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Current Readings

On Tap at Guinness: Strawberry Porter

Thomas Coe  |  Business Fundamentals

Large-scale breweries, “megabrands,” are dwindling in number. Craft breweries, while small in scale, are increasing in number as well as in popularity. This recent popularity is lopping off the head of sales growth. Can the big boys fight back at this crafty game?

The Foxconn of the Auto Industry

James Richardson, Ph.D.  |  Business Strategy

Canadian auto parts supplier Magna International is developing a concept car with autonomous driving and emissions-free technologies. It is positioning itself to be the contract manufacturer for automakers, old or new, seeking to introduce such vehicles.

The Prof Who Made a Monkey of Wall Street

Delvin D. Hawley, Ph.D.  |  Finance

Burton Malkiel has been saying the same thing about investing for more than 40 years. What's changed is that a big chunk of the financial industry now admits he was right all along. Now he is CIO at one of the leading robo-advisers firms. Malkiel thinks that, as with indexing, the services will win over the skeptics.

The Short Arm of the Claw

Katherine Campbell, Ph.D.  |  Org Behavior & HR

The banking scandal related to the creation of 2 million unauthorized Wells Fargo accounts is raising questions about how to prevent executives from profiting from fraudulent activity. Clawback policies can allow compensation that has already been paid to be recovered after misconduct is discovered, but effective implementation is often too difficult and expensive to be practical. Deferred compensation structures offer some promise, but full financial accountability for executives remains elusive.

Miracle Whipped

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Hampton Creek, a Silicon Valley–based maker of vegan products, is under investigation by the SEC and the Justice Department for securities violations and criminal fraud. One of the allegations is that Hampton Creek had a secret national program to buy its own products at stores in order to inflate sales figures.

Fierce Culture Drives Tencent’s Success

Katherine Campbell, Ph.D.  |  Org Behavior & HR

Although Tencent Holdings is now one of China’s largest public companies, it maintains a start-up mentality and uses internal competition to spur innovation. Employees at all levels compete against each other to win funding for projects. In this competitive culture, ideas often come from the bottom up, and the company’s executives actively engage with rank and file employees.

What Do You Do With a Spare Deepwater Rig?

Larry Walther, Ph.D., CPA, CMA  |  Accounting & Taxation

Oil has turned down, and billions of dollars worth of offshore drilling rigs have been idled. While engineers debate the best way to store them, behind the scenes accountants are scouring generally accepted accounting principles to determine when and how much of the cost of these idle assets can remain on the balance sheet as an asset.

The Foxconn of the Auto Industry

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

Any company considering entry into the auto industry will likely be in contact with Magna International. Magna makes a variety of components that go into most autos, and operates assembly lines that produce cars for certain auto companies. It is currently exploring how it might create a platform that companies considering entering the auto industry could use as the basis for their vehicles.

Using DNA Markers To Spot Bogus Fabrics

Craig A. Turner, Ph.D.  |  Entrepreneurship

While difficult to fully ascertain once in the product, Egyptian cotton commands a premium price in the fabric markets. Media stories of fake goods sold claiming this expensive fabric but really using less expensive and inferior cotton have given consumer confidence a negative hit. Using DNA testing technology, it is now possible to validate samples to alleviate the concerns. A small company operating from a business incubator in New York is specializing in this process.

Using DNA Markers To Spot Bogus Fabrics

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

Egyptian cotton is known for its long fibers that help make fabric particularly smooth and comfortable. Many retailers and brand name designers proudly label their bedding as being made with Egyptian cotton. Unfortunately, given the small scale of the Egyptian cotton production, it is simply mathematically impossible for all the bedding labeled as Egyptian cotton to actually have come from Egyptian cotton. As cotton goes through the various stages of production, it is common for cheaper varieties to be used. Now steps are being taken by retailers and designers to have the cotton they purchase be marked, and then subsequently tested, to make sure they are ending up with fabric that uses the cotton they paid for.

On Tap at Guinness: Strawberry Porter

Eric Cardella  |  Economics

In an attempt to counter the surging popularity of smaller craft breweries, large beer companies are launching new product lines and acquiring smaller craft breweries to regain market share and capitalize on the growing market.

Flipping’s Back…With Crowdfunding

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Marketing

House flippers turn to the crowd for quick cash. What could go wrong? Wall Street is not as interested in financing single-family developments in smaller and medium-sized deals, making crowdfunding a better way to fund such projects.

Fierce Culture Drives Tencent’s Success

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Operations Management

Tencent Holdings is trying to keep up with the ongoing structural shift in China’s advertising market with its push into live video apps. Apps such as Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook are banned in China.

The Pampered Package

Bob Cohen, MBA  |  Exploring Your Potential

It was 2006, Trent Kitsch was salmon fishing in Alaska, and he had a problem.

On Tap at Guinness: Strawberry Porter

Bob Cohen, MBA  |  Exploring Your Potential

Ale infused with juniper, sage, and dandelion. A strawberry and basil porter. A beer brewed with lactose, giving it a smooth, creamy feel on the palate. Such concoctions sound like the brainchild of a startup in Boulder, Berkeley, or Berlin? Think again.

The Browns Know a Lot About Their Fans

Angelina I. T. Kiser, Ph.D.  |  Information Technology

The tables have turned. A football team is now watching you.

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