November 20, 2009
Every GM Vehicle Sold Costs Taxpayers $12,200, Says National Taxpayers Union
The American taxpayer has put up $12,200 for every General Motors vehicle sold through the beginning of 2011, and $7,600 for every Chrysler vehicle sold as well, according to a new report issued by the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).
The report, The Auto Bailout - A Taxpayer Quagmire, is authored by NTU Adjunct Scholar Thomas D. Hopkins, Professor of Economics at Rochester Institute of Technology. Hopkins held senior management positions in two White House agencies during the Ford, Carter and Reagan Administrations. In the early 1980's, he served as Deputy Administrator, Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, in the Office of Management & Budget.
Photo: 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD LTZ Extended Cab.
"Every time someone in your neighborhood drives home in a shiny new Chevy Silverado, remember that it cost American taxpayers more than $12,000," said Pete Sepp, NTU Vice President for Policy and Communications.
The study found that the average American taxpaying family has invested roughly $800 in the auto bailouts so far. Moreover, the study found, the government support poured into General Motors, Chrysler, and GMAC - the financing subsidiary that supports sales at both - now stands at $78.9 billion. Given that figure, and an estimate of how many vehicles GM and Chrysler will sell through the end of 2010, the study finds that each vehicle one of the bailed-out companies sells costs taxpayers $10,700.
Finally, breaking down the costs by company, the study reports that every Chrysler vehicle sold costs taxpayers $7,600, and every GM vehicle sold costs taxpayers $12,200.
The research is based upon a November study released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), entitled "Continued Stewardship Needed as Treasury Develops Strategies for Monitoring and Divesting Financial Interests in Chrysler and GM," a follow-up report on the "Troubled Asset Relief Program," as well as statements and reports released from the U.S. Treasury.
The study also found that during the first ten months of 2009, GM and Chrysler sales fell further than other major auto producers, down 33.4 percent and 38.9 percent, respectively.
Photo: US Treasury Department, Washington, DC, USA.
"While the prospect of repayment of GM and Chrysler loans might be expected, after bankruptcy the vast majority of the bailout funds are no longer legal obligations of the newly-structured GM and Chrysler," the study concludes. "If Americans are to believe public officials' claims that the government will eventually reprivatize the auto industry, the necessity of a thoughtful exit plan is essential. However, at this time no such plan exists, making it likely that the Treasury will not recover its investment."
Source: National Taxpayers Union, 108 North Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314, USA.
"The names 'GM' and 'General Motors' continue to take a beating.
But the value of the name 'Chevrolet' (as well as that of 'Cadillac' and 'Buick') remains unaffected. It is the same it was 20 or 30 years ago.
If GM had projected 'Chevrolet' as its flagship brand (it may do so even today!), it would have boosted the buyers' confidence in all its brands and nameplates and would have restored the investors' confidence in the company."
© GlobalGiants.Com. All Rights Reserved.
Posted by Editors at 8:16 AM
November 5, 2009
General Colin Powell Receives American Patriot of Character Award
U.S. Civil servant and retired Army General honored for "outstanding service to America, commitment to ethical conduct"
General Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, received the American Patriot of Character Award presented by The Character Education Partnership during their 16th annual National Forum on Character Education, in Alexandria, VA.
The American Patriot of Character Award honors one American citizen whose leadership exemplifies the very best of the nation's founding principles.
"The award recognizes individuals not only for great success in their chosen field, but also for upholding the highest ethical standards in service of the common good." "General Powell is a remarkable public servant who has truly made a positive difference in our nation," CEP's executive director Joe Mazzola said. "He is a shining example of integrity for young people, and all American citizens, to emulate. We are honored to have him as the first recipient of this award."
In his acceptance remarks Powell talked about his family's emphasis on good character and achievement.
General Powell also congratulated the National Schools of Character award winners who were in attendance to receive their awards. He commended the educators for their efforts to develop students of good character.
Character Education Partnership advocates for quality, comprehensive character education in U.S. schools. It is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition of organizations and individuals based in Washington, DC.
Source: Character Education Partnership
"Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character."
-- Albert Einstein
Posted by Editors at 9:15 AM
October 28, 2009
Students from Top Academic Institutions Choose The World's Top 50 Most Attractive Employers
Compiled from 11 out of the 12 leading economies, nearly 120,000 students from top academic institutions chose their ideal companies to work for.
Google is the world's most attractive employer, followed closely by its rival, Microsoft. This is the only global index of employer attractiveness and highlights the world's most powerful employer brands, i.e., those companies that are the most successful in talent attraction and retention.
The study has been conducted by Universum. Universum is a global Employer Branding company. It is headquartered in Sweden and has presence in more than 28 countries.
Employers today are faced with a shrinking global workforce, a lack of skilled workers and an increasingly demanding generation of new talent. To secure talent under these conditions, employers must develop true and differentiating employer brands. The employers that feature in this Top 50 all have one thing in common: they successfully appeal to current and future talent, and they are aware of how scarce talent is.
The global ranking is based on the national rankings that Universum conducts annually all over the world. The companies that are featured in at least eight out of the twelve leading economies were included in the global ranking, and the 50 most attractive employers were identified. The countries represented in the Global Top 50 rankings are the US, Japan, China, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Russia, Spain, Canada and India.
• Despite it being one of the toughest years for car manufactures, BMW and Daimler appear in the Global Top 50 rankings.
The Big Four accountancy and professionals service firms; financial services companies and management consultancies, still remain strong. In spite of this year being one of worst recessions since the Second World War, they remain globally attractive employers and are especially popular with business students. IT employers are highly placed in the engineering ranking, which can be expected, with Google, Microsoft and IBM in the top three.
The fast moving consumer goods companies and employers in the retail sector are also attractive employers, recognised for their universal appeal as employers in the graduate recruitment market, attracting students from both a business and engineering background.
"These companies in the Top 50 really work with employer branding strategically. The Big Four, for example, are all in the top 10 business ranking, as they have employer branding as part of their business strategy. Many associate their corporate brands to people. This is normal for the service industry, but it is a new approach for other companies" says Michal Kalinowski, Universum CEO. "These companies are in the Top 50 because they are focused, consistent and differentiate themselves in their communication."
Irrespective of rank, the Top 50 Global Employers for business and engineering students are very similar, showing strong employer brands transcend many skill and industry groups. Conversely, Oracle and Philip Morris make it to the Top 50 for business students, but not for engineering students. GlaxoSmithKline and Alcatel-Lucent appear in the engineering ranking, yet not in the business ranking.
What the rankings most certainly reveal is that the big multinational brands are favored. Due to the globalization of the talent market, multinational companies are generally recognized as being attractive employers. Findings from Universum's various student surveys show that students would like a good career reference, an international career and an employer that can offer secure employment. Lovisa Ã–hnell, head of research and consulting at Universum, comments, "These multinational brands are globally well-known, they offer relocation opportunities and business travel, interaction with clients and colleagues in various countries, and due to their size and economic strength, they are also seen as being the safest choice."
