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Archives for: May 2005

Obituary: Leslie Salminen / Mathematician, thoroughbred racing fan
Leslie Salminen (BS 1978 MSIA 1979), 48, died Monday at Mon Valley Hospital after a three-year battle with breast cancer. Salminen’s obituary mentions her love of travel, animals and thoroughbred racing. “A mathematician and computer whiz with bachelor's and master's degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Salminen loved to handicap the races; her colleagues at U.S. Steel Corp. loved her results, her brother said.”

Energy's Impact: For appliance manufacturers, incorporating efficiency is a challenge for yesterday, today and tomorrow
Lester Lave, the Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics, University Professor and co-director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, explains how cheap electricity in the early 1970s kept people from worrying about the efficiency of their washing machines and refrigerators. However, after the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo, the nation focused on the importance of energy by placing stricter standards on appliance makers. This trend of energy efficiency continues today in the appliance industry, as manufacturers innovate products with energy-saving technology.

TRACKING THE NUMBERS: Street Sleuth Pennsylvania Deals Weigh On MBIA
MBIA Inc., a bond insurer, is suspected of promising to protect one of the reinsurers from losses on future business in return for covering MBIA's $170 million exposure to the Allegheny Health, Education, and Research Foundation. Rick Green, Richard M. and Margaret S. Cyert Professor of Economics and Management; noted how advance refunds benefit creditors, not issuers. The issuer must borrow more money to buy enough Treasurys to fund the payments it owes.

Why companies should consider using portable tools
Sandra Slaughter, associate professor in information systems, is quoted about Java, the leading cross-platform tool, and its usability. "Java is probably a more general purpose-type of a programming language,” said Slaughter. "REALbasic, I looked it up, and it's like, 'This is just a different version of Visual Basic.' In fact, one of its main advantages is that it is Visual Basic compatible. REALbasic is apparently the modern object-oriented version of that, but it's more oriented toward an end-user programming environment...Java would be more for your regular programmer."

Students reaching out to tsunami victims
Sridhar Tayur, Ford Distinguished Research Chair and professor of operations management and manufacturing, is mentioned as a donor to relief efforts for the tsunami victims in India. Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, a native of India who left in childhood and who is working as a coordinator of student activities at Carnegie Mellon University, traveled to India to help with relief efforts. She raised nearly $13,000.

Study: Reg FD could have unintended consequences
Jonathan Glover, professor of accounting who is on a leave of absence with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee, is mentioned in this article as one of four co-authors of a study about Regulation Fair Disclosure, a 2000 standard prohibiting companies from selectively releasing information to favored analysts. “Moreover, analyst herding concerns may lead even upright firms to do away with voluntary disclosures altogether," the professors wrote in their study.

Sara Lee Changes include Reduction of Jobs
“It is clear that further consolidation across Sara Lee Branded Apparel will better leverage talent and expertise across brands and business functions, making us an even stronger competitor,” said Richard Noll (MSIA 1985). As chief operating officer of Sara Lee Branded Apparel, Noll reported that a two-month analysis of Sara Lee’s long-term plans to drive brand strategies guided the company's decision to cut back on ceratin departments. Noll noted that the company is moving forward with plans to open a new, consolidated campus.

Dielectric will move to larger building, add 150 jobs
Todd Kadar (MSIA 1980 BS 1979) is chief executive officer of electric Solutions LLC, an East Butler-based company that is expanding to Kittanning. Approximately 150 new jobs are expected to be generated. "The introduction of several new products, growth from existing and new customers, and opportunities we have in our pipeline have all combined to prompt us to search for a new facility," said Kadar.

REUTERS.COM, 5/5/2005
Fed economist Goodfriend to join Carnegie-Mellon
Marvin Goodfriend, one of the Federal Reserve's top monetary economists, is joining Carnegie Mellon University to run its Gailliot Center for Public Policy . "He's very good and that's why we want him," said Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy. Goodfriend will also teach as an economics professor upon his arrival to campus in August.

