Tidbits on March 30, 2011
Bob Jensen at Trinity University


This week I made a special photograph file of my Winter Sports/Activities Favorites Set 01


Atlanta Botanical Garden in March 2011 as filmed by my friend Jim Martin --- http://maaw.info/Photos/AtlantaBotanicalGardensMarch2011.htm

My friend Barry Rice took these beautiful landscape pictures --- http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2130135&id=20102311&l=6289998058

My favorite accounting photographer is former student Paul Pacter.
My friend and world traveler shares his thousands of pictures from all over the world ---
Paul lives in Hong Kong as a Deloitte executive but spends much of the year in London as an IASB board member
Paul is also the Webmaster if IAS Plus
I don't think anybody has dedicated his entire life to accounting standard setting more than Paul. After obtaining a PhD at Michigan State Paul started near the bottom at the FASB and worked his way steadily up to project manager for various standards at the FASB and IASB before becoming a highly respected IASB member. Paul is an easy guy to love as well as respect.

Many of my own very amateur photographs are linked at


 White Mountain News --- http://www.whitemtnews.com/



Tidbits on March 30, 2011
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 

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

Bob Jensen's 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/

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

Video Lectures from the National Science Foundation
Voices From The Future http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/voices/index.jsp

Dateline Video
China's ghost cities may be part of a real estate bubble ---

Video:  Two dogs dining in busy restaurant (neither one grabs for the check) ---

Bald Eagle Music Video "This Is America" (AEF) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOZF4vTAF2M

Human Planet (fantastic photography) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=2HiUMlOz4UQ&vq=large

When I was in college at Iowa State University in 1957 Ronald Reagen was an activist who gave a speech for the Democratic Party on campus.
The finest and most predictive speech ever given by Ronald Reagen was in 1964 when he explained why he was bolting from the Democratic Party ---
But in reality, Republicans were almost as much at fault as Democrats for deficit spending.. George W. Bush was one of the worst offenders in history while he was President of the United States. Unlike President Reagen, President Bush did not use his veto pen to challenge wild deficit spending.

An Extremely Well Done Animation
Chess History in Claymation --- Click Here
The best part is the ending.

Video: IBM's Watson and SAP Hana: A Worthy Combination? --- http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2011/03/ibms-watson-and-sap-hana-a-wor.php

Fukushima Reactor Explained & Tsunami 101 --- Click Here

The Wonders of Science --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKKtkvjlfJM&feature=youtu.be

Harvard Thinks Big
Ten Videos (10 minutes each) by Ten Harvard Professors ---

Wabash Valley Visions & Voices: A Digital Memory Project (Indiana History) --- http://visions.indstate.edu/

One of the Most Famous Episodes on NBC's Tonight Show (Johnny Carson)
Why the Japanese didn't conquer Oklahoma. --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6YB68DQXZk

Interesting Video
"The Placebo Effect,"  by Gwen Sharp, Sociological Images, March 10, 2011 --- Click Here

"Video:  Behavioral Finance from PBS Nova," by Jim Mahar, Finance Professor Blog, March 27, 2011---
Bob Jensen's threads on behavioral finance and economics

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

This talented guitar player is also our UPS driver up in these mountains
B.B. King Blues Guitar Solo Improv by Joey Vaughan "World Blues Attack" PRS
Joe also has a degree in finance and is about as nice a guy as you will find up here in the snow
For his other videos search for "Joey Vaughan" on YouTube --- http://www.youtube.com/ 

Introducing the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives --- http://archives.nyphil.org/

David Lynch “Directs” Duran Duran Concert in L.A. --- Click Here

Free Grateful Dead Concert Archive --- Click Here

An Irish Blessing for You --- http://www.andiesisle.com/ThisBlessingIsForYou.html

Boogie Woogie on the Player Piano (1939) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydcRAMZl0l0

Five year olds (five of them) playing guitars --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE7waNi5dc0

Rachmaninov Had Big Hands (video comedy) --- Click Here

First-Time Perfection: Mozart's 'Marriage of Figaro' (introduction to the opera) ---

The Bad Plus Tackle Stravinsky's 'Spring' --- http://www.npr.org/2011/03/20/134666157/the-bad-plus-tackle-stravinskys-spring
Listen to "Finale: Sacrificial Dance of the Chosen One"

Pentatonic Scale --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentatonic_scale
World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale ---

Independent Lens Strange Fruit (with a Billie Holiday historical recording) ---  http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/strangefruit/index.html

South by Southwest (live from Austin concert) --- http://www.npr.org/series/sxsw/

Mark Twain --- http://www.pbs.org/marktwain/index.html

Institute of Transportation Studies: Videos --- http://its.berkeley.edu/videolibrary

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

Japan Earthquake:  Before and After --- http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm
This is neat visualization technology. Drag the mouse pointer back and forth across each picture.

Human Planet (fantastic photography) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=2HiUMlOz4UQ&vq=large

National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collections --- http://digital.lib.umd.edu/ntlpostcards.jsp?pid=umd:15237

University of Washington Digital Collections: Panorama Photographs Collection --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/panoramweb/index.html

Faith: Time-Lapse from Mecca --- Click Here

Cornell Modern Indonesia Collection --- http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/c/cmip/browse.html

John Muir Photographs (California, San Francisco, Redwoods, Forests) --- http://library.pacific.edu/ha/digital/muir/index.asp

First Person Arts - The First Person Museum --- http://museum.firstpersonarts.org/

James H. Doolittle Collection (World War II) --- http://libtreasures.utdallas.edu/xmlui/handle/10735.1/1522

Fiji Museum --- http://www.fijimuseum.org.fj/gallery.html

Exhibitions: Musée McCord Museum (Quebec) --- http://www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/keys/virtualexhibits/

History, Art and Biography: National Agricultural Library --- http://riley.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=8&tax_level=1&tax_subject=3

Sarasota History Alive! --- http://www.sarasotahistoryalive.com/

Outside Online --- http://outsideonline.com/

USAF B2 Spirit --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2695707/posts

Atlanta Botanical Garden in March 2011 as filmed by my friend Jim Martin --- http://maaw.info/Photos/AtlantaBotanicalGardensMarch2011.htm

NGC@MOCCA is a three-year partnership between the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). The two museums will co-organize a series of exhibitions in the galleries at MOCCA, using artwork selected from the NGC's collections

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

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

James Earl Jones Reads Othello at White House Poetry Jam --- Click Here

Mark Twain --- http://www.pbs.org/marktwain/index.html

History, Art and Biography: National Agricultural Library --- http://riley.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=8&tax_level=1&tax_subject=3

Wabash Valley Visions & Voices: A Digital Memory Project (Indiana History) --- http://visions.indstate.edu/

Digital Image Collections: Indiana Historical Society --- http://www.indianahistory.org/our-collections/digital-image-collections 

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

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on March 30, 2011

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

A Message from AECM Founder Barry Rice

My recent letter to the editor of LOYOLA: The Magazine of Loyola University Maryland was just published. It says:


“A Matter of Course” in the December issue quoted an education instructor who said “Technology is a tool; it’s not the whole thing…kids aren’t the same as they were in their learning styles and needs 20 years ago. We need to keep kids engaged and excited.” I strongly believe that this pedagogical approach applies not only to teaching K-12 kids, but also to teaching the young adults who are today’s university students. They, too, must be engaged and excited about the learning process!

I retired from 27 years of teaching accounting at Loyola in 2002. For many years, I “preached” that faculty members must force students to think and must actively engage them in the learning process. Just memorizing and regurgitating doesn’t cut it. However, what better way to engage and excite today’s university students than through the innovative use of technology?

One of my first uses of technology in the classroom to excite and engage students was to take their pictures at the beginning of the semester and project them on the screen in random order during each class. It was my method of calling on students to answer questions about their homework and the day’s lecture. I later used “clickers” to poll my students on questions related to homework and lectures. Their responses counted as a significant part of their course grade. Therefore, they had to come to class prepared and stay engaged in the learning process throughout the entire class period! Other techniques I used to engage and excite them were the use of in-class videos and animated, on-screen lecture outlines which frequently used popular music and various loud sounds.

As the Web matured and became a part of students’ culture, one of the assignments I developed was an online scavenger hunt. Since that was prior to Google, Yahoo, and other popular search engines, it forced them to be resourceful. If I were teaching today, I would figure out effective ways to use Facebook, Twitter, and other popular technologies to engage and excite students. Successful teachers must be innovative, creative, and open-minded!

Barry Rice

AECM Founder


"Teaching The World's One Billion Marginalized Children," by Richard R. Rowe, Harvard Business Review Blog, March 25, 2011 --- Click Here

"11 Features to Watch for in Windows 8 (Part 1)," ReadWriteWeb Blog, March 25, 2011 ---

No one knows what exactly the next version of Windows will look like, or even what it will be called. Internally it's called Windows.Next, but Microsoft developers refer to it as Windows 8 on LinkedIn. The details we have come from LinkedIn, the portfolio of a developer at Microsoft India R&D, a official statements and presentations by Microsoft and slides supposedly leaked by an HP engineer responsible for OEM relations. Together, these pieces begin to form a picture of what the next generation of Microsoft's operating system will look like.

Let's take a look at some of what may be in the next version.

Continued in article

"'Fatally flawed' accounting (IFRS) standards inflated RBS's worth: The rules that govern British bank accounting may have over-inflated the capital position of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) by as much as £25bn, a leading expert has warned.," by Louise Armitstead, The Telegraph, March 29, 2011 ---

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which have been described as "fatally flawed", let RBS report a core tier one ratio for 2010 more than 4pc higher than it would have been under the UK's old accounting rules that were replaced in 2005.

The analysis comes ahead of the publication of a House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report into UK accounting practices expected to be highly critical of the IFRS system.

According to RBS's latest accounts, which were calculated using IFRS, the bank has tangible shareholder assets of £58bn and core tier one capital of 10.7pc.

Tim Bush, a City veteran and member of the "Urgent Issues Task Force" that scrutinizes the work of the Accounting Standards Board, has calculated that under pre-2005 UK GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) rules, which governed accounting in Britain for over 100 years, RBS would have a tangible shareholder assets of £33bn and a core tier one capital of just 6pc.

The criticism is of the IFRS framework. There is no suggestion RBS or any other British bank has broken the accounting rules.

The radical difference in the numbers highlights the problems described to the Lords Committee during the course of its investigation.

The Committee was told that IFRS, which was introduced after the Enron scandal with the intention of producing less subjective accounting practices, allows banks to disguise the build-up of risks within banks because distressed loans are not reported until they default.

In one session, Iain Richards, of Aviva Investors, said that IFRS had had "a material cost to the taxpayer and to shareholders" because "as a result dividend distributions have been made and bonuses have been paid that were imprudent."

Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor who now sits on the Committee, has asked for a list of proposals on how to overhaul what he described as "very serious problems" with British accounting.

Fellow committee member Lord Forsyth, who was also a Tory minister and former deputy chairman of JP Morgan, said he believed Mr Bush's view "explains why particular banks got into difficulty" during the financial crisis.

Separately the governor of the Bank of Ireland has described the accounting rules for British and Irish banks as "unsatisfactory".

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting standard controversies are at

RLC = Return on Lobbying Congress
"G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether," by David Kocieniewski, The New York Times, March 24, 2011 ---

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.

Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

While General Electric is one of the most skilled at reducing its tax burden, many other companies have become better at this as well. Although the top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, companies have been increasingly using a maze of shelters, tax credits and subsidies to pay far less.

In a regulatory filing just a week before the Japanese disaster put a spotlight on the company’s nuclear reactor business, G.E. reported that its tax burden was 7.4 percent of its American profits, about a third of the average reported by other American multinationals. Even those figures are overstated, because they include taxes that will be paid only if the company brings its overseas profits back to the United States. With those profits still offshore, G.E. is effectively getting money back.

Such strategies, as well as changes in tax laws that encouraged some businesses and professionals to file as individuals, have pushed down the corporate share of the nation’s tax receipts — from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.

Yet many companies say the current level is so high it hobbles them in competing with foreign rivals. Even as the government faces a mounting budget deficit, the talk in Washington is about lower rates. President Obama has said he is considering an overhaul of the corporate tax system, with an eye to lowering the top rate, ending some tax subsidies and loopholes and generating the same amount of revenue. He has designated G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, as his liaison to the business community and as the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and it is expected to discuss corporate taxes.

“He understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy,” Mr. Obama said of Mr. Immelt, on his appointment in January, after touring a G.E. factory in upstate New York that makes turbines and generators for sale around the world.

A review of company filings and Congressional records shows that one of the most striking advantages of General Electric is its ability to lobby for, win and take advantage of tax breaks.

Over the last decade, G.E. has spent tens of millions of dollars to push for changes in tax law, from more generous depreciation schedules on jet engines to “green energy” credits for its wind turbines. But the most lucrative of these measures allows G.E. to operate a vast leasing and lending business abroad with profits that face little foreign taxes and no American taxes as long as the money remains overseas.

Company officials say that these measures are necessary for G.E. to compete against global rivals and that they are acting as responsible citizens. “G.E. is committed to acting with integrity in relation to our tax obligations,” said Anne Eisele, a spokeswoman. “We are committed to complying with tax rules and paying all legally obliged taxes. At the same time, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to legally minimize our costs.”

The assortment of tax breaks G.E. has won in Washington has provided a significant short-term gain for the company’s executives and shareholders. While the financial crisis led G.E. to post a loss in the United States in 2009, regulatory filings show that in the last five years, G.E. has accumulated $26 billion in American profits, and received a net tax benefit from the I.R.S. of $4.1 billion.

But critics say the use of so many shelters amounts to corporate welfare, allowing G.E. not just to avoid taxes on profitable overseas lending but also to amass tax credits and write-offs that can be used to reduce taxes on billions of dollars of profit from domestic manufacturing. They say that the assertive tax avoidance of multinationals like G.E. not only shortchanges the Treasury, but also harms the economy by discouraging investment and hiring in the United States.

Continued in article

From CBS Sixty Minutes on March 27, 2011
How to Shift Profits Offshore --- http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7360934n&tag=contentMain;contentBody
Economist Martin Sullivan explains to Lesley Stahl how American multi-national companies shift their profits overseas.
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7360934n&tag=contentMain;contentBody#ixzz1HvmebOLs

Comedian Jon Stewart Reacts to GE’s Tax Savviness ---

Audio Clip on Copyright Fair Use
The March 2011 edition of The Pulse features an interview with Steve Anderson, director of the Media Arts + Practice Ph.D. Program and assistant professor of interactive media at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. He discusses the prospects of a more rational future for fair use in publishing and teaching ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Fair Use are at

"Blogging in the Classroom," by David Albrecht, Summa, March 25, 2011 ---
Slide Show --- http://profalbrecht.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/classroom-blogging.pdf

Bob Jensen's threads on blogging (including links to accounting bloggers) ---

Suppose you are in a traditional classroom and you've grown tired of lugging amplified speakers with your laptop?
Suppose you also have a small LCD projector for student viewing of  laptop videos.
How can you get quality amplified sound to accompany the projected videos?

The Panda Pal is an affordable little device that allows you to amplify audio from a laptop, a portable MP3 player, a cell phone, or any device with a mini headphone jack.
"Little Gadget, Big Sound," by George Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at

Austin City Limits --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_City_Limits

University of Texas --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Texas_at_Austin

Is the culture of a campus different than that of the community that immediately surrounds it?
In particular how different is the University of Texas from the hip part of Austin that just outside the campus (on or near the infamous Sixth Street)?

Discussion from the Harvard Business Review Blog
"The Social Network — College Edition," by Tom Dretier, Harvard Business Review Blog, March 23, 2011 --- Click Here


Jensen Comment
My daughter graduated after four years full time at the University of Texas. Although she did not live in Jester Hall, Jester Hall gives you some idea of the culture of on campus living. Jester Hall is so big that just this one dorm has two zip codes. UT has over 50,000 students and over 16,000 faculty. Obviously in this enormous setting there are many subcultures in terms of politics, scholarship, partying, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

On the UT campus and on other large university campuses there's a significant population of of non-students, some of whom are dropouts and some of whom are simply hanging out on roller skates/roller boards and some who are trying to perform for or preach to any audience that might stop and listen. Obviously students must quickly become street smart for their own safety and time management.

