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Tag >> John Goff
Nov 13
2009

The best business movies you’ve probably never seen

Posted by RedConn in John Goff

RedConn

Making movies is a tough business. Making movies about business must be equally tough - or at least, that would seem to explain why production companies make so few films about the corporate world (that, or the perception that business-themed movies are box-office poison).

Nevertheless, filmmakers have made some pretty damned fine pictures about the workaday world. Below you'll find two lists of such movies. The first is our selection of the eight best business movies that are well-known. The second is our compilation of the eight best business movies you may not have heard of.

Oh yes, make sure to offer up your thoughts on the movies that don't belong on either list -- or great films that we somehow overlooked.

Nov 12
2009

Ten states on the brink

Posted by RedConn in John Goffgovernment finance

RedConn

And you thought Iceland was in deep financial trouble.

A new study conducted by the not-for-profit Pew Center shows that the land of Sportacus and hydrocarbons isn't the only location that's in dire financial straits. Closer to home, ten U.S. states are on the verge on insolvency, according to the research.

Nov 12
2009

Hackers welcome!

Posted by RedConn in John GoffIT Security

RedConn

The Obama Administration claims national computer security is one of its highest priorities. As proof, the Administration plans to establish a cybersecurity office in the White House. That office will be headed by a yet-to-be-appointed IT security czar. The President even went as far as to name October Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Back in boardrooms across America, corporate executives are plenty aware of cybersecurity. Indeed, CEOs, CIOs, and CFOs are well aware that, on the whole, their cyber-networks are anything but secure.

A new survey reveals the extent of these concerns. Half of 1,900 corporate execs polled by Ernst & Young said improving information technology risk management is their top security concern for next year.

Nov 10
2009

Pearls before swine-flu skeptics

Posted by RedConn in John GoffH1N1benefits

RedConn

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would guarantee employees paid sick leave if they come down with swine flu or other infectious diseases.

Dodd's proposal is similar to one introduced by California Representative George Miller last week. Both pieces of emergency legislation require an employer to provide an H1N1-infected worker with up to five days of sick leave. To qualify for the paid sick leave, the worker must be directed to stay home by the employer.

Nov 09
2009

Shocker: PE folks not wild about tax hike, reg spike

Posted by RedConn in private equityJohn Goff

RedConn

In a result that comes as no surprise, private equity executives say a proposed new tax hike would greatly damage their business. The PE execs also say heightened government regulation of their industry will constrain their ability to operate.

According to the survey, conducted by accounting firm BDO Seidman, two thirds of PE executives expect Congress to pass the tax proposal, which would modify the treatment of carried interest to pass. The proposal would bump up the tax on carried interest from the current 15 percent capital gains rate to 39 percent.

Carried interest is the profit earned on private equity investments by a dealmaker in a private equity house. It allows private equity professionals to receive up to 20% of the profit from a company they sell. The carry can be a significant portion of a private equity manager's total compensation.

Not surprisingly, about 43 percent of the PE executives surveyed by BDO Siedman said the proposed tax hike will reduce their ability to attract and retain top talent. Another third said it would dilute the competitive position of U.S.-based private equity firms.

Meanwhile, well over half of the polled managers said the administration's current proposals to regulate the PE industry will constrain the ability of certain funds to do business. About a quarter said the proposals would require cost and time that the industry cannot currently afford.

Nevertheless, four in ten PE executives report that they are receiving new commitments from LPs. The firms say they're receiving the majority of first-time financial commitments from pension funds (36%), family offices (29%) and international investors (25%).

Said Scott Hendon, a partner at BDO Seidman:  "Private equity firms with a proven track record and a solid history continue to be successful in launching new funds, even in the current marketplace."

(To see the full results from the survey, click here)

Nov 09
2009

Ten jobs that are hot -- and ten that are not

Posted by RedConn in John Goffemployment

RedConn

Alternative energy may be the industry of the future, but for now, fossil fuels still rule.

This incessant need for oil and gas probably explains why the folks who look for the stuff can almost always find a job. In fact, a new article in the Daily Beast rates ‘oil and gas drill operator' as the hottest job going. According to the Beast, the number of jobs available for drill operators has grown by more than 25 percent since 2006. Wages have grown by about the same percentage.

Many of the other occupations that make up the ten hottest jobs are hardly surprises. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that there are probably some pretty good job opportunities these days in either the energy or health-care sectors. But art director? Who woulda thunk it?



Nov 06
2009

The end of the ginormous bank?

Posted by RedConn in John Goffbanking industry

RedConn

It appears that members of Congress are only now realizing that the financial crisis has left the United States with just four national banks.

In the past few weeks, Capitol Hill has been abuzz with talk about what do to about financial services companies that are deemed ‘too big too fail.'

Nov 05
2009

Hot air, but not so much CO2 from banks

Posted by RedConn in John Goffclimate change

RedConn

Banks may have done considerable harm to the global economy, but they apparently are doing less damage to the globe itself.

When Nasdaq released the latest version of its OMX CRD Global Sustainability 50 Index this week, financial services companies dominated the index. All told, 11 financials made the index, which Nasdaq rejiggers twice a year.

The eleven on the list: State Street, All-State, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan Chase, Skotia Bank, HSBC, Westac, Citigroup, The Royal Bank of Canada, and Axa.

The Global Sustainability 50 is an equally weighted equity index that serves as a benchmark for stock or companies that are taking a leadership role in sustainability performance reporting. The businesses voluntarily disclose their current environmental, social and governance risks as well as their revenue opportunities and how it will affect future performance.

Typically, companies in industries that have smaller carbon footprints tend to be more willing to promote their sustainability programs. Heavy CO2 emitters are often less enthusiastic about discussing their efforts. That's doubly true now that some sort of cap-and-trade legislation appears likely to be passed by Congress.

Health-care companies are also well represented on the recalculated index, with ten pharmaceuticals making the grade. Similarly, eight of the constituent stocks came from the information technology sectors.

Not surprisingly, only three smokestack businesses made it onto the index: 3M, ABB and Siemens.

You won't find a car-maker on the list, nor any electricity producers which rely heavily on coal-burning power plants.

Oct 30
2009

Dropout capitals of America

Posted by RedConn in John Goffhuman resources

RedConn

Survey after survey have shown that the U.S. public school system is doing a poor job of preparing students for the workplace. Indeed, corporate executives have long complained that their companies must train some workers in basic skills like math and spelling so that they can do their jobs.

And things may not be getting any better, even after eight years of George ‘I am the education President' Bush and ten months of the Obama Administration. The Daily Beast highlights the problem in a new story that rates the dropout capitals of America.

Oct 29
2009

Doh! Lost letter may cost Pepsi $1.3 billion

Posted by RedConn in litigationJohn Goff

RedConn

It pays to read your mail. This week, the National Law Journal reported that a Wisconsin judge has ordered PepsiCo to pay two men $1.26 billion for allegedly stealing their idea to sell purified water.  That's roughly a quarter of the beverage-maker's net income for 2008.

The Wisconsin men said they spoke with Pepsi distributors in 1981 about their idea to bottle and sell purified water. The duo claim Pepsi later stole the idea by creating Aquafina. Pepsi introduced the bottled water in 1994.

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