• GLOBAL TOP 50 - ACCORDING TO BUSINESS STUDENTS
Company - Ranking 2009
Google - 1
PricewaterhouseCoopers - 2
Microsoft - 3
Goldman Sachs - 4
Ernst & Young - 5
Procter & Gamble - 6
J.P. Morgan - 7
KPMG - 8
McKinsey & Company - 9
Deloitte - 10
The Boston Consulting Group - 11
BMW - 12
Coca-Cola - 13
L'Oréal - 14
Morgan Stanley - 15
Sony - 16
IBM - 17
Johnson & Johnson - 18
Deutsche Bank - 19
General Electric - 20
Citigroup - 21
HSBC - 22
Accenture - 23
Nestlé - 24
Credit Suisse - 25
Bain & Company - 26
Unilever - 27
UBS - 28
Nokia - 29
Intel - 30
Esso/ExxonMobil - 31
Kraft Foods - 32
Shell - 33
Hewlett-Packard - 34
Mars (Masterfoods) - 35
Pfizer - 36
Siemens - 37
Philips - 38
Oracle - 39
Bayer - 40
Philip Morris - 41
DHL - 42
BP - 43
Bosch - 44
Cisco - 45
Daimler - 46
Ericsson - 47
ABB - 48
Novartis - 49
Schlumberger - 50
• GLOBAL TOP 50 - ACCORDING TO ENGINEERING STUDENTS
Company Ranking 2009
Google - 1
Microsoft - 2
IBM - 3
BMW - 4
Intel - 5
General Electric - 6
Sony - 7
Siemens - 8
Shell - 9
Procter & Gamble - 10
Johnson & Johnson - 11
Hewlett-Packard - 12
Cisco - 13
Esso/ExxonMobil - 14
McKinsey & Company - 15
Schlumberger - 16
BP - 17
L'Oréal - 18
Nokia - 19
Accenture - 20
Coca-Cola - 21
Philips - 22
Goldman Sachs - 23
Nestlé - 24
Pfizer - 25
Bosch - 26
The Boston Consulting Group - 27
J.P. Morgan - 28
Deloitte - 29
Morgan Stanley - 30
GlaxoSmithKline - 31
Ericsson - 32
Ernst & Young - 33
ABB - 34
Bayer - 35
Unilever - 36
PricewaterhouseCoopers - 37
Deutsche Bank - 38
HSBC - 39
Kraft Foods - 40
Bain & Company - 41
Citigroup - 42
Alcatel-Lucent - 43
Daimler - 44
Novartis - 45
Mars (Masterfoods) - 46
KPMG - 47
Credit Suisse - 48
DHL - 49
UBS - 50
The Global Top 50 rankings are based on the employer preferences of nearly 120,000 final year students, who were surveyed at the top academic institutions in the world's 11 largest economies. The global rankings are based on the annual surveys conducted on a global level in 2009. Each student is presented with a list of 130 to 150 national and international employers, chosen by university students through an independent and structured nomination and assessment process. On a global level, this represents 800 considered employers. Students acknowledge those companies they would consider working for. Out of the companies selected as 'considered employers', each student then selects his or her five Ideal Employers. The Global Top 50 is based on the frequency of being selected as an Ideal Employer overall within 11 markets: US, Japan, China, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Russia, Spain, Canada and India.
• The Global Top 50 is the most comprehensive study ever conducted on employer attractiveness.
• This Practical Global Business Study is being presented for the First Time.
Posted by Editors at 6:34 AM
September 25, 2009
New York City Green Buildings Program Launch: Building Owners, Union Leader Joined By Mayor Bloomberg
Labor-Management Program to Train 1,000 Building Supers.
Photo: New York Mayor Bloomberg, along with union president Mike Fishman, launched a green building worker training program at an apartment building in Manhattan on Friday, September 25, 2009. The One Year, One Thousand Supers program, said the mayor, "is a smart, practical, effective way to help make the Big apple green.".
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Realty Advisory Board President Jim Berg and 32BJ President Mike Fishman today in launching an ambitious green buildings program to train one thousand superintendents and resident managers in one year in the latest energy efficient practices.
The launch of One Year, One Thousand Green Supers, which took place at a downtown apartment building, was attended by Jeff Brodsky, President of Related Management, and James O'Connor, President of Douglas Elliman, two of the first companies to have their employees participate in this labor-management green buildings program.
"By working together, 32BJ and New York's building owners have put into place a smart, practical and effective way to help make the Big Apple green," said Mayor Bloomberg. "One Year, One Thousand Green Supers provides a low-cost way to make our buildings more energy and cost efficient, and our environment cleaner, all while saving our city millions of dollars."
"With 77 percent of our city's greenhouse gas emissions generated by buildings, we must all work together to protect the environment," said Mike Fishman. "Making the Big Apple green starts with recognizing the vital role of building service workers."
• With more than 85,000 members in six states and Washington, DC, SEIU Local 32BJ is the largest property service workers union in the country. The union represents window cleaners, doormen, building maintenance workers, cleaners, porters, and security officers in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia.
• One Year, One Thousand Green Supers is part of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund. The program is a 40 hour class that provides building service workers with the latest, state-of-the-art practices in energy efficient operations. The curriculum trains workers to identify and address wasted energy, create a green operating plan and perform cost-benefit analysis for building owners and managers.
"By learning how to air seal a building, improve heating and air conditioning performance and reduce overall energy use in a building's common areas, graduates can achieve substantial savings at their buildings," said Linda Nelson, Director of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund. The third and final pilot class of building service workers in the program is set to graduate next week.
• The Fund's programs provide 150,000 hours of industry, academic, and computer courses at over 20 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
• The One Year, One Thousand Supers curriculum combines classes and field exercises with elective courses, including renewable technologies, green roofs and water reuse.
With a growing demand for greener buildings, smarter management practices could reduce energy use in buildings by twenty to forty percent, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Source: SEIU Local 32BJ
Posted by Editors at 10:46 PM
September 4, 2009
Climate Change: Helena Christensen Witnesses its Impacts in Peru
Photo: Model and photographer Helena Christensen traveled to Peru with humanitarian organization Oxfam to document the impacts of climate change on poor people ahead of an important global conference on climate. Photo Credit: Jason Mcdonald/Oxfam.
Model and photographer Helena Christensen traveled with international humanitarian organization Oxfam to her mother's native country to witness and document the dramatic effects that climate change is having on poor people today in Peru.
"The impacts of climate change are extremely severe in the areas we visited," said Christensen in Peru today. "The farmers we met and talked to are already living very hard lives, and are now being forced to adapt to the effects of the rapidly changing climate."
Christensen has documented the trip with a series of photographs that will be exhibited in New York, Washington, London and at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December. A short film of the expedition, captured by award-winning Director Richard Bullock, will also be shown.
"One of the women I spoke to, Elizabeth Ayma, told me that because rainfall are less frequent now and impossible to predict due to the climate changes, this is having a huge effect on crop production," said Christensen. "As a result, her family has less food to eat and less produce to sell, resulting in her not being able to afford her children's school fees. The lack of nutritional vegetables also affects her family's health."
"Climate change in Peru is already devastating and we welcome Helena's commitment to show this to the rest of the world. Peru is on the frontline of climate change, along with other developing countries, which have played little part in causing the problem," said Frank Boeren, Oxfam's coordinator in Peru. "It is crucial that rich leaders do the right thing at Copenhagen so that we can begin to stop run away climate change and protect vulnerable people around the world."
"We are at a critical tipping point. We need to put pressure on our governments in order for them to take the necessary, radical steps that are needed. There's no time left, it is absolutely imperative to act now," said Christensen.
Source: Oxfam America
Posted by Editors at 1:29 PM
September 2, 2009
Virtuoso Violinist Itzhak Perlman and New York Philharmonic to Join Rotary's Effort to End Polio
Rotary International is joining violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic, led by Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Daniel Boico, to present the Concert to End Polio. It will be a benefit performance supporting the global effort to eradicate this disabling childhood disease.
The Concert to End Polio will take place on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City. Program information will be announced at a later date.
Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. The Orchestra is also renowned around the globe, having appeared in 425 cities in 59 countries on five continents.
