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NetWire arrowsMarch 15, 2012
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As 2011 was winding down, consumer spirits were starting to rise. Now the momentum has carried into the new year, with polls showing consumer sentiment continuing to improve. Economists say that negative factors, such as falling home values or rising meat prices, are nowhere near as important as the growth in jobs. (NPR)
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Master's in management programs are booming, especially among liberal arts grads in pursuit of a competitive edge. (Fortune)
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The quiet, workman-like atmosphere of your office is actually not making your brain work as hard as it could. A little noise can go a long way toward getting you better ideas. (Fast Company)
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Career
Employers increasingly are asking job candidates to perform work for them gratis as part of the interview process. Here's how to do it right – and win the position. (Fortune)
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If you are looking for a job right now, it is certain to take longer than you would like. The culprit is not just the recession – job boards have made it easier to apply, so now it's the norm that hundreds of resumes from across the world chase the same job. With that amount of activity, the job search has become more like a marathon than a sprint. (Harvard Business Review)
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Dell Computer Corp.
Diversity in the Workplace
"I don't like quotas, but I like what quotas do," says Viviane Reding, the European Union’s justice commissioner. A year ago she invited publicly listed firms to sign a pledge to increase the proportion of women on their boards to 30% by 2015 and 40% by 2020. If there was no significant progress within a year, she said at the time, "you can count on my regulatory creativity." So far only 24 firms have signed. (The Economist)
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The office place has emerged from its pre-feminist past, but there are enduring differences in the way men and women conduct themselves professionally. And those differences have consequences. (The Atlantic)
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Education
Business school is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Tuition and fees often top $100,000 and at full-time programs, students may forego a salary for up to two years. So how do people decide when, whether and where to go? (Wall Street Journal)
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On Feb. 15, DePaul University’s College of Commerce received a $30 million gift from philanthropist Richard Driehaus to "enhance the academic programs" of the 100-year-old B-school. In recognition of the donation, DePaul will rename its business school the Richard H. Driehaus College of Business. (Bloomberg/Businessweek)
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International
When the ocean lifted itself onto land, minutes after the earth’s fifth-largest earthquake, it tore through Japan’s north-eastern coast. Most of the city of Rikuzentakata was obliterated. Only traces could found, scattered five kilometres inland on rice fields, where the debris remained when the water receded: a jumble of crushed cars, destroyed homes and torn lives. (The Economist)
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A group of officials and bankers who helped prevent Eastern Europe from being sucked into the financial crisis in 2009 have reconvened, aiming to avoid a credit crunch and economic downturn caused by problems at parent banks in Western Europe. (New York Times)
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NBMBAA
The Leaders of Tomorrow National Business Case Competition is a challenge like no other competition in the world. High school students analyze an MBA-level graduate school business case and present recommendations before panels of senior corporate executives and business school faculty. (NBMBAA)
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Technology
Yes, Yahoo went there today – claiming in a lawsuit that it, not Facebook, is the real king of social networks. The company points to ten patents that it says cover features like messages, advertising and privacy settings. (Time)
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Manufacturing troubles at one of Apple’s main suppliers may cause headaches for consumers looking to get their hands on the new iPad – but could be a boon for those looking to resell their old ones. (Smart Money)
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Entrepreneurship
Is customer service a lost art, or are today's customers harder to please? On the one hand, moments of tear-your-hair-out frustration are commonplace – from shopping in stores where sales associates are nowhere to be found, to dealing with salespeople unable to help locate a sought-after item, to encountering repetitive robotic voice messages that never lead to a live customer service rep. (Knowledge@Wharton)
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Ever create a product for yourself, because you couldn't find exactly what you wanted in stores? I feel like these sort of self-focused inventors get a bad rap in the entrepreneurial world. They're sometimes seen as dabblers rather than serious entrepreneurs. (Entrepreneur)
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The Economy
Maybe the recession really is over. Yes, the economic mandarins at the National Bureau of Economic Research – the official date-keepers of America’s booms and busts – declared the downturn finished in June 2009. Not many people bought into their judgment considering the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent at the time. The latest figures show that nonfarm payrolls rose in February, with the unemployment rate at 8.3 percent. (Bloomberg/Businessweek)
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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the weak U.S. economy impedes efforts by banks to make profitable loans. "Despite some recent signs of improvement, the recovery has been frustratingly slow, constraining opportunities for profitable lending," Bernanke said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)
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Naylor, LLC
Personal Finance
You know that investing can be tough. Andrew Lo says it's even tougher than you think. Lo, an economist and finance professor at M.I.T.'s Sloan School of Management, challenges a core idea of financial theory: that markets are "efficient," meaning there's no point in trying to time your moves in and out of stocks, since everything you could know about them is already baked into the price. (CNN/Money)
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Professional Development
Something magical is happening in Boston right now, and it's going to make history. Like many start-up scenes, Boston's is truly exploding, vibrant with passionate founders and bold teams who are backed by a fresh crop of seed funds and experienced venture capitalists. But it isn't merely a rehash of the late 90s or early 2000s. It's something entirely different. (Inc.)
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With the world’s largest firms quickly turning to principles of "gamification" to educate new recruits, be forewarned: Blistered thumbs may be a signature hallmark of tomorrow’s most successful executives. (Fast Company)
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Corporate America
JPMorgan Chase & Co. took procedural shortcuts and used faulty account records in suing tens of thousands of delinquent credit card borrowers for at least two years, current and former employees say. The process flaws sparked a regulatory probe by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and forced the bank to stop suing delinquent borrowers altogether last year. (American Banker)
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A Goldman Sachs executive has resigned in a very public manner – calling the firm "toxic" and disrespectful of its clients in a scathing op-ed piece published in Wednesday's New York Times.(CNN/Money)
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Government
The big difference between the two parties is which levers they look to pull when trying to get out of a slump. Obama's levers are government and consumer spending. Right now Mitt Romney leads the GOP pack, with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum still in contention. All share a view of how to spur growth: Make businesses and investors happy. (CNN/Money)
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A bill the House passed last week to make it easier for companies to raise money could also make it easier for companies to cheat investors, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission says. (Washington Post)
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Leadership
"Take this job and shove it" just doesn't cut it any more. At a time when jobs are scarce, it takes spectacular courage to quit one. Maybe that's why we've seen a recent trend of people leaving their jobs with a grand flourish. (Fast Company)
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Lifestyle
Listen to the conversations around you – colleagues at the office, customers in the coffeehouse line, those who serve you, those you serve, the people you meet each day. "Give me a tall latte." "Hand me that hammer." "Have a good one." Notice anything missing? The traditional magic words "please" and "thank you" that many people learn as children appear to be disappearing. (NPR)
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On one side, a developer who wanted to turn the shoreline into apartments, offices and hotels. On the other, the maritime industries that have been working there since the turn of last century. In the end, industry won, but the complaints that followed – who put this big, ugly heap of metal on our lovely industrial port? – say something about our attitude toward working waterfronts. (Salon)
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