Sunrises are the best time of day while sitting at my desk that looks out
at the Kinsman, Twin, and Presidential Mountain Ranges in the White Mountains
No two sunrises and sunsets are exactly alike if there are clouds



In October a half-mile parade of antique cars parked in front of our cottage for the mountain views

They took a lot of pictures of this tree

We have lots of Tiger Lillies up here


Here are some fun pictures sent to my by friends.


Yummy parts not included in the cavity of the bird you buy for Thanksgiving
Turkey Testicle Festival ---

San Antonio Duck Story --- Click Here

Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: Natural History in Early America by Lee Alan Dugatkin (University of Chicago Press; 2009, 166 pages; $26). Examines how the moose figured in Thomas Jefferson's efforts to refute European disparagements of American flora and fauna. Not available online.

Larry in Iraq (slide show) --- Click Here


Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations Between November 18-25, 2009
To Accompany the November 17, 2009 edition of Tidbits      

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock ---

The Real National Debt (booked + unbooked entitlements) 2008
Source ---

The New York Times Timeline History of Health Care Reform in the United States ---
Click the arrow button on the right side of the NYT timeline.

What went so wrong with health care system reform in the United States?
Mostly what went wrong is our ill-conceived and underfunded attempts to reform the system!

Bob Jensen's threads on health care are at



Tidbits on November 25, 2009
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at

CPA Examination ---

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google ---

World Clock and World Facts ---

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock ---

Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory ---       [www_public-records-now_com] 
 Free online 800 telephone numbers ---
 Google Free Business Phone Directory --- 800-goog411
To find names addresses from listed phone numbers, go to and read in the phone number without spaces, dashes, or parens

Daily News Sites for Accountancy, Tax, Fraud, IFRS, XBRL, Accounting History, and More ---

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google ---
Bob Jensen's search helpers ---
Education Technology Search ---
Distance Education Search ---
Search for Listservs, Blogs, and Social Networks ---

Bob Jensen's essay on the financial crisis bailout's aftermath and an alphabet soup of appendices can be found at

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials ---
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines ---
Edutainment and Learning Games ---
Open Sharing Courses ---
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 


On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
       (Also scroll down to the table at )

Global Incident Map ---

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  ---

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials ---
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines ---
Edutainment and Learning Games ---
Open Sharing Courses ---

Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

Video:  President Obama lectures China on its shortcomings
The Best One Yet from Saturday Night Live ---

Jagdish Gangolly clued me into this video
Vilayanur Ramachandran: A journey to the center of your mind

Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren discusses her effort to change the consumer protecting (including credit card company abuses), Video from The New Yorker, November 16, 2009 ---
This video will only be online for a short while.

Climate Science Video (not politically correct) ---

Video:  How gullible are you (priming)? ---

Dancing With Her Grandson video --- Click Here 
You must watch this one well beyond the slow beginning

They call this dancing guy (Robert Muraine) "Mr Fantastic" after the rubber-limbed comic-book hero in the Fantastic Four.

Funny Toyota Commercial ---

United Airlines has flying guitars after the planes have landed ---
The Power of YouTube

Dave spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor guitar. During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for Youtube exposing their lack of cooperation. The Manager responded : "Good luck with that one, pal".

So Dave posted a retaliatory video on Youtube. The video has since received over 5.5 million hits. United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Naturally his response was: "Good luck with that one, pal". Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has lead to a sharp increase in orders.

Video:  German Coast Guard Trainee ---

Saturday Night Live Comedy About President Obama

Free music downloads ---

Beethoven and the Moon Slide Show --- Click Here 

United Airlines has flying guitars after the planes have landed ---
The Power of YouTube
So he posted a retaliatory video on Youtube. The video has since received over 5.5 million hits. United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Naturally his response was: "Good luck with that one, pal". Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has lead to a sharp increase in orders.

Dancing With Her Grandson video --- Click Here 
You must watch this one well beyond the slow beginning

An Unlikely African-American Music Historian (Polk Miller) ---

George Shearing On Piano Jazz ---

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

Jazz And The 50 Most Important Albums Of 2000-2009 ---

Katie Couric dirty dancing --- Click Here
Watch the slide show video --- 

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) ---
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) ---

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site ---
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection ---
Also try Jango ---
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) ---
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live ---
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings ---

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- 

Photographs and Art

San Antonio Duck Story --- Click Here

World Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Images --- 

Beethoven and the Moon Slide Show --- Click Here 

NASA Photos of the Day: A United States engineering marvel named Space Shuttle Atlantis (slow loading) ---  Click Here

Julia Morgan-An Online Exhibition 

American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915

The Erie Railroad Glass Plate Negative Collection

The Swingle Plant Anatomy Reference Collection (over 1,700 images) ---

OSU Multimedia History of History (especially American History) ---
eHistory at OSU: Multimedia Histories [Real Player]

Dartmouth Flood Observatory --- 

Animal Science Image Gallery ---

Horse Genome Project ---

Caribbean Art and Visual Culture ---

Obama Hosts First State Dinner (a gala affair) --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

World Wide Words ---

101 Best Websites for Writers ---

UW Student Newspapers Archive ---

Amazon's Kindle for the PC (Beta) is now available for free download --- Click Here
The 360,000 books currently available for downloading into your PC are not free.
It appears that that all books available for the Kindle Reader are also available for the Kindle PC.
Since most (all?) of the available books are not multimedia books, the multimedia advantage of the PC is not utilized to date.

"Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon," by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, May 31, 2009 ---

The Kindle Reader ($259) is easier to hold/carry than a PC, and a multimedia version is on the drawing boards.
The more expensive DX version has some features worth noting, including larger capacity and a headphone jack and speakers. Kindle DX holds the most (up to 3,500 books) relative to its competitors.

Most popular textbooks in academic disciplines, especially accountancy, are not yet available for download.

Adobe offers a DRM technology called Adobe Content Server 4. Sony and a number of other online bookstores--most notably Borders--sell commercial titles in ePub/ACS4 format, and some libraries let patrons check out ePub books.

A comparison chart of Kindle DX, Kindle 2, Sony, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Sony PRS 7 is available at  ---
Click Here
To date, Nook is the only reader that can download multiple color pages.  It also has the largest screen and a dual screen

PC World compared five brands of eBook readers (not PC versions) and still prefers the Sony Reader. Sony's $300 reader matches the Kindle 2's screen size and quality but adds a touchscreen and support for free e-books and Adobe ePub, an e-book file format that book publishers and resellers have widely embraced --- See below.

Kindle 2 is the most popular seller to date.

Bob Jensen's links to free books. textbooks, and poems available for download into your PC or Mac without special software are provided at
These are not, of course, the latest titles emerging in the current market.