Polio eradication resonates strongly with Mr. Perlman, who contracted the disease at age four and overcame serious physical challenges to become one of the world's most celebrated musicians. In this historic, one-night-only performance -- his first with the New York Philharmonic in four years -- Mr. Perlman will help Rotary in its effort to raise $200 million to match a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the resulting $555 million will fund critical eradication activities in developing countries where polio still threatens children.
Rotary International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. Since then, ending polio has been Rotary's top priority, and tremendous progress has been made.
Rotary is an international humanitarian service organization made up of more than 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, with a total membership of 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders.
Source: Rotary International
Posted by Editors at 9:04 AM
August 1, 2009
United Political and Military Leaders From China, India, Pakistan, and Britain Respond to Obama Prague Speech and to Obama Medvedev Joint Statement on Nuclear Weapons
All Nuclear Powers Should Commit to Multi-Lateral Negotiations for Elimination of All Nuclear Weapons.
Political and military leaders at the forefront of the Global Zero initiative, a nonpartisan international effort to achieve a phased, verifiable plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide, have expressed support for President Obama's Prague speech and the newly announced U.S.-Russian effort to eliminate nuclear weapons. And they have called on their own governments to commit now to participating in multi-lateral negotiations for an agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide. In his speech in April, President Obama had said he will "seek to include all nuclear weapons states in this endeavor."
Air Chief Marshal (ret.) Shashindra Pal Tyagi, former Indian Air Force Chief "India has always supported the vision of a nuclear weapons free world. Now that the leaders of the U.S. and Russia have declared their desire to achieve Global Zero, India needs to actively support the movement and participate in a multi-national initiative to ensure a phased, verifiable and time-bound program to eliminate all nuclear weapons."
K. Shankar Bajpai, former Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of India "The US-Russia summit commitment to achieving Global Zero is as heartening as it is vital. These are the two powers who must set, not just the pace, but the example we can and must all follow. To be clear, Global Zero does not rest with partial disarmament: all states must abandon all nuclear weapons. I am privileged to be among those supporting this vital cause and to join in urging all states, not least my own, to follow up on the US-Russian statement, swiftly and constructively."
Gen. (Ret.) Jehangir Karamat, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pakistan "The Obama-Medvedev declaration is a very real and tangible step towards reduction of nuclear weapons and transcends regional and other concerns. Pakistan should, and I am sure will, be supportive of this initiative."
Maj. Gen. (retired) Peng Guangqian, Chinese Defense Analyst "Elimination of all nuclear weapons globally is a long process, but most importantly, the U.S. and Russia have taken the first step. China always advocates a complete ban and ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons. As a country with nuclear weapons, China has demonstrated that it will not avoid the responsibility and obligation in nuclear disarmament."
Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary, Defense Secretary of the United Kingdom "It is critical that all of the other nuclear powers commit now to participating in multi-lateral negotiations on an agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide - Global Zero. Getting to Global Zero will require the phased and verified reduction of all nations' nuclear arsenals over many years. It is urgent that we begin now."
Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Senator "The launch of the North Korean missile - in addition to demanding the aggressive pursuit of the six-party talks - should be viewed as an urgent call for the leaders of all the nuclear countries to support Presidents Obama's and Medvedev's bold and historic effort to achieve the only real and lasting solution to proliferation and nuclear terrorism: the elimination of all nuclear weapons - Global Zero."
"Of course -- as is always the case in serious negotiations -- there are a host of difficult issues that must be resolved in order to reach a new arms control agreement," said Ambassador Richard Burt, who was the top U.S. negotiator for the START 1 negotiations and now leads Global Zero. "But the presidents' joint statements today make it clear that they will not let these issues stand in the way of the priority goal they set April 1: establishing joint U.S.-Russian leadership to reduce their two arsenals and to lead an international effort for the elimination of all nuclear arsenals to zero."
"The key to achieving global nuclear disarmament is the improvement of US Russia relations," said Senator Mikhail Margelov, Chair of the Committee of International Relations in the Russian Federation Council and a founding member of the Global Zero initiative. "We face a number of stumbling blocks including the expansion of NATO and missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, but these are issues we can work through. Our main goal must be to create a world without nuclear weapons."
Global Zero is spearheaded by a group of more than 100 leaders worldwide, including many who have worked at senior levels with issues of national security such as former heads of state, former foreign ministers, former defense ministers, former national security advisors, and more than 20 former top military commanders.
Meanwhile, former senator Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative, has issued a statement saying "I strongly support the commitment made by the leaders of the G8 nations meeting in Italy to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons and to work together to reinforce global nonproliferation efforts."
"The leaders of the G8 nations have laid out an ambitious nonproliferation agenda that recognizes the fundamental principle that we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe. Most importantly, they understand that the essential steps required to reduce nuclear dangers must be accomplished together -- with the cooperation of all nations," says Nunn. "We must do all we can to prevent nuclear weapons and materials from getting into dangerous hands, to prevent their proliferation and, ultimately, to end them as a threat to the world."
Sources: Global Zero, Nuclear Threat Initiative.
"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time as come."
-- Victor Hugo
"There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte
Posted by Editors at 3:25 AM
July 16, 2009
America's Best Hospitals 2009-10 As Ranked By U.S. News Media Group
U.S. News Media Group today announced the 2009-10 publication of America's Best Hospitals, accessible today online and on sale at newsstands Tuesday, July 21.
Now in its 20th year, the multi-platform 2009-10 America's Best Hospitals guide is the most extensive hospital ranking to-date. It includes rankings of 174 medical centers nationwide in 16 specialties -- with full data available online for another 1,500 unranked hospitals. In addition, the Best Hospitals "Honor Roll" highlights 21 medical centers that were ranked at or near the top in at least six specialties.
The 16 ranked specialties are cancer; diabetes & endocrine disorders; digestive disorders; ear, nose, and throat; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology.
"When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for someone close to you," said Avery Comarow, health rankings editor. "These are hospitals that are used to getting the sickest patients."
The 2009-10 Best Hospitals guide also includes a web video series on USNews.com where visitors can watch HealthiNation Chief Medical Editor Dr. Holly Atkinson interview Comarow and Dr. Bernadine Healy, U.S. News health editor, to capture their expertise and insight into the Best Hospitals ranking process. The videos take viewers behind the scenes of the rigorous selection process, include profiles of top winners across categories, and reveal what it takes for a hospital to be named one of "America's Best."
"Over the past two decades, America's Best Hospitals has proven to be an essential resource for consumers facing difficult healthcare decisions," said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S. News & World Report.
Of the medical centers ranked in the 2009-10 America's Best Hospitals, 21 earned Honor Roll status, demonstrating excellence and breadth of expertise by ranking at or near the top in at least six specialties.
The top hospitals in the 2009-10 Honor Roll are:
1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
3. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
4. Cleveland Clinic
5. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
7. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
8. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
9. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
10. Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
10. Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
12. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
13. UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
14. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor
15. Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, Calif.
16. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville
17. NYU Medical Center, New York
17. Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.
19. Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York
20. Methodist Hospital, Houston
21. Ohio State University Hospital, Columbus
In addition to the hospitals that appear in one or more specialty rankings in the print magazine, the 2009-10 America's Best Hospitals package includes an online consumer guide where readers can find information on more than 1,500 hospitals that qualified for rankings, but did not score high enough to be ranked.
Source: U.S. News Media Group
"The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm."
-- Florence Nightingale
Posted by Editors at 11:05 PM
July 6, 2009
UNESCO and Microsoft Announce Higher Education ICT Task Force for Long-Term Skills and Sustainable Development
Collaboration to promote greater access and use of ICT for higher education enhancements.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Microsoft Corporation today announced in Paris a joint task force to help higher education institutions worldwide meet the growing challenge of supporting economic stimulus efforts and work-force development strategies. The UNESCO-Microsoft Task Force on Higher Education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will create a strategic plan of action to identify how ICT can be used by governments as a catalyst for change.
