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Archives for: March 2005

Key Bondholder Accepts Argentina's Debt Swap
As chief negotiator for the Argentine Bond Restructuring Agency (ABRA), Adam Lerrick, the Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics and director of the Gailliot Center for Public Policy, represents Argentina’s single largest creditor. The increased acceptance rate of 70 percent persuaded the ABRA to take the government’s recent offer. Lerrick noted there was less chance that any future government offer to holdouts would be big enough to hurt the bonds accepted by those participating in the swap.

Card Colm: Fitch Four Glory
This column about card tricks goes behind the magic of card tricks to explain the mathematical foundation. Michael Trick, The Bosch Professorship and Professor of Operations Research, is referenced. Trick developed a Web site that mathematically illustrates a card trick the columnist features.

Social Security Crisis: How to fix it -Do Boomers equal doom?
Steven Spear, professor of economics, is quoted in this article about the proposed Social Security reforms. "Basically price indexing will guarantee benefits against erosion of inflation, but it won't let retirees benefit from standard-of-living improvements that the economy will generate (through wage increases)," said Spear. "Clearly, by indexing Social Security to prices, they're not going to have to pay as many benefits out."

There is no better learning
This article features the Tepper School’s International Case Competition. "Case comps today are a big deal," said John Mather, executive director of the MBA programs and teaching professor of marketing. "Often there is no right answer," Mather said. "If the team develops the case strong enough and is able to communicate it, then that is the right answer." Kshitij Basavraj (MBA 2006), a participant in the competition, said, "There is no better learning than this."

CMU: Restructuring Hasn't Delivered Prices
Contrary to the electricity industry’s promises, prices have not decreased with the restructuring of competition. Jay Apt, executive director of the Electricity Industry Center and distinguished service professor of engineering and public policy, came to this conclusion with his research on the price changes. "Apt's bottom line: Consumer welfare has not been improved by restructuring in the electricity industry, and considerable thought should be given to whether it is wise to extend restructuring to other states before the full range of issues have been resolved and reduced prices or reduced rate of price increase have been demonstrated."

Hackers try to get a peek at CMU's admissions decisions
Applicants to the Tepper School were among hundreds of other MBA prospectives who hacked into business schools' systems to try to learn if they were accepted. Although they did not find the answer because Tepper did not make final decisions yet, Carnegie Mellon tracked their electronic "footprints." "Our dean has made it pretty clear that if any of our applicants tried to hack into the system, we would not admit them," said Mike Laffin, director of public relations at the Tepper School. "The school thinks it's a pretty serious indiscretion."

Top experts to attend Carnegie Mellon meet – Qatar
Carnegie Mellon University Qatar is hosting a leadership symposium in celebration of its inauguration. Several Pittsburgh faculty members spoke at the session titled, “Managing in a Global Market.” The panel of experts included R. Ravi, professor of operations research and computer science and director of the Center for Analytical Research in Technology (CART); Lester Lave, the Harry B and James H Higgins Professor of Economics and director of the Green Design Institute; Sunder Kekre, professor of operations management and manufacturing and director of the Center for E-Business Innovation; and Duane Seppi, professor of financial economics.

Qatar: Leadership symposium to be held
A leadership symposium will take place on March 9 at Carnegie Mellon University Qatar. The event will bring together a panel of Carnegie Mellon and Qatar experts in computer science and in business management. All world leaders in their field, the panel members will share their research and insights.

HBS To Reject Snooping Hopefuls
The Tepper School is mentioned as one of the business schools that prospective students attempted to hack into to determine their acceptance status. "If any of our applicants did get into this system we would not admit them to this MBA program," said Mike Laffin, director of public relations. "We're trying to determine what happened." Harvard Business School announced the same plan to decline those applicants who followed this illegal tip.

Expert: Applicants don't deserve rejection
The Tepper School is mentioned for its decision to deny admissions to the hackers who illegally tried to check their information. Many prospective students followed instructions posted on a BusinessWeek Online forum to preview their admissions status. Several other business schools have decided to do the same and not accept the MBA applicants who hacked into the system.

