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Archives for: January 2005

Reflecting on 2004
Finn Kydland, professor of economics and PhD alumnus, and Edward Prescott, PhD alumnus and former faculty member—co-Nobel Prize winners—are mentioned as one of the top stories of the year in Arizona’s southeast valley. Prescott is the first faculty member from Arizona State University to win a Nobel Prize.

Pittsburghers of the Year
Nobel Prize winners Finn Kydland, University Professor of Economics and PhD alumnus, and Edward Prescott, PhD alumnus and former faculty member, are listed as Pittsburghers of the year under a category called "The Thinkers."

A Beautiful Mind on the Radio
"After the Bell," the university's only business-related radio program hosted by Tepper School undergraduates John Sedunov and Neil Sanyal, featured a conversation with John Nash on Oct. 25. Carnegie Mellon alumnus and 1994 Nobel Prize winner, it was Nash whose life became the basis of the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind.

World Bank's Wolfensohn Expects to Leave This Year
Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is quoted in this article about the possible retirement of current World Bank President James Wolfensohn. Meltzer, who led a congressional committee evaluating the bank’s performance in 2000, said, "The Wolfensohn era is over. I don't think that this way of going about economic development fits with the Bush administration...The bank is a dysfunctional institution, it puts a premium on making loans." Instead, Meltzer said, "there [have] to be incentives for development."

World Bank Resignation
Allan H. Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, names potential replacements—Robert Zoellick, Jack Hennessy, Carla Hills, Randall Tobias and Anne Krueger—for World Bank President James Wolfensohn. Recently, Wolfensohn said that he will not seek reappointment and will leave when his term ends in June.

CIO.COM, 1/4/2005
Believe the Hype, or Be Left Behind
Associate Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship Frank Demmler explores Information Technology in the business world and how automated decision systems are reaching new goals today that were not possible in the past. Reasons behind the changes, according to Demmler, are partly in the work environment: “Everyone involved in the adoption of automated decision systems is much more sophisticated than prior adopters of earlier technologies. This sophistication leads to more realistic expectations.”

Replacing Greenspan
Required by law to step down in January 2006, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is heralded for his contributions to the system. "He is very idiosyncratic," said Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University of Political Economy. "His greatest weakness is at this point, he had a very successful way of running the Fed, but he doesn't leave a method that somebody else can pick up and carry on.”

Colleges check on foreign students
Carnegie Mellon and other Pittsburgh colleges are trying to get in touch with students from the tsunami-affected countries to make sure that they are okay. "We've contacted all the graduate and undergraduate students from that part of the country by e-mail, asking if there's anything we can do," said William Elliott, vice president for enrollment at CMU. "To my knowledge, we haven't had any response."

Speculation heats up over who will head World Bank
"There is a great desire in the [Bush] administration to see improvements in the World Bank in outcomes as opposed to lending, and I don't think Zoellick was seen as the person to do that," said Allan Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy. Robert Zoellick, U.S. trade representative, is now out of the running to be the new president of the World Bank with his expected nomination as deputy to incoming Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The next World Bank president, according to Meltzer, should be "tough but humane" and "should not confuse the idea of giving money with actually accomplishing something."

Biggest Gifts and Pledges Announced by Individuals in 2004
The Tepper School's naming gift was listed 13th among the biggest gifts and pledges announced by individuals in 2004. The listing reads, "$55-million, David Tepper, president of a hedge fund in Chatham, N.J., and his wife, Marlene Tepper, To Carnegie Mellon University's Graduate School of Industrial Administration.”

Herald year in review
"Edward C. Prescott and Finn E. Kydland, a Fox Chapel resident and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, won the 2004 Nobel Prize in economics. More than 30 years ago, Prescott advised Kydland on his doctorate at Carnegie Mellon, forming a partnership that eventually would turn the world of economics on its head," according to a week-by-week review of the year's news from the last six months of 2004.

Heard on Campus - Carnegie Mellon Scholarships
To honor two distinguished scholars and increase its international population, The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University has announced new full-tuition scholarships for French and Spanish MBA applicants for the 2005-06 academic year. The Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber Scholarship will go to an outstanding MBA candidate who is a resident of France to honor Servan-Schreiber, a former professor who was central to the creation of the Carnegie Bosch Institute and a prominent political figure in France. The Angel Jordan Scholarship honors its namesake who is a former professor and provost emeritus of Carnegie Mellon and who received the "Doctor Honoris Causa" from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and the Public University of Navarra. This scholarship is for an outstanding MBA candidate from Spain.

