The Scout Report for Business & Economics - September 7, 2000

September 7, 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 Economics of Tobacco Control -- World Bank [.pdf, QuickTime]
According to this new site from World Bank, more than 1.1 billion people worldwide smoke, and over 500 million people alive today will die of smoking-related illnesses unless governments implement effective tobacco control measures. Featured on the site is Curbing the Epidemic: Governments and the Economics of Tobacco Control, a 134-page World Bank report offering current global smoking trends, health consequences, and suggested responses to the tobacco epidemic. Tobacco control measures introduced in this report include raising tobacco taxes, comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, public service announcements, health warning labels, restrictions on smoking in public places, and making nicotine cessation therapies more accessible. The Country Data section allows users to generate short reports on topics including tobacco trade, mortality from smoking, and regulations and restrictions in over 100 countries. Finally, the site offers several versions of a World Bank-sponsored public service announcement about the evils of smoking, two online slide shows, "Risks of Dying From Smoking" and "Governments and the Economics of Tobacco Control," and an excellent Myths and Facts section. All in all, The Economics of Tobacco Control offers compelling information and data about the global epidemic of tobacco use as well as the ways in which countries are affected in both economics and in public health. [EM]
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Transparency International
Transparency International (TI) is a non-governmental organization concerned with "increasing governmental accountability and curbing both international and national corruption." Best known for its Corruption Perceptions Index (see the February 26, 1998 Scout Report for Business and Economics), Transparency International also offers a host of other corruption-related resources, including the TI Bribers's Pay Survey and TI Bribers's Pay Index, two resources on bribe-paying in international trade; an anti-corruption directory which serves as a reference guide to efforts in central and eastern European countries to support anti-corruption programs; working papers; and other publications. Also worthy of note is TI's ten-point program directed at pressuring the World Bank Organization to help strengthen its anti-corruption programs. The layout of the TI Website is somewhat confusing, but most of the organization's research efforts can be found in the Info Centre. [EM]
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Trade, Income Disparity and Poverty -- World Trade Organization (WTO) [.pdf]
This new report from the WTO "finds that trade liberalization helps poor countries to catch up with rich ones and that this faster economic growth helps to alleviate poverty." According to the highlighted findings, poor countries that have opened up to trade are economically converging at much faster rates than ones that haven't; the more open to trade a poor country is, the faster its living standard rises. The first chapter of this report offers an introduction and overview to poverty and trade issues, as well as an introduction to this study. Chapter two explores the links among "trade, economic growth, and income disparity." And the third chapter explains the ways in which being open to trade can benefit poor countries. The press release offers bulleted highlights to the report and provides the .pdf downloads for each of the report's three chapters. [EM]
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Option Paper -- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Recently released, this option paper, one in a series of papers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is part of a comprehensive review of the 76-year old US deposit insurance system. Because the US banking system is going through a period of healthiness, the FDIC feels that this is the best time to "address the latent flaws in the system." The paper begins with a marvelous introduction to the history and uses of the US deposit insurance system, including a lengthy overview on the need for system reform. The second section examines the pricing of deposit insurance for individual banks. Section three discusses the ways in which deposit insurance losses are funded, and the fourth section considers the extent of insurance coverage. The paper is available in its entirety in HTML format. [EM]
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Internet Indicators [.pdf]
In 1999, the Internet economy's revenues rose to over half a trillion dollars, and employment in this sector has grown to directly support 2/476 million workers, according to this site sponsored by Cisco Systems and the University of Texas. June 2000 findings of the Internet Economy Indicators are also presented in the report Measuring the Internet Economy, which examines the Internet economy in layers of indicators. The first layer looks at the Internet infrastructure, which consists of telecommunications companies, Internet carriers, and Internet service providers. The second Indicator, the Internet Applications Infrastructure Indicator, studies Internet software products and services. Layer three, the Internet Intermediary Indicator, includes businesses conducting transactions on the Web, and the final layer, the Internet Commerce Indicator, looks only at companies that conducted Web-based commerce transactions. Each of these layers is carefully explained in the report. The site includes case studies for each of these indicators and offers a Big Picture overview of the Internet economy. Along with these explanations and snapshot views and others, the entire report may be downloaded in .pdf format. [EM]
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Two Reports on the State of Women:
The World's Women 2000: Trends and Statistics -- UN Statistics Division
Press Release:
Summary of Main Findings:
Chapter Highlights (table of contents):
Statistical Tables:
Highlights of Women's Earnings, 1999 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics [.pdf, 38 pages]

