Tidbits on May 27, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Security threats and hoaxes --- http://www.trinity.edu/its/virus/

Music for the Quiet of Summer: Ain't Misbehavin' --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/porch.htm

Train of Life (Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline) ---  

Update on my retirement plans and mountain life in New Hampshire
Are you interested in becoming my replacement at Trinity University?

So far there’s not been much spring up here. It has been the coldest month of May in years and has rained over half the days in April and May. Everything is green, but the colored blooms like lilacs are all delayed. Some of Erika’s potted plants that were set out froze when the night temperatures dropped below 20 degrees.

The bears are getting a bit more aggressive. Our good friends watched a bear come up to their deck and try to get into the house in broad daylight. Their daughter had a bear open that both opened a garage door and got into a car during the night. While she was gardening, a neighbor watched a bear go into the garage and drag a trash bag into the woods. Last year we saw a mother bear with four cubs. It’s not common for a sow to have more than two cubs.

Fortunately, all our mountain bears are black bears. Black bears are noted for their good dispositions. It is extremely rare for them to hurt a person, and that usually only happens if they are threatened or protecting cubs. The western brown bears, in contrast, are sometimes mean and aggressive.

Our worry is hitting a moose on the road. Over 200 of these giants are hit per year in NH, and there’s not much give when you hit a moose. Sometimes your car is all smashed in and the moose walks back into the woods. When driving you also have to watch for the many deer that might be on the road. The same good friends who had a bear on their deck also totaled their Mercedes on a deer last fall.

Erika is healing and somewhat sad that I will be gone for another two semesters. Since I love my job so much, however, I am looking forward to my last year of teaching. She could come stay with me in Texas, but she prefers her mountain cottage to apartment living.

Trinity University has been good to me and I wish them all the best in searching for my replacement.  Any senior accounting faculty interested in becoming the Jesse H. Jones Professor at Trinity University should contact Dan Walz at dwalz@trinity.edu

Bob Jensen --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

Bravo Bangor
Tired and bleary-eyed, Marines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, based at Twentynine Palms, Calif., were finally back on U.S. soil after seven months on the front lines in Iraq. But they were still many miles and hours from their families and the homecoming they longed for. Their officers told them they would be on the ground for 60 to 90 minutes while their chartered plane was refueled. So they disembarked and began walking through the airport terminal orridor to a small waiting room. That's when they heard the applause. Lining the hall and clapping were dozens of Bangor residents who have set a daunting task for themselves: They want every Marine, soldier, sailor and airman returning through the tiny international airport here to get a hero's welcome. Even if the planes arrive in the middle of the night or a blizzard, they are there. Composed mostly from the generation that served in World War II and Korea, they call themselves the Maine Troop Greeters. They have met every flight bringing troops home from Iraq for nearly two years b more than 1,000 flights and nearly 200,000 troops. "Here they come. Everybody get ready," said Joyce Goodwin, 71, her voice full of excitement, undiminished by the hundreds of times she has shown up to embrace the returning troops.
Tony Perry Times Staff Writer April 20, 2005
Jensen Comment:  The Bangor Airport is the former Dow SAC Base and is a popular refueling site for international flights headed elsewhere.

A new government Website on Cybercrime --- http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/
Bob Jensen's threads on computing and networking are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection
Bob Jensen's threads on consumer frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm

CNN ran a scary special last night on ID theft.  It is by far the fastest growing crime in the U.S. with over 10,000,000 victims per year.  Chances are increasing that you will be hit and that there is little you can do to prevent it since we've become so dependent upon credit cards and bank accounts.  The sad thing is that Congress shows little interest in really getting tough in forcing companies to take more serious preventative measures.  I guess the banking lobbies are not working in our best interests these days.

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#IdentityTheft

Sustainable Table:  Serving Up Healthy Food Choices --- http://www.sustainabletable.org/home/

Aaron Konstam sent a link that provides more detail on how to get personal information on people and how to remove your personal information from the the Zabasearch database --- http://www.snopes.com/computer/internet/zabasearch.asp

The Zabasearch site is at http://www.zabasearch.com/

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm

Giving quizzes and exams via Blackboard  and WebCT

Use Quizzes/Surveys to create and administer quizzes and surveys. The Quiz and Survey tools can be used for summative and formative evaluation.
WebCT@Queens  --- --- http://www.its.queensu.ca/webct/facultyguide/tools/quizzes.htm
Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

A sociologist describes religion as "a fundamental belief in magic"
The essay, “Religion & Morality: A Contradiction Explained,” critiqued the role of religion. “Modern religion is a fundamental belief in magic,” he wrote. The essay also argued that religion had numerous negative consequences. Of religions, he wrote: “They persist today because they are so effective at constructing group identities and at setting up conflict between the in- and out-groups. For all religions, there is an ‘us’ and a ‘them.’ All the ritual and the fellowship associated with religious practice is just a means of continually emphasizing group boundaries.”
Scott Jaschik, "Academic Freedom or Intolerance of Faith?" Inside Higher Ed, May 26, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/26/shortell

Economic Theory Question:  Why are Catholics more likely to gamble?

Who Gambles in the Stock Market?
by Alok Kumar

Option theory meet portfolio selection. It fits the theory perfectly, even though I am less sure of some of the non economic aspects (for instance, why would Catholics be more likely to take chances), but it sure is an interesting paper that does fit with theory.

Short version: the poor take bigger chances. (gee, Option theory would predict that perfectly!)

SSRN-Who Gambles in the Stock Market? by Alok Kumar
If a desire to escape poverty induces gambling, socio-economic factors which promote lottery purchases are also likely to induce investors to adopt sub-optimal stock investment strategies. Specifically, investors with a large differential between their existing economic status and their aspiration levels would tilt their portfolios toward riskier lottery-type stocks. However, these investors may hold riskier stocks not necessarily because they are risk-seeking but rather because they want to have a positive probability, albeit very small, of reaching their aspiration levels."
A friend of mine calls lotteries taxes on the stupid (overlooking the physic pleasure of playing). Kumar addresses this point not by using intelligence, but rather education:
"investor characteristics may influence probability distortions, where relatively sophisticated investors are less likely to distort the small probabilities. For instance, educated individuals are more likely to understand the odds of winning while relatively less educated individuals may significantly distort the winning odds. If education is correlated with income and wealth, rich individuals are less likely to participate in lotteries."
One final quote:
"I assume that investors are more likely to perceive lower-priced stocks with very small but positive potential for high returns as lotteries. I further assume that stocks with higher variance (or higher idiosyncratic volatility or extreme returns) and positively skewed returns are likely to be perceived as high payoff potential stocks."

Kumar, Alok, "Who Gambles in the Stock Market?" (May 2005). http://ssrn.com/abstract=686022

From Jim Mahar's blog on May 20, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Predictions by Bill Gates:  Further Down the Road
When Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates released his first book, The Road Ahead, in 1996, he predicted technical wonders we take for granted now. He saw that, in the future, music would be kept as digital bits of information, rather than on CDs and cassettes. He foresaw the workforce displacement that the Web enables. And he predicted a dramatic rise in shopping on the Net, changing consumer habits forever. Now Gates is ready to look into his crystal ball again. BusinessWeek Online has learned that the Microsoft (MSFT ) founder is in the preliminary stages of writing a new book, looking once again at the future of technology. ANOTHER BEST SELLER? Microsoft is in the final stages of closing a deal with a co-author, whom the company declined to name. And Gates's representatives have begun meeting with book industry execs to gauge their interest. The software giant won't say yet when it hopes to see a book in print:  "Further Down Bill Gates's Road Microsoft's founder is authoring another volume of predictions about technology's future, including IT's impact on world health and education,"
Jay Greene, Business Week, May 18, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/gates2

The game of chess matches a human expert against 64 computers:  The man's chances are slim at best
Developed by the Abu Dhabi-based PAL Group, Hydra uses 64 computers that operate as a single machine. It can analyse 200m chess moves in a second and think up to 40 moves ahead. Its technology can also be applied to supercomputer tasks such as DNA and fingerprint matching, code-breaking and space travel calculations. Adams, who became a grandmaster at 17 and has played almost 2,000 games in international tournaments, is understandably cautious about his chances. "I know it will be a very tough match, but I will do my best," he said at the announcement of the contest at a London hotel yesterday. "You have to adopt a slightly different strategy against a computer because there is no way you can compete against that massive processing power. I will be using intuition and experience to take the computer into positions it is uncomfortable with."
Richard Jinman, "Man v machine in chess showdown," The Guardian, May 25, 2005 --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/news/0,12597,1491666,00.html

Time Magazine readers pick all-time movie favorites

1:  Pyaasa
2:  The Godfather, Parts I and II
3:  Unforgiven
4:  Schindler's List
5:  A Hard Day's Night

"All-Time 100 Top Movies," Time Magazine, May 25, 2005 --- http://www.time.com/time/2005/100movies/index.html

The complete listing is at http://www.time.com/time/2005/100movies/the_complete_list.html

German spam is raining down on Bob Jensen
Almost a year after they first appeared, hundreds of German-language junk e-mails are once more sprouting up in many people's inboxes.
Robert MacMillan. "Gotterspammerung,"  The Washington Post, May 16, 2005 ---

Belgian Experiment: Make Prostitution Legal to Fight Its Ills
Germany, the Netherlands and Greece have legalized or expanded regulation of prostitution in the past six years, and others are considering similar moves. By forcing the business out into the open, the governments hope to make it harder for human traffickers to thrive. Nearly 800,000 people are trafficked across borders world-wide each year, according to the U.S. State Department. The victims, promised passage to and work in the West, are typically forced, defrauded or coerced into sexual exploitation, in a modern-day form of slavery. Some Eastern European countries that joined the European Union last year have become major transit points for trafficked women. Antwerp, a port city of 500,000, offers a case study in the benefits -- and limits -- of legalization. Local police say the tight controls in the tolerance zone have helped reduce prostitution-related crime -- including drug trafficking, assault, rape, murder and vandalism -- by 44% overall since 2001. Legalization also has brought in nearly $800,000 in tax revenue to the city.
Dan Bilefsky, "Belgian Experiment: Make Prostitution Legal to Fight Its Ills:  In Antwerp Area, Police Battle Crime, Human Trafficking; Outside, It Still Goes On," The Wall Street Journal,  May 26, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111706273289743489,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

Academic research that must be kept secret
Half of all American medical schools would let companies that sponsor clinical drug trials draft journal articles based on the studies and two in five would allow sponsors to prohibit researchers from sharing data with third parties after the studies are completed, according to a survey by researchers at Harvard University’s School of Public Health. The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, examined the agreements between medical schools and the pharmaceutical companies that sponsor about 70 percent of the clinical drug trials in the United States.
Scott Jaschik, "Quick Takes: Drug Companies’ Influence," Inside Higher Ed, May 26, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/26/qt

Extension 720 offers discerning and insightful commentary on a very wide range of issues
In a day and age where many radio programs rely on the powers of mere shock value, Extension 720 offers discerning and insightful commentary on a very wide range of issues. Based out of Chicago, the program is hosted by Milt Rosenberg, who is a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago. Since 1973, the program has featured the likes of Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter, Charlton Heston, William Safire, and Calvin Trillin, among others. On the site, visitors can listen to the current program, or browse through the extensive archives, which date back to 2003. Additionally, visitors can also view highlights of interviews from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Some of the more recent programs have focused their attention on the world of stand-up comedy, organized crime in Chicago, and the current state of various Great Books curricula in American high schools and colleges.
Scout Report, May 27, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/ScoutMay27

Extension 720 --- http://wgnradio.com/shows/ex720/index.html

New Constitution Day (September 17) requirement for most colleges and universities
The U.S. Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787. Sen. Robert Byrd takes the Constitution very seriously and worries that not enough Americans share his passion or know much about the Constitution. So the powerful West Virginia senator inserted into an appropriations bill last year a requirement that all educational institutions receiving federal funds offer an instructional program every Constitution Day, September 17. Colleges are covered by the provision and the Education Department released rules Tuesday to carry out the law. The rules aren’t really rules at all. They just restate the requirement of the law, note that Constitution Day programs can be held the week prior or after September 17 if that day falls on a weekend or holiday (this year it is a Saturday), and offer some Web sites with information about the Constitution. So while colleges have to do something on Constitution Day, they can decide on just about any approach.
Scott Jaschik, "Few Rules for New Constitution Day Requirement," Inside Higher Ed, May 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/25/constitution

Remembering Ricoeur
Paul Ricoeur — the philosopher whose writings on hermeneutics were the cornerstone of an ambitious rethinking of the relationship between the humanities and the social sciences — died on Friday at the age of 92. By the late 1960s, American academic presses had made him one of the first French thinkers of his generation with a substantial body of work available in English. Even as an octogenarian, he was more productive than many scholars half his age. Late last year, the University of Chicago Press published Memory, History, Forgetting — an enormous study of the conditions of possibility for both historical writing and moral forgiveness. His book The Course of Recognition is due from Harvard University Press this fall. And Ricoeur himself provided the ideal survey of his life and philosophical development in Critique and Commitment, a lively set of interviews that Columbia University Press issued in 1998. At the time of his death, he was professor emeritus at both the University of Paris and the University of Chicago. “The entire European humanist tradition is mourning one of its most talented spokesmen,” said a statement from the office of Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the prime minister of France, released over the weekend. And that leads to a conundrum. It is Tuesday already, and nobody in the American media has insulted Ricoeur yet. What’s going on? Have our pundits lost their commitment to mocking European intellectuals and the pointy-headed professors who read them? At first I thought it might be that people were still tired from abusing Derrida following his death last fall. But clearly that’s not it.

 Scott McLemee, "Remembering Ricoeur," Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/05/24/mclemee

MLA Opposes Boycott
The Executive Council of the Modern Language Association on Wednesday sent a letter to the Association of University Teachers, Britain’s primary faculty union, calling on it to end its boycott of two Israeli universities. The MLA letter said that the boycott “is damaging to the vital free exchange of ideas,” and that the boycott ran counter to the MLA’s belief that scholars should be judged not on the basis of their nationality, but on “the character and quality of their work.”
Scott Jaschik, "MLA Opposes Boycott," Inside Higher Ed, May 26, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/26/qt

Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse.
Thomas Szasz. as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-05-25-05.htm

The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education.
Plutarch.as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-05-17-05.htm

With the growing maturity of linear and reductionist paradigms, the new frontier for problem-solving tools will be new mathematics and algorithms. It is clear that new tools are needed for solving more difficult social and biological problems. This type of mathematics will be capable of handling uncertainties, making decisions and modeling very large systems and networks which are complex, nonlinear and distributive.
New Mathematics and Natural Computation, a new journal from World Scientific --- http://www.worldscinet.com/nmnc/01/0101/S17930057050101.html

Statistical Abstract of the United States 2004-2005 edition available now! --- http://www.census.gov/statab/www/

Income and tax statistics from the IRS --- http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/article/0,,id=130546,00.html

Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics
Bob Jensen's threads on encyclopedias are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

Faculty sanction issues and related cases
(Persons) interested in this thread may also be interested in a recent summary on faculty sanction issues and related cases from the National Conference on Law in Higher Education (annually at Stetson U. Law School) online at http://www.aaup.org/Legal/info outlines/05legmiscon.htm  (it also links to some sample campus policies).
May 17, 2005 email message from Tracy Sutherland

Deals from Hell:  A new book by Robert Bruner
It is, of course, the losers that create the most interest. The flash of a big deal is like watching a Ferrari dart down the highway. Immense sums are at stake, as well as the reputations of highflying chief executives, and there is always the chance of a smash-up around the bend. Mr. Bruner fixes on 10 notorious smash-ups, such as the AOL-Time Warner combination of 2000, AT&T's bungled purchase of NCR Corp. in 1991 and the failed leveraged buyout of Revco Drug Stores in 1986. He then helps us to understand such debacles by examining the causes of failure in the nonfinancial world, noting that "at the heart of most disasters is an element of human choice or action that might have averted the outcome."
Dennis Berman, "If Only They Had Never Met," The Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2005; Page D8 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111705847256743404,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Demand for Certified Bookkeepers Outpacing Supply
In the seven years since bookkeeper certification was introduced, 10,000 bookkeepers have registered for certification. Another 15,000 have requested information on the certification process. Yet the question remains: can employers find enough certified bookkeepers (CB) to meet their needs? “The good news for employers,” says Steve Sahlein, Co-President of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), “is that between the increased demand for Certified Bookkeepers and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook predicting that the best jobs will go to Certified Bookkeepers, we expect to see a lot more CBs in the near future.” Chris Brademas, Human Resources Director at Beach, Fleischman & Co. P.C., southern Arizona’s largest CPA firm, has felt the pinch. “I knew that a CB would fit in with our firm’s emphasis on highly trained professionals,” she says. Unfortunately, a “Certified Bookkeeper highly preferred” job posting, returned no CB applicants. So she turned to nearby Pima County Community College, one of more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide certification preparatory courses, and hired a student on the certification track. Across the country, in Nashville, Tennessee, Certified Bookkeeper Kelly Ritts, sent out six resumes, interviewed with five companies and received three job offers. Certification may even mean more to employers than an Associate Degree in accounting, as Brenda Lee Shelt of Kalispell, Montana found out. Without certification, the CPA firm she wanted to work at wouldn’t even interview her. As soon as she became a certified bookkeeper, the same firm not only hired her, they’re paying her 50 percent more than they pay individuals with Associate’s Degrees and have promised to review her performance and contract after three months. This is not news to employment agencies who have long found Certified Bookkeepers have a tremendous advantage when it comes to competing for jobs. “Employers will pay more for bookkeepers who have proven their technical knowledge in a national exam,” says Stan Hartman who manages the AIPB’s job placement Web site. “Many bookkeepers may have only on-the-job training.”
"Demand For Certified Bookkeepers Outpacing Supply," AccountingWeb, May 18, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=100916 

Bob Jensen's threads on accountancy careers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#careers

University of Minnesota's Insect Collection --- http://www.entomology.umn.edu/museum/index.html

New Type of Rewards Card for Fliers
In a move that will likely reassure travel-rewards seekers who are worried about the availability of frequent-flier seats, American Express Co. launched a new card yesterday that earns customers points redeemable for cash discounts of as much as 75% on Delta Air Lines flights. People using the card, called the SkyPoints Credit Card, earn a new frequent-flier currency called SkyPoints, which they can trade in for the airline discounts. For instance, a customer could trade 15,000 SkyPoints for a 50% discount off a $400 cross-country Delta flight.
Ron Lieber, "New Type of Rewards Card for Fliers:  AmEx Gives Customers Choice of Earning Discounts Or Miles for Delta Flights," The Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2005; Page D2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111706978914843704,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Minorities forced to compete for doctoral fellowships
According to the report, from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, many of the groups that support minority Ph.D. students have broadened their programs to include other students as well. As a result, the report warns that the cohort of new Ph.D.’s — and in turn the cohort of new professors in the years to come — may lack the racial and ethnic diversity many colleges want for their faculties. The foundation’s report has two main parts. One part summarizes data showing how few Ph.D.’s are awarded to black and Hispanic students. In 2003, the report notes, one in three Americans was black or Hispanic, but only one in nine American citizens who received Ph.D.’s that year were black or Hispanic. The data in the report largely come from the studies conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and released in December.
Scott Jaschik, "Dwindling Support," Inside Higher Ed, May 26, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/26/minority

"Rise of the Plagiosphere," by Ed Tenner, MIT's Technology Review, June 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/06/issue/megascope.asp?trk=nl

Enter text-comparison software. A small handful of entrepreneurs have developed programs that search the open Web and proprietary databases, as well as e-books, for suspicious matches. One of the most popular of these is Turnitin; inspired by journalism scandals such as the New York Times' Jayson Blair case, its creators offer a version aimed at newspaper editors. Teachers can submit student papers electronically for comparison with these databases, including the retained texts of previously submitted papers. Those passages that bear resemblance to each other are noted with color highlighting in a double-pane view.

Two years ago I heard a speech by a New Jersey electronic librarian who had become an antiplagiarism specialist and consultant. He observed that comparison programs were so thorough that they often flagged chance similarities between student papers and other documents. Consider, then, that Turnitin's spiders are adding 40 million pages from the public Web, plus 40,000 student papers, each day. Meanwhile Google plans to scan millions of library books--including many still under copyright--for its Print database. The number of coincidental parallelisms between the various things that people write is bound to rise steadily.

A third technology will add yet more capacity to find similarities in writing. Artificial-intelligence researchers at MIT and other universities are developing techniques for identifying nonverbatim similarity between documents to make possible the detection of nonverbatim plagiarism. While the investigators may have in mind only cases of brazen paraphrase, a program of this kind can multiply the number of parallel passages severalfold.

Some universities are encouraging students to precheck their papers and drafts against the emerging plagiosphere. Perhaps publications will soon routinely screen submissions. The problem here is that while such rigorous and robust policing will no doubt reduce cheating, it may also give writers a sense of futility. The concept of the biosphere exposed our environmental fragility; the emergence of the plagiosphere perhaps represents our textual impasse. Copernicus may have deprived us of our centrality in the cosmos, and Darwin of our uniqueness in the biosphere, but at least they left us the illusion of the originality of our words. Soon that, too, will be gone.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

Paul Pacter has been working hard to both maintain his international accounting site and to produce a comparison guide between international and Chinese GAAP.  He states the following on May 26, 2005 at http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm 

May 26, 2005:  Deloitte (China) has published a comparison of accounting standards in the People's Republic of China and International Financial Reporting Standards as of March 2005. The comparison is available in both English and Chinese. China has different levels of accounting standards that apply to different classes of entities. The comparison relates to the standards applicable to the largest companies (including all non-financial listed and foreign-invested enterprises) and identifies major accounting recognition and measurement differences. Click to download:



The chronology of events leading up to European adoption if common international accounting standards --- http://www.iasplus.com/restruct/resteuro.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory.htm

How to use VAR, ETL in Excel

Estimating Risk Measures

I wish I could retroactively require an article to be read! If I could, this would be it for my Portfolio class (Fin422).

Writing in Financial Engineering News, Kevin Dowd explains how to use Excel to calculate VAR and other risk measures. This will be VERY HELPFUL in class!!!

For instance: "To estimate the daily VaR at, say, the 99 percent confidence level, we can use Excel’s Large command, which gives the kth largest value in an array. Thus, if our data are an array called “losses,” we can take the VaR to be the eleventh largest loss out of 1,000. (We choose the eleventh largest loss as our VaR because the confidence level implies that one percent of losses – 10 losses – should exceed the VaR.) The estimated VaR is given by the Excel command “=Large(losses,11)”."

good stuff! Read it!!!

From Jim Mahar's blog on May 23, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Bob Jensen's threads on VAR are under the V-terms at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm#V-Terms

VAR disclosures are one of the alternatives allows under SEC Rule 4-08

Here is a Good Summary of Various Forms of Business Risk  --- http://www.erisk.com/portal/Resources/resources_archive.asp 

A U.S. school hasn't won the world computer programming championship since 1997
On April 7, CNET News.com reported the following: "The University of Illinois tied for 17th place in the world finals of the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest. ... "That's the lowest ranking for the top-performing U.S. school in the 29-year history of the competition. Shanghai Jiao Tong University of China took top honors this year, followed by Moscow State University and the St. Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics. Those results continued a gradual ascendance of Asian and East European schools during the past decade or so. A U.S. school hasn't won the world championship since 1997, when students at Harvey Mudd College achieved the honor. 'The U.S. used to dominate these kinds of programming Olympics,' said David Patterson, president of the Association for Computing Machinery and a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley. 'Now we're sort of falling behind.' "
Thomas Friedman, "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?,"  The New York Times, May 18, 2005

The New AP
The College Board will soon begin research in an effort to make Advanced Placement courses and exams more closely resemble the best first-year college courses. Traditionally, the College Board surveyed colleges across the country and used responses to generate its curriculum. “For Advanced Placement U.S. History, we asked things like: ‘How much time do you spend on the Civil War? Or the Industrial Revolution?’” said Trevor Packer, the AP executive director. “Then we structured courses and exams accordingly.” In its new approach, the College Board will consult experts, both inside and outside colleges, to determine which first-year college courses across the nation are held in highest regard, and then model AP courses and exams after them.
David Epstein, "The New AP," Inside Higher Ed, May 26, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/26/ap

Quotes from Woody Allen --- http://www.lifeisajoke.com/woodyswit_html.htm

Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right. (Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex)

That [sex] was the most fun I ever had without laughing. (Annie Hall)

Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone I love. (Annie Hall)

Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best.

Sex between a man and a woman can be absolutely wonderful - provided you get between the right man and the right woman.

My love life is terrible. The last time I was inside a woman was when I visited the Statue of Liberty.

Love is the answer - but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions.

I'm such a good lover because I practise a lot on my own.

The food in this place is really terrible. Yes, and such small portions. That's essentially how I feel about life. (Annie Hall)

If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever. (Love and Death)

I'm short enough and ugly enough to succeed on my own. (Play it Again Sam)

I'm really a timid person - I was beaten up by Quakers. (Sleepers)

My brain - it's my second favorite organ. (Sleeper)

Q. Have you ever taken a serious political stand on anything? A. Yeah. Sure. For twenty-four hours once I refused to eat grapes. (Sleeper)

Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it. (Getting Even, 'My Philosophy')

Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends. (New Yorker, 'My Philosophy')

The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep. (Without Feathers, 'The Scrolls')

It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens. (Death)

The thing to remember is that each time of life has its appropriate rewards, whereas when you're dead it's hard to find the light switch. The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife - a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it's being held. On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done as easily lying down. (The Early Essays)

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. (The Early Essays)

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam: I looked into the soul of another boy. (Woody Allen: Clown Prince of American Humor)

My parents were very old world. They come from Brooklyn, which is the heart of the Old World. Their values in life are God and carpeting. (Woody Allen: Clown Prince of American Humor)

I have never been an intellectual but I have this look.

A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to sleep with me and she said 'no'. (Woody Allen Volume Two)

I am at two with nature. (Woody Allen: Clown Prince of American Humor)

Some guy hit my fender, and I told him 'be fruitful, and multiply.' But not in those words. (Woody Allen: Clown Prince of American Humor)

I wanted to be an arch-criminal as a child, before I discovered I was too short. (Woody Allen: Clown Prince of American Humor)

I asked the girl if she could bring a sister for me. She did. Sister Maria Teresa. It was a very slow evening. We discussed the New Testament. We agreed that He was very well adjusted for an only child. (Woody Allen: Clown Prince of American Humor)

And my parents finally realize that I'm kidnapped and they snap into action immediately: they rent out my room. (Woody Allen and His Comedy)

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else. (Woody Allen and His Comedy)

Death is an acquired trait. (Woody Allen and His Comedy)

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work…I want to achieve it through not dying. (Woody Allen and His Comedy)

I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It's about Russia. (Quote and Unquote)

Take the money and run. (Film title)

If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank. (Selections from the Allen Notebooks, New Yorker)

On bisexuality: It immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night. (New York Times)

I recently turned sixty. Practically a third of my life is over. (Sayings of the Week, Observer)

I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers.

Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate.

The baby is fine. The only problem is that he looks like Edward G. Robinson.

I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's so hard to find your way around Chinatown.

How can I believe in God when justlast week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?

I sold the memoirs of my sex life to a publisher - they are going to make a board game out of it.

Basically my wife was immature. I'd be in my bath and she'd come in and sink my boats.

If there is reincarnation, I'd like to come back as Warren Beatty's fingertips.

The only time my wife and I had a simultaneous orgasm was when the judge signed the divorce papers.

I do not believe in an after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your future plans.

If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.

There are two types of people in this world: good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more .

More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.

Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought - particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things.

94.5% of all statistics are made up.

Why ruin a good story with the truth?

Sex is like having dinner: sometimes you joke about the dishes, sometimes you take the meal seriously.

It is impossible to travel faster than light and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off...

I failed to make the chess team because of my height.

Sex between 2 people is a beautiful thing. Between 5, it's fantastic.

I'm very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.

I don't think my parents liked me. They put a live teddy bear in my crib.


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Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu