News From Another Age
(FORTUNE Magazine) – It might be hard to remember, but there actually was news before the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11. For this edition of the Hype Index, we've torn ourselves away from the disaster coverage and revisited those items that seemed so important before our world changed immeasurably. As might be expected, some are now obsolete (remember when we actually cared about megamergers?) and others seem hopelessly irrelevant (home-run records have lost importance). Here's a look back at the phenomena that we wish were still dominating the headlines.
--Julie Creswell and Julie Schlosser
HP/Compaq There's just one constant since Sept. 11: Investors still hate that deal. In the days following the attack, HP is down 16%, while Compaq has sunk 23%. Barry Bonds Bonds are mixed, but
Back to school No job? No problem. Dot-com refugees are fleeing to law and business schools in huge numbers. We bet there's still room in that Starting Your Own E-Business course.
Barry Bonds Bonds are mixed, but Barry Bonds is on the rise. He's on track to smash Mark McGwire's 1998 home-run record. We're rooting for him; for every homer he hits, he'll give $10,000 to the United Way.
Retiring Senators Name-change alert: The Grand Old Party needs a new moniker now that Jesse Helms, 79, Phil Gramm, 59, and Strom Thurmond, 98, have all announced that they won't seek reelection in 2002. TV's new season Is Rachel on Friends pregnant? Will Ally McBeal find true love after Robert Downey Jr.? Does anyone in America really want to watch three dramas about the CIA after all this?
Social Security surplus Politicians were trying to figure out how to break into the Social Security lockbox even before the World Trade Center attacks. Looks like they won't need that crowbar after all.