Driving and parking a car in Austin can be a nightmare to say nothing of driving and parking on campus. My daughter had her own car and lived in a private dorm on the edge of campus her first year. After that she joined two other coeds in an apartment over ten miles out and rarely took her car to campus. UT has a relatively convenient shuttle service for students who live in Austin and commute to campus.

I expect that the experience of doctoral students on campus is as different from undergraduate experiences at night is different from day, although both sets of students may have good or bad memories of Sixth Street and the Austin City Limits.

Both UT and Texas A&M have very strong and active alumni throughout the State of Texas. There is very, very strong peer pressure in K-12 Texas schools to get into one or the other flagship universities. This often is unfortunate for young high school graduates who really might do better socially and scholastically in small college settings. However, both flagship universities in Texas did not create millions of exuberant and loyal alumni out of unhappy graduates.

My daughter certainly jumped for joy when she was accepted by UT and would not, as a high school senior, give consideration to any other school her father recommended. In retrospect, however, she advised her own daughter to go to a very small private college in Maine.

"Online Tools Help College Freshman Find Stolen Laptop," by Ben Weider, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2011 ---

Some of your advisees might be somewhat interested in this
What Business Week thinks are the top 2011 business schools in Europe ---

Bob Jensen's threads on media ranking controversies ---

"From Good Teachers to Good Teaching," by Anustup Nayak, Harvard Business Review Blog, March 22, 2011 ---

In the United Kingdom
 "State pension age 'rises' to 70 for anyone under 30: Anyone under the age of 30 will not receive the state pension until they reach 70 years old under Government plans to increase the retirement age," by Myra Butterworth By Myra Butterworth, The Telegraph, March 24, 2011 ---

The New York Times has just proposed to turn us all into Seinfeld's Elaine Benes.

The article below has a really weird introduction to say the least, especially for a venerable journal like the Harvard Business Review.

The article is really about the new New York Times way of charging readers, which is a very, very complicated scheme to say the least.

"Is Paul Krugman "Click-Worthy"?" by Joshua Gans, Harvard Business Review Blog, March 18. 2011 --- Click Here


Last year, one of the most famous economists in the world, Avinash Dixit, released a paper, "An Option Value Model from Seinfeld," based on this episode (you can download it here). ---

Bob Jensen's threads on option valuation are here ---

Bob Jensen's Threads on Real Options, Option Pricing Theory, and Arbitrage Pricing Theory ---

Bob Jensen's threads on option pricing theory are at

"Online Journalism's Golden Age," by James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web Today, March 28, 2010: 

The New York Times's long-awaited online paywall was to be erected earlier this afternoon. In theory, this means you won't be able to read the Times online without paying a subscription fee of $195 to $455 a year.

But like America's southern border, the Times's wall is porous. "Visitors get 20 free articles . . . each calendar month on NYTimes.com," the site explains. "In addition," notes Mashable.com, "non-subscribers will have access to articles found through search (limited to five per day from major search engines), blogs and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, even if they have exceeded their 20-article reading limit."

Mashable adds: "The Times confirmed a report that it had dropped its case against @freeNYTimes, a Twitter feed designed to help readers circumvent the forthcoming paywall." The Times says it objected to the site's use of its logo, which has been removed.

The Nieman Journalism Lab reports that the paywall "can be defeated through four lines of Javascript," and a "Canadian coder" has made available a tool to do just that--one that is so simple, "it barely even qualifies as a hack."

TheStreet.com reports that its readers voted the plan the week's "dumbest thing on Wall Street," although the Times's offices are actually on Eighth Avenue. But Times publisher Pinch Sulzberger says he's untroubled:

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
College faculty and enrolled students will probably still access the NYT "for free" though campus library database subscriptions although, until now, they probably did not bother with library subscriptions since current NYT articles, unlike WSJ articles, were free until the NYT erected this new online paywall. The NYT may also follow the WSJ lead in offering greatly discounted student and faculty discounts in selected courses. The WSJ includes on campus delivery of hard copy under the student subscriptions. There's also that Twitter feed and Javascript mentioned above.

I suspect that the Twitter feed and Javascript and Canadian code end runs will end up being very temporary. What's the point of charging for items if options to avoid paying become widespread?

In some ways the NYT is being more generous than competitors who do not even allow 20 free downloads per month.

In terms of the financial press, the NYT has some of the best blogs in the world, especially DealB%k. Most writers, aside from the NYT, write that as DealBook. The blogger, Andrew Ross Sorkin, is GREAT!.As of this moment I can still get into DealB%k for free ---

"What the Demise of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Means for the Future of Homeownership," Knowledge@Wharton, March 16, 2011 ---

By most accounts, the federally sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did not cause the housing and mortgage crisis. But they were a big part of the problem, prompting a taxpayer bailout costing more than $130 billion.

Now, seeking to protect taxpayers from future meltdowns, the Obama administration wants to phase out the two firms over an unspecified period and leave the lion's share of the mortgage market to private lenders. It would be a dramatic change, given that the private market has shriveled in recent years, leaving Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Housing Administration to back about 90% of all new home loans. The administration also proposes a reduced role for the FHA, one that would focus on providing mortgages for the needy.

How would a phase-out of Fannie and Freddie affect the availability of mortgages, loan rates and home prices? In the end, would such a dramatic change be good for homeowners or not?

Opinions vary, and no one can know for sure. The mortgage and housing markets are complex, and a controlled experiment that removes Fannie and Freddie but leaves everything else the same is obviously not possible, says Wharton real estate professor Todd Sinai. "There's a debate over whether Fannie and Freddie successfully reduced mortgage rates paid by borrowers, or increased the mortgage availability for borrowers, or whether they just took their implicit [government] subsidy and generated higher returns for shareholders," Sinai says. "If Fannie and Freddie were successful in making mortgage credit cheaper and more available, then eliminating [them] would have a negative impact on house prices."

It is not clear that the private market can or would absorb the volume of business done by Fannie and Freddie, which cover trillions of dollars worth of loans, according to Wharton real estate professor Susan M. Wachter. "That's a good question," she says, noting that even if the private market were to take over, borrowers would probably not get the attractive deals they can today.

"The 30-year [mortgage] would become more expensive," she states, adding that some experts predict a three percentage point rate rise. With the 30-year, fixed-rate loan now averaging around 5%, that would take it to 8%, raising the monthly payment for every $100,000 borrowed from $537 to $733. This would make the 30-year fixed loan "noncompetitive" with adjustable-rate loans, Wachter says. ARMs can offer lower rates because lenders face less risk, given that they can raise rates as market conditions change

Jack M. Guttentag, an emeritus professor of finance at Wharton who runs a website called The Mortgage Professor, thinks fixed rates might go up only three quarters of a percentage point rather than three points. But with the two firms' loan guarantees removed from the market, lenders would probably demand larger down payments than they have in the past, and be less willing to provide loans to those with less-than-stellar credit. Indeed, today's tight lending standards, a reaction to the recent crisis, could become permanent.

"Things like qualification standards have become extremely strict," Guttentag says, noting that it is now all but impossible for a self-employed applicant to get a mortgage. "The biggest part of it would be the increase in the down payment; 20% would probably become the minimum throughout the marketplace."

Larger down payments reduce the lender's risk because borrowers are reluctant to default if they have equity in the home, and because a smaller loan relative to the home's value makes it easier for the lender to recover in a foreclosure. Currently, most lenders require 20% down payments; a few years ago, however, it was possible to get a loan with nothing down. The Obama administration wants underwriting standards to require at least 10%, though the FHA would continue to offer low-down payment loans to certain less-affluent borrowers.

Planning a Phase-out

Fannie, the Federal National Mortgage Association, was formed as a government agency in 1938 and was converted to a publicly traded company in 1968. Freddie, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., is a publicly traded company created by the government in 1970 to provide competition for Fannie. Their primary role is to buy and insure mortgages issued by private lenders. Some loans stay on Fannie and Freddie's books, but most are bundled into mortgage securities sold to investors like other types of government and corporate bonds. Fannie and Freddie provide investors certain guarantees that interest and principal payments will be made even if homeowners default.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Fannie and Freddie are at the following links:



Victim of Competition (especially FedEx and UPS) and low marginal cost technology (per email message and social media posting)
U.S. Postal Service to cut 7,500 jobs, close over 2,000 offices ---

Jensen Comment
What also hurts the Post Office a lot is the E-Filing of legal documents, especially PDF documents that no longer require physical mailing with signatures (including tax returns).

And it's no longer necessary to rent movies on DVD disks delivered by mail when the same movies can be downloaded via the Web.

When I watch our postal carrier named Mary (who milks cows before and after her deliveries) reaching out in a blizzard to find our mail box I have to think that this type of 20th Century home delivery just cannot go on much longer in the 21st Century. Sigh!

Video Tips on How to Improve Laptop Presentations ---

Bob Jensen's PowerPoint Helpers ---

"Which Traits Predict Success? (The Importance of Grit)," by Jonah Lehrer, Wired News, March 14, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
This article focuses mainly on accomplishments that require unbelievable amounts of practice such as in solo performances in music and athletics.

More interesting and much more difficult is prediction of "success" following graduation from an MBA program. Years ago I took a psychology course from Tom Harrell at Stanford University. Professor Harrell received a rather large research grant from the U.S. Navy to track graduates of Stanford's MBA Program. While the students were in the program, he administered a time consuming battery of psychological and intelligence test, including personality tests. He additionally had access to student records such as undergraduate degree information, GMAT scores, grades un undergraduate and graduate courses, occupational history, etc.

The he annually tracked each graduate's career path. I don't think he got into other personal details such as marriage, children, divorce, etc., although I could be wrong about this. He did gather substantial information about compensation, promotions, job details, etc.


What is the biggest stumbling block in predicting success of MBA graduates?

The major problem is that of defining "success." Professor Harrell called it "The Criterion Problem." ---

Income is a misleading criterion for a variety of reasons. Students who graduated from Stanford to immediately become executives in their family's business can hardly be compared with graduates who commenced working for banks or accounting firms at relatively low paid staff training levels.

A fair number of Stanford's MBA students were on active duty career tracks with the Navy. I remember one who was a Lieutenant JG and another who was a Lieutenant Commander while enrolled in the MBA Program. Their career paths and compensation following graduation from the MBA Program are just not comparable.

And there are a lot of intervening variables that cannot be compared. Suppose one graduate subsequently enrolled in the doctoral program of Carnegie-Mellon whereas another graduate, like MSNBC's Chris Matthews, joined the Peace Corps and another graduate became partially paralyzed in an accident. In all three instances post-graduate factors are likely to become much more important than the final gpa in Stanford's MBA Program.

Tom Harrell also conducted similar studies for other branches of the military. You might take a look at the following reference:
Harrell, T.W. (1992). "Some history of the army general classifications test," Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 875-878.

Even when comparing athletic performance it becomes very difficult to factor out circumstantial causes and effects. We can hardly compare the number of game wins of Pitcher A who plays for the best hitting team in the league with Pitcher B who pitches for the Bad News Bears. Earned run averages are hardly comparable between the Boston Red Sox having a short left field fence as their home field and the Boys of Summer in Yankee Stadium.

And such things as medal counts are often misleading. During the Cold War the bias of judges from the Soviet Union was no joke in winter and in summer Olympics. And authors of best selling popular books can hardly be compared with an author who wins a Nobel Prize for a research monograph that sold less than 200 copies to small subset of advanced biomedical researchers.

Lastly its very difficult to factor out serendipity of life when comparing success of different people. Remember that well known story about when the maggot that fell from a bird's butt into a manure pile encounters his brother who fell into a pavement crack. The manure pile maggot attributed his great success to "brains and personality" superiority when in fact most of his success was due to wind current.

Chegg Online Book Rental --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chegg

"Beyond Textbooks: Chegg Adds Course Selection and Homework Help," by Audrey Watters, ReadWrite Blog, March 24, 2011 ---

Chegg, the largest online textbook rental company, is unveiling two new services today to help expand its reach into the university student market. Describing it as an effort to personalize its offerings, Chegg will now offer homework help as well as course scheduling information to its customers.

These new features aren't a surprise. They follow Chegg's acquisitions last year of CourseRank and Cramster. The former offers course scheduling and review information, and the latter offers homework help. The services these companies offered have now been integrated into Chegg so that its textbook rental customers can easily take advantage of them.

"More Americans Dropping Out of the Labor Force," by Catherine Rampell, The New York Times (Economix),  March 23, 2011 ---

The Myth of College ROI
Going to college may increase an appreciation for literature, music, philosophy, and economics, but its expected financial return on investment may be negative.

However, when we adjust for unobserved student ability by controlling for the average SAT score of the colleges that students applied to, our estimates of the return to college selectivity fall substantially and are generally indistinguishable from zero. There were notable exceptions for certain subgroups.
See below

"Estimating the Return to College Selectivity over the Career Using Administrative Earning Data,"
by Stacy Dale Mathematica Policy Research and Alan B. Krueger Princeton University
February 16, 2011

We estimate the monetary return to attending a highly selective college using the College and Beyond (C&B) Survey linked to Detailed Earnings Records from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This paper extends earlier work by Dale and Krueger (2002) that examined the relationship between the college that students attended in 1976 and the earnings they self-reported reported in 1995 on the C&B follow-up survey. In this analysis, we use administrative earnings data to estimate the return to various measures of college selectivity for a more recent cohort of students: those who entered college in 1989. We also estimate the return to college selectivity for the 1976 cohort of students, but over a longer time horizon (from 1983 through 2007) using administrative data.

We find that the return to college selectivity is sizeable for both cohorts in regression models that control for variables commonly observed by researchers, such as student high school GPA and SAT scores. However, when we adjust for unobserved student ability by controlling for the average SAT score of the colleges that students applied to, our estimates of the return to college selectivity fall substantially and are generally indistinguishable from zero. There were notable exceptions for certain subgroups. For black and Hispanic students and for students who come from less-educated families (in terms of their parents’ education), the estimates of the return to college selectivity remain large, even in models that adjust for unobserved student characteristics.

"The Case Against College Education," by Ramesh Ponnuru, Time Magazine, February 24, 2010 ---

"Shpoonkle.com Launches this Week to Provide Legal Services," by Ed Silverstein, TMC.net, March 24, 2011 ---
Thank you Dan Stone for the heads up

Shpoonkle.com officially launched on Wednesday and it is offering help for both lawyers and clients.

Shpoonkle will let lawyers bid for clients, and its founder, New York Law School student Robert Grant Niznik says the site’s slogan is "Justice You Can Afford."

“Shpoonkle’s mission is to help lawyers as well as potential clients,” according to a site blog post. “Each year, thousands of legal positions are being eliminated or outsourced to foreign countries while law school registration continues to increase.”

In addition, there are many stories of law school graduates, who owe thousands of dollars – if not more – in educational loans, who end up “working at Home Depot and other stopgap gigs in lieu of real professional work,” the blog said.

There are fewer jobs for lawyers at firms – which specialize in such fields as corporate law – because the legal sector is attempting to recover from a lengthy economic downturn.

A site blog post also points out that The Wall Street Journal’s description of the site as “Building eBay (News - Alert) for Lawyers” is “only half correct because, while eBay is an accurate comparison, we are here for all citizens in need of legal help—not just lawyers.”

The site’s target market appears to be middle-class Americans who are too wealthy to qualify for legal aid but do not have the resources to pay for expensive legal advice, The Journal said.

Niznik also sees a market in reverse auctions for legal services, The Journal said.

Similarly, a Texas trial attorney, Chad Pinkerton, is looking for $25 million to start a similar service called LawyerBid, as soon as within 90 days, The Journal said.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I posted this without endorsing it. Sometimes you get what you pay for, including what you pay for a lawyer. I can't imagine anybody using a similar reverse auction for medical services --- "I'm now taking bids to remove a brain tumor."

Students might use a similar service for plagiarism --- "I'm now taking bids to write a law review article that will improve my chances for tenure." Or another customer might write:  "I'm now taking bids for a doctoral thesis on accounting for credit default swaps that are embedded in insurance contracts."  ---

The trick here is to hire a go-between middleman, a purchasing agent, so that it is much more difficult to identify the real buyer of the service.

Two-Year Semester Credit Hour Load:  27=24+3; 21=18+3; 15=12+3
It's not clear how much credit-hour relief can be granted to those who serve doctoral programs and administrative duties.
Presumably the spirit of the law is that every tenure track professor who teaches at least one course in two years will add at least one course.
Will allowances be made for probationary faculty not yet granted tenure?
Will faculty who teach in quarters rather than semesters have to add six quarter hours or four credit hours or three quarter hours?

