Thanks for the Information

Bank of America has released its "1990 Outlook for the United States," a six-page economic forecast of things to come.

For those who didn't realize it already, the report begins: "The year 1990 marks the beginning of a new decade."

Gorby's a Real Doll

Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev has taken his place alongside He-Man, Rambo and G.I. Joe. Thanks to toy designers at Mattel, the Soviet leader is also a doll.

Three Mattel designers gave the doll--complete with wine-colored birthmark--to Soviet toy makers at a "superpower" toy design summit that got under way in the Soviet Union earlier this month. The designers are meeting at a Soviet children's camp on the Black Sea to try out new toy ideas with Soviet kids.

The children won't get a chance to play with the Gorby doll, however. Mattel broke the mold when it made the doll, a spokesman said. "He is one of a kind."

Good Reason to Tout Product

For 15 years, until a couple of years ago, sales of Presto Food Products' Mocha Mix non-dairy liquid creamer grew steadily, largely thanks to a visible advertising campaign in which Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows touted the no-cholesterol product's health benefits. But it wasn't until several years into the promotion that the City of Industry company's chief executive, Bruce Coffey, realized how personal Allen's interest was.

"Steve was milk-allergic," Coffey said. "It's something we found out later on . . . while having lunch with him." Today, Presto estimates that one out of every 10 Americans have some form of allergy to milk or cannot tolerate the lactose in dairy products.

The Allen-Meadows campaign was put out to pasture in favor of ads featuring young, health-conscious people exercising.

Golden State Investors

In case anyone doubts the wisdom of foreign investment in California, Allan Melkesian believes that he has the numbers and historical perspective to set you straight.

Director of foreign investment for the California Department of Commerce, Melkesian says direct foreign investment in California today accounts for 300,000 jobs, almost half of them in manufacturing, and $34.7 billion in plant, property and equipment.

According to Melkesian, outside investment has a long tradition in California dating back to the 1700s and has been crucial to the state's development. "Investments from outside the state have played a major role throughout California's history, including British financing of the railroads that opened California to the east," he said.

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