Coal Stocks Stay Hot Thanks To Steel Markets, Power Plant
The world-wide demand for U.S. coal is up, and stocks in the nation’s leading coal companies have nearly doubled in the last two years. "These contracted prices are just fabulously up over the old prices," said David Tepper, president of Appaloosa Management. Tepper who owns shares in Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Inc., Consol and Massey, noted that stocks could continue to double.

Why Can't Colleges Hold On to Their Data?
One of several schools to experience computer security problems, the Tepper School of Business is mentioned in a chart associated with this article. In recent months hackers have broken into servers at California State University at Chico, Northwestern University, Tufts University and the University of California at San Francisco. In response, schools are implementing tougher policies to protect security.

B-SCHOOL NEWS B-School Deans: Back to Basics
Mahendra R. Gupta (MSIA 1981), dean of the Olin School of Business, effective July 1, is featured in this article. A native of India, Gupta has a more academic background than a corporate one, a trend for many new deans at business schools. Gupta’s expertise is in accounting, and his research focuses on the economics of health care.

Business schools get a bad rap
"The big eaters of MBA talent have regained their hiring appetite," said Ken Keeley, executive director of the Career Opportunities Center. All indications suggest that this year’s MBA students can look forward to more career offers than in the last few years. Many business schools are reporting that along with increased job offers, salaries are also up.

Rumbling to power, China flexes its economic muscle
Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is quoted in this article about the relationship between China and Japan. "China and Japan have not been friends for centuries," Meltzer. "And each regards itself as the premier power in Asia." Meltzer continued, "Few people doubt that over time, China will be the dominant economy in that region of the world. The Chinese economy is growing much more rapidly than Japan, and eventually will surpass Japan."

TODAY (SINGAPORE), 5/10/2005
I-deal for employees: More companies offering 'idiosyncratic' contracts
Denise Rousseau; H. J. Heinz II Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy, H. J. Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Tepper School of Business; noted the trend of idiosyncratic deals, contracts in which an employee bargains for specific employment terms in areas such as advancement and job content, in Singapore. These contracts are beginning to dominate the workplace. “It shapes the quality of the relationship people think they have with their employer,” said Rousseau in a lecture. “It can make employees feel more committed and more valued.”

Cisco Proposes Security to Determine Market Price for Options
Chester Spatt, Mellon Bank Professor of Finance and director of the Center for Financial Markets, is mentioned in this article. Cisco Systems Inc. failed to stop a rule forcing companies to expense employee stock options. Now the company is seeking regulatory approval to sell a new derivative to ease their losses. Spatt, who is on assignment as the chief economist at the Securities and Exchange Commission, is studying the new security to decide whether to recommend it.

Cheney, Greenspan's `Friend,' Key Player in Fed Chair Choice
R. Glenn Hubbard is one of the men who is speculated to have a good chance of becoming the next Federal Reserve chairman when Alan Greenspan steps down in January. "He is a very good economist, and Bush likes him," said Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy. Hubbard is currently the dean of Columbia’s business school and was central to Bush’s dividend-tax cuts.

CEOs aren't overpaid, they are wrong paid
"As investors and employees, we depend on a company's management to make decisions that advance our interests. But the fact of the matter is that current compensation practices often undermine CEO effectiveness and harm both a firm's stockholders and workers," writes Denise M. Rousseau, H. J. Heinz II Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy in this op-ed. "Typically, executive pay encourages (and rewards) short-term thinking and self-serving behavior, fails to serve both investors and employees, and probably isn't what most CEOs themselves set out to accomplish." Rousseau argues that executive compensation should be fair: "Executives should certainly be paid well, as long as their companies do well, too."

CMU students craft blueprint for grocery in the Hill District
A team of eight Carnegie Mellon University students won the JP Morgan Chase Community Development Competition for a plan to bring a grocery store back to Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The $25,000 prize will go to the Hill House, a non-profit social services agency in the community, to pursue the creation of the store. Developers have said that a grocery store is needed to revive the neighborhood. Graduating MBA students, Rob Wilson and Ryan Will, and Nick Ennis, a graduating ecominics student, represented the Tepper School on the interdisciplinary team.