"A Heavier Load in Ohio," by Dan Berrett, Inside Higher Ed, March 22, 2011 ---


Jensen Comment
Such a law could hit some schools hard like Michigan State University that gives one quarter's relief from all teaching every two years. Keeping this quarter's relief plan in operation when being required to teach two added quarter courses becomes a relatively heavy teaching load in some teaching quarters. To my knowledge this proposal has not yet jumped from Ohio to Michigan and probably will not do so since the Michigan governor is pro labor union. Not so for the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin.

The question is whether some universities will require teaching and added course whether or not heavier loads are mandated from above. With shrinking budgets this can be a way to free up some money and/or retaining some tenure track positions that might otherwise be lost in budget cutting crises.

Is this better than the current approach of increasing teaching loads by increasing class sizes --- something that Patricia Walters and others have complained about several times on the AECM?

One out of every four rows of corn picked in the U.S. is burned up in car and truck engines because of Federal laws, subsidies, and enormous tariffs on more efficient sugar cane ethanol that can be imported cheaply

"Ethanol Blamed for Record Food Prices:  A more flexible policy could ease the impact of ethanol mandates on worldwide markets," by Kevin Bullis, MIT's Technology Review, March 23, 2011 ---

Federal ethanol mandates, which have led to a steady increase in the production of ethanol made from corn, are a major reason why food prices worldwide have reached record levels in the past several months, according to some economists.

Earlier this month, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization reported that global food prices had risen for eight consecutive months, reaching the highest levels since the agency started tracking prices in 1990. The prices are high in large part because of steadily growing worldwide demand for food, and because of natural disasters that have hurt harvests, but they're also affected by government policies.

Federal ethanol mandates in the United States have played an important role in the increase in  corn prices, which are approaching $7 a bushel, up from historical norms of $2 to $3. The mandates—called the renewable fuel standard—require fuel distributors to use a certain amount of ethanol each year, with the amount increasing each year. In 2005, when the mandates were first introduced (legislation signed by President Bush in 2007 subsequently expanded the federal mandates), ethanol production accounted for only 5 to 10 percent of the demand for corn in the United States, says C. Ford Runge, professor of applied economics and law at the University of Minnesota. Now it's up to roughly 40 percent, he says. (The standard calls for 13.95 billion gallons of renewable fuel, almost all of which will come from corn-based ethanol.)

The increased production of ethanol has a large impact on corn prices, not only because it's a major source of demand, but also because the demand is fixed. In a free market, if the price of corn goes up, demand will go down, moderating corn prices. But the federal mandate requires the same amount of ethanol no matter how expensive corn is.

Continued in article

Volkswagen's $600 Car --- http://www.examiner.com/trendy-living-in-national/volkswagen-s-600-car-gets-258-mpg

All it needs is a shopping cart trailer hitch so you can haul your grocery cart home.

The baby boom might've been avoided if we'd had more of these cars back in the 1950s and 1960s when drive-in movies were so popular.

You probably won't see too many in airport parking lots since there's no room for luggage.

Can also serve as an economical coffin (e.g., $600 versus $4,000 price at a funeral parlor)
In fact the body need not even be removed after an accident

I doubt that it's legal to strap a baby's seat on top of the car. Leave the kid and the dog at home.

Or maybe you can make a choo-choo train with tow bars connecting six of these cars in line --- one for mom, one for dad, one for the kid, one for the dog, and two for grocery bags or luggage or grandparents. The car in back can boost the power of the car in front.

Is it legal to park four of these and only put coins in one parking meter?

Edutools --- http://ocep.edutools.info/index.jsp?pj=1

WCET’s EduTools provides independent reviews, side-by-side comparisons, and consulting services to assist decision-making in the e-learning community

Course Management System – Compare reviews of the CMS products most commonly used in higher education and also used by many K-12 virtual schools
Online Course Evaluation Project – Compare reviews of online college, Advanced Placement®, and high school courses as conducted by the Monterey Institute of Technology and Education• WCALO Reviews of AP® Courses
View the results of research projects • Learning object repository software Student services products e-Learning Policies ePortfolios

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the history of course authoring and management software ---

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---


Interesting Videos
"The Placebo Effect,"  by Gwen Sharp, Sociological Images, March 10, 2011 --- Click Here

Video: IBM's Watson and SAP Hana: A Worthy Combination? ---

Capitalism is a strange and complicated economic system. In the 1930s the New Deal was a virtual failure in economic recovery and job creation (there was still over a 14% unemployment rate in 1940s in the wake of the New Deal). What spurred enormous economic recovery from The Great Depression and created millions of new jobs was a disaster called World War II.

Now the Harvard Business Review is trying to make a case that the legendary earthquake in Japan will spur enormous economic recovery for that stalled economy and create millions of new jobs. Go figure!

"The Disaster That Could Save Japan," by Richard Hornik, Harvard Business Review Blog, March 16, 2011 --- Click Here

Does the U.S. need an even more massive disaster?

Job and Career Search Helper Site
O*Net OnLine --- http://www.onetonline.org/

"Tim Wu Tries to Save the Internet:  The scholar who coined 'net neutrality' fears a corporate takeover of the Web. Now he's in a position to fight that," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, March 20, 2011 ---

"Alain de Botton Tweets Short Course in Political Philosophy," Open Culture, March 20, 2011 --- Click Here

Gaming to Manage Student Loan Bad Debt Risk
"Many For-Profits Are 'Managing' Defaults to Mask Problems, Analysis Indicates 3-year default rates on student loans are 5 times as high as 2-year rates at some colleges," by Goldie Blumenstyk and Alex Richards, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 13, 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on for-profit university scandals (generally in terms of academic standards and scamming of Federal student loan money) ---

About those nondisclosure agreements in journal subscription contracts
"Cornell U. Library Takes a Stand With Journal Vendors: Prices Will Be Made Public," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, March  24, 2011 --- http://chronicle.com/article/Cornell-U-Library-Takes-a/126852/

Librarians have long complained about the nondisclosure agreements, or NDA's, that some publishers and vendors require them to sign, making it difficult to share information about how much they pay to subscribe to journal databases and other scholarly material. Some state universities' libraries have been able to reveal licensing terms anyway because their institutions are subject to sunshine laws. Now one major private institution, Cornell University, has publicly declared it's had enough of confidentiality agreements, too.

"To promote openness and fairness among libraries licensing scholarly resources, Cornell University Library will not enter into vendor contracts that require nondisclosure of pricing information or other information that does not constitute a trade secret," the library said in a statement posted on its Web site. "The more that libraries are able to communicate with one another about vendor offers, the better they are able to weigh the costs and benefits of any individual offer. An open market will result in better licensing terms."

Anne R. Kenney, Cornell's university librarian, said that with purchasing decisions under close scrutiny, it felt like the right moment to take a stand. Enough major publishers have agreed to drop nondisclosure clauses "that it was time to bite the bullet and make that a principle moving forward," she said. "Publishers are beginning to get it."

At the end of its statement, the Cornell library listed some of the publishers that do not request confidentiality clauses when they negotiate licenses. They include the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, Cambridge University Press, EBSCO, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, ProQuest, Sage, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley. (If a publisher does not appear on the list, that doesn't necessarily mean it requires NDA's, just that it hasn't been in recent contract negotiations with Cornell's library.)

Ms. Kenney said that Cornell is joining "a groundswell among academic libraries to start to routinely ask for the removal of NDA's." In June 2009, the Association of Research Libraries urged its members to steer clear of nondisclosure or confidentiality clauses.

"Part of our rationale in going public with this is to make evident that private institutions are also starting to feel that this is not a good way of doing business," Ms. Kenney said.

Support for the Move

Several librarians at other universities said their institutions had taken positions similar to Cornell's, even if they haven't publicly posted their policy on NDA's. "Yes, we have taken a similar approach for the past year," said Winston Tabb, the dean of university libraries and museums at the Johns Hopkins University. He wrote in an e-mail that "we believe that transparency is appropriate for libraries generally; and in particular that we should not agree to withhold information about how we are spending an increasingly huge—and ever-growing—percentage of our stretched library budgets."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on prestigious journal rip offs of college libraries ---

"Milton Friedman on For-Profit Colleges," by Kevin Carey, Inside Higher Ed, March 21, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
There are a number of factors that Carey does not consider in the above article.

  1. Relatively low tuition rates for professional schools (e.g., Cornell, Michigan, and Texas) within state universities that are taxpayer supported still, even though taxpayer support in most state universities is dwindling at varying rates. There is also much added financial aid available to lower income students. I don't know if the program has been continued, but when I was on the faculty of the University of Maine all Native American applicants could get free tuition if they met admission standards. And don't forget that the Federal government still is providing over $40 billion in Pell Grants ---

  2. High quality professional schools at some private universities (e.g., tantamount to free tuition at Harvard, Yale, and Rice) have very heavy scholarship support for lower income applicants that show high probabilities of outstanding academic performance and ultimate professional success. In other words, the top lower income applicants have many great opportunities, often totally free opportunities, that do not rely on government loans. Top students in middle income families are the ones really getting squeezed by tuition increases. They often can no longer afford prestigious private universities ---

  3. Increasingly, state supported public universities have online outreach degree programs for students who for a variety of reasons cannot uproot their lives to attend courses on campus. This need filled early on by for-profit online universities no longer is so badly needed for students who meet admission standards of state college and university online degree programs.

  4. For-profit universities are largely serving the need of students who do not meet admission standards of traditional colleges or are luring students fearful of low grades with prospects of easier A and B grades.

  5. Milton Friedman advocated doing away with many welfare programs in favor of a negative income tax that, in theory, would free up cash for lower income students to afford tuition in nearby state-supported colleges  and online state universities.

I don't think Professor Friedman ever distinguished for-profit from not-for-profit professional schools since for-profit universities were not such a big deal when he was alive. Hence, I think it's a stretch to extend his views on education at professional schools to the for-profit debate. For-profit colleges and universities all too often are operating in the gray zone of "ripping off" poor students and the government ---

By "ripping off" I'm referring to some members of my own family who dug themselves into student loans of more than $50,000 to get "useless" for-profit university business school degrees online. I mean "useless" in terms of getting better jobs than they had before they earned online degrees. Of course most any education is not useless in terms of expanding knowledge and appreciation of scholarship and the arts. It's just that the for-profit universities chosen by these family members have very low reputations in the career market. These universities were chosen out of fear of the rigor of online state university business degree programs. Milton Friedman never wrote about this phenomenon, but I would think he would frown at government loans supporting such for-profit universities operating in the gray zone of fraud..

"Qaddafi's Son Expelled from IE Business School," by Louis Lavelle, Business Week, March 4, 2011 ---

Also note the comments.

Jane McGonigal has a message: games are good.
"Are Games Good for You?  Jane McGonigal, in her latest book and during her PAX East keynote, talks about the positive effects of playing," by Kristina Grifantini, MIT's Technology Review, March 16, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
I have my doubts when games become addictive to a point of disproportionate time allocation vis-a-vis other forms of learning and scholoarship.
Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment, including games are at

Watch for Fraud When Trying to Repair Your Credit ( FICO ) Score ---

"Moral for CEOs Is Choose Your Fraud Carefully:," by Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg, March 16, 2011 ---

Of all the stories to come out of the 2008 collapses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, this one may be the most incredible: To this day, neither company has admitted that any of the numbers on its financial statements that year were wrong.

It seems the Securities and Exchange Commission won’t be doing anything to challenge that pretense, either, and that this may be by design. The SEC for years has been bending over backward to avoid accusing major financial institutions of cooking their books, even when it’s obvious they did. So much for upholding financial integrity.

Last week the regulator notified former Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Daniel Mudd that it may file civil claims against him. The allegations wouldn’t be about Fannie Mae’s accounting, though. They would focus on whether the government- chartered housing financier accurately disclosed to investors how much of its loans were subprime.

“The disclosures and procedures that are the subject of the staff’s investigation were accurate and complete,” Mudd said in a statement last week. He said he would submit a written response “that will make clear why the SEC staff should not pursue any action in this matter.”

There’s a pattern here. When the SEC in 2009 accused former Countrywide Financial Corp. CEO Angelo Mozilo of securities fraud, it claimed the lender’s management foresaw as early as 2004 that the company would suffer massive credit losses on the home loans it was making. The SEC’s complaint accused Mozilo of “disclosure fraud” for hiding such information from investors. Accounting Violation

Yet if the SEC’s allegation were true, it would mean Countrywide had been overstating its earnings for years, by delaying the recognition of losses long past the point when management knew they were probable. That would be an accounting violation. The SEC never made that connection in its complaint, though, and clearly had made a decision not to. Mozilo later paid $67.5 million to settle the suit, without admitting or denying the regulator’s claims.

Similarly, when the SEC accused three former IndyMac Bancorp Inc. (IDMCQ) executives of securities fraud last month, it claimed they had made false and misleading disclosures about the company’s financial stability. IndyMac’s regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, by then had already admitted to letting the company backdate a capital contribution to its main banking unit in May 2008, so it would appear in the prior quarter. IndyMac Collapse

That was a violation of generally accepted accounting principles, the Treasury Department’s inspector general said in a 2009 report. Yet the SEC didn’t identify any accounting errors at IndyMac. The company showed shareholder equity of $959 million, as of March 31, 2008. By July 2008, IndyMac had failed, costing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $10.7 billion.

Likewise, last month Freddie Mac’s former chief financial officer, Anthony “Buddy” Piszel, said he received a Wells notice from the SEC, indicating the regulator might sue him. Piszel said the inquiry concerned “certain disclosure matters,” according to a press release by CoreLogic Inc., where he was CFO until Feb. 10. There was no mention of Freddie’s accounting. Freddie’s former CEO, Richard Syron, received a similar Wells notice last month.

That Fannie’s and Freddie’s books were a farce is beyond dispute. At the time they were placed into conservatorship, both companies had overvalued their deferred tax assets by billions of dollars. The bigger their losses got, the more their tax assets grew, based on the companies’ ludicrous claim that they would use all these credits to offset future tax bills because they would be wildly profitable for decades to come. Paper Losses

Both companies kept billions of dollars of paper losses on mortgage-backed securities out of their earnings and regulatory capital by labeling them as “temporary,” when it was obvious the declines were anything but that. They also claimed, falsely, to be adequately capitalized.

And they did it all in broad daylight with the full knowledge and approval of their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. That helps explain why the SEC is trying to dig up something other than accounting misdeeds as it tries to build cases against former Fannie and Freddie executives. The toughest challenge for the SEC will be finding violations that the government didn’t know about while they were going on.

The biggest beneficiaries of the SEC’s see-no-accounting- evil approach are the Big Four accounting firms. Freddie Mac is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Deloitte & Touche LLP audits Fannie Mae. KPMG LLP audited Countrywide. Ernst & Young LLP audited IndyMac. Shielding Auditors

As long as the SEC clings to the position that there were no errors in those companies’ financial statements, it can’t allege there was anything wrong with the firms’ audits. That helps shield the auditors from potentially crippling liability in private securities litigation.

It also limits the SEC’s ability to accuse any of the companies’ executives of fudging their numbers. And so the SEC has to resort to convoluted claims like the one against Mozilo, where Countrywide’s disclosures were false and misleading but somehow its balance sheet was pristine.

Continued in article


Video on the efforts of some members of Congress seeking to cover up accounting fraud at Fannie Mae ---


The Largest Earnings Management Fraud in History
and Congressional Efforts to Cover it Up

Without trying to place the blame on Democrats or Republicans, here are some of the facts that led to the eventual fining of Fannie Mae executives for accounting fraud and the firing of KPMG as the auditor on one of the largest and most lucrative audit clients in the history of KPMG. The restated earnings purportedly took upwards of a million journal entries, many of which were re-valuations of derivatives being manipulated by Fannie Mae accountants and auditors (Deloitte was charged with overseeing the financial statement revisions. 


Fannie Mae may have conducted the largest earnings management scheme in the history of accounting.
You can read the following at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm
. . . flexibility also gave Fannie the ability to manipulate earnings to hit -- within pennies -- target numbers for executive bonuses. Ofheo details an example from 1998, the year the Russian financial crisis sent interest rates tumbling. Lower rates caused a lot of mortgage holders to prepay their existing home mortgages. And Fannie was suddenly facing an estimated expense of $400 million.