In recent months, two significant collections of data documenting the status of women at the turn of the new millennium have appeared on the Web. The first, the online digest of the United Nation's The World's Women 2000: Trends and Statistics, was posted in late May and provides data and analysis on the worldwide status of women. It highlights statistics "on women's situation as compared to men's in a broad range of fields -- including families, health, education, work, human rights, and politics." Users can access the press release, a detailed summary of the main findings, shorter discussions of individual chapters, and sixteen individual data tables. The second, Highlights of Women's Earnings, 1999, was published by the United States's Bureau of Labor Statistics in mid-June. This 38-page document summarizes significant income statistics for women broken down by age, race, education, professional status, type of compensation (salaried vs. wage), type of employment (full vs. part-time), and other relevant categories. Among the significant findings: women earn approximately 77 percent as much as men do; also, the earnings gap is largest among whites and increases with age. [DC]
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After the Crisis: The Social Contract and the Middle Class in East Asia [.pdf, 63 pages]
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently placed online the complete text of After the Crisis: The Social Contract and the Middle Class in East Asia, authored by Nancy Birdsall and Stephan Haggard and published in July. The text examines the impact of the Asian financial crisis of 1997 upon an emergent, urban middle class and considers the key role this class is likely to play in the ongoing construction of the social contract in East Asia. [DC]
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Fingers to the Bone: United States Failure to Protect Child Farmworkers -- Human Rights Watch
According to this report released in June by Human Rights Watch, thirteen- to sixteen-year-old children are working 70 and 80-hour weeks in American fields and orchards under threat from heat illness, pesticide poisoning, injuries, and lifelong disabilities. The 112-page report documents these conditions -- both statistically and in the first person, reviews the lax laws that govern farmworkers in the US, and examines the racial dimension of the issue (the vast majority of farmworkers being Latino). The report conclusively illustrates that such occupational abuse of children doesn't only occur in so-called Third World nations. [DC]
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IMF Financial Transactions Plan Quarterly Report
On August 31, 2000, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that, for the first time, it will start regular publication of "information on the sources of financing for IMF lending." After each quarterly financial transaction plan is completed, the IMF will post on their Website the data on the amount of money donated by each member country used to finance lending operations as well as other transactions. This first report covers member lending from March 1, 2000 to May 31, 2000. Along with the data, it also explains the significance of each column in the report and the criteria for selecting members to finance IMF transactions. On the left side of the screen, users will find a short menu which links to other sources of information about the IMF, including a lengthy explanation on the financial operations and organization of the IMF, lending information, and a helpful glossary of terms. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Labour Economics Gateway (LEG)
Created and maintained by Jacques Brosius -- a PhD candidate in economics at The Center for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies of the International Networks for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development -- the Labour Economics Gateway (LEG) offers "a wealth of information on just about any topic in economics." LEG includes an alphabetical list of working economists and their homepages, research centers worldwide, discussion forums, and conference calls, as well as a broad collection of online journals and documents, such as working papers, online books, and articles. Brosius intends to make LEG a clearinghouse for labour economics links and information, and he welcomes feedback and suggestions. [EM]
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Report on the Youth Labor Force [.pdf]
This 84-page report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides "a detailed, overall look at youth labor in the United States, including regulations on child labor, current work experience of youth and how it has changed over time, and the outcomes of this experience." The seven chapters of this highly readable and fascinating report include "Child Labor Laws and Enforcement," "A Detailed Look At Employment of Youths Aged 12 to 15," "Trends in Youth Employment: Data from the Current Population Survey," and "Occupational Illnesses, Injuries, and Fatalities." The text of the report is enhanced with a large collection of charts and graphs, as well as accompanying documents. [EM]
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European Industrial Relations Observatory Online [.pdf, .zip]
A project of the European Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, European Industrial Relations Observatory Online (EIROnline) offers current information and analysis relating to industrial relations in the fifteen European Union members countries and Norway. The front page of the Website displays the most recent additions to the database in chronological order. The country of origin and the type of resource, including studies, feature-length articles, and news briefs, are given for each resource. Users may also choose to subscribe to EIRObserver, a free bimonthly newsletter offering a selection of articles based on new additions to the EIROnline database. The links page is a well-organized collection of sites listed by country. [EM]
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Knowledge Management: A Bibliographic Resource
Co-edited by John Hokkanen, a business and technology strategist, and Tricia Bond, a research librarian, Knowledge Management: A Bibliographic Resource is a straight-forward annotated bibliography of online articles relating to knowledge management (KM). The articles are organized by topic, including What is KM?, Why are Successful KM Projects Rare?, and Knowledge Management Technologies. Along with the links, the date and source of each article, as well as insightful annotations are provided. Although this bibliography is geared towards law firms, it contains abundant KM information that will be useful in any field. [EM]
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Information for Consumers -- Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Information for Consumers is collection of eight online brochures on a variety of credit-related topics geared towards the American consumer. Each pithy pamphlet contains a brief overview of the topic and links to further contacts and resources. Pamphlet titles include "Your Credit Rating," "Bank Products: What's Insured and What's Not," and "Fraud and Scams." [EM]
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General Interest