King Coal
The rising cost of oil is prompting people to turn to coal. But with coal in higher demand, its prices are going up too—an unexpected boost for the industry. Walter Industries, a home building company based in Tampa, had been trying to sell its coal mines until this upswing, which led to high profits and stock returns. David Tepper, president of Appaloosa Management, explained, “What's happening with their stock has a lot to do with the coal mining subsidiary. Until the recent increase of coal prices, “many people didn't realize that they were in that business.”

Wireless Internet on Rise
This article references the Carnegie Mellon Center for Appalachian Network Access' project in Glenville, West Virginia to bring internet service to remote areas. “Glenville’s partnership with Carnegie Mellon in building the wireless towers and the establishment of the research zones for wireless access will hopefully lead to Internet availability in remote areas where cables can’t be placed.”

The IMF's immunity to loss is in jeopardy
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) prides itself on the fact that there has never been a default on its books. But as over-borrowed nations become unable or unwilling to honour their promises to pay, a series of contentious restructurings - of which Argentina is only the first - risks putting the IMF's senior status and its balance sheet in jeopardy,” wrote Adam Lerrick, The Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics and director of the Gailliot Center for Public Policy. In this op-ed Lerrick examines Argentina’s debt restructuring and how it affects the future of the private sector and the IMF.

World Bank Job
This article argues that the money the World Bank gives to help poorer countries is not being fairly distributed. The Meltzer Commission—of which Allan Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is a member—is referenced as stating that "loans to these governments are too often wasted, squandered or stolen." The Meltzer Commission recommended that the bank change from loans to performance-based grants.

New Name for Harvard Business Might Cost a Billion
David Tepper’s naming gift is mentioned in this article about how the price of naming business schools is increasing. The Tepper School of Business is noted as one of the “most selective business schools” that is “regularly among the highest-rated by publications that survey the accomplishments and satisfaction of graduates, not to mention the satisfaction of the graduates' employers.”

Film Notes: Behind the curtain
Paul Goodman, Richard M. Cyert Professorship and professor of organizational psychology, will host the premiere of "Escola de Samba" on January 16. This one-hour documentary features Brazil’s annual carnival that 4,000 people work to create. After the screening at 1:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Art Museum theater in Oakland, Goodman will answer questions.

Risk Diary: Pair launches new restaurant with no experience, lots of research
Raji Sankar (MSIA 2000), co-founder of Zyng Asian Grill in Squirrel Hill, is featured with her partner Randhir Sethi in this article. Sankar’s resume is full of business and entrepreneurial ventures, but this is her first dive into the restaurant business. However, Sankar and Sethi point to their research and business experience as contributors to their success.

Why it pays to forgive poor nations' debts
Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is mentioned in this article that discusses forgiving the debt of the poorest countries. “Meltzer headed a 2000 commission on international financial institutions that urged the US to forgive the poorest countries' debts and make grants, not loans, to them in the future.” In response to the tsunami, the United States and other nations are temporarily forgiving the debt of affected countries.

Micro Inks Q3 net up 45% yoy
Pradip N. Khandwalla (PHD 1970, MSIA 1968) has been co-opted as an additional director of Micro Inks Corp, part of the Bilakhia group. Khandwalla will also serve on the Audit Committee of the Board. Micro Inks Corp. has recently renewed its long term purchase agreement with RR Donnelley & Sons Co., USA and added more volumes.

Tepper's Fund Reaps Profit On KKR's Bet
David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management’s investment in Walter Industries Inc. was a golden pick for the firm. The coal and home-building company experienced a jump in the value of its stocks, and Tepper’s firm profited approximately $90 million. "It's been a very fast move," said Tepper. "I was delighted we were able to buy a large block of stock."

REDIFF INDIA, 1/14/2005
Tax sops don't work always: Kydland
Finn Kydland, University Professor of Economics and PhD alumnus, will be the honorary director of the Great Lakes Institute of Management’s research arm in India while he is visiting the country. When asked about the future of the US economy, Kydland said, “I have a student who's compared the US and Japanese deficits and examined this in relationship to the age profile of their populations -- it showed increasing US deficits were to be expected in the 1990s and early 2000s, but it will soon turn around.”

Crude Power
This article compares the theories of Finn Kydland, University Professor of Economics and PhD alumnus, to India's Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar. “Kydland believes that if governments stick to 'time consistency', or stable policy over time, they would stimulate business and the economy.”

