture laws. (See Trends, Oct.) Rep. Jerry Lewis (R–Calif.) sponsors a bill permitting "the civil and criminal seizure and forfeiture of property" in health-care fraud cases. On next year's court docket: U.S. v. One Box of Iodine Swabs.