Philip Caldwell, Ford CEO After Henry Ford II, Dies at 93

Philip Caldwell, Ford CEO After Henry Ford II, Dies at 93

Philip Caldwell, Ford Motor Co.’s first chief executive officer who wasn’t a member of the founder’s family, and who gambled the automaker’s future on the Taurus sedan in the 1980s, has died. He was 93. He died yesterday at his home in New Canaan, Connecticut, his family said in a statement provided by the company. The cause was complications of a stroke. Caldwell followed in the footsteps of more famous executives. He became president of Ford in 1978 after Henry Ford II, grandson of founder Henry Ford, fired Lee Iacocca and chose Caldwell to lead the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, first as CEO in 1979 and as chairman the following year. His close relationship with Henry Ford II earned Caldwell the nickname “The Prince” inside the company, according to a New York Times profile in 1979. He was “remarkably cool and resolute in a crisis,” wrote Paul Ingrassia and Joseph B. White in their 1994 book, “Comeback: The Fall and Rise of the American Automobile Industry.” He “had enormous analytical skills and the determination to examine any problem from every conceivable angle,” they wrote. As president and then CEO, Caldwell presided over a turnaround. Ford endured almost $3.3 billion of losses during two U.S. recessions from 1980 through 1982, as well as questions over the design and safety of its Pinto model. Read more of this post

Sibling rivalry a trademark of enterprises in Taiwan

Sibling rivalry a trademark of enterprises in Taiwan

sg_taiwan

Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013

Lee Seok Hwai, The Straits Times

EAT Seven Bowls is suing Eat Seven Bowls, but it’s all in the family. The founder of a popular maker of savoury glutinous rice and other traditional Chinese dishes is taking the almost identically named business of his younger brother to court, four years after they went their separate ways. Mr Lee Tung-yuan of Taipei-based Eat Seven Bowls, a trademark he registered in 1986, wants the eatery run by his brother and sister-in-law in Taichung to use its own Eat Seven Bowls trademark and stop using his. As it is, the two trademarks are easily confused. That of the older Mr Lee is rendered in the Minnan dialect, Chia Qiih Warh , while his brother’s uses Mandarin, Chi Qi Wan – with only the character for “eat” rendered differently. Mr Lee filed an injunction with the intellectual property court last month. He told the China Times newspaper he wished only to protect the reputation of his business, which is much more successful than his brother’s. Read more of this post

China Leverage Risks Bypass Super-Saver Households as GDP Slows

China Leverage Risks Bypass Super-Saver Households as GDP Slows

China’s campaign to rein in credit growth, a move that’s spread panic among the nation’s automobile dealers as they worry about access to financing, is a side-issue for 27-year-old lawyer Kevin Han.

Han is an archetype of Chinese workers who on average sock away 30.6 percent of their disposable income, amounting to 6.9 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in total household savings in 2012, according to Louis Kuijs, chief China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Hong Kong. Han’s breakfast is 5 yuan for a cup of soybean milk and a hardboiled egg or a steamed bun. He has a 20-yuan lunch of white rice, with small portions of meat and vegetables, in the cafeteria at his Beijing workplace. He spends about the same for dinner. Read more of this post

Hedge Funds Are for Suckers

Hedge Funds Are for Suckers

By Sheelah Kolhatkar on July 11, 2013

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At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, a group of famous hedge fund managers was made to stand before Congress like thieves in a stockade and defend their existence to an angry public. The gilded five included George Soros, co-founder of the Quantum Fund; James Simons of Renaissance Technologies; John Paulson of Paulson & Co.; Philip Falcone of Harbinger Capital; and Kenneth Griffin of Citadel. Each man had made hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars in the preceding years through his own form of glorified gambling, and in some cases, the investors who had poured money into their hedge funds had done OK, too. They were brought to Washington to stand up for their industry and their paychecks, and to address the question of whether their business should be more tightly regulated. They all refused to apologize for their success. They appeared untouchable.