Heard Off the Street: CMU study suggests disclosure has its risks
"Disclosure [of conflicts of interest] can have surprising backfire effects, and it shouldn't be considered the panacea it once was," said Daylian Cain, doctoral candidate in organization behavior and lead author of the study, "The Dirt on Coming Clean: Perverse Effects of Disclosing Conflicts of Interest." "The main conclusion in our study is that disclosure left those receiving advice worse off for having been warned." Don More, assistant professor of organizational behavior and theory, and George Loewenstein, professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon's College of Humanities and Social Sciences, were fellow researchers.

TECHYVENT, 1/17/2005
How to Grow a "Cookie Cutter" Business Model: Key Considerations
Frank Demmler, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship, continues his series of articles for TECHYVENT with advice on how to expand an organization by opening more units. Location is a significant factor in this growth strategy. “You may be able to base your first few locations on your ‘gut,’ but ultimately you will have to reduce it to a disciplined, data-based process,” said Demmler.

India can be great economic power: Kydland
India has the potential to be a great economic force, said Finn Kydland, University Professor of Economics and PhD alumnus, on his two-week tour of India. “One would think, that if it is clear, that at the same time as emerging economies have great opportunities, (India should) have a benign, stable and transparent political environment, far into the future. Then they should have as good an opportunity, to attract foreign investment as the US,” said Kydland.

Nobel laureate on B-school board
"Higher education builds on primary level…We should involve students to computational experiments and allow them to compare data using computers for better economic research," said Finn Kydland, University Professor of Economics and PhD alumnus. He will become a co-director on the board of the Great Lakes Institute of Management, a business school in Chennai. In this position Kydland will help with economic research and design curricula for economic research.

Author pushes young entrepreneurs to put social needs above their own
David Borenstein, a businessman dedicated to social responsibility, spoke at Carnegie Mellon, an event co-sponsored by the Tepper School of Business. Borenstein promotes the idea of social entrepreneurship and that business is about more than making money. “In 20 to 30 years, social entrepreneurship will be recognized as the force it is,” he said.

Leading Argentina Bondholders Planning To File Lawsuit
Although the German-based Argentine Bond Restructuring Agency(ABRA) is known for its conciliatory approach toward the Argentine government in negotiations last year, the group still rejected the recent tough offer from the government. As chief negotiator of the ABRA, Adam Lerrick, The Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics, is quoted as saying the ABRA is Argentina's biggest single creditor with complete commitment authority.

Job Market: Flexibility a business perk that works
"Companies increasingly are saying to employees, 'Here's the work that needs to be done, and you know how you work best, so figure out how to do it,’" said Robert Kelley, adjunct professor of organizational behavior and theory. Experts estimate that more than half of all US companies offer the perk flexible schedules. One survey reports that 86 percent of workers cite work/life balance as their number one career priority.

Diana Block (MBA 2001) was promoted to vice president and general manager at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Ms. Block expands her responsibility to all day-to-day business operations for the paper, including sales and marketing and interactive media. Previously, she held the position of vice president, operations.”

Lester Lave, the Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics, University Professor and director of the Carnegie Mellon Green Design Initiative, is interviewed in this segment about the consequences of high oil prices. “The biggest losers, surprisingly, I think is OPEC, because in the two previous times when oil prices have skyrocketed, they've induced recessions around the world, and they've gotten all sorts of oil substitutes to come in, with the result that when the immediate effects were over, prices dropped down below average and OPEC was then worse off for having done that,” said Lave.

Cross Interests in Argentina?
Adam Lerrick, The Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics, plays an important role in Argentina’s debt restructuring. He gives lobbying power to some 30,000 small bondholders who own $1.2 billion in the country’s debt. “Once you accept that all investors will have to take losses in this restructuring, the question becomes one of how those losses are allocated among different creditors and how the restructuring process should move forward,” said Lerrick.

Networks for gay, lesbian, minority and disabled workers help similarly situated employees find support, strength, acceptance and advancement
"My sense is we're starting to recognize the value that diversity can play in the workplace, and I think that's what is leading to the effort to form affinity groups," said Robert Kelley, adjunct professor of organizational behavior and author of "How to Be a Star at Work." Kelley said that groups such as Mellon Financial Corp.’s network for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees are helpful, but they are not the entire answer. "To move into star performance, you can't rely just on affinity networks. You have to find what works for you as a person.”