Well, in its wisdom, Fannie decided to recognize only $200 million, deferring the other half. That allowed Fannie's executives -- whose bonus plan is linked to earnings-per-share -- to meet the target for maximum bonus payouts. The target EPS for maximum payout was $3.23 and Fannie reported exactly . . . $3.2309. This bull's-eye was worth $1.932 million to then-CEO James Johnson, $1.19 million to then-CEO-designate Franklin Raines, and $779,625 to then-Vice Chairman Jamie Gorelick.

That same year Fannie installed software that allowed management to produce multiple scenarios under different assumptions that, according to a Fannie executive, "strengthens the earnings management that is necessary when dealing with a volatile book of business." Over the years, Fannie designed and added software that allowed it to assess the impact of recognizing income or expense on securities and loans. This practice fits with a Fannie corporate culture that the report says considered volatility "artificial" and measures of precision "spurious."

This disturbing culture was apparent in Fannie's manipulation of its derivative accounting. Fannie runs a giant derivative book in an attempt to hedge its massive exposure to interest-rate risk. Derivatives must be marked-to-market, carried on the balance sheet at fair value. The problem is that changes in fair-value can cause some nasty volatility in earnings.

So, Fannie decided to classify a huge amount of its derivatives as hedging transactions, thereby avoiding any impact on earnings. (And we mean huge: In December 2003, Fan's derivatives had a notional value of $1.04 trillion of which only a notional $43 million was not classified in hedging relationships.) This misapplication continued when Fannie closed out positions. The company did not record the fair-value changes in earnings, but only in Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (AOCI) where losses can be amortized over a long period.

Fannie had some $12.2 billion in deferred losses in the AOCI balance at year-end 2003. If this amount must be reclassified into retained earnings, it might punish Fannie's earnings for various periods over the past three years, leaving its capital well below what is required by regulators.

In all, the Ofheo report notes, "The misapplications of GAAP are not limited occurrences, but appear to be pervasive . . . [and] raise serious doubts as to the validity of previously reported financial results, as well as adequacy of regulatory capital, management supervision and overall safety and soundness. . . ." In an agreement reached with Ofheo last week, Fannie promised to change the methods involved in both the cookie-jar and derivative accounting and to change its compensation "to avoid any inappropriate incentives."

But we don't think this goes nearly far enough for a company whose executives have for years derided anyone who raised a doubt about either its accounting or its growing risk profile. At a minimum these executives are not the sort anyone would want running the U.S. Treasury under John Kerry. With the Justice Department already starting a criminal probe, we find it hard to comprehend that the Fannie board still believes that investors can trust its management team.

Fannie Mae isn't an ordinary company and this isn't a run-of-the-mill accounting scandal. The U.S. government had no financial stake in the failure of Enron or WorldCom. But because of Fannie's implicit subsidy from the federal government, taxpayers are on the hook if its capital cushion is insufficient to absorb big losses. Private profit, public risk. That's quite a confidence game -- and it's time to call it.

Video on the efforts of some members of Congress seeking to cover up accounting fraud at Fannie Mae ---

Bob Jensen's threads on earnings management and creative accounting ---

The new ploy is to not get caught because of an incriminating chain of emails. Instead set up a phony chain of emails to hide a deeper conspiracy.

"E-Mail Lessons Learned, but . . .," by Floyd Norris, The New York Times, March 15, 2011 ---

Over the last several years, it has been amazing that people did not seem to have learned that e-mails could — and would — be searched if something ever got to court. E-mails that incriminated the writers, or at least embarrassed them, became a fixture of lawsuits and trials. A whole industry was born to efficiently search though millions of messages.

Now it appears that some people not only learned that lesson, but also applied it.

Raj Rajaratnam is heard on wiretaps at his insider trading trial talking about setting up an e-mail trail to provide evidence that he had a different reason for buying a stock on which he had received inside information from Anil Kumar, a former McKinsey consultant who has pleaded guilty and is testifying for the government.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“You just have to be careful, right?” Mr. Rajaratnam told the former Galleon employees, adding that he would send an e-mail asking about a stock “so that we just protect ourselves.”

“We just have a[n] e-mail trail, right, that uh … I brought it up,” he said, after telling them about the deal described to him by Mr. Kumar.

“That’s good,” an employee on the call said.

Of course, it did not occur to anyone that the feds would be recording telephone calls.

Hedge funds are largely unregulated, and that may have added to the sense of confidence. Brokers often record employee conversations, in part to prevent misunderstandings on trades, and their employees understand that such recordings can be produced. It appears that Mr. Rajaratnam and his colleagues never dreamed something similar could happen.

As it is, the fact he learned the e-mail lesson may make it even worse for Mr. Rajaratnam. Evidence of a cover-up has been the critical point in many cases where there might have been a credible case that a person did not intentionally do anything illegal in the first place.

That is a lesson that Richard Nixon once learned.

Francine's summary of this insider trading scandal involving the ten-year former CEO of Mckensey & Company, the most prestigious consulting firm in the world. He's also a former director of Goldman and Proctor & Gamble ---

Rajat K. Gupta, a former director of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble who has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of leaking confidential information about those companies, on Friday sued the the SEC so that this can be tied up in courts for several decades ---
When you're a zillionairre there often is little justice in the U.S. court system. Mr. Gupta probably has more money than the SEC and can outlast the agency in court.


Economic Risks of Zero Interest Rates and Zimbabwe Economics of the Fed

"Mega-Banks and the Next Financial Crisis:  Hedge-fund manager Paul Singer recognized the risks of subprime mortgages and bet against them. Now he warns that monetary policy could cripple American banks again," by James Freeman, The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2011 ---

At the height of the housing bubble, hedge-fund manager Paul Singer was shorting subprime mortgages. By the spring of 2007, he was warning regulators on both sides of the Atlantic that the world was facing a major financial crisis.

They ignored him. Now the founder of Elliott Management says the biggest banks are headed for another credit meltdown. Among the likely triggers for the next crisis, Mr. Singer sees one leading candidate: Monetary policy "is extremely risky," he says, "the risk being massive inflation."

In some areas gas prices have reached $4 per gallon, and now Americans must brace themselves for higher grocery bills. This week the Labor Department reported that February wholesale food prices posted their sharpest increase since 1974. News like that has driven Mr. Singer to the history books: He treats visitors to his 5th Avenue office to a copy of a 1931 treatise on German currency debasement, Constantino Bresciani-Turroni's "The Economics of Inflation."

Mr. Singer—who launched Elliott in 1977 and has delivered a 14.3% compound annual return (compared to the S&P 500's 10.9%)—is not comparing today's Federal Reserve to the Reichsbank of the early 1920s. Rather, he's once again warning financial regulators. This time the message is: Don't take for granted investor faith in a major currency.

While at Harvard Law School, Mr. Singer turned down a research job with his intellectual hero, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, to pursue a career in finance. Today, he's still looking for heroes among the stewards of the major currencies. Central bankers, particularly at the Fed but also in Europe, "seem to be acting as if they have unlimited flexibility to ease monetary policy," he says.

He specifically targets the Fed's "unprecedented" policy of sustaining near-zero interest rates and its exercise in money-printing, "Quantitative Easing 2," that has it buying medium- and longer-term securities from the Treasury. "In effect they're treating confidence in fiat money—in paper money—as inexhaustible, that it's a tool that's able to be used not just in the throes of crisis," but also as "a virtually complete substitute for sound fiscal, regulatory and taxing policy."

Fed officials, he adds, "really seem to think that inflation is something they can deal with very easily and very quickly. I don't believe they're right." He notes that, in the late 1970s, inflation was only in the high single digits yet curing it required interest rates of 20% and a collapse of the bond market.

Mr. Singer further warns that investors shouldn't misinterpret apparently bullish signals from a rising market. "Of course printing money is going to support asset prices," but "it's very dangerous" and is not a substitute for trade, tax and regulatory reforms that make America an attractive place for job creation.

"What would a loss of confidence in the dollar actually look like? Gold going absolutely nuts," adds Mr. Singer, who is also a major donor to conservative intellectual causes and think tanks such as the Manhattan Institute. He observes that prices for many commodities are already near all-time highs, even with "kind of a soft recovery" in the U.S. and Europe, and robust growth in Asia. "Imagine if hoarding, speculation, investment positions in [hard assets] accumulate to cause commodities and gold to go rocketing up. Wages, prices will follow," he says.

As destructive as raging inflation would be, why would it hurt the big financial institutions? It could wreak havoc on the ability of big banks' corporate customers to make good on their obligations, Mr. Singer believes—and financial reform did little to reduce risks.

"Dodd-Frank has made the system more brittle and has shaped the next crisis in a very negative way," he warns. "The opacity of financial institution financial statements has not been addressed or changed at all. . . . We have a very large analytical research effort here and we have not found anybody that can parse" the sensitivity of big banks to changes in interest rates, asset prices and the like. "You can't do it."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the bank bailout mess ---

Teaching Case on the E-Filing Big Brother
Why the IRS stopped mailing out 1040 forms and instructions in 2011
Read that:  Why the IRS stopped helping taxpayers who have no computers and/or Web connections and forced them to pay for tax preparation help
No more mailed forms and instructions:  A revenue booster for accounting firms
Did the AICPA and H&R Block lobby for this?

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on March 25, 2011

E-File or Else: What's New for Tax Season
by: Laura Saunders
Mar 19, 2011
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Accounting, E-Filing, Individual Income Taxation, Tax, Tax Return Filing

SUMMARY: Tax season is in full swing. But something is missing: the forms the Internal Revenue Service sends out in the mail every year. It isn't a mistake. As part of a push to have more taxpayers file electronically, this year the IRS ended its decades-long practice of mailing paper packages to taxpayers. In 2009 it cost the IRS only 19 cents to process an e-filed return, compared with $3.29 for one on paper. There are other important tax-code changes to be aware of as well, many of them a result of December's sweeping tax legislation. They affect health insurance for the self-employed, charitable IRA rollovers, sales taxes and other items.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This article presents a good overview of some of the tax issues facing individuals this season. It offers an interesting reasoning for the government's push for e-filing.

1. (Introductory) Why is the government pushing taxpayers to e-file their returns? Who can still file by paper? Who must e-file returns? Do you think this is a good policy? Why or why not?

2. (Advanced) What are the benefits of e-filing for taxpayers and for the government? What are the disadvantages? Do you e-file your returns? How has your views changed after reading this article?

3. (Advanced) What are each of the changes in tax law detailed in this article? Why have each of these changes been enacted?

4. (Advanced) How often does the tax law change? Why so frequently? How does this frequency impact planning for individuals and for businesses? What are the reasons for frequent changes?

Reviewed By: Linda Christiansen, Indiana University Southeast

Taking On Tax Breaks
by Emily Maltby
Mar 17, 2011
Online Exclusive

"E-File or Else: What's New for Tax Season," byLaura Saunders, The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2011 ---

Tax season is in full swing. But something is missing: the forms the Internal Revenue Service sends out in the mail every year.

It isn't a mistake. As part of a push to have more taxpayers file electronically, this year the IRS ended its decades-long practice of mailing paper packages to taxpayers. In 2009 it cost the IRS only 19 cents to process an e-filed return, compared with $3.29 for one on paper.

There are other important tax-code changes to be aware of as well, many of them a result of December's sweeping tax legislation. They affect health insurance for the self-employed, charitable IRA rollovers, sales taxes and other items.

Yet the "e-filing" push will be the biggest and most jarring change for many. Although e-filing has caught on over the past decade—nearly 70% of 142 million individual returns were e-filed last year, up from 23% a decade ago—it has been least popular among wealthier taxpayers. To promote e-filing, the IRS this year stopped mailing forms to people's homes automatically and mandated that preparers of more than 100 returns e-file them. Next year, that figure drops to 11.

The upshot: "This is the first time many higher-income taxpayers with complex returns will have to decide whether to e-file," says Benson Goldstein, an official with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The IRS's effort includes new rules some see as heavy-handed. This year preparers who are required to e-file are prohibited from taking clients' paper returns to the post office, as many have long done. And clients have to sign a waiver saying no one dissuaded them from filing electronically. "This is a real pain and nobody likes it," says Janet Hagy, a CPA with her own firm in Austin, Texas, "but I don't want to get fined."

Taxpayers still may opt to file paper returns, of course. But there are early signs the IRS's campaign, which was ordered by Congress, is working. Lawrence Best, a New York CPA who figures he has prepared more than 30,000 returns in his 31 years of practice, says he was an "old dog who didn't want to learn new tricks" until forced to e-file this year. Now, he says, "I recommend it, and clients do it."

While e-filing may be good for the IRS, taxpayers should make their own decisions. There are important reasons why some people should stick with paper. Here is what you need to know, plus more on this season's other important changes: The Benefits of E-Filing

For most taxpayers, the biggest advantage of e-filing is that it is easy and can be free (if you don't count having to buy a computer and learn how to use it "free"). "I e-filed my own return free through the IRS website without a hitch," says Melissa Labant, a tax expert with the American Institute of CPAs, who is relieved she didn't have to go to the post office.

E-filing also is less prone to human error, both by the IRS and taxpayers. Electronic returns don't have to be entered into the system by hand, and the IRS's computers reject any returns with incorrect basic information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates (even of a child) and married names (they must match what is in Social Security records). This hair-trigger sensitivity is frustrating in the short run but prevents problems later.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This is good news and bad news for the government apart from the ease of processing E-Filed returns. The good news is that taxpayers are making fewer mistakes on their returns. The bad news is that many of those mistakes in past years were in the favor of the government, e.g., taxpayers are now reminded by consultants or software of many obscure deductions and tax credits such as the various types of home energy credits and earned income credits.

There are of course many volunteers helping the poor and elderly E-File their returns. Many of these volunteers are college faculty, college students, and church volunteers.

In reality the annual mailed booklet was in many ways more of a bother than a help. The tax rules and regulations are such a twisted caldron of spaghetti and meatballs that they made me, as a CPA and former tax accountant, confused to a point of paying for current tax software. I can't imagine that Granny got much of anything from reading the mailed tax booklet while sitting on the edge of her bed in a nursing home. It might've helped the GOP to get her to vote Republican in the next election, especially GOP initiatives for a simple flat tax.

Bob Jensen's tax helpers are at

"R.I.P., New-Home Sales," by Floyd Norris, The New York Times, March 23, 2011 ---

The new-home sales numbers for February came out today, and they are horrible.

The government estimates that 19,000 new single-family homes were sold during the month. That is the lowest figure for any month since the figures began to be compiled in 1963. At a seasonally adjusted annual rate, that works out to an annual pace of 250,000. That, too, is the lowest ever.

February can, of course, be explained away by bad weather. But this is also the lowest 12 months ever, with sales of 349,000 new homes.

Sales of existing homes are not robust, but they have stabilized. Mortgages are more available now than they were a year ago, particularly for so-called “conforming mortgages.” But there is an oversupply of housing in many areas, and the home construction business seems unlikely to recover for a long time.

Continued in article

"TARP Was No Win for the Taxpayers : Treasury's claim that the bank bailouts will return a profit ignores the other, more costly programs enabling the banks to repay their TARP funds," by Paul Atkins, Mark McWatters, and Kenneth Troske, The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2011 ---

Today the Senate Banking Committee will explore the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Almost 30 months after its birth, TARP is far from dead. More than 550 banks, AIG, GM, Chrysler and others still have approximately $160 billion of taxpayer money outstanding.

Even so, the administration would have us believe that TARP has been a success because it supposedly alleviated the financial crisis and is (so far) being paid back at an apparent profit for taxpayers. Perhaps because he helped invent TARP before he joined the Obama administration, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has called TARP the "most effective government program in recent memory."

Treasury's view is misleading. First, it hides the full story of the government's financial crisis effort, of which TARP is but a minor part. Moreover, Treasury has not been content using rhetoric alone to try to put TARP in the best light. The Special Inspector General for TARP criticized Treasury in October for inadequately disclosing a change in its valuation methodology that reduced a $45 billion loss in AIG to $5 billion, making TARP losses appear smaller than they really are. This data manipulation is only part of a much larger problem with Treasury's representations regarding the supposed success of the bank bailout payments that lie at the heart of TARP.

The focus on repayment fails to consider the huge taxpayer costs from non-TARP programs that directly and indirectly enabled many of the large banks to repay their TARP funds. These intertwined programs, operated by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, dwarf the size of TARP and lack its accountability.

