Einstein Named <I>Time's</I> 'Man of the Century'

Plus, the hijacked Indian Airlines jet is now in Afghanistan, and Standard Chartered takes a stake in ChinFon.
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The day after Christmas.

Also known as "Gloat Day," to appropriate a phrase from the soon-to-be-retired

Charles Schulz.

Albert Einstein

would certainly be doing some gloating today, if he were still alive. The scientist was named

Time's

"Man of the Century," joining (as

Time

puts it, rather cheekily) such past luminaries of this millennium as

Thomas Edison

,

Thomas Jefferson

,

William the Conqueror

and

Genghis Khan

.

As of press time, there was a proposal to send in a negotiating team to speak with the hijackers of the

Indian Airlines

jet that was taken on Christmas Eve and has been held captive the entire weekend. The plane is currently in Afghanistan, where the hijackers are holding about 150 hostages, demanding that India release a jailed Islamic leader. The hijackers have released one passenger in need of medical attention, according to published reports.

Dallas-based

Supreme Beef Processors

voluntarily recalled 180,000 pounds of ground beef on Saturday because of possible contamination with E. coli bacteria. The company recalled the beef after government tests found a sample contaminated by the bacteria. The ground beef was produced on Dec. 20 and distributed in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and New Mexico, the company said.

Standard Chartered

, a U.K.-based bank with two-thirds of its assets in Asia, plans to make a $400 million bid for Taiwan's

ChinFon

banking group, according to London's

Sunday Telegraph

. The bank wants to buy a 75% stake in ChinFon, with an option to increase that to 90%, the newspaper reported Sunday.

Flowserve

(FLS) - Get Report

, which makes pumps, valves and seals for refineries and pipelines, announced Friday it would cut 9% of its work force and take a fourth-quarter charge in a company restructuring. The stock closed at 16 1/16 Thursday.

In the Papers

The New York Times

spreads good cheer by kicking the bears (guys like Leon Levy and James Grant) in the head in its Sunday Business section. Some day, they're going to be right.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's

Barton Biggs, who's been bearish only for the last 18 months or so, says the U.S. stock market will be one of the worst in the next three or four years. In a separate article,

Goldman Sachs'

Abby Joseph Cohen says she's no longer a raging bull because the U.S. market is fairly valued and has been since March.

Barron's

tries its hand at the "

Warren Buffett

is irrelevant"

story, which graces the cover of this week's edition, reporting that

Berkshire Hathaway's

Class A

(BRK.A) - Get Report

stock is off 23% in 1999, primed to achieve it's second-worst annual performance since 1965. Buffett's not a technology freak, so he's missed some opportunities for big gains, while his pet sector, insurance, has been hemorrhaging this year.