Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's Hot wharton

What's Hot
Yanked from Obscurity: Why Finance Experts Are Rethinking LIBOR

First, U.S. Bankers raised questions about how the daily London Interbank Offered Rate was calculated, and then The Wall Street Journal demonstrated that the rate was inexplicably diverging from what the data suggested it ought to be. Getting it right is important, because LIBOR is the basis for many kinds of loans. The British Bankers Association says it will make changes.


Leadership and Change
(Videocast with Transcript)
SAP's Bill McDermott: The Future of Enterprise Software

As president and CEO of SAP Americas, Bill McDermott is responsible for managing the German software developer's strategic initiatives in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and most recently in Japan, China and India. In an interview with Wharton management professor Saikat Chaudhuri, McDermott offered his views on where enterprise software is headed and how the company has leveraged worldwide resources to deliver its services globally. The two also discussed SAP Americas' relationship with Microsoft and threats the company faces from arch rival Oracle.

Leadership and Change
Russia's Best-known Investment Banker, Ruben Vardanian, on Building Trust in a Fast-moving World

When 22-year-old Ruben Vardanian became chairman of Troika Dialog in 1992, he applied international banking standards, stressed transparency and built a young, multicultural and cooperative workforce. It wasn't easy in the rough-and-tumble Russian economy of the 1990s, but his company is now Russia's oldest and largest private investment bank. Wharton management professors Valery Yakubovich and Michael Useem spoke with Vardanian about entrepreneurship, education -- and staying honest -- in Russia.

Finance and Investment
Growing Value and Activism Bring New Scrutiny to Public Pension Funds

Controlling about $3 trillion, public pension funds are too big to ignore. Some use their influence to boost shareholder rights or support social causes. In the face of "pension envy" from private sector workers, some governments have adopted defined contribution plans – and some of those have regretted the decision. The issues were explored at a Wharton Impact Conference called, "The Future of Public Employee Retirement Systems."

Managing Technology
Bridging the Global Digital Divide, One Laptop at a Time

On May 20, the non-profit One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program unveiled the second version of its XO laptop, which is designed to bring affordable, modern technology to children in developing countries. In April, Intel announced its next-generation Classmate PC, which targets the same market. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been tweaking its Windows XP operating system for these educational devices, which also run on the open source Linux operating system. Experts at Wharton say that the focus on third world countries is promising, but they question whether these efforts will be effective.

Finance and Investment
Secrets of the Private Equity Trade

Private equity firms manage some $1 trillion of global capital, yet because they are highly secretive, much remains unknown about their internal economics. How do PE firms organize themselves, for example, and how do they capitalize on their success? Some answers emerge from a paper by Wharton finance professor Ayako Yasuda and Yale School of Management finance professor Andrew Metrick presented at a recent Wharton conference sponsored by the Weiss Center for International Financial Research.

Law and Public Policy
Clearing the Air: How Companies Operate in a Climate-conscious Era

Where to locate a new headquarters, how to close a supply-chain loop, how to anticipate customer demands: These are all decisions that companies must wrestle with as they respond to increasing concerns about global warming. Given the rush to be environmentally friendly, where do companies turn for dependable information and good advice? Wharton faculty and other experts say companies have to rely on a combination of internal and external resources as they try not only to manage the risks of climate change, but also to gain a competitive edge.

Managing Technology
(Podcast with Transcript)
Google's Joe Kraus on How to Make the Web More Social

Joe Kraus, director of product management at Google, believes every killer app on the web -- instant messaging, e-mail, blogging, photo-sharing -- has succeeded because it helps people connect with one another. For Kraus, this means the Internet has an inherently social character, but it can be enhanced further. Wharton legal studies professor Kevin Werbach spoke with Kraus recently about the socialization of the Internet. Kraus will speak about social computing at the Supernova conference in San Francisco on June 16.

Rodrigo González Fernández
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