Investopedia features a searchable, browseable database of finance and investment terms; categories for terms include mutual funds, options and futures, retirement plans as well as acronyms, buzz words, and new economy terms. Each entry provides a concise definition of the term, as well as additional information from the "Investing Guy" and annotated related links. The site also contains the Investopedia University, a large collection of tutorials and articles from both the editors of Investopedia and from outside sources. Lively in tone, and thoughtful in content, Investopedia offers basic financial lessons for students and finance novices, as well as news and new financial issues for professionals. [EM]
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1999 Financial Disclosures of the Federal Reserve BOG
Released on September 4, 2000, the 1999 Financial Disclosures of the five members of the Fed's Board of Governors (BOG) offers fascinating insight into the "financial lives of America's most powerful economic policy makers." The data are displayed in an easy-to-read chart, offering information on the value of each governor's assets, assets of each governor and family, income from assets, and income from family assets. This site also offers bullet-pointed highlights of the findings, including the wealthiest governor and the financial investment choices of the BOG. The notes on each of the governors's statements are especially interesting. [EM]
[Back to Contents] is a new search engine dedicated to current financial news and stock information, especially financial message boards. Simply enter a stock ticker and will search through financial message boards for mentions of the stock. Each message is listed in chronological order, and includes the name of the poster, source, and message number. The site contains more traditional stock information such as links to active trading forums, a list of the top stock gainers and losers, and most-mentioned stocks. offers a great way to keep up with news and rumors about stocks. [EM]
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Optionetics Education Center
The Education Center for offers basic information on stock options. The collection of articles and guides is broken into four sections. Basic Options Concepts presents the main workings of stock options, including how to use options and how to exit an options position. Advanced Options Concepts contains articles on more obscure concepts such as long-term risk and volatility. Option Strategies offers insight on a variety of scenarios. And a compilation of options-related reading material is housed in the Options Education Articles section. The Optionetics Education Center includes a large collection of links to basic financial Websites and a helpful glossary of options terms. [EM]
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Women's Institute for Financial Education
The Women's Institute for Financial Education (WIFE) offers a monthly newsletter focused on women's financial issues. Like a strange blend of Oprah and Fortune magazines, WIFE contains articles on relationships and money, children and money, careers and money, and even stress-management and money. We at the Scout Project find the acronym WIFE to be somewhat dubious for an organization promoting women's financial independence. However, this Website does offer some sound advice on a variety of topics relating, literally, to home economics. [EM]
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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 [.pdf]

Federal Reserve Board of Governors International Finance Discussion Papers
The Declining Volatility of U.S. Employment: Was Arthur Burns Right?
The Expectations Trap Hypothesis

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston Working Papers
Troubled Banks, Impaired Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Relative Access to Credit

FRB Cleveland Working Papers
Implementing the Friedman Rule
Monetary Shocks, Agency Costs and Business Cycles

FRB Minneapolis Working Papers [.ps]
Money, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates With Endogenously Segmented Asset Markets
Finite Memory and Imperfect Monitoring
When should labor contracts be nominal?
Costly Banknote Issuance and Interest Rates Under the National Banking System

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
Costly Technology Adoption and Capital Accumulation

FRB San Francisco Working Papers
Black-White Wage Inequality in the 1990s: A Decade of Progress

