Tidbits on May 4, 2009
Bob Jensen


My camera records pictures to a CD disk that I don't finalize for several months.
I belatedly finalized a disk I put in the camera just before Christmas.
It shows scenes of our winter.
Up here we love the snow and hate the ice.
List winter we had the mother of all ice storms.
I lost one of three birch trees inside the loop of my driveway.
Below you can see it bent down in front of the garage door.

When I cut the top off the tree sprang upward, but the tree was too broken to save.


And now I'm being chewed out by the awful way I hang up my clothes.

I watch a the sun rise every morning in every season while typing out my tidbits.
Sunrises and oatmeal go great together.

And now back to my ice and snow.


The trees below alongside my wildflower field were bent but not broken.
They all survived.

It's a good thing I trimmed this cherry tree way back before winter.

Below is the lamp pole on on our back deck.

Later on after a snow storm.


Below are the Cedar Wax Wings getting at the last of the remaining wild cranberries in front of my desk.



“Prophet,” said I, “thing of evil! prophet
still if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us—by
that God we both adore,
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if
within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the
angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom
the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Edgar Allen Poe as quoted by Jill Lapore, "The Humbug," The New Yorker, April 27, 2009 ---


Life is How You Choose to Make It --- http://www.chooseinspirationmovie.com/



Tidbits on May 4, 2009
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

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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 past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination

Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory --- http://snipurl.com/411directory       [www_public-records-now_com] 
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Bob Jensen's essay on the financial crisis bailout's aftermath and an alphabet soup of appendices can be found at


On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

Global Incident Map --- http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  --- http://www.valour-it.blogspot.com/

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Amos and Andy Radio Programs from 1944 --- http://www.archive.org/details/AmosandAndy1944

Mark-to-market country song --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFPCztVle7k

MathVids (tutorial videos) --- http://www.mathvids.com/

The Waterlines Project (Seattle shoreline and development videos) --- http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/waterlines/

LabCAST: The MIT Media Lab Video Podcast [iTunes] --- http://labcast.media.mit.edu/

On Point [iTunes news from poetry to science] http://www.onpointradio.org/

BBC: In Our Time [iTunes] --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/

Muslim Demographics --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU

European Languages Tutorials [iTunes] --- http://www.ielanguages.com/

Absolutely a "must see" video on the demise of Long Term Capital Management and its failed "Trillion Dollar Bet" that was previously featured in one of the best PBS Nova television shows ever produced. Eric Rosenfeld was an inside LTCM player.
Eric Rosenfeld's 90-minute presentation on 2/19/09 ---
Recall that LTCM single handedly would've brought down Wall Street if the major Wall Street firms had not sacrificed the billions needed to save themselves (albeit not save LTCM that folded soon afterwards).
LTCM was started by two famous Nobel economists, some of their doctoral students, and a noted Wall Street bond trader.
You can read about The Trillion Dollar Bet at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#LTCM

Economic Optimism (well er ... sort of)
Video from the AICPA --- http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Multimedia/MarkLang.htm
Accounting professor Mark H. Lang of the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School analyzes trends seen in the most recent AICPA/UNC Kenan-Flagler Business and Industry Economic Outlook Survey, which drew responses from more than 1,100 CPA financial executives.

Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Brahms' French Horn Of Plenty, In Concert --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103336265

Symphonic 'Enlightenment' In The 18th Century --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103130363

Mark-to-market country song --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFPCztVle7k

Baby Boomers Humor Video --- http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-walt-babyboomers-blurb,0,1036393.blurb

20 useless Firefox add-ons (slideshow) --- http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10230694-2.html?tag=nl.e404

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Photographs and Art

The Ten Greatest Hubble Photographs of Space ---

Top Photographs from the 2008 Iowa State Fair --- http://www.iowastatefair.me/category/pictures

Edinburgh Rooftop Photographs --- http://www.edinburgh-photographs.com/

SXSW Art --- http://ak.zoomorama.com/static/onetime/artsxsw/ 

The Thirties [Flash Player] http://americanart.si.edu/education/picturing_the_1930s/index.html

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers --- http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/home.html

Library of Congress Web Archives: Iraq War --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/lcwa/html/iraq/iraq-overview.html

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

United Nations Economic and Social Council --- http://www.un.org/ecosoc/

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

I enjoyed a good life because of the savings and sacrifices made my parents, grandparents, and their ancestors before them made for future generations. My father never had a credit card and died with zero debt. My generation will leave only soaring debt and impossible entitlements promises to future generations.

I suspect best of times peaked when spendthrift consumers thought they could live on credit cards and government handouts and subsides now costing trillions in government deficits that are not sustainable. The U.S. economy is becoming the largest Ponzi scheme the world has ever known. Someday there just will not be anything but inflation and Zimbabwe-like dollars to pay for entitlement promises --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/entitlements.htm

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.
Cicero - 55 B.C.


Their report, "Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050," predicted that within 40 years, the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China - the BRICs - would be larger than the US, Germany, Japan, Britain, France and Italy combined. China would overtake the US as the world's largest economy and India would be third, outpacing all other industrialised nations. 
"Out of the shadows," Sydney Morning Herald, February 5, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/02/04/1107476799248.html 


The first economist, an early  Nobel Prize Winning economist, to raise the alarm of entitlements in my head was Milton Friedman.  He has written extensively about the lurking dangers of entitlements.  I highly recommend his fantastic "Free to Choose" series of PBS videos where his "Welfare of Entitlements" warning becomes his principle concern for the future of the Untied States 25 years ago --- http://www.ideachannel.com/FreeToChoose.htm 


Our legislators did not heed his early warnings, and now we are no longer "free to choose."


IOUSA (the most frightening movie in American history) --- (see a 30-minute version of the documentary at www.iousathemovie.com ).


I’d been working for the bank for about five weeks when I woke up on the balcony of a ski resort in the Swiss Alps. It was midnight and I was drunk. One of my fellow management trainees was urinating onto the skylight of the lobby below us; another was hurling wine glasses into the courtyard. Behind us, someone had stolen the hotel’s shoe-polishing machine and carried it into the room; there were a line of drunken bankers waiting to use it. Half of them were dripping wet, having gone swimming in all their clothes and been too drunk to remember to take them off. It took several more weeks of this before the bank considered us properly trained. . . . By the time I arrived on Wall Street in 1999, the link between derivatives and the real world had broken down. Instead of being used to reduce risk, 95 per cent of their use was speculation - a polite term for gambling. And leveraging - which means taking a large amount of risk for a small amount of money. So while derivatives, and the financial industry more broadly, had started out serving industry, by the late 1990s the situation had reversed. The Market had become a near-religious force in our culture; industry, society, and politicians all bowed down to it. It was pretty clear what The Market didn’t like. It didn’t like being closely watched. It didn’t like rules that governed its behaviour. It didn’t like goods produced in First-World countries or workers who made high wages, with the notable exception of financial sector employees. This last point bothered me especially.
Philipp Meyer, American Rust (Simon & Schuster, 2009) --- http://search.barnesandnoble.com/American-Rust/Philipp-Meyer/e/9780385527514/?itm=1
American excess: A Wall Street trader tells all - Americas, World - The Independent
Jensen Comment
This book reads pretty much like an update on the derivatives scandals featured by Frank Partnoy covering the Roaring 1990s before the dot.com scandals broke. There were of course other insiders writing about these scandals as well --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#DerivativesFrauds
It would seem that bankers and investment bankers do not learn from their own mistake. The main cause of the scandals is always pay for performance schemes run amuck.
The End of Investment Banking --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#InvestmentBanking

Portfolio, the ambitious, glossy business magazine from Condé Nast Publications, closed Monday after just two years. Joanne Lipman, editor in chief, and Tom Wallace, editorial director of Condé Nast, met with editorial staff members and announced that the magazine and its Web site, Portfolio.com, were shutting down, effective immediately. Most of the $100 million pledged toward the start-up is gone, sunk into the very expensive printing, paper, marketing and editorial costs that go with creating a magazine, especially one published by Condé Nast. The now-folded magazine may be the last of a breed, an attempt by a Manhattan media company to build a large magazine franchise from the ground up.
David Carr, "Portfolio Magazine Shut, a Victim of Recession," The New York Times, April 29, 2009 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/business/media/28mag.html?_r=2&em
Jensen Comment
Could this be an article in The New York Times about what somebody will soon write about The New York Times that's itself on the verge of bankruptcy?

The achievement gap between white and minority students has not narrowed in recent years, despite the focus of the No Child Left Behind law on improving the scores of blacks and Hispanics, according to results of a federal test considered to be the nation's best measure of long-term trends in math and reading proficiency. Between 2004 and last year, scores for young minority students increased, but so did those of white students, leaving the achievement gap stubbornly wide, despite President George W. Bush's frequent assertions that the No Child law was having a dramatic effect.
This is a quotation from a report on the No Child Left Behind Act that The New York Times chose to neglect!
The Wall Street Journal Editors Newsletter pointed out that The New York Times deliberately twisted this into a statement that the NCLB failed to close the racial divide while at the same time raising the performances of both white and African American children.
The intellectually biased report by Sam Dillan is entitled "No Child’ Law Is Not Closing a Racial Gap," appears in The New York Times, April 28, 2009 ---
Has the New York Times ever found anything favorable about any initiative sponsored by President George W. Bush?

Howard broached another of his bêtes noires: the removal of seesaws and other equipment from New York City’s parks, for liability reasons. “Seesaws are quite important, because they teach you to distrust people,” he said, and added, “I learned to distrust my brothers at a very early age.” The good news is that everything is about to change. Howard, quickly limning two centuries of American history, pointed out that large social changes occur every forty years, and we are due for one right now. Someone from the audience asked, referring to his plan to reform society, “How optimistic can we be?” Howard smiled. “With your help,” he replied, and the old building seemed to whisper, Yes, we can.
John Seabrook, "Exit Lawyers," The New Yorker, April 27, 2009 --- http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2009/04/27/090427ta_talk_seabrook

The ailing national economy led Moody's Investors Service to downgrade 12 of the colleges and nonprofit groups whose debt it rated in the first quarter of 2009, and upgrade none, the ratings agency said in a report Monday. The report, which looked broadly at what Moody's calls "public finance," which includes municipalities and states as well as hospitals and other non-corporate entities, said that the general downward trend of its revisions of credit ratings "were attributable to the broad economic, rather than issuer-specific, conditions." In other words, the colleges and universities whose credit ratings Moody's downgraded suffered that fate more because of the larger financial picture than because their specific situations were so terrible.
Inside Higher Ed, April 28, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/04/28/qt#197568

Amanda Lindhout, a Canadian journalist who was abducted by Somali gunmen in the Somali capital Mogadishu about eight months ago is reportedly pregnant after she was apparently raped by her abductors. The militia who kidnapped the journalists claims they are al-shabab Islamists. Some reports suggest that one the abductors made Amanda as his wife.
Mareeg, April 23, 2009 --- http://www.mareeg.com/fidsan.php?sid=11380&tirsan=3
Jensen Comment
This makes me question the wisdom of the resent capture and virtually immediate release of Somali pirates by a Canadian warship that saved a Norwegian freighter. Couldn't Canada have at least bargained for Amanda Lindhout?

Teens in Washington State have a virtual license to commit murder
Three teens who beat to death Ed McMichael, better known as the (gentle) "Tuba Man," were sentenced to 15-36 weeks in juvenile detention on Wednesday. Kenneth Kelly, 15, Billy Chambers, 16, and Ja'Mari Jones, 16, will be given credit for the roughly 24 weeks they've already spent in custody. The teens pleaded guilty April 3 to first-degree manslaughter in King County Juvenile Court. Because they are not legally adults, none could face a sentence longer than 72 weeks in juvenile detention. Chambers and Jones were also sentenced to 36 weeks in detention for an unrelated robbery, and the two...
"Teens who beat 'Tuba Man' to death sentenced," Komo News, April 23, 2009 --- http://www.komonews.com/news/local/43462667.html

Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase the supply of physicians to meet the needs of an aging population and millions of uninsured people who would gain coverage under legislation championed by the president. The officials said they were particularly concerned about shortages of primary care providers who are the main source of health care for most Americans. One proposal — to increase Medicare payments to general practitioners, at the expense of high-paid specialists — has touched off a lobbying fight.
Robert Pear, "Shortage of Doctors Proves Obstacle to Obama Goals," The New York Times, April 26, 2009 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/health/policy/27care.html?_r=2

The federal government will disclose how much it gives to a state, and the state must report how it distributed those funds to a private company or to local government. But there's no requirement to disclose where the money actually ends up. And there won't be any real data on the Web site for a year. There will be plenty of potential for corsages and caffeine. Americans need a much clearer picture of their stimulus dollars at work. Who got what? What did they buy? And for how much? That's the only information that will let taxpayers know if they're getting ripped off. This last point is crucial. Congress isn't requiring stimulus contracts to be competitively bid. Transparency -- and the public pressure it brings -- is the best remedy left for cutting waste. If Mr. Obama means what he says about transparency, he must get governors, mayors, city executives and grantees to account for every stimulus dime spent. And he must do it now -- not in a year. Without those details, we can only assume the worst.
Veronique De Rugy and Eileen Norcross,"Let's Hold Obama to His Promise of Transparency:  So far, taxpayers can't see the fine print of stimulus spending,"   The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124096725235166449.html#mod=djemEditorialPage 

'Filthy behavior' of Anderson Cooper targeted
The Federal Communications Commission will review complaints it receives over the on-
camera gutter talk of anchors for CNN and MSNBC that came as they condemned the tea party movement in which hundreds of thousands of Americans met on Tax Day to protest not just taxes but a runaway government digging the nation into trillions of dollars in debt. A spokesman for the federal agency confirmed to WND today that there is a standard procedure for evaluating complaints over obscenities, but he could not confirm there would be any response until the concerns had been reviewed.
Bob Unruh, WorldNetDaily, April 24, 2009 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=96049

Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage. We can't have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets. Americans have to decide now. A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation's intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaida.
Peter J. Goss, "Security Before Politics," Former CIA Director

Maybe, for instance, the speaker doesn't remember that in September 2002, as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, she was one of four members of Congress who were briefed by the CIA about the interrogation methods the agency was using on leading detainees. "For more than an hour," the Washington Post reported in 2007, "the bipartisan group . . . was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk. "Among the techniques described," the story continued, "was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder."
"The Politics of Liberal Amnesia," The Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124087384453961191.html

In June of 2005, Texas federal Judge Janice Graham Jack -- who was overseeing 9,000 silicosis lawsuits aggregated in her court -- issued an opinion that shook the tort bar to its core. During depositions, the handful of doctors who provided nearly all these diagnoses began to crack, admitting they'd never seen patients, that their secretaries had filled out forms, and that lawyers had told them what to write. It came out that two-thirds of those claiming to have silicosis had previously claimed to asbestosis -- a near medical impossibility. Judge Jack's 249-page scathing opinion unraveled a scam of giant proportions. She accused the doctors and lawyers of "diagnoses that were manufactured for money," provided evidence of fraud, required a Houston plaintiff's firm to pay defense legal costs, and issued sanctions. Within a few months, Congress and a federal grand jury were investigating. For U.S. Silica, named in nearly every suit, it was a fairy tale end to a nightmare. Even Mr. Ulizio was shocked. "It was like, 'Oh my God, finally, after all these years, somebody is seeing the truth.'
Kimberly A. Strassel, "He Fought the Tort Bar -- and Won," The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124121851177078835.html

Tony Blair as quoted in The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Newsletter on April 24, 2009

Does liberal interventionism have a future? That, it seems to us, is up to President Obama. Here are Blair's thoughts on the matter:

President Obama's reaching out to the Muslim world at the start of a new American administration is welcome, smart, and can play a big part in defeating the threat we face. It disarms those who want to say we made these enemies, that if we had been less confrontational they would have been different. It pulls potential moderates away from extremism.

