Archive for December, 2009

Book Review: Architects of Ruin

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

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Schweizer, Peter. Architects of ruin : how big government liberals wrecked the global economy–and how they’ll do it again if no one stops them. HarperCollins, 2009.

We experienced the dot-com bubble when the market crashed in 2000 due to overconfidence in technology. Investors took money out of the stock market and purchased real estate. It was a better investment opportunity thanks to low interest rates, risky mortgages, and relaxed lending standards.

But, economists have different perspectives on the basic questions of what caused the recent housing bubble, and also what to do about it. Peter Schweizer argues the cause was liberal social policy, not a market failure.

He points the finger at a long list of liberal activists. The short list includes Bill Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Barney Frank, Barack Obama, Robert Rubin, Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, and Timothy Geithner. (more…)

Business Week No Longer in Factiva

Monday, December 14th, 2009

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Business Week will no longer be available in the Factiva database starting with the December 14, 2009 issue (#4158).

According to this Information Today article, Bloomberg Inc. has acquired Business Week magazine from McGraw-Hill, and has chosen to discontinue online access to full text of issues after 12/7/2009 via Factiva.

The entire archive of Business Week will be removed from Factiva by the end of February 2010. Business Week will also be removed from the Factiva Newsstand landing page within the next week.

Coverage dates for Business Week in Factiva are now 14 January 1985 (issue:2876) until 7 December 2009 (issue:4158).

As of this posting date, the full text of current issues of Business Week is still available in the databases shown at this link; but this may change pending Bloomberg’s negotiations with other database vendors who offer the full text and archive of Business Week.

New Movies for December

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Here is the latest round of movies:

The Other End of the Line
Joyeux Noel
Public Enemies
Star Trek
The Tudors, Season 1

Whatever Works

Angels & Demons
The Cove
Four Christmases
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Julie & Julia
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Terminator Salvation

Using WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

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Earlier this fall, WRDS changed the procedure some users must follow to access data sets on the WRDS site.

This change has caused some confusion for users, and so we’ve created an entry in our FAQ to address the issue.

Please read the FAQ entry on accessing WRDS, and let us know if you have any questions.

ProQuest Databases Off-line for Maintenance

Friday, December 4th, 2009


All ProQuest databases (including ABI-INFORM Complete) will be temporarily unavailable this weekend while the vendor performs necessary system maintenance.

This maintenance outage will take place from Saturday, December 5, 2009, at 10:00pm EST to Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:00am EST.

Fuqua & Duke users may select alternative databases for article searches during the maintenance window by visiting our Databases By Subject page.

Thanks for your patience during this essential maintenance.

Book Reviews: “Cheap” and “Free”

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

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Shell, Ellen Ruppel. Cheap : the high cost of discount culture. Penguin, 2009.

Anderson, Chris. Free : the future of a radical price. Hyperion, 2009.

An outlet mall in Philadephia rings in four times as many visitors as the Liberty Bell. Colonial Williamsburg can’t hold a candle to the Potomac Mill outlet mall. So writes author Ellen Ruppel Shell in the book Cheap. Outlet malls are located 25 to 100 miles from a metropolitan area as a deliberate strategy. Not only is the land inexpensive, but the inconvenient location connotes cheap and America has a love affair with cheap.

Ruppel Shell covers a wide range of topics, including the history of bargains and markdowns, the effects of discounting on durability and craftsmanship and the psychology of discount decision making for the shopper. The hunt for bargain prices has led to a host of problems, including an unsafe food supply, global poverty and environmental devastation. Consumers have paid a high price for cheap goods.

So how low could prices go? In Free, author Chris Anderson makes the case that in an online economy, the cost of distribution is driving toward zero. Businesses have become more profitable by giving things away than they can by charging for them. (more…)