Other Institutions:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers
Regulatory reform in road freight and retail distribution$FILE/00081454.PDF

Bank of International Settlements
International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Optimal Fiscal Strategy for Oil Exporting Countries
Inequality, Transfers and Growth: New Evidence from the Economic Transition in Poland
Corruption and the Provision of Health Care and Education Services
Demographic Change in Asia: The Impact on Optimal National Saving, Investment, and the Current Account
The Corporate Sector Dynamics of Systemic Financial Crises
Fiscal Reform Over Ten Years of Transition
Review of the Experience with Oil Stabilization and Savings Funds in Selected Countries
Bidding Behavior in Treasury Bill Auctions: Evidence from Pakistan
Threshold Effects in the Relationship Between Inflation and Growth
Budgetary Convergence in the WAEMU: Adjustment Through Revenue or Expenditure?

National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers
Managers, Investors, and Crises: Mutual Fund Strategies in Emerging Markets
Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits
Monetary Policy in a World Without Money
Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants
When Does Start-Up Innovation Spur the Gale of Creative Destruction?
Neighborhood Schools, Choice, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits
Interactions-Based Models

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
Are Sons and Daughters Substitutable? A Study of Intra-household Allocation of Resources in Contemporary Japan
On the Growth of Micro and Small Firms
An Empirical Look at the Earnings of Japanese Men: The Significance of College Quality, Occupations and Firm Size
Productivity Growth, Efficiency and Outsourcing in Manufacturing and Service Industries
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices
August 2000
The Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices for August 2000 provides insight on "changes in the supply of and demand for bank loans to businesses and households over the past three months." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston
Bank Notes
August 2000
Bank Notes, a monthly publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, reports on a compendium of banking-related news including bank mergers and acquisitions in New England during the past month. [EM]

FRB Chicago
Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf]
September 2000
The September 2000 Chicago Fed Letter contains the feature article "A Modest Proposal: Securitizing Multinational LDC Debt," by James T. Moser, Research Officer and Economic Advisor of FRB Chicago. [EM]

FRB Philadelphia
Business Review [.pdf]
September/October 2000
The two articles contained in Business Review from FRB Philadelphia are "Understanding Asset Values: Stock Prices, Exchange Rates and the 'Pesp Problem,'" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Data Bank: A Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists." [EM]

FRB San Francisco
Western Economic Developments [.pdf]
August 2000
According to the August 2000 issue of Western Economic Developments, economic growth in the Twelfth District gained momentum recently. Employment rose at an annual rate of 3.6 percent from April 2000 to July 2000. [EM]

FRB St. Louis
International Economic Trends [.pdf]
August 2000
This 47-page publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers economic overviews and financial markets for countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. [EM]

United States International Trade Commission
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review [.pdf]
July 2000
A quarterly staff publication from the USITC, Industry, Trade, and Technology Review's July 2000 issue contains articles on the World Trade Organization, the apparel market, and a production-sharing update. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include the August 24, 2000 speech by Urban Backstrom, Governor of the Sveriges Riksbank and Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of the Bank for International Settlements; a speech on global economic integration by Chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System Alan Greenspan; and a speech given by David Carse, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on August 21, 2000. [EM]

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Summer 2000
Online selections from the Summer 2000 issue of the Observer from the OECD include articles on the New Economy, the World Bank, and world taxation cooperation. [EM]
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Books and Journals

BakerBooks -- Harvard Business School
The latest issues of New Books at Baker Library and New Books from HBS Press are now available from Harvard University's BakerBooks site. These updates are posted by the fifteenth of each month and cover new additions for the preceding month. [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: International Review of Financial Analysis (Vol 8, No 3), Global Finance Journal (Vol 10, No 2), China Economic Review (Vol 10, No 2), Journal of Health Economics (Vol 19, No 5), Mathematical Social Sciences (Vol 39, No 3), Labour Economics (Vol 7, No 5), and Energy Economics (Vol 22, No 4). [EM]
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Inomics Conference Calls:
Email Conference Alert
Conference Search
The economics research service Inomics (described in the June 18, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) includes a conference alert service. Interested parties may specify their interests and receive email notifications of up-coming events, or they may search the Inomics conference database by date, geographic location, or JEL classification. [EM]

