The Scout Report for Business & Economics - June 1, 2000

June 1, 2000

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


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News

The US Commercial Service is a governmental organization that promotes American business interest worldwide. Its recently launched Website is an information-rich resource offering effective trade and market research for businesses. After users complete the free registration form, they will be emailed a PIN number, which they need to use in order to access the Website's resources. A table of contents along the left side of the page offers a good introduction to the site. The information is organized into several sections including services, market research, trade events, and exporting resources. Perhaps the most germane resources can be found under the Exporting Resources section, including a Basic Guide to Exporting, Tariff Rates and Taxes, and an Export Programs Guide. The extensive information on this site is organized somewhat haphazardly, however, and the pop-down menu in the upper right hand corner of the main page is a much better way to perform a more in-depth search of the site. Be sure to visit the What's New page in order to find the newest resource in this ever-growing collection of trade resources. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Consortium on Green Design and Manufacturing [MS Word]
Founded in 1993, the Consortium on Greening Design and Manufacturing (CGDM) encourages "multidisciplinary research and education on environmental management and pollution issues in critical industries." Faculty and students of several departments at Berkeley University, including mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, the School of Public Health, and the Hass School of Business, have teamed up with partners in the public and industrial sectors. The impressive objectives of this consortium include creating multidisciplinary curriculums focusing on environmental issues and industry, forming research partnerships with these industries, and offering green design and manufacturing information to "businesses, governmental agencies, and the non-profit sector." The main resources on this site are provided under the Research and Publications sections. The Research section includes basic overviews of the CGDM's current projects, along with abstracts of related papers. In some cases, the full texts of the papers are included in Microsoft Word format. The Publications section mirrors the same large collection of research papers found in the Research section. The Consortium on Greening Design and Manufacturing will be a welcome resource for anyone interested in environmental and greening issues. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Survey of Electronic Money Developments -- BIS [.pdf, 558K]
This 111-page document reports the findings of the Bank for International Settlements's (BIS) Survey of Electronic Money Developments. In recent years, there has been interest, worldwide, in the potential for electronic currency to replace cash in several types of transactions, which would be less expensive for both the merchants and the customers. The survey focuses on ensuring "that central banks have adequate information to monitor the growth of electronic money and to assess its possible consequences." The information on electronic money products gathered in late 1999 and early 2000 from 68 participating countries and territories is included in this report, as well as the electronic money policies that have been adopted by central banks and other authorities. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Your Voice at Work -- ILO [QuickTime, .pdf, 12.3 MB]
Released on May 25 by the International Labor Organization, this 88-page report, the first released under the ILO's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, examines significant trends and problems related to freedom of association and collective bargaining rights around the world. The report stresses the crucial role of both in ensuring decent working conditions and documents various violations of these rights across the globe as well as the dangers brought on by the rapid growth of informal economies. Users can read the report in its entirety or by section, although the full report, at 12MB is a surprisingly large download considering its length. The ILO site also offers background information, related publications, and a two-part video press release in QuickTime format. [MD]
[Back to Contents]

"Survey: Online Finance" -- The Economist
This lengthy article from The Economist gives an excellent, far-reaching overview of the industry of online banking. "Online Finance" considers the role of online banking within the finance industry as well as examining the benefits and pitfalls of banks transferring their services to the Internet. The survey is broken into nineteen sections which explore this phenomenon from a variety of angles including banking technology, online brokerage firms, and some of the obstacles of online finance, as well as looking at banking on the Internet in Japan and Scandinavia. The article also includes related titles in The Economist archive, as well as linking to several sections of the SEC Website that were mentioned in the article. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources

MagPortal: Magazine Articles on Business
MagPortal has compiled this online collection of business articles on a variety of subjects. The sixteen subcategories include Diversity, Future Trends, Industries, Small Business, and Strategies and Management. The articles are current to the month and annotated, including date of article, author, title, and a brief description. Small yellow and orange icons allow users to mark articles and to retrieve related articles in other categories. Clicking on the article title takes users to the original publication. Articles from previous months may be accessed through the MagPortal archive linked at the bottom of each section. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Expert Guides -- Accounting Web
Accounting Web, a UK-based accounting site, has created this growing collection of Web-based learning resources related to accounting. The 20 listed guides include thoughtful manuals on reporting financial performance, Excel productivity points, and a guide on the new Enterprise Management Incentive due to be made law in England this summer. Each expert guide is helpfully annotated, and guides are authored mainly by the staff of AccountingWeb. This site is also the only place where users can take advantage of the sage advice of Dave Carter, perhaps one of the leading pivot table experts, through his series of excellent online tutorials. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Community Management and Development
Community Management and Development, hosted by the Seattle Community Network and produced by the Community Management Programme, provides training materials for community organizers working in low income neighborhoods. Over 100 Websites, including guides, manuals, and handbooks for community management and development, have been collected. The site offers training materials, training methods, community empowerment principles, micro enterprise training, and more. By far, the best way to browse the extensive resources held on this site is to use the site map, which can be found under the training section. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Financial Management Training Center [.pdf, MS Word, E-Book Reader]
Created and maintained by Matt H. Evans, a certified public accountant trained at the Wharton School of Business and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, the Financial Management Training Center offers eight free, online courses on financial management. Each lesson -- on topics including Evaluating Financial Performance, Capital Budgeting Analysis, Creating Value through Financial Management, and Strategic Planning -- is available for download in three formats: .pdf, Word, or as a self-extracting file. Mr. Evans suggests budgeting about two hours for each lesson. Users may also choose to receive training through one of twelve "toll-free courses," which are 30-minute recorded lectures provided over the telephone. The Financial Management Training Center also has an excellent collection of financial education links, which are located down the right side of the site. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Forecasting Principles [.pdf, Excel, MS Word]
J. Scott Armstrong, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania created Forecasting Principles for educators, practitioners, and researchers of forecasting. The resources found on this site "provide a comprehensive and structured review of the state of knowledge about forecasting methods." Three main sections offer papers, surveys, overviews, and resources to educators, practitioners, and researchers separately. However, the site contains basic information germane for all of these purposes as well. The site also lists upcoming conferences as well as a small library of annotated links. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest

eCompany Now
The online counterpart to the newly launched eCompany Magazine,eCompany Now strives "to be the straight-talking, sophisticated companion to business people who face the risks and opportunities the Web brings to the business world." Along with articles lifted from the print publication, eCompany Now has created several value-added features, including Web Files, which are online resources that correlate to articles in the paper version of the magazine. The site also provides interactive bulletin boards in its Discussion section, links, news headlines, and Hot Topics, which are groupings of articles, links, and bulletin boards related to single topics. While this site obviously has been created to enhance the print edition, eCompany Magazine, even those who don't subscribe to the hard copy will find the information on Web businesses helpful and interesting. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Patient Investor
Dan Bassett and Chris Stallman, two high school sophomores, created Patient Investor in order to teach other young adults and teenagers about investing. This information-rich resource offers excellent investment basics in clear, lively language, and focuses on the "buy and hold" method of investing. Patient Investor contains short articles written by Bassett and Stallman, along with other contributors, on subjects including saving for college, general investing, and savings bonds. Also highlighted on the site is the Young30 stock index, which consists of stocks that affect the lives of young investors, including The Gap, America Online, and Charles Schwab. Interested users may subscribe for free on site. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

The Silicon Valley Cultures Project Website
The Silicon Valley Cultures Project, from the anthropology department at San Jose State University, "is a ten year ethnographic study of the cultures living and working in the hi-tech communities of Silicon Valley." Professors Charles Darrah and J. A. English-Lueck began the project in 1991, and this Website presents the preliminary findings of the study. The site contains an overview and background information on the project, as well as short project papers, student papers, and information on future studies associated with the project. The Silicon Valley Cultures Project is a truly interesting look at the world of hi-tech culture. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Consumer Links and Brochures -- FRB Atlanta
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has compiled this useful collection of links and online brochures about a variety of consumer-oriented information. The resources are mainly from government sources including other federal reserve banks, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Information Center, and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The brochures, which are organized by subject, cover a wide range of topics including debt issues, auto leasing, small business credit, and electronic money and direct deposits. All of the information is written for consumers in easy-to-understand language. [EM]
[Back to Contents] is a recruiting Website dedicated to helping find employment for finance professionals. Featured on this site is a comprehensive database of open finance positions, searchable by keyword, job category, and geographic location. The Website also contains a helpful job resources section, which includes sections on financial training, free industry profiles, and suggested book titles. Interested users will want to take advantage of the free registration, which allows one to apply for jobs online and create custom Job Alerts which will email notifications of new jobs fitting specific criteria. will be a welcome resource for any finance professional looking to enter the market or change jobs. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

News by E-Mail -- Financial Times's new free email news service delivers selected stories to subscribers each weekday. After free registration, subscribers can select the topics that interest them, from industry-specific news (autos, chemicals, transport, etc.) to various summaries (US news, world news and comment, etc.). Available in HTML or text form, the email news stories are linked to research, online discussions, and other resources. Users can add or drop topics at any time, making News by E-Mail a very useful morning briefing from one of the foremost sources of business news. [MD]
[Back to Contents]

Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the The Scout Report for Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers

Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG) Finance and Economic Discussion Series
Assessing the Productivity of Public Capital with a Locational Equilibrium Model
Purchasing Power Parity: Three Stakes Through the Heart of the Unit Root Null
Does Multinationality Matter? Evidence of Value Destruction in U.S. Multinational Corporations
The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Cleveland Working Papers
Generalized Search-Theoretic Models of Monetary Exchange