This Is Not Your Father's MBA: Rensselaer's Lally School is overhauling the B-school syllabus.
Top business schools are remodeling curriculums. This article mentions some of the changes: “Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, for one, has reduced its number of core courses so students can focus more on integrated electives like Internet marketing and investment analysis.” Dean Kenneth B. Dunn noted that these shifts have helped to attract recruiters.

A world better off with Wolfowitz at bank helm
Allan Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is quoted in this op-ed about Paul Wolfowitz’s upcoming term as president of the World Bank. According to Meltzer, President Bush’s nomination of Wolfowtiz "recognizes that democracy involves more than the ballot box. Institutional reforms that encourage development of markets, the rule of law, protection of human and property rights, and openness to trade - all these sustain democracy by giving people opportunity, hope, and higher living standards."

BLOOMBERG, 5/19/2005
World Bank Fails to Reduce Poverty in Poorest Nations
This article argues that the World Bank has failed to reduce poverty in the world’s poorest countries. “In the World Bank's defense, even an outspoken critic of the bank can recognize that many things beyond its control determine poverty and growth in poor countries,” said Adam Lerrick, The Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics. “However, no one outside the bank, and few people inside, know how effective the bank is.”

CFO.COM, 5/19/2005
Qualcomm Endorses Options Derivative
Cisco Systems Inc. wants to create a market value for employee stock options, a proposal that could minimize the loss of earnings when those options must be expensed. As chief economist at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Chester Spatt, the Mellon Bank Professor of Finance, is researching the new security. Dell Inc. and other companies are also interested and will be watching for results.

IGNITES.COM, 5/19/2005
Theory May Help Solve Fiduciary Conflicts
This article is a report on a talk that Chester Spatt, the Mellon Bank Professor of Finance, gave as chief economist at the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC): “In a recent address, chief economist and director of the SEC's Office of Economic Analysis Chester Spatt said that some conflicts arise as an outgrowth of financial service firms' relationship with shareholders.” Spatt continued to explain that the relationship is covered in the Principal-Agent Framework or PAF.

BLOOMBERG TV, 5/19/2005
Interview by Mike McKee
Adam Lerrick, The Friends of Allan H. Meltzer Chair in Economics and director of the Gailliot Center for Public Policy, was interviewed by Mike McKee on Bloomberg TV about the World Bank and its effectiveness. When asked about a recent study on the bank, Lerrick explained: “The study clearly shows that the World Bank’s shift to emphasis on growth and infrastructure and measurable results for helping the poor to a more nebulous and vague criteria of social development and poverty reduction has reduced the World Bank’s effectiveness.”

Resident group suggests increase in Baldwin-Whitehall school taxes
Thomas Hajduk, director, Center for Business Communication and associate teaching professor of management communication, is quoted in this article for his involvement with the resident group that asked for school tax increases. “We ask that you consider raising taxes by 1 mill to meet the 2005-2006 budget instead of using the reserve fund,” said Hajduk at the meeting. “If the fund balance is too low, it affects our bond rating,” he explained.

Member's Early Departure Adds to Fed Turnover
Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, is quoted in this article about the early retirement of Federal Reserve Board member Edward M. Gramlich. Meltzer who wrote “The History of the Federal Reserve,” noted that the current high number of changes among officials is “large, but it's happened before,” particularly in the economically turbulent 1970s.

Chance of 100% Debt Cancellation for Third World Borrowers
This article about debt cancellation for poor countries mentions Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy: “A notable bloc of conservatives, led by economist Allan Meltzer, also defended the economic soundness of debt cancellation, arguing that a scaled-back World Bank should extract itself from the hopeless cycle of debt re-loaning and refinancing. Meltzer's position has been influential within the Bush administration.”

Bits & Bytes
Alumna Valerie Pajak Glyptis (MBA 2003) is mentioned in this note. Glyptis is a co-founder of StageMark Inc., the former ImmunoSite. “She is working with Bernard Cambou, Birchmere Venture's former biotech guy and StageMark's chief executive. StageMark is developing technology for managing the diagnoses of lupus and later, other auto-immune diseases.”