Read more of this post

Toxic China Lake Incites Next Generation as Xi Eases GDP Focus

Toxic China Lake Incites Next Generation as Xi Eases GDP Focus

Ian Chen recalls his father quietly accepting he could no longer wade into a lake near their home in southern China where he’d swum his whole life. The raw sewage and agricultural waste spilling into the water meant it wasn’t safe anymore.

Twenty years later, Chen worries a new source of pollution may be about to envelop his hometown of Kunming. Silence wasn’t an option for the 29-year-old who sold flat-screen televisions on London’s Oxford Street before returning to Kunming, where he now owns three cake shops. He took to the Internet to drum up opposition to a refinery planned on the edge of town that residents fear will spew toxic particles. Read more of this post

How DailyLook grew its international revenue from 0 to 25% in one month; To incentivize its current and new members to help spread the word, DailyLook offered 1,000 “look points” for each friend that joins and makes a purchase

How DailyLook grew its international revenue from 0 to 25% in one month

BY MICHAEL CARNEY 
ON JULY 11, 2013

Less than three weeks into its international launch and Los Angeles women’s fast fashion etailer DailyLook is already seeing 25 percent of its business come from overseas. This is no small feat given its early success domestically, which saw the company generating on the order of $1 million per month in revenue, according to those close to the company, from more than 400,000 highly engaged email subscribers. So what was the key to translating this success overseas so quickly? According to CEO Brian Ree, it was a viral launch strategy. In late Spring, DailyLook posted a counter on its website tracking the progress toward 50,000 international signups, announcing that it would cut the ribbon on its international business if and when this milestone was met. The company further created an artificial deadline of June 23rd, saying that would abandon the plan if it couldn’t gather enough sign ups in time — a threat which it came within days of having to make good on.

To incentivize its current and new members to help spread the word, DailyLook offered 1,000 “look points” for each friend that joins and makes a purchase, where each 2,000 look points converts into a $20 credit on the site. The company then turned to fashion bloggers to spread the word. Needless to say, the strategy appears to have worked. Read more of this post

At Sears, Billionaire Eddie Lampert’s Warring Divisions Model Adds to the Troubles

Billionaire Eddie Lampert Is Running Sears Like The Coliseum, And It’s A Disaster

MAX NISEN JUL. 11, 2013, 5:50 PM 6,154 12

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Five years ago, Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert broke the company into 30 plus autonomous businesses, each with its own president, chief marketing officer, board, and separately measured profit and loss. His idea was to harness the power of the free market, and to produce better and deeper data than anyone else. But the radical restructuring went horribly wrong, as divisions engaged in cutthroat competition against each other, reports Mina Kimes at Bloomberg Businessweek. Some highlights from her report: In order for a division to get help from the IT or HR departments, it had to write up a formal agreement or use a contractor. Since each company had its own board of directors, some executives were on five or six of them and spent all day in meetings. Executive bonuses were based on individual unit performance, so people tried to boost their own division’s profit at the expense of others. Read more of this post

Scandal-hit Thai monk seems to be a master of marketing

Scandal-hit monk seems to be a master of marketing

20130712.085635_youtube_luang 

Luang Pu Nenkham is a controversial monk today. But months ago, thousands of people held complete faith in him. -The Nation/ANN 
Fri, Jul 12, 2013
The Nation/Asia News Network

THAILAND – How did he manage to command their overwhelming respect and support? The answer might be as simple as a well-crafted marketing plan. It all began many years ago when someone in his close circle reportedly took notice of people wondering why he looked much older in a photo than his true age, then decided to spread a story that he was born to liberate Buddhists from the chain of suffering. Since the rumours circulated, the monk has attracted a huge following. He came to be called a “Luang Pu” – a title usually reserved for a monk old enough to be a grandfather, instead of a man still in his 30s today. Read more of this post

New rehab device to give stroke patients feedback; The system is expected to cost $2,000 to $3,000 per unit. The first prototypes should be available later this year.