Bob Jensen's links to free video lectures and course materials from prestigious universities are at
Thousands of free tutorials and videos in various academic disciplines are linked at

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations Between November 18 and November 25, 2009
To Accompany the November 10, 2009 edition of Tidbits     

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock ---

Obama Criticizes Himself, Warns on High Deficits
President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession. With the U.S. unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, Obama told Fox News his administration faces a delicate balance of trying to boost the economy and spur job creation while putting the economy on a path toward long-term deficit reduction . . . As if things could not possibly get more weird and delusional, President Obama now criticizes the very high government deficits he himself supported, promoted, and helped create.
Reuters, November 18, 2009 --- Click Here
Also see 

In the Testimony of a Former Congressional Budget Office Director
"The Coming Deficit Disaster:  The president says he understands the urgency of our fiscal crisis, but his policies are the equivalent of steering the economy toward an iceberg." by Douglas Hotlz-Eagen, The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2009 --- Click Here

President Barack Obama took office promising to lead from the center and solve big problems. He has exerted enormous political energy attempting to reform the nation's health-care system. But the biggest economic problem facing the nation is not health care. It's the deficit. Recently, the White House signaled that it will get serious about reducing the deficit next year—after it locks into place massive new health-care entitlements. This is a recipe for disaster, as it will create a new appetite for increased spending and yet another powerful interest group to oppose deficit-reduction measures.

Our fiscal situation has deteriorated rapidly in just the past few years. The federal government ran a 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion—the highest since World War II—as spending reached nearly 25% of GDP and total revenues fell below 15% of GDP. Shortfalls like these have not been seen in more than 50 years.

Going forward, there is no relief in sight, as spending far outpaces revenues and the federal budget is projected to be in enormous deficit every year. Our national debt is projected to stand at $17.1 trillion 10 years from now, or over $50,000 per American. By 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) analysis of the president's budget, the budget deficit will still be roughly $1 trillion, even though the economic situation will have improved and revenues will be above historical norms.

The planned deficits will have destructive consequences for both fairness and economic growth. They will force upon our children and grandchildren the bill for our overconsumption. Federal deficits will crowd out domestic investment in physical capital, human capital, and technologies that increase potential GDP and the standard of living. Financing deficits could crowd out exports and harm our international competitiveness, as we can already see happening with the large borrowing we are doing from competitors like China.

At what point, some financial analysts ask, do rating agencies downgrade the United States? When do lenders price additional risk to federal borrowing, leading to a damaging spike in interest rates? How quickly will international investors flee the dollar for a new reserve currency? And how will the resulting higher interest rates, diminished dollar, higher inflation, and economic distress manifest itself? Given the president's recent reception in China—friendly but fruitless—these answers may come sooner than any of us would like.

Mr. Obama and his advisers say they understand these concerns, but the administration's policy choices are the equivalent of steering the economy toward an iceberg. Perhaps the most vivid example of sending the wrong message to international capital markets are the health-care reform bills—one that passed the House earlier this month and another under consideration in the Senate. Whatever their good intentions, they have too many flaws to be defensible.

First and foremost, neither bends the health-cost curve downward. The CBO found that the House bill fails to reduce the pace of health-care spending growth. An audit of the bill by Richard Foster, chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, found that the pace of national health-care spending will increase by 2.1% over 10 years, or by about $750 billion. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's bill grows just as fast as the House version. In this way, the bills betray the basic promise of health-care reform: providing quality care at lower cost.

Second, each bill sets up a new entitlement program that grows at 8% annually as far as the eye can see—faster than the economy will grow, faster than tax revenues will grow, and just as fast as the already-broken Medicare and Medicaid programs. They also create a second new entitlement program, a federally run, long-term-care insurance plan.

Finally, the bills are fiscally dishonest, using every budget gimmick and trick in the book: Leave out inconvenient spending, back-load spending to disguise the true scale, front-load tax revenues, let inflation push up tax revenues, promise spending cuts to doctors and hospitals that have no record of materializing, and so on.

If there really are savings to be found in Medicare, those savings should be directed toward deficit reduction and preserving Medicare, not to financing huge new entitlement programs. Getting long-term budgets under control is hard enough today. The job will be nearly impossible with a slew of new entitlements in place.

In short, any combination of what is moving through Congress is economically dangerous and invites the rapid acceleration of a debt crisis. It is a dramatic statement to financial markets that the federal government does not understand that it must get its fiscal house in order.

What to do? The best option would be for the president to halt Congress's rush to fiscal suicide, and refocus on slowing the dangerous growth in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He should call on Congress to pass a comprehensive reform of our income and payroll tax systems that would generate revenue sufficient to fund its spending desires in a pro-growth and fair fashion.

Reducing entitlement spending and closing tax loopholes to create a fairer tax system with more balanced revenues is politically difficult and requires sacrifice. But we will avert a potentially devastating credit crisis, increase national savings, drive productivity and wage growth, and enhance our international competitiveness.

The time to worry about the deficit is not next year, but now. There is no time to waste.

Mr. Holtz-Eakin is former director of the Congressional Budget Office and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. This is adapted from testimony he gave before the Senate Committee on the Budget on Nov. 10.

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock ---

The New York Times Timeline History of Health Care Reform in the United States ---
Click the arrow button on the right side of the NYT timeline.

What went so wrong in the health care system of the United States?
Mostly what went wrong is our ill-conceived and underfunded attempts to reform the system!

Bob Jensen's threads on health care are at

"HDTV Buying Guide: Select the Right Flat-Panel Technology Before you drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on the wrong flat-panel HDTV, read our comprehensive breakdown of everything you need to know. Our HDTV buying guide might just help you save some money," by Andy Poor, PC World via The Washington Post, November 25, 2009 ---
Click Here   [www_washingtonpost_com]

How Stuff Works HDTV Buying Guide ---
How Stuff Works has more pages on techie explanations of HDTV
Eventually 3-D HDTV will create another buying wave, but don't hold your breath.

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks ---

I think David is correct. I would warn students not to send credit card numbers to this outfit.

The Dog Swallowed My Homework and Pooped Out the Answers

On November 26, 2009 I was spammed by a so-called Mike Watson providing a link to a site where students can supposedly submit their assignments for “help” from experts ---
The site also offers live chats with a paying student regarding a homework assignment.

Pupilhelp was born in the month of July 2006. Pupilhelp was started with a vision to help students with their assignments and homework at an affordable price. More than ten thousand students have benefited from the services of pupilhelp. The service at pupilhelp is available for students all over the world. We at pupilhelp believe in having the best among the best in the tutor team. Tutors are recruited after a laborious process which tests their skills, knowledge on the subject and willingness to work anytime, anywhere. Every tutor in pupilhelp holds a master's degree or a doctorate degree in their respective subject. The feed backs from our students have always been motivating and inspiring. We would like to continue providing quality work at an affordable price which has always been our unique feature. We would like to extend our thanks to students who have supported us and we request you to continue your support. We hope that many more students across the globe will use our service.

Pupilhelp provides e-mail based Homework/Assignment Help to students from grade 12 to Ph.D. level. Our primary objective is to help you in improving your grades and to achieve academic excellence. With our help you can quickly and easily get your assignment done by one of over 300 experts. Our service is focused on, time delivery, superior quality, creativity, and originality for every service we provide.

The discipline categories include “Accounting.”