The announcement was made at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE), which opened today and is being attended by close to 100 ministers of education, senior education officials and policy advisors. The WCHE is also focusing on critical issues around reduced funding for education globally as a result of the economic crisis and the need for governments to find affordable measures for short-term skills training and work force enhancement in support of economic recovery and growth. Many delegations in attendance from developing regions emphasized the longer-term challenges of sustainable higher education reform and capacity-building.
The UNESCO-Microsoft Task Force on Higher Education and ICT will analyze the findings and recommendations of the WCHE, in addition to feedback from global higher education experts and stakeholders, to identify key initiatives that will promote more effective use of ICT in post-secondary teaching, learning and research.
"Higher education is increasingly strategic for building up skilled work forces in countries. Our focus has been on ensuring that tertiary institutions address the key long-term requirements of our increasingly knowledge-based societies and that students today are best equipped to drive and support economic growth and to address major development challenges from education to health to the environment," said Nicholas Burnett, UNESCO assistant director-general for education. "Through the creation of the UNESCO-Microsoft Task Force on Higher Education and ICT we will help mobilize critical strategic resources to better assist ministries of education worldwide."
The current economic downturn combined with rising demand for higher education places governments under enormous pressure to fund enhancements in higher education and support programs needed to train the next generation of work forces with the new skills necessary for economic recovery. Under the umbrella of the UNESCO-Microsoft Task Force on Higher Education and ICT and through the Microsoft Education Alliance , Microsoft will provide a tailored package of resources for short-term higher education enhancements, including curriculum, training and affordable access to collaboration and development software.
"We believe that technology has a vital role to play in building up 21st-century skills, broadening access to education and personalizing the learning experience to adapt teaching to the unique needs of each learner," said Michael Golden, corporate vice president, Education Products Group at Microsoft. "This program makes technology resources more accessible than ever before to governments and students across the world. We will continue to support UNESCO and our newly formed UNESCO-Microsoft Task Force on Higher Education and ICT in every way we can."
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the UN agency responsible for the promotion of international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.
Posted by Editors at 10:11 AM
July 2, 2009
Companies Stockpiling Cash, Credit Access Still Tight
42% increase short-term holdings; most move to more conservative vehicles.
With little easing in access to credit, U.S. organizations are continuing to stockpile cash, according the Association for Financial Professionals' 2009 Liquidity Survey. Almost three-quarters (72%) of companies had increased or maintained their U.S. cash balances during the first part of 2009.
According to the new AFP survey, 42% of organizations increased their U.S. cash and short-term investment balances between December 2008 and May 2009, while 30% saw no significant change in short-term cash balances. More than a quarter (28%) of organizations saw their U.S. cash and short-term investment balances deteriorate over the six-month period. Organizations with non-investment grade ratings were more likely to have seen their cash and short-term investment balances shrink.
"Despite unprecedented government action, the lack of any significant thaw in short-term credit access is extremely troubling and many companies are reacting by stockpiling cash," said Jim Kaitz, President and CEO of AFP. "While, many organizations with their strong cash positions will be well-positioned once the economy begins to improve, overall economic conditions will not improve until organizations can begin using their cash in activities that foster growth."
The fourth annual AFP 2009 Liquidity Survey was underwritten by The Bank of New York Mellon.
Despite reports of an easing in the corporate credit markets, over half (59%) of respondents indicated that their organizations' access to short-term credit had not changed significantly since the beginning of 2009. A larger percentage of organizations reported that credit was less available (27%) than those who indicated that credit access had improved (14%). Two-thirds expect their access to short-term credit to remain the same over the next year.
Overall, only one-quarter (27%) of organizations expect to decrease their U.S. short-term cash and investments balances over the next year.
"The turbulence of the present period has had no small impact on the liquidity needs and practices of individuals and corporations worldwide," said Eric Kamback, the Bank of New York Mellon's CEO of Treasury Services. "The survey also revealed that many believe the tightening of available credit will persist in 2009, so conservative, safety-based investment strategies can be expected to continue."
Organizations have moved to a more conservative investment strategy for their short-term balances and have reduced the number of vehicles they use for short-term investments, allocating 78% of their short-term investment balances to three safe and liquid vehicles: bank deposits, money market mutual funds and Treasury securities.
The use of commercial paper, separately managed accounts and auction-rate securities declined significantly over the past year. While investment policies allow for the use of four or more investment vehicles, on average, organizations use 1.6 investment vehicles compared to 2.4 options in 2008, the report says.
• AFP 2009 Liquidity Survey (PDF)
Source: Association for Financial Professionals
• GlobalGiants.Com is Member of the Boxxet Network The Exxchange (Finance and the Economy)
Posted by Editors at 2:53 AM
June 29, 2009
U.S. News Media Group Launches Online University Directory
• Portal Links Students with Degree Providers
U.S. News Media Group has launched Online University Directory, an online portal focused entirely on higher education and professional and continuing education opportunities.
The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, USNews.com, and RankingsandReviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group is a leading provider of service news and information. The U.S. News Media Group's signature franchises include its "News You Can Use(R)" brand of journalism and its "America's Best" series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, and health plans.
Complementing the U.S. News rankings, the long-preferred tool for the assessment of excellence in higher education, the University Directory helps potential college-bound students and working adults further invest in their future by serving as an online marketplace where they can directly interact with colleges and universities.
The new portal (distinct from USNews.com) will provide consumers with a full range of education options, including information about both online and offline educational institutions, and will provide educational institutions with an opportunity to showcase their degree and certificate programs in a co-branded forum jointly created by U.S. News Media Group, "America's Authority on Education(R)", and Bisk Education, a facilitator of online degree and certificate programs from some of America's leading universities.
The University Directory organizes schools in multiple ways including an alphabetical directory of ranked and unranked schools in various categories.
"Not everyone is looking for a ranked school," said Brian Kelly, Editor of U.S. News. "While the University Directory has ranking information, it also provides a resource for many different kinds of students."
The site also includes interactive features and expanded sorting abilities, and will present content about degree and certificate programs from U.S. News & World Report's vast collection of the 'News You Can Use(R)' service journalism that has justifiably made it the leading source of news and information about educational opportunities in the United States. It will also feature informative content focused on providing information to consumers who are actively looking for educational opportunities.
"U.S. News & World Report is the leading resource - both in print and online - for students looking at college as well as adults searching for continuing education opportunities, and we wanted to create a website focused on these consumers and institutions," said Bill Holiber, president of U.S. News Media Group. "With Bisk Education, we found a company focused on online education with state-of-the-art technology and capabilities to create a dynamic education-focused portal. Their proven success in working with colleges and universities to bring their schools' online degree and certificate programs to students made for a natural collaboration."
Holiber explained that USNews.com - the U.S. News Media Group's flagship website - will continue to feature rankings and other college and graduate school information, along with the public policy analysis, money, and health content that has distinguished it as a leading provider of information for consumers. "However, we realized that we needed to create a site with navigation and design that was focused specifically on consumers who were in the market for higher education opportunities," Holiber said.
As part of the partnership, all advertising from colleges and universities at USNews.com and the University Directory will be sold by Bisk under the U.S. News brand. Bisk Education is the world's largest exclusive provider of professional education online. Bisk's University Alliance division facilitates the promotion and online delivery of associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as professional certificate programs from the leading traditional universities and institutions in the USA.
"Higher education institutions need a credible and trustworthy marketplace in which they can showcase educational opportunities and connect with potential students that are suited to their programs," said Nathan Bisk, Founder and Chairman of Bisk Education. "For the past 15 years, we have been at the forefront of creating and executing online and distance-learning marketing and recruitment campaigns for some of the nation's leading universities. We know how to market in the digital age and we understand the need to protect the integrity of each institution's brand while helping them connect with qualified students. The new U.S. News Directory will allow educational institutions the opportunity to meet the ever increasing demand for university based education and workforce retraining that is in such demand in today's economy."
Source: U.S. News Media Group
"Rankings attempt to quantify the value of an education. Although the collection and publication of information about such things as location, class size and programs offered is useful to students and their parents, the statistics used in the rankings do not offer that kind of information. How can the interaction between faculty and students be quantified? What kind of numbers tell you about the interests students discover as they explore new ideas and participate in scholastic and extracurricular programs? Do statistics reflect the skills in thinking, writing and analysis that students develop during the course of a well-designed and cohesive program of study?
The kinds of data used to rank schools in the U.S. News and World Report survey are not indications of educational excellence."
-- Presidents of St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland and St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
"Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them."
"The first duty of government is to see that people have food, fuel, and clothes. The second, that they have means of moral and intellectual education."
-- JOHN RUSKIN
• GlobalGiants.Com is Member of the Boxxet Network Campus Mixxer (College and Universities)
Posted by Editors at 3:12 AM
June 3, 2009
U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Monitor GM and Chrysler Restructuring
Photo: Evolution of Motor Car: The original Benz patent motor car of 1888 in the Dr. Carl Benz Automotive Museum in Ladenburg, Germany. (Photo © Daimler AG)
Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has issued the following statement on the U.S. Federal Administration's plan to restructure General Motors and the impending ruling on Chrysler:
"The future success of General Motors and Chrysler ultimately depends on whether they can profitably design and build cars that Americans and other consumers actually want to buy.
Our biggest concern with the restructuring plan announced today is the potential for governments and unions to influence production, product, workforce, and management decisions in ways that could jeopardize the automakers' chances for survival, put politics and special interests above sound business strategy, and disrupt our nation's trading relationships across the world.
For example, the UAW has said that it pressured GM to change where the company plans to produce a new line of smaller cars. And as part of the GM restructuring, the administration has reportedly closed the U.S. market to Opel and blocked Opel's forays into China so it could not compete with GM -- clear examples of market manipulation and protectionism.
If members of Congress, along with government officials from the United States to Germany to Canada, are allowed undue influence over management's decisions, then you can write this down: These companies will not return to profitability and their survival will be seriously challenged. The global talent that exists in the automotive sector must be allowed to do its job and be paid on a competitive basis. Management must be permitted to make tough decisions in a competitive global market without political interference.
So going forward, the U.S. Chamber will carefully monitor the activities of the new GM and Chrysler boards, and we will expose and fight any counterproductive influence by government, unions, or politicians over decisions that should be left to management. And we will continually insist that government reduce and eliminate its ownership stake as soon as possible."
(The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.)
Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce
"The future success of General Motors and Chrysler ultimately depends on whether they can profitably design and build cars that Americans and other consumers actually need, NOT 'actually want to buy', as the automakers have been saying all along and what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has set forth in its statement above.
If the American Eskimos want to buy Refrigerators, do not proceed to set up Refrigerator Factories. You would have to shut them down soon.
What about giving Microwave Oven Demonstration to the American Eskimos?
Diverse key considerations such as technology, powertrain, fuel consumption, safety, design, utility, environment friendliness, driving maneuverability, rising city traffic, parking problems, car buyers' purchasing powers, consumers' general likings, government regulations, practicality, and so on should lead the automaker to correctly identify those who need small cars, correctly identify those who need compact cars, correctly identify those who need SUV's, correctly identify those who need trucks, correctly identify those who need luxury cars... .
© GlobalGiants.Com. All Rights Reserved.
Posted by Editors at 2:39 PM
April 18, 2009
Halle Berry Bracelet Auction to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence
Proceeds from Online Auction to be Donated to the Jenesse Center.
Photo: Bracelet featured in Halle Berry fragrance ad to be auctioned off for charity.
Academy Award-winning actress and beauty icon Halle Berry will auction off a unique, hand-carved rose gold cuff bracelet this week to show her support for families dealing with the devastating effects of domestic violence. As of April 15th, consumers can place bids through CharityBuzz.com for the chance to own this signature piece. The cuff bracelet was designed exclusively for Halle Berry to wear in the advertising campaign for her debut fragrance, Halle by Halle Berry. Net proceeds generated by the auction will be donated to the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program.
Designed by Gara Danielle, this stunning cuff bracelet was inspired by Halle Berry's natural beauty and was designed specifically for Halle to wear on set at the making of her fragrance campaign in Ohahu, Hawaii. Now anyone can have the opportunity to own a replica of the bracelet and support this cause by bidding on charitybuzz.com. Made from 14K rose gold plate over sterling silver, this adjustable cuff is valued at $4,000.
The Jenesse Center is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1980 and provides help to victims of domestic violence with a comprehensive centralized base of support through facilities, education and health programs, case management, and legal services.
Source: Coty Beauty
Posted by Editors at 10:04 AM
April 3, 2009
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Forum to focus on How Cities can Lead the Way to a Global Economic Recovery
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to Headline UIC's Fifth Annual Richard J. Daley Urban Forum.
Photo: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden with Mayor Richard M. Daley at the Chicago Global Cities Forum. (City of Chicago, Antonio Dickey) [Photo Added: May 1, 2009]
PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING COMPUTER SCIENCE FACILITY
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Daley family will host the fifth annual Richard J. Daley Urban Forum, titled "Global Economic Recovery: Cities Lead the Way." U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will give the keynote address at this year's Forum, which will be held on Monday, April 27 beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the UIC campus.
The Forum will bring together municipal leaders from around the world, business leaders, public officials, policymakers, leading scholars and commentators for an intimate and interactive dialogue that examines the vital role cities will play in a successful recovery from today's global economic crisis.
Vice President Biden will be joined at the Forum by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and a rich host of panelists providing diverse perspectives about how cities are crucial to recovery, what kinds of obstacles exist and the kinds of imaginative steps cities are already taking.
"We are thrilled and honored to have Vice President Biden join us for this year's Forum," said Mayor Daley. "President Obama and Vice President Biden understand the great role cities play in driving the larger economy. By working collaboratively, sharing innovative ideas and unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit and imagination, cities can lead our nation to a healthy and much needed economic recovery."
The Forum will feature three panels: "Economic Recovery and Urban Reinvestment," addressing the impact of national stimulus plans and regional and local initiatives on urban areas as well as key obstacles to these recovery efforts; "Economic Revitalization: Education and Healthcare," exploring how cities--as the center of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship--can take the imaginative steps needed to climb out of today's world recession in a way that reaches far beyond urban areas; and a "Global Town Meeting" where mayors from more than 30 global cities will offer examples of innovative programs from their own cities in response to the global economic crisis. Panel formats are subject to change.
"The Forum has become a significant venue for the exchange of ideas and the exploration of strategies that address social and economic issues confronting urban communities in the United States and around the globe," said UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares. "In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world's people lived in urban areas. This global demographic change contributes to the urgency of the forum. Thus, UIC is proud to host this event."
Photo: Chicago Skyscrapers seen from Navy Pier
The current economic crisis has imperiled both public and private finance and cost millions of citizens their jobs, homes and access to healthcare and education. While cities have been among the hardest hit economically, they also contribute the majority of the world's economic gross product and are responsible for most new job creation. Therefore, urban vitality is crucial to recovery.
Participants in this year's Forum include Marshall M. Bouton, President, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Victoria J. Chou, Dean, College of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago; Carol Coletta, President and Chief Executive Officer, CEOs for Cities; Richard M. Daley, Mayor, City of Chicago; Bruce Katz, Vice President, Brookings Institution; Michael H. Moskow, Former President, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Senior Fellow, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Norbert Riedel, Corporate Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Baxter International, Inc. and Bernard Shaw, principal anchor emeritus, CNN.
The Urban Forum, held at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., is open to the public. The registration fee will be waived for all UIC faculty, staff and students, as well as students from other universities. Students attending the Forum must present a valid college ID on the day of the event.
Cities expected to be represented at this year's forum include: Algiers, Algeria; Bangkok, Thailand; Beijing, China; Belgrade, Serbia; Bogota, Colombia; Busan, Republic of Korea; Cartagena, Colombia; Casablanca, Morocco; Chicago, USA; Doha, Qatar; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Galway, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Hamburg, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Kyiv, Ukraine; Lahore, Pakistan; Manila, The Philippines; Moscow, Russia; Nairobi, Kenya; Paris, France; Petach Tikva, Israel; Prague, Czech Republic; Reykjavik, Iceland; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Shenyang, China; Soriano, Uruguay; Tripoli, Lebanon; Vilnius, Lithuania and Windsor, Canada. Participating cities are subject to change.
Photo: Chicago Skyline
The 2009 Forum will be partially funded through sponsors including American Airlines, Ariel Investments, AT&T, Bank of America, Baxter, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Boeing, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago White Sox, DLA Piper, Exelon, Gibsons, Grosvenor Capital Management L.P., Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, The MacArthur Foundation and the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation.
Launched in 2005 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Richard J. Daley's first inauguration as Mayor of Chicago, the Richard J. Daley forum at UIC is an annual symposium for students, scholars, public officials, civic leaders, policymakers and commentators to discuss important issues and share insights into urban history and urban studies.
Richard J. Daley was first inaugurated as Mayor of Chicago on April 20, 1955. He served as Mayor for more than two decades, during which time he oversaw the rebirth of Chicago's downtown, construction of McCormick Place, development of O'Hare International Airport, and creation of UIC among other notable achievements.
Establishing UIC--originally known as the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle when it opened in 1965--was described by the late mayor as this greatest contribution to the life of the city. Circle Campus merged with the university's Medical Campus in 1982 to form UIC.
UIC is Chicago's largest university with more than 25,000 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. The campus ranks among the nation's top 50 universities in federal research funding. UIC has more than 145,000 alumni, more than 110,000 of whom live in the Chicago metropolitan area.
A hallmark of UIC is the Great Cities Commitment, through which faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.
Source: The University of Illinois at Chicago
Posted by Editors at 12:34 PM
April 2, 2009
Global Growth Rates Are In Positive Territory: The Conference Board
The Conference Board reports that global output growth in 2009 will be slow but remains positive at 1.3% for 2009. As the G-20 gathers in London, The Conference Board points at large discrepancies in the global economy this year, with advanced economies experiencing a strong contraction in output at -2.5% on average, and emerging economies pulling the world economy along at a reasonable pace of 5.0% on average.
"As projections of global growth have been slashed dramatically recently, we need to remain conscious of the huge uncertainties about how the decline in global trade affects the domestic sectors of emerging economies," says Bart van Ark, Vice President and Chief Economist of The Conference Board. "The internal dynamics of growth created by the millions of consumers in these countries, who have a job or are able to find a job, even in a slowing economy, will continue to generate positive growth." His analysis appears in StraightTalk, a newsletter designed exclusively for members of The Conference Board global business network.
MODEST RECOVERY IN THE U.S. REMAINS LIKELY
Real GDP in the United States is forecasted to fall by -5.9% on an annual rate during the first quarter of 2009, signaling a deep point in the recession. Some better numbers are beginning to emerge. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index and Consumer Confidence Index suggest that the recession will not intensify further. The decline in real consumer spending has leveled off a little. Retail sales, excluding cars and car parts, rose by .7% in February, and some turns in the measures of home sales and prices were also recorded. The Conference Board projects that growth in the second quarter will stay negative and will be very slow in the third quarter, as capital spending will remain low and inventories will not be depleted until year's end. Overall industrial production is also unlikely to move up before the fall. Even the recovery in the fourth quarter will be held back by these negative trends and increased unemployment, which is typically a lagging indicator.
The U.S. may see a contraction in real GDP of -2.6% in 2009 - the largest annual decline since 1946. Nominal output (the value of output that also reflects price change) may actually fall at more than 4%, as disinflation is much more likely in the short run than inflation.
RISK OF A "DOUBLE-DIP" RECESSION
Back-to-back recessions, as occurred between 1980 and 1982 when the economy endured a systemic crisis rather than a regular recessionary period, are a potential risk at this time. Recent increases in commodity prices, on the back of monetary easing and decline in the dollar, are leading to an increase in inflation expectations.
"If the United States experiences a too rapid recovery, there may be a risk of another recession in 2010," cautions Van Ark. "It may fuel expectations for a return to inflation, adding to the uncertainty concerning the pattern and path of economic recovery."
The likelihood of this happening is small as there are three substantial differences between the current crisis and that of the early 1980s: 1) Inflation was the concern then; now the possibility of deflation for the short and medium term is a greater threat. 2) The 1980s crisis was related to a structural transformation of the model of production in the U.S., moving from a manufacturing to a services economy; the current crisis was largely sparked by overleveraged balance sheets and global imbalances in consumption and savings. 3) This time we have massive governmental intervention intended to prevent economic activity from declining even further and stem the rise in unemployment.
LARGE DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN ADVANCED AND EMERGING ECONOMIES
The Conference Board argues that the divergence in growth performance between advanced and emerging economies will create a major challenge to rebalancing the world economy toward a more manageable global distribution of production, consumption and trade in goods and services.
The economies of commodity-producing countries - such as Russia and Brazil - have been producing bad results due to falling energy and commodity prices. China and India are the best bets to limit the global output collapse in 2009. China's export growth engine is under serious stress and the consumer sector will surely be affected by the decline in employment opportunities.
But the internal dynamics of growth created by the millions of consumers who still have a job or are able to find one in a slowing economy will continue to generate positive growth in China. Even though much of the U.S. $586 billion stimulus is likely to have already been baked into the government's investment plans, it may help keep China's growth rate at about 7.5% for 2009, says van Ark.
In India, as well as in several other large economies in the developing world that are somewhat less exposed to the global storm, the impact of the collapse in financial markets on fourth quarter GDP may have done a less lasting damage to the potential for growth this year.
Source: The Conference Board
Posted by Editors at 11:38 AM
April 1, 2009
International Leaders Want All Nuclear Weapons Eliminated
With nuclear weapons high on the agenda for the historic first Obama-Medvedev meeting, more than 100 international leaders on the forefront of the Global Zero initiative are urging the U.S. and Russian presidents to work toward dramatic reductions of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and then to lead a longer-term effort to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide. These leaders said that because American and Russian stockpiles account for 96 percent of the world's nuclear weapons, the U.S. and Russia should begin with deep reductions to their arsenals, while beginning a dialogue with the other nuclear weapons states. The group believes that a commitment by nuclear powers to begin serious negotiations for global zero would strengthen the case against any non-nuclear nation which strives to acquire nuclear weapons and would set the stage for the first ever multilateral negotiation on nuclear reductions.