FRB New York Staff Reports
Rating Banks: Risk and Uncertainty in an Opaque Industry

FRB St. Louis Economic Research Working Papers
Private and Public Circulating Liabilities
Identification of Dynamic Economic Models from Reduced Form VECM Structures: An Application of Covariance Restrictions

Other Institutions:
International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Spillovers Through Banking Centers - A Panel Data Analysis
Capital Mobility and the Output-Inflation Tradeoff
Real Effects of High Inflation
Sex Discrimination and Growth
VIVAT, CVAT, and All That - New Forms of Value-Added Tax for Federal Systems
Social Fractionalization, Political Instability, and the Size of Government
Assessing Fiscal Sustainability in Theory and Practice
Seasonality and Capacity - An Application to Italy

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The tax system in the Czech Republic$FILE/00078013.PDF
The tax system in Norway: past reforms and future challenges$FILE/00078004.PDF

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Papers
Exchange Rate Returns Standardized by Realized Volatility Are (Nearly) Gaussian
Range-Based Estimation of Stochastic Volatility Models or Exchange Rate Dynamics are More Interesting Than You Think
The Distribution of Stock Return Volatility
Ratings Migration and the Business Cycle, With Application to Credit Portfolio Stress Testing
Banking on Gambling: Banks and Lottery-Linked Deposit Accounts
Financial Market Regulation: The Case of Italy and a Proposal for the Euro Area
Optimal Financial Crises
The Basis Risk of Catastrophic-Loss Index Securities

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
Costly Information, Diversification, and International Mutual Fund Performance
Maximum-likelihood based inference in the two-way random effects model with serially correlated time effects
Testing Game Theory
Institutional Determinants of the Prevalence of Start-ups and High-Growth Firms: Evidence from Sweden
On the equivalence of the net benefit and the Fieller's methods for statistical inference in cost-effectiveness analysis
Testing for common cointegrating rank in dynamic panels
The Effectiveness of Government Debt and Transfers as Insurance

Institute for Development Policy and Management Finance and Development Working Papers
The Policy Environment for Promoting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Ghana and Malawi
[Back to Contents]


Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
The Beige Book
May 3, 2000 update
The Beige Book, a summary of commentary on current economic conditions, gives an overview of federal reserve board district reports by district and sector. During March and the first part of April 2000, economic growth among the twelve districts of the Federal Reserve continued to expand, with only FRB Richmond and FRB Chicago reporting any decline in growth. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta [.pdf]
Economic Review
First Quarter 2000
Economic Review, a quarterly publication from FRB Atlanta, features three articles in its First Quarter 2000 issue: "A Primer and Assessment of Social Security Reform in Mexico," "Issues in Hedging Options Positions," and "Evidence on the Efficiency of Index Options Markets." [EM]

FRB Chicago [.pdf]
Economic Perspectives
Second Quarter 2000
This quarterly journal from FRB Chicago contains in-depth articles on the bank's research in both the financial and international sectors. This issue contains the articles "Income Inequality and Redistribution in Five Countries," "The Expectations Trap Hypothesis," "Subordinated Debt as Bank Capitol: A Proposal for Regulatory Reform," "Unemployment and Wage Growth: Recent Cross-State Evidence," and "Bank Structure Conference Audio Tapes." [EM]

FRB New York [.pdf]
Current Issues on Economics and Finance
May 2000
The May 2000 edition of the monthly publication Current Issues on Economics and Finance consists of the article "Explaining the Gap between New Home Sales and Inventories," which explores the reasons why inventories for new homes have fallen since 1995. [EM]

FRB San Francisco [.pdf]
Western Economic Development
May 2000
FRB San Francisco's bi-monthly publication Western Economic Development summarizes economic growth and development in the Twelfth District. The economy remained strong throughout the first quarter of 2000, with an employment growth rate of 2.5 percent annually. California's economic growth rate was especially high, due to "usually rapid growth of income and consumer spending." [EM]

FRB St. Louis
Regional Economist
April 2000
The April 2000 edition of the Regional Economist from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis contains the lead article "A New Universe in Banking after Financial Modernization," which considers the relationships between commercial and investment banking and insurance. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include an address to the Auckland Rotary Club given by Donald T Brash, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, on currency union; a speech on banking supervision and financial markets, given on May 22, 2000, by Willem F Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank; and Deputy Governor of the Sveriges Riksbank Lar Nyberg's speech on the infrastructure of emergency liquidity assistance, given on May 22, 2000. [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Economic Outlook
June 2000
The June 2000 issue of Economic Outlook from the AEI contains the article "The Need to Fear a Hard Landing," by John H. Makin. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Books and Journals

Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business -- June 2000
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics -- June 2000
Baker & Taylor lists business and economics books published in April 2000. [EM]

Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts, tables of contents, and in some cases full-text, for over 60 journals are now available online, including the following: Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol 28, No 2), Journal of International Money and Finance (Vol 19, No 2), Insurance Mathematics and Economics (Vol 26, No 2), Resources Policy (Vol 25, No 4), Economic Modelling (Vol 17, No 1), Journal of Asian Economics (Vol 10, No 3), and Labour Economics (Vol 7, No 3). [EM]
[Back to Contents]


Conferences with Econometric Interest
The Royal Economics Society's Econometrics Journal site lists conferences in econometrics at this Econometric Links section. [EM]

Workshop on Agent-Based Computational Demography
Rostock, Germany
February 21-23, 2001

Fighting Poverty and Inequality through Tax Benefit Reform: Empirical Approaches
Barcelona, Spain
November 25, 2000
[Back to Contents]


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

Job Openings for Economists (JOE)
[Back to Contents]

New Data

Personal Income -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
The BEA reports that personal income increased $57.1 billion, or 0.7 percent, in April 2000; disposable personal income also rose 0.7 percent, or $45.0 billion. During the same month, personal consumption expenditures rose $24.1 billion, or 0.4 percent. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Consumer Price Index -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.1 percent in April 2000; the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers also rose 0.1 percent during the same month. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
2000 Agency Reports/ Schedule
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 this calendar site. Notable data for June 2000 include the Hops Stocks report, which reports the hops stocks held by "growers, dealers, and brewers in the US." [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Monthly Energy Review -- Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Along with the usual reports on energy resources, including natural gas, electricity, coal, and nuclear power, this month's Monthly Energy Review also contains an Energy Plug on the Summer 2000 Motor Gasoline Outlook. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

In The News

Payday Lending on the Rise
1) "Payday lending is on the rise" -- Christian Science Monitor
2) "Unregulated Payday Lending Pulls Vulnerable Customers into Debt Spiral" -- Woodstock Institute [.pdf]
3) "Show Me the Money" -- The PIRGs and the Consumer Federation of America [.pdf]
4) "Lawmaker proposes measure to restrain 'payday' lending" -- Fox Market Wire
5) "'Payday loans' prey on the poor" -- Poverty Law
6) "The Growth of Legal Loan Sharking: A Report on the Payday Loan Industry"
7) Fact Sheet on Payday Loans -- Consumers Union
8) Payday Loans -- Department of Financial Institutions
More and more poor and middle-class workers in need of fast cash are turning to high interest payday lending establishments in order to meet their financial demands. This growing trend is alarming to economists, legislators, and consumer advocates who see payday lending as a kind of "legal loan sharking." Most users want to borrow between $100 and $300, and will write a post-dated check for that amount, plus a 15-20 percent fee. Typically, along with the post-dated check, the borrower will also provide proof of a checking account, employment, and permanent residence to one of these store-front lenders. The loan is due on the borrower's next payday, at which time, the borrower may choose to pay another fee and roll over the loan, or the lender will cash the check or accept cash payment and destroy the check. Lenders took in "more than $1 billion in fees last year and expect to take in another $2 billion this year." Although the practice of payday lending is illegal in eighteen states, these businesses continue to flourish. In 1995, there were fewer than 1,000 "payday lenders" in the US. Now, however, in 2000, there are over 10,000 such stores.

The Christian Science Monitor(1) explores the economic reasons why payday lenders charge such exorbitant fees. This nine-page document from the Woodstock Institute (2) details the detrimental effects of payday lending and makes several recommendations for legislation on the state and federal levels. Available for download in .pdf format, this 23-page report from the PIRGs and the Consumer Federation of America (3) considers payday lending and "the effects of financial deregulation on American consumers." Fox Market Wire (4) reports on a measure proposed by Rep. John LaFalce of New York, senior Democrat on the House Banking Committee, to restrain payday lending. This editorial (5) was written by Toni Preckwinkle, fourth ward alderman in Chicago, IL, who has sponsored a city ordinance that would ban or restrict payday loans. Published in 1998, this report from the Consumer Federation of America (6) gives an excellent overview of the practices of payday lending. Consumers Union (7) offers this short fact sheet which explains the pitfalls of taking out payday loans. This brochure from the Department of Finance Institutions (8) includes visual aids which demonstrate the high interest rates on payday loans. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Scout Report for Business & Economics Subscription Instructions

To receive the electronic mail version of the Scout Report for Business & Economics every other Thursday, join the SRBUSECON mailing list. This is the only mail you will receive from this list.

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
Travis Koplow
Emily Missner
Pat Coulthard
Alan Foley
Managing Editor
Technical Specialist
Website Admistrator

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report for Business & Economics.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The Scout Report for Business & Economics, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2000.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2000. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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

© 2000 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.