The Scout Report for Business & Economics - June 18, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

June 18, 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
* Research * Current Awareness
* Learning Resources * New Data
* General Interest * In the News

Survey of Current Business--DOC BEA [.pdf]
What's New at BEA?
The US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis has recently made available full text (in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format, with file sizes between five and eight Mb) of its monthly compendium of articles and statistics about state, regional, and US business and economic conditions. The periodical provides a mixture of analytic articles and numerical tables on various subjects. It is highlighted by a monthly Business Situation section that discusses topics such as prices, personal income, consumption, exports and imports, and government spending, among others. Selected regional, national, and international tables are also presented, including National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA), Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, among others. Issues back to January 1998 are available. The BEA continues to make selected articles and/or tables from SCB available in HTML format on its What's New at BEA? page. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

Created and maintained by Dr. Thorsten Wichmann, founder of Berlecon Research in Berlin, Germany, Inomics is a new Internet resource -- now in public beta test -- for economists. Inomics offers a simple and extended search engine for 75,000 indexed documents. Topics range from general economics and teaching to business law, corporate finance, and comparative economic systems, and are derived from university departmental homepages, government institutions, and some private resources. Extended searches support keyword and field-specific queries with a choice of document type while simple searches include Boolean, proximity, and phrase searching. Employment and conference announcements may also be searched and submitted. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

World Bank Economic Growth Research: Selected Data Sets
The Economic Growth Project of the World Bank's Research Group makes their national policy and economic growth findings available at this location. The abstracts and data sets of recent and forthcoming articles published in journals such as American Economic Review and Journal of Monetary Economics are listed by date, author, or title. Abstracts, data sets, and several full-text World Bank Policy Research Department Working Papers are also listed. Detailed variable descriptions, format type (Lotus, Excel, or text), and downloading information is given for each set, and registration material is available for notification of new data. The World Bank hopes to improve the research capacity of poor nations as well as increase communication between academia and political institutions with these publications and their accompanying data. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Research Program in Finance: Working Paper Series--HSB UCB [.pdf, .ps, Word]
The Finance Department at the University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business created this compilation of faculty working papers for public use. Paper titles range from "Agency Costs, Risk Management, and Capital Structure," to "The Rise and Fall of Bank Control in the United States: 1890-1920," and represent faculty research since 1971. Twenty-two papers with abstracts from 1995 to present are available in full text (several formats) while earlier papers act as a bibliography. Separate menus for full text, abstract, and bibliographic lists make viewing easier. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources
Problems in Microeconomics [.pdf, Excel]
Problems in Microeconomics is a set of practice problems written by Byron W. Brown, Professor of Economics at Michigan State University for an intermediate level microeconomics course. Sets deal with demand curves, market equilibrium, and monopoly pricing, among other topics. Spreadsheets contain an interactive graphical display to change parameters and view curve shifts. Built-in answer sheets give instant feedback, and Prof. Brown details his educational design for interested instructors. Excel 5.0/95 or higher, and Adobe Acrobat are needed for the problem sets. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Insurance News Network Glossary of Insurance Terms [frames]
The Insurance News Network (discussed in the November 22, 1996 Scout Report) consulted the American Council of Life Insurance and their own staff to provide this concise Glossary of Insurance Terms featuring over 100 alphabetically listed entries. Hypertext cross-references are provided within definitions, and most entries can be viewed in one frame. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Tools: Cost-Benefit Analysis--NCEDR
The National Center for Environmental Decision-Making (NCEDR), a publicly funded, grassroots organization, includes seven Cost-Benefit Modules among their research tools. Modules illuminate key considerations and the actual utilization of cost-benefit analysis to help citizens at local, state, and regional levels improve environmental management decisions. A topic summary, hypertext section headers, as well as linked subject terms and footnotes enhance content depth and learning. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Hemmington Scott Ltd. Treasury Topics
Hemmington Scott Ltd., the UK publisher of Treasury Management International, excerpts this and other publications to provide Treasury Topics. International in focus, topics cover worldwide currency markets, risk management, securitization, and industry sectors such as the telecommunications and automotive industries, among others. Topic authors are listed for reference purposes, and an index of articles is available for each section. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest
Corporate Watch--IGC
Less Graphical Entrance
Corporate Watch is an online magazine and resource center affiliated with the Institute for Global Communications (discussed in the November 15, 1996 Scout Report) and the Transnational Resource and Action Center (TRAC), among others. An array of full text news articles, photo galleries, and useful links to activist groups and government data keep users abreast of corporate activity. All articles and photos are archived and contributors include the Los Angeles Times and Greenpeace International. An online research guide, TNCs and India, produced by the Public Interest Research Group in New Delhi, and the bibliography, From the Horse's Mouth: Corporate Links also provide lesser-known tactics for company investigation. Interested parties may join a Corporate Watchers listserv for future news alerts concerning violations of human and environmental rights by corporations around the world. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Based in Seattle, WA, AccountingNet provides resource links for accounting professionals. A "Research Library" features tax and financial listings from state, federal, and international institutions, as well as selected full text news articles. AccountingNet's "Certified Public Accountant Link Directory" includes more than 100,000 US accounting firms, and is searchable by person's name, firm name, city, state, or industry focus. Accounting job postings are also searchable by firm or location, and students may find a browsable list of professional resumes useful. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Armchair Millionaire
Armchair Millionaire, a partnership of Intuit's and, provides "common sense" advice on saving and investing. Millionaire sections include a basic "Five Step Plan" to financial freedom, an "Investors Club" gallery of real-life financial biographies, and "Model Portfolio," financial success stories based on actual investments and expert advice. Characters change weekly in both the "Investors Club" gallery and "Model Portfolio," and their hyperlinked narratives are easy to follow without any loss of valuable information. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Gomez Advisors--Online Brokerage and Bank Ratings
Gomez Advisors aims to create a source of strategic research for banks, mutual funds, brokerages, and other commercial firms. Categorized by subject, GA provides detailed rankings of online brokers and banks based on ease of use, customer confidence, on-site resources, relationship services, and overall cost. Concise company summaries and Gomez Advisor industry overviews, as well as links to the sites, accompany "Scorecard" rankings. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

