Innovation, by Order of the Kremlin

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators, Management Issues.

Description: AROUND the time that Apple Computer was making it big in California, Andrey Shtorkh was getting a first-hand look at the Soviet approach to high tech: he guarded the fence keeping scientists inside Sverdlovsk-45, one of the country’s secret scientific cities, deep in the Ural Mountains. Source: NYTimes.com Date: 04/10/2010 Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/business/global/11russia.html?ref=business Questions for… Read more »

A futures exchange for Hollywood

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators, Industry Analysis.

Description:  Armchair investors may soon be able to bet real money on how films perform at the box office. Source: CNNMoney.com – video report   Date: 04/02/2010 Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2010/04/02/n_hollywood_futures.cnnmoney/ Questions for discussion: How is this market similar to a conventional futures market such as one for gold? What risk is at play for investors? How… Read more »

Are Municipal Bonds the Next Bubble to Pop?

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators.

Description:  America’s states and cities may be going bankrupt, but investors shouldn’t worry. Dow Jones Adviser columnist James Altucher explains. Source: Marketwatch.com – video report   Date: 03/23/2010 Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/video/asset/are-municipal-bonds-the-next-bubble-to-pop/5D0A58DD-9E95-4B20-8A3E-8B67E3F593DA Questions for discussion: Summarize the arguments presented in favor of buying municipal bonds. Do you agree with James Altucher’s opinion about the risk to investors?

Government reportedly setting plan to sell Citi shares

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Governments & Regulators.

Description:  The U.S. government is setting up a program to sell its 27% stake in Citigroup Inc. and the plan could be announced next month, according to a report Thursday, citing unidentified people with direct knowledge of the matter. Source: Marketwatch.com   Date: 03/25/2010  Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/treasury-reportedly-sets-plan-to-sell-citi-shares-2010-03-25?siteid=nwtwk Questions for discussion: Would you be a buyer of… Read more »

How Not to Run an S.E.C. Investigation

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators.

Description: A recent report by Securities and Exchange Commission’s inspector general shows that the investigation of Bernard L. Madoff was not the only one to go badly awry. While the impact of the S.E.C.’s missteps were not nearly as significant as in the Madoff case, the report shows that the agency’s enforcement division allowed itself… Read more »

Why a $14/hour employee costs $20

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators, Management Issues.

Description: You probably cost your boss a lot more than you think you do. Source:  CNNMoney.com Date: 03/26/2010 Link: http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/26/smallbusiness/employee_costs/index.htm Questions for discussion: In general, do you think these taxes (costs) are fair to employers and employees? Why would any exemptions for employment taxes be considered an unfair competitive subsidy by other businesses who must… Read more »

Dodd calls for Lehman Bros. investigation

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Governments & Regulators, Management Issues.

Description:  A year and a half after Lehman Brothers’ collapse, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is calling for a federal investigation into the “Lehman situation” and other companies that may have fudged their balance sheets, contributing to the financial crisis. Source: CNNMoney.com   Date: 03/20/2010  Link: http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/19/news/economy/lehman_brothers_chris_dodd/index.htm Questions for discussion: Do you believe… Read more »

At Lehman, Watchdogs Saw It All

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators.

Description: Almost two years ago to the day, a team of officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York quietly moved into the headquarters of Lehman Brothers. They were provided desks, phones, computers — and access to all of Lehman’s books and records. At any given moment, there… Read more »

Lehman’s $642 million bankruptcy

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Governments & Regulators, Management Issues.

Description:  Councils, advisors, consultants, even an art auctioneer get hefty compensation for cleaning up the firm’s books. Source: CNNMoney.com – video report   Date: 03/12/2010 Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2010/03/12/f_sl_lehman_fees.fortune/ Questions for discussion: Summarize the possible claims against Lehman. Explain why criminal proceedings against individuals or organizations might be in order? Explain the lessons learned by the failure… Read more »