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Business Words in the News
Friday 28 June 2002
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

WorldCom crisis
Summary: US Telecommunications firm WorldCom is facing bankruptcy after being charged with fraud for improperly accounting for $3.85 billion in expenses. Company executives will appear before a government committee and it seems likely there will be tougher accountancy regulation in future. This report from Steve Evans.
The News Listen  
  WorldCom seems to have tipped the balance of debate towards the congressmen planning radical change. President Bush had quietly favoured softer measures, but now seems aware of possible political fallout if the public tars his administration with blame for corporate misdemeanour. He said he was concerned about the economic impact of the fact that there are some corporate leaders who have not upheld their responsibility.

Some on Wall Street see a silver lining to the cloud of scandals, believing business and accountancy will now have to clean up their acts. On top of that, good economic news is emerging in America, with robust figures for growth and indications that the pace of lay-offs is slackening. It all means that a huge corporate scandal involving billions of dollars has not meant a stock market meltdown.

But the stock market is jittery. Rumours led to the suspension of trading in General Motors shares. The world's biggest auto company declined to comment, but in this febrile atmosphere rumours fly round the globe instantaneously, and share prices may yet fall substantially.

Steve Evans, BBC

The Words Listen
  tipped the balance
something which tips the balance is the final reason of many for change

  softer measures
less strict controls

unpleasant consequences

associates (with something negative)

  silver lining to the cloud of scandals
a cloud with a silver lining is a bad event with some good results

  clean up their acts
stop misbehaving

  the pace of lay-offs is slackening
fewer people are losing their jobs

complete collapse


nervously over-active

  Read more about this story  

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