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Archives for ‘Inside Business’

Not So Safe

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2013

New research from Nicolas Bollen, the E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Finance, says those hedge funds that are hardest to imitate—something investors look for and for which they often pay a premium—are the ones most prone to failure.



When Is Cheap Not Cheap?

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2013

We’ve all been exposed to them—the marketing strategies promising bargains or high value. Yet as alluring as those pitches can be, consumers draw very different—and sometimes contradictory— conclusions when it comes to sale prices or value.



In the Long Term

Posted in: Fall 2012, Inside Business

From research scientists working in drug discovery to portfolio managers waiting for the markets to bear out their investment theses, how do certain types of professionals sustain their energy and enthusiasm over long periods? That’s the question undertaken in a new study co-authored by Bruce Barry, the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Professor of Management. “Why [...]



Fertile Valley

Posted in: Fall 2012, Inside Business

In a pivotal scene from the film The Social Network, the Hollywood retelling of Facebook’s founding, an exasperated Mark Zuckerberg exhorts business partner and Harvard classmate Eduardo Saverin to join him in Silicon Valley. “You’ve gotta move here, Wardo. This is where it’s all happening,” the Zuckerberg character pleads. Whether this piece of dialogue is [...]



What’s My Line?

Posted in: Fall 2012, Inside Business

From Bob Hope’s hawking American Express Travelers Cheques in the 1950s to quirky actress Zooey Deschanel’s selling the latest iPhone today, celebrities have long served as the advertising industry’s not-so-secret weapon. As consumers, we want the same services and products as the good-looking, glamorous set—or if nothing else, we tend to remember the famous associations [...]



Before and After

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2012

The Vanderbilt Health Care Conference and Career Fair hosted more than 500 participants and 35 companies at a one-day session in Nashville this past fall. It was the fourth year for the student-organized conference, which is designed for anyone interested in the intersection of business and health care. Headlining the October event was Nancy-Ann DeParle, [...]



Up for Adoption

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2012

Generation Y, the first group to come of age in the Internet era, is all grown up and ready to launch the next wave of multibillion-dollar tech companies. And investors are ready to help them do it. “If you’re 20-something and have an idea of what you want to build, you can go out and [...]



Failure to Exercise

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2012

The trading volume of stock options has more than quintupled in the past decade, as banks, hedge funds and other traders have flocked to the investments. But retail options investors may be getting left out in the cold, unknowingly giving up as much as $1.9 billion in lost profits during that same time frame, according [...]



Explaining the Rules

Posted in: Fall 2011, Inside Business

For the past 24 years, the Financial Markets Research Center (FMRC) at the Owen School has hosted a spring research conference designed to facilitate discussion between academic researchers and business practitioners. Starting with the 1987 Wall Street crash, many of the best minds in finance have assembled at the annual event to analyze topics ranging [...]



Insider Insight

Posted in: Fall 2011, Inside Business

Enron. WorldCom. Tyco. These are among the most notorious names associated with a wave of accounting scandals that plagued the early 2000s and ultimately helped spur passage of the 2002 accounting reform law known as Sarbanes-Oxley. While accounting restatements haven’t gone away entirely since then—there were 735 last year, down from a peak of 1,795 [...]



Steady Gains

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2011

New research by Bob Whaley, the Valere Blair Potter Professor of Management, and Jacob Sagi, the Vanderbilt Financial Markets Research Center Associate Professor of Finance, has led to the creation of a recently launched group of NASDAQ indexes. The NASDAQ OMX Alpha Indexes are designed to help investors measure performance between individual stocks and exchange-traded [...]



Surgical Operations

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2011

With millions of new patients coming into the U.S. health care system over the next decade, the term “operations” is taking on a whole new meaning in America’s hospitals. Starting in the year 2014, as many as 32 million additional people will be covered by health insurance under the federal reform law passed last year. [...]



Landslide Victories

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2011

The 2010 U.S. Congressional elections saw an unprecedented boom in campaign spending—$4 billion in all, with about $1.12 billion coming in the form of individual contributions to candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. While political pundits continue to debate what impact this money has on election outcomes, new research from the Owen School [...]



Going for It

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2011

Try asking any Monday morning quarterback about blown fourth-down play calls in the NFL and you are guaranteed passionate opinions. In most fourth-down plays, an NFL team will punt or try for a field goal. But occasionally teams decide to do something that is viewed as risky—attempt a fourth-down conversion, or “go for it.” Associate [...]



Smart Money

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2011

Generations of MBA graduates have mastered pricing models designed to evaluate companies based on capital assets like equipment, land and raw materials. But as the world economy shifts to one that increasingly places a premium on brainpower instead of horsepower, there are few, if any, reliable methods for analyzing the financial value of human capital. [...]



Trade Secrets

Posted in: Fall 2010, Inside Business

Amid growing uncertainty about the stability of the European Union, an increasing number of North American companies are looking to capitalize on opportunities in emerging markets. One such market that is particularly attractive is China, but setting up shop there is not as straightforward as these companies might perceive. Recent legal developments surrounding information management [...]