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
A. Bank for International Settlements
"The Coming Transformation of Continental European Banking"--WP54 [.pdf]
"Spread Overreaction in International Bond Markets"--WP55 [.pdf]

B. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Papers [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland 1998 Series Working Papers [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Archive Working Papers [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Working Papers [.pdf]
FRB International Finance Discussion Papers [.pdf, .ps]
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has released "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting" (98-02), by Glenn D. Rudebusch, and "Declining Job Security" (98-03), by Robert G. Valletta. Working Paper No. 9807, entitled "Money and Dynamic Arrangements with Private Information," by S. Rao Aiyagari and Stephen D. Williamson, is available from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Archive has released Working Paper No. 587, entitled "The Suffolk Banking System Reconsidered," by Arthur J. Rolnick and Warren E. Weber. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has released two new Working Papers (Nos. 98-5 and 98-6) entitled "The Long-Run Real Effects of Monetary Policy: Keynesian Predictions from a Neoclassical Model," by Marco Espinosa-Vega and Steven Russell, and "Demandable Debt as a Means of Payment: Banknotes versus Checks," by Charles M. Kahn and William Roberds. FRB has released two new International Finance Discussion Papers (1998-614 and 1998-615), "Multilateralism and the Endogenous Formation of PTAs" (preferential trade agreements), by Caroline L. Freund, and "Equilibrium Liquidity Premia," by Dahai Yu. [MW]

C. International Monetary Fund
Working Papers [.pdf]
The International Monetary Fund has released six new working papers (WP/98/72 - WP/98/77) examining issues of income inequality, the macroeconomic effects of environmental taxes, and Italian welfare systems among others. [MW]