New rehab device to give stroke patients feedback

health_johnson_lu

Friday, Jul 12, 2013
The Straits Times
By Jonathan Kwok

SINGAPORE – Recovering from a debilitating stroke can be a tough and challenging process, with patients needing to spend countless hours re-learning basic motor skills.

Traditionally, occupational therapists have helped the patient with his exercises, but with Singapore’s manpower crunch there is an increasing need to automate this process. That is where NeuroStyle comes in. The local start-up is developing a promising product to help patients with their rehabilitation at home. Read more of this post

China Finance Chief Lou Says 6.5% Growth Wouldn’t Pose Problem, signaling the government may tolerate a slower pace of expansion than officials have previously indicated

China Finance Chief Lou Says 6.5% Growth Wouldn’t Pose Problem

By Ye Xie  Jul 11, 2013

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said a 6.5 percent economic-growth rate wouldn’t be a “big problem,” signaling the government may tolerate a slower pace of expansion than officials have previously indicated.

Lou, speaking yesterday at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, also said he’s confident in achieving a 7 percent growth rate this year. That’s lower than the government’s 2013 target of 7.5 percent, given in March. First-half expansion was probably below 7.7 percent “but not too far from it,” he said. Read more of this post

Asia is fighting a new disease that has reduced shrimp output in Thailand as much as 40%, driving prices higher for Western restaurants and retailers.

Updated July 11, 2013, 6:44 p.m. ET

Disease Kills Shrimp Output, Pushes U.S. Prices Higher

NOPPARAT CHAICHALEARMMONGKOL in Bangkok and JULIE JARGON in Chicago

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Asia is fighting a new disease that has reduced shrimp output in Thailand as much as 40%, driving prices higher for Western restaurants and retailers.

The disease appeared in Thailand, the world’s largest shrimp exporter, late last year after ravaging shrimp stocks in China in 2009 and then in Vietnam. With production plunging, shrimp prices in the U.S. have jumped 20% in recent months, according to Thailand’s leading exporter. Grocery stores and restaurant chains in the U.S. say they hope the shrimp shortage will be short-lived and manageable, though they may have to raise prices to avoid a hit to earnings. Read more of this post

Online Education a New Frontier in China

July 11, 2013, 12:56 p.m. ET

Online Education a New Frontier in China

WEI GU

In a country as obsessed with education as China, it makes sense that online teaching has huge potential.

Wealthy Chinese spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send their children abroad for what they perceive as a better education. And China’s scale means online-education companies can serve vast audiences, justifying up-front investments. There is a history of private-education companies in China, and for years the business of preparing students for exams using traditional study centers grew dramatically. About eight Chinese education companies with combined revenue of $1.5 billion last year have listed their shares in the U.S. Read more of this post

Activision’s World of Warcraft No Longer Rules in China

World of Warcraft No Longer Rules in China

By Bruce Einhorn and Ludi Wang on July 11, 2013

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-11/world-of-warcraft-no-longer-rules-in-china

World Joyland is a Chinese theme park featuring centaurs and werewolves. It’s a weird homage to the online role-playing game World of Warcraft. Built in 2011, the park in Changzhou, several hours by high-speed train and shuttle bus from Shanghai, is filled with characters and attractions that look remarkably like those in the game developed by Activision Blizzard (ATVI)—with just enough changes that the Santa Monica (Calif.)-based software company, which hasn’t authorized the park to use them, can’t do much about it. The way things are going, World Joyland might want to look elsewhere for inspiration. Read more of this post

Inside Thunderbird B-school’s chronic decline

Inside Thunderbird B-school’s chronic decline

July 11, 2013: 10:55 AM ET

The school, long known for its international business focus, is selling its Arizona campus to a for-profit education company, kicking up a storm of controversy.

