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Archives for: November 2005

MUNI WATCH: When Ignorance Can Be Less Than Bliss
A study co-authored by Rick Green, Richard M. and Margaret S. Cyert Professor of Economics and Management; Chair, Ph.D. Program, indicates that uninformed investors should be careful not to be ripped off: "It's clear that many small investors are getting very good prices and other small investors are just getting terrible prices. But what we see in the market for these new issues is that, because it's not a very transparent market, there is a huge dispersion in prices."

Boost by Fed all but a cinch; Observers eager to get a look at board statement
The long march north for interest rates will almost certainly continue today. The Federal Reserve, which has lifted short-term rates 11 times since the middle of the last year, is expected to make it a dozen today, raising the benchmark rate to 4 percent in its continuing campaign to control inflation. "I think it's about time they started to say that we are coming near the end. I don't think they want to generate expectations that they are going to cause a recession," says Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy.

The state of affairs of 'sorry'
Saying your sorry when you make a professional mistake can do wonders for damage control. Thomas Hajduk, Director, Center for Business Communication; Associate Teaching Professor of Business Management Communication, cites and example: In 2000, Ford Explorers were having problems with their tires, resulting in serious accidents. In 2001, Ford sent senior executives to one victim's bedside to tell her how sorry they were. "It was very well-received, and it should be said that this was not the prevailing advice PR firms were giving a few years ago.''

Fed's rate boost campaign marches on: Board broadly hints more to come
The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday boosted short-term interest rates for the 12th time in a year and a half, discounting any long-term effects on the economy from this season's hurricanes. It was the latest action in the committee's continuing effort to head off inflation by making it more costly to borrow money. "I don't know what they are going to do, but what they should do is go to 4.25 or 4.5 percent. That is kind of a neutral place for the Fed to end," says Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy.

Larry Giammo (profile)
Larry Giammo (MSIA 1992) is running for re-election as Mayor of Rockville, Maryland was briefly profiled and quoted as saying: "Rockville has the potential to become one of the nation's very best places to live and work. To achieve this goal, we must establish a sustainable balance between growth and quality of life.

ARKANSAS NEWS, 11/5/2005
Wal-Mart unveils economic-impact study
Wal-Mart, the worlds largest retailer, has released a study that contradics the accusations of its critics, saying it creates jobs and boosts wages. Vishal Singh, Assistant Professor of Marketing, is more than skeptical: "I think it's a nice, good effort, but some of the analysis is not valid to what they studied...They ignored the competition, but competition has to come into play, in the late 80s and 90s certainly, looking at what Kmart is doing or what Target is doing when making the location decisions."

Forum: Y2Flu
A crisis of epochal proportions is coming, again, this time on wings. Chad Hermann, Lecturer in Business Management Communication finds the hysteria worse than the disease: "It's less a health crisis than an identity crisis."

M.B.A.'s Are No Longer One Size Fits All
With the number of programs proliferating, business schools have been scrambling to woo students - and company recruiters - by trying to distinguish themselves from the rest of the field. The Tepper School now has more industry-specific 'tracks': "You can't manage a group of people who think you don't know anything about their field," says Kenneth B. Dunn, Tepper's dean. "We've had a big increase in the number of new firms coming to recruit at Carnegie Mellon as a result of the tracks."

Entrepreneurial Leadership Forum kicks off with new name, focus Program geared toward CEOs looking to grow companies
A new and improved Entrepreneurial Leadership Forum will cater to the needs of executives attending the Don Jones Center Conference. "The format needed to be revamped and re-energized to engage the challenges that CEOs face in today's environment, which is very different from that of the 1990s," said Arthur Boni, John R. Thorne Chair of Entrepreneurship; Associate Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship; and Deputy Director, Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship.

Power crunch in the desert Phoenix among cities facing pinch
With hot temperatures and more air-conditioned residents than ever, Arizona is an area suffering from low supply and high demand on energy. "I would say in the West over the next few years you've got some substantial problems with having enough electricity available to satisfy the demand," Lester B. Lave, Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics and University Professor; Director, Carnegie Mellon Green Design Initiative; Co-Director, Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center.

Time benders: Study says flextime boosts morale while reducing turnover
Robert Kelley, Adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, touts the advantages of flexible schedules in the workplace, which reduce turover and boost morale, but acknowledges that early attempts to integrate a system caused problems: "In manufacturing work or factories, you can't just pluck somebody out of an assembly line. But as things became increasingly automated, that became more of a moot issue."

Incumbents prevail in city races
Two-term Rockville Maryland mayor Larry Giammo (MSIA 1992) was re-elected, defeating challenger Brigitta Mullican, a seven-year member of the city's Planning Commission.

Upsets of pair are large
Ed Ritter (BS 1969) was elected as treasurer in Robinson Township in Tuesday's election, defeating Democrat Frank Murgia, who had served since 1981.

Fair Isaac appoints Toyoaki Ishikawa MD of Japanese operations
Fair Isaac Corporation, a provider of analytics and decision management technology, has hired Toyoaki Ishikawa (MSIA 1988) to serve as managing director of the company's Japanese operations.

Austin Wedding Planners Sweep Awards
Carnegie Mellon graduate and Entrepreneur M. Hope Williams gained recognition once again for producing the "best weddings in Texas.". Known as the "architect of exemplary events," she runs Michelle Hope Weddings and Launch inc. and is Secretary-elect of the National Assoc. of Catering Executives Austin Chapter.

With United Way push, she aims to move women beyond glass ceiling: Talking With Carol MacPhail
Carol MacPhail (BS 1976), an 30-year executive at Deloitte & Touche who is now leading an initiative of the United Way to involved more women in charitable efforts, says now that women have moved up the corporate ranks, they need to give back in a larger proportion: "There's no dispute women have broken the glass ceiling .... The issue is going from success to significance."

The Wal-Mart factor
Grocery stores big and small are strongly effected by drops in sales when a Wal-Mart moves nearby. "In many cases, local retailers already possess the information they need to be potent competitors [like fequent shopper cards]. The challenge is to figure out how to best use this data to improve performance and compete effectively." says Vishal Singh, Assistant Professor of Marketing.

Affinnova Names Waleed Al-Atraqchi as CEO and President; Seasoned Consumer Packaged Goods and Marketing Services Executive to Lead Company
Waleed Al-Atraqchi (MSIA 1991) has been appointed as chief executive officer and president of Affinnova(R), Inc., which harnesses the principles of genetic evolution to optimize concepts, products and brands for consumer-focused companies

BLOOMBERG.COM, 11/15/2005
For Bernanke, Short Hearing May Spell Long Tenure as Fed Chief
This article argues that of an 8 candidate survey, a short hearing means good news for incoming chairmen of the Federal Reserve Board, but Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, said he wasn't aware of any connection and that 8 was too small of a sample to analyze a trend.

How Bernanke would fine-tune the economy: The Fed nominee has called for inflation targets, but he has also promoted flexibility
Like Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will have the difficult task of balancing rules and flexibility. "Within two months he had a stock market break, which in one day wiped out about one quarter of the value of the stock market," said Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, of Greenspan.

U.S. Trade Deficit Hangs In a Delicate Imbalance
Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is quoted in this article which explains that U.S. imports exceeded exports by $617.6 billion last year. The United States gets cheap capital from Asia because the dollars that Asians earn for their exports often end up invested in the bonds of the U.S. Treasury and mortgage-finance companies. "We get cheap goods in exchange for pieces of paper, which we can print at a great rate," said Meltzer.

Managing - Learning to Be the Boss: Trial and Error Is the Norm As New Managers Figure Out How to Relate to Former Peers
Robert Kelley, Adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, comments on how many first-time managers have a difficult transition into their new responsibilities: "[Companies call it]'on the job' training, but it's really trial by fire. They're very ill-prepared for all the routine things that managers do."

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