D. Other Institutions
Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy Working Papers--BRIE
The Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE) has released nine new working papers (WP110 to WP116 and WP118-WP119) with the titles: "A Transatlantic Initiative in Information Technology," "Industry Structure Dynamics and the Nature of Technology in the Hearing Instrument Industry," and "Reunifying Europe in an Emerging World Economy," among others. [MW]

Institute for International Economics Working Papers--IIE
The Institute of International Economic Studies has released four 1998 Series Working Papers (Nos. 98-1 to 98-4) covering issues of Asian competitive devaluations, NAFTA, Korean unification costs and benefits, and fifty years of the GATT/WTO. [MW]

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance--SSE [.pdf]
Three new Stockholm School of Economics Working Papers in Economics and Finance have been released (No. 243-245). Of these, two are presently available for downloading, "Payments in Kind," by Tore Ellingsen, and "Monitoring and Pay," by Magnus Allgulin and Tore Ellingsen. [MW]

Wharton Working Papers [.pdf]
The Wharton Financial Institutions Center, an independently managed site at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has released three new working papers in their 1998 series (#98-14 to #98-16) entitled, "The Complementary Roles of Mitigation and Insurance in Managing Catastrophic Risks," by Paul Kleindorfer and Howard Kunreuther, "Responsiveness: Emotion and Information Dynamics in Service Interactions," by Lorna Doucet, and "Horizon Problems and Extreme Events in Financial Risk Management," by Peter F. Christoffersen, Francis X. Diebold and Til Schuermann. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

14. Periodicals
A. Federal Reserve System Beige Book
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Economic Trends [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Financial Industry Perspectives [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis International Economic Trends
The Federal Reserve System has released the latest (June 17, 1998) issue of Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, the Beige Book. It covers areas such as household spending, construction and real estate, manufacturing, and employment, wages and prices, among others. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released the June issue of Economic Trends, which discusses various aspects of the economy. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has released its annual publication Financial Industry Perspectives, highlighted by: "The Changing Structure of Banking: A Look at Traditional and New Ways of Delivering Banking Services," by Kenneth Spong and James Harvey. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has released the May 1998 issue of International Economic Trends, which covers basic economic indicators for Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US. [MW]

B. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation FDIC Consumer News
The Spring 1998 issue of FDIC Consumer News is available, highlighted by several articles on how to protect yourself from financial fraud. [MW]

C. International Monetary Fund Economic Issues
The IMF has released Economic Issues 14, "Lessons from Systemic Bank Restructuring," by Claudia Dziobek and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu. [MW]

D. Other Institutions United States International Trade Commission
International Economic Review [.pdf]
The USITC has released the March/April/May 1998 issue of International Economic Review with articles on Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations, Mexico outranking Japan as the second largest US export market, and Japan's financial and deregulation packages. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

15. Books and Journals
The abstracts and table of contents for the following journals are now available online: Information Economics and Policy (Vol 10 No 2), Journal of Banking and Finance (Vol 22 No 3), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (Vol 35 No 4), Journal of Econometrics (Vol 84 No 2), Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol 22 No 6), Journal of Financial Economics (Vol 48 No 2), Journal of Mathematical Economics (Vol 29 No 3), Journal of Public Economics (Vol 68 No 2), Research Policy (Vol 26 Nos 7-8), and Resource and Energy Economics (Vol 20 No 2). [MW]

Harvard Business School Publishing: Hot Off the Press
Harvard Business School Publishing has made available a list of new business books entitled "Hot Off the Press," with summaries and author information. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

AICPA Conferences
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the "premier" professional association for CPAs in the United States, includes conference listings at their organizational Website. Upcoming 1998 topics include bankruptcy, cost management, fraud, and SEC developments, among others, and conference titles may be sorted by name, date, or location. Conference registration forms and AICPA membership information are also available online. [MW]