My hunch is that the so-called assignment “counselors” are probably sitting on top of hundreds of solutions manuals for major and even minor textbooks. Text phrases from end-of-chapter assignments are probably linked to answers in solutions manuals.

 In any case, it is advised that instructors do not rely heavily on end-of-chapter assignments for grading purposes. Perhaps students can learn a great deal from counselors at this site, but for me the site does not pass the smell test even though it claims to have a supposed "no plagiarism" policy. I wonder how closely the recommended solutions follow the copyrighted solutions in textbook manuals supposedly available only to course instructors. Of course many of these solutions manuals are for sale at used book sites and even on eBay and Craigslist.

November 27, 2009 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

I received 52 e-mails from him on Thursday. That it took 52 to deliver the message made me think it was a bogus site.

I think most HW real person solutions differ from the solutions manual only in terms of layout, as there's only one way the answer can be.

I can't ever remember a publishers SM that provided explanation that would benefit students. Presumably instructors don't need the explanation, so it isn't provided. I recall the last time I taught Advanced Accounting, and used a certain textbook with its HW problems. I had to seek help to get some of those solutions explained to me. If provides explanations, then it might be a service worth paying for.

Given the publisher sites nowhave algorithmic HW, I'm confident that has seen a decline in business. Of course, with the economy it undoubtedly has a decline in revenues just like everyone else. That could explain the spam-like broadcast advertising.


Jensen Comment
I think David is correct. I would warn students not to send credit card numbers to this outfit.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at 

How well can free computer software do language translations?

Especially note Paul Pacter’s test runs described below. Paul helped set U.S. accounting standards at the FASB, international accounting standards at the IASB, and now works very closely helping to set accounting standards in China. He’s headquartered in Deloitte’s office in Hong Kong.

Keep in mind that accounting or other technical translations are difficult even for language professors since there are often technical terms that they’ve never encountered. Also note that the tests given below by Paul are not really very technical.

Incidentally, Paul has about 100,000 pictures from China, Tibet, and elsewhere, many of which are posted at
One thing nice about a picture is that it can say a lot that doesn’t require language translation.

Not new, but a useful reminder
"Google Translate (to a foreign language) Adds As-You-Type Translations, Phonetic Pronunciation," LifeHacker, November 2009 --- Click Here

What bothers me is that if I send off a message translated into Chinese I can’t be certain what is really being sent to my Chinese friend. It’s a little bit like instrument landing in the dark and in a fog so dense you can’t see for three feet ahead. However, someday I might try this for fun in a message to my good friend Paul Pacter in Hong Kong.

November 24, 2009 reply from Jim McKinney [jim@MCKINNEYCPA.COM]

I used to have to send letters to Japanese business partners. For formal communications, I hired a translator. However for informal communications I used translation software. To see if I made sense, I would have my letter translated to Japanese by the software. I would then have the software translate the letter back to English. I would then adjust phrases and words until the English-Japanese-English letter made sense.

November 25, 2009 reply from Hong Kong's Paul Pacter ---
Pacter, Paul (CN - Hong Kong) [paupacter@DELOITTE.COM.HK]

After reading these emails, I did a little test:

I took this sentence:

On the balance sheet, assets are on the left and liabilities are on the right.

And translated it into French using 3 on-line free translators:

Free Translation

Sur le bilan, les biens sont sur la gauche et les responsabilités sont sur la droite.

And translating the French back to English:

Using Google:  On balance, the property is on the left and responsibilities are on the right.

Using Babelfish:  On the assessment, the goods are on the left and the responsibilities are on the line.

Using Free Translation: On the report, the well being on the left and the responsibilities are on the right.


Sur le bilan, les capitaux sont du côté gauche et les responsabilités sont du côté droit.

And translating the French back to English:

Using Google:  On balance, capital is on the left and responsibilities are on the right.

Using Babelfish:  On the assessment, the capital is left side and the responsibilities are right-sided.

Using Free Translation:: On the report, the capitals are left side and the responsibilities are straight side. 


Au bilan, les actifs sont sur la gauche et les passifs sont à droite.

And translating the French back to English:

Using Google:  On the balance sheet, assets are on the left and liabilities are right.

Using Babelfish:  With the assessment, the credits are on the left and the passive ones are on the right.

Using Free Translation: To the report, the active ones are on the left and the passive ones are at right. 

I am ok (no more) at speaking and writing French.  To me clearly in translating from English to French, Google did the best job (it got the words for assets, liabilities, and balance sheet right).  But in going back from French to English, none did well except for Google translating its own French back to English.  (The ‘on balance’ and ‘on assessment’ and ‘on the report’ problem was caused when both Free Translation and Babelfish used “sur le bilan” rather than “au bilan”.)

As one would expect, at Deloitte in Hong Kong there is a huge amount of translating written text between English and both traditional (HK/TW/ML/SG) and simplified (PRC) Chinese text.  Most is done manually because the clean-up effort required is even more costly.  For fun I have sent automated translations of text from English to Chinese to Chinese friends, and usually they understand the message.


And I always thought little boys were built out of "snakes and snails."

"The Puzzle of Boys:  Scholars and others debate what it means to grow up male in America," by Thomas Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, November 22, 2009 ---

My son just turned 3. He loves trains, fire trucks, tools of all kinds, throwing balls, catching balls, spinning until he falls down, chasing cats, tackling dogs, emptying the kitchen drawers of their contents, riding a tricycle, riding a carousel, pretending to be a farmer, pretending to be a cow, dancing, drumming, digging, hiding, seeking, jumping, shouting, and collapsing exhausted into a Thomas the Tank Engine bed wearing Thomas the Tank Engine pajamas after reading a Thomas the Tank Engine book.

That doesn't make him unusual; in fact, in many ways, he couldn't be more typical. Which may be why a relative recently said, "Well, he's definitely all boy." It's a statement that sounds reasonable enough until you think about it. What does "all boy" mean? Masculine? Straight? Something else? Are there partial boys? And is this relative aware of my son's fondness for Hello Kitty and tea sets?

These are the kinds of questions asked by anxious parents and, increasingly, academic researchers. Boyhood studies—virtually unheard of a few years ago—has taken off, with a shelf full of books already published, more on the way, and a new journal devoted to the subject. Much of the focus so far has been on boys falling behind academically, paired with the notion that school is not conducive to the way boys learn. What motivates boys, the argument goes, is different from what motivates girls, and society should adjust accordingly.

Not everyone buys the boy talk. Some critics, in particular the American Association of University Women, contend that much of what passes for research about boyhood only reinforces stereotypes and arrives at simplistic conclusions: Boys are competitive! Boys like action! Boys hate books! They argue that this line of thinking miscasts boys as victims and ignores the very real problems faced by girls.

But while this debate is far from settled, the field has expanded to include how marketers target boys, the nature of boys' friendships, and a host of deeper, more philosophical issues, all of which can be boiled down, more or less, to a single question: Just what are boys, anyway?

One of the first so-called boys' books, Michael Gurian's The Wonder of Boys, was not immediately embraced by publishers. In fact, it was turned down by 25 houses before finally being purchased by Tarcher/Putnam for a modest sum. This was in the mid-1990s, and everyone was concerned about girls. Girls were drowning in the "sea of Western culture," according to Carol Gilligan. In Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher bemoaned a "girl-poisoning" culture that emphasized sexiness above all else.

