Business & Finance

Lucent Technologies announced it will eliminate 8,000 more jobs by the end of the year, a new 15-percent cut in its workforce, after posting a third-quarter net loss of $7.9 billion. It was the ninth consecutive quarterly loss for the telecommunications equipment maker, one of the hardest-hit companies in the industry's ongoing slump. Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent reduced its payroll by tens of thousands of employees last year.

AT&T posted an even larger second-quarter loss than Lucent: $12.7 billion, due to declining revenues and charges to write down the value of some assets. Excluding the one-time charges, the company said, profits rose by 7 cents a share. The nation's No. 1 long-distance company has seen share prices tumble 47 percent this year and plans a 1-for-5 reverse stock split as well as the sale of its cable-TV business.

Through transactions codenamed "Yosemite" and "Mahonia," respectively, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase allegedly helped Enron disguise debts and overstate its cash flow, The Wall Street Journal reported. Citing a copy of testimony to be presented by a senior congressional investigator at a Senate hearing Tuesday, the newspaper said the two brokerages may have marketed similar deals to other unidentified companies. The Justice Department also is probing the role that financial institutions may have played in the Enron collapse, the Journal said.

Despite record-low interest rates, Americans increased their deposits in savings-bank and money-market accounts between January and June by $204.1 billion – a 10 percent over the same period in 2001, The Wall Street Journal reported. Analysts said the trend was a reflection of lack of confidence in the stock market. The report said average interest rates on passbook and money-market accounts are 0.87 percent and 0.92 percent, respectively.

A $1.1 billion tentative deal that would give oil giant Petrobras of Brazil majority control of energy conglomerate Perez Companc SA in neighboring Argentina was announced by the two companies. Petrobras is state-owned. Vertically integrated Perez Companc is Latin America's largest privately held energy company and is involved in oil and gas exploration, production, refining, petrochemicals, marketing, and transportation.

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