By Taylor Ellis

(Poets&Quants) — With its 2012 fiscal budget $4 million in the red, the Thunderbird School of Global Management has agreed to grasp a sorely needed lifeline. The school, long known for its international business focus, is selling its Arizona campus to a for-profit education company. The decision has kicked up a storm of controversy. At least two board members have resigned in protest and nearly 2,000 of the school’s alumni have signed a petition contending that its agreement with Laureate Education Inc. would “cheapen the value of the [Thunderbird] degree.” “This is the end of Thunderbird as we have known it,” wrote Merle Hinrich, a director and alumnus, in his resignation letter. “The Laureate transaction is a tragedy for Thunderbird and a total windfall for Laureate.” Thomas Greer Jr., another board member who resigned, called the decision to sell Laureate a campus built with tuition funds and donations “unconscionable.” Greer vowed to no longer contribute either his time or his money to the school. Read more of this post

‘Debt peril’ awaits 1.25m UK households if rates rise

Last updated: July 11, 2013 10:15 pm

‘Debt peril’ awaits 1.25m UK households if rates rise

By Claire Jones, Economics Reporter

Up to 650,000 more UK households face “debt peril” if mortgage rates rise unexpectedly before the economy returns to full strength, a think-tank warns.

The Resolution Foundation said on Thursday that 1.25m households would have to spend half their disposable income on repayments by 2017 if the Bank of England’s official rate rose 2 percentage points higher than forecast without a recovery in wage growth. Read more of this post

Shadow financing charted in China; At least 50% of the debt on smaller developer balance sheets would be from trust financing, funding construction at initial stages which puts the company and the trust at redemption risk

Shadow financing charted in China, and a property catch-up

David Keohane

| Jul 11 11:18 | 10 comments | Share

Part of the UP SHIBOR CREEK… SERIES

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You’ll note that real estate is where a significant amount of the credit apparently flows and thus quite a bit of the risk resides — property developers, particularly the small ones, have had to go begging to trust companies and underground lenders at interest rates usually in the low to mid teens and for something like 6 months to two years. The duration mismatch is pretty obvious. Read more of this post

China exports slide raises doubts about currency policy

China exports slide raises doubts about currency policy

6:41pm EDT By Pete Sweeney

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s bet that it could reap the benefits of a more powerful yuan without paying a price in competitiveness is looking increasingly risky.

An unexpected slump in exports in June marked the latest worrying sign of a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy and raised the prospect that regulators may be forced to drag the yuan back down after a massive rally this year. Read more of this post

Loose Lips Sink Euro Bond Markets in Crisis: Cutting Research

Loose Lips Sink Euro Bond Markets in Crisis: Cutting Research

A European Central Bank paper released last week used 25,000 news media releases between January 2009 and October 2011 to investigate how much political communications affected sovereign bond yields during the region’s fiscal crisis. The ECB study focused on public pronouncements on fiscal policy and state finances by officials. It found in the short term that certain types of commentary had a quantifiable effect on the spread between the bond yields of Greece, Ireland and Portugal over German bunds. The impact was biggest for Greece. Policy makers at the regional level communicated more positively on average by using words such as “implement.” For those at the national level, the most-used word was “fail.” Read more of this post

Venture Capital: The Art of Picking the Few from the Many

Venture Capital: The Art of Picking the Few from the Many

Published in Knowledge@Wharton

Venture capital (VC) has never been a mega-industry, but many who work in the sector seem happy with the current state of affairs. VC funds raised $20.6 billion in 2012, Thomson Reuters reported, but this amount is dwarfed by the $311 billion that was raised by the private equity industry, including venture capital, in 2012, according to research firm Prequin. The sector has also had some recent ups and downs in terms of fundraising. The latest figures show that the VC industry has shrunk since raising $25.6 billion in 2008, but is recovering from the depths of the financial crisis in 2010 when fundraising fell shy of $14 billion.

Read more of this post

How Do Private Equity Firms Create Value?

How Do Private Equity Firms Create Value?

Published in Knowledge@Wharton

In the Hollywood version of a hostile takeover, the boss would grab control of a company, throw out the slackers, move into the corner office and start barking out orders. The message is, “it’s my way or the highway!”