But it will expose, too, the delusion of believing that there is any alternative to waging this struggle to its conclusion. The ideology we are fighting is not based on justice. That is a cause we can understand. And world-wide these groups are adept, certainly, at using causes that indeed are about justice, like Palestine. Their cause, at its core, however, is not about the pursuit of values that we can relate to; but in pursuit of values that directly contradict our way of life. They don't believe in democracy, equality or freedom. They will espouse, tactically, any of these values if necessary. But at heart what they want is a society and state run on their view of Islam. They are not pluralists. They are the antithesis of pluralism. And they don't think that only their own community or state should be like that. They think the world should be governed like that.

In other words, there may well be groups, or even Governments, that can be treated with, and with whom we can reach an accommodation. Negotiation and persuasion can work and should be our first resort. If they do, that's great, which is why if Hamas were to accept the principle of a peaceful two state solution, they could be part of the process agreeing it. But the ideology, as a movement within Islam, has to be defeated. It is incompatible not with "the West" but with any society of open and tolerant people and that in particular means the many open and tolerant Muslims.

To which the WSJ Editors replied:

Obama's bitterest opponents see him as actively hostile to American ideals and interests, à la former president Jimmy Carter. A more plausible worry is that the president is naive and egotistical enough to believe that his own luminous personality is sufficient to solve the world's problems.

But if Obama's glad-handing is a mere tactic--if it is, or comes to be, part of a strategy that incorporates Blair's insights about the importance of Western ideals and the evil of the enemy's ideology--he could prove to be a successful foreign-policy president.

"How can you trust the cowardly BBC?," by Robert Fisk,  National Review, April 25, 2009 --- http://media.nationalreview.com/

Those of us who follow mideast coverage closely have long observed that the BBC has one of the worst records when it comes to balance and objectivity. (See, for example, here, or here: Revealed: UNRWA spokesman who lied about Israel’s shelling of a school was previously a senior producer at the BBC.)

Last week, the independent BBC Trust (which oversees complaints to the British state broadcaster) finally admitted that BBC’s veteran Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen, had been biased against Israel.

After a lengthy legal battle waged by a London lawyer, it ruled that Bowen had breached BBC guidelines as to accuracy and had skewered information so as to portray Israel in an unfair light.

General Motors is taking a bath and is expected to declare bankruptcy in June. However, the UAW, who helped elect Obama, has muscled into the plan continued pay and benefits for laid-off workers. Sweet deal. Guess who pays for this? (hint: look in mirror).
New Republic, April 23, 2009 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2235957/posts

The latest developments in Washington's restructuring of the auto industry amount to this irony: Having burdened the Detroit companies for decades with restrictive work rules, enormous health-care obligations and generous retiree benefits, the United Auto Workers union will now end up controlling two of them. Specifically, the UAW will own 55% of Chrysler and 39% of General Motors, where only the government will have a larger ownership interest. Assuming that negotiations over the next few days or weeks don't change things, it's hard to know whether this outcome is perversity or poetic justice. The UAW finally will end up having a direct stake in the survival and prosperity of General Motors and Chrysler -- even though the union's shares in the companies will be held by special trust funds instead of by the UAW itself.
Paul Ingrassia, "The UAW in the Driver's Seat: The auto workers get control of Chrysler and GM. Can they make a profit," The Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124104678893870699.html
Jensen Comment
It gets more complicated in that, in spite of owning 35% if the equity shares, the UAW will only get one member on the Board of Directors and the majority holding government gets no Board representative. The plan reminds me of the short time when employees owned United Airlines. This lasted only until United eventually declared bankruptcy and employee shareholders got squat and the U.S. government inherited all pension obligations of United Airlines. The proposed GM and Chrysler plans to date do not resolve how to deal with huge debt holders in GM and Chrysler. That's still a sticky wicket.

Presumably the problem with giving the UAW complete control of GM and Chrysler is that public interest in investing in UAW’s auto company bonds and equity shares will go up in smoke. This will mean that the only source of funding will be Obama’s deep pockets. But if U.S. government ownership of GM and Chrysler is a bit more complicated than the present ownership subsidizing of Fannie and Freddie. It will be absurdly complicated for the government and the UAW to compete with Ford, Toyota, Nissan, etc. that are still owned by global shareholders. Taxpayer subsidies making GM and Chrysler too competitive could throw millions of Ford and other auto workers out of jobs and create very complicated foreign retaliations --- like not rolling over U.S. treasury bills now owned by the trillions of dollars in Japan and China. How can UAW be responsible to both Ford Motor Company as a labor union and to GM and Chrysler as owners?

Update on April 30, 2009
The proposed deal with Chrysler's creditors fell through, and Chrysler declared bankruptcy. I assume the proposals for UAW ownership of Chrysler are also off the table.

"Why Congress Won't Investigate Wall Street:  Republicans and Democrats would find themselves in the hot seat," by Thomas Frank, The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124096712823366501.html

The famous Pecora Commission of 1933 and 1934 was one of the most successful congressional investigations of all time, an instance when oversight worked exactly as it should. The subject was the massively corrupt investment practices of the 1920s. In the course of its investigation, the Senate Banking Committee, which brought on as its counsel a former New York assistant district attorney named Ferdinand Pecora, heard testimony from the lords of finance that cemented public suspicion of Wall Street. Along the way, the investigations formed the rationale for the Glass-Steagall Act, the Securities Exchange Act, and other financial regulations of the Roosevelt era.

A new round of regulation is clearly in order these days, and a Pecora-style investigation seems like a good way to jolt the Obama administration into action. After all, the financial revelations of today bear a striking resemblance to those of 1933. In his own account of his investigation, Pecora described bond issues that were almost certainly worthless, but which 1920s bankers sold to uncomprehending investors anyway. He told of the bonuses which the bankers thereby won for themselves. He also told of the lucrative gifts banks gave to lawmakers from both political parties. And then he told of the banking industry's indignation at being made to account for itself. It regarded the outraged public, in Pecora's shorthand, as a "howling mob."

The idea of a new Pecora investigation is catching on, particularly, but not exclusively, on the left.

It's probably not going to happen, though, in the comprehensive way that it should. The reason is that understanding our problems, this time around, would require our political leaders to examine themselves.

The crisis today is not solely one of bank misbehavior. This is also about the failure of the regulators -- the Wall Street policemen who dozed peacefully as the crime of the century went off beneath the window.

We have all heard the official explanation for this failure, that "the structure of our regulatory system is unnecessarily complex and fragmented," in the soothing words of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. But no proper Pecora would be satisfied with such piffle. The system was not only complex, it was compromised and corrupted and thoroughly rotten even in the spots where its mandate was simple.

After all, we have for decades been on a national crusade to slash red tape and stifle regulators. Over the years, federal agencies have been defunded, their workers have grown dispirited, their managers, drawn in many cases from antiregulatory organizations, have seemed to care far more about industry than the public.

Consider in this connection the 2003 photograph, rapidly becoming an icon of the Bush years, in which James Gilleran, then the director of the Office of Thrift Supervision (it regulates savings and loan associations) can be seen in the company of several jolly bank industry lobbyists, holding a chainsaw to a pile of rule books. The picture not only tells us more about our current fix than would a thousand pages about overlapping jurisdictions; it also reminds us why we may never solve the problem of regulatory failure. To do so, we would have to examine the apparent subversion of the regulatory system by the last administration. And that topic is supposedly off limits, since going there would open the door to endless partisan feuding.

But it's not only Republicans who would feel the sting of embarrassment. Launching Pecora II would automatically raise this question: Whatever happened to the reforms put in place after the first go-round?

Now a different picture comes to mind. It's Bill Clinton in November of 1999, surrounded by legislators of both parties, giving a shout-out to his brilliant Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and signing the measure that overturned Glass-Steagall's separation of investment from commercial banking. Mr. Clinton is confident about what he is doing. He knows the lessons of history, he talks glibly about "the new information-age global economy" that was the idol of deep thinkers everywhere in those days. "[T]he Glass-Steagall law is no longer appropriate to the economy in which we live," he says. "It worked pretty well for the industrial economy, which was highly organized, much more centralized, and much more nationalized than the one in which we operate today. But the world is very different."

It turns out the world hadn't changed much after all. But the Democratic Party sure had. And while today's chastened Democrats might be ready to reregulate the banks, they are no more willing to scrutinize the bad ideas of the Clinton years than Republicans are the bad ideas of the Bush years.

"We may now need to be reminded what Wall Street was like before Uncle Sam stationed a policeman at its corner," Pecora wrote in 1939, "lest, in time to come, some attempt be made to abolish that post."

Well, the time did come. The attempt was made. And we could use that reminder today.

The most criminal class in America writes the laws --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#Lawmakers

"Why academia failed to see the financial crash coming,"  Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2009 --- Click Here

In a highly readable piece on nationalinterest.org, Eichengreen writes:

One interpretation, understandably popular given our current plight, is that the basic economic theory informing the actions of central bankers and regulators was fatally flawed.

But another view, considerably closer to the truth, is that the problem lay not so much with the poverty of the underlying theory as with selective reading of it . . . [which] encouraged financial decision makers to cherry-pick the theories that supported excessive risk-taking.

It discouraged whistle-blowing, not just by risk-management officers in large financial institutions, but also by the economists whose scholarship provided intellectual justification for the financial institutions’ decisions. The consequence was that scholarship that warned of potential disaster was ignored.


. . .

Generous speaker’s fees were . . . available to those prepared to drink the Kool-Aid. Not everyone indulged. But there was nonetheless a subconscious tendency to embrace the arguments of one’s more "successful" colleagues in a discipline where money, in this case earned through speaking engagements and consultancies, is the common denominator of success.

April 29, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

Where was the Center for Disease Control of Toxic Mortgages?

It's easy in hindsight to attribute failure of professors to predict disaster and  forcefully warn the public.

However, I don't think academics had any more advanced warning than the general public about the massive extent to which frauds being generated by reputable banks, mortgage brokers, and real estate appraisers --- the millions upon millions of intentional lies being put forth about borrowers' credit personal incomes and lies about the values of real estate needed to obtain loans.

Certainly there were eventual second-order frauds regarding CDO cookie crumbling dispersions of default risk farther than Tinkerbelle can fly, but I doubt that any respected academic had inside information on the massive amount of poison being manufactured on Main Street itself. Certainly many professors saw the unhealthy risks of sub-prime loans with short-term teaser rates, but the general public not was not aware of the massive deceptions generated by brokers and appraisers having a feeding frenzy on commission fees for mortgages to be passed along to Fannie, Freddie, and investment banks like Merrill Lynch.

In other words there was no Center for Disease Control of Toxic Mortgages. Certainly, there were responsibilities of internal and external auditors of banks and mortgage companies to verify the "truth" of some mortgage applications and real estate appraisals, so audit failure contributed to our prolonged ignorance.

I most certainly think that banks issuing mortgages would've done a better job of internal auditing if they had to keep those mortgage investments on their own books. But when these mortgages were sold without recourse at the speed of light to suckers up the line, the incentives for internal auditing evaporated. Default risk became somebody else's problem before the ink was dry on the contracts.

But much of the problem was a professional responsibility problem rather than an academic problem. The risk dispersion models would've worked if they were not fed in lethal doses of arsenic administered on Main Streets of America.

Ironically one of the Comments published beneath this article states the following:

*****Begin Quotation
Michael Hudson, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, saw it coming--and said so.

In addition to writing magazine articles, Prof. Hudson was Rep. Dennis Kucinich's economic adviser.

Had the mainstream media allowed Mr. Kucinich to be heard during the 2008 presidential campaign, we would have had a chance to hear the thoughts of Mr. Hudson--and perhaps avert the economic horror now upon us.

And folks like Mr. Hudson are still not being heeded. .
*****End Quotation

Firstly note that none of Hudson so-called publications are cited and I doubt that they are in the mainstream of academic literature. Secondly, and more importantly, ACORN has never had a better friend than the one of the most liberal members of Congress --- Dennis Kucinich. Rep. Kucinich along with Barney Frank was on the forefront of forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack to buy up mortgages of poor people who had zero chance of making mortgage payments. Fannie had to knowingly gulp down toxins when powerful members of Congress like Frank and Kucinich made it impossible to demand greater creditworthiness of poor people applying for mortgages.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on the Main Street poison factories are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Sleaze

Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed equally.

Jensen Comment
The $20 billion handed secretly to Ken Lewis was not nearly equal to the losses incurred in the deal. I think Lewis accepted the bribe with his eyes closed and his ears open to promises of more bribes that failed to materialize.

"Welcome to the new capitalism," by Star Parker, Townhall, May 4, 2009 --- http://townhall.com/columnists/StarParker/2009/05/04/welcome_to_the_new_capitalism 

Frank recently praised Bank of America chairman (now ex-chairman) Ken Lewis for acting in "the public interest" for caving in to bribes and threats from former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke regarding B of A's takeover of Merrill Lynch.

Lewis wanted to back out the deal last year when he discovered the massive scope of Merrill's losses. But Paulson and Bernanke decided that Merrill shouldn't fail, so they bribed Lewis with $20 billion of taxpayer funds, instructed him to conceal the agreement from his shareholders, and told him his job would be on the line if he didn't play ball -- which he did.

These sordid details have come to light in an investigation being conducted by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

So if such behavior is what Barney Frank calls economic patriotism, what might constitute subversive behavior?

When Congress moved last year to politically engineer changes in terms of existing mortgages in the name of bailing out distressed homeowners, Bill Frey, who manages a fund that holds mortgage-backed securities, protested.

Frey told the New York Times, "Any investor in mortgage-backed securities has a right to insist that their contract be enforced."

Contracts? Private property? That's the old capitalism.

Frank fired off a letter to Frey saying he was "outraged...that you are actively opposing our efforts to achieve diminution in foreclosures by voluntary efforts." Frank then clarified his idea of "voluntary" by summoning Frey to testify in Washington, noting that "if this cannot be arranged on a voluntary basis, then we will pursue further steps."

The House has passed legislation, which is now in the Senate, containing Frank's idea of "diminution in foreclosures by voluntary efforts." It amounts to -- what a surprise -- taxpayer funded bribes to abrogate existing mortgage contracts and provisions for legal protection for doing so.

Frey and others managing funds for investors holding billions in mortgage-backed securities are fighting back. We're not talking Bernie Madoff here. We're talking about funds that have invested in these securities on behalf of pension funds and 401Ks.

Financial institutions -- banks like B of A and Wells Fargo -- originate mortgages and then sell them off to be sliced and diced up into bonds that individual investors can purchase. This financial innovation has been a boon for providing capital and liquidity to our mortgage markets.

The originating bank, however, stays in the picture to service the loan, collecting and processing the payments. Contractual agreements exist between the bank and the bondholders that this will be done in good faith, according to the terms of the original mortgage.

For a host of reasons, mostly massive government meddling and social engineering, the mortgage market exploded and thus, we've got homeowners who can't make payments.

The House passed bill proposes to bail these folks out by paying banks servicing the mortgages $1000 for each one they re-finance, cutting interest rates and payments. Those who actually own the loans -- the bondholders -- are left out to pasture. And, the bill protects servicing banks from lawsuits to which they would normally be exposed for breaking their contracts.