In addition to leaders from other key countries, the group is comprised of distinguished American and Russian leaders, including former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel; Ambassador Richard Burt, former U.S. Chief Negotiator in Strategic Arms Reduction Talks; Gen. (Ret.) Jack Sheehan, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command; former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger; former U.S. Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci; former U.S. National Security Advisor, Dr. Anthony Lake; former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Tom Pickering; former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov; former Soviet Union Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh; Col. Gen. (Ret.) Yevgeny Maslin, former Chief of the Main Directorate, Russian Ministry of Defense; Dr. Evgeny Velikhov, President, Kurchatov Institute; and Mr. Igor Yurgens, Chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Development (of which Russian President Medvedev is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees).
The Obama-Medvedev meeting is occuring in London on April 1, just before the kickoff of the G-20 meeting there.
Former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel said this week, "We are urging the two presidents to seize this historic opportunity to confront the most urgent security threat to our world: the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the related risk of nuclear terrorism. The two leaders can move beyond traditional arms control and, in a bold move, set the world on a course toward the total elimination of all nuclear weapons -- global zero. This will not happen quickly, easily nor unilaterally. Getting to global zero will require the reduction of all nations' nuclear arsenals over many years. It is important to begin now, and set the world on a new course."
Former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said, "A far-reaching joint initiative by Presidents Medvedev and Obama in favor of nuclear weapons non-proliferation and nuclear arms limitations brings the problem to the top of the contemporary international policy agenda. It would set the stage for multiplying efforts in the nuclear disarmament and arms limitations area at the bilateral, regional and global levels, for strengthening the nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime, and for a constructive outcome of the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Constructive and long-term cooperation between Russia and the U.S., who possess more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons, is crucial for nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear weapons reductions. However, that process should not be limited to Russian-American efforts. The other nuclear states should contribute to that as well. That kind of interaction predetermines success of international efforts for building up the international security of the 21 Century and moving toward the world free of nuclear weapons."
Global Zero is a new worldwide, nonpartisan initiative spearheaded by more than 100 international leaders working for a binding, verifiable agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons. The group includes nine former heads of state; eight former foreign ministers from the United States, Russia, Britain and India; three former defense ministers from the United States and Britain; six former national security advisors from the United States, India and Pakistan; and nineteen former top military commanders from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, India and Pakistan. Global Zero is forming an international commission of prominent political and military leaders and policy experts from key countries that will be unveiled in the coming weeks. With a clear, realistic and pragmatic appreciation of the challenges of achieving the goal, this distinguished commission will develop a detailed step-by-step action plan for getting to zero nuclear weapons.
In early March, Sen. Hagel and Amb. Burt met with President Medvedev in Moscow, where eliminating nuclear weapons was discussed. Sen. Hagel and Amb. Burt have given letters to Presidents Obama and Medvedev, co-signed by more than 90 Global Zero leaders, urging bold action toward eliminating nuclear weapons.
Last July, then-candidate Barack Obama said, "It is time to ... stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to reduce the arsenals from another era. This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons." This month, President Medvedev declared that his country "... is fully committed to reaching the goal of a world free from these most deadly weapons."
Source: Global Zero
"I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. "
-- Albert Einstein
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more...
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."
-- Isaiah 2:4, 11:6
Posted by Editors at 9:39 AM
March 18, 2009
Reputation Risk Management Is on the Rise in U.S. and European Corporations -- The Conference Board
But Many Companies Still Have a Long Way to Go in Protecting Their Reputations.
According to a new report from The Conference Board (global business research and membership organization), a growing number of major global companies are investing substantial resources to manage their reputation risk and have increased their efforts to do so over the last three years.
"Safeguarding reputation is even more critical today because companies have developed successful ways to make reputation risk management part of their overall risk management," says Ellen Hexter, Director, Enterprise Risk Management at The Conference Board and co-author of the report with Sandy Bayer, President of Bayer Consulting. "In addition, different stakeholder groups are becoming more sophisticated in how they drive corporate reputations. Critics on the Internet can now transmit their opinions and complaints around the world with ease. Most importantly, consumers have high expectations that companies will not only produce quality products and services, but also will act ethically in their creation and distribution."
The report defines reputation as how a company is perceived by each of its stakeholder groups and reputation risk as the risk that an event will negatively influence stakeholder perceptions. Many reputation risks are the secondary result of other, more traditionally recognized risks. For example, if a manufacturer produces an unsafe product, it may lose customers and is likely to suffer financial costs due to a product recall, both of which impact reputation. Reputations may be damaged for any number of reasons, including that stakeholders perceive a company to be unethical.
"Although reputation is the quintessential intangible asset, a strong corporate reputation yields concrete benefits - higher market value, stronger sales, and an increased ability to hire the best and the brightest," says Bayer.
The report is based on the findings of The Conference Board Reputation Risk Research Working Group and a survey of 148 risk management executives of major corporations. More than three quarters of the respondents to the survey said their companies are making a substantial effort to manage reputation risk (82 percent) and they have increased focus in this area over the last three years (81 percent).
Other key findings of the study:
• Reputation risk should be managed throughout the organization. Although communication is of critical importance in responding to a risk event, a company's reputation should be considered during the preparation and execution of strategy and new projects, which hasn't been the case in most companies.
• Reputation risk is often not incorporated into risk management. Only 49 percent of executives surveyed said that the management of reputation risk was highly integrated with their Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) function or another risk oversight program.
• Assessing reputation risks is a top challenge. Fifty-nine percent indicated that assessing the perceptions and concerns of stakeholders was an extremely or very significant issue, making it the highest-ranked challenge.
• Media monitoring has become more sophisticated. Today, there are tools to assess whether coverage is positive, neutral or negative; the credibility of publications; the prominence of coverage, etc.
• Efforts are being made to quantify the value of reputation. A select group of companies is making progress in this area by working with specialist consulting firms to quantify the impact of reputation on share price.
• Social media are gaining influence, but most companies are ignoring them. Although consumers and investors are increasingly gathering information from blogs, online forums, and social networking sites, only 34 percent of the survey respondents said they extensively monitor such sites, and only 10 percent actively participated in them.
The findings spurred the following recommendations from The Conference Board Research Working Group:
1) Actively involve boards of directors in reputation risk management.
2) Demonstrate to leaders and management teams in business units the impact of their actions on reputation.
3) Integrate reputation risk management with ERM or other risk management programs.
4) Quantify the value of reputation.
5) Use and nurture employees as corporate ambassadors.
"Boards of directors, senior management, and operating management should demonstrate an active commitment to strong reputation management," conclude the authors.
Source: The Conference Board
"Our reputation is more important than the last hundred million dollars."
-- Rupert Murdoch
"From the sublime to the ridiculous there is but one step."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte
Posted by Editors at 12:59 AM
January 30, 2009
Global Leaders Pledge Collaboration for Global Solutions to Global Crisis
Photo: A sign with the logo of the World Economic Forum stands in the snow during preparations for the upcomming Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Christof Sonderegger)
Photo: Impression of Davos: The biggest tourism resorts of the Swiss alps, captured before the opening of the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Christof Sonderegger)
Government, business and civil society leaders are at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009 at Davos, Switzerland, in record numbers to discuss ways out of the worst financial crisis in eight decades. "Davos fills the vital need for a global and dialogue-based platform where knowledgeable and empowered stakeholders can collaborate to address issues of common criticality. I can't think of a better time and a better reason to be at Davos," said Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra, India and Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting 2009.
"It is important that leaders who come here go back and work on ways of finding far-reaching policies that will allow us to create sustainable economic growth, create jobs and coordinate macroeconomic policies," insisted Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations (1997-2006), Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and Co-Chair, Annual Meeting 2009, on the opening day of the five-day Annual Meeting.
