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WHAT WOULD HAPPEN to the economy if women shut their purses and didn't shop for a day? That idea gets a test Oct. 19 when 85 Broads, a Wall Street networking group founded in 1999 and headquartered on Broad Street, asks more than 4,000 members in 450 companies, colleges and business schools not to spend that day. Group founder Janet Hanson told BusinessWeek the "buycott" will show the gap between women's purchasing power "and their underrepresentation in boardrooms and executive suites." Members plan to spread the word to friends and women on college campuses. Government figures show women control $3.3-trillion in yearly consumer spending, or 44 percent of national spending.

HAVING LOST THE BATTLE to Nike to be the main provider of sports shoes, Reebok is aiming to become the shoe brand for fashion-forward urbanites. Business 2.0 said Reebok unveils its marketing strategy this month with a new sneaker brand, Ice Creams, which it hopes influential shoe collectors will like. If the collectors buy them, the thinking goes, "so will skateboarders, then the fashionable city dwellers, and finally, the kids in the suburbs looking for a cool pair to wear for a night on the town."

THERE'S SO MUCH more you can do with your computer than surf the Internet or send e-mail. PC Magazine provides a guide to other capabilities in its Sept. 21 issue, including downloading movies and games, and making phone calls.

SOME PEOPLE are born leaders. Others, Harvard Business Review says, are born followers. "What most analyses seem to ignore is that followers have their own motivations and are as powerfully driven to follow as leaders are to lead," psychoanalyst Michael Maccoby writes. And he says some followers have an irrational tendency to relate to a leader as an important person from the past, such as a parent, a sibling or a close friend.

YABBA DABBA DON'T! Federal banking authorities warn consumers to steer clear of a Web site claiming to be associated with the First National Bank of Bedrock. The bank claims to be based in Bedrock, Colo. But the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency says the institution is as phony as the town of Bedrock in The Flintstones. Officials haven't determined if the bogus bank is a joke or a scam.

_ Compiled from Times wires and Web sites.

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