So taxpayers will subsidize banks to refinance the bad loans they originated but no longer own, homeowners who borrowed beyond their means get bailed out, and investors -- the bondholders -- are left to bear the costs. On top of this, many of these same banks originated second mortgages on these same homes. The second mortgages, which the banks still own, bear even higher interest rates because they are allegedly more risky. Yet, they will be left secure and undisturbed.

Aside from the costs that our society will bear as law and contracts no longer have meaning, Frey rightly points out that it all will just make future mortgage borrowing more expensive. Who will take risks to lend when politicians can change contracts at the drop of a hat?

Welcome to the new capitalism. Where politicians rule, irresponsible behavior is rewarded, and theft is legal.

"Busting Bank of America:  A case study in how to spread systemic financial risk," The Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124078909572557575.html

The cavalier use of brute government force has become routine, but the emerging story of how Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke forced CEO Ken Lewis to blow up Bank of America is still shocking. It's a case study in the ways that panicky regulators have so often botched the bailout and made the financial crisis worse.

In the name of containing "systemic risk," our regulators spread it. In order to keep Mr. Lewis quiet, they all but ordered him to deceive his own shareholders. And in the name of restoring financial confidence, they have so mistreated Bank of America that bank executives everywhere have concluded that neither Treasury nor the Federal Reserve can be trusted.

Mr. Lewis has told investigators for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that in December Mr. Paulson threatened him not to cancel a deal to buy Merrill Lynch. BofA had discovered billions of dollars in undisclosed Merrill losses, and Mr. Lewis was considering invoking his rights under a material adverse condition clause to kill the merger. But Washington decided that America's financial system couldn't withstand a Merrill failure, and that BofA had to risk its own solvency to save it. So then-Treasury Secretary Paulson, who says he was acting at the direction of Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, told Mr. Lewis that the feds would fire him and his board if they didn't complete the deal.

Mr. Paulson told Mr. Lewis that the government would provide cash from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to help BofA swallow Merrill. But since the government didn't want to reveal this new federal investment until after the merger closed, Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke rejected Mr. Lewis's request to get their commitment in writing.

"We do not want a disclosable event," Mr. Lewis says Mr. Paulson told him. "We do not want a public disclosure." Imagine what would happen to a CEO who said that.

After getting the approval of his board, Mr. Lewis executed the Paulson-Bernanke order without informing his shareholders of the material events taking place at Merrill. The merger closed on January 1. But investors and taxpayers had to wait weeks to learn that the government had invested another $20 billion plus loan portfolio insurance in BofA, and that Merrill had lost a staggering $15 billion in the last three months of 2008.

This was the second time in three months that Washington had forced Bank of America to take federal money. In his testimony to the New York AG's office, Mr. Lewis noted that an earlier TARP investment in his bank had a "dilutive effect" on existing shareholders and was not requested by BofA. "We had not sought any funds. We were taking 15 [billion dollars] at the request of Hank [Paulson] and others," Mr. Lewis testified.

But it is the Merrill deal that raises the most troubling questions. Evaluating the policy of Messrs. Bernanke and Paulson on their own terms, this transaction fundamentally increased systemic risk. In order to save a Wall Street brokerage, the feds spread the risk to one of the country's largest deposit-taking banks. If they were convinced that Merrill had to be saved, then they should have made the public case for it. And the first obligation of due diligence is to make sure that their Merrill "rescuer" of choice -- BofA -- had the capacity to bear the losses. Instead they transplanted the Merrill risk to BofA shareholders, the bank's depositors and the taxpayers who ensure those deposits. And then they had to bail out BofA too.

Messrs. Bernanke and Paulson also undermined the transparency that is a vital source of investor confidence. Disclosure is not a luxury to be enjoyed only when markets are rising. It is the foundation of the American regulatory system and a reason investors have long sought to keep their money within U.S. borders. Could either man have believed that their actions wouldn't eventually come to light, with all of the repercussions for their bank rescue plans?

Mr. Paulson told Mr. Cuomo's investigators that he also kept former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox out of the loop while forcing BofA to rescue Merrill. Mr. Cox wasn't the only one. Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke both sit on the Financial Stability Oversight Board, comprised of federal regulators who oversee TARP. Two days after Mr. Lewis told the dynamic duo that Merrill's losses were exploding and that he was looking for a way out, Mr. Bernanke chaired and Mr. Paulson attended a meeting of this board. Minutes of the meeting show no mention of BofA or Merrill.

At the next meeting on January 8, a week after the merger had closed, the minutes again make no mention of either regulator telling their colleagues that they had committed tens of billions of dollars. Yet the minutes helpfully note that among the topics discussed were "coordination, transparency and oversight."

Meeting minutes suggest Messrs. Bernanke and Paulson finally informed fellow board members at 4:30 p.m. on January 15, after news outlets had already reported a pending new taxpayer investment in BofA. What exactly did Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson tell their colleagues about their plans for TARP prior to January 15?

Let's hope they treated their government colleagues better than they've treated Ken Lewis, whom they hung out to dry. After making him an offer he could hardly refuse, they've let him endure a public flogging from shareholders and the press, lengthy discussions with prosecutors, plus new hiring and compensation rules that limit his bank's ability to compete.

No wonder no banker in his right mind trusts the Fed or Treasury, and no wonder nobody but Pimco and other Treasury favorites is eager to invest in the TALF, the PPIP, or any of the other programs that require trusting the government as a business partner.

The political class has spent the last few months blaming bankers for everything that has gone wrong in the financial system, and no doubt many banks have earned public scorn. But Washington has been complicit every step of the way, from the Fed's easy money to the nurturing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and since last autumn with regulatory and Congressional panic that is making financial repair that much harder. The men who nearly ruined Bank of America have some explaining to do.

Jensen Comment

It is interesting to compare the song Ken Lewis was singing before the purchase of Merrill Lynch versus the song he's now singing about "his" burdening BofA with the billions of Merrill Lynch's toxic investments. You can watch and hear him literally brag that BofA was in stronger shape than all the other large U.S. banks because it sold most of its sub-prime mortgages to other buyers (like Fannie, Freddie, and Merrill Lynch) rather than to retain BofA ownership of such poison. Note his bragging in an interview on CBS Sixty Minutes on October 19, 2009.

I watched the show on October 19, 2008, in a CBS Sixty Minutes TV module, when Leslie Stahl interviewed the CEO of Bank of America, Ken Lewis. Mr. Lewis was charming and forceful when he bragged heavily that BofA was much stronger than the other failing banks and was only accepting some Bailout money as a “patriotic duty.” He said BofA really had no need for Bailout cash since his truly giant international bank was in such strong shape even after the subprime scandal first made the news.

Belatedly, Ken Lewis is claiming that the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve teamed up against him and forced him to take on the billions of Merrill Lynch's poison. If this was indeed the case, it would've been a great opportunity for Mr. Lewis to make a public stand against the near-ruination of BofA. Think of what a hero he would've become in the eyes of BofA shareholders and if he would've drawn a line and dared Paulson to fire him for refusing to BofA shareholders to gulp down Merrill Lynch poison.

My guess is that Paulson would've instead sweetened the deal by having the government dilute Merrill Lynch poison such as by making BofA liable for 15% of Merrill Lynch's subprime and CDO losses.

After the purchasing Merrill Lynch, the sour grapes cry baby Ken Lewis does not come across as having CEO quality and guts!

Bob Jensen's threads on all this bank bailout stupidity are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#BailoutStupidity

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on April 30, 2009

Euro Mounts Rally Against Yen, Dollar
by Riva Froymovich
The Wall Street Journal

Apr 29, 2009
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com ---

TOPICS: Advanced Financial Accounting, Foreign Currency Exchange Rates

SUMMARY: "The euro rallied against the dollar and yen Tuesday [April 28, 2009] as trader's reversed Monday's selloff amid the swine-flu scare...." Exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and four currencies are quoted in the article

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article can be used to introduce foreign currency exchange transactions in advanced financial accounting classes.

1. (Introductory) List three economic factors that generally cause a change in any currency's currency exchange rate with other currencies.

2. (Advanced) How does the current swine flu scare have a potential impact on currency exchange rates? Relate your answer to your answer to question 1.

3. (Introductory) Exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and four currencies are quoted in the article: the yen, the euro, the Swiss franc, and the British pound. Which of these exchange rates for the U.S. dollar are quoted indirectly, and which are quoted directly?

4. (Introductory) Define the terms "spot rate" and "forward rate."

5. (Advanced) Refer to the table of currency exchange rates associated with the article. In general, what trends are evident in the forward rates quoted in the table?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

America, what is happening to you?
“One thing seems probable to me,” said Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister, in September 2008....“the United States will lose its status as the superpower of the global financial system.” You don’t have to strain too hard to see the financial crisis as the death knell for a debt-ridden, overconsuming, and underproducing American empire . . .
Richard Florida, "How the Crash Will Reshape America," The Atlantic, March 2009 --- http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200903/meltdown-geography

"Not Moving On Up: Why Women Get Stuck at Associate Professor," by Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2009 ---

Message to deans, department chairs, and other administrators in higher education: Pay more attention to associate professors— particularly women, for whom the path to promotion is often murky and less traveled.

That's one of several recommendations from a panel of the Modern Language Association, whose new report, released today, describes how male associate professors in English and foreign languages are routinely promoted to full professor quicker than women are. To help reverse that trend, the MLA's Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession suggested several moves, such as backing away from the monograph as the dominant form of scholarship that counts toward advancement, attaching bigger salary increases to the jump from associate to full professor, and creating mentor programs that focus specifically on preparing associate professors for promotion. The report, "Standing Still: The Associate Professor Survey," is available on the association's Web site.

"Every associate professor should be promoted at some point," said Kathleen Woodward, a professor of English at the University of Washington and the report's lead author. "Universities have devoted so much attention to assistant professors trying to get tenure, as they should, but associate professors are important, too."

The report shows that women at doctoral institutions take two and a half years longer than men to reach full professor. The gap shrinks to one and a half years at master's institutions, and the smallest gap—a year is at baccalaureate colleges. A closer look at private independent colleges by the association revealed that women there take three and a half years longer than their male counterparts to advance to associate professor.

Over all, the average time to promotion for female associate professors is 8.2 years, compared with 6.6 years for men.

And although many studies show that female academics spend more time caring for children than do their male peers, the association's report found that such family obligations aren't the tipping point when it comes to advancement. Women are promoted more slowly than men, no matter what their marital or parental status is, according to the report, for which 400 professors were surveyed.

Shortage of Mentors

Rosemary G. Feal, the association's executive director, says more people need to be aware of the barriers that keep associate professors, especially women, from advancing to the rank of full professor.

For instance, junior faculty members can typically count on help from formal and informal mentors to navigate the tenure process. But associate professors often have few devoted resources to tap as they try to move up. And female academics, in particular, often report that they have fewer opportunities for mentorship than men. Focused mentor programs that begin the moment scholars are promoted to associate professor could help close the gap, Ms. Woodward says.

"We're not talking about going out to lunch every now and then," Ms. Feal said. "We mean making it clear to associate professors what the path for promotion looks like and helping the associate professor get there. It means providing resources for the person to do the work that's required for them to advance."

Another problem is that expanding the definition of scholarship and research in English is way overdue. Tenure and promotion committees, Ms. Woodward said, shouldn't emphasize the monograph's importance at the expense of public scholarship and work that is produced and distributed digitally.

Giving more weight to service activities, too, is also key when it comes to promoting female academics, said Lisa Maatz, director of publicly policy and government relations at the American Association of University Women. Women and minorities often "end up doing more committee work and more advisory work" that isn't credited fairly toward advancement, said Ms. Maatz, whose organization has produced its own research on the obstacles female professors who seek promotion face. "If you talk to any woman on campus, regardless of her discipline, she's going to have a disturbing story about moving forward or getting tenure, despite how many women are on campus," said Ms. Maatz, who generally agreed that the report's recommendations could make a difference at many institutions. "We need to continue to create policies that get us to equity."

Some women surveyed by the association said they have resigned themselves to a lifetime as an associate professor because they're engaged in activities that won't be "rewarded" by their institution, such as working with students, preparing course materials, and doing research that involves the community.

"We're hearing from associate professors that they're actively choosing to do these things," Ms. Feal said. "They're saying 'If the university doesn't reward me, well so be it, because these are the things that matter to me.'" According to the report, female associate professors, for the most part, are less satisfied with their jobs than are their male counterparts.

Still, more associate professors would possibly push ahead toward promotion anyway, if the pay at the higher rank was worth it. But the "increase in salary at promotion generally offers little incentive to aspire to and strive for promotion," the report said. Lobbying for more money is "a tough sell in this economy, but we're thinking about the future," Ms. Feal said.

Jensen Comment
My anecdotal experience is that women who are promoted to full professorships on the basis of research reputations tend to be tougher on men and women in terms of expectations for research and writing. It is often the full professor women who resist weakening/changing standards. Having said this, the other points taken by Professor June in the above article have some merit. There is a great movement underway in the MLA to broaden expectations beyond monographs.

Interestingly, in some disciplines such as economics, finance, accounting, and business administration, it is much harder to publish in leading research journals than it is to publish monographs, although opportunities for publishing research monographs have declined over the years. There is somewhat of a trend in publishing free online books that later are no longer free and must be purchased from a publishing company that took over the books. For example, for a number of years the following book was free online:

Crossed out quotation from http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory
Thank you David A.R. Forrester for providing a great, full-length, and online book:
An Invitation to Accounting History --- http://accfinweb.account.strath.ac.uk/df/contents.html 

Forrester's scholarly book is no longer free --- http://isbndb.com/d/book/an_invitation_to_accounting_history.html

Is fee-based publishing more valuable for performance evaluation that open source publishing?
The open source paradox here is whether a publication should count more toward performance evaluation, promotion, and tenure if it is no longer free such as when books and working papers are taken on by publishers who make the work no longer free. Of course the work may have improved some over time because of reader comments while it was free online, but it almost seems like a violation of trust to use the free review comments to take the book out of an open source domain. Note that as more and more publishers are no longer printing hard copy versions, there is no longer as much excuse to charge for a publication for online downloading that previously could be downloaded for free.

"Colleges Are Reluctant to Adopt New Publication Venues," by Andrea L. Foster,  Chronicle of Higher Education, December 17, 2007 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2617&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Academe has been slow to accept new forms of scholarship like blogs, wikis, and video clips, according to a report released last week that examines emerging technology trends in higher education. The Horizon Report 2007 predicts that in four to five years, academe will accept as scholarship this kind of interactive online material and will develop methods for evaluating it. The document notes that the change serves to encourage the public to participate in the production of research and scholarly works. An author who posts a draft of his or her book online, for example, can receive immediate feedback on ways to improve the work, the report states. The document was developed by Educause and the New Media Consortium, two higher-education technology groups.

The report also concludes that within one year, social-networking sites will be widely used in teaching and learning, and that mobile phones and virtual worlds will be used in this way in two to three years.