Boys weren't the story. No one wanted to read about them.

Or so publishers thought. The Wonder of Boys has since sold more than a half-million copies, and Gurian, who has a master's degree in writing and has worked as a family counselor, has become a prominent speaker and consultant on boys' issues. He has written two more books about boys, including The Purpose of Boys, published this year, which argues that boys are hard-wired to desire a sense of mission, and that parents and teachers need to understand "boy biology" if they want to help young men succeed.

Drawing on neuroscience research done by others, Gurian argues that boy brains and girl brains are fundamentally dissimilar. In the nature versus nurture debate, Gurian comes down squarely on the side of the former. He catches flak for supposedly overinterpreting neuroscience data to comport with his theories about boys. In The Trouble With Boys, a former Newsweek reporter, Peg Tyre, takes him to task for arguing that female brains are active even when they're bored, while male brains tend to "shut down" (a conclusion that Ruben Gur, director of the Brain Behavior Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, tells Tyre isn't supported by the evidence). Gurian counters that his work has been misrepresented and that the success of his programs backs up his scientific claims.

Close on Gurian's heels was Real Boys, by William Pollack. Pollack, an associate clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Centers for Men and Young Men, writes that behind their facade of toughness, boys are vulnerable and desperate for emotional connection. Boys, he says, tend to communicate through action. They are more likely to express empathy and affection through an activity, like playing basketball together, than having a heart-to-heart talk. Pollack's view of what makes boys the way they are is less rooted in biology than Gurian's. "What neuroscientists will tell you is that nature and nurture are bonded," says Pollack. "How we nurture from the beginning has an effect." Real Boys earned a stamp of approval from Mary Pipher, who writes in the foreword that "our culture is doing a bad job raising boys."

Pollack's book, like Gurian's, was an enormous success. It sold more than 750,000 copies and has been published in 13 countries. Even though it came out a decade ago, Pollack says he still receives e-mail every week from readers. "People were hungry for it," he says.

The following year, Raising Cain, by Dan Kindlon, an adjunct lecturer in Harvard's School of Public Health, and Michael Thompson, a psychologist in private practice, was published and was later made into a two-hour PBS documentary. Their book ends with seven recommendations for dealing with boys, including "recognize and accept the high activity level of boys and given them safe boy places to express it." The book is partially about interacting with boys on their own terms, but it also encourages adults to help them develop "emotional literacy" and to counter the "culture of cruelty" among older boys. It goes beyond academic performance, dealing with issues like suicide, bullying, and romance.

Perhaps the most provocative book of the bunch is The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, by Christina Hoff Sommers. As the subtitle suggests, Sommers believes that she's found the villain in this story, making the case that it's boys, not girls, who are being shortchanged and that they need significant help if they're going to close the distance academically. But that does not mean, according to Sommers, that they "need to be rescued from their masculinity."

Those books were best sellers and continue to attract readers and spirited debate. While the authors disagree on the details, they share at least two broad conclusions: 1) Boys are not girls, and 2) Boys are in trouble. Why and how they're different from girls, what's behind their trouble, and what if anything to do about it—all that depends on whom you read.

A backlash was inevitable. In 2008 the American Association of University Women issued a report, "Where the Girls Are: the Facts About Gender Equity in Education," arguing not only that the alleged academic disparity between boys and girls had been exaggerated, but also that the entire crisis was a myth. If anything, the report says, boys are doing better than ever: "The past few decades have seen remarkable gains for girls and boys in education, and no evidence indicates a crisis for boys in particular."

So how could the boys-in-trouble crowd have gotten it so wrong? The report has an answer for that: "Many people remain uncomfortable with the educational and professional advances of girls and women, especially when they threaten to outdistance their peers." In other words, it's not genuine concern for boys that's energizing the movement but rather fear of girls surpassing them.

The dispute is, in part, a dispute over data. And like plenty of such squabbles, the outcome hinges on the numbers you decide to use. Boys outperform girls by more than 30 points on the mathematics section of the SAT and a scant four points on the verbal sections (girls best boys by 13 points on the recently added writing section). But many more girls actually take the test. And while it's a fact that boys and girls are both more likely to attend college than they were a generation ago, girls now make up well over half of the student body, and a projection by the Department of Education indicates that the gap will widen considerably over the next decade.

College isn't the only relevant benchmark. Boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder, but girls are more likely to be diagnosed with depression. Girls are more likely to report suicide attempts, but boys are more likely to actually kill themselves (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 83 percent of suicides between the ages of 10 and 24 are male). Ask a representative of the AAUW about a pitfall that appears to disproportionately affect boys, like attention-deficit disorder, and the representative will counter that the disparity is overplayed or that girls deal with equally troubling issues.

But it's not statistics that have persuaded parents and educators that boys are in desperate straits, according to Sara Mead, a senior research fellow with the New America Foundation, a public-policy institute. Mead wrote a paper in 2006 that argued, much like the later AAUW report, that the boys' crisis was bunk. "What seems to most resonate with teachers and parents is not as much the empirical evidence but this sense of boys being unmoored or purposeless in a vaguely defined way," Mead says in an interview. "That's a really difficult thing to validate more beyond anecdote." She also worries that all this worrying—much of it, she says, from middle-class parents—could have a negative effect on boys, marking them as victims when they're nothing of the sort.

Pollack concedes, as Mead and others point out, that poor performance in school is also tied to factors like race and class, but he insists that boys as a group—including white, middle-class boys—are sinking, pointing to studies that suggest they are less likely to do their homework and more likely to drop out of high school. And he has a hunch about why some refuse to acknowledge it: "People look at the adult world and say, 'Men are still in charge.' So they look down at boys and say, 'They are small men, so they must be on the way to success,'" says Pollack. "It's still a man's world. People make the mistake of thinking it's a boy's world."

If the first round of books was focused on the classroom, the second round observes the boy in his natural habitat. The new book Packaging Boyhood: Saving Our Sons From Superheroes, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes offers an analysis of what boys soak in from TV shows, video games, toys, and other facets of boy-directed pop culture. The news isn't good here, either. According to the book, boys are being taught they have to be tough and cool, athletic and stoic. This starts early with toddler T-shirts emblazoned with "Future All-Star" or "Little Champion." Even once-benign toys like Legos and Nerf have assumed a more hostile profile with Lego Exo-Force Assault Tigers and the Nerf N-Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS-35 Dart Blaster. "That kind of surprised us," says one of the book's three authors, Lyn Mikel Brown, a professor of education and human development at Colby College. "What happened to Nerf? What happened to Lego?"

Brown also co-wrote Packaging Girlhood. In that book, the disease was easier to diagnose, what with the Disney princess phenomenon and sexy clothes being marketed to pre-adolescent girls. Everyone was worried about how girls were being portrayed in the mass media and what that was doing to their self-esteem. The messages about boys, however, were easier to miss, in part because they're so ubiquitous. "We expect a certain amount of teasing, bullying, spoofing about being tough enough, even in animated films for the littlest boys," Brown says.