B-SCHOOL NEWS: An Ethics Lesson for MBA Wannabes
When the Tepper School is verifies that two prospective students hacked into the school’s system, it will deny admissions on ethical grounds. As with several of the other business schools, Tepper does not post admissions decisions until they are complete, so these students did not find their answers. Many people applaud business schools for taking a stand and making ethics a priority.

Boeing Exit Shows Appearances Still Count
To keep a professional image for the public, most companies have policies prohibiting supervisors and subordinates from dating. "Whether it's enforced is always a question," said Dale Hershey, associate teaching professor of law. Hershey continued to note how companies are hesitant to make polices about employees’ personal lives.

Harvard Rejects Those Who Saw Admissions: Business School Applicants Who Got Secret Admissions Information Get an Ethics Lesson
The Tepper School of Business was the first school to not accept the hackers who tried to view their admissions status. Harvard and MIT have made the same decision. Many business schools are calling the actions unethical, while some of the hackers use the defense that they used their own passwords to access the information.

REUTERS, 3/11/2005
Argentina to Unhappy Bondholders: So Sue
The Argentine government recently made a deal with a large portion of its creditors; however, a small group of investors is still trying to secure a better deal. "The high acceptance rate eliminates any incentive for Argentina to make a higher offer. Most of the remaining bondholders were hoping for a low acceptance level," said Adam Lerrick, The Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics and director of the Gailliot Center for Public Policy. "That was the game in place but the holdouts lost."

Business School Rejection Unfair to Hackers?
"The students were accessing information that they did not have permission to see, and we consider that an ethical breach,” said Mike Laffin, director of public relations, about the prospective students who hacked into the school’s system to view their admission status. Dean Ken Dunn is mentioned since the Tepper School was the first business school involved to take this stance.

Marketing to Baby Boomers seems like a no-brainer
This article explores the new companies targeting people from the Baby Boomer generation, a group with enormous spending power. PharmaAbby, designed by students at Carnegie Mellon's graduate school of business, is a computer telephone system that reminds customers to refill prescriptions. Pharmaceutical companies lose millions of dollars when people forget to refill their prescriptions.

People in Business
This announcement reports that alumnus Keith R. Marchiando (MSIA 1990) has been named Chief Financial Officer with DURA Automotive Systems in Michigan. Marchiando previously served as DURA's vice president and corporate controller. He has a master's degree from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor's degree from Lehigh University.

Duke rejects student who hacked into school records
The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University joined Carnegie Mellon, Harvard and MIT to bar MBA applicants who tried to access their admission status early with instructions from a hacker. Stanford and Dartmouth are still deciding on a plan of action for these prospective students. Tepper was the first business school to announce its course of action to deny acceptance to two applicants who broke into the school’s data.

CIO.COM, 3/15/2005
The Communication Connection
“I believe that we are on the cusp of fundamental changes in how companies communicate,” wrote Frank Demmler, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship, in this article about communication and businesses. Demmler envisions managers as the leaders for the communication shifts. “Communications will increasingly be viewed as a strategic asset. You, the CIO, are in the best position to see the ‘big picture’ and integrate the possibilities to your company's benefit.”

Argentina Cuts Debt
Adam Lerrick, The Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics and director of The Gailliot Center for Public Policy, commented that Argentina’s debt restructuring proves the IMF does not need to step in to solve debt crises. Although U.S. investors were hurt by the settlement, retail investors from Europe were impacted more directly. “There is a big difference in a U.S. hedge fund complaining about things not being fair and a retail investor in Europe doing the same,” said Lerrick.

The Private Sector: Deficit doldrums Beneficiaries of tax policies shouldn't begrudge the taxes they pay
“Next year's projected federal budget deficit weighs in at over $450 billion. The Bush administration has proposed some $15 billion in cuts to various federal programs as a way of beginning to deal with the deficit, but most observers expect that once Congress gets finished with the budget, most of these cuts will have been restored under political pressure from affected constituencies,” begins this op-ed by Stephen E. Spear, professor of economics. Spear argues that older, wealthy Americans should not be given tax cuts because it is their turn to repay the system for the benefits they used when they were younger.