But what makes for good drama on the screen doesn’t necessarily work in real life. When a private equity (PE) firm buys a portfolio company, it’s much more like a romance instead of a war movie. For the new partnership to work, both parties must really believe they will be better off together instead of alone. Read more of this post

Property bubble in Indonesia

Property bubble in Indonesia?

The announcement yesterday that Indonesia is planning policies to quell rising property prices against a backdrop of rising inflation comes as concerns grow over the health and stability of the real estate market, with some suggestions that a bubble is forming.

BY KARIM RASLAN –

6 HOURS 19 SEC AGO

The announcement yesterday that Indonesia is planning policies to quell rising property prices against a backdrop of rising inflation comes as concerns grow over the health and stability of the real estate market, with some suggestions that a bubble is forming.

A small two-room apartment far from the city centre in Jakarta can cost up to US$80,000 (S$101,100) — increasingly out of reach of ordinary Indonesians, an Al Jazeera report in May highlighted. Read more of this post

Thailand Needs to Invest in People, Not Rice

Thailand Needs to Invest in People, Not Rice

The search for lessons from lost economic decades has led from Japan to the U.S. to Europe. Now the spotlight turns to Thailand (SET).

This may strike some as odd, considering Thailand’s 5.3 percent growth, its young and expanding population, and the surprising level of political stability in Bangkok. In her two years leading Thailand’s 68 million people, Yingluck Shinawatra has somehow managed to tamp down the virtual civil war that led to the ouster of her prime minister brother in 2006. Read more of this post

Radical Buddhism Threatens Myanmar’s Path to Democracy

Radical Buddhism Threatens Myanmar’s Path to Democracy

Two years into its transition from dictatorship to democracy, Myanmar is finding out how dangerous freedom can be. Since June 2012, when fighting broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in western Arakan state, attacks against Myanmar’s tiny Muslim minority have spread throughout the country. More than 200 people have been killed in Buddhist-Muslim riots, and more than 150,000 rendered homeless — most of them Muslims.

Many Burmese think that former regime figures are stoking the attacks, hoping to create an excuse for the military to reassert its influence. Perhaps. Another set of Burmese leaders, however, have quite openly fueled sectarian tensions. Monks associated with the 969 movement — named after the attributes of the Buddha and Buddhism — have promoted a boycott of Muslim businesses and a ban on interfaith marriages. Some have been accused of egging on followers as they torched Muslim homes and shops. Read more of this post

Abenomics Leaves Japan’s Hinterland Behind as Budget Cuts Bite

Abenomics Leaves Japan’s Hinterland Behind as Budget Cuts Bite

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cuts to local-government subsidies are like trying to “wring water from an old rag that’s been squeezed dry,” says Kazuya Yoshida, a 27-year veteran of Shijonawate City’s municipal staff.

Abe pared payments to local authorities by 392 billion yen ($3.9 billion), or 2.3 percent, deepening decade-long cutbacks for city and prefectural budgets hurt by falling populations and dwindling revenues. While Abe has deployed fiscal stimulus at the national level to revive Japan’s economy, a drop in wages for provincial civil servants risks prolonging deflation. Read more of this post

Gaming the Float: How Managers Respond to EPS-Based Incentives

Gaming the Float: How Managers Respond to EPS-Based Incentives

Alan D. Crane Rice University – Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business

Andrew Koch University of Pittsburgh – Finance Group

Chishen Wei University of Texas at Austin

June 27, 2013

Abstract: 
We show that the likelihood of meeting earnings per share (EPS) forecasts is mechanically positively related to the number of shares outstanding. As a result, managers can affect the long run probability of meeting future EPS forecasts without managing earnings or affecting analysts’ forecasts. We find that firms with unpredictable earnings and firms with managers that have compensation more sensitive to EPS outcomes have more shares outstanding. To address causality, we find that an exogenous drop in the likelihood of meeting a forecast causes managers to increase shares outstanding, primarily through stock splits. Following an increase in shares, accounting and real earnings management drop, and the firm meets EPS forecasts more frequently going forward. Our results also offer a new explanation for stock splits; and provide evidence of a channel that relates EPS incentives to analysts’ forecast errors, stock liquidity, and price levels.