For Packaging Boyhood, the authors interviewed more than 600 boys and found that models of manhood were turning up in some unexpected places, like the Discovery Channel's Man vs. Wild, in which the star is dropped into the harsh wilderness and forced to forage. They're concerned that such programs, in order to compete against all the stimuli vying for boys' attentions, have become more aggressively in-your-face, more fearlessly risk-taking, manlier than thou. Says Brown: "What really got us was the pumping up of the volume."

Brown thinks boys are more complicated, and less single-minded, than adults give them credit for. So does Ken Corbett, whose new book, Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities, steers clear of generalizations and doesn't try to elucidate the ideal boyhood (thus the plural "masculinities"). Corbett, an assistant professor of psychology at New York University, wants to remind us not how boys are different from girls but how they're different from one another. His background is in clinical psychoanalysis, feminism, and queer studies—in other words, as he points out in the introduction, "not your father's psychoanalysis."

In a chapter titled "Feminine Boys," he writes of counseling the parents of a boy who liked to wear bracelets and perform a princess dance. The father, especially, wasn't sure how to take this, telling Corbett that he wanted a son, not a daughter.

To show how boys can be difficult to define, Corbett tells the story of Hans, a 5-year-old patient of Sigmund Freud, who had a fear of being castrated by, of all things, a horse. Young Hans also fantasizes about having a "widdler," as the boy puts it, as large as his father's. Freud (typically) reads the kid's issues as primarily sexual, and his desire to be more like his father as Oedipal. Corbett, however, doesn't think Hans's interest in his penis is about sex, but rather about becoming bigger, in developing beyond the half-finished sketch of boyhood. "Wishing to be big is wishing to fill in the drawing," Corbett writes.

Corbett disputes the idea that boys as a group are in peril. They have troubles, sure, but so do other people. Treating boys as problems to be solved, rather than subjects to be studied, is a mistake, he says, and much of the writing on boys "doesn't illuminate the experience of being a boy, but it does illuminate the space between a boy and a parent."

The experience of being a boy is exactly what Miles Groth wants to capture. Groth, a psychology professor at Wagner College, is editor of Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies, founded in 2007. An article he wrote in the inaugural issue of the journal, "Has Anyone Seen the Boy?: the Fate of the Boy in Becoming a Man," is a sort of call to arms for boyhood-studies scholars. For years, Groth says, academics didn't really discuss boys. They might study a certain subset of boys, but boys per se were off the table. "I think there was some hesitancy for scholars to take up the topic, to show that they're paying attention to guys when we should be paying attention to girls," says Groth. "Now I think there's less of that worry. People don't see it as a reactionary movement."

Continued in article

Bernie's Dream --- 1,000 and Growing
Program to Fund and Otherwise Support Minority Business and Accounting Doctoral Students
2008 Annual Report ---

VIDEO: Bernie Milano, President - The PhD Project & KPMG Foundation --- Click Here

The PhD Project ---

Since 1994, The PhD Project has more than tripled the number of minority business school professors...from 294 to over 960. These individuals are inspiring and encouraging a new generation of business professionals. Click here to learn more about our fifteen years of achievements, real insights on the journey to a PhD degree and the professors who are making a big impact.

Are you ready to be the next role model? Currently, The PhD Project has 400 minority doctoral student members pursuing their dream. Like you, they were professionals or recent grads satisfying their quest for a high level of achievement and answering the call to mentor. With an expansive network of support, The PhD Project is now helping them prepare for success in academia.

Whether you become involved as a doctoral student, professor, participating university, or supporting organization...just become involved. Learn more by visiting the links on the left.

Participation in The PhD Project is available to anyone of African-American, Hispanic American and Native American descent who is interested in business doctoral studies.

Jensen Comment
The PhD Project commenced in the KPMG Foundation under the guidance of Executive Partner Bernie Milano who increasingly devoted more time, money, and sweat to raise money from other accounting firms and from corporations. It has since expanded beyond accounting doctoral programs into other business disciplines.

Above and beyond helping minority students get into selected doctoral programs, Bernie has been dogged about trying every which way to see them to the graduation day endings when a wide array colleges in literally every part of the world are eager to hire them. These students have many more hurdles to cross than most other doctoral students, and Bernie's Dream is to help them across the biggest hurdles without making it any easier for them then all other doctoral students.

Most importantly, the salting of these graduates around the world as role models is increasingly vital to inspiring undergraduate and even K12 minority students to aspire to become practicing professionals and/or doctoral students themselves. These role models are living proof that Berne's Dream can become their dream.

Thank you Bernie, KPMG, and the many other accounting firms and corporations have made Bernie's Dream come true.

How doctoral programs can help minority candidates
Video on the PhD Completion Program ---

Also read about the efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation --- Click Here

Added Jensen Rant
Often potential minority candidates for accounting doctoral programs are CPAs. They are strong accounting candidates that are attracted to accounting and turned off by the heavy mathematics, statistics, and econometrics years of study in accountancy doctoral programs that have almost no accountancy. It would help greatly if some of our leading doctoral programs would open up paths of study other than "accountics."

Alternative study and research paths could include paths of case method and field research. Those graduates may never publish in The Accounting Review (which now publishes zero case and field research studies according to the latest report of the TAR Editor), but there are research journals that will publish case and field research studies.
My rants ad nauseum on the narrow mindedness of present accountics doctoral programs are at

What industry has the fastest growing mortgage default rates?

But all that discounting hasn't stopped occupancy from dropping an average of 10 percent. The result? Hotel loans have begun falling into delinquency faster than any other kind of commercial real estate debt.
Yahoo News, November 28, 2009 --- Click Here

Here are the unconfirmed claims about Cloud Computing (which is still controversial)

"Accountant-Centric Cloud Computing It does a lot more. Costs a lot less," AccountingWeb, Email Advertisement

The Accountant-Centric solutions from AccountantsWorld do what no other cloud computing solution can - they let you work collaboratively with your clients with you in full command. And that capability lets you do some truly remarkable things for your practice.

You can: "AccountantsWorld has long been a path-breaker in the world of online only software, and the software designed specifically for accountants." Accounting Today, Sept. 2009

• Prevent clients from making a bookkeeping mess and perform client accounting 30-50% faster

• Protect your most precious business asset - your trusted client relationships

• Compete with your fiercest competitor and win

• Add payroll as a profit center by bringing the capabilities of the larger service bureaus within your reach at a fraction of the cost

• Create a client portal and your online presence in minutes

• Access your documents from anywhere anytime; no more lost documents

• Prevent data loss due to viruses and hard disk crashes

• Customize the system for each client to match their needs and abilities

• Get around the clock access to the application from anywhere

• Service remote clients effectively

• Minimize data entry

• Get more time to enhance client satisfaction and expand your practice And much more...

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Amidst all the hype about Cloud Computing, don't forget about some of the wonderful WebLedger alternatives to Cloud Computing ---

Do you really want to start your own blog?