Giants seek fantasy guru -- for real Contest winner to work for Sabean
This article explores how the winner of this year’s fantasy football league will be offered a job with the San Francisco Giants. Keith Law (MSIA 1999) is mentioned in this article for how his background in baseball led to his current position as assistant general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.

MARKETWATCH, 3/15/2005
Disney keeps rising after CEO named
Dale Hershey, associate teaching professor of law, is quoted in this article about Disney’s move to replace longtime chief executive, Michael Eisner, with Robert Iger. Gold and Roy Disney disagree with the decision and might ask for a special meeting with shareholders. "They would have to show that the board acted in violation of its fiduciary duties," Hershey said, casting doubt that the duo can prevent this change.

The strong economic recovery deserves more respect
In this letter to the editor, Tepper MBA candidate John Griffith (MBA 2005) addresses the nation’s economic recovery and dispels the public belief that the economy is still fragile. "An economic recovery has been under way for many months," writes Griffith. "Unfortunately, as The Wall Street Journal noted, it has been the ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ recovery. It can't get any respect."

Activists decry Wolfowitz choice, analysts divided
Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, approves the controversial nomination of Paul Wolfowitz, who is known as the architect of the Iraq war, as president of the World Bank. "The bank is a very dysfunctional organization," Meltzer noted. "He will have a clear vision of where he wants to go with the bank and that's what the bank needs very badly."

Wolfowitz Nominated to Be Next World Bank President
Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is quoted about Paul D. Wolfowitz, the U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary and an architect of the Iraq War, who is President Bush's candidate to head the World Bank. "He's a strong-minded man," said Meltzer. "Wolfowitz is the kind of person who is likely to look to have a focus."

BBC NEWS, 3/17/2005
Dismay at Wolfowitz's nomination
Many international leaders are unenthusiastic about the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary, to head the World Bank. Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, however, endorses Wolfowitz: "What the bank needs is focus: how many children are inoculated against measles every year? What have we done to bring water to the villages?"

Regime Change at the World Bank
"President Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to lead the World Bank is an inspired choice," writes Allan H. Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, in this article. "It suggests that the president's commitment to spreading democracy is not merely rhetorical." Meltzer believes that the World Bank should stop lending money to countries that achieve little.

TECHVENT, 3/21/2005
Misunderstanding Dilution Can Lead to Huge Mistakes
"Dilution has several meanings in deal making," wrote Frank Demmler, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship, in his advice to new entrepreneurs. "It is critical to understand the context. An investor is most concerned about the value of his investment. If a proposed transaction will reduce the value of his investment, he will seek anti-dilution protection."

THE REGISTER (UK), 3/22/2005
Business school ‘hack’ raises ethical questions
This article discusses the recent security breach by prospective students into top business schools’ admissions results. The Tepper School of Business decided to bar acceptance to the two applicants who tried to view their admissions status on grounds of ethics. Ethics courses as part of the mandatory curriculum at business schools are mentioned, including the Tepper School’s course, Business Law and Ethics.

LIVE EVENT: Financial Aid Advice
Bonnie Lack, associate director of financial aid, will participate in a live online chat to give advice about financial aid at business schools on Thursday, April 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST. Lack has more than 14 years of experience in retail consumer banking.

Really Helping the Poor Would be a Welcome Change
The Meltzer Commission, headed by Allan Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is quoted in this article. Five years ago the Commission released findings that many of the World Bank projects could be funded by loans from private banks. Their recommendation was that loans be replaced by direct grants to the poorest countries depending on the achievement of measurable results.

Midweek Briefing
"Esteemed Carnegie Mellon University public policy professor Allan Meltzer has given his very respected stamp of approval to President Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank," begins this brief that quotes Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy. Meltzer acclaims Mr. Wolfowitz's "rare ability to introduce new approaches and make them work."

