Why this downturn is hard on people

David Knott London davidk@ogjonline.com A business mogul, asked the secret of his success, once said that he bought shares cheaply when everyone else was selling and sold them at a profit when everyone else was buying. In the petroleum industry, the lag time between the onset of low oil prices and the cancellation of projects and staff layoffs has passed: mergers and payroll trimming show that hard times are here. As an example of what's ahead, Salomon Smith Barney Inc., New York, predicts that worldwide exploration and production expenditures will fall by 11% in 1999, the most severe contraction since 1986. The analyst's annual survey o...

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