A blog that is well done will take almost all your time.

The benefits lie firstly in how much you learn by doing a blog, especially what you learn from other blogs you visit often. You also learn from replies of other people to your blog. For example, today I naively stated that Fusion 3 is great for running the Windows OS on a Mac but that it probably would not run the new Windows 7. In less than an hour my good friend Glenn Kroeger (geology professor at Trinity University and super geek) set me straight that Fusion 3 works great on a high powered Mac.

Secondly, giving something back to a world, a profession, and many friends you meet along the way is a tremendous intrinsic reward. I discuss this under the term listserv at

The problem with blogs is that there are now millions of great blogs in the world and hundreds in the field of accountancy. It's impossible to keep up with all of them.

Accounting professor blogs ---

In science, what is value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data?
Is it common place to discard contradictory data that was not homgenised?

Leading Climate Scientist in the UK
“We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

My colleagues and I accept that some of the published emails do not read well. I regret any upset or confusion caused as a result. Some were clearly written in the heat of the moment, others use colloquialisms frequently used between close colleagues.
Phil Jones, Head ("scientist") of the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, November 24, 2009
Jensen Comment
"colloquialisms frequently used" = "only publish outcomes consistent with funding and political goals"
Or in other words "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don't mess with Mr. Inbetween."

Climate Science Video ---

Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data - dubbed Climategate - have agreed to publish their figures in full.The U-turn by the university follows a week of controversy after the emergence of hundreds of leaked emails, "stolen" by hackers and published online, triggered claims that the academics had massaged statistics. In a statement welcomed by climate change sceptics, the university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements.
Robert Mendick, "Climategate: University of East Anglia U-turn in climate change row Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data - dubbed Climategate - have agreed to publish their figures in full," London Telegraph, November 28, 2009 --- Click Here

Oops! Scratch the Above Tidbit: 
This is beginning to sound more like ACORN and the Houston Office of Arther Andersen.

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based. It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years....In a statement on its website, the CRU said:
“We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”
Jonathan Leake, "Climate change data dumped," London Times, November 29, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
Phil Jones was not in charge in the 1980s when the raw data were discarded.

The Economist believes that global warming is a serious threat, and that the world needs to take steps to try to avert it. That is the job of the politicians. But we do not believe that climate change is a certainty. There are no certainties in science. Prevailing theories must be constantly tested against evidence, and refined, and more evidence collected, and the theories tested again. That is the job of the scientists. When they stop questioning orthodoxy, mankind will have given up the search for truth. The skeptics should not be silenced.
"A Heated Debate," The Economist, November 25, 2009, Page 15 --- Click Here

Noted University of Arizona Scientist Caught Up in the Scandal
"Global warming fraud uncovered," by Kathy G. Boatman, London Times, November 27, 2009 ---

The documents released make it clear that this particular situation involved a notable University of Arizona climate change scientist by the name of Jonathan Overpeck.

The university issued a press release regarding Jonathan Overpeck in 2007 that seems to confirm his involvement, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was one of the winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and a professor at The University of Arizona was one of only 33 lead authors on an IPCC assessment report released earlier this year.”

Overpeck, director of the University of Arizona’s Institute for the Study of Planet Earth and professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences, was a coordinating lead author of a chapter on Paleoclimate, for the IPCC’s fourth assessment report.

“This is pretty awesome,” Overpeck was quoted as saying in the news release. “So much work went into this on the part of so many scientists. The recognition is a reflection of the impact that climate science is having. It’s also a reflection that society is moving from questioning climate change to realizing that it’s happening and discuss what to do about it.”

The fourth assessment report, which focused on the science of climate change, presented expert consensus on greenhouse gas levels, global land and ocean temperatures, sea level rising, changes in sea ice and predictions of future change.

However, it now appears that Overpeck and others have manipulated the science and the consensus they claim to have. Perhaps congressional hearings will help to determine Overpeck’s role in this situation.

In addition to these problems, the attempts to brainwash the public are evident. CRU apparently utilized a public relations firm to communicate its climate change message. Most notable is the statement, “Changing attitudes toward climate change is not like selling a particular brand of soap, it’s like convincing someone to use soap in the first place.” Another one of the PR rules is, “Everyone must use a clear and consistent explanation of climate change.”

Before you take start purchasing carbon credits, I suggest you peruse the documents and e-mails that were leaked and are available in a searchable database at 

A new scientific scandal Alert:  If a peer review fails in the woods...,
A scientific scandal is casting a shadow over a number of recent peer-reviewed climate papers. At least eight papers purporting to reconstruct the historical temperature record times may need to be revisited, with significant implications for contemporary climate studies, the basis of the IPCC's assessments. A number of these involve senior climatologists at the British climate research centre CRU at the University East Anglia. In every case, peer review failed to pick up the errors. At issue is the use of tree rings as a temperature proxy, or dendrochronology.
Andrew Orlowski, "A new scientific scandal Alert:  Print If a peer review fails in the woods...," The Register, September 29, 2009 ---

Hackers are revealing the moral hazards of climate science
However, we do now have hundreds of emails that give every appearance of testifying to concerted and coordinated efforts by leading climatologists to fit the data to their conclusions while attempting to silence and discredit their critics. In the department of inconvenient truths, this one surely deserves a closer look by the media, the U.S. Congress and other investigative bodies.

Scientists have long endured the criticism that many of them cheat in their grant applications, experiments, and in their race to be the first to publish findings that ultimately do not stand the test of more deliberative replications. But the open-minded willingness of journals and editors to publish contradictory findings has always been viewed as saving the credibility of science. In the natural sciences replication or other confirmation is the name of the game. In the social sciences replication and confirmation is more problematic, but increasingly attempts are being made to improve the credibility of social science experimentation ---

This is why it is very disheartening to see the politics of climate-change scientists destroying the credibility of their journals and their editors who control the gates of publication of climate change research.

Since science funding in the United States has become largely a game of gaming for grants, there are many other examples in virtually all branches of science where scientists engage in fraud just for the money and the prestige. Politicians have created enormous moral hazards in the world of science and medicine.

How did academic accounting research become a pseudo science?

"Lab Experiments Are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," by Armin Falk and James J. Heckman, IZA Discussion Paper No. 4540,  October 2009 ---

Laboratory experiments are a widely used methodology for advancing causal knowledge in the physical and life sciences. With the exception of psychology, the adoption of laboratory experiments has been much slower in the social sciences, although during the last two decades, the use of lab experiments has accelerated. Nonetheless, there remains considerable resistance among social scientists who argue that lab experiments lack “realism” and “generalizability”. In this article we discuss the advantages and limitations of laboratory social science experiments by comparing them to research based on nonexperimental data and to field experiments. We argue that many recent objections against lab experiments are misguided and that even more lab experiments should be conducted.

Jensen Comment
It disappointed me that Falk and Heckman did not really discuss the issue of replication and verifiability while claiming that "lab experiments are a major source of knowledge in the social sciences." The might've given more examples where studies were independently replicated, and there are such studies --- especially lab experiments in psychology.