"I believe we are also facing a crisis of governance at a national and international level. The current architecture of managing global affairs is broken and needs to be fixed. We have new players that have to be integrated and the poor have to be given a voice," he said. "The world has changed; are we capable of changing fast enough to save the planet?"
Photo: Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation talks to the participants of the 'Private Meeting of the Members of the International Business Council with Vladimir Putin' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Sebastian Derungs)
Photo: Gary D. Cohn, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, Goldman Sachs, USA, captured during the session 'Managing Global Risks' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Sebastian Derungs)
Photo: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York adjusts his headphones during the session 'Gaza: The Case for Middle East Peace' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Monika Flueckiger)
Photo: Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Facebook, USA, captured during the session 'The Next Digital Experience' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Remy Steinegger)
Photo: Muhtar A. Kent, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, USA; Co-Chair of the Governors Meeting for Consumer Industries 2009, speaks during the session 'The Global Compact: Creating Sustainable Markets' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Christof Sonderegger)
Stephen Green, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings, United Kingdom, and Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting 2009, agreed that the Annual Meeting gives leaders the space to share ideas needed to address current challenges. "Talking through what we need to do is important and that is why Davos is more than ordinarily important," he said.
The world is still in crisis, yet we should treat it "as an opportunity to set goals for how we want to come out of it, such as energy sufficiency, world pollution...and shape policies which will help to solve some of those problems," said Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation, USA, and Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting 2009. "Don't let's lose sight of what creates wealth; it's open markets, capitalism and we've proved this again and again in last century," he cautioned.
Photo: Shimon Peres, President of Israel, speaks during the session 'The Values behind Market Capitalism' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Remy Steinegger)
Photo: Wen Jiabao, Premier of the People's Republic of China is captured during a session at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Christof Sonderegger)
Photo: Melinda French Gates speaks during the 'Gates Foundation' press conference at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Remy Steinegger)
"I do not expect we will find from Davos solutions, but expect that we are able to get a joint understanding of the reasons for the crisis, and that we get a good understanding of how we are really able to overcome such a severe crisis in a globalized world," said Werner Wenning, Chairman of the Board of Management, Bayer, Germany, and Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting 2009. "We're talking about growing populations; we have to address issues of how to secure energy supply and of climate change; we're also talking a lot about sustainability and returning to the basics of sustainable behavior."
Photo: Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, speaks during the session 'A Conversation with' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 31, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Remy Steinegger)
Photo: Taro Aso, Prime Minister of Japan, captured during the session 'Special Address by' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 31, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Sebastian Derungs)
Photo: Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Renault, France; President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan, Japan; Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum; Co-Chair of the Governors Meeting for the Automotive Industry 2009, captured during the session 'Special Address by Taro Aso' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 31, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Sebastian Derungs)
Photo: Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor, Columbia University, USA, gestures during the session 'Rebooting the Global Economy' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 31, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Christof Sonderegger)
Photo: Robert Z. Lawrence, Albert L. Williams Professor of Trade and Investment, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA; Chair, Global Agenda Council on Trade Facilitation, talks to the participants during the session 'The Fight against Protectionism' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 31, 2009. (© World Economic Forum/Monika Flueckiger)
More than 2,500 participants from 96 countries are participating in the Annual Meeting held under the theme "Shaping the Post-Crisis World", including a record 40 heads of state or government. Key finance, foreign affairs, trade and energy ministers will join heads of non-governmental organizations, social entrepreneurs and religious leaders at the Meeting. Around 60% of the participants are business leaders drawn principally from the Forum's members - 1,000 of the foremost companies from around the world and across all economic sectors.
"Excessive accumulation of corrupt transactions (disguised as smart business) such as predatory, forcible or irrational lending via the agents whose sole objective is to pocket their commissions has landed us here.
It is NOT RECESSION, Gentlemen!
CORRECTION is taking place.
Analyze it technically and take authoritative actions to make it smooth and short."
"It is not by augmenting the capital of the country, but by rendering a greater part of that capital active and productive than would otherwise be so, that the most judicious operations of banking can increase the industry of the country."
-- Adam Smith
Posted by Editors at 5:27 AM
November 16, 2008
Global Association of Risk Professionals Provides Financial Risk Manager Certification Exams to Nearly 14,000 Candidates Around the World
Photo: In New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, November 15, several hundred financial risk manager certification candidates taking the 6-hour Financial Risk Manager (FRM(R)) Exam offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP).
Yesterday, on November 15, at 9 am local time in each of 78 cities around the world, a record-breaking total 13,681 financial professionals were registered to take the annual Financial Risk Manager (FRM(R)) certification exam offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. From New York to Hong Kong, the 6-hour exams were taken at testing centers located in major cities across six continents including Mumbai, Beijing, Jakarta, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok, London, Paris, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Dublin, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Melbourne, Sydney, Johannesburg, Montreal, Toronto, Dallas, Seattle, Honolulu and many others.
The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) is a not-for-profit independent association of close to 100,000 risk management practitioners and researchers representing banks, investment management firms, government agencies, academic institutions, and corporations from more than 167 countries worldwide.
There were 500 candidates registered to take the exam in New York, 1,700 in Hong Kong and 1,100 in Mumbai, reflecting the significant and growing global attention to the practice of financial risk management," said Richard Apostolik, GARP President and CEO. "FRM certification has become the gold standard for financial risk managers to objectively demonstrate real world competence in their profession, and the FRM certification program is helping to expand industry-wide understanding of financial risk management best practices, concepts and theories," he added.
Posted by Editors at 2:40 AM
October 4, 2008
Realtors, Accountants Applaud House Passage of Financial Stability Bill
"The National Association of Realtors(R) is truly relieved that members of the U.S. House of Representatives, like their counterparts in the Senate, were able to come together in a bipartisan effort to pass the Emergency Economic Stability Act of 2008. As we have been saying, this legislation is critical to stopping the economic turmoil that millions of Americans are facing. Today's action will go a long way toward ending the current economic crisis crippling the housing and financial markets.
This legislation would quickly restore liquidity to the mortgage market, which would stabilize the housing market and protect homeowners. Mortgages as well as personal and small business loans would become more available and less costly. Protecting Main Street not only benefits individuals, families and communities, but also supports the larger U.S. economy.
We expect that the president will act quickly to sign and enact this bill. We thank President Bush for his steadfast leadership on this issue, commend all parties that worked on this legislation, and look forward to working together toward a strengthened economy for the benefit of all Americans."
- Richard F. Gaylord, President, National Association of Realtors. [National Association of Realtors, 430 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.]
"The House of Representatives' historic vote demonstrated leadership in difficult times. Americans and businesses, small and large, are already suffering financial challenges as a result of this crisis. This legislation is the first step in restoring liquidity in our economy. CPAs will roll-up our sleeves to do our part to help individuals and businesses move forward. The profession has already been actively reaching out through extensive financial literacy efforts to help Americans cope with the personal financial challenges they face.
The AICPA is pleased Congress avoided calls by some for an immediate suspension of fair value accounting rules. The bill includes a call for an objective study of mark-to-market accounting. We look forward to participating with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board in a thoughtful review.
Accounting standards are the keystone of our financial reporting system and are designed to provide investors and management with timely signals about the financial condition of our publicly-traded companies. Our longstanding position is that accounting standards ultimately should be set by the private sector."
- Barry Melancon, President, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). [HQ: AICPA, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, USA. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the national, professional association of CPAs, with more than 350,000 CPA members in business and industry, public practice, government, education, student affiliates, and international associates. It sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, non-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.]
Posted by Editors at 12:50 PM