Conferences with Econometric Interest
The Royal Economics Society's Econometrics Journal site lists conferences in econometrics at this Econometric Links section. Forthcoming international conferences currently listed include the Society for Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics Annual Symposium, March 15-16, 2001, in Atlanta, GA, and the Young Statisticians' Meeting 2001, in April 2001, in Liverpool, England. [EM]

2001 North American Summer Meeting of the Econometric Society
College Park, Maryland
June 21-24, 2001

International ICSC Symposium on Multi-Agents and Mobile Agents in Virtual Organizations and E-Commerce (MAMA'2000)
Wollongong, Australia
December 11-13, 2000
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Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management

Job Openings for Economists (JOE)

Inomics: Job Openings for Economists
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New Data

Joint BIS-IMF-OECD-World Bank statistics on external debt [.pdf, Excel]
Updated on August 31, 2000, this quarterly report provides "the latest international data available, mainly from creditor sources, on the external debt of developing and transition countries and territories." Each of the fourteen data series is enhanced with background overviews and metadata. [EM]
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Gross State Product 1992-98: High-Tech Manufacturing and Business Services Boost Growth in Western States -- Bureau of Economic Analysis
Boosted by the high-tech manufacturing and business service industries, eight western states, along with New Hampshire and Georgia, have experienced rapid economic growth. [EM]
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Employment Situation, August 2000 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics [.pdf]
According to this update, the unemployment rate for August 2000 was left virtually unchanged, although another loss of 158,000 census workers and a large strike in the communications industry led to some decline. [EM]
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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 September 2000 include the Fruit and Tree Nuts Report [EM]
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In The News

Congress hears Firestone Case
1) "Firestone, Ford face Congress" -- CNNfn
2) "Firestone Worried About Tire Recall in '99" -- Los Angeles Times
3) "Ford's chief faces firing line today" -- Detroit Free Press
4) House Committee on Commerce Website [RealPlayer]
5) Consumer Advisory for Firestone Tires -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
6) Bridgestone/Firestone Voluntary Safety Recall Information Center
7) "Anatomy of a Recall" -- Time Magazine,2960,53931-101000903,00.html
On Wednesday September 6, 2000, the first congressional hearing on the Firestone tire recall of 6.5 million tires took place. According to federal safety officials, these faulty tires have led to 88 deaths in America, and Venezuelan officials are also investigating whether the tires led to 46 deaths. Scheduled to appear at the hearing were Bridgestone/Firestone Chief Executive Masatoshi Ono and Ford's Chief Executive officer Jacques Nasser. Ono apologized for the deaths which may be linked to Firestone tires. Nasser, however, refused to allow Ford to take any blame for the fatal accidents. At both the separate House and Senate hearings, Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone were reprimanded for not notifying consumers that there were flaws in the tires, even though complaints about the tires had been made for years, in countries around the world. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has registered over 1,400 complaints about the tires, including more than 250 injuries and the 88 deaths. Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, Rep. Tom Bliley (R. VA) admonished both companies, saying, "Even though the cause of this problem was and remains unknown, that is no excuse for inaction in the face of mounting evidence of real and potential danger to American drivers." Although Ford's Nasser insisted that his company cannot be blamed for tires, the NHTSA, which began its investigations of the tires in May of this year, believes that the fatal accidents were caused by both the faulty tires and the high center of gravity on Sport Utility Vehicles including the Ford Explorers which cause the SUVs to roll over.

CNNfn (1) gives a basic overview of the hearing, including a list of the Firestone tires that were recalled. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times(2) links this recall to Firestone's 1999 recall of tires in the Middle East. The Detroit Free Press(3) offers insight and commentary on Ford Motor Co. CEO Jacques Nasser's upcoming testimony. The House Committee on Commerce Website (4) contains several resources on the Firestone tire recall hearing including a live audio broadcast, a list of witnesses, and additional information. This consumer advisory from the NHTSA (5) covers the recall investigation, precautions for consumers who have recalled tires on their vehicles, and a list of recalled tires. The Bridgestone/Firestone Voluntary Safety Recall Information Center (6) provides company news, the reimbursement policy, a recall information sheet, and FAQs about the tire recall. Time Magazine(7) looks at the ways in which grassroots efforts of the Mexia, Texas lawsuit spurred the tire recall. [EM]
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