NEWSDAY and the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/24/2005
Future shoppers will encounter more automation and less human contact, even in real stores
Peter Boatwright, associate professor of marketing, is quoted in this article about how technology is continuing to fill positions that store employees once held, such as self-checkouts. "This technology will never play in jewelry stores, shoe stores," Boatwright said. "But at mass merchandisers or supermarkets, where people don't need as much personal attention, there's a lot of potential."

THE LEHRER NEWS HOUR: The Price of Oil, part two
“As our desire for energy falls, then certainly the amount of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide that's emitted will go down. If we're using less fossil fuels then the amount of air pollution we generate should go down,” said Lester Lave, the Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics, University Professor and co-director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, while talking on “The Lehrer News Hour.” Lave explains his own efforts to conserve energy: “I usually don't turn the lights on in my office because there's quite adequate daylight outside to do everything.”

TECHYVENT, 1/24/2005
Forms and Fallacies of 'Cookie Cutter' Businesses
“Franchising is a business model and strategic decision, not a financing method. This distinction is often missed by the first-time entrepreneur,” said Frank Demmler, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship. However, building a chain of company-owned outlets is less complex and gives the entrepreneur more control. “The offset is that the capital requirements are much greater and growth is likely to be slower,” noted Demmler.

THE TELEGRAPH (GA), 1/25/2005
Hidden Hazards: Plants must report chemical risks, but oversight is weak
Lester Lave, the Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics, University Professor and a member of the advisory committee for the Clean Air Acts of 1970 and 1990, is quoted about the legislation surrounding hazardous chemicals. “If you've got a tank of propane, whether it's to be used for fuel or used as a chemical feedstock, it's dangerous.” said Lave. He also mentioned a flaw in the current system—that storing chemicals separately should not exempt agencies from risk management planning.

THE TELEGRAPH (GA), 1/26/2005
Public often unaware of nearby dangerous chemicals
Lester Lave, the Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics, University Professor and co-director, Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, is quoted about the public’s right to know about dangerous chemicals located near their homes. “If something is so bad that you don't want to tell the public about it, then you better fix it,” said Lave. Current anti-terrorists policies are keeping this information out of the public's eye. "Almost the last people to find out are the people who need to know most, the general public," Lave said. "Terrorists are going to find out the relevant information they want anyway."

Pirates Q&A with Dejan Kovacevic
This article references Michael Trick, The Bosch Professorship and professor of operations research. The Sports Scheduling Group that Trick helped found landed the contract to schedule professional baseball games. This year was the first time since 1981 that the husband-and-wife team from Massachusetts was not chosen for scheduling.

Beverly shares soar on possible $1.53 billion bid
David Tepper is mentioned in this Associated Press article. Tepper’s Appaloosa Management was one of the investment firms that made offers to buy Beverly Enterprises Inc., a nursing home and health care services company. These bids caused the company’s shares to increase by 25 percent.

B-SCHOOL NEWS: How to Bear Those B-School Bills
"Get debt to a manageable level before taking on a student loan," said Bonnie Lack, associate director of financial aid at the Tepper School of Business, about how prospective MBA students should prepare for the financial costs of business school. "Pay off that car and all those credit cards." This article advises B-school candidates on the financial aspects of going back to school from planning to live on a student budget to negotiating with employers to pay back loans.

Study Shows Disclosing Conflicts No Help For Clients
"Sunlight may not be the best disinfectant after all: A new study suggests advisers who come clean about conflicts of interest benefit at the expense of those they advise," begins this article about a recent study conducted at the Tepper School of Business. Daylian Cain, doctoral candidate in organizational behavior; Don Moore, assistant professor of organizational behavior and theory; and George Loewenstein, professor of economics and psychology, co-authored the study, "The Dirt on Coming Clean: Perverse Effects of Disclosing Conflicts of Interest," that was published in the January issue of the "Journal of Legal Studies."

TECHYVENT, 1/31/2005
Roles, Responsibilities Change as Company Grows: Prepare Now for Conflicting Obligations Later
Frank Demmler, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship, continues his series on entrepreneurship for TechyVent. In this article, Demmler addresses how company founders who function in many roles may feel torn between responsibilities. “Quite often the different roles will have different perspectives on the same issues. Not only are you likely to find yourself in legal quandaries on occasion, but also the moral and ethical considerations will be surprisingly complex,” said Demmler.

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