Bob Jensen's threads on promotion and tenure controversies are at


20 useless Firefox add-ons (slideshow) --- http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10230694-2.html?tag=nl.e404

Inventory Your Keyboard Shortcuts and Clear Out the Useless Ones --- http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2009/Apr/InventoryShortcuts.htm

Absolutely a "must see" video on the demise of Long Term Capital Management and its failed "Trillion Dollar Bet" that was previously featured in one of the best PBS Nova television shows ever produced. Eric Rosenfeld was an inside LTCM player.
Eric Rosenfeld's 90-minute presentation on 2/19/09 ---
Recall that LTCM single handedly would've brought down Wall Street if the major Wall Street firms had not sacrificed the billions needed to save themselves (albeit not save LTCM that folded soon afterwards).
LTCM was started by two famous Nobel economists, some of their doctoral students, and a noted Wall Street bond trader.
You can read about The Trillion Dollar Bet at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#LTCM

Message from finance professor Jim Mahar who also has a video playback window for this module
Finance Professor Blog, April 23, 2009 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Wow! Great presentation! It is Eric Rosenfeld (one of the players of LTCM) speaking to Zvi Bodie's class on Long Term Capital Management Ten Years Later.

This is a DEFINITE must see. I just sat transfixed (must confess it totally changed what I had planned on doing all morning) for over an hour. I have read the books and case studies, watched a Trillion Dollar Bet, and have thought about it for hundreds of hours in classes over the years. That said, I still learned things from it. You will too.

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

Charles Ponzi (1882-1949) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ponzi
Ponzi Frauds --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_game

Bernard Madoff --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madoff

"How Bernie Madoff did it:  Madoff is behind bars and isn't talking. But a Fortune investigation uncovers secrets of his massive swindle," by James Bandler, Nicholas Varchaver and Doris Burke, CNN Money, April 24, 2009 ---

Since Bernard Madoff was arrested in December and confessed to masterminding a multi-billion Ponzi scheme, countless people have wondered: Who else was involved? Who knew about the fraud? After all, Madoff not only engineered an epic swindle, he insisted to the FBI that he did it all by himself. To date, Madoff has not implicated anybody but himself.

But the contours of the case are changing.

Fortune has learned that Frank DiPascali, the chief lieutenant in Madoff's secretive investment business, is trying to negotiate a plea deal with federal prosecutors. In exchange for a reduced sentence, he would divulge his encyclopedic knowledge of Madoff's scheme. And unlike his boss, DiPascali is willing to name names.

According to a person familiar with the matter, DiPascali has no evidence that other Madoff family members were participants in the fraud. However, he is prepared to testify that he manipulated phony returns on behalf of some key Madoff investors, including Frank Avellino, who used to run a so-called feeder fund, Jeffry Picower, whose foundation had to close as a result of Madoff-related losses, and others.

If, for example, one of these special customers had large gains on other investments, he would tell DiPascali, who would fabricate a loss to reduce the tax bill. If true, that would mean these investors knew their returns were fishy.

Explains the source familiar with the matter: "This is a group of inside investors -- all individuals with very, very high net worths who, hypothetically speaking, received a 20% markup or 25% markup or a 15% loss if they needed it." The investors would tell DiPascali, for example, that their other investments had soared and they needed to find some losses to cut their tax bills. DiPascali would adjust their Madoff results accordingly.

(Gary Woodfield, a lawyer for Avellino, and William Zabel, the attorney for Picower, both declined to comment. Marc Mukasey, DiPascali's laywer, says, "We expect and encourage a thorough investigation.")

Inside the Madoff swindle: Read the full story --- http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/24/news/newsmakers/madoff.fortune/index.htm

These special deals for select Madoff investors have become a key focus for federal prosecutors, according to this source and a second one familiar with the investigation. The second source describes the arrangements as "kickbacks" and "bonuses." A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney declined to comment.

But a little-noticed line in a public filing by the prosecutors in March supports at least part of these sources' account. The document that formally charged Madoff with his crimes asserted that he "promised certain clients annual returns in varying amounts up to at least approximately 46 percent per year." That was quite a boost when most investors were receiving 10% to 15%. It appears to reflect the benefits that accrued to those who helped bring large sums to Madoff.

The emergence of this potential star witness is the best news to surface publicly for the Madoff family since the case began. DiPascali has every incentive to implicate high-profile names to save his skin -- and nobody is more under scrutiny than the Madoffs, many of whom worked for the firm. (Representatives for all of the family members have asserted their innocence.) It should be noted that DiPascali is not in a position to say what the Madoffs knew -- this should not be construed as an exoneration. But the fact that a high-ranking participant in the investment operation is not implicating them is telling.

The DiPascali revelations are part of a special Fortune investigation into the inner workings of Madoff's firm. It chronicles Madoff's rise -- how he started his firm in 1960 with only $200, rose to become a pioneer of electronic trading, and became notorious for his investment operation -- a strange, secretive world supervised by DiPascali.

DiPascali was a 33-year veteran of Madoff's firm. A high school graduate with a Queens accent, he came to work in an incongruously starched version of a slacker's uniform: pressed jeans, a sweatshirt, and pristine white sneakers or boat shoes. He could often be found outside the building, smoking a cigarette.

Nobody was quite sure what he did or what his title was. "He was like a ninja," says a former trader in the legitimate operation upstairs. "Everyone knew he was a big deal, but he was like a shadow."

He may not have looked or acted like a financier, but when customers like the giant feeder fund Fairfield Greenwich came in to talk, DiPascali was usually the only Madoff employee in the room with Bernie. Madoff told the visitors that DiPascali was "primarily responsible" for the investment operation, according to a Fairfield memo.

And now DiPascali may be primarily responsible for taking the ever-surprising Madoff case in yet another unexpected direction

Bernard Madoff, former Nasdaq Stock Market chairman and founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was arrested and charged with securities fraud Thursday in what federal prosecutors called a Ponzi scheme that could involve losses of more than $64 billion.

It is bigger than Enron, bigger than Boesky and bigger than Tyco

"Madoff Scandal: 'Biggest Story of the Year'," Seeking Alpha, December 12, 2008 ---

According to RealMoney.com columnist Doug Kass, general partner and investment manager of hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Short LP and Seabreeze Partners Short Offshore Fund, Ltd., today's late-breaking report of an alleged massive fraud at a well known investment firm could be "the biggest story of the year." In his view,

it is bigger than Enron, bigger than Boesky and bigger than Tyco.
It attacks at the core of investor confidence -- because, if true, and this could happen ... investors might think that almost anything imaginable could happen to the money they have entrusted to their f

Here are some excerpts from the Bloomberg report, entitled "Madoff Charged in $50 Billion Fraud at Advisory Firm":

Bernard Madoff, founder and president of Bernard Madoff Investment Securities, a market-maker for hedge funds and banks, was charged by federal prosecutors in a $50 billion fraud at his advisory business.

Madoff, 70, was arrested today at 8:30 a.m. by the FBI and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Eaton in Manhattan federal court. Charged in a criminal complaint with a single count of securities fraud, he was granted release on a $10 million bond guaranteed by his wife and secured by his apartment. Madoff’s wife was present in the courtroom.

"It’s all just one big lie," Madoff told his employees on Dec. 10, according to a statement by prosecutors. The firm, Madoff allegedly said, is "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme." He was also sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Madoff’s New York-based firm was the 23rd largest market maker on Nasdaq in October, handling a daily average of about 50 million shares a day, exchange data show. The firm specialized in handling orders from online brokers in some of the largest U.S. companies, including General Electric Co (GE). and Citigroup Inc. (C).


SEC Complaint

The SEC in its complaint, also filed today in Manhattan federal court, accused Madoff of a "multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that he perpetrated on advisory clients of his firm."

The SEC said it’s seeking emergency relief for investors, including an asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for the firm. Ira Sorkin, another defense lawyer for Madoff, couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.


Madoff, who owned more than 75 percent of his firm, and his brother Peter are the only two individuals listed on regulatory records as "direct owners and executive officers."

Peter Madoff was a board member of the St. Louis brokerage firm A.G. Edwards Inc. from 2001 through last year, when it was sold to Wachovia Corp (WB).

$17.1 Billion

The Madoff firm had about $17.1 billion in assets under management as of Nov. 17, according to NASD records. At least 50 percent of its clients were hedge funds, and others included banks and wealthy individuals, according to the records.


Madoff’s Web site advertises the "high ethical standards" of the firm.

"In an era of faceless organizations owned by other equally faceless organizations, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC harks back to an earlier era in the financial world: The owner’s name is on the door," according to the Web site. "Clients know that Bernard Madoff has a personal interest in maintaining the unblemished record of value, fair-dealing, and high ethical standards that has always been the firm’s hallmark."


"These guys were one of the original, if not the original, third market makers," said Joseph Saluzzi, the co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading LLC in Chatham, New Jersey. "They had a great business and they were good with their clients. They were around for a long time. He’s a well-respected guy in the industry."

The case is U.S. v. Madoff, 08-MAG-02735, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan)

Continued in article

And here is the SEC press release

Also see http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/securities/

What was the auditing firm of Bernard Madoff Investment Securities, the auditor who gave a clean opinion, that's been insolvent for years?
Apparently, Mr Madoff said the business had been insolvent for years and, from having $17 billion of assets under management at the beginning of 2008, the SEC said: “It appears that virtually all assets of the advisory business are gone”. It has now emerged that Friehling & Horowitz, the auditor that signed off the annual financial statement for the investment advisory business for 2006, is under investigation by the district attorney in New York’s Rockland County, a northern suburb of New York City.
"The $50bn scam: How Bernard Madoff allegedly cheated investors," London Times, December 15, 2008 ---

It was at the Manhattan apartment that Mr Madoff apparently confessed that the business was in fact a “giant Ponzi scheme” and that the firm had been insolvent for years.

To cap it all, Mr Madoff told his sons he was going to give himself up, but only after giving out the $200 - $300 million money he had left to “employees, family and friends”.

All the company’s remaining assets have now been frozen in the hope of repaying some of the companies, individuals and charities that have been unfortunate enough to invest in the business.

However, with the fraud believed to exceed $50 billion, whatever recompense investors could receive will be a drop in the ocean.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Online Learning Tips & Online College Reviews  --- http://www.onlinecollege.org/


An important factor to consider is accreditation. Traditional colleges and universities have long been evaluated by educational accreditors who ensure that their programs meet certain levels of quality. Regional and national organizations now accredit online programs too. In the United States, online colleges that are fully accredited have been recognized by one of six regional accreditation boards that also evaluate traditional campuses. These include:

In addition, the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) as a reputable accreditor for education programs that offer online degrees. Once an online program becomes accredited, it’s more likely that a traditional school will accept its transfer credits and that employers will recognize its value.



How should someone select an online school? Just as students have different priorities when choosing physical campuses, they will have different criteria for choosing an online institution. For example:

  • Prestige. Some students need a degree from a prestigious university in order to advance in their particular field. Others are not concerned with elite reputations; as long as their program is accredited, it will move them forward.
  • Expense. Some students wish to find schools that offer the most financial aid or have low tuition, but others - such as people with education benefits from the military - needn’t take cost into account.
  • Pace. Some people want to earn their online degree as quickly as possible. They seek accelerated degree programs or those that will accept their previously-earned academic credits or grant credit for life experiences (e.g., military training). Other people prefer to learn at a slower pace.

Clearly, the variation among individual’s means that there will be variation among any rankings that people would assign to online institutions. At the same time, it is helpful to consider as a starting point another’s list of top online schools. The twenty online schools presented below are all accredited by one of the six aforementioned accrediting bodies. Factors such as tuition, reputation, academic awards, and range of degree programs have also been taken into account.



1. Western Governors University has an excellent reputation; in 2008 it received the United States Distance Learning Association’s 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning. The school was founded by the governors of nineteen western states and it’s accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

This school is ideal for quick learners who want an accelerated program. With competency-based learning, students are able to progress as quickly as they can demonstrate having mastered the required knowledge.

A variety of online undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered. Some examples include baccalaureates and MBAs in business, 26 programs related to teaching, and several nursing programs.

2. The University of Phoenix is one of the best-publicized online educators. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition to being experienced with web-based instruction, the University of Phoenix has physical campuses across the United States. As of 2008 it was the nation’s largest private university and had an enrollment of nearly 350,000 students. The university offers more than 100 degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

3. Florida Tech University Online is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It has been ranked as a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, the Fiske Guide to Colleges, and Barron’s Best Buys in College Education. A special feature of instruction is the MP3 downloads that allow students to take lectures away from the computer.

Degrees are offered in business, liberal arts, criminal justice, and healthcare. Special discounts are available to members of the military and their spouses.

4. Capella University awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The majority of students receive financial aid that is unrelated to their income, and many companies have such confidence in Capella University that they pay for their employees’ tuition.

Degrees are awarded in: business; computers and information technology; education and teaching; health and medicine; the social sciences; and criminal justice. Capella University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

5. Walden University is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. In a 1999 review of fully online schools, the business magazine Fast Company awarded its only A grade to Walden University. US News and World Report has described Walden as well-regarded.

Walden offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees ranging from nursing to information technology and business, including the MBA.

6. California Coast University is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. California Coast offers a unique self-paced program; courses are not structured by semesters or other traditional timeframes, so students are able to begin at any time of year. Degrees are awarded in business, education and teaching, health and nursing, the social sciences, and criminal justice.

7. South University has been educating students for more than a century. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers online degrees in business, nursing, healthcare, criminal justice, accounting, and information technology. With a flexible scheduling program, students may take just one course at a time or several concurrently for accelerated learning.

8. Drexel University was established as a traditional campus in 1891. This Philadelphia-based institution was named among the “Best National Universities” by U.S. News & World Report. Drexel is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Drexel University has offered online education since 1996. Degrees granted include the MBA, the Master of Science in Library & Information Science, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and many others.

9. Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers more than 50 programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. SNHU has been named “Best of Business” by the New Hampshire Business Review and in 2008 its business program was deemed the best online program in its class.

10. Vanderbilt University is a well-respected institution with a physical campus founded in 1873. It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

As of 2008, Vanderbilt’s only fully online program is the master’s degree in nursing administration. This single program is worth mentioning because America’s Best Graduate Schools ranks Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing among the top nursing programs offering master’s degrees.

11. New England College was constructed in 1946 for post-war education and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers online master’s degrees in accounting, criminal justice leadership, nonprofit leadership, and many other subjects.

12. Nova Southeastern University is the largest independent university in Florida. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has appeared on the Princeton Review’s list of the best distance learning graduate schools. Nova Southeastern offers online degrees in education and teaching.

13. DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management awards a great number of business degrees in many specialty areas such as accounting, human resource management, and financial analysis. Students may choose to take all of their courses online or combine online learning with campus-based instruction.

14. Baker University features relatively low tuition and offers a wide variety of degrees at every level in business, computers and IT, health and medicine, and nursing. Baker is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Online learning takes place using Blackboard, a system that creates an online classroom setting in which instructors and students can interact.

15. Marist College has a physical campus in Poughkeepsie, NY and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers online degrees in communications, business, public administration, information systems, and technology management.

16. Upper Iowa University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers degrees through campus-based learning in several states, and its online programs include business, computers and information technology, health, nursing, and the social sciences.

17. Ashford University, founded in 1918, offers accelerated programs so that degrees can be earned in as little as one year. Courses are 5-6 weeks long and are taken one at a time. Examples of degrees include the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management.

18. Kaplan University was founded in 1937 and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers campus-based learning and also grants online master’s, bachelor’s, associate’s, and professional law degrees, as well as online certificate programs. Subject areas include business, criminal justice, IT, and paralegal studies.

19. Northwestern University has been among the top schools as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Its School of Continuing Studies offers an online Master of Science in Medical Informatics online. Students may also take distance learning courses in a variety of other subjects.