The financial crisis was born in the housing bubble caused by the policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two bankrupt government-sponsored entities (GSEs) charged with buying and packaging mortgages into mortgage-backed securities (MBS). TARP banks own billions of dollars worth of MBS and have remained liquid in part because the Federal Reserve has bought more than $1.1 trillion of these GSE-guaranteed MBS in the securities markets—all outside TARP.

The Fed purchased the MBS at fair market value, but this value reflects Treasury's bailout and continued support of the GSEs—also done outside of TARP with taxpayer money. Had the GSEs failed, TARP recipients probably would have been stuck with these MBS, writing them down at significant loss. Their ability to pay back TARP funding would have been hurt, and they might have had to obtain more TARP funds or go bust.

So the taxpayer-backed GSE guarantee enables the Fed to prop up the market with taxpayer funds, in turn allowing the TARP banks to "repay" their TARP funds. The bailout of the GSEs by Treasury thus shifts potential losses from TARP to other programs that have less oversight and public scrutiny. Any evaluation of TARP's success must take into account the interaction among all government programs designed to prop-up the financial system, and the shifting of costs among these programs.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Treasury's bailout of the GSEs will cost the taxpayers approximately $380 billion through fiscal year 2021. If only one-fourth of CBO's estimate ultimately benefits TARP recipients and other financial institutions, taxpayers will have provided a subsidy to these institutions of approximately $100 billion, which is not accounted for under TARP.

Also seldom mentioned are future costs resulting from using TARP funds to rescue "systemically important" financial and other firms. TARP exacerbates the "too big to fail" phenomenon by targeting much of its funding toward large banks and automobile firms, solidifying the market's belief in an implicit guarantee from the government for these firms. As credit-rating agencies have recognized, these large firms can borrow much more cheaply than their small-enough-to-fail competitors, which will lead to less competition, a more concentrated financial sector, and higher prices paid by consumers.

In addition, creating larger, more systemically important financial firms increases the likelihood of future financial crises because these firms have an incentive to invest in riskier projects as a result of the implicit government guarantee. The additional costs borne by consumers in the form of higher prices for financial services and the additional costs that result from future financial crises need to be included in any accounting of the costs of the TARP.

TARP was never where the real action was happening. In fact, other Fed and FDIC programs added another $2 trillion of taxpayer money at risk to the 19 stress-tested banks alone, on top of the $1.1 trillion of MBS purchased by the Fed. TARP is but one-eighth of that total.

The government's efforts inside and outside of TARP have sown the seeds for the next crisis and, unfortunately, last year's 2,319-page Dodd-Frank Act does nothing to fix these problems. Treasury must be more transparent regarding TARP. The real myth that the Treasury secretary should dispel is that TARP is a big win for the taxpayer.

Mr. Atkins was a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel from 2009-2010. Messrs. McWatters and Troske are current members of the panel.

The Commission's Final Report --- http://c0182732.cdn1.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/fcic_final_report_full.pdf

Video:  Charles Furgeson has produced a powerful documentary, “Inside Job,” about the deep capture of financial (de)regulation ---

"How Wall Street Fleeced the World:  The Searing New doc Inside Job Indicts the Bankers and Their Washington Pals," by Mary Corliss and Richard Corliss, Time Magazine, October 18, 2010 ---

Like some malefactor being grilled by Mike Wallace in his 60 Minutes prime, Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, gets hot under the third-degree light of Charles Ferguson's questioning in Inside Job. Hubbard, who helped design George W. Bush's tax cuts on investment gains and stock dividends, finally snaps, "You have three more minutes. Give it your best shot." But he has already shot himself in the foot.

Frederic Mishkin, a former Federal Reserve Board governor and for now an economics professor at Columbia, begins stammering when Ferguson quizzes him about when the Fed first became aware of the danger of subprime loans. "I don't know the details... I'm not sure exactly... We had a whole group of people looking at this." "Excuse me," Ferguson interrupts, "you can't be serious. If you would have looked, you would have found things." (See the demise of Bernie Madoff.)

Ferguson—whose Oscar-nominated No End in Sight analyzed the Bush Administration's slipshod planning of the Iraq occupation—did look at the Fed, the Wall Street solons and the decisions made by White House administrations over the past 30 years, and he found plenty. Of the docufilms that have addressed the worldwide financial collapse (Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story, Leslie and Andrew Cockburn's American Casino), this cogent, devastating synopsis is the definitive indictment of the titans who swindled America and of their pals in the federal government who enabled them.

With a Ph.D. in political science from MIT, Ferguson is no knee-jerk anticapitalist. In the '90s, he and a partner created a software company and sold it to Microsoft for $133 million. He is at ease talking with his moneyed peers and brings a calm tone to the film (narrated by Matt Damon). Yet you detect a growing anger as Ferguson digs beneath the rubble, and his fury is infectious. If you're not enraged by the end of this movie, you haven't been paying attention. (See "Protesting the Bailout.")

The seeds of the collapse took decades to flower. By 2008, the financial landscape had become so deregulated that homeowners and small investors had few laws to help them. Inflating the banking bubble was a group effort—by billionaire CEOs with their private jets, by agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's that kept giving impeccable ratings to lousy financial products, by a Congress that overturned consumer-protection laws and by Wall Street's fans in academe, who can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars by writing papers favorable to Big Business or sitting on the boards of firms like Goldman Sachs.

Who's Screwing Whom? In the spasm of moral recrimination that followed the collapse, some blamed the bright kids who passed up careers in science or medicine to make millions on Wall Street and charged millions more on their expense accounts for cocaine and prostitutes. After the savings-and-loan scandals of the late-'80s, according to Inside Job, thousands of executives went to jail. This time, with the economy bulking up on the steroids of derivatives and credit-default swaps, the only person who has done any time is Kristin Davis, the madam of a bordello patronized by Wall Streeters. Davis appears in the film, as does disgraced ex--New York governor Eliot Spitzer; both seem almost virtuous when compared with the big-money men. (See "The Case Against Goldman Sachs.")

The larger message of both No End in Sight and Inside Job is that American optimism, the engine for the nation's expansion, can have tragic results. The conquest of Iraq? A slam dunk. Gambling billions on risky mortgages? No worry—the housing market always goes up. Ignoring darker, more prescient scenarios, the geniuses in charge constructed faith-based policies that enriched their pals; they stumbled toward a precipice, and the rest of us fell off.

The shell game continues. Inside Job also details how, in Obama's White House, finance-industry veterans devised a "recovery" that further enriched their cronies without doing much for the average Joe. Want proof? Look at the financial industry's fat profits of the past year and then at your bank account, your pension plan, your own bottom line.

Video:  Watch Columbia's Business School Economist and Dean Hubbard rap his wrath for Ben Bernanke
The video is a anti-Bernanke musical performance by the Dean of Columbia Business School ---
Ben Bernanke (Chairman of the Federal Reserve and a great friend of big banks) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Bernanke
R. Glenn Hubbard (Dean of the Columbia Business School) ---


Bob Jensen's threads on the Bailout of Banksters and the Greatest Swindle in the History of the World are at

The Marriage of SMSS and CMS:  Will you take this partner for better or for worse, in sickness and in health?

"The State and Future of the Social Media Management System Space," ReadWriteWeb, March 18, 2011 ---

This post originally appeared on guest author Jeremiah Owyang's blog. Social Media Management Systems, like CMS systems for websites, help companies manage, maintain, and measure thousands of social media accounts. Although the nascent SMMS space is only one year old, 58% of corporations have adopted at least one of these 28 vendors. Altimeter is conducting a formal research report on the SMMS topic (see research agenda for 2011), However, I wanted to give a year-end state, after coining this category 12 months ago and listing out vendors.

SMMS systems are the next growth market for the social business category. While saturation is at 58% of corporate buyers, the average deal size is a meager $22,000 but will expect to grow to six figure annual deals in coming quarters to meet market demand. This growing space has low barriers to entry, which result in a flood of clones, but expect only a handful to remain after a shakeout to serve enterprise-class buyers.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It will be interesting to see how the marriage of SMSS with CMS software plays out. CMS stands for Course Management Systems which includes everything from 1990s versions of Authorware and ToolBook to present revised versions of Authorware and ToolBook that have been virtually eclipsed by CMS systems such as Blackboard and Moodle. A summary of the history of CMS software can be found at

SMMS will inevitably become part and parcel to CMS since social media is becoming such a vital part of learning and education and student communications. But CMS itself will remain important for examination management, course record keeping, password-controlled serving up of course materials available to enrolled students but not available to the public in general, chat rooms, instant messaging, etc.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at

"A preliminary psychology of homework," BPS Research, March 15, 2011 ---

The beneficial effect of homework, if they get round to it, on pupils' subsequent academic grades has been shown before. It's somewhat surprising, therefore, how little research has looked at how teenagers feel about homework, where they do it and who they do it with. Hayal Zackar and her team have made a start.

The researchers asked 331 high school and middle school pupils (aged 11 to 18) in the USA to wear for one week a special watch that beeped eight times a day at random intervals. When the watch went off, the teenagers had to fill out a brief form indicating what they were doing, who they were with and how they felt. This process, known as the
experience sampling method, captured a total of 1315 homework episodes in various places.

Continued in article

Upward Trend in Grades and Downward Trend in Homework ---

Business ranks at the bottom in terms of having 23% of the responding students having only 1-5 hours of homework per week!
This in part might explain why varsity athletes choose business as a major in college.

"Homework by Major," by Mark Bauerlein, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 5, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/index.php?id=422

Stephen’s post last week about reading complained that students don’t want any more homework, and their disposition certainly shows up in the surveys. In the 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement almost one in five college seniors devoted five hours or less per week to “Preparing for class,” and 26 percent stood at six to ten hours per week. College professors say that achievement requires around 25 hours per week of homework, but only 11 percent reached that mark.

The 2007 NSSE numbers break responses down by major, and the homework levels for seniors are worth comparing. Here are numbers for 15 hours or less.

Arts and Humanities majors came in at 16 percent doing 1-5 hours of homework per week, 25 percent at 6-10 hours, and 20 percent at 11-15 hours.

Biological Sciences: 12 percent do 1-5 hours, 22 percent do 6-10, and 20 percent do 11-15 hours.

Business: 23 percent at 1-5, 30 percent at 6-10, and 19 percent at 11-15 hours.

Education: 16 percent at 1-5, 27 percent at 6-10, and 21 percent at 11-15 hours.

Engineering: 10 percent at 1-5, 19 percent at 6-10, and 17 percent at 11-15 hours.

Physical Science: 12 percent at 1-5 hours, 21 percent at 6-10, and 18 percent at 11-15 hours.

Social Science: 20 percent at 1-5 hours, 28 percent at 6-10, and 20 percent at 11-15 hours.

"Rigor Please," by Mike Adams, Townhall, March 20, 2011 ---

For some time, I have made a habit of asking students their major (and minor) immediately after they ask me a silly question. This is necessary because I teach two basic studies courses per semester – both populated by students from across the spectrum of academic disciplines. I have found (consistently) that nearly all inane questions and comments come from students in just a handful of academic majors.

In the past, I’ve gotten myself in hot water for suggesting that the African American Center, LGBTQIA Center, Women’s Center, and El Centro Hispano be shut down in order to ease our current state budget crisis. But, today, I propose that we go further by eliminating all academic majors and minors ending with the word “studies.”

This is not meant to be prejudicial – although, having little else to do, the Arrogant American Centers will try to make it so. Let it be known that I propose eliminating more than just Arrogant American and Hyphenated American Studies. I also want to do away with Communication Studies, Environmental Studies, Liberal Studies, Women’s Studies, and Gay and Lesbian Studies. And I want the cuts to be implemented across our sixteen-campus system.

The data I plan to use to support my proposal is not scientific. If it were, the proponents of the various “studies” programs would not understand it. So I rely principally on an unscientifically gathered collection of stupid questions I have recently heard from students in the Fill-in-the-Blank Studies era of higher education. These student comments demonstrate that their “studies” professors are truly making a difference in their lives and in the dominant “society”:

At a local grill, the waitress, a UNCW “studies” major, asked "Would you like a sweet tea or a beer?" to which I responded "The latter." She then asked, "Which one is that?" I responded by asking her "Well, why don't you just guess? You have a fifty-fifty shot at getting it right." She responded by saying "I'm not in the mood to think."

Just two days before an exam I gave my students a review session. I told them they could ask any question as long as they did not ask me what to “focus on.” I explained that asking what to “focus on” was the same as asking “What is going to be on the test?”

First question: “What should we focus on in chapter three?”

When I refused to answer, the response was “There’s just so much to read. Where is our study guide?” (For the record, study guides are most often found in classes ending with the word “studies.” That is why “studies” students so often demand them. It’s an addiction).

Another student wrote to tell me she was going to be missing the next class. Her question was:

“Will we be talking about anything important?” It’s a fair question. Few of the professors in her major talk about anything important.

Continued in article

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts "Womyn" On Campus.

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade ---

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses
"What Really is to Blame?," by Joe Hoyle, March 9, 2010 ---

By now, everyone who reads this blog has probably heard of the book “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses” by Arum and Roksa that basically makes the claim that the emperor has no clothing by giving evidence that students do not learn much in their four years in college. If you have missed the release of the book, you can learn more at the following URL where the authors are quoted as stating "How much are students actually learning in contemporary higher education? The answer for many undergraduates, we have concluded, is not much.”


What I find most interesting is that the blame game has started. Something is obviously wrong so what is to blame? Here are some culprits that I’ve heard mentioned: grade inflation, lack of education classes for college professors, the stress put on faculty to do research so they can’t focus on their teaching, lack of student preparation in K-12, student evaluations, lack of uniform requirements (students prefer to sign up for easier teachers – what a shock that one is), the desire of universities to retain students, increased use of adjuncts, the failure to reward good teachers appropriately, and on and on.

And, my response is—after 40 years in the classroom—certainly, all of these are a factor. We have built an education system with so many internal flaws that I’m surprised it works as well as it does. It is not one problem; there are many problems. Anyone with their eyes open should have seen this coming. You’d have to be totally in denial not to have expected these results. The only thing that surprised me about this study was that anyone was surprised.

. . .

The results of the study also indicated that 35 percent of students said they studied five hours per week or less, with a 50 percent overall decline in the number of hours spent studying compared to years past.

Sadly, I don’t doubt the data whatsoever. Excluding a small minority, we study less. I’d go as far to admit that I study less now than I did in high school. I remember spending hours on my Gateway computer typing up study guides for exams and writing extensive papers for various AP classes.

According to the study, 50 percent of the students said they didn’t have a single course that required them to write 20 pages total. I’m not shocked by that statistic either.

Granted, I am a journalism major and am writing constantly, however I do have many friends who say that when it comes to writing papers, they simply aren’t assigned them.

I can recall writing a 30-page research paper on inclusion in elementary education during my sophomore year of high school.

Thirty pages for one assignment makes all of the assignments from my general education classes at Richmond look like a two weeks paid vacation.

When I question why it is that we study less I think it all comes down to one thing: accountability. In high school I was held accountable by my parents, my teachers, my peers and more importantly, by myself.

If I didn’t put in the effort, I didn’t receive a good grade. And why should I have? I didn’t deserve one. Which was why I made sure I worked hard — always.

Accountability is not a word we hear very often in college, at least at this one. We’re all told that college is supposed to be hard.

That’s when the justifying starts. The fact that I got a C on an anthropology paper no longer has to do with the fact I wrote it the night before it was due, rather that I’m not an anthropologist. Justifications like these make lack of accountability a comfort.

Many professors are just as guilty as their students. Instead of demanding hard work, effort and, inevitably, respect from his or her students, he or she attempts to gain respect (possibly in the form of a good evaluation wink, wink) by catering to the “needs” of students.

Another possible explanation for the decrease in studying, authors of “Academically Adrift” say, may be that the pressure put on students to be socially engaged is too great. What do colleges care about? Student retention.

So a happy student means a student who is doing fun things on and around campus. Fun things on and around campus mean that student is coming back next year.

So when the admissions spiel sounds a little like, “We care about your happiness,” future generations of college students should smile because now they’re in on the joke.

Data from the CLA survey indicated that students who majored in more traditional liberal arts studies such as English or philosophy showed higher levels of critical thinking and writing skills. It makes sense. I can’t imagine it’d be easy to B.S. your way through an analysis of the Theory of Forms.

