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For copies of articles in their entirety, please contact Barbara Donehue at 412-268-9885.

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Archives for: October 2006

China Economic Review, 10/1/2006
Lerrick: Holding ratings agencies ‘a bit of a stretch’
A tactic that seeks to hold ratings agencies accountable for unpaid 90-year-old Chinese bonds is ‘a bit of a stretch,’ according to Adam Lerrick, The Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics. Lerrick, a former investment banker who worked on the restructuring of bonds issued by Argentina in the 1990s that went into default in 2001, says the agencies are not parties to the bond contracts.

The Bloomberg Report, 10/12/2006
Reduce dependency on foreign oil? Possible, yes – but the question is how
Reducing the United States’ dependency on Middle Eastern oil 75 percent by the year 2025 is “perfectly feasible,” according to Lester Lave, Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics and University Professor. However, Lave says simply offering subsidies won’t make that happen, and one step toward a real solution is the stabilization of gas prices at a high enough level to drive alternative fuel development.

Dow Jones Newswire, 10/19/2006
Sarbanes-Oxley could stand improvement, but has value
A requirement under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for public companies to review internal controls over financial reports each year is costly to large companies and could crush smaller ones, critics say. That’s one way the package of corporate accounting reforms could be improved, according to Chester Spatt, Mellon Bank Professor of Finance and chief economist at the Securities and Exchange Commission, though he adds the act has been valuable in other areas.

Pittsburgh Business Times, 10/20/2006
Companies should spend more face time with shareholders
More companies should borrow a page from the H.J. Heinz Co. and hit the road to meet with shareholders in person, says Robert M. Dammon, professor of financial economics. Though unusual, the strategy of face-to-face meetings is effective because it allows for more substantive discussions than conference calls, he says.

Wall Street Journal, 10/23/2006
Team-building tasks should be meaningful to be effective
Group activities for employees are more effective team-building skills if they relate directly to the workplace culture, says Robert Kelley, adjunct professor of organizational behavior and theory. Off-task activities such as outdoor quests and foosball games can backfire if they raise false expectations of workplace change, he notes.

BusinessWeek, 10/23/2006
Well-rounded B-school graduates a priority
Professional skills in business school students should not come at the expense of a well-rounded education, says Milton Cofield, executive director for undergraduate business administration. The message that a choice of major influences the rest of a student’s life places a lot of pressure on applicants and encourages professionalization of the degree, Cofield says – something that’s not necessarily a positive trend.

BusinessWeek, 10/23/2006
Disclosure can prompt exaggeration, while giving few benefits
Though advisers sometimes hedge their bets by disclosing conflicts of interest, the practice may actually add up to a case of too much information, says Don A. Moore, Carnegie Bosch faculty development chair and associate professor of organizational behavior. Often those who receive the advice don’t place much importance on the disclosures because they’re unprepared to make use of the information, he says.

Christian Science Monitor, 10/30/2006
Economist: President’s chances of shaking up Social Security are slim
The outcome of next week’s congressional elections will be a key factor in determining whether President Bush succeeds in his big to partly privatize Social Security, says Stephen Spear, professor of economics at the Tepper School of Business. Because the proposal is so unpopular, Bush is likely to face the same political firestorm he did in 2005, and the proposal’s future will be influenced by whether Republicans retain control of both houses of Congress, Spear says.

BusinessWeek, 10/30/2006
Tepper bucks trend, abandons “trading room” in favor of laptops
Stock market trading rooms may be in vogue on many campuses, but the Tepper School of Business is bucking the trend that began nearly 10 years ago. Though Tepper was one of the first schools to open a trading room, the space was deemed unnecessary and dismantled once the school began requiring all students to own a laptop, which provides the same access to financial information.

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