Mike Lucas: Hodge, Wolfpack 'Don't Ever Give Up'
Herb Sendek (BS 1985), coach of the North Carolina State basketball team, is mentioned in this article. Contenders in the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina’s next game is scheduled for Friday, March 25. "I was fortunate to make two trips to the Final Four with coach Pitino," Sendek said Tuesday. "And our approach is very similar: We do what we do."

Micrel, Inc. Announces Nomination of Dr. David J. Conrath for Election to Board of Directors
David Conrath (MSIA 1961) will serve on the Audit, Nominating/ Corporate Governance and Compensation committees of the Board of Directions for Micrel Inc., is a leading global manufacturer of IC solutions for the worldwide analog, Ethernet and high bandwidth markets. Conrath is the Dean of the College of Business at San Jose State University. He has held permanent positions at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo (Canada).

If I Only Had a Hedge Fund
David Tepper is mentioned in this article as the No. 2 hedge-fund earner. In the last 15 years hedge funds have increased from $40 billion to $1 trillion. Hedge fund managers have become the "financial industry's new elite abound."

Divide grows on treatment of students in online breach
Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business was one of several top schools that decided not to accept applicants who tried to view their admissions status from a hacker’s tips. This article explores the debate about whether these acts were ethical violations or human curiosity. The Tepper School was the first to announce its decision.

TECHYVENT, 3/28/2005
Anti-Dilution Protection for Investor Can be Hard on Owner
This article by Frank Demmler, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship, examines the two common types of anti-dilution protection: full ratchet and weighted average. "An investor in any given round of financing is concerned that the next round could be at a lower price per share than what he is paying this round. Therefore, the investor will insist upon anti-dilution protection," Demmler explains. "Full ratchet anti-dilution protection is very friendly to the investor and is very harsh to the founder."

B-SCHOOL NEWS: Going Pro After Leaving the Pros
Harvard and Wharton developed a new business program designed to help retiring NFL players kick off new careers in business. Malcolm Johnson (MBA 2006) and Mark Fischer (MBA 2005), both former NFL players who are pursuing MBAs at the Tepper School, are mentioned in this article. Fisher and Johnson journal for BusinessWeek Online about their experiences at business school.

Solving the schedule problem
Mike Trick, The Bosch Professorship, professor of operations research and president of the Carnegie Bosch Institute for Applied Studies in International Management, is mentioned in this article. As part of the Sports Scheduling Group of Pittsburgh, Trick was a member of the team that won this year’s contract to schedule professional baseball games. Usurping the husband and wife team who held the contract for 24 years, the Sports Scheduling Group used mathematical formulas to set dates for the thirty national teams and each of their 162 games.

B-SCHOOL NEWS: The MBA Youth Movement
B-Schools are trying to encourage undergraduates to move directly into MBA programs for a more diverse student body. Joshua Gerlick (MBA 2004, BS 2003) is mentioned as a student who paved the way for the five-year undergraduate to MBA program at Carnegie Mellon. Gerlick now heads EADevices, a biomedical-device outfit in Pittsburgh. "I feel that by getting my MBA degree now, I am already ahead of the game," said Hoa Khuu, a first-year MBA student at Tepper who is now in the program.

Monroeville's ethics board seen more as passive deterrent than as active regulator
This article debates the effectiveness Monroeville's ethics board. The board is called upon when someone files a signed complaint with the municipal manager, which has not happened since 1996. Dormant for many years, the three-person board has recently been filled. Joseph Wightkin (MBA 2002) was appointed to the board last year. Wightkin is director of facilities for Upper St. Clair School District. "[The board] is an assurance that there is a method for governing correctly," Wightkin said. "It is used very infrequently, but I think that is a good thing because people know it's out there."

MORNING EDITION: Mission and Future of the World Bank
Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, was interviewed for NPR about the new World Bank president. “The bank should not be lending money to China. China can get all the money it wants in the capital markets… The bank should take the money that it's lending in China or lending in India, and it should take that money to lend in the poorest countries. It should make its special responsibility lifting the poorest countries out of poverty.

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