Sentiment, Earnings Co-Movements and Earnings Manipulation

Sentiment, Earnings Co-Movements and Earnings Manipulation

Andrew B. Jackson University of New South Wales (UNSW) – School of Accounting

Brian Rountree Rice University – Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business

June 11, 2013

Abstract: 
This paper provides an empirical validation of the theoretical model in Strobl [2013]. Our results are consistent with the model, which document the greater co-movement of earnings with the market the less likely a firm is to manipulate earnings. Furthermore, we find evidence that the probability of manipulation and the importance of earnings co-movements in determining that probability increase as the state of the economy improves. This means earnings management is more prevalent during expansions relative to recessions. Additionally, we provide evidence that firms which are more sensitive to market sentiment are more likely to have managed earnings with a stronger effect during the best economic times. Overall, our results are helpful in understanding the time varying nature of earnings management.

An Analysis of the Financial Schemes to Defraud People in the Garb of Sound Investment

An Analysis of the Financial Schemes to Defraud People in the Garb of Sound Investment

Sujoy Kumar Dhar Sr. Icfai Business School (IBS)

June 15, 2013

Abstract: 
Different conventional financial schemes are prevalent in the market such as bank deposits, post office schemes. Life Insurance products, Public Provident Fund, Government and Corporate Bond, equity share, mutual fund schemes, real estate, gold, bullion, derivative products, paintings and antiques which offers a certain rate of return depending on the riskiness of the scheme. Apart from these traditional players, , there are Nidhi companies, Chit fund players, Non Banking Financial Companies as well as Financial intermediaries which are alluring the layman retail investors by making a promise of offer a super normal rate of return. Due to the lack of adequate financial literacy and the greed of appropriating above average return, a major section of the retail investors are being trapped by those unscrupulous lenders. As a result, they have to lose their hard earned money and this creates a keen jerking effect to the all stakeholders of the nation. The RBI and SEBI has already conducted different financial awareness program to protect the depositors as well as investors from these ponzi schemes. The objectives of the research paper is to focus on the major threats imposed by the shadow bankers, to analyze the unholy nexus of the media business and chit fund players, to interpret the interdependence between the banks, micro finance institutions, chit fund payers. The methodology of the paper is collecting the secondary data from the different research articles of various national and international reputed journals which are available in Ebscho and Emerald. Simultaneously analysis and collection of secondary data is performed from the Annual Reports of Reserve Bank of India, Security Exchange Board of India, website of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India etc. This paper will give a new dimension in the literature of investment strategies of the Individual Investors

Bernanke May Want to Hint At July Tapering Move Now: Scotiabank

Bernanke May Want to Hint At July Tapering Move Now: Scotiabank

07/10/2013 15:32 -0400

Via Guy Haselmann of Scotiabank,

What Bernanke Might Want to Say

In past speeches, Bernanke has said that central banks should not surprise markets.  However, he has also said that central banks should not threaten action, because the threat is then counter-productive to what they are trying to achieve under current policy.  Therefore, waiting 2.25 months until the September meeting seems impractical to me and counter to earlier speeches. Bernanke can use his speech today to bring clarity to the market, while limiting market damage.  For the reasons mentioned, he may want to hint at an earlier-than-expected tapering (say at the July meeting rather than the September meeting).  At the same time, he may want to emphasize asset purchases may continue for longer than expectations.   Of course, he will also emphasize that tapering is merely a slowing of the rate of purchases (slower easing) and that a rate increase in a long way off.  Trying to extend forward guidance at the same time that he moves forward the initial timing of tapering will help limit an adverse market reaction. One reason the Treasury market priced in a Q4 2014 rate hike – moving the first hike forward by 6 months after the June FOMC – was because the FOMC central tendencies lowered the low end of its unemployment rate forecast for end-2014 to 6.5%, which is the Fed’s target for the first rate hike.  Bernanke may wish to verbally lengthen this assessment. Bernanke may wish to say something about the revised exit strategy guidance paper (from January) that is likely to be released at the July meeting.  The original paper said that QE will likely end 6 months after the first taper and rates will be hiked 6 months after QE ends.  Bernanke may wish to hint that both of these time frames are likely to be extended.   In addition, the FOMC noticed (likely with angst) the rise in mortgage rates.  Bernanke can use this opportunity to emphasize that no Fed mortgage assets will ever be sold (but rather allow to run-off).  The first paper discussed asset sales, but Bernanke said at the June FOMC press conference that the Fed does not intend to sell any mortgages.