For those of you, like myself, who are questioning your personal improvement throughout your year(s) spent at University of Richmond, a word of advice: It’s not too late.

First step: Hold yourself accountable. No one will do it for you.

Second step: Challenge your teachers to challenge you.

March 20, 2011 reply from Don Ramsey

I get constant pressure from students to cover everything in class, and/or to tell them what will be on the exams. I get the impression that there are at least some instructors in the university who do that. Doubtless all AECM members get the same pressure.

It seems that at some level we are allowing students to redefine what a college degree means. At a chapter a week, there is no way to cover everything in class.

The mode often required by assessment is to specity learning goals in terms of doing something. Make a Balance Sheet, for example. Apparently randomly demonstrating insightful understanding and application (at least Bloom’s third level) of the content of a group of three chapters in Principles I is asking too much. Thus it seems that assessment limits learning.

One of the famous officers of the Omaha Beach landing was Brigadier General Norman Cota, assistant commander of the 29th Infantry Division (a Md/Va. National Guard division). He found a young officer and troops facing a house occupied by the enemy and asked how he intended to take the house. “I don’t know, sir, I never had any training on that.” Coda got up to the house and tossed in a grenade. Later he said to the young officer, “You just had your training.” 

Donald D. Ramsey, CPA,
Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics,
School of Business and Public Administration,
University of the District of Columbia,
4200 Connecticut Ave., N. W., Washington, D. C. 20008. (202) 274-7054.

March 20, 2011 reply from Patricia Doherty

I agree, Donald, that assessment is limiting learning. Like the public schools and state exams, we, too, are teaching to various assessments - I won't get into the list. And the students are defining, to a great degree, what they learn, because they own one of the assessments, course/teacher evaluations. We have to accept it, and do the best we can within that. I constantly try to fit my goals into what will work and get us the numbers needed. You can make progress, but it isn't easy, and it isn't going to be exactly what you want.

My husband remarked just a couple of days ago that I seem to have a lot more to do than before (in terms of "school work"). He's right, I do. This is more work. I wish I could say that it was more effective, or "better" but I can't. It's just more. I still love teaching, but there is lately a little something missing.

I smiled when I read your comment on students wanting everything taught in class. I always get at least a few comments on evals that say we "should" go over ALL of the homework problems in class. I wonder where we'd get the hours? And I KNOW that many of the other students who don't say this would find that the most boring thing imaginable, since they've done the problems on their own, and checked their answers against solutions available in "Connect" online. Of course, the students that want this are forgetting the purpose of homework, but we won't get into that. I remember a professor - don't remember his name or school at all - at a conference I went to, who remarked that a student downgraded him on evaluations because "I had to read the book to learn the material for the course." right. Poor you.

Patricia A. Doherty
Department of Accounting Boston
University School of Management
595 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02215

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

Sanjay Sharma has been appointed Dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of Vermont ---

"UVM’s new dean: the rest of the story," by Tim Johnson, Burlington Free Press, March 9, 2011 ---

After we took note of the new UVM business dean’s handsome salary the other day, we learned there’s more to this package than UVM put in its news release about his appointment.

His wife is joining the faculty too, as a full professor, at an annual salary of $180,000, which is more than most of her UVM faculty peers earn. (The typical range for that position at UVM’s business school is $139,000-$155,000. An exception is Rocki-Lee DeWitt, a former dean, who earns a tad more than $180,000.)

Together, Sanjay Sharma, the dean-to-be, and Promodita Sharma, who will assume the new post of Sanders professor in the School of Business Administration in August, will be drawing $500,000 in salary. How many other half-million-dollar couples do we have in little ol’, don’t-confuse-us-with-Wall-Street Burlington?

The dean will have a secondary appointment as professor of business. Both he and his wife have been through the school’s tenure review process, so both will have tenure upon arrival. Promodita Sharma

Promodita Sharma

The school now has five full professors. Next fall, there will be seven. Retirements of three associate professors in May will help make room for the new arrivals.

At UVM, the Sharmas will be reprising their professional configuration at Concordia University in Montreal, where Sanjay Sharma is dean of the John Molson School of Business, and Pramodita Sharma is CIBC Distinguished Professor of Family Business.

 . . .

What’s the Sanders Professorship?
We put the question to UVM and were informed that it’s an endowment, established in 1968 from alumni donations, named for Daniel Clarke Sanders, UVM’s first president. The fund is used as faculty support at the discretion of the president or the president’s designee.

Promodita Sharma will receive $20,000 per year from the Sanders endowment earnings for research activities. .

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The compensation package is not shocking by national standards for business school deans these days. The University of Colorado just appointed a new business school dean for over $400,000 that will not be compensating a spouse as well. But the Sharmas'  pay package is an outlier in terms of what state universities in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine pay their administrators and spouses from both state funding and endowment funding.

It is also somewhat unusual nationally for business school deans to be paid such a large annual stipend for research responsibilities.

I wonder what kind of pay package Dean Sharma will eventually be paying accounting professors at the University of Vermont, including annual research stipends?

In any case we welcome the Sharmas to the United States.

What if a publisher attached your name to a piece of bad research without your permission?

"West Lawyer Is Unimpressed with Judge’s Jokes in Hearing on $5.2M Pocket Part Verdict," by Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal, March 18, 2011 --- Click Here

"Plagiarism: An Administrator’s Perspective," by  Nels P. Highberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 17, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
One of the best pieces of advice in the above article:
"Do assign projects that students cannot find already done in other places."

Accounting courses have somewhat of an advantage in that many topics in accounting theory are not as likely as those in psychology and sociology and literature to be covered by term paper mills and thesis writing mills. And hiring specialists to write milled papers on such topics as accounting for Contango Swaps is too expensive given the demand by term paper mill customers for Contango Swap accounting term papers.

However, those of us that make materials available free on the Web about such specialized technical topics as Contango Swap accounting most likely get plagiarized now and then. And we cannot search for plagiarisms on the Web because student term papers rarely get posted on the Web. However, to the extent that faculty participate in the building of plagiarism term paper databases like the Tournitin database ---

"Boston Archdiocese, Daughters of St. Paul in dispute over pension funds," by Catholic News Service, The Catholic Review, March 2011 ---

"The sisters have asked the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to order the fund’s trustees to provide a full accounting or rule that the sisters were never part of the plan and must be reimbursed for their contributions. The sisters also requested the archdiocese pay their legal fees." "The nuns' lawyer, Michael McLaughlin, said they hesitated to sue the trustees, particularly O'Malley, but felt they had no other choice." "The lawsuit is also reportedly asking the court to review documents in connection with the 2010 sale of Caritas Christi Health Care system, a chain of catholic hospitals, to a for-profit...

Jensen Comment
Historically Rome provides for the care and well being of its aged priests but not so much for the nuns ---

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at

Enormous increases in worker compensation taxation in Illinois are especially in contention
"Caterpillar CEO's letter talks of leaving Illinois," by Kurt Erickson, Pantograph, March 25, 2011 ---

"Illinois Tax Increases Become Law," AccountingWeb, January 1, 2011 ---

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation (SB2505) last Thursday that temporarily raises Illinois income taxes by two-thirds.

The personal income tax rate immediately rises to 5 percent, up from 3 percent. The corporate income tax rate rises immediately to 7 percent, up from 4.8 percent. The increases are at that level for four years and then are scheduled to decline (if you believe in the tooth fairy). For example, the personal tax rate drops to 3.75 percent in 2015 and eventually to 3.25 percent a decade after that.

The increases are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011.

According to news reports, the state budget deficit was projected to hit $15 billion in the coming year, endangering government's ability to pay employees, provide money it owes to schools and local governments and reimburse the businesses and charities that work for the state. Quinn's office estimates the tax increase will generate about $6.8 billion a year, enough to balance the annual budget and begin chipping away at the state's backlog of about $8.5 billion in unpaid bills.

To view the actual bill, go to SB2505.

Jensen Comment
Perhaps in anticipation job losses from such a move and more outsourcing overseas by Caterpillar, the UAW quietly renewed its labor contract with Caterpillar without much fuss or bother to the company in spite of a strong 2010 profit showing for the company ---
However, this was not the case in 1992 when Caterpillar and workers endured one of the longer and most contentious strikes in recent times during which Caterpillar irreversibly shifted a great deal of production work out of Illinois. At the time Caterpillar was on the verge of bankruptcy due to declining revenues attributed greatly to foreign competition and lost contracts, particularly in Russia ---

"Little-Known Colleges Exploit Visa Loopholes to Make Millions Off Foreign Students," by Tom Bartlett, Karin Fischer, and Josh Keller, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2011 ---

Early on a Friday morning, four college students stand shivering in the parking lot of an office complex in Sterling, Va. The building itself is unremarkable, red brick and dark glass, but security cameras are bolted to the walls, cement posts line the perimeter, and coils of concertina wire surround the trash bins. This is a branch of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The students arrived more than an hour early for their appointment. They haven't slept or eaten in two days, passing time instead by obsessively organizing their documents and drinking cup after cup of strong black tea. Their eyelids are at half- mast, their hands shoved in jacket pockets. They are all Indian, all from the city of Hyderabad, and all possibly in deep trouble.

These students, like roughly 1,500 others from India, were enrolled at Tri-Valley University, a California institution that was raided by federal agents in January. The government seized property, threatened to deport students, and in legal filings called Tri-Valley a "sham university" that admitted and collected tuition from foreign students but didn't require them to attend class. (The president of Tri-Valley, Susan Xiao-Ping Su, denies the charges.) Many students allegedly worked full-time, low-level retail jobs—in one case, at a 7-Eleven in New Jersey—that were passed off as career training so they could be employed while on student visas. The university listed 553 students as living in a single two-bedroom apartment near the college; in fact, students were spread out across the country, from Texas to Illinois to Maryland.

As the students move inside and await their interview, a deliveryman wheels in a hand truck stacked with nine boxes of .44-caliber ammunition. On a table nearby rests a brochure titled "Targeting Terrorists," which features the famous image of Mohammed Atta breezing through airport security. When an agent emerges and asks who is going to be first, the four students stare at the carpet. "Come on," the agent says, trying to break the tension. "No one is going to beat you with a rubber hose."

The joke does not go over well.

The raid on Tri-Valley received limited attention in the United States, but it was and remains a big story in India, where newspapers and television shows portray U.S. officials as callous, and oversight of the student-visa program as incompetent. After weeks of bad publicity, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton felt compelled to assure Indian officials that the situation would be resolved fairly. Meanwhile, immigration officials have pointed to the shuttering of Tri-Valley as proof of their vigilance.

Continued in article

March 20, 2011 reply from Jagdish Gangolly


I have been following this item in the Indian press. The American press has mostly ignored it; I suppose a few hundred prospective illegals do not warrant attention, with millions of illegals already inundating us.

The aspect that upset most Indians seems to be the radio-tagging of these students (do all the illegals in the US who have encountered the law radio-tagged? Was Ms. Su, obviously a flight risk, radio-tagged?) Most people also seemed upset over the lack of regulation of such outfits here in the US.

Many in India also have questioned the intentions of these students for their not doing the homework before applying. Some have gone to the extent of saying that students should be allowed to go to the US only for studies at ivies, AAU and such reputed universities, but I guess that goes against the Indians' sense of liberal democracy.


Bob Jensen's threads on for-profit universities operating in the gray zone of fraud ---

Diploma Mill Frauds ---

Unlike Harvard, Yale is slow in 2011 to welcome ROTC back to campus ---

However, Yale jumped at the opportunity for retired four-star General Stanley A. McChrystal to lecture (in seminar format) on campus ---

A Rolling Stone Broadcasts No Lecture Notes
"Up Close and Confidential Premium Link," by Ben Wieder, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 13, 2011 ---

Each week last semester, 20 students at Yale University met with retired four-star Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

In a seminar on leadership, General McChrystal—who had recently been relieved of his command in Afghanistan after criticizing top U.S.-government officials—shared lessons from his own experience and brought in high-profile guests to share stories from their careers as well.

There was only one catch: Students were forbidden to reveal what General McChrystal or anyone else said in class.

The Yale seminar is one of several recent instances like this. Lectures last semester in several classes at Georgetown University by Alvaro Uribe, a former president of Colombia, were off the record, as is a current class at George Washington University featuring lectures by and discussions with Ed Henry, CNN's senior White House correspondent, and Joe Lockhart, a former White House press secretary.

Should institutions dedicated to shared knowledge cloak courses in secrecy? Absolutely not, says Dalton Conley, senior vice provost at New York University, who thinks the practice runs contrary to notions of academic freedom. "There's definitely a clash of institutional cultures here," he says.

Gregory Scholtz, director of the American Association of University Professors' department of academic freedom, tenure, and governance, says the organization's founding policy document suggests the opposite.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This article discusses the confidentiality policies of some other celebrities who are now teaching in universities.

What absurd government-subsidized "electric" heavy-weight car will go a "paltry" 25 miles before the low-mileage, premium-fuel big gas engine kicks in?

"Chevy Volt: The Car From Atlas Shrugged Motors," by  Patrick Michaels, Forbes, March 16, 2011 ---

The Chevrolet Volt is beginning to look like it was manufactured by Atlas Shrugged Motors, where (according to Ayn Rand)  the government mandates everything politically correct, rewards its cronies and produces junk steel.

This is the car that subsidies built. General Motors lobbied for a $7,500 tax refund for all buyers, under the shaky (if not false) promise that it was producing the first all-electric mass-production vehicle.

At least that's what we were once told. Sitting in a Volt that would not start at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, a GM engineer swore to me that the internal combustion engine in the machine only served as a generator, kicking in when the overnight-charged lithium-ion batteries began to run down. GM has continually revised downward its estimates of how far the machine would go before the gas engine fired, and now says 25 to 50 miles.

It turns out that the premium-fuel fired engine does drive the wheels--when the battery is very low or when the vehicle is at most freeway speeds. So the Volt really isn't a pure electric car after all. I'm sure that the people who designed the car knew how it ran, and so did their managers.

Why then the need to keep this so quiet? It's doubtful that GM would have gotten such a subsidy if it had been revealed that the car would do much of its freeway cruising with a gas engine powering the wheels. While the Volt is more complicated than the Prius, and has a longer battery-only range, a hybrid is a hybrid, and the Prius no longer qualifies for a tax credit.

n other words, GM was desperate for customers for what they perceived would be an unpopular vehicle before one even hit the road. It had hoped to lure more if buyers subtracted the $7,500 from the $41,000 sticker price. Instead, as Consumer Reports found out, the car was very pricey. The version they tested cost $43,700 plus a $5,000 dealer markup ("Don't worry," I can hear the salesperson saying, "you'll get more than that back in your tax credit!"), or a whopping $48,700 minus the credit.

This is one reason that Volt sales are anemic: 326 in December, 321 in January, and 281 in February. GM announced a production run of 100,000 in the first two years. Who is going to buy all these cars?

Another reason they aren't exactly flying off the lots is because, well, they have some problems. In a telling attempt to preserve battery power, the heater is exceedingly weak. Consumer Reports averaged a paltry 25 miles of electric-only running, in part because it was testing in cold Connecticut. (My engineer at the Auto Show said cold weather would have little effect.)

It will be interesting to see what the range is on a hot, traffic-jammed summer day, when the air conditioner will really tax the batteries. When the gas engine came on, Consumer Reports got about 30 miles to the gallon of premium fuel; which, in terms of additional cost of high-test gas, drives the effective mileage closer to 27 mpg. A conventional Honda ( HMC - news - people ) Accord, which seats 5 (instead of the Volt's 4), gets 34 mpg on the highway, and costs less than half of what CR paid, even with the tax break.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Keep in mind that those 25 miles of all-electric driving are not free. In most instances the expensive batteries are powered by polluting hydrocarbon electric plants that don't charge electric cars for free. And in some instances, drivers will have to take out second mortgages on their homes in order to replace the expensive Volt batteries after five years of frustration filling their tanks at gas stations.

So the question one obviously asks if one has the background after reading that paragraph is: how is the New York Fed going to make a $1.5 billion profit on that portfolio, by unloading it on the federal government?
Adrienne Gonzalaz, The Jr. Deputy Accountant

"The Fed Debates Giving Up Those AIG Crap Assets," by Adrienne Gonzalaz, Jr. Deputy Accountant, March 2011 ---

The best use of a teacher's videos, in my viewpoint, is by students seeking to learn something technical that an instructor does not want to have to explain over and over in class and in office hours ---

Video Capturing:  TechSmith Camtasia vs. Adobe Captivate
March 2011 Messaging on the AECM
Camtasia --- http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/
Captivate --- http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate/
March 17, 2011 message from Louis Matherne


As I recall, several of AECMers use screen recording software. I need to license a screen recording application. I’ve used Camtasia in the past (version 5) and that is what I’m planning to use going forward.

Should I consider anything else like Adobe Captivate?


J. Louis Matherne
Chief of Taxonomy Development
Financial Accounting Standards Board


March 17, 2011 reply from Richard Campbell

I use both Camtasia and Captivate, but prefer Camtasia.

However, Captivate can create simulations, and Camtasia can not do that.

Techsmith has superior customer support (free) and Adobe has terrible customer support (you pay big bucks)!

Richard J. Campbell


March 17, 2011 reply from Richard Newmark


I use Camtasia (version7) to record my 75-minute class sessions. I use a tabletPC so all the notes I write in Windows Journal, and annotations I make—on PowerPoint slides, Word documents, Excel files, pdf documents, and more—are all done on my screen so they are all captured by Camtasia. The Camtasia project file for my 1280 x 800 full-screen capture is between 600MB – 1GB, depending on how much movement there is on the screen. My final Mp4 file is 35MB - 50MB (unless I show a video during class whereby the file size can be 75-100MB). I post these files in BlackBoard so students can view/review the files. Since I do in-class quizzes using clickers, posting the videos has not affected attendance in my classes. My students find that having the videos available online makes the interviewing season less stressful because they don’t have to worry as much about missing class.

I make the cursor 1.5X size and highlight the cursor, so when I use the cursor to point out important text or computations, it is easy for students to see that when they view the videos. When I do application demonstrations, I add effects for left-click and right-click. Does anybody know if you can differentiate between an click and a drag in Camtasia, because you can do so with screencast-o-matic http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/ , a free browser-based screencast tool?

I have never used Adobe Captivate, but my colleagues who do use it do so because they can insert hot spots like Richard described, and hover-overs. They love the control and flexibility they get with Captivate, but it is more expensive and they think the learning curve is steeper.

That’s my 2 cents.



Richard Newmark
Professor, School of Accounting and Computer Information Systems
Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business
2004 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winner
University of Northern Colorado
Campus Box 128, Kepner Hall 2095D
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1213 (office)
(970) 351-1068 (fax)

March 17, 2011 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Louis,

The earlier comments in this thread provide some good comparison information.

One thing that Captivate does pretty well that is not done easily or well in Camtasia is the capturing of streaming video clip inserts with high quality audio capturing without having to pass the audio through a microphone ---

There are other features worth noting about Captivate are listed at http://store.adobe.com/store/en_us/popup/software/captivate5/reasonstobuy.html 

If you have learning curve concerns, I suggest that you conduct a search of YouTube tutorials available for both Captivate and Camtasia. Some of these tutorials are quite good. For example, note the Captivate Branching Tutorial --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQZVdDzEssQ 

I'm a Camtasia user because I was began over a decade ago with Version 1 of Camtasia. But if I were to start all over again, I think I would go the Captivate route because you can do more professional things with Captivate. Sometimes you get what you pay for, although many professors may not need so many professionalism features if they will never use those features.

I do think that professors would make more use of captured streaming video clips in their own video productions, in which case Captivate may be a better alternative. For example, portions of a the many video lectures on YouTube or TED might be captured for use in a professor's homemade video.

Both Captivate and Camtasia now allow rather easy ways to add closed captioning for hearing impaired users of your videos --- http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/captivate/Adobe_Captivate_cc_tutorial_demo.html

Robert (Bob) Jensen
Trinity University Emeritus Jesse H. Jones Professor of Accounting
190 Sunset Hill Road, Sugar Hill, NH 03586

Earlier messaging of possible interest
January 7, 2011 message from Rick Newmark

I have been using Camtasia Studio to record my class sessions and to create tutorials for about two years now. Thanks to all of you on this list who have provided great information about various products, especially the practical tips and real-world problems and solutions.

I decided that creating video tutorials and presentations is a practical skill that my students should learn to help them effectively communicate electronically. I also think this skill will give them a competitive advantage in the work place and help them build their personal brand on the social web.

The problem with putting Camtasia and/or Adobe Captivate (I have not used it, but some of my friends across campus use it because it has more interactive tools) in the computer labs is the cost and that students would have to pay to put it on their own computers. Also, I want something really simple to use.

Initially, I found an open-source and free application called CamStudio. However, it only works on PCs and there is a learning curve similar to Camtasia Recorder. Although I have not yet used it, it seems like a good product and there are some Youtube tutorials to help you get started. This seems like the most robust free alternative to Camtasia.

Then, some additional searching pointed me to several browser-based (no downloads and platform independent) solutions. I found the following solutions: http://screenr.com/, http://www.screenjelly.com/, and http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/. Screenr and Screenjelly are designed to make screencasts for Twitter. Neither one gives you much control. Screenr has a five-minute recording limit, allows you to set the capture area, and allows you to pause and resume. Screenjelly has a three-minute limit and only records the full screen. Screenr requires a Twitter account, but Screenjelly allows you to email the link rather than tweeting it. Both only you to capture audio from your microphone, so if you you need to turn up the volume on your speakers if you also want audio from the computer captured. The clear upsides to these solutions is that they are fast and easy and interface with Twitter. The downside is that they have a short time limit and they do not provide tools for tutorials like highlighting the cursor.

Fortunately, I found Screencast-O-Matic http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/. It has the following features: no time limit for recordings, pause and resume, set capture area, automatically highlight cursor, visually show left- and right-clicks, visually shows left-button- and right-button-dragging, add comments on the bottom of the screen at different pre-determined times, and allows you to download your screencasts in Mp4, AVI, or FLV formats, allows you to capture video from a webcam, and they will host for free all of your screencasts <= 15-minutes per screencast. I made a sample video and the results are very good. A 2-minute 1366 x 768 video took 10MB (Mp4 format). For $9/year, you can host videos up to 60-minutes long, lose the small watermark at the bottom left of the screen (unobtrusive), and get Camtasia-style editing tools like: zoom, cut out a piece of a clip, split and insert a clip, change speeds, and add transitions. The web site has good tutorials for basic operation and using the advanced tools. I have not yet paid for the pro membership, though I plan on doing so. I’m very excited about getting students and my colleagues to use this tool.

What I really like is that students can take their screencast and bring it into iMovie or Windows Moviemaker and add screenshots by using the Windows  snipping tool or 7capturehttp://www.7capture.com/. 7capture good for capturing whole windows because it captures the rounded corners on a window, but you need to make sure that the window you want to capture is on top (only captures whole windows, a whole monitor, or your entire desktop). Here is a link to take screen shots on a mac http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/screencapturemac/ht/macscreenshot.htm.

If your students do not have their own computer and your lab machines do not have Moviemaker, I found a browser-based alternative, JayCut http://jaycut.com/, though I am not impressed by the video image quality. I’m now trying Creaza. It is a suite of online tools, including audio editing, video editing, concept mapping, and making cartoons. I’ll update the list as I try the tools.

Richard Newmark
Professor, School of Accounting and Computer Information Systems
Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business
2004 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winner
University of Northern Colorado
Campus Box 128, Kepner Hall 2095D
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1213 Office
(970) 351-1078 fax


January 7, 2011 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Rick,

Thank you for the very informative message. In your updates you might tell us more about video compression, codecs, and playback comparisons of these various alternatives. There are also such added features such as interactive playback and quiz/examination features in such compressions as the swf compression of Shockwave format --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWF

With so many hours of video, I'm curious about how you archive these files and how you serve them up for students.

One really helpful feature that I find in Camtasia is the "pause" feature that allows you to pause the recording of a video and then take it up at the exact same point after the pause. One use of this feature is to prepare for the next phase of the video and collect your notes and thoughts for that phase.

Some other questions you might answer:

  1. Can you record audio internally without having to pass audio through a microphone such as when embedding video clips within a video?
  2. Does the recorder have enhancement features similar to those in Camtasia such as mouse highlighting.
  3. Can you customize the screen capturing with smaller windows and floating windows that follow the mouse?
  4. Can you vary audio and video capture rates so that, when necessary, you can greatly cut back on storage requirements except in cases where higher capture rates improve lip synchronization. High capture rates are less important when you are capturing computer screens such as Excel screens.

Bob Jensen

Compressed Versus Uncompressed AVI Camtasia Video Files
Podcasting and Vodcasting Using Camtasia and Screencast

Although I've been using Camtasia for years, I've recently been preparing some Camtasia video for a road show that I will do on education technology. Camtasia is wonderful for making educational videos, especially narrated videos of lessons and tutorials on computer screens, videos of narrated PowerPoint files, interactive videos, podcasts (audio), Vodcasts (video), and narrated sequences of pictures turned into video files.

One really nice thing about Camtasia is that you do not have to record an entire video clip continuously, It's easy to record a segment and then hit the pause button (or F9 that's used both to start a recording session and pause a recording session). That way you have time for each segment to think about what you're going to say and to bring up software, video files, audio files, and/or Websites appropriate for that segment of the clip. When you've finished the entire clip you can hit the stop button (or F10) to generate a avi file. Later on you can "produce" a compressed version of the clip.

Camtasia generally captures video as uncompressed avi files. These uncompressed files are enormous and are not efficient for storing on CDs, DVDs, Web servers, Blackboard servers, WebCT servers, etc. Fortunately Camtasia has software called "Producer" in Camtasia Suite that compresses videos into much smaller files that can be played in common software such as wmv files for Windows Media Player, rm files for RealMedia, mov files for Quicktime, scf files for Adobe flash, mp3 files, and other "production" files.

I thought you might be interested in how much disk space is saved in the compression process. Last weekend I made a number of Camtasia avi videos and then compressed them into wmv video for Windows Media Player. I have both an old Camtasia 2 and a current Camtasia 4 (with updates). I captured the avi files using Camtasia 4, because this will also capture video playing on the screen. However, I found that the Producer software in Camtasia 2 gave me smaller compressed video files for some reason. The savings are shown below comparing the avi files and my compressed files:

Video Uncompressed AVI File Size Compressed Video File Size Video Run Time
Video 1 106,095 KB avi 5,928 KB wmv 02.57minutes
Video 2 319,904 KB avi 29,586 KB wmv 22.28 minutes
Video 3 162,745 KB avi 22,228 KB swf 05.47 minutes
Video 4 25,315 KB avi 4,766 KB wmv 04.49 minutes

Warning:  You can only edit the video (e.g., add fades, delete portions of clips, combine clips, split clits, change volume, etc) in the uncompressed avi video using Producer software. You lose quality in video and audio if you have to re-capture a compressed video as a avi file using Camtasia. Hence, it is best to store the initial avi files somewhere if you think you might want to edit later on.

The video size to runtime ratio varies greatly with both the capture rate and the size of the region on a computer screen that you are capturing. Since all the above videos were captured at the same (default) capture rate, the ratio of file size to run time varies greatly because the capture region varies in size in each of the above videos.  Capturing only a region greatly saves on the size of the captured video file. Capturing full or nearly-full screen sizes greatly adds to the video file size.

Video size relative to video run time also depends heavily on the frame rate at which the video is captured. Camtasia allows you to use a default setting for both the capture rate and audio interleaving. This is fast enough to capture video with audio playing on the screen with reasonable lip synching if the audio shows the face of a speaker. If you were making a video of a PowerPoint file without adding audio narration you could save disk space by greatly slowing down the video capture rate. However, I generally do not mess with the default settings. If you want to change the frame rates, you can read more about it --- Click Here
You can also change playback rates --- Click Here

Camtasia allows you to do some things like highlighting where your cursor is pointing. I generally use a big yellowish translucent circle around my mouse pointer. You can also have audio sounds whenever you click on your mouse and/or keyboard. This may alert student attention. You can also bring up a pen that allows you to write on video screens without writing on the computer program, like Excel, that you are running in the video.

You can also pan and zoom. Zoom lets you point to something like a cell formula in Excel and then make that formula larger and larger and larger. You can subsequently return to normal size. I use the panning feature when I am only recording a region of a screen such as a rectangle about a third of the size of the full computer screen. Capturing only a region greatly saves on the size of the captured video file. I use the panning feature to allow me to float the capture region to wherever I move my mouse. This allows me to capture anything appearing on a computer screen without having to capture a full screen in every video frame.

Years ago I started using Camtasia to field questions posed by students. For example, after technical lessons in my Accounting Information Systems course, I almost always received email messages from students who could not get something to work, especially in Excel and MS Access. I would then record a video tutorial and shared my answers with the entire current class and my future classes. You can download some of my sample wmv tutorials in this regard from http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5342/
The acronym PQQ stands for Possible Quiz Question source.

I also prepared longer tutorials on more complicated technical lectures in my Accounting Theory course. Most all of my students were confused after my lectures in this course until they viewed my video tutorials over and over and over. Some of my tutorials for the theory course are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5341/

I also recorded some general tutorials that you can download from http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/

I have other tutorials that are filed away somewhere on CDs. It would take some effort to dig them out now.

The nice thing about Camtasia is that it's is so simple to use when creating and compressing video. Editing video is more complicated. It is also possible to add hot spots to swf flash video that you have compressed such that you can create interactive videos for your students, including examination videos. However, this is extremely tedious. I found it better to create my interactive examination files in Excel and then link to my tutorial videos at any time in those Excel files.

The hard thing about Camtasia is getting the audio to sound professional. Actually, I found my narrations using a cheap microphone adequate for my course tutorials. This weekend I had satisfactory results using only the internal microphone that's built into my Dell laptop. However, audio could be improved with an expensive microphone and a sound proof booth. Ambient noise in your office can be irritating when recorded in video.

If you are recording in your office, you should probably disconnect the telephone during recording sessions. Also put a sign on your office door that you are in a recording session.

It is also possible to make videos of PowerPoint files. If you choose to do so you can easily add a Camtasia toolbar in your PowerPoint file such that you can make videos with audio narrations on any any part or all of a PowerPoint file. That way you can teach from PowerPoint when you're out of town, retired, or dead.Users can download compressed video files of PowerPoint files with less virus risk than from any MS Office files such as doc, xls. or ppt files. However, when I narrate any of my PowerPoint files and make videos of them, I generally find that even the compressed videos are enormous since my PowerPoint files usually have more than 50 slides. Actually, it is probably best to compress PowerPoint vides at a slow frame rate as swf Flash files. Since Powerpoint is not fast moving video, a slower frame rate is usually quite satisfactory.

Nevertheless, recording and serving up entire lectures requires huge amounts of disk space. If your university will not provide you with enough Web, Blackboard, or WebCT server space for such large video files, I suggest that you make a DVD disk of compressed video for each lesson and then make these disks available in the library or by mail to students. Your campus media center may have more creative solutions.

August 22, 2009 message from Bob Jensen

Hi Pat,

It is possible to first practice with a limited and free version called Jing at TechSmith --- http://www.jingproject.com/
I bought Camtasia Studio to start with and never bothered with Jing  I have not yet checked to see if Jing is available to Mac users. I doubt it.

I’m not sure whether or not some of the Camtasia features mentioned below are available in Jing, e.g., the F9 toggle key.

It took me less than an hour to record the first-time video you see at

All you have to do is install the Camtasia Studio program, connect your computer to a microphone (I don’t care much for the microphone built into a laptop, but I use that on the road) read some simple instructions, and try your first video. You can watch the tutorials provided by TechSmith and my somewhat dated tutorial on how to use Camtasia at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/CamtasiaTutorial.wmv

There are important tricks that you learn along the way. One of the most important things is to learn how to toggle the record and pause recording keys (for me that is the F9 key). In my typical session I think about what I will say for about two minutes, bring up the starting screen that you want to focus on such as an Excel spreadsheet of the IASB home page, record two minutes, hit the F9 key, take a drink, bring up a screen that I want to start with for the first two minutes of recording, record for approximately two minutes, hit the F9 key, and repeat this until I’m done. Then I hit the F10 key. Students watching the video never know that I paused frequently while recording the session. View one of my many sessions at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/CamtasiaTutorial.wmv

The really big problem is storage space for your recorded videos. The initial avi files are huge, but you want to save these until you are happy with any edits you give to your video. Then choose one of the many compressed versions that you can “produce” such as making an avi file, wmv file, mpg, mov, or other file. I like wmv files because they are recognized on most user computers. If I were to send a video to YouTube, I would probably choose mpg since that seems to be preferred by YouTube folks. Techsmith will explain all of the ins and outs of choosing a particular compressed file. The important thing is that compression normally saves over 90% of the file space needed to store the video.

I generally download the original avi file to a DVD disc if possible just to save it for later recall and editing. But I save a lot of my compressed files on my Web server in the Computer Science Department at Trinity University.

If you want to do what I do, you will have to persuade Fordham to give you quite a lot of Web server space. Putting your files on a Web server is really easy, and many folks at Fordham can show you how to do this in less than an hour, including making your default htm file (probably labeled default.htm) that is the screen that first appears at your Web site.

You can also download your videos to the Blackboard server, but I really doubt that you are given enough free space on Blackboard or WebCT to hold much video.

You can of course get tons of free storage space on YouTube, but then you have to allow the public to see your videos. They can find your videos even if you keep the YouTube links secret since the YouTube search engine roams the YouTube world.

Here’s an idea of something that might be useful to your students. They may be confused about how to use the Fordham password entry into the FASB Codification database.

1.       Start with your browser such as Internet Explorer open to most any site.

2.       Start to record your video.

3.       Show students how to bring up the Codification starting page. Hit the F9 pause key.

4.       Think about what you will say next and hit the F9 key to start recoding again.

5.       Enter your login and Fordham’s password (but I would not speak the password out loud)

6.       Click the login button and bring up the Codification database. Hit the F9 pause key.

7.       Think about what you will say next and hit the F9 key to start recoding again.

8.       Show students how to bring up the Table of Contents

9.       Show students how to bring up the search engine

10.   Show students how to navigate

11.   Show students how to log off

12.   Hit the F10 key when you’ve finished recording your video

As I get older I’m really afraid that I will screw up something really technical in front of an audience. I love having my backup videos that are error free. An example of one of these backup videos is the 133ex05a.wmv video file at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5341/
I also watch the video in private before each presentation to refresh my mind for a live demonstration. 

After you get better you can pan and zoom your videos an do all sorts of wonderful things. And you’re correct. Richard is good at using Camtasia, although neither he nor I seem to use all the available bells and whistles.

Hope this helps.

Bob Jensen

August 22, 2009 message from Bob Jensen

Hi Again Pat,

Here are some other points to note.

I doubt whether Jing is yet available to Mac users, but I’ve not yet checked for certain.

TechSmith provides some free (maybe a gig) of storage space for your Camtasia videos, but I never thought it was enough space to bother with unless I paid by the month to purchase more serious space. I still think Fordham will give you adequate space on a Web or LAN server as long as your videos are intended to benefit students and me.

My biggest complaint with TechSmith is that the audio for your recorded videos must pass through a microphone. This is a bummer if you frequently want to capture audio or video clips into your video (there is now a work around for this on some computers with advanced sound cards). For example, suppose you want to capture five minutes of a 75-minute YouTube lecture. Camtasia has never provided an option to capture the audio portion of video directly into your recording. Instead you must turn your speakers up and capture the sound on your microphone. The resulting audio that’s captured sounds hollow. If you do it right you can make out the captured audio, but that’s about all. It’s very irritating to listen very long to audio captured in this manner. But the audio of your voice sounds fine if you want to add comments while the other video or audio is being recorded.

For example, if you were recording from one of Jensen’s videos you could interject a comment like “Bob Jensen really screwed up on this part.”

I have some examples of Camtasia recording of video in my dog and pony show PowerPoint slides in my 50Camtasia.ppt file listed at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/EdTech/PowerPoint/
In particular go to Slide 29 and click on any one of the links where I recorded portions of a TechSmith tutorial on interactive video

You can improve on audio recording by having an expensive microphone (mine is cheap) and use lots of caution to avoid ambient noise like your telephone ringing or somebody knocking at your door. Of course if a noise commences while you’re recording video, you can hit the F9 pause key instantly to minimize the distraction on your video. It may be best when you commence once again to make a joke like --- that was my husband phoning to invite me to the Burger King for a romantic dinner after work tonight.

I do illustrate a few of the bells and whistles (panning and zooming) in my dog and pony show PowerPoint slides in my 50Camtasia.ppt file listed at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/EdTech/PowerPoint/

Bob Jensen

"Google yanking H.264 video out of Chrome," by Stephen Shankland, cnet news, January 11, 2011 ---
Thanks to David Fordham for the heads up.

From the Scout Report on January 21, 2011

JayCut 2.2 --- http://jaycut.com/ 

Do you want to edit your videos? But you say you don't have any video editing software? Never fear, as JayCut is here. With JayCut visitors can sign up for free and create their own voice-overs, work with slow-motion effects, and even throw in a green screen or two for dramatic affect. This version is compatible with Windows 2000 and newer.

From the Scout Report on March 11, 2011

Zamzar --- http://zamzar.com/ 

The name Zamzar comes from a character in the book "The Metamorphosis", and it is a fitting name as this program is a way to effective transform songs, videos, and so on into different formats. The program is quite seamless, and users need to just select files or URLs to convert, inset them into the form on their website, and select a file type. Zamzar will convert the file and send it to the user's email address. This version is compatible with computers running all operating systems.

Bob Jensen's essay on codec problems is on the Web at

Bob Jensen's video helpers ---




From the Scout Report on March 11, 2011

Zamzar --- http://zamzar.com/ 

The name Zamzar comes from a character in the book "The Metamorphosis", and it is a fitting name as this program is a way to effective transform songs, videos, and so on into different formats. The program is quite seamless, and users need to just select files or URLs to convert, inset them into the form on their website, and select a file type. Zamzar will convert the file and send it to the user's email address. This version is compatible with computers running all operating systems.

Eset --- http://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner 

For a quick and efficient computer scan, visitors should consider looking over Eset. This online scanner does not require any downloads, and it will scan computers as it looks for infiltrations and infected files. Visitors can also select certain files or folders for scanning, and this iteration of Eset is compatible with computers running Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, or NT.

The Battle Over Sidewalks Continues Across the United States
Bruised Feelings and Skinned Knees Litter Suburban Sidewalk Politics

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks

Menasha residents speak out against sidewalks in Woodland Hills

How to Turn Your Streets into Sidewalks

Street and Sidewalk Design

Ten Principles for Rebuilding Neighborhood Retail [pdf]

From the Scout Report on March 18, 2011

WordPress 3.1 --- http://wordpress.org/ 

Though commonly thought of as a type of blogging application, WordPress is much more than that. Recently, WordPress released a new version of their software that includes helpful new plugins (many created by their dedicated users) and themes. Visitors can use the tutorial on their site to learn about the many uses of WordPress, and they should also look through the "Extend" area to learn about the many different customizable options available here. This version of WordPress is compatible with all operating systems, including those running Linux.

Grooveshark --- http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/ 

If you're the type of person who would just like to let the music play, then Grooveshark may be just the thing for you. This program allows users to go ahead and search for music they might be interested in, or they can also listen to a very wide range of stations, including those dedicated to classical, rock, indie, rap, pop, and electronica. Visitors can also sign up to become a member of Grooveshark, and they can also find out what staff members (aka "sharks") are listening to in their spare time. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 2000 and newer

New York unveils a new plan to transform the city's waterfront Tapping into NYC's most liquid assets http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110313/FREE/303139960 

City Reclaims Waterfront as "Sixth Borough"

Staten Island's waterfront is getting a makeover

Waterfront Vision & Enhancement Strategy http://www.nyc.gov/html/waves/html/home/home.shtml 

The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge http://www.waterfrontmuseum.org/ 

A Brief History of the Gowanus Canal http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/topic/57886/


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

Education Tutorials

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: Statway [education statistics] --- http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/statway

Teaching Time Savers --- http://www.maa.org/features/TeachingTimeSavers.html

Outside Online --- http://outsideonline.com/

Harvard Thinks Big
Ten Videos (10 minutes each) by Ten Harvard Professors

"Enabling Vibrant Learning Communities," Chronicle of Higher Education, March 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on tools and systems for online learning ---

Bob Jensen's threads for online training and education alternatives ---

Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side ---

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology in general ---


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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Biology That Makes Us Tick: Free Stanford Course by Robert Sapolsky --- Click Here

Genetics@nature.com --- http://www.nature.com/genetics/index.html

Applied Math and Science Educational Repository --- http://amser.org.

Video Lectures from the National Science Foundation
Voices From The Future http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/voices/index.jsp

Environmental History Podcast http://www.eh-resources.org/podcast/podcast.html

Kidney Disease of Diabetes --- http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/kdd/index.htm

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

"Video:  Behavioral Finance from PBS Nova," by Jim Mahar, Finance Professor Blog, March 27, 2011---
Bob Jensen's threads on behavioral finance and economics

United Nations Global Issues --- http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/

Institute of Transportation Studies: Videos --- http://its.berkeley.edu/videolibrary

Freedom House Collection (Boston, Civil Rights) --- http://www.lib.neu.edu/freedomhouse

Cornell Modern Indonesia Collection --- http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/c/cmip/browse.html

Independent Lens Strange Fruit (with a Billie Holiday historical recording) ---  http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/strangefruit/index.html

Job and Career Search Helper Site
O*Net OnLine --- http://www.onetonline.org/

Environmental History Podcast http://www.eh-resources.org/podcast/podcast.html

South Dakota Cooperative Extension Services --- http://www.sdstate.edu/sdces/index.cfm

Dateline Video
China's ghost cities may be part of a real estate bubble ---

"Alain de Botton Tweets Short Course in Political Philosophy," Open Culture, March 20, 2011 --- Click Here

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

Environmental History Podcast http://www.eh-resources.org/podcast/podcast.html

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

Math Tutorials

Applied Math and Science Educational Repository --- http://amser.org.

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

History Tutorials

Introducing the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives --- http://archives.nyphil.org/

"Alain de Botton Tweets Short Course in Political Philosophy," Open Culture, March 20, 2011 --- Click Here

Evolving English: Podcasts [iTunes] http://www.bl.uk/whatson/podcasts/exhibition/english/index.html

Cornell Modern Indonesia Collection --- http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/c/cmip/browse.html

Mark Twain --- http://www.pbs.org/marktwain/index.html

Wabash Valley Visions & Voices: A Digital Memory Project (Indiana History) --- http://visions.indstate.edu/

Freedom House Collection (Boston, Civil Rights) --- http://www.lib.neu.edu/freedomhouse

Institute of Transportation Studies: Videos --- http://its.berkeley.edu/videolibrary

John Muir Photographs (California, San Francisco, Redwoods, Forests) --- http://library.pacific.edu/ha/digital/muir/index.asp

Digital Image Collections: Indiana Historical Society --- http://www.indianahistory.org/our-collections/digital-image-collections 

Fiji Museum --- http://www.fijimuseum.org.fj/gallery.html

Exhibitions: Musée McCord Museum (Quebec) --- http://www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/keys/virtualexhibits/

First Person Arts - The First Person Museum --- http://museum.firstpersonarts.org/

Environmental History Podcast http://www.eh-resources.org/podcast/podcast.html

History, Art and Biography: National Agricultural Library --- http://riley.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=8&tax_level=1&tax_subject=3

National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collections --- http://digital.lib.umd.edu/ntlpostcards.jsp?pid=umd:15237

Independent Lens Strange Fruit (with a Billie Holiday historical recording) ---  http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/strangefruit/index.html

Sarasota History Alive! --- http://www.sarasotahistoryalive.com/

Vivienne Westwood (clothing design for the punk generation) --- http://www3.fitnyc.edu/museum/vivienne_westwood/

James H. Doolittle Collection (World War II) --- http://libtreasures.utdallas.edu/xmlui/handle/10735.1/1522

NGC@MOCCA is a three-year partnership between the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). The two museums will co-organize a series of exhibitions in the galleries at MOCCA, using artwork selected from the NGC's collections

Video:  I am Israel - Yerushalayim Version --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4bM2QG3r-I

Amazing Facts About Israel (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxK6OwIpK5o

LIFE (photos) in Israel in 1948 – Part 1 --- http://benatlas.com/2009/07/life-in-israel-in-1948-part-1/

Computing History Tidbit
"Dot Obits: First Woman to Design Computer," by Curt Hopkins, ReadWriteWeb Blog, March 25, 2011 ---

How the Internet Began (Humor) --- http://home.comcast.net/~singingman7777/Beginning.htm
Link forwarded by Barry Rice

Computing History Timeline --- http://trillian.randomstuff.org.uk/~stephen/history/timeline.html
Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing

Media College (New Zealand: Tutorials on Production of Multi-media) --- http://www.mediacollege.com/

American University Computer History Museum --- http://www.computinghistorymuseum.org/ 

The Apple (Computer) Museum  --- http://www.theapplemuseum.com/ 

A History of Microsoft Windows (slide show from Wired News) --- http://www.wired.com/gadgets/pcs/multimedia/2007/01/wiredphotos31

Oldcomputers.com  --- http://www.old-computers.com/news/default.asp

"Video:  Behavioral Finance from PBS Nova," by Jim Mahar, Finance Professor Blog, March 27, 2011---

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

Evolving English: Podcasts [iTunes] http://www.bl.uk/whatson/podcasts/exhibition/english/index.html

Harvard Thinks Big
Ten Videos (10 minutes each) by Ten Harvard Professors

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

Music Tutorials

Independent Lens Strange Fruit (with a Billie Holiday historical recording) ---  http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/strangefruit/index.html

Introducing the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives --- http://archives.nyphil.org/

This talented guitar player is also our UPS driver up in these mountains
B.B. King Blues Guitar Solo Improv by Joey Vaughan "World Blues Attack" PRS
Joe also has a degree in finance and is about as nice a guy as you will find up here in the snow
For his other videos search for "Joey Vaughan" on YouTube --- http://www.youtube.com/ 

Free Grateful Dead Concert Archive --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at


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/

March 16, 2011

March 17, 2011

March 18, 2011

March 19, 2011

March 23, 2011

March 24, 2011

March 25, 2011

March 26, 2011

March 28, 2011

March 29, 2011


Kidney Disease of Diabetes --- http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/kdd/index.htm

Video:  Two dogs dining in busy restaurant (neither one grabs for the check) ---

One of the Most Famous Episodes on NBC's Tonight Show (Johnny Carson)
Why the Japanese didn't conquer Oklahoma. --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6YB68DQXZk

"Squirrel rescued from toilet by Goose," by Simon Garner, Metro (in the United Kingdom), March 28, 2011 ---

Duncan Goose, 42, was in Malawi to check on aid projects backed by his company's One projects when he rescued the forlorn animal.

He was preparing for bed in his hotel room when he discovered the struggling squirrel.

He said: 'I was concerned it was going to jump out and bite me, so I put the lid back down and left it for a minute as I wasn't sure what to do.'

When he returned shortly after to take a second look he realised it was a squirrel and set about rescuing the poor critter.

His method was putting a hand towel down the toilet which allowed the squirrel to climb up.

Once out he placed it in a laundry basket, took it outside and released it.

Mr Goose said: 'It didn't seem too much the worse for wear so hopefully it's recovered from the experience and will go on to have a happy life devoid of toilet bowl experiences.'

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/859324-squirrel-rescued-from-toilet-by-goose#ixzz1HvihyovB

Jensen Comment
We might suspect that the squirrel was just looking for nuts, but that might be taking this Goose story a bit too far.

Years ago when I was living on the Bay Area the San Francisco Chronicle reported a story that a woman discovered a boa constrictor rising up in her commode.. The snake apparently had it's tail sticking up in its owner's apartment and the head sticking up in the neighboring apartment. I wonder if this became the start of a beautiful friendship between neighbors? I doubt it!

Maxine Claims She's Grown Rich

O.M.G., I'm rich!

Silver in the Hair
Gold in the Teeth
Crystals in the Kidneys
Sugar in the Blood
Lead in the Ass
Iron in the Arteries
An inexhaustible supply of Natural Gas.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol...Dead.

The second worm in cigarette smoke...Dead.

Third worm in chocolate syrup...Dead. 

Fourth worm in good clean soil...Alive .

So the Minister asked the congregation, What did you learn from this demonstration?

Maxine was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,
'As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!'

That pretty much ended the service!


Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.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/

Find a College
College Atlas --- http://www.collegeatlas.org/
Among other things the above site provides acceptance rate percentages
Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---


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.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

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

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


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

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.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