They do mention in passing that lab experiments might support or run counter to empirical studies, but here again it would've helped to provide some examples. I did a bit of searching and found one example that they might've used for such purposes ---
I suspect there are hundreds of similar examples.

The trade-offs between lab experiments versus field studies are discussed in the following paper:
"Internal and External Validity in Economics Research: Tradeoffs between Experiments, Field Experiments, Natural Experiments and Field Data," by Brian E. Roe and David R. Just, 2009 Proceedings Issue, American Journal of Agricultural Economics ---

Abstract: In the realm of empirical research, investigators are first and foremost concerned with the validity of their results, but validity is a multi-dimensional ideal. In this article we discuss two key dimensions of validity – internal and external validity – and underscore the natural tension that arises in choosing a research approach to maximize both types of validity. We propose that the most common approaches to empirical research – the use of naturally-occurring field/market data and the use of laboratory experiments – fall on the ends of a spectrum of research approaches, and that the interior of this spectrum includes intermediary approaches such as field experiments and natural experiments. Furthermore, we argue that choosing between lab experiments and field data usually requires a tradeoff between the pursuit of internal and external validity. Movements toward the interior of the spectrum can often ease the tension between internal and external validity but are also accompanied by other important limitations, such as less control over subject matter or topic areas and a reduced ability for others to replicate research. Finally, we highlight recent attempts to modify and mix research approaches in a way that eases the natural conflict between internal and external validity and discuss if employing multiple methods leads to economies of scope in research costs.

Lab experiments, but not field studies, are quite popular in some of the leading accounting research journals and are most commonly conducted on student volunteers. The problem is the behavioral lab experiments findings are apparently not important enough to verify and replicate, although the hypotheses may have been generated from anecdotal observations in the real world or even, on occasion, by related empirical studies.

I've always contended that more experiments might be replicated if journal editors encouraged replications by adopting policies of sending replication submissions out for review with at least a chance of publication for studies that corroborate findings as well as negate findings. The fact that behavioral experiments published in TAR, JAR, and JAE are virtually never replicated sends out signals that the findings are either too obvious or too unimportant or too superficial to be of interest in and of themselves.

Unlike some leading social science journals, the leading accounting journals tend not to publish case and field research studies even if these sometimes indirectly support the lab experimental outcomes.

Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules by Nicholas Bardsley and others (Princeton University Press; 2009, 375 pages; $55). Discusses the use of experimental methods in economic research and examines controversies over the growing field.

The English Language is Confusing:  How do you interpret the following headline:
New effort focuses on preventing unwanted pregnancies at community colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, November 24, 2009 --- 

Jensen Comment
One interpretation would be a desire that women would go off campus to have an unwanted pregnancy. But this is not what is really intended in the article. The hope is that unwanted pregnancies will not prevent or greatly delay graduation.

Let's hope he makes it all the way
Mario Rocha, a freshman on a scholarship at George Washington University, is the subject of a profile in
The Washington Post -- and this isn't your standard "frosh adjusts to college" story. Rocha was wrongly convicted of first degree murder and spent 10 years behind bars before his appeal won his freedom and he was able to pursue a higher education.
Inside Higher Ed, November 24, 2009 ---

A Video of Hope compared with a Video of Despair

Video 1
University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck addresses the campus community and online viewers in a Fall Welcome address on September 10, 2009 --- 

Jensen Comment
What impressed me is the enthusiasm of the University of the Pacific's new president who selected to move to a community hardest hit by the subprime mortgage scandals, economic crises of empty houses, very high unemployment, and several years of really severe drought on the surrounding farms and ranches. Stockton is largely an agricultural community.

Video 2
CBS Sixty Minutes featured how bad things became in Stockton's economy and its fraudulent mortgage lenders..
The Sixty Minutes Module is entitled "House of Cards" ---;contentBody

This is an example of a community and a university  and new university president that are not giving up as the "house of cards" collapses about them. The fall was aided and abetted by the credit rating agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poors.

As for Pamela Eibeck and her son, you might also read the November 22, 2009 tidbit in the Chronicle of Higher Education ---

Can thieves sit in parking lots and use "key grabbers" to steal the code signal you used when using your key chain to lock your car?

Yes and No ---

"Teaching With Twitter: Not for the Faint of Heart Students are emboldened, but they can also hijack discussions," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 22, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching with Twitter are at

Mac OS versus Windows OS

I’d be interested in hearing success stories about the Windows emulators on the Mac.
Increasingly with the greatly reduced prices of computers, most Mac users have a Windows machine that will run software available only for the Windows OS.

Supposedly these have gotten better for emulating Windows on a Mac.

Fusion 3 (not free) is a popular add on ---
Unlike the Windows emulator available from Apple, Fusion 3 allows split screens where one screen is Max OS and the other is Windows OS. However, it will also run in a single-screen Windows view.

"Mac Browser Camino 2 Gets A Release Candidate," MJ Siegler, Tech Crunch via The Washington Post, October 27, 2009 --- Click Here

When it was revealed that  Mike Pinkerton, the lead developer for the Mozilla's Mac-based Camino web browser was moving over to Google to take charge of building Chrome for Mac, there was some concern that Camino would be neglected. Pinkerton assured development on Camino would continue, and sure enough it has. Today brings the first release candidate for Camino 2, the new version of the browser.

Camino, though much less prevalent than its Mozilla sibling, Firefox, has a solid following among Mac users who appreciate its speed. It has long been my browser of choice as it's relatively lightweight and very fast compared to Firefox. And compatibility with various sites seems better than Apple's own Safari.

We've been beta testing Camino 2 for several months now, and it's solid. It offers several improvements over the first iterations of Camino, notably in speed and the way it looks. Mozilla notes that this Release Candidate 1 could become the final, first official build of Camino 2 if there are no critical issue found.

So it looks like despite Pinkerton's Chrome time commitments, Camino 2 will beat Chrome for Mac even reaching beta status.

The anticipation for Chrome for Mac continues to build. Even Google co-founder Sergey Brin admits that he's disappointed with how long it has taken to develop. But, as we noted the other day, Chrome for Mac ? not Chromium, the open source browser on which Chrome is based ? looks like it's getting closer to a beta release.

November 22, 2009 reply from Trinity University Geology Professor Glenn Kroeger


Fusion 3 runs Win7 great! I have several virtual machines, so that I can run WinXP, Win7 and Liniux to test software I develop. I also use Fusion for several heavy duty processing packages for GIS and seismic processing. Much prefer it to a real windows machine... if Windows gets uppity, I can restart one virtual machine while my Mac and other virtual machines just keep chugging along.

For best results, I suggest a faster CPU, larger cache and as much RAM as possible. For examples, it works great on my MacBook Pro with a 2.8G processor (with 6M cache) and 4 GB RAM.


November 22, 2009 reply from Trinity University Chemistry Professor Nancy Mills

I used VMFusion when I transitioned from Windows to Mac with the idea that I could use my PC programs and not buy new ones. It was awkward for me to have to open VMFusion when I needed to draw chemical structures or make plots. And, my PC programs began to work more erratically. But this did buy me time to make the complete transition to Mac, which was good.


