The Scout Report for Business & Economics - April 9, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

April 9, 1998

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The target audience of the new Scout Report for Business & Economics is faculty, students, staff, and librarians in business and economics. Each biweekly issue offers a selective collection of Internet resources covering topics in the field that have been chosen by librarians and content specialists in the given area of study.

The Scout Report for Business & Economics is also provided via email once every two weeks. Subscription information is included at the bottom of each issue.

In This Issue
The Scout Report
* Research * Current Awareness
* Learning Resources * New Data
* General Interest * In the News

United States International Trade Commission (USITC) [.pdf, WordPerfect 6.1]
The USITC is an independent federal agency that provides trade advice to the government and examines instances of unfair trade practices. The web site offers useful information relating to international trade, including a monthly calendar of events, a listing of news releases, and notices of investigations into unfair trade practices. The USITC also publishes the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, now available for downloading. Researchers will be interested in the reports and publications section, which features the International Economic Review, the Industry, Trade, and Technology Review, opinions on countervailing duties, and general factfinding reports. The site also provides many useful links to trade-related information. [THN]
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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Law, Regulations and Related Acts
The complete text of the FDIC's Law, Regulations and Related Acts (Rules and Regulations), complete with interactive search capability, is now available. Policy statements approved by the FDIC Board of Directors, selected General Counsel opinions, legal advisory opinions, consumer laws and regulations related to banking, and selected Federal Reserve regulations are also part of the service. [THN]
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New Directions in Industrial Policy -- OECD
New Directions in Industrial Policy is the third issue in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Policy Brief series. The recent trend toward globalization and increased competition has driven industry to stress efficiency. The role of the government can be to nurture an environment where firms are able to be "innovative, flexible and competitive." This Policy Brief presents research on the "development and competitiveness of industry" and provides "new directions for policies for industrial competitiveness." [THN]
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Asian Development Bank [Excel]
The Asian Development Bank is a development finance institution that aims to "promote the economic and social progress of developing countries in Asia and the Pacific." The Bank web site provides information on its activities, business opportunities arising from its funding activities, and its publications. Information on the Bank's projects and the environmental impact assessments for those projects are also available. The economic and social statistics of the Bank's member countries are available for download in Microsoft Excel format. [THN]
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1997 World Bank - Japan Research Fair [PowerPoint]
The World Bank together with several development organizations organized the 1997 World Bank - Japan Research Fair to bring together economists and other social scientists "seeking solutions to the pressing issues that confront developing countries." The web site contains Microsoft PowerPoint slide show presentations and reports from workshop sessions held at the fair. Included is information about the organizations and the individuals that participated in the Fair. [THN]
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Learning Resources
Damodaran On-Line [.pdf, Excel]
Professor Aswath Damodaran of the Stern School of Business at New York University has created an excellent web site drawn from his collection of classroom materials. At the site, visitors can find links to his classes on corporate finance, equity instruments and investment philosophies. The syllabus, lecture notes and assignments for each class are provided. The site also contains a collection of corporate finance and equity valuation spreadsheets and a collection of downloadable datasets, useful for corporate finance and valuation. [THN]
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History of Economic Thought
The History of Economic Thought site was developed by Goncalo L. Fonseca, John Hopkins University, and Leanne J. Ussher, New School for Social Research. The core of the site consists of short biographical sketches and bibliographies of more than 300 economists from the 17th century to the present. These economists can be accessed through an alphabetical index or via schools of thought. In addition, the site provides surveys on value theory, capital theory, growth theory, monetary theory, and business cycle theory as an introduction to the History of Economic Thought for new users. [THN]
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Global Financial Management [Word, Excel]
Campbell Harvey, Professor of International Business in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, has created this web site as a supplement to his course in Global Financial Management. The course introduces students to the "fundamental principles of asset valuation and financing in competitive global financial market." Visitors will find a syllabus for the course, a short introduction to Financial Mathematics, and supplementary notes on topics covered in the course. Assignments and learning modules for the course can also be found at the site. [THN]
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Young Investors Network
The Young Investors Network is provided by Smith Barney, a large brokerage firm. The site strives to inform teenagers of the benefits of investing and how to go about it. The first part of the site deals with establishing investment goals with the help of an online budget calculator. Additional features include a guide to earning money, an explanation of the types of investments available, information on how to keep track of investments, and a dictionary of financial terms. A portfolio tracker allows users to create their own portfolio of stocks and track it at the site. Note that the site is available only to US residents and free registration is required. [THN]
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General Interest
NASD Regulation
National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) developed the NASD Regulation site to provide regulatory information about the securities industry and the Nasdaq Stock Market (discussed in the April 19, 1996 Scout Report). The site contains all NASD press releases since 1996, as well as speeches and testimony by senior management. A monthly publication available at the site highlights the latest regulatory information about the NASD. The primary draw for visitors to the site will probably be the broker disciplinary information service, which allows investors to check on the professional backgrounds and disciplinary records of NASD registered brokers and member firms. Other information available to investors includes tips on investing wisely, how to avoid Internet securities scams and resolving disputes with brokers and brokerage firms. [THN]
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Economic Information--First Union
First Union, a large bank holding company, has made available its economic publications at its web site. The Economic Indicator Analysis section analyzes the main economic indicators as they are released, such as GDP, durable goods orders, housing demand, trade deficit, and prices. The Weekly Economic Commentary examines a domestic economic issue, while the Weekly International Economic Commentary offers a brief survey of selected aspects of the global economic situation. The site also houses the Regional Economic Review, Quarterly Economic Outlook, and summary tables of economic and financial data. [THN]
[Back to Contents] is a new personal finance site developed by Conde Nast. The site moves beyond providing financial information into the realm of a lifestyle advisory service. Visitors seeking personal finance advice will find interesting articles in the Taking Stock section. The Net Worth section examines "how money defines us and how we express ourselves through our pocket books." Another section discusses how money affects relationships. Other features available at the site include several financial calculators and a glossary of financial terms. [THN]
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Silicon Investor [Java]
Stock Site, developed by go2net Inc., aims to "deliver timely, superior information" on the stock market. A team of stock analysts provide stock tips, market analysis, company reports, and breaking financial news. Additional features include commentaries on the marketplace, IPOs, earnings and government reports written by the site's regular columnists. The site also offers a portfolio tracker, an up-to-date list of stock splits, stock rating upgrades or downgrades, and an earnings calendar. Updates on the major market indices, yield curves and Reuters news can also be obtained at the site. [THN]
[Note: Site title has changed since the original Scout Report review. Site formerly referred to in the Scout Report as "StockSite."]
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Small Business Advisor
Robert A. Sullivan developed the Small Business Advisor site to provide advice to small businesses. Central to the site is The Advisor section, which contains information on topics affecting small businesses such as start-up, marketing, legal considerations, and the Internet. The site also provides a glossary of terms, tax hints for small business, information about doing business with the US government, and a collection of small business FAQs. Visitors who choose to register will receive a monthly newsletter. [THN]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on periodicals, journals, working papers, new books, etc., visit the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers
Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance [.pdf, .ps]
Three new working papers (no. 228, 229, and 331) covering the issues of economic incentives on work absence, technical inefficiency predictors, and actuarially-fair and pay-as-you go health insurance schemes for the elderly, have been released. Note that at this time, only the first is avaialble for downloading. [THN]

Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Staff Reports [.pdf, .ps]
The FRB of Minneapolis has released Staff Report no. 245 titled "A Gain from Trade: More Research, Less Obstruction," by Thomas J. Holmes and James A. Schmitz, Jr. [THN]

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Development Center Technical Papers [.pdf]
The OECD Development Center has released technical papers No. 132 and 133, titled "Sustainable and Excessive Current Account Deficits," by Helmut Reisen, and "Intellectual Property Rights Technology Transfer in Developing Country Agriculture: Rhetoric and Reality," by Carliene Brenner. [THN]

BRIE Working Papers
The Berkeley Roundtable on International Economics (BRIE) has released working papers No. 102 and 108-110 covering competition in the telecommunications industry, the entry of China into the WTO, the advanced display industry in Korea and Taiwan, and transatlantic cooperation in telecommunications. [THN]

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
The International Monetary Fund has released three new working papers (WP/98/28 to WP/98/30). These papers examine the issues of Islamic banking, financial intermediation, and hourly exchange rates. [THN]
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Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Ag Letter [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Perspectives [.pdf]
The FRB of San Francisco has released Economic Letters No. 98-10, which looks at the effect of East Asia's financial crisis on the Twelfth District. The FRB of Chicago has released the March 1998 issue of Ag Letter; this issue contains an article on retail food prices and expenditures. FRB also released the first quarter 1998 issue of Economic Perspectives with articles on the history of money, job security, international business cycles, and education. [THN]

Finance and Development--World Bank
The March 1998 issue of Finance and Development has been released. It examines the issues of corruption, the AIDS epidemic, and inflation in the transition economies and developing countries. [THN]
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Books and Journals
Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts and tables of contents for the Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol. 24 No. 1), the Journal of Mathematical Economics (Vol. 29 No.1), Japan and the World Economy (Vol. 10 No.1), the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (Vol. 33 No.2), the Journal of Public Economics (Vol. 67 No.1), the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol.22 No.3), the Journal of Monetary Economics (Vol. 41 No.1), and Economics Letters (Vol. 58 No.1) are now available. [THN]

Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business--April 1998
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics--April 1998
Baker & Taylor has made available a list of forthcoming books to be published in May in the fields of economics and business. [THN]
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Fifth Annual International Conference Promoting Business Ethics
The Fifth Annual International Conference Promoting Business Ethics will be held from October 29-31, 1998 in Chicago. The theme of the conference is "From the Universities to the Marketplace: The Business Ethics Journey." [THN]

The Eleventh NARUC Biennial Regulatory Information Conference
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will be holding their Eleventh NARUC Binennial Regulatory Information Conference from September 9-10, 1998 at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. The theme of the conference is "The Role of the Regulatory Professional in Changing Times." [THN]

The Modelling of Complex Systems Conference and the Component Object Model Workshop
The Conference and Workshop will be held from July 12-17, 1998 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Conference themes include linking different scales and types of models, model reuse, model reengineering, and complex system representation. The Component Object Model Workshop examines the "specification for the binary reuse of software" to allow for linking of models. [THN]

New Methods for Survey Research
The Association for Survey Computing together with the Centre for Applied Social Surveys, the Office for National Statistics, and the Market Research Society will be organizing the New Methods for Survey Research conference to be held August 21-22, 1998 at Southampton, UK. The conference presents relatively new survey methods that are well established in specialist areas but that have not been adopted for everyday use. [THN]

Second International Conference on Women in Agriculture
The Second International Conference on Women in Agriculture is sponsored by the President's Interagency Council on Women. It will be held on June 28 - July 2, 1998 in Washington D.C. The conference theme will be "Planning for the New Millennium." [THN]
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European Job Openings for Economists (E-JOE)
The E-JOE site is hosted by the Department of Economics at the Technical University Berlin and the European Economic Association. It posts announcements of job openings for economists in Europe. The listings are searchable; an email alert service that provides weekly updates on new job openings is also available. [THN]

Job Openings in Economics from the Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Business and Management from the Chronicle of Higher Education