TECHYVENT.COM, 5/23/2005
A Postscript to Anti-Dillution Protection: For Owner, It Still Isn't Pretty
Frank Demmler, asssociate teaching professor of entrepreneurship, explores the complexity of stock options in this column. Demmler picks up from his last column in which he explained owners prefer weighted average anti-dilution protection to full ratchet. “Avoid any deal that has a non-diluted fixed percentage of the equity,” writes Demmler. “If that's unavoidable, at least negotiate for conditions under which that restriction goes away.”

CIO.COM, 5/23/2005
The CIO & VC Symbiotic Possibilities
Making a list of venture capitalists to form relationships with is a good way to fund your business, according to Frank Demmler, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship. Among Demmler’s advice is to find companies that address issues that are important to you, then look for where their venture capital funding came from. Also, Demmler suggests that you discover the behind-the-scenes relationships: “Which partners of those venture capital companies sit on the boards of the relevant companies? Review the biographies of these partners. Where are the common points of intersection? Education? Companies?”

PharmaStrat Adds New Staff to Meet Expanding Client Needs
Alumnus Dave Gustafson (MSIA 1989) joined PharmaStrat, Inc., a provider of comprehensive market research services, as vice president of market research. Noted as an “industry veteran,” Gustafson will be responsible for client management, study design, development of survey instruments, conduct of interviews, and final report preparation, analysis and delivery.

After years of decline, MBA enrollment figures could rise again
John Mather, executive director, MBA programs, and teaching professor of marketing, is quoted in this article about MBA enrollment at the Tepper School of Business. “Our experience is that demand for MBA is cyclical,” said Mather. “When the economy took a downturn in 2001, there was a large uptick in demand for an MBA as professionals were displaced from jobs.” Although the business school decreased the number of the students in the incoming class, Mather reports that with increasing job opportunities for MBA graduates, the school expects the demand for MBAs to increase again.

CMU to split venture competition into separate business categories
“In 2006 we plan to enhance the McGinnis Venture Competition by running two tracks—one for technology companies and one for biomedical companies,” said Art Boni, John R. Thorne of Entrepreneurship, associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship and deputy director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship. This separation will allow more focused feedback from judges and tailored incentive packages for winners. An annual competition the school began in 2004, the McGinnis Venture Competition attracts MBA students from top business schools to compete to win seed money for their businesses and to advance to MOOT Corp., known as the “Super Bowl” of business plan competitions.

THE TIMES (UK), 5/27/2005
How the high five made it
Distinguished alumnus David Tepper is mentioned as one of the top five hedge fund earners from 2004. Tepper founded Appaloosa Management after working at Goldman Sachs where he headed junk bond trading. Tepper and his wife, Marlene, pledged $55 million to the Tepper School of Business in 2004.

THE TIMES (UK), 5/27/2005
New breed of trader-baron takes over as the big fish of Wall Street
David Tepper is mentioned as a “poster child” of the new generation of success stories—hedge fund managers. The article notes, "Hedge fund managers have superceded the dot-com billionaires of the last 1990s and the Gordon Gekko-style takeover barons on the 1980s to become Wall Street’s latest legion of rock stars.”

B-School News: Just in time jobs
“The cost of reactive hiring is that there are still some great students available in the spring, but far fewer than earlier in the year,” said Ken Keeley, executive director of the Career Opportunities Center, about why companies might be forced to go back to the tradition of hiring MBA students in the winter instead of the recent trend of postponing job offers. According to the article, many companies are delaying hiring because they are waiting until they have a need.

IGate eyes India for growth
Sunil Wadhwani (BS 1974, MSIA 1976), chairman and chief executive officer, iGate Corp., noted that the business will focus its growth in India. The India-based outsourcing business provides data management, financing and other business services. Wadhwani noted that iGate is one of the few companies that can provide offshore tech services and handle entire portions of clients’ businesses at cheaper, offshore locations.

LET’S GO DIGITAL (Netherlands), 5/28/2005
Shutterfly Patricia Schoof new vice president HRM
Jeffrey Housenbold (BS 1991), chief executive officer, Shutterfly, an eCommerce company specializing digital photo products and services, is quoted in this article welcoming a new member to the company’s executive team. Before joining Shutterfly, Housenbold worked at eBay as vice president of business development and Internet marketing.

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