November 22, 2009 reply from Trinity University instructional support expert Robert Chapman

Hi Robert,

I use VirtualBox from Sun on my Mac without issue. It supports all of the important features that are required for running virtual machines simultaneously. There is a free open source version available. The email included below has experiences/myths that I would fine either peculiar or very circumstantial for the user. For a "power user" they seemed like pretty rookie mistakes issues. I hope the Mac experience goes better for you. If you have any questions about VirtualBox let me know. Thanks.

Instructional Support Manager
Robert Chapman

November 22, 2009 reply from Tax Professor Richard Sansing at Dartmouth

I have had success using "Parallels Desktop" on my Mac to run Scientific Workplace and the Solver function on Excel.

Richard Sansing

Parallels Desktop ---

November 22, 2009 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

Due to the number of people requesting elaboration on my comment about the "myths of the Mac", here are my experiences:

Let me preface these by saying I've been told these myths over and over by Mac fans who enthusiastically tried for years to get me to ditch my Windows machines for a Mac by using these arguments on me. I don't say that all Mac users hold these beliefs, but enough of my Mac-fan acquaintances claim they are true for me to label them "myths" rather than simply a mistaken error coming from a single uninformed or naive Mac user.)

Myth 1: "The Mac isn't affected by viruses". False. Even though I very, very rarely use my Mac on the Internet, my iMac contracted a virus. I don't know where it came from, but our Tech Support people found it while troubleshooting a problem it caused. And it was darned hard for them to find me any Anti-virus software that really works on a Mac without gumming up the works bigtime. They installed three different Mac-based anti-virus programs before they got one that didn't make at least one of my standard Mac apps stop working. If Macs aren't affected by viruses, why are there anti-virus programs for Macs? My tech support people reluctantly agreed that the myth is false when I asked them that question.

Myth 2: "The Mac OS-X doesn't crash." False. I've had at least four crashes, none of which can be explained by anyone, including our tech support people, who repeated the myth to me until they sat in my office and watched it happen. Yes, the whole shebang, not just one program (or app, as the Mac users calls them).

Myth 3: "Mac-based programs don't crash." False. I've gotten used to saving my work every five minutes on the iMac (I usually go 10-15 minutes on the Windows machines) because I'm tired of seeing the little pop-up window: "Adobe Premiere Pro (or some other program) has unexpectedly quit working. You have lost any data that was not recently saved. You can try opening the program again." This happens regularly in my Adobe Creative Suite 3 for Mac programs, as well as two native iMac-'included' apps that came pre-loaded on the machine.

Myth 4: "The Mac doesn't just freeze-up suddenly like Windows programs do from time to time." False. I've let Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, iDVD, Safari, and several other programs sit overnight in a "hung" state before Tech Support comes over and unplugs the machine -- unlike Windows machines, even holding the button on the back doesn't seem to reboot a Mac when it's frozen.

Myth 5: "The Mac is a lot easier to learn." Maybe True for some, but not for me. Then again, I was 53 years old when I started learning the Mac, whereas I was only 33 when I learned Windows 3.0, which was built upon the DOS which I learned when I was in my mid-20's, which was similar to CP/M which I learned when ... so I'll chalk up my learning curve to age and curmudgeonliness.

Myth 6: "Everything you can do on a Windows machine you can do on a Mac by using a Windows emulator." False. I have at least four programs which run fine on Windows which refuse to run at all on my iMac... out of about a dozen I tried. This was the first myth that our Tech Support people readily admitted was false without me having to demonstrate it to them. They recommended de-installing the emulators (which I have, eagerly) and sticking with running all Windows programs on Windows machines, and using only Mac programs on the Mac. (Note that this does not solve the problems I have with the Mac programs noted in the myths above.)

Myth 7: "You can run Windows programs on a Mac, but they run a little slower than on a Windows machine." Maybe True for some programs, but not all... Some of my programs were not a little slow, they were agonizingly slow, taking MINUTES instead of seconds to respond. This was the second myth that our Tech Support agreed was false without my having to convince them. I now run Windows programs only on Windows machines.

Myth 8: "Mac's have no trouble with Firewire." False. Every single time I try to capture video from my Canon ZR-960 videocam, it takes eight or ten plug-ins and unplugs before the machine finally recognizes it. Once it recognizes it, however, everything is good from there on out. The Adobe Premiere people say its the iMac, not their program. The camera works fine on Windows machines. The problem is indigenous to certain individual iMacs, not all. It works fine first time on about half of the iMacs tech support tried, but failed on the other half. The camera works fine first time every time on all Windows Vista machines, including my Vista Home Edition at home, even using the exact same cable. (My office WinXP doesn't have a firewire card so I haven't tried it on XP.)

Myth 9: "Mac's have no trouble with USB devices like outboard disk drives." False. For some reason, my iMac will not recognize one of my Western Digital outboard disk drives... ever, even though it has the NTFS partition created on another identical iMac!. The disk simply doesn't show up on the desktop when plugged in. Either partition! The disk works perfectly on every Windows machine I've plugged it into. Both partitions (NTFS and FAT32) show up on XP and Vista machines without problem. My three other disk drives work okay on my Mac, and even my thumb drives (FAT32 only!) work fine on the iMac. But this one doesn't. I've never had a Windows machine that refused to recognize ANY outboard disk drive. Yes, it's a USB 2.0 compliant disk drive, purchased in 2008. The disk works on some of CIT's Macs, but not others, and no one can explain why.

Myth 10: "It's just your individual machine, not Macs in general. You must have a bad machine." FALSE. I've used up a lot of brownie points with our tech support and CIT people by taking my stuff over to their iMacs and duplicating the problems on THEIR machines when they try to tell me it's just my individual machine. In fact, in two instances, I've succeeded in "stumping the chumps" by making their machine fail in front of their eyes in new ways that MY machine has never done before. In one of those two, the tech support guy was actually running the machine, not me. So it's not just the way I'm holding my mouth or blinking my eyes or doing covert things with the command keys.

Now in all fairness, I have to admit that I'm something of a power user, meaning that I probably use about 15-20% of an application's capabilities, compared to the average user who uses probably 5-10% of the capabilities. I exercise the programs and explore recesses and features and use the intermediate capabilities (the textbooks call them "advanced" features, but in reality, even I don't even begin to touch some of the real advanced capabilities of most mature modern software applications! So I may be bumping into some unexplored territory with my attempts to get the real performance out of some of these programs. So I won't criticize the average Mac user who claims these myths are true, because his/her experience might never have led him/her into the situations where I encounter the problems.

Most Mac tech support people will admit that these myths are myths. The few who still don't admit they are myths seem to believe I'm bringing bad karma into their offices and machines. If I am, it is unintentional. But they may be right, given the large number of Mac users who still insist the above statements are gospel truth.

SUMMARY: I'm not dissing the Macs in favor of Windows machines. Macs do have a lot going for them. My iMac flies like lightning compared to Windows when it comes to video editing, video rendering, audio conversions, photo editing en masse, and other A/V applications (on those occasions that it doesn't hang, crash, