BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE: FEBRUARY 21, 2000 ISSUE

Int'l Readers Report

Do Customers Care If FedEx Parcels Come by Air or Road? (int'l edition)

FedEx is practicing cross-eyed marketing (''Going nowhere fast in cyberspace,'' The Corporation, Jan. 31). Why are they pushing two types of service--in a market that wants seamlessness?

Do customers care how packages reach them? [CEO Frederick W.] Smith points out that their networks, ground and air, were designed with two different cost structures. Does the customer care? And do Net companies, whose lifeblood is delivering to their customers on time, care?

A company a big as FDX Corp. should know not to put its own interests ahead of its customers'. Didn't someone say ''It's the customers, stupid''?

G. Vartan
Sydney



Don't Throw Out Europe's Cultural Diversity (int'l edition)

As a citizen of ''risk-averse, social-consensus-loving, conservative'' Europe, I question John Rossant's use of the word ''culture'' in ''Old world, new mandate'' (Special Report, Jan. 31). He uses it to mean a certain attitude toward doing business (''entrepreneur-friendly culture'') and then slides it toward ethnic or national culture.

U.S. magazines such as yours often tend to express the view that Europe's adoption of the American corporate, shareholder culture will bind up the unfortunately fragmented parts of the Continent into a single ''Europerson'' society. Although a new business culture may certainly affect the way we do business, our national cultural diversity is not ''baggage'' to be discarded but a potential source of strength.

Europeans can see that greater labor mobility is an unrealistic solution to unemployment on a continent composed of different languages, religions, and climates. If American commentators would take the trouble to put themselves in our shoes, instead of their own, they might stop pushing a solution that works for the U.S. but won't work here.

Alison Graham
Athens



Look Out for Pell-Mell Money Supply Growth (int'l edition)

''The New Economy'' (Cover Story, Jan. 31) gives credit to Alan Greenspan for understanding that America's current productivity allows for a faster rate of growth than we could afford in the past. But the story fails to mention that Greenspan also allows our money supply to grow at a 15%-plus rate--far faster than our gross-domestic-product growth plus inflation. This excess in the money supply is now feeding our extraordinary consumer boom financed to a great extent by rising consumer debt and growing trade deficits.

To be sure, inflation is still tame, but this is a lagging indicator. Excessive money-supply growth invariably leads to high inflation, but with a delay. When that happens, it's too late to slow the economy down without risk or a major recession. Will our ''New Economy'' end as ''new era economics'' did in the 1920s? Let's hope our leaders, including Mr. Greenspan, have the wisdom to take appropriate action while there is still time.

Milo Vesel
Divonne, France





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LETTERS:
Do Customers Care If FedEx Parcels Come by Air or Road? (int'l edition)

Don't Throw Out Europe's Cultural Diversity (int'l edition)

Look Out for Pell-Mell Money Supply Growth (int'l edition)

INTERACT
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