AoM/IAoM 16th Annual Conference
The Association of Management and the International Association of Management (AoM/IAoM), publisher of the Journal of Management Systems (JMS), recently held its 16th Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois to promote growth in management research and practice. AoM/IAoM is a non-profit organization of academicians and management practitioners, with divisions ranging from organizational and human resources to information systems and technology. Separate listervs exist for each division, and AoM/IAoM membership, publication, and conference information is available online. [MW]

Stern School of Business Frontiers in Finance Seminars
The Leonard N. Stern School of Business Executive Development Center at New York University offers "Frontiers in Finance" seminars to financial professionals. Offerings are non-degree and cover financial management, marketing, and information system topics. The seminars are held at NYU's Greenwich Village campus and course and registration material is available online. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Job Openings for Economists (JOE): June 1998
The American Economic Association and the Economics Department of the University of Texas at Austin have made available their June 1998 listing of Academic, Foreign, and Nonacademic Job Openings for Economists. [MW]

Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education[MW]
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management
[Back to Contents]

New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Foreign Investors' Spending, 1997
The BEA has released information on foreign investors' spending to "acquire or establish US businesses" in 1997. The report concludes that spending decreased by 11 percent in 1997, to $70.8 billion. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Productivity and Costs: First Quarter 1998 (Revised)
The Employment Situation: May 1998
Export and Import Price Indexes: May 1998
Producer Price Index: May 1998
Consumer Price Index: May 1998
Real Earnings: May 1998
The BLS has released revised productivity and cost estimates for the first quarter of 1998. Productivity rose by 1.7 percent in the business sector and 1.1 percent in the nonfarm business sector. The unemployment rate remained at 4.3 percent and non-farm payroll employment increased by 296,000 in May 1998. The US Import Price Index fell 0.1 percent in May, and the Export Price Index rose by the same amount. The PPI rose by 0.2 percent to 130.4 (1982=100) in May, and the CPI for All Urban Consumers rose by 0.2 percent, to 162.8 (1982-4=100). Real average weekly earnings rose by 0.6 percent from April to May. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

Census Bureau
Annual Capital Expenditures Survey: 1996 [.pdf, 49p.]
The latest annual issue of this publication, which provides "detailed and timely information on capital investment in structures and equipment by nonfarm businesses," is available from the US Census Bureau. The survey results are reported "for 94 separate industry categories based on 2-digit and selected 3-digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes." Survey results for 1995 and 1994 are also available. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Short Term Energy Outlook: June 1998
The EIA has released the June issue of its Short Term Energy Outlook. Among its conclusions, world oil prices are expected to remain stable in the near future, US gasoline prices are expected to remain more than 5 cents below those of a year ago for the next six months, and electricity demand increased in May, 1998. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Quarterly Banking Profile: First Quarter 1998 [.pdf]
The FDIC has released the latest issue of its Quarterly Banking Profile. The report can be viewed by type of bank, and a series of graphs (.pdf format) is also available. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: June 1998
Consumer Credit: June 1998
Finance Companies: May 1998
Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States: June 1998 [.pdf]
New FRBOG data on industrial production and capacity utilization reveal that the two indices rose by 0.5 and 0.1 percent, respectively, for the month of May, 1998. Consumer credit outstanding grew at a 5.25 percent rate (seasonally adjusted) in April, finance companies total growth rate fell at a 4.1 percent rate (SA) in March, and debt from "domestic nonfinancial sectors rose at a ... 6.25 [percent rate (SA)] in the first quarter of 1998, the same as in the fourth quarter of 1997." The Flow of Funds report adds six new appendix tables on benefit plans, contribution plans, an alternative balance sheet, and a flow of funds matrix "showing amounts outstanding by sector and instrument." [JS]
[Back to Contents]