20. Liberty University is the world’s largest evangelical Baptist university. In 2008 the Online Education Database ranked Liberty third of all online U.S. universities. More than 35 degree programs are offered, including the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Jensen Comment
Although the above information is helpful, it should be emphasized that some of the very best and largest online programs are really state-supported universities not in the above ranking, including such universities as the University of Wisconsin, the University of Maryland, the University of Illinois (which has a new global online degree program), and virtually every other state university in the United States. In most instances the large universities have specialty degree programs not available in the above universities and sometimes many more courses to choose from in a give specialty.

And there are some outstanding online community college programs not mentioned above.

Bob Jensen's threads on global online training and education alternatives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

"New Project Enlists Women to Help Women Learn Online," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3738&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Gail Weatherly has gotten phone calls from women near tears over their situations.

They’re taking care of kids. They can’t afford child care. They can’t make it to regular classes. And they don’t know about online learning, said Ms. Weatherly, distance-education coordinator at Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, Tex.

Ms. Weatherly hopes such women could one day benefit from a project being developed by a scattered group of women involved in distance education.

Their work centers on a social-networking Web site that would allow women to share information about online education and serve as mentors to one another. It’s called the Collaborative Online Resource Environment for Women (Core4women), a still-in-the-works effort that Ms. Weatherly and her colleagues described during a workshop here Monday at the national conference of the United States Distance Learning Association.

The project, billed in the presentation as “A Better Way: Women Telling Women About Online Learning,” evolved from Ms. Weatherly’s dissertation research at Texas A&M University. Studies like the American Association of University Women’s “The Third Shift” had examined barriers to women pursuing education. Ms. Weatherly sought to push beyond that. She looked at how earning online degrees changed women’s lives, sometimes in major ways, like one woman who left an abusive relationship. In the process, Ms. Weatherly encountered research subjects who wanted to share the expertise they had gained with other women.

Long story short: Ms. Weatherly and some colleagues set up a pilot project on the free social-networking site Ning. A scattered group of female mentors from the the world of distance education worked with a small group of Texas college students, victims of abuse or poverty, who signed up to help test the private site. The project’s organizers hope to expand the effort and gain the sponsorship of the USDLA, which has an offshoot called the International Forum for Women in E-Learning.

A Chronicle reporter was the only male in the audience Monday, but two women present raised the subject of how the other sex fits into this: Is there going to be a mentor network for men? And why do they have to be separate? Why not Core4people?

In an interview after the presentation, Ms. Weatherly responded by returning to her research. Women shared experiences with her that they might not have shared with a man: taking an online class when they were expecting a child and very sick, for example. Men might be participating more in care giving these days. Largely, though, Ms. Weatherly said, “women still feel like they would sacrifice going to school for their family.”

“Sometimes I think they need another woman to say, It’s OK for you to work and take care of your children and earn a degree – and you can do that easier by online learning,” Ms. Weatherly said.

Bob Jensen's threads on global online training and education alternatives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Go Figure
Expensive prestigious universities are flooded with applications in this economic downturn

"Stanford admission rate is most competitive ever:  Stanford University announced today that 2,300 candidates have been offered admission to its undergraduate Class of 2013," Stanford University News Service, April 1, 2009 --- http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/april1/stanford-admission-rate-2013-040109.html

The figure, which includes 689 candidates admitted in December through Stanford's Restrictive Early Action Program, represents an admission rate of just 7.6 percent, the most competitive in the university's history.

The university received an unprecedented 30,428 applications. The Office of Undergraduate Admission initially anticipated approximately 25,000 applications but experienced a 20 percent surge, possibly because of enhanced financial aid programs that make Stanford more affordable for low- and middle-income families.

"We expected a modest increase in interest in Stanford this year, but a volatile economy certainly made things unpredictable. We never imagined a 20 percent surge in applications," said Richard Shaw, dean of admission and financial aid. "Our new financial aid programs, aimed at families with incomes below $100,000, have raised the level of awareness of Stanford. These enhancements, combined with a much more comprehensive global outreach effort, have increased the visibility of Stanford throughout the world."

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/april1/stanford-admission-rate-2013-040109.html

Where were the auditors?
What surprised me is the size of this alleged fraud
"This is huge," said David Rosenfeld, associate regional director of the SEC's New York Regional Office.
"This is a truly egregious fraud of immense proportions."

"Carnegie Mellon and Pitt Accuse 2 Investment Managers of $114-Million Fraud," by Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2009 --- Click Here

The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are suing two investment managers who allegedly took $114-million from the institutions and spent it on cars, horses, houses for their wives, and even teddy bears.

The two managers, Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh, are said to have taken a total of more than $500-million from the universities and other investors through their company, Westridge Capital Management, and they have also been charged with fraud by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The universities named several associates of Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh in the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the universities became alarmed after the National Futures Association, a nonprofit organization that investigates member firms, tried to audit Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh’s company. The association determined that that Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh had taken hundreds of millions in loans from the investment funds. On February 12 the association suspended their membership after repeatedly trying, and failing, to contact them.

That step spurred the universities to try to locate their money. On February 18 they contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission and sought an investigation. According to their lawsuit, Carnegie Mellon had invested $49-million and the University of Pittsburgh had invested $65-million.

Today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette listed some of the things that Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh had purchased with their investors’ money: rare books, Steiff teddy bears at up to $80,000 each, a horse farm, cars, and a $3-million residence for Mr. Walsh’s ex-wife.

Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh were also handling money for retirement funds for teachers and public employees in Iowa, North Dakota, and Sacramento County, California. In the Post-Gazette, David Rosenfeld, an associate regional director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, said the case represented “a truly egregious fraud of immense proportions.”

Mr. Walsh, it appears, had ties to another university as well. He is a member of the foundation board at the State University of New York at Buffalo, from which he graduated in 1966 with a political-science degree. In a written statement, officials at Buffalo said that he had not been an active board member for the past two years and that foundation policy forbade investing university money with any member of the board.

"Pitt, CMU money managers arrested in fraud FBI says they misappropriated $500 million for lavish lifestyles," by Jonathon Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 26, 2009 --- http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09057/951834-85.stm

Two East Coast investment managers sued for fraud by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University misappropriated more than $500 million of investors' money to hide losses and fund a lavish lifestyle that included purchases of $80,000 collectible teddy bears, horses and rare books, federal authorities said yesterday.

As Pitt and Carnegie Mellon were busy trying to learn whether they will be able to recover any of their combined $114 million in investments through Westridge Capital Management, the FBI yesterday arrested the corporations' managers.

Paul Greenwood, 61, of North Salem, N.Y., and Stephen Walsh, 64, of Sands Point, N.Y., were charged in Manhattan -- by the same office prosecuting the Bernard L. Madoff fraud case -- with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.

Both men also were sued in civil court by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which alleged that the partners misappropriated more than $553 million and "fraudulently solicited" $1.3 billion from investors since 1996.

The Accused

Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh are accused of misappropriating millions from investors. Here is a look at some of their biggest personal purchases:

• HOME: Mr. Greenwood, a horse breeder, owned a horse farm in North Salem, N.Y., an affluent community that counts David Letterman as a resident.

• BEARS: Mr. Greenwood owns as many as 1,350 Steiff toys, including teddy bears costing as much as $80,000.

• DIVORCE: Mr. Walsh bought his ex-wife a $3 million condominium as part of their divorce settlement.

"This is huge," said David Rosenfeld, associate regional director of the SEC's New York Regional Office. "This is a truly egregious fraud of immense proportions."

Lawyers for the defendants either could not be reached or had no comment.

Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh, longtime associates and former co-owners of the New York Islanders hockey team, ran Westridge Capital Management and a number of affiliated funds and entities.

As late as this month, the partners appeared to be doing well. Mr. Greenwood told Pitt's assistant treasurer Jan. 21 that they had $2.8 billion under management -- though that number is now in question. And on Feb. 2, Pitt sent $5 million to be invested.

But in the course of less than three weeks, Westridge's mammoth portfolio imploded in what federal authorities called an investment scam meant to cover up trading losses and fund extravagant purchases by the partners.

An audit launched Feb. 5 by the National Futures Association proved key to uncovering the alleged deceit and apparently became the linchpin of the case federal prosecutors are building.

That audit came about in an indirect way. The association, a self-policing membership body, had taken action against a New York financier. That led to a man named Jack Reynolds, a manager of the Westridge Capital Management Fund in which CMU invested $49 million; and Mr. Reynolds led to Westridge.

"We just said we better take a look at Jack Reynolds and see what's happening, and that led us to Westridge and WCM, so it was a domino effect," said Larry Dyekman, an association spokesman. "We're just not sure we have the full picture yet."

Mr. Reynolds has not been charged by federal authorities, but he is named as a defendant in the lawsuit that was filed last week by Pitt and CMU.

"Greenwood and Walsh refused to answer any of our questions about where the money was or how much there was," Mr. Dyekman continued.

"This is still an ongoing investigation, and we can't really say at this point with any finality how much has been lost."

The federal criminal complaint traces the alleged illegal activity to at least 1996.

FBI Special Agent James C. Barnacle Jr. said Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh used "manipulative and deceptive devices," lied and withheld information as part of a scheme to defraud investors and enrich themselves.

The complaint refers to a public state-sponsored university called "Investor 1" whose details match those given by Pitt in its lawsuit.

The SEC's Mr. Rosenfeld said the fraud hinged not so much on the partners' investment strategy but on the fact that they are believed to have simply spent other people's money on themselves.

"They took it. They promised the investors it would be invested. And instead of doing that they misappropriated it for their own use," Mr. Rosenfeld said.

Not only do federal authorities believe Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh used new investors' funds to cover up prior losses in a classic Ponzi scheme, they used more than $160 million for personal expenses including:

• Rare books bought at auction;

• Steiff teddy bears purchased for up to $80,000 at auction houses including Sotheby's;

• A horse farm;

• Cars;

• A residence for Mr. Walsh's ex-wife, Janet Walsh, 53, of Florida, for at least $3 million;

• Money for Ms. Walsh and Mr. Greenwood's wife, Robin Greenwood, 57, both of whom are defendants in the SEC suit. More than $2 million was allegedly wired to their personal accounts by an unnamed employee of the partners.

"Defendants treated investor money -- some of which came from a public pension fund -- as their own piggy bank to lavish themselves with expensive gifts," said Stephen J. Obie, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's acting director of enforcement.

It is not clear how Pitt and CMU got involved with Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh. But there is at least one connection involving academia. The commission suit said Mr. Walsh represented to potential investors that he was a member of the University at Buffalo Foundation board and served on its investment committee.

Mr. Walsh is a 1966 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo where he majored in political science.

He was a trustee of the University at Buffalo Foundation, but the foundation did not have any investments in Westridge or related firms.

Universities, charitable organizations, retirement and pension funds are among the investors who have done business with Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh.

Among those investors are the Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System, the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System and the North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office, which handles $4 billion in investments for teachers and public employees.

The North Dakota fund received about $20 million back from Westridge Capital Management, but has an undetermined amount still out in the market, said Steve Cochrane, executive director.

Mr. Cochrane said Westridge Capital was cooperative in returning what money it could by closing out their position and sending them the money.

"I dealt with them exclusively all these years," Mr. Cochrane said.

"They always seemed to be upfront and honest. I think they're as stunned and as victimized as we are, is my guess."

He said Westridge Capital had done an excellent job over the years.

The November financial statement indicated that the one-year return from Westridge Capital was a negative 11.87 percent, but the five-year annualized rate of return was a positive 8.36 percent.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

Bernard Madoff's Gangster Family Seems to Have Been Overlooked by Investors

"Pretty v. Ugly at the University," University Diaries Blog, Inside Higher Ed, February 24, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university_diaries

Bernard Madoff is a classic Mafia-style gangster. He comes from gangsters - his mother was a crook. Investigators are looking into his father-in-law. A lot of his friends and investors are crooks. He was born a crook, has always been a crook.

"The FBI believes Madoff may never have properly invested any of the money entrusted to him," writes Stephen Foley in The Independent. That's <em>never</em>. Madoff is in his seventies.

Psychopathically evil, Madoff makes an exception - again, Mafia-style - for his closest family and friends. His last act before turning himself in was writing big checks to the inner circle.

Tomorrow, Harry Markopolos will tell Congress how easy it was, ten years ago, for him to prove that Madoff was a crook, and how difficult it was for him to convince the SEC, or anyone else, of this obvious truth.

An ugly story, isn't it.... Ugh. Let us turn to the verdant paths of Brandeis University, and walk to the door of its art museum, where pretty canvases hang on the walls and rekindle our sense of the beauty of the world and the goodness of mankind.

Yet all of this beauty will soon be shuttered, because that ugly world is all over Brandeis. It's all over a number of other universities, too -- Yeshiva, Bard, NYU, all the schools who loved charitable Bernie Madoff and his charitable friends.

Madoff, after all, was a philanthropist.

Not that he, as the word suggests, loves people. He hates people.

But he (and benefactors like Carl Shapiro, his closest business associate) gave lots of money to pretty places like universities, places that stand for love, not hate, and beauty, not ugliness. Why did he do that?

For the same reason many other crooks do it. To get their names on buildings, and, much more importantly, to launder their images. Madoff's been cleaning himself up for public consumption all his life, and there's nothing like gifts to universities to do oneself up <em>real</em> good.

University Diaries has covered, over the years, many amusing stories of universities using the latest in stone-blasting technology to get the names of crooks off of buildings the crooks endowed. At any given time, some university in this country is using power tools on its walls in a desperate effort to dissociate itself from scum. Here's the latest case. One of the most amusing was Dennis Kozlowski at Seton Hall.

Even if it doesn't call for power tools, the problem of taking crooks' money can be just as troublesome, as with the University of Missouri-Columbia's Kenneth L. Lay Chair in International Economics.

Sometimes things call for quick-action internet prowess. Recall how, deep in the pre-exposure night, Yeshiva University deleted from its webpages the once-sainted names of Bernard Madoff and his partner, Ezra Merkin.

Our wretched economy will continue to reveal the reputation-laundering enterprise some of our universities have been running.

Just as every Madoff associate or victim claims to be a deceived innocent, so these campuses will tell us they never suspected a thing.

The farce would be fun to watch if it weren't so incredibly destructive.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

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

Studies in the History of Ethics --- http://open-site.org/Society/Philosophy/Ethics/History

"How Business Schools Have Failed Business: Why not more education on the responsibility of boards?" by Michael Jacobs, The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124052874488350333.html

As we try to understand why our economy is so troubled, fingers are increasingly being pointed at the academic institutions that educated those who got us into this mess. What have business schools failed to teach our business leaders and policy makers? There are three profound failures of sound business practices at the root of the economic crisis, and none of them have been adequately addressed by our business schools.

Just about everyone agrees that misaligned incentive programs are at the core of what brought our financial system to its knees. Countless individuals became multimillionaires by gambling away shareholders' money. Incentive systems that rewarded short-term gain took precedence over those designed for long-term value creation.

We could chalk this all up to greed, as many pundits have. But first we should ask how many of the business schools attended by America's CEOs and directors educate their students about the best way to design management compensation systems. Amazingly, this subject is not systematically addressed at most business schools, and not even discussed at others.

Secondly, as Washington scrambles to restructure the financial regulatory system, those who still believe in the private sector are asking why corporate boards were AWOL as institution after institution crumbled. Why did it take rumors of nationalization and a drop in Citicorp stock to below $2 a share to inspire Citigroup to nominate directors with experience in financial markets?

American icon General Electric was stripped of its coveted AAA-rating because of problems emanating from its financial services unit. Yet its board has only one director with experience in a financial institution. If it is the board's job to oversee a corporation, it seems logical that there would be a segment in the core curriculum of every business school devoted to board structure, composition and processes. But most programs don't cover the topic.