Job Openings for Economists -- April 1998
JOE is provided by the American Economics Association and the Economics Department at the University of Texas at Austin. [JS]
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New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Employment Situation -- March 1998
Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary -- February 1998
The latest figures from BLS show that the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged in March 1998 at 4.7%. However, the number of payroll jobs declined after 5 months of strong growth. The BLS also released the February 1998 figures for metropolitan area unemployment indicating that the cities in the Midwest and South experienced the lowest unemployment rate. [THN]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis
Personal Income -- February 1998
Gross Domestic Product -- Fourth Quarter 1997 (final)
The BEA has released the February 1998 figures for Personal Income showing a 0.6 percent increase. This increase is identical to the 0.6 percent increase in January. The BEA also released the final fourth quarter GDP figures. The real growth rate was estimated to have increased by 3.7 percent compared with the 3.9 percent increase estimated earlier. [THN]
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Foreign Exchange Rates -- March 1998
Selected Interest Rates -- March 1998 [.pdf]
Consumer Credit -- February 1998
The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has released the data for foreign exchange rates and selected interest rates in March 1998. It also released the figures for consumer credit showing that consumer credit increased by 7 percent in February, up from 4.5 percent in January. [THN]
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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Regional Outlook -- First Quarter 1998
The FDIC has released the first quarter 1998 issue of Regional Outlook, which aims to "discuss events and trends affecting insured depository institutions from a regional perspective." There are eight regions listed. [THN]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Financial Statistics of Major U.S. Publicly Owned Electric Utilities 1996 [.pdf]
The Restructuring of the Electric Power Industry
Publicly owned utilities are nonprofit operations created to provide electricity to their communities at cost. This new report from the EIA provides the financial statistics for the publicly owned electric utilities in 1996 and also examines the factors affecting major US publicly owned electric utilities. The EIA has also produced a new booklet titled The Restructuring of the Electric Power Industry to educate the public about what is happening in the electric power industry. The booklet covers the topics of generating components, wholesale and retail electric markets, reasons for deregulation, steps to promote competition, and utilities' strategies to prepare for competition. [THN]
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Financial Management Service
Consolidated Finance Statements of the United States Government -- 1997 [.pdf]
The Financial Management Service has released the 1997 Consolidated Financial Statements (CFS) of the United States Government. The CFS provide "information about Government financial operations on an accrual basis." [THN]
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Census Bureau
1996 Annual Survey of Manufactures -- Statistics for Industry Groups and Industries [.pdf]
1996 Annual Survey of Manufactures -- Value of Product Shipments [.pdf]
The Census Bureau has released results from the 1996 Annual Survey of Manufactures -- Statistics for Industry Groups and Industries. This report contains information on "employment and payroll, number of production workers and wages, cost of materials, value added by manufacture, new capital expenditures and other measures for all manufacturing establishments." The Census Bureau also released the 1996 Annual Survey of Manufactures -- Value of Product Shipments which shows the "value of all products shipped by the nation's manufacturers. [THN]
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In the News
Credit Unions vs. Banks
National Credit Union Administration v. First National Bank & Trust Co.--US Supreme Court (96-843)
Text of HR 1151
Quick Search Text of Bills (By Bill Number): H.R. 1151
Field of Membership Lawsuit Documents [.pdf]
The Credit Union Campaign for Consumer Choice [RealPlayer]
Survey Results on Opinions About Banks and Credit Unions
Banks Turn up the Heat Against Credit Unions
American Bankers Association Credit Union Ruling
Independent Bankers Association of America News Releases
Community Development: Can Credit Unions and Banks Find Common Ground?
This week's In the News looks at the debate between the banks and credit unions over the issues of membership. The nine resources above provide background information about the debate and the arguments from both sides of the issue. On February 25, 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that the National Credit Union Administration's policy of permitting federal credit unions to serve multiple unrelated groups was unlawful. As a result, the credit union lobby persuaded the House of Representatives to overwhelmingly pass HR 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, by a vote of 411-8. HR 1151 will allow credit unions to form multiple common bonds with certain limitations. Similar legislation is now under consideration in the Senate.

The first two sites are the full text of the Supreme Court Decision and H.R. 1151 as passed in the House (as well as other versions of the bill), respectively. The Field of Membership Lawsuit Documents site is provided by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to offer access to the latest legislative and court documents on the issue of field of membership. The Credit Union Campaign for Consumer Choice site was created by credit unions to push for legislation to overturn the Supreme Court decision. The site provides information about credit unions, arguments for the expansion of credit unions, and updates on the latest House and Senate hearings. The Credit Union Campaign for Consumer Choice has carried out a survey on opinions of the American public about credit unions and banks. The survey found that a large majority of Americans value competition and choice between credit unions and banks, think credit union membership should be open, and support the tax-exempt status of credit unions. "Banks Turn Up the Heat Against the Credit Unions," published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota, examines the debate between banks and credit unions over tax, regulatory and membership issues. The American Bankers Association Credit Ruling provides arguments against the expansion of credit unions. It stipulates that tax payers should not be subsidizing large credit unions that are behaving like banks. The Independent Bankers Association of America (IBAA) news release claims that the passing of HR 1151 will hurt small lenders because it allows credit unions to lend more to businesses. The second press release urges the Senate for a compromise on the credit union legislation. They argue that credit unions that behave like commercial entities are not entitled to their tax free status. In the speech to the National Credit Union Administration's 1996 Serving the Underserved Conference titled Community Development: Can Credit Unions and Banks Find Common Ground?, Edward Boehne of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia suggested that banks and credit unions should work together on community development. [THN]
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The Scout Report for Business & Economics is published every other Thursday by the Internet Scout Project, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences.

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