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Archives for: December 2006

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 12/2/2006
Electricity deregulation under scrutiny
Many states are re-examining their electricity deregulation laws in response to a surge in power costs. Lester Lave, co-director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, says California and Montana have already re-regulated to control rates.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , 12/3/2006
Companies invite customers behind the scenes to cut costs
Providing “behind the scenes” information to customers, such as the online tracking functions offered by package delivery services, changes customer behavior, according to marketing professor Baohong Sun. Such tactics, which can lower costs or drive business, essentially invites the customer to share in the process, Sun says.

The Associated Press, 12/3/2006
Graduates may soon be starting companies with Mideast venture capital
Graduates of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar are expected to start high-tech companies using local venture capital, according to Dean Chuck Thorpe. He says Qatar has the rare combination of a vision to do education right and the resources to do it.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , 12/9/2006
Entrepreneurial forum draws business leaders
A forum led by Chris Allison, former chief executive officer of Tollgrade Corporation, is drawing 19 CEOs to the Tepper School’s Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship on the first Friday morning of every month. Known as the “Entrepreneurial Leadership Forum,” the course is followed by “Entrepreneurship through Mergers and Acquisitions” on the second Friday of each month, led by Tepper School alumnus Chris Cynkar of Swisshelm Park Investors LLC.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/9/2006
Tepper School alums catch the startup bug
Two Tepper School alumni have started new companies as part of the current post-bubble boom. Mike Bauer, MSIA 1993, has founded Callisto, a producer of Web-based advertising software and services, while Ric Castro, MSIA 1994, is a partner in the launch of Mobile Fusion, which makes a specialized sensor device that can be used in military settings.

Bloomberg, 12/11/2006
Bernanke making Federal Reserve ‘more collegial’
Ben Bernanke has created a more collegial environment at the U.S. Federal Reserve in the 10 months since he took over as chairman, says Allan Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy. By contrast, Bernanke’s predecessor, Alan Greenspan, tended to dominate the institutions he led, including the Fed, Meltzer notes.

Wall Street Journal, 12/11/2006
Economy is fundamentally sound, says Nobel Prizewinner
Despite opinions to the contrary, the U.S. economy is fundamentally sound and will probably show 3 percent real growth, says Edward C. Prescott, a former Tepper School faculty member and winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Prescott says there is no need to panic and the economy is less delicate than many believe.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/14/2006
Professor: School tax program ‘deeply flawed’
Tepper Professor of Economics Stephen Spear, a member of the Woodland Hills school board in suburban Pittsburgh, warns that a proposed tax program for the district is “deeply flawed.” Spear says that while a decrease in property taxes will make district housing stock more attractive, an increase in the earned income or personal income tax will make it less affordable.

Reuters, 12/16/2006
Study: Great fund managers stay small
Stellar fund managers tend to lose their edge when their funds get too big, according to a study by Jonathan Berk of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Tepper School’s Richard C. Green, Richard M. and Margaret S. Cyert Professor of Economics and Management, Chair, PhD Program. Their study finds that managers in these situations can’t move in and out of stocks as nimbly and have to pick more companies to buy as their own shareholder base grows.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/17/2006
Combating insincerity in Business Communication classes
The effective communicator knows and respects his or her audience, is clear, open, and honest, and brings fact, data, reason, and rhetoric to language. That’s the mantra of Chad Hermann, a lecturer in business communication at the Tepper School, who says business and the world in general need more people who are willing to speak from their hearts and souls.

Engineer Live, 12/18/2006
Coal gasification plant expected to save consumers billions
A $1.5 billion coal gasification plant in Indiana is projected to save consumers more than $3.7 billion over the next 30 years versus the price of conventional natural gas, according to a study by the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center. The project is expected to produce enough substitute natural gas to supply 15 to 20 percent of that state’s residential and commercial gas demand.

PR Newswire, 12/18/2006
Tepper Professor judges scholarly writing competition
Richard C. Green, the Richard M. and Margaret S. Cyert Professor of Economics and Management and chair of the Tepper School’s PhD program, served as a judge for the 2006 TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award. The award, which recognizes outstanding scholarly writing on lifelong financial security, was won by Mark Aguiar, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester and Erik Hurst, Professor of Economics and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

St. Paul Pioneer Press , 12/20/2006
Strong statements can help defuse a corporate crisis
Companies facing a crisis such as the Taco John’s E. coli contamination are wise to respond swiftly with a strong statement, says Mildred S. Myers, Teaching Professor of Business Management Communication Emeritus. Myers says the model is Johnson & Johnson’s response to the Tylenol scare in 1982, when the company had a massive recall after bottles of the painkiller were poisoned with cyanide.

South China Morning Post, 12/29/2006
Stable inflation rate a better objective for China
China’s domestic policy aims of price stability and job creation are better served by adopting a stable inflation rate as the main objective, argues Marvin Goodfriend, Professor of Economics. In a recent paper by Goodfriend and Eswar Prasad of the International Monetary Fund, the pair argue against using exchange rate stability as the lode star of monetary policy.

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