The third breakdown came in the investment community. Nearly 20 years ago I wrote a book titled "Short-Term America" that warned about the growing chasm between those who provide capital and the companies who use it. The concept is simple: When money provided to homeowners or businesses comes from an anonymous source, possibly half way around the world, there are serious challenges to operating a functioning system of accountability.

Nationally, finance departments at business schools offer hundreds of courses in asset securitization and portfolio diversification. They have taught a generation of financial leaders that risk can be diversified away. But in their B-school days, few investment bankers examined the notion of "agency costs." That concept explains that as the gulf between the provider and the user of capital widens, the risks involved with selecting and monitoring the participants in the portfolio increase. It should come as no surprise that financial institutions amassed securities that consist of a diversified portfolio of deadbeats.

About 70% of the shares of American corporations are held by institutional investors such as pension and mutual funds. These organizations are brimming with MBAs. But how many of these MBAs took a class devoted to how shareholders should exercise their rights and obligations as the owners of America's corporations? Few, if any. When shareholders are uneducated about their obligations, how can a corporate accountability system function properly?

Recently, when I delivered a guest lecture at another school, a distraught-looking student pulled me aside after class. She explained that my talk was very disturbing to her. After investing two years and $100,000, she was only weeks away from receiving her MBA. But prior to our class, she had never heard a discussion about board responsibilities or the rights of shareholders. She said she felt cheated.

By failing to teach the principles of corporate governance, our business schools have failed our students. And by not internalizing sound principles of governance and accountability, B-school graduates have matured into executives and investment bankers who have failed American workers and retirees who have witnessed their jobs and savings vanish.

Most B-schools paper over the topic by requiring first-year students to take a compulsory ethics class, which is necessary, but not sufficient. Would Bernie Madoff have acted differently if he had aced his ethics final?

Could we have avoided most of the economic problems we now face if we had a generation of business leaders who were trained in designing compensation systems that promote long-term value? And who were educated in the proper make-up and responsibilities of boards? And who were enlightened as to how shareholders can use their proxies to affect accountability? I think we could have.

America's business schools need to rethink what we are teaching -- and not teaching -- the next generation of leaders.

Mr. Jacobs, a professor at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flager Business School, was director of corporate finance policy at the U.S. Treasury from 1989 to 1991.

Jensen Comment
I don't think Bernie Madoff would've behaved differently if he aced five courses in ethics. Ethics failures are largely situational and relative based upon motive, opportunity, and a follow-the-herd mentality. Students should learn more about ethics and corporate governance, but there's a great danger in relying too much on college courses in the area of ethics and responsibility. More important are such things as the tone at the top and strengthening whistleblower laws and rewards --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#WhistleBlowing

April 24, 2009 reply from Zabihollah Rezaee (zrezaee) [zrezaee@MEMPHIS.EDU]

It has been argued that ethics cannot be taught in business schools as it drives from family values and moral principles. If our job is to prepare the most ethical and competent future business leaders, we should teach professional ethics and corporate governance to all business students. Corporate governance and ethics education should teach business students the role, responsibility, accountability and professional behavior of all market participants including investors, boards of directors, executives, internal auditors, external auditors, legal counsel, financial analysts and advisors, governing bodies, investment banks , mutual and pension funds and others. Currently we at the University of Memphis offer a graduate course titled ”CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND ETHICS” which is a required course for all MBA students. My research also shows that more than 90 business schools worldwide offer similar courses. I am attaching a copy of my syllabus and information on getting a copy of my book on “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND ETHICS” from Wiley. Please contact me if you need more information about this course.

Best regards,
Zabihollah "Zabi" Rezaee, PhD, CPA, CMA, CIA, CGFM, CFE
Thompson-Hill Chair of Excellence/Professor of Accountancy
Fogelman College of Business and Economics
300 Fogelman College Administration Bldg.
The University of Memphis Memphis, TN 38152-3120
901.678.4652  (phone) 901.678.0717 (fax) zrezaee@memphis.edu  (e-mail)

"Executives Took, but the Directors Gave," by Heather Landy, The New York Times, April 4, 2009 ---

Little of the ire against outsize C.E.O. paychecks has been aimed at the people who signed off on them: corporate directors.

Instead, the anger has been concentrated on the executives themselves, particularly those running companies at the heart of the financial crisis. And boards — thrust into the limelight only rarely, as when the directors of the New York Stock Exchange were in a legal battle over the pay collected by Richard A. Grasso — have managed to stay in the background.

The exchange’s board “really took a lot of heat for that controversy,” says Sarah Anderson, an analyst on executive pay at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. “But so far, with this crisis, I don’t feel like boards have been getting as much attention as they should be.”

Last spring, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examined pay practices at Countrywide Financial, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, but those issues eventually took a back seat to broader concerns about the viability of the country’s financial system. As investors frustrated by the continuing crisis start seeking ways to avoid the next one, advocates of change in corporate governance expect boards to come under renewed scrutiny that could yield big changes.

Emboldened shareholder activists are pressing more companies to hold annual nonbinding votes on executive pay packages. They’re also pursuing, and appear increasingly likely to win, rules to make it easier for investors to nominate or replace board members.

And as more people start connecting the dots between pay incentives that boards laid out for executives and the risk-taking at the heart of the financial crisis, some lawmakers have been eager to step in, and many directors themselves are re-examining their approach to compensation.

“When you look at cases where compensation of senior management was out of line, or where people arguably were overpaid, it’s definitely the fault of the compensation committee of the board,” says Thomas Cooley, dean of the Stern School of Business at New York University and a director of Thornburg Mortgage. “Congress has gotten into the business of dictating executive pay now, and they shouldn’t be in that business. What they should be doing is turning the light on the committees.”

Activist shareholders have been criticizing executive pay practices for well over a decade, accusing directors of being too cozy with C.E.O.’s, too eager to lavish pay on them and too ambiguous about the formulas they use for setting compensation.

Improved standards for determining director independence and disclosing the procedures of board compensation committees were supposed to help solve those problems. And activist shareholders played a major role in spreading the notion of pay-for-performance, by which executives would be compensated based on their ability to meet board-devised financial targets.

But amid all the changes, a crucial piece of the equation — the unintended risks that could arise from these pay-for-performance incentives — went unnoticed, said James P. Hawley, co-director of the Elfenworks Center for the Study of Fiduciary Capitalism at St. Mary’s College of California.

“The problem isn’t just when people in a particular firm are getting rewarded in ways that take away from the shareholder. That’s been well recognized,” Mr. Hawley says. “What’s not been recognized is that the misalignment of incentives has resulted in firm, sector and systemic risks. None of the corporate governance activists ever made the connection.”

It took the disastrous results of 2008 to expose such links, and to make compensation a central issue for politicians and corporate America.

TWO factors contributed to the pay scales that now have C.E.O.’s earning more than 300 times the pay of the average American worker.

First was the advent of giant stock option grants, a form of compensation made all the more attractive by a 1993 change to the tax law that maintained corporate tax deductions for executive pay over $1 million, but only if the pay was tied to performance.

Second was the widespread practice of linking pay to the levels at companies of similar size or scope. Every time a board tries to keep an executive happy by offering above-average pay, the net effect is to raise the average that everyone else will use as a baseline.

In the absence of fraud or self-dealing, it’s hard for shareholders to make a legal argument that boards have failed at their job. State law in Delaware, where most big public entities are incorporated, simply requires companies to have boards that direct or manage their affairs, and it affords broad legal protection to board members so long as they act in good faith and in a manner “believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation.”

That was the basis for the recent ruling of a Delaware judge who threw out most of the claims in a shareholder lawsuit seeking to hold Citigroup directors and officers liable for big losses tied to subprime mortgages. But the judge did allow the plaintiffs to pursue one of their claims, which alleged corporate waste stemming from a multimillion-dollar parting pay package that Citigroup’s board awarded Charles O. Prince III, the former C.E.O., in 2007.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#Governance

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on April 23, 2009

Report Faults World Bank's Anti-Fraud Methods
by Bob Davis
Apr 17, 2009
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com ---

TOPICS: Auditing, Auditing Services, Internal Auditing, Internal Controls

SUMMARY: The World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group produced a report in fall 2008, which cited the bank's fraud-detection procedures in its main program providing aid to poor countries as a material weakness. This $40 billion program is called the International Development Association (IDA). "[World] Bank staffers said that the IDA program faces particularly difficult challenges because corruption is often a problem in especially poor countries....Generally, the IDA received good marks and the results 'should overall be considered a quite respectable outcome,' the report said."

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The application of internal control procedures, and their independent testing, outside of corporations can be an eye-opener for students.

1. (Introductory) What is the World Bank?

2. (Introductory) Who issued a report on the internal controls in place in World Bank programs? Why was this review of internal controls undertaken?

3. (Advanced) Describe a corporate function similar to the group that undertook the review described in answer to question 2 above.

4. (Advanced) Which World Bank program has been found to have material weaknesses in control systems? What system has been found as a material weakness?

5. (Advanced) Define the terms "material weakness" and "significant deficiency" in relation to audits of corporate internal control systems.

6. (Advanced) Do you think that the meaning of these terms in the report on World Bank programs is the same as the definitions you have provided? Why or why not?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

"Report Faults World Bank's Anti-Fraud Methods," by Bob Davis, The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2009 ---

The World Bank's fraud-detection procedures in its main aid program to poor countries were labeled a "material weakness" in an internal report, adding to the bank's woes in handling corruption issues.

The bank's Independent Evaluation Group gave it the lowest possible rating for fraud-detection procedures in the $40 billion aid program, called the International Development Association. That could hurt contributions to the effort, which gives grants and interest-free loans to the world's 78 poorest countries.

The 690-page report, the first for the program, was completed last fall. Since then it has been the subject of lengthy discussions between World Bank management and the independent evaluation unit over whether the single designation of "material weakness," the lowest of four ratings, was justified. None of the program's other marks were as low; six other areas were labeled "significant deficiencies."

"The bank's traditional control systems weren't designed to address fraud and corruption," one of the report's authors, Ian Hume, said in an interview. "They were designed for efficiency and equity -- the cheapest possible price." That increases the risk that corruption could occur in the use of IDA grants, he said.

The World Bank has been pilloried by critics for years for not taking corruption seriously enough, and some staffers worried that the report's publication was being delayed for political reasons. The U.S., in particular, pushed for its publication, said bank staffers.

"We have had a tough but cordial interaction with [World Bank] management along the way," said Cheryl Gray, director of the evaluation group.

The report was published on the unit's Web site late Wednesday, but not publicized. Its presence was noted by a small icon on the bottom right of the page. Ms. Gray says that the group didn't intend to bury the report and said the unit didn't put out a press release because the report was "technical and jargony." After an inquiry from The Wall Street Journal, it was given greater prominence on the Web site. Ms. Gray said she had planned to make the change anyway.

The report concluded that the World Bank "has until recently had few if any specific tools" to directly address fraud and corruption "at all stages in the lending cycle." An advisory panel that backed the "material weakness" designation wrote that fraud and corruption issues "involve a considerable reputation risk, involving at least a potential loss of confidence by various stakeholders."

The Obama administration recently asked Congress to approve a three-year, $3.7 billion contribution to the bank's IDA program. A Democratic congressional staffer said it was too early to tell whether the report would make passage more difficult. Overall, the World Bank won commitments in December 2007 for $41.6 billion in funding for IDA over three years.

Bank staffers said that the IDA program faces particularly difficult challenges because corruption is often a problem in especially poor countries. "We operate in some of the most difficult and challenging environments in the world," Fayez Choudhury, the World Bank's controller, said in an interview. "We are always looking to up our game."

The bank's management pressed to get the fraud-and-corruption designation improved by a notch to "significant deficiency." It argued that the evaluation group didn't take into account steps it had taken over the past year to improve its controls.

"The bank is firmly committed to mainstreaming governance and anticorruption efforts into its development work," said a management statement. It listed a number of improvements including the creation of an independent advisory board. The bank said it is trying to better integrate fraud prevention and corruption prevention generally into its operations.

The report doesn't examine cases of actual corruption, though it notes there have been several instances that have received publicity, including health-clinic contracts in India. Rather, it looks at the systems and procedures in place to identify and prevent corruption.

The report uses standards similar to those applied to corporate controls. Generally, the IDA received good marks and the results "should overall be considered a quite respectable outcome," the report said.

For decades, the World Bank largely ignored corruption, figuring that some graft was the price of doing business in poor countries. Starting in 1996, however, former World Bank President James Wolfensohn focused more attention on the issue, as did his successor, Paul Wolfowitz, who held up loans to some poor countries because of concerns about corruption. That led to charges that the bank was enforcing corruption rules selectively.

After Mr. Wolfowitz came under fire earlier for showing favoritism to his girlfriend, a bank employee, some developing nations dismissed the bank's efforts as hypocritical. Mr. Wolfowitz resigned in 2007 and the World Bank's current president, Robert Zoellick , has been trying to depoliticize the corruption issue, especially by beefing up the Department of Institutional Integrity, the main antifraud unit at the bank.

Reviews of other institutions have also turned up designations of "material weakness." A U.S. Treasury "accountability report" for the year ended Sept. 30, 2008, for instance, found four such designations, including three involving the Internal Revenue Service's modernization, computer security and accounting, and one involving government-wide financial statements.

Bob Jensen's threads on World Bank Fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#WorldBank

"New Rankings of Graduate Schools Have a Familiar Look," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 23, 2009 ---

U.S. News & World Report has released its 2010 rankings of graduate schools, and with minor exceptions, the top spots in the major fields remain virtually unchanged from last year.

In business, Harvard University reclaimed sole possession of first place, which it had shared equally with Stanford University last year. Stanford took the second slot, followed by Northwestern University, which grabbed a share of the bronze with last year’s No. 3, the University of Pennsylvania. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago tied in fifth place.

In education, Vanderbilt University won out over Stanford, Columbia University, the University of Oregon, and the University of California at Los Angeles, in that order.

The engineering leaders fell in the same positions as last year, with MIT at the top, followed by Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The names at the top of the rankings of medical research schools were familiar as well: Harvard led the list, and the John Hopkins University came in at No. 2. Penn and Washington University in St. Louis shared the No. 3 spot this year, followed by the University of California at San Francisco at No. 5.

In law, Yale University maintained the top spot, with Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and New York University once again rounding out the top five—Harvard having wrested sole possession of second from Stanford.

New this year, U.S. News ranked the 87 best part-time law schools. Other than New York’s Fordham University at No. 3, the top of that list was dominated by schools in the nation’s capital—Georgetown University at No. 1, George Washington University at No. 2, American University at No. 4, and George Mason University, in nearby Virginia, at No. 5.

The magazine also expanded its coverage this year to include rankings of doctoral programs in criminology, economics, English, history, political science, psychology, and sociology, as well as master’s programs in library and information studies.

Its ranking methodology—a topic of perennial controversy—remained basically the same: Graduate programs in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine were evaluated based on a mixture of statistical indicators and reputational surveys of deans, program administrators, senior faculty members, and hiring firms. The other graduate schools were judged on the reputational polls only.

Bob Jensen's threads on rankings controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings

Blackboard wants monopoly power over all distance education --- this is absurd and unjust!

"Blackboard Files Complaint With U.S. International Trade Commission Seeking to Block Sales of a Competitor's Products," by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 23, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3730&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

 Blackboard Inc. opened a new front in its battle against rival Desire2Learn this week, filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking to block the import of the Canadian company’s products because of alleged patent infringement.

