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World Briefing: Jul 28, 2003

2 minute read
Barbara Kiviat

Don’t Move Me There!

Poor Tokyo can’t get a break. In a recent survey, it kicked Hong Kong out of the top spot on Mercer Human Resource Consulting’s list of the most expensive cities. (New York City slid into a thrifty 10th place, thanks to the weak dollar.) Tokyo also ranked as least popular in a new survey by consultancy Christian & Timbers, which asked about executives’ attitudes toward six financial centers. (Hong Kong and Beijing were given a pass because of SARS.) Here are the top six from each list:

MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES

1 Tokyo 2 Moscow 3 Osaka 4 Hong Kong 5 Beijing 6 Geneva

FINANCIAL CENTERS, ranked by the percentage of execs surveyed who said they would never want to work there

1 Tokyo (47%) 2 Los Angeles (22%) 3 New York City (13%) 4 Chicago (9%) 5 San Francisco/Bay Area (5%) 6 London (4%)

UPDATE >>Gaining Altitude

Since we reported on jetmaker Embraer in the May issue of TIME Global Business, the Brazilian up-and-comer has garnered fresh attention. Embraer recently announced that it would open a plant in Jacksonville, Fla., and start pursuing U.S. defense and homeland-security contracts. (Embraer already sells a line of surveillance aircraft to the governments of Brazil, Greece and Mexico.) Then more news: discount carrier JetBlue Airways ordered 100 Embraer regional jets for $3 billion. The deal was especially notable because JetBlue had earlier espoused the maintenance and training efficiencies of using only one type of plane–one made by Airbus.

BUZZ WORDS Memo Matador

Cut the bull–from your business writing, that is. Don’t even try to “leverage synergies” or “incentivize” employees if you’re using Deloitte Consulting’s new Bullfighter software, designed to make business documents more readable. Bullfighter works like a spell checker in either Microsoft Word or PowerPoint and assigns documents a score based on sentence complexity and the use of some 350 “bullwords.” Using Bullfighter, Deloitte found that among companies in the Dow Jones industrials, those that spoke plainly in shareholder letters and other communications outperformed those that loaded up on jargon. Bullfighter is available free on CD-ROM or at dc.com/bullfighter Here’s a sampling of the worst bullwords, along with Bullfighter’s suggested translations: envisioneer (create), leverage (use), re-engineer (change), synergize (combine), utilize (use), walk the talk (do it).

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