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Turn Bad Stress Into Good

May 7, 2013, 8:12 p.m. ET

Turn Bad Stress Into Good

The Right Type of Pressure Can Boost Daily Performance; Taking More Control

By SUE SHELLENBARGER

Kate Matheny isn’t exactly someone who shies away from stress. Throughout her career, the Aurora, Colo., certified public accountant has pursued a progression of high-pressure management jobs. “I’m hard core,” says the 44-year-old wife and mother of two. “I wanted to be on top of the food chain [at work], and I wanted to be a great mom”—one who could attend lacrosse games, drive carpool and help with homework even after an hour-long commute and workdays that started, more often than not, with a 5 a.m. marathon-training run.

That is, until she hit the proverbial wall.

After months of losing sleep, dropping weight and “feeling pushed to the brink of losing my mind” by her juggling act, Ms. Matheny decided she had to address her stress—and turn it to her advantage. The new job she recently switched to still has its share of pressure, but with more support from her boss and more flexibility in her schedule, she says she feels great.

Contrary to popular belief, stress doesn’t have to be a soul-sucking, health-draining force. But few people know how to transform their stress into the positive kind that helps them reach their goals. Read more of this post

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Latest China bailout reveals risk of local government’s hidden debts; A Chinese local government has apparently used public funds to repay the debt of a private firm

Latest China bailout reveals risk of local government’s hidden debts

Tue, May 7 2013

By Gabriel Wildau

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A Chinese local government has apparently used public funds to repay the debt of a private firm, in a case that raises fresh questions about whether recent estimates of local government debt properly account for the full range of local liabilities. It is not the first time local officials have bailed out a private enterprise, but the fact that the municipal government had formally guaranteed the debt highlights the lack of visibility on the extent of localities’ hidden commitments. Read more of this post

When the CEO Burns Out: Job Fatigue Catches Up to Some Executives Amid Mounting Expectations; No More Forced Smiles

May 7, 2013, 6:47 p.m. ET

When the CEO Burns Out

Job Fatigue Catches Up to Some Executives Amid Mounting Expectations; No More Forced Smiles

By LESLIE KWOH

A few years ago, James Green began to dread work. He dragged himself out of bed every morning and trudged through New York’s Penn Station, trying to muster a “game face” for his office at Giant Realm, an online advertising network. But Mr. Green wasn’t just any manager at the company; he was the CEO. And he was burned out on the job. Companies and managers are equipped to handle job fatigue among employees, but what happens when burnout—described as persistent fatigue, detachment or resentment triggered by excessive work and stress—strikes the top boss? More companies might soon find out. An uncertain economy, shareholder discontent and mounting expectations to deliver results have made the lives of chief executives more stressful, management experts say. And while few executives publicly acknowledge burnout, researchers studying the issue say it is more common than previously thought. In one study conducted by Harvard Medical School faculty, 96% of senior leaders reported feeling burned out to some degree, with one-third describing their burnout as extreme. Read more of this post

Nat Rothschild Rues ‘Terrible Mistake’ in Deal Gone Sour

Nat Rothschild Rues ‘Terrible Mistake’ in Deal Gone Sour

Nat Rothschild, dressed in a hooded sweater, jeans and hiking boots, perches on a cowhide sofa in his relatively modest chalet-style apartment in the Swiss ski resort of Klosters.

He recalls the fateful day in October 2010 when, as he scanned the globe for business opportunities, he first heard the word Bumi, Bloomberg Markets will report in its June issue.

Ian Hannam, a well-known JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) investment banker, had e-mailed Rothschild suggesting he look at two coal companies, including PT Bumi Resources (BUMI), linked to the Bakrie family, a powerful Indonesian business dynasty.

“He said it was the best deal he had ever seen in his life,” Rothschild says. Read more of this post

Tips from Wall St hedge fund gurus fail to reward faithful

May 7, 2013 7:27 pm

Tips from Wall St hedge fund gurus fail to reward faithful

By Dan McCrum and Arash Massoudi in New York

Advice from the gurus of Wall Street may be rather less valuable than their fans would like to believe. Investors who bought on the basis of top tips from one of New York’s most celebrated hedge fund conferences last year spectacularly failed to beat the market. The Ira Sohn Investment conference held at New York’s Lincoln Center brings together the leading lights of the hedge fund community to share market insights as a way of raising money for cancer research. But a Financial Times analysis of last year’s tips shows decidedly mixed results. An investor who followed every top idea from the 12 speakers last year would have made 19 per cent, less than the 22 per cent gain available from a passive index fund tracking the US stock market. Many of the ideas have proved woefully miscued, including some from the most high-profile managers who will return to the stage on Wednesday: David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital and Bill Ackman of Pershing Square. Read more of this post

Here’s Taco Bell’s Brand New ‘Low End’ $1 Menu

Here’s Taco Bell’s Brand New ‘Low End’ Menu

Ashley Lutz | May 7, 2013, 6:02 PM | 2,569 | 6

Taco Bell announced last week that it was rolling out a new “low-end” menu at select stores across the country. Now we finally get to see what’s on the $1 menu, which is being tested in Sacramento and Kansas City. Pending results, the menu could roll out nationwide in the near future, company reps told us. The menu includes new items, such as a spicy potato taco, spicy beef mini quesadilla, shredded chicken mini quesadilla, and a beefy cheesy burrito. Check it out:

screen shot 2013-05-07 at 5.33.58 pm

 

 

Bankers Warn Fed of Farm, Student Loan Bubbles Echoing Subprime

Bankers Warn Fed of Farm, Student Loan Bubbles Echoing Subprime

A group of bankers that advises the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors has warned that farmland prices are inflating “a bubble” and growth in student-loan debt has “parallels to the housing crisis.” The concerns of the Federal Advisory Council, made up of 12 bankers who meet quarterly to advise the Fed, are outlined in meeting minutes obtained by Bloomberg through a Freedom of Information Act request. Their alarm adds to a debate on the Federal Open Market Committee about whether the benefits from their monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds outweigh the risk of financial instability. While Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has argued the program is worth pursuing, Fed Governor Jeremy Stein and Kansas City Fed President Esther George are among those who have voiced concerns that an extended period of low interest rates is heightening the risk of asset bubbles. “Agricultural land prices are veering further from what makes sense,” according to minutes of the council’s Feb. 8 gathering. “Members believe the run-up in agriculture land prices is a bubble resulting from persistently low interest rates.” Read more of this post

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