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NetWire arrowsMarch 8, 2012
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The productivity of U.S. workers rose at a slower pace in the fourth quarter and labor costs jumped, indicating businesses are reaching the limit of wringing efficiency from their workforce. The measure of employee output per hour climbed at a 0.9 percent annual rate, after a 1.8 percent gain in the prior three months, revised figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. (Bloomberg)
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The $7.8 billion oil spill settlement between BP PLC and thousands of residents and businesses along the Gulf of Mexico clears the way for what may become a far more expensive battle between the oil giant and the U.S. government. (Wall Street Journal)
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The past four years have seen the worst economic crisis since the 1930s and the biggest food-price increases since the 1970s. That must surely have swollen the ranks of the poor. Wrong. (The Economist)
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For a country that has faced many moments of truth over the past few years, Greece is on the cusp of what could be a real make or break moment. (CNN/Money)
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Dell Computer Corp.
Career
The news this week about the MBA job outlook was once again overwhelmingly positive. The headlines were based on a new report from the MBA Career Services Council. The takeaway: 70 percent of schools responding to the CSC’s fall 2011 survey reported an increase in on-campus recruiting. Once again, the devil’s in the details. (Bloomberg/Businessweek)
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Thomas Erb is ticked about the possibility he'll be forced to hand employees even more paid sick time. He fears lapses in productivity at his 30-employee clock-making firm, Electric Time Co., from possible increases in unscheduled absences. (Wall Street Journal)
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Diversity in the Workplace
Raise your hand if you hate politics: The shady, behind-the-scenes deal-making. The tradeoffs where neither party is satisfied. The game-playing that leaves us feeling disillusioned. (Harvard Business Review)
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Education
Christopher Puto, who has served as dean of the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business since 2002, will step down on June 30. Puto will take a sabbatical and return to the Opus College in the 2013 spring semester but only to teach classes, the university said. (Twin Cities Business)
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Sri Zaheer was named the new dean of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, becoming the second women in the B-school’s history to assume the top role, the school announced today. Zaheer has served as interim dean of the business school since Alison Davis-Blake left the school last June to become dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. (Bloomberg/Businessweek)
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International
Until liberalization in 1991, the travel schedules of Indian executives often revolved around treks to Delhi to beg officials for access to hard currency and permission to import equipment. These days the country’s corporate warriors talk of being on the road in Africa for three weeks of every month, of trips to factories in Wales, of meeting the troops in South Korea and of crossing America to talk to car-dealers. (The Economist)
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They own assets all over the world, including property in Manhattan, utilities in Chile, international airports and the high-speed railway connecting London to the Channel tunnel. They have taken part in six of the top 100 leveraged buy-outs in history. They have won the attention both of Wall Street firms, which consider them rivals, and institutional investors, which aspire to be like them. (The Economist)
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NBMBAA
Make plans now to attend the NBMBAA 34th Annual Conference & Exposition, September 25-29 at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium (ICCLOS) in Indianapolis, Ind. Mark your calendars for the must-attend education, networking and career event of the year and look for more information this spring.
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Technology
Everyone knew it was coming, and here it is: the new iPad. CEO Tim Cook introduced the newest, 1.4-pound iPad at a special media, invite-only event in San Francisco on Wednesday morning, hailing it as the next step in the "post-PC revolution." (ZDNet)
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Part the reason that these devices are so large may be because of the technology they support. Some people have suggested that LTE design requirements may demand a slightly bigger footprint. The same might go for quad-core processors. These devices may require bigger batteries to handle the newer technology. (cNet)
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Entrepreneurship
After Alex Zhardanovsky sold his online ad company, AzoogleAds, he went looking for a new business concept. His search took him from skin care to weight-loss products to prize giveaways. The answer that finally came to him — pet food — was inspired by sheer inconvenience. (New York Times)
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Filing your taxes as a "solopreneur," or one-person business, can be more complicated than the process for an employee with a single W-2 form. If you don't know what you're doing, a misstep could really cost you in the form of forfeited tax refunds, a painful audit process, late penalties or interest for underpayment. (Entrepreneur)
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The Economy
Households headed by older adults have made dramatic gains relative to those headed by younger adults in their economic well-being over the past quarter of a century, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of a wide array of government data. (Pew Research Center)
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The modern dairy farm, it turns out, represents many of the volatile and confusing trends that have roiled the U.S. economy over the last decade. (New York Times)
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Personal Finance
Spooked by the stock market, more parents saving for their kids' colleges are putting their faith in something that could prove to be equally tenuous: the ability of state governments to manage money. (Smart Money)
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Corporate America
Apple has made its first attempt to quantify how many American jobs can be credited to the sale of its iPads and other products, a group that includes the Apple engineers who design the devices and the drivers who deliver them – even the people who build the trucks that get them there. (New York Times)
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Until this week, New Yorker Andrew Schiff's personal finances were his own personal business. That changed last Wednesday when Schiff – communications and marketing director at the Wall Street brokerage firm Euro Pacific Capital – was featured in a Bloomberg article about how smaller bonuses are leaving Wall Street workers strapped for cash. (NPR)
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Government
Representative John Mica, the law-and-order Florida Republican who chairs the House Transportation Committee, helped create a government department many Americans have come to despise more than the IRS: the Transportation Security Administration. (Bloomberg/Businessweek)
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Leadership
Cash is king, especially during difficult economic times. More and more business owners are thinking out of the box when it comes to trying to keep morale up in the workplace. Promotions are an obvious way to try to boost morale, especially among key employees who generally are happy to have increased duties and status. (Wall Street Journal)
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The best bosses understand that their power comes not from maintaining control, but from devising ways to unleash more freedom, creativity, and contribution. (Fortune)
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Lifestyle
However, on the heels of the most recent Black History Month, I would like to take a slightly different approach. Many Black communities are suffering from unemployment, underemployment and many other negative economic indicators that impact the quality of life for individuals living in these communities. Given that recent models of economic transformation do not appear to be yielding the desired results for Black communities, maybe it's time to re-evaluate some historical perspectives on how best to bring economic prosperity to Black communities. (Huffington Post)
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With no film degree, director T.J. Martin wasn't always confident that he would win an Academy Award. In fact, just the thought of being nominated for an Oscar came as a complete surprise. "I'm not used to people saying that; it doesn't sound like they are talking about me." The Seattle native made history on Feb. 26 when he became the first African American to win an Oscar for a best documentary feature film, Undefeated.(The Root)
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