The Elephant Inside

Posted in: Fall 2010, Inside Business

Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or just trying to manage yourself, Dick Daft, the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Professor of Management, says you must learn to control your “inner elephant.” In his recently published book, The Executive and the Elephant: A Leader’s Guide to Building Inner Excellence, Daft combines research [...]



Raising the Red Flag

Posted in: Fall 2010, Inside Business

A recent study co-authored by Nick Bollen, the E. Bronson Ingram Professor in Finance, and Indiana University’s Veronika Pool demonstrates that risk-based performance flags can accurately prescreen hedge funds for fraud. The study supports strategies currently in use at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), thereby contesting arguments often posed by opponents of additional regulation [...]



In Safe Hands

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2010

According to a recent large-sample study, the extent to which medical residents—physicians in training—are involved in reporting safety incidents is limited, indicating a need for more institutional focus about how, when, why and where incidents should be reported. The study was conducted at a major medical center in the Midwest, with the intent to explore [...]



The Benefits of Bartering

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2010

A version of this article originally appeared in National Review Online on Aug. 12, 2009. German Sterligov is well-known in Moscow, but unlike Roman Abramovich, Oleg Deripaska and other publicly flamboyant Russian billionaires, he is little-known abroad. Sterligov neither sails the Caribbean nor drinks in London’s Mayfair district; most of the time he lives a [...]



Poaching Allowed?

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2010

It is generally accepted among business leaders that “poaching” or hiring a competitor’s employees violates an unwritten rule of business and may be unethical. A new research paper concludes that as long as their actions are not deceptive or illegal, companies that intentionally identify, contact and offer employment to a rival firm’s employees are within [...]



The Dragon by Its Horns

Posted in: Fall 2009, Inside Business

Numerous experts and laymen alike expect the Chinese to realign their business operations, financial behavior and cultural ways to resemble those of the West. This attitude is quietly resented by the striving Chinese. It is also dead wrong. The Chinese want to become Westerners as much as Westerners want to become Chinese. Now that Western [...]



Spy Satellite Office

Posted in: Fall 2009, Inside Business

Presiding over a multibillion-dollar spy satellite program for the U.S. government is difficult enough without having to endure the strain of shrinking budgets, engineering problems, schedule delays and balkanized customer relationships. However, those are exactly the problems that our team, the Space Systems Group at the National Reconnaissance Office, faced in 2006. They are also [...]



Sudden Death

Posted in: Fall 2009, Inside Business

When a homegrown politician dies suddenly, local companies show the loss of a valuable connection immediately in their share prices, according to research from the Owen School. Stock prices for companies located where a politician lived or was born declined by an average of nearly 2 percent when the connection was abruptly severed, translating into [...]



Thinking like a CEO

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2009

  Imagine that you’re an NBA star instead of a stellar MBA. In fact you’re more than a star; you’re one of the top players. Then you make a dramatic career move, accepting a lucrative offer to be a head coach in the league.  Suddenly your job is to lead and motivate others who excel [...]



The ‘Fear Index’ and derivatives

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2009

As the world financial panic set in motion by the subprime mortgage crisis reached full steam in late September, Bob Whaley’s phone began ringing. Interest in what financial writers call the “Fear Index” was spiking as stock prices plummeted and major Wall Street firms collapsed, and much of it was directed his way. The Fear [...]



The cost of hedge fund restrictions

Posted in: Inside Business, Spring 2009

Hedge funds have long been considered among the most lucrative investment vehicles, employing a variety of often high-risk, high-return strategies for wealthy investors. But the news these days from hedge funds—estimated to represent nearly $2 trillion in assets—is no longer rosy, with funds down more than 17 percent in 2008 alone. The secretive world of [...]



Untangling the Knot: Logistics in China

Posted in: Fall 2008, Inside Business

China is undergoing an infrastructure building campaign unrivaled in recent history. When the country first opened its doors to the outside world in fits and starts in the ’80s and ’90s, large transportation providers, like DHL, UPS, FedEx and Exel, began vying for a toehold on the mainland through joint ventures with the various government [...]



Headhunter’s Advice: Manage What You Measure

Posted in: Fall 2008, Inside Business

In his book Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People, author Bradford D. Smart concludes, “With an average base salary of $114,000, the average total cost associated with a ‘typical’ mis-hire is $2,709,000—greater than 24 times the person’s base compensation.”  To rationalize these amounts, think about the opportunity costs [...]



Consumer Price Index: Unreliable Measure of Inflation

Posted in: Fall 2008, Inside Business

When inflation is considered, those who possess a more sanguine outlook relating to pricing pressures have pointed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to bolster their view that inflation is not a problem.   The problem with the CPI is that consumer prices themselves transmit all sorts of information unrelated to currency strength. So while [...]



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