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  • Business Ethics Relating to Knowledge and Skills - 15 April 2010
  • It is not uncommon for corporate companies to admit that its employees are among its most valuable assets, especially if those employees have sought-after skills. While recognizing this important fact, it is virtually impossible to put an actual monetary value on these assets, which usually go way beyond their monthly remuneration. Business ethics enter an almost intangible realm when dealing in concepts such as knowledge and skills. For example, when an employee comes up with an idea that proves to be of value to the company he/she works for it can become a matter of debate as to who has the right to the idea – the employee, or the company who trained the employee. Generally, these issues would be clearly set out in the employee’s initial letter of appointment, especially in a Research & Development scenario, thereby avoiding any ambiguity in the future.

  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act – Protecting Investor Interests - 4 March 2010
  • Enacted as a United States federal law on July 30, 2002, in response to the much-publicized financial scandals of corporate public companies such as Enron, Adelphia, Tyco International, WorldCom and Peregrine Systems, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is named after US Senator Paul Sarbanes and US Representative Michael G. Oxley who initiated it. Known in the US Senate as the 'Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act' and in the House as the 'Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act', it is more commonly referred to simply as Sarbox, or SOX.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility - 7 January 2010
  • As authorities express concern over global warming and all its associated implications, consumers are encouraged to do whatever they can to reduce their impact on the environment. While there have always been groups of pro-environmentalists, increased awareness of the consequences of poor environmental management has resulted in a marked increase in ethical consumerism and green branding. It has also put a whole new perspective on how both consumers and management teams view corporate social responsibility (CSR).

  • Passive vs. Active Investing Management - 31 December 2009
  • With many situations in life where there are two directly opposing opinions, each side believes their way to be the best, and this is certainly true of passive and active management in stock market investing. Proponents of passive management, also referred to as index investing, generally believe that the market can’t be beaten and therefore portfolio managers don’t make the decision as to which securities to buy or sell. Instead they copy an index by buying the same securities that are included in a particular bond or stock market index. Active managers, on the other hand, attempt to beat the market as measured by a chosen index or benchmark, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 or the Russell 1000, that gauge the performance of blue chip stocks. The ultimate goal of active management is to outperform the index for a particular fund by taking into account prevailing market trends, political and other current events, the economy and factors such as earnings growth relating to individual companies.

  • Investor Confidence Boost Reflected in July Results - 3 August 2009
  • Investor optimism was boosted on Friday as the month of July drew to a close, with all three major stock market indicators ending on a high note for the month. Data revealed that the economy had shrunk less than expected in the second quarter, and while bearing in mind that the percentages are being measured from a lower base, investor confidence was reflected in the Dow’s 8.6 percent increase, the rise by 7.4 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Nasdaq composite climb of 7.8 percent for the month – making July 2009 the best the Dow has achieved in twenty years, while the S&P 500 notched up its best performance since 1997.

  • The Conference Board - 30 July 2009
  • Promoted as providing "Trusted Insights for Business Worldwide", The Conference Board is a well-respected authority in the business world. With its main offices based on Third Avenue in New York City, this non-profit global business organization also has offices in Hong Kong and Brussels. Functions of The Conference Board include holding conferences with high profile executives from all over the world, and conducting business management research relevant to the current global market. One of the reports compiled by The Conference Board is its Consumer Confidence Index, which is of great interest to stock market traders, bearing in mind that a healthy economy is largely reliant on consumer spending.

  • Wall Street Sees Burst of Investor Confidence Ahead of Stress Test Results - 7 may 2009
  • While the much-awaited bank "stress test" results are only due out after close of business on Thursday, investors have been responding with zeal to speculation, rumors and leaked information since markets opened on Monday morning. Despite the fact that most of the "information" doing the rounds indicates that anywhere between ten and fourteen of the banks being scrutinized are likely to be instructed by the government to raise capital, shares of all nineteen participants jumped on Monday. At least a dozen increased by more than 10 percent, with even the worst performer, Morgan Stanley, gaining 4.7 percent.

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