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Unwanted Import

April 25, 1994|JAMES BATES

Japan may be going through rough times lately with its political and economic turmoil, but there is some favorable news on the horizon.

Word has it that Tokyo will be spared in the TriStar Pictures "Godzilla" remake now being developed at the Culver City-based studio.

Instead, the script now being written calls for two U.S. cities--San Francisco and New York--to suffer from the prehistoric lizard's rampages. Back in 1956, Tokyo was nearly destroyed in the original "Godzilla--King of the Monsters."

Did the fact that TriStar parent Sony Corp. is based in Tokyo have anything to do with it?

Sources familiar with the remake say no. Rather, they say, the film from the start has always been envisioned as an American Godzilla.

Long Way From Amway

There has been a lot of hype over "multilevel" marketing, a sales approach that relies on word of mouth and distribution by individuals to sell products ranging from cleaners to, in many cases, strange health and cosmetic products.

Now comes a "definitive guide" to multilevel marketing firms and products published by the Summit Group in Fort Worth. Among the products listed is a "Super Blue Green Algae" that is "harvested from the pristine Upper Klamath Lake in the Cascade mountains of south central Oregon."

An herbal food company in Torrance sells products to "maintain the natural synergistic balance" of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, endocrine and immune systems.

Then there is a Utah company selling straws to help people stop smoking, find quick energy and lose weight.

Fine Tuning Needed

Under the category of words coming back to haunt you. . . .

Last week, Kidder, Peabody & Co. announced it had fired the head of its government bond trading unit for "phantom" trades that boosted profits by $350 million. It also fired an interest-rate swaps trader for hiding losses.

A look back at Kidder's 1990 annual report reveals a statement from Chairman Michael A. Carpenter assuring investors that systems were being put in place to prevent ethical lapses at Kidder.

"We have responded to the public's concerns about the securities industry with what we believe is the industry's most far-reaching program of training, monitoring and controls to ensure ethical management of our business," he said.

New Age Bazaar

For anyone who missed the recent "Whole Life Expo" at the Los Angeles Convention Center, here were a few of the entrepreneurial activities highlighted:

* A business offering "intuitive counseling phone lines" as an alternative to psychic hot lines that has the effect of "empowering you to take the next step in your growth."

* A presentation on "UFOs: Earth's Cosmic Watergate."

* A Taos, N.M., company that sells "straw bale" housing.

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