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Dairy Market Statistics Annual Summary: 1997 [.pdf, 75p.]
USDA Reports Calendars: June 1998
USDA Agency Reports Calendar
ERS Calendar
NASS Calendar
The USDA has made available the latest annual Dairy Market Statistics, a compendium drawn from the weekly Dairy Market News (discussed in the September 25, 1997 Scout Report for Business and Economics). Its 43 tables cover the areas of production, storage, purchases, butter, cheese, and dry and fluid milk and cream. One of the most useful aspects of the publication is the availability in one place of monthly and weekly averages for numerous data tables from the DMN. The USDA summarizes its report releases from various sources (the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the World Agricultural Outlook Board) at these three calendar sites. Notable reports for June 1998 include Minnesota-Wisconsin Manufacturing Grade Milk Price Series, Base Month and Final Two-State Estimates for 1995-97 (June 5), and the Milk Production report (June 15), which indicated that California has passed Wisconsin to become the leading state in number of milk cows. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

External Trade Statistical Analysis: Principal Products 1997--Europa [Microsoft Excel]
This site offers, in Excel format, statistics on trade between the European Union and several developing nation regions in 1997. Statistics for trade with individual nations are also available for ACP (African, Caribbean, and Pacific) countries and South Africa. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

In the News
Economic Crisis in Japan
News from the Japan Times
Nikkei Net Market Quotes
Background and Analysis--Nikkei
World Fears for Japanese Economy--BBC
Running on Empty--Asiaweek
JEI's Spin on the News
"Japan's Trap"
Bank of Japan
Economic and Financial Data for Japan--IMF DSBB
This week's In the News examines Japan's struggle against economic recession. These nine resources discuss various aspects of the topic. Due to economic crisis throughout Asia, the Japanese economy was severely strained this week as the yen continued to fall against the dollar in Tokyo trading. A "weak domestic financial sector" and shrinking private-sector investments and exports also contributed to Japanese economic woes, according to Economic Planning Minister Shimpei Nukaya. Although many top Japanese governmental officials believe their nation's economy can be revived through financial reform and international monetary support, some United States analysts remain uncertain. With a weak GDP, a weak yen, and ownership of over half the world's savings, international concern for Japanese impact on other economies is growing. To alleviate these fears, President Clinton bolstered the yen with US dollar sales on June 17, 1998. The long-term effects of this intervention remain to be seen.

An archived digest of news articles from the Japan Times provides daily stock, currency, and governmental action reports in English, as news unfolds. The Daily Nikkei stock average, yen per dollar and bond yield is available from Nikkei Net, the top business information source in Japan. Nikkei Net also provides background and analysis with a compilation of economic data and opinions, organized by month. The BBC provides similar archived background news articles concerning Japan in addition to daily International and Business reports. For a more in-depth analysis, Asiaweek presents the article "Running On Empty," by Jonathan Sprague and Murakami Mutsuko, with links to a history of economic reform measures and other articles dealing with Japan's economy. The Japan Economic Institute (JEI) gives Asian Crisis figures and opinions in the "Spin on the News." Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economist Paul Krugman's spin is also available at his web page. Many of the Japanese economic reports cited by both JEI and Krugman may be downloaded at the Reports and Statistics section of the Bank of Japan's Website. In addition, the International Monetary Fund's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) provides daily updates of economic and financial data such as GDP, consumer prices, and government surplus. [MW]
[Back to Contents]

Subscription and Contact Information

To subscribe to the Scout Report for Business & Economics, send email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe SRBUSECON

For subscription options, send email to:
In the body of the message type:

Internet Scout team member information:

The Scout Report for Business & Economics
Brought to You by the Internet Scout Project

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.

Susan Calcari
Jack Solock
Thiam Hee Ng
Megan Waters
Jeannine Ramsey
Managing Editor
Assistant Editor
Assistant Editor
Production Editor

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-1998. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report for Business & Economics provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The Internet Scout Project provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison or the National Science Foundation.

Internet Scout
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project

Comments, Suggestions, Feedback
Use our feedback form or send email to

© 1999 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.