Background, Reasoning, and Justification

Bernanke gives a speech today in Boston beginning at 4:10 PM entitled “The First 100 Years of the Federal Reserve: The Policy Record, Lessons Learned, and Prospects for the Future”.  There will be a post-speech ‘Question & Answer’ period.  This is an ideal time for him to fine-tune the Fed’s complicated message to markets.  He can use this opportunity to send up a trial balloon for next week’s semi-annual report to Congress.  I suspect Bernanke could even have his staffers leak questions to ask to those in the audience in order to frame and direct the conversation. I believe the Fed has drifted toward acceptance of tapering because of concerns about: 1) financial instability, 2) asset bubbles and 3) amassing difficulties for its exit strategies, not because economic nirvana has been reached.  The FOMC likely recognizes that economic strength is not ideally where they would like it to be, but they understand that $85 of monthly asset purchases has a greater impact on asset prices than it does on lowering the Unemployment Rate (UR).   Therefore, I believe the decision to taper at one of the next two meeting is almost a certainty.  “Data dependency” will dictate the length and pace of QE, but will no longer delay the tapering start date past the next few months. Bernanke can site “progress” as the reason for tapering.  The UR has fallen from 8.2% to 7.6% and employment has expanded by over 200k jobs per month on average over the last 6 months.  A tapering announcement would afford the FOMC the opportunity to get all members on the same, increase their flexibility going forward, and remove it as an uncertainty overhanging markets.

Avoid the Deadly Temptations that Derail Innovators

Avoid the Deadly Temptations that Derail Innovators

by Rosabeth Moss Kanter  |   9:00 AM July 11, 2013

Any promising new initiative — a stand-alone business venture or an innovation in an established organization — hits roadblocks and unexpected obstacles. Recently I’ve advised entrepreneurs and innovators about a different, seemingly better, dilemma: pop-up opportunities that look like short cuts to success. Too often, these turn out to be deadly temptations.

Consider these cases (with names disguised to protect confidentiality):

Bill’s venture capital-backed business concept was to operate a new revenue-producing service for large U.S. professional organizations. In its first year, the venture landed two almost-committed pilot sites and a prospect pipeline for a multi-billion-dollar market. But almost at the same time, Bill was offered a lucrative deal to build a similar service for an English-speaking country outside the U.S. Feeling that the money was good and the chance to show credibility to U.S. customers even better, Bill took the deal, brushing aside numerous challenging differences and departures from his model. Then he was offered an even bigger international site in a developing country eager for American know-how, in partnership with a U.S. organization that could also be a customer. His financial backers urged him to take it — it would mean more revenue, fast. Suddenly Bill was in a different, less appealing business, jeopardizing building the U.S. business. Read more of this post

NASA telescope to probe long-standing solar mystery to determine how the sun heats its atmosphere to millions of degrees, sending off rivers of particles that define the boundaries of the solar system

NASA telescope to probe long-standing solar mystery

Thu, Jun 27 2013

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – A small NASA telescope was launched into orbit on Thursday on a mission to determine how the sun heats its atmosphere to millions of degrees, sending off rivers of particles that define the boundaries of the solar system. The study is far from academic. Solar activity directly impacts Earth’s climate and the space environment beyond the planet’s atmosphere. Solar storms can knock out power grids, disrupt radio signals and interfere with communications, navigation and other satellites in orbit. Read more of this post

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