In Blackboard’s filing with the commission, which it submitted on Monday, the company called for an investigation and asked that the body ultimately “halt the importation, marketing, advertising, demonstration, servicing, sale, and use” of Desire2Learn’s course-management system in the United States. Blackboard claims in the filing that Desire2Learn is violating the company’s patent and selling the infringing product in America, in violation of the Tariff Act of 1930.

Within 30 days after such a request is filed, the commission will decide whether to proceed with an investigation, which would be done by one of the body’s six judges, said Peg O’Laughlin, a spokesperson for the commission.

Blackboard’s general counsel, Matthew Small, said that the company also plans to file a patent-infringement lawsuit against Desire2Learn in a Canadian court today or tomorrow.

Blackboard already has two other lawsuits going against Desire2Learn alleging patent infringement. It won one of those cases in a U.S. federal court last year, and the case is under consideration by a federal appeals court. The company filed another complaint last month, alleging infringement of a newer patent.

Diane M. Lank, Desire2Learn’s in-house lawyer, called the moves “frivolous.” “As Blackboard continues these tactics, we’re more and more prepared to deal with them,” she said.

Mr. Small said that Blackboard took its latest actions because Desire2Learn continues to sell versions of its software that Blackboard feels violate its patent.

Last week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is reviewing the validity of one of Blackboard’s patents, issued a preliminary ruling that the patent was issued improperly because the invention existed elsewhere before the company filed its claim. The patent remains valid, however, at least until the review is completed and all legal appeals of the decision are heard.

Bob Jensen's threads on the evil Blackboard monopoly (Blackboard should never have been allowed to buy WebCT) are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Blackboard.htm

Boycott Blackboard and think Moodle (Moodle is free) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moodle

Position openings in sociology are down nearly 22.8% since 2006
The American Sociological Association has released an analysis showing a 22.8 percent decline in announced position openings between 2006 and 2008. The analysis is based on listings in the association's job bank in the two years compared. Because there are many jobs that aren't listed in the job bank, the totals can't be seen as definitive. But because the job bank does receive a significant number of listings from year to year, the trends in postings are seen as a good reflection of trends in disciplinary hiring, especially for assistant professor positions.
"Drop in Sociology Jobs," Inside Higher Ed, April 27, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/04/27/sociology
Jensen Comment
No doubt this is due somewhat to budget shortfalls, particularly since late 2008. But in my opinion it is also due in part to having faculty ranting liberal philosophy to a student audience that has grown weary of liberal rants. Sociology and anthropology typically have a worse record than humanities departments for political bias in hiring practices.

The Liberal Skew in Higher Education," by Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, December 30, 2007 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

It is no secret that professors at American colleges and universities are much more liberal on average than the American people as a whole. A recent paper by two sociology professors contains a useful history of scholarship on the issue and, more important, reports the results of the most careful survey yet conducted of the ideology of American academics. See Neal Gross and Solon Simmons, “The Social and Political Views of American Professors,” Sept. 24, 2007, available at http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~ngross/lounsbery_9-25.pdf (visited Dec. 29. 2007); and for a useful summary, with comments, including some by Larry Summers, see “The Liberal (and Moderating) Professoriate,” Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 8, 2007, available at www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/10/08/politics (visited Dec. 29. 2007).) More than 1,400 full-time professors at a wide variety of institutions of higher education, including community colleges, responded to the survey, representing a 51 percent response rate; and analysis of non-responders indicates that the responders were not a biased sample of the professors surveyed.

In the sample as a whole, 44 percent of professors are liberal, 46 percent moderate or centrist, and only 9 percent conservative. (These are self-descriptions.) The corresponding figures for the American population as a whole, according to public opinion polls, are 18 percent, 49 percent, and 33 percent, suggesting that professors are on average more than twice as liberal, and only half as conservative, as the average American. There are interesting differences within the professoriat, however. The most liberal disciplines are the humanities and the social sciences; only 6 percent of the social-science professors and 15 percent of the humanities professors in the survey voted for Bush in 2004. In contrast, business, medicine and other health sciences, and engineering are much less liberal, and the natural sciences somewhat less so, but they are still more liberal than the nation as a whole; only 32 percent of the business professors voted for Bush--though 52 percent of the health-sciences professors did. In the entire sample, 78 percent voted for Kerry and only 20 percent for Bush.

. . .

My last point is what might be called the institutionalization of liberal skew by virtue of affirmative action in college admissions. Affirmative action brings in its train political correctness, sensitivity training, multiculturalism, and other attitudes or practices that make a college an uncongenial environment for many conservatives.

"The Liberal Skew in Higher Education," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, December 30, 2007 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

The study by Gross and Simmons discussed by Posner in part confirms what has been found in earlier studies about the greater liberalism of American professors than of the American population as a whole. Their study goes further than previous ones by having an apparently representative sample of professors in all types of colleges and universities, and by giving nuanced and detailed information about attitudes and voting of professors by field of expertise, age, gender, type of college or university, and other useful characteristics. I will try to add to Posner's valuable discussion by concentrating on the effects on academic political attitudes of events in the world, and of their fields of specialization. I also consider whether college teachers have long-lasting influences on the views of their students.

. . .

Given the indisputable evidence that professors are liberal, how much influence does that have on the long run attitudes of college students? This is especially relevant since some of the most liberal academic disciplines, like the social sciences and English, have close contact with younger undergraduates. The evidence strongly indicates that whatever the short-term effects of college teachers on the opinions of their students, the long run influence appears to be modest. For example, college graduates, like the rest of the voting population, split their voting evenly between Bush and Kerry. The influence of high incomes (college graduates earn on average much more than others), the more conservative family backgrounds of the typical college student (but less conservative for students at elite colleges), and other life experiences far dominate the mainly forgotten influence of their college teachers.

This evidence does not mean that the liberal bias of professors is of no concern, but rather that professors are much less important in influencing opinions than they like to believe, or then is apparently believed by the many critics on the right of the liberality of professors.


One of the least diverse (politically) academic associations is the highly liberal Modern Language Association. However, even the MLA could not muster up a vote critical of the firing of Ward Churchill by the University of Colorado.
While material distributed by those seeking to condemn Churchill’s firing portrayed him favorably, and as a victim of the right wing, some of those who criticized the pro-Churchill effort at the meeting are long-time experts in Native American studies and decidedly not conservative.
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, December 31, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/12/31/mla
Bob Jensen's threads on Ward Churchill are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HypocrisyChurchill.htm

In Defense of "Traditional" Learning and Assessment

April 27, 2009 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]


Here's another article from the CHE newsletter.

The conclusion from these latest two articles rings true.

Collegiate business courses in general, and collegiate accounting courses, in particular, have taken their fair share of hits in recent years, because of the lack of experiential learning built into the curriculum and so many courses. The traditional approach to collegiate instruction--lecture and (MC) testing--is too frequently assailed because students don't become active participants in the learning process. Never-the-less, accounting students across the country do pick up on the rules of financial and tax accounting, and the logic of cost accounting and auditing. I've frequently wondered where the missing piece is, how a discredited approach to conducting college courses can produce any learning results at all.

My own thinking had begun to focus on the recitation/homework aspect built into so many of our courses, and the results of these two studies seems to it up.

I have made extensive use of homework assignments over the years, to the extent that I write my own problems. A HW set for a particular topic moves from very short "drills" to comprehensive problems that set the topic into a very realistic setting. What I do isn't unique. However, I have my own idea about what is realistic.

Anyway, I find this latest news to be a validation for a part of what we do, and welcome news indeed.

Access to the article below requires a subscription. The part of the article not quoted IS important, as it pertains to real world applications.

Dave Albrecht

******quotation begins******


From the issue dated May 1, 2009 Close the Book. Recall. Write It Down. That old study method still works, researchers say. So why don't professors preach it?


The scene: A rigorous intro-level survey course in biology, history, or economics. You're the instructor, and students are crowding the lectern, pleading for study advice for the midterm.

If you're like many professors, you'll tell them something like this: Read carefully. Write down unfamiliar terms and look up their meanings. Make an outline. Reread each chapter.

That's not terrible advice. But some scientists would say that you've left out the most important step: Put the book aside and hide your notes. Then recall everything you can. Write it down, or, if you're uninhibited, say it out loud.

Two psychology journals have recently published papers showing that this strategy works, the latest findings from a decades-old body of research. When students study on their own, "active recall" ¬ recitation, for instance, or flashcards and other self-quizzing ¬ is the most effective way to inscribe something in long-term memory.

Yet many college instructors are only dimly familiar with that research. And in March, when Mark A. McDaniel, a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and one author of the new studies, gave a talk at a conference of the National Center for Academic Transformation, people fretted that the approach was oriented toward robotic memorization, not true learning.

Don't Reread

A central idea of Mr. McDaniel's work, which appears in the April issue of Psychological Science and the January issue of Contemporary Educational Psychology, is that it is generally a mistake to read and reread a textbook passage. That strategy feels intuitively right to many students ¬ but it's much less effective than active recall, and it can give rise to a false sense of confidence.

"When you've got your chemis-try book in front of you, everything's right there on the page, it's all very familiar and fluent," says Jeffrey D. Karpicke, an assistant professor of psychology at Purdue University and lead author of a paper in the May issue of Memory about students' faulty intuitions about effective study habits.

"So you could say to yourself, 'Yeah, I know this. Sure, this is all very familiar,'" Mr. Karpicke continues. "But of course, when you go in to take a classroom test, or in real life when you need to reconstruct your knowledge, the book's not there. In our experiments, when students repeatedly read something, it falsely inflates their sense of their own learning."

These findings about active recall are not new or faddish or parochial. The research has been deepened and systematized recently by scholars at the University of California at Los Angeles and Washington University in St. Louis (where Mr. Karpicke earned his doctorate in 2007). But the basic insight goes back decades. One of the new papers tips its hat to a recitation-based method known as "SQ3R," which was popularized in Effective Study, a 1946 book by Francis P. Robinson.

So if this wisdom is so well-established ¬ at least among psychologists ¬ should colleges explicitly try to coax students to use these study techniques? And if so, how? That is the question that the authors of these papers are now pondering.

"I think it's a mistake for us to think that just publishing this work in a few journals is going to have a huge impact in the classroom," says Mr. McDaniel.

After a decade of working in this area, Mr. McDaniel feels enough confidence in his findings that he is willing to proselytize about them. He and his colleagues have also been promoting the idea of frequent low-stakes classroom quizzes (The Chronicle, June 8, 2007).

Among other things, Mr. McDaniel has recently collaborated with a network of biology instructors who would like to improve the pass rates in their introductory courses.

One of those scholars is Kirk Bartholomew, an assistant professor of biology at Sacred Heart University. He first crossed paths with Mr. McDaniel at a conference sponsored by a textbook publisher.

"He basically confirmed my ideas ¬ that after you've read something once, you've gotten what you're going to get out of it, and then you need to go out and start applying the information," Mr. Bartholomew says.

The two scholars collaborated on a Web interface that encouraged students to try different study techniques. The first round of research did not turn up any dramatic patterns, Mr. Bartholomew says ¬ other than the unsurprising fact that his students did better if they spent more time studying. But he says that he looks forward to refining the system.

Rote learning?

In March, however, when Mr. McDaniel took his message to the National Center for Academic Transformation meeting, his talk was not entirely well received.

Several days after his appearance, he got a note from Carol A. Twigg, the center's chief executive. "She said, 'We really loved having you, but you created some controversy here,'" Mr. McDaniel says. According to Ms. Twigg's note, some people worried that Mr. McDaniel's techniques might generate rote memorization at the expense of deeper kinds of learning.

Michael R. Reder, director of Connecticut College's Center for Teaching and Learning, had a similar reaction to one of Mr. McDaniel's new papers on studying.

The paper seems perfectly valid on its own terms and might offer a "useful tool," Mr. Reder says. But in his view, the paper also "suggests an old model of learning. You know, I'm going to give information to the students, and the students then memorize that information and then spit it back."

Mr. McDaniel finds such reactions frustrating. One experiment in his new paper suggests that a week after reading a complex passage, people who recited the material after reading it did much better at solving problems that involved analyzing and drawing inferences from the material than did people who simply read the passage twice.

"I don't think these techniques will necessarily result in rote memorization," Mr. McDaniel says. "If you ask people to free-recall, you can generate a better mental model of a subject area, and in turn that can lead to better problem-solving."

And in some college courses, he continues, a certain amount of memorization is impossible to escape ¬ so it might as well be done effectively.

In Biology 101, for example, "you've got a heavily fact-laden course. When I talk to biology instructors at Big Ten universities, they're working really hard to create interesting, interactive courses where they've got 500 or 600 kids in a lecture class. But no matter how engaging you make the course, the students need to have the knowledge base to do the inquiry-based problem-solving activities that you've designed."

continued in article

******quotation ends*******

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

"UCLA Professors Use Virtual Reality to Explore Ancient Egypt," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 24, 2009 --- Click Here

To Willeke Wenderish, an associate professor of Egyptian archaeology at the University of California at Los Angeles, exploring the ruins of an ancient temple within an air-conditioned computer classroom can be even more useful than visiting the site in person.

Ms. Wenderish recently co-produced a virtual-reality project called “Digital Karnak,” which allows students (and visitors to the project’s Web site) to learn how the Egyptian religious center has evolved over two millennia. Milling about the ruins or studying a two-dimensional map of the Karnak site can be disorienting, she said. Virtual modeling, on the other hand, allows scholars to observe what in the structure changed and when—using a more sophisticated tool than the mind’s eye.

“It helps them think through all the things that you wouldn’t have thought through if you were looking at a map,” she said—“which areas were roofed, not roofed, how high would the walls have been, how large would a doorway have been.” It also allows scholars to more vividly illustrate contrasting theories of how the site evolved over time, she said.

Ms. Wenderish said she plans to evangelize on the advantages of virtual modeling at this weekend’s annual conference of the American Research Center in Egypt, in Dallas. She thinks virtual technology, while increasingly popular, is still underused in archaeology. One reason is that “they’re costly endeavors,” she said, but illuminating ones.

And not just for understanding architectural sites, either: Ms. Wenderish said she is also working on virtual-reality projects on topographical sites, such as the Faiyum oasis, which contains some of the earliest evidence of Egyptian agriculture. “We model different levels of lake,” she said, “changes in landscape over time, where we find material and how it relates to the landscape—really to map out how the movement of the lake relates to human occupation in the area.”

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching and learning in virtual worlds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife

The Best and the Worst 529 College Savings Plans in 2009:  Beware of high fees

"529 Plans: Ranking the Best and Worst," by Jane J. Kim, The Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124045704717946739.html#mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Until recently, tax-advantaged 529 plans have soared in popularity, especially among wealthier families who could sock away hefty sums without being subject to income limitations that other college-savings vehicles may impose. In a 529 plan, savers put after-tax dollars into an account that typically offers a wide range of mutual funds. Distributions and earnings are tax-free, as long as they're used for higher education.

In assessing the plans, Morningstar focused on features such as fees, investment quality, asset allocation and flexibility. High fees, limited choices and overly aggressive age-based options were common in the plans on the firm's worst list. Three of them -- Nebraska's State Farm College Savings Plan, New Jersey's NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan and Montana's Pacific Life Funds 529 College Savings Plan -- are new to the list, while there are two holdovers from last year: Ohio's Putnam CollegeAdvantage and Nebraska's AIM College Savings Plan.

The bear market showed that many of the plans' popular age-based options had too much exposure to stocks -- especially for those close to attending college. New Jersey's sole age-based option, for example, can still have up to 60% of assets in equities in the years just prior to enrollment and up to 35% in stocks when a beneficiary is in college.

"For a child that's nearing college, that's simply too aggressive," says Greg Brown, the mutual-fund analyst who wrote the report, which will be posted on Morningstar.com. The bigger problem, he says, is that it's the only age-based option in the plan.

Ohio's broker-sold Putnam plan has been faulted because of its heavy exposure to Putnam funds, which have been plagued by stewardship issues and numerous manager departures.

In response, the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority, which runs the state's direct-sold 529 plan, recently added new non-Putnam funds and selected BlackRock Inc. to run a new adviser-sold plan that it plans to launch later this year.


From the Scout Report on April 24, 2009

Freebie Notes 3.26 --- http://www.pw-soft.com/stick-notes/index.html 

In a hectic world, the Freebie Notes application can help restore at least a small bit of balance and perhaps a bit of ordered chaos to one's computer desktop. With this application, users can create electronic notes to place on their desktop, create reminders and alarms associated with each one, and also customize their parameters to make them more or less visually prominent. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

AVG LinkScanner 8.5.289 --- http://linkscanner.avg.com/ 

Users hoping to look for safe websites as they browse will appreciate learning about AVG's LinkScanner plug-in. LinkScanner works with both Firefox and Internet Explorer via its "Search Shield" to return only search safe results from both Google and Yahoo tagged with green or red flags. When visitors move over a flag, they will learn the IP address of the site, along with other relevant information. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer.

Sometimes maligned, sometimes celebrated, the Comic Sans typeface remains a sensitive topic in the design world Typeface Inspired by Comic Books Has Become a Font of Ill Will http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123992364819927171.html 

Man of Letters: Matthew Carter http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/1016/p18s1-hfks.html 

Typographic http://www.rsub.com/typographic/ 

Ban Comic Sans http://bancomicsans.com/home.html 

Independent Lens: Helvetica http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/helvetica/ 

Killer Typography Tools and Free Font Downloads

Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Education Tutorials

Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series177.html

MedEdPORTAL --- http://services.aamc.org/30/mededportal/servlet/segment/mededportal/information/ 

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

MedEdPORTAL --- http://services.aamc.org/30/mededportal/servlet/segment/mededportal/information/ 

National Institutes of Health: History of Medicine --- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/
Includes books, reports, pictures, videos, etc.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event --- http://www.bt.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/ 

Center for Aging Services Technologies --- http://www.agingtech.org The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation tutorials in medicine, medical insurance, healthcare administration ---  http://www.rwjf.org/

LabCAST: The MIT Media Lab Video Podcast [iTunes] --- http://labcast.media.mit.edu/

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series177.html

Maynard Institute for Journalism Education --- http://www.maynardije.org/

Poynter Online: Reporting, Writing & Editing --- http://www.poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2

International Center for Journalists --- http://www.icfj.org/

W.P. Davies Newspaper Columns --- http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/library/digital/davies.html

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers --- http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/home.html

Germany Under Reconstruction --- http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/History/subcollections/GerReconAbout.html

Picturing the Thirties [Flash Player] http://americanart.si.edu/education/picturing_the_1930s/index.html

Library of Congress Web Archives: Iraq War --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/lcwa/html/iraq/iraq-overview.html

Joseph Berry Keenan Digital Collection (Tokyo War Crimes) --- http://www.law.harvard.edu/library/special/exhibits/digital/jbkcollection.html

Studies in the History of Ethics --- http://open-site.org/Society/Philosophy/Ethics/History

On Point [iTunes news from poetry to science] http://www.onpointradio.org/

BBC: In Our Time [iTunes] --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

United Nations Economic and Social Council --- http://www.un.org/ecosoc/


Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

Law and Legal Studies

Joseph Berry Keenan Digital Collection (Tokyo War Crimes) --- http://www.law.harvard.edu/library/special/exhibits/digital/jbkcollection.html

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law

Math Tutorials

MathVids (tutorial videos) --- http://www.mathvids.com/

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

History Tutorials

On Point [iTunes news from poetry to science] http://www.onpointradio.org/

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers --- http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/home.html

Picturing the Thirties [Flash Player] http://americanart.si.edu/education/picturing_the_1930s/index.html

Germany Under Reconstruction --- http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/History/subcollections/GerReconAbout.html

The Waterlines Project (Seattle shoreline and development videos) --- http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/waterlines/

Library of Congress Web Archives: Iraq War --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/lcwa/html/iraq/iraq-overview.html

Joseph Berry Keenan Digital Collection (Tokyo War Crimes) --- http://www.law.harvard.edu/library/special/exhibits/digital/jbkcollection.html

Studies in the History of Ethics --- http://www.historyofethics.org/

From Pi Beta Phi to Arrowmont (history of a national women's sorority) --- http://www.lib.utk.edu/arrowmont/

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

Language Tutorials

European Languages Tutorials [iTunes] --- http://www.ielanguages.com/

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages

Music Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Music

Writing Tutorials

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/


Mixed Drinks (most are high in calories and hazardous to health in excess) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_drinks

Chocolate Recipes (most are high in calories and hazardous to health in excess) --- http://www.popularcookierecipes.com/resources/godiva-chocolate-recipes.htm 

MedEdPORTAL --- http://services.aamc.org/30/mededportal/servlet/segment/mededportal/information/ 

The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu,

"The Monster at Our Door," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, April 29, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/mclemee/mclemee240 

The Monster at Our Door April 29, 2009 By Scott McLemee Laid low with illness -- while work piles up, undone and unrelenting -- you think, “I really couldn’t have picked a worse time to get sick.”

It’s a common enough expression to pass without anyone ever having then to draw out the implied question: Just when would you schedule your symptoms? Probably not during a vacation....

It’s not like there is ever a good occasion. But arguably the past few days have been the worst time ever to get a flu. Catching up with a friend by phone on Saturday, I learned that he had just spent several days in gastrointestinal hell. The question came up -- half in jest, half in dread -- of whether he’d contracted swine variety

Asking this was tempting fate. Within 24 hours, I started coughing and aching and in general feeling, as someone put it on "Deadwood," “pounded flatter than hammered shit.” This is not a good state of mind in which to pay attention to the news. It is not reassuring to know that the swine flu symptoms are far more severe than the garden-variety bug. You try to imagine your condition getting exponentially worse, and affecting everyone around you -- and everyone around them.....

So no, you really couldn’t pick a worse time to get sick than right now. On the other hand, this is a pretty fitting moment for healthy readers to track down The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu, by Mike Davis, a professor of history at the University of California at Irvine. It was published four years ago by The New Press,, in the wake of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which spread to dozens of countries from China in late ‘02 and early ‘03.

The disease now threatening to become a pandemic is different. For one thing, it is less virulent -- so far, anyway. And its proximate source was pigs rather than birds.

But Davis’s account of “antigenic drift” -- the mechanism by which flu viruses constantly reshuffle their composition -- applies just as well to the latest developments. A leap across the species barrier results from an incessant and aleatory process of absorbing genetic material from host organisms and reconfiguring it to avoid the host’s defense systems. The current outbreak involves a stew of avian, porcine, and human strands. “Contemporary influenza,” writes Davis, “like a postmodern novel, has no single narrative, but rather disparate storylines racing one another to dictate a bloody conclusion."

Until about a dozen years ago, the flu virus circulating among pigs “exhibited extraordinary genetic stability,” writes Davis. But in 1997, some hogs on a “megafarm” in North Carolina came down with a form of human flu. It began rejiggering itself with genetic material from avian forms of the flu, then spread very rapidly across the whole continent.

Vaccines were created for breeding sows, but that has not kept new strains of the virus from emerging. “What seems to be happening instead,” wrote Davis a few years ago, “is that influenza vaccinations -- like the notorious antibiotics given to steers -- are probably selecting for resistant new viral types. In the absence of any official surveillance system for swine flu, a dangerous reassortant could emerge with little warning.” An expert on infectious diseases quoted by CNN recently noted that avian influenza never quite made the leap to being readily transmitted between human beings: "Swine flu is already a man-to-man disease, which makes it much more difficult to manage, and swine flu appears much more infectious than SARS."

There is more to that plot, however, than perverse viral creativity. Davis shows how extreme poverty and the need for protein in the Third World combine to form an ideal incubator for a global pandemic. In underdeveloped countries, there is a growing market for chicken and pork. The size of flocks and herds grows to meet the demand -- while malnutrition and slum conditions leave people more susceptible to infection.

Writing halfway through the Bush administration, Davis stressed that the public-health infrastructure had been collapsing even as money poured into preparations to deal with the bioterrorism capabilities of Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. The ability to cope with a pandemic was compromised: “Except for those lucky few -- mainly doctors and soldiers -- who might receive prophylactic treatment with Tamiflu, the Bush administration had left most Americans as vulnerable to the onslaught of a new flu pandemic as their grandparents or great-grandparents had been in 1918.”

Continued in article

"Manipulating Memory:  Drugs that alter traumatic recollections offer new hope for treating anxiety disorders They could also change the way we think about memory," by Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, May/June 2009 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/22451/?nlid=1968

For psychologist Alain Brunet, the case is still astonishing. When Patrick Moreau first came into his office suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the Canadian soldier, who had served as a United Nations peacekeeper in Bosnia, could hardly bear to recount the details of the day he was taken hostage in 1993. The memory--of kneeling on the ground with his hands on his head, legs shaking, a stark line of trees across the sky--aroused crippling fear that felt as fresh as it had 15 years before. The glimpse of a particular tree line through his windshield was enough to bring the memory rushing back, giving him such violent shakes that he would have to pull off the road.

But six months after participating in Brunet's clinical trial, Moreau no longer meets the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. He still experiences some flashbacks, but they are less frequent and less intense. He can now talk calmly and openly about what happened. And all he did was take a blood-pressure drug after writing down the details of the traumatic experience.

"It seemed like science fiction," says Brunet, a clinical psychologist at McGill University and the Douglas Institute in Montreal. "If someone is traumatized, you ask them to recall the memory, give them a pill, and the [emotional] strength of the memory is weakened." The details of the trauma remain intact, but the emotional component of the memory appears to dissipate. Although larger studies are needed to assess the potential benefits of the treatment, preliminary findings are promising. Brunet has successfully treated PTSD not only in soldiers like Moreau but also in survivors of rapes and car accidents. "They are matter-of-fact," he says. "When we ask them whether they have been thinking about the trauma, they raise their shoulders and say, 'Eh, I am not thinking about it so much.' It's like it's no longer an issue."

Brunet's potentially transformative treatment is based in part on a surprising experimental observation: the simple act of calling a memory to mind makes it vulnerable to alteration. Indeed, the right drug given at the right time can make parts of it disappear altogether. If different drugs are delivered to specific parts of the brain, lab animals will explore cages they've been conditioned to fear, drink fluids once associated with certain sickness, and ignore sights and sounds that previously led them to expect cocaine or other pleasure-inducing drugs. Humans, too, can be tricked into scrambling their memories in specific ways. For example, if people learn a list of words soon after recalling a previously learned list, they tend to forget the old list or incorporate those words into the new one. The memory of the old list remains intact if people aren't reminded of it just before learning the new one. And it's always the old list that gets incorporated into the new, not the other way around.

Brunet and others believe that this phenomenon has to do with a process called memory reconsolidation. The idea is that after someone calls up a memory, it has to be stored in the brain anew. During this process, the memory is in a changeable state. The concept of reconsolidation is still controversial among neuroscientists. But if the theory is correct, and if researchers can figure out just what happens to brain cells and the connections between them when a memory is recalled, it could help answer one of the biggest questions in neuroscience: how memories are physically saved and updated in the brain. It could also explain the malleable nature of memory. "It gives us a new perception of a component of memory we didn't understand before--how the imperfectness of recall may come about," says Eric Kandel, a neuroscientist at Columbia University and winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in medicine.

Continued in article

Blue Book
R. Blystone on May 1, 2009
Bob proves why he should stick with biology.

Blue books used to cost a nickel,
From which some profs got a tickle.
And now that they cost a dollar,
Some contain comments hard to swallow.

Some suggest that the blue cover
Leads the student to discover
That the blue cover is really a potion
To reflect an emotion That obscures a grade For nerves now frayed.

The blue book represents a brain
For which some show disdain
As the words paint a refrain
That can reflect mental pain
Instead of the “A” one wishes to gain.

Red book, black book, yellow book, too
These wrapper colors were taken
With the only color left unmistaken
Was the color blue.

From the pedia named wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_book_exam
 To the Yale Daily News quickly http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/12361 
Come a variety of explanations
For the exam book found across the nation.

Upon its lined pages
Are the words of future sages
Seemingly gathered as with a Shepherd’s crook
Into the venerable, stapled blue book.

  • Forwarded by Maureen

    Actual (allegedly) exchanges between pilots and control towers?

    Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!" Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"

    Tower: "TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees." TWA 2341: "Center, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?" Tower: "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"

    From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm f...ing bored!" Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!" Unknown aircraft: "I said I was f...ing bored, not f...ing stupid!"

    O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound." United 329: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this..I've got the little Fokker in sight."

    A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked, "What was your last known position?" Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."

    A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down. San Jose Tower Noted: "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able If you are not able, take theGuadeloupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

    A Pan Am 727 flight, waiting for start clearance in Munich , overheard the following: Lufthansa (in German): " Ground, what is our start clearance time?" Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English." Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany . Why must I speak English?" Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): "Because you lost the bloody war!"

    Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7" Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way,after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway." Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?" BR Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers."

    One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee. Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said, "What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?" The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: "I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one."

    The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange betweenFrankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206. Speedbird 206: " Frankfurt , Speedbird 206 clear of active runway." Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven." The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop. Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?" Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."! Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?" Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- And I didn't land."

    While taxiing at London 's Gatwick Airport , the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the hell are you going? I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!" Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically: "God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour, and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?" "Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded. Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking: "Wasn't I married to you once?-



    Tidbits Archives --- 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/

    World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
    Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

    Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
    Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
    Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
             Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
    Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
    Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
    Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
    Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
    Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

    Three Finance Blogs

    Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
    FinancialRounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
    Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) --- http://financemusings.blogspot.com/

    Some Accounting Blogs

    Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
    International Association of Accountants News --- http://www.aia.org.uk/
    AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
    Gerald Trites'eBusiness and XBRL Blogs --- http://www.zorba.ca/
    AccountingWeb --- http://www.accountingweb.com/   
    SmartPros --- http://www.smartpros.com/

    Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

    Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
    In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
    I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

    Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    Free Textbooks and Cases --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

    Free Science and Medicine Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

    Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

    Free Education Discipline Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

    Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

    Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/arts_lit.htm

    Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/health.htm

    Teacher Source: Math --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/math.htm

    Teacher Source:  Science --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/sci_tech.htm

    Teacher Source:  PreK2 --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/prek2.htm

    Teacher Source:  Library Media ---  http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/library.htm

    Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University --- http://athome.harvard.edu/archive/archive.asp

    VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/

    From Princeton Online
    The Incredible Art Department --- http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/

    Online Mathematics Textbooks --- http://www.math.gatech.edu/~cain/textbooks/onlinebooks.html 

    National Library of Virtual Manipulatives --- http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/doc/intro.jsp

    Moodle  --- http://moodle.org/ 

    The word moodle is an acronym for "modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful. The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle, educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.

    Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

    Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
    Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
    Any college may post a news item.

    Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

    For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
    AECM (Educators)  http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ 
    AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc

    Roles of a ListServ --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

    CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
    CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
    Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
    This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
    AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
    This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
    Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
    This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

    Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm


    Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
    190 Sunset Hill Road
    Sugar Hill, NH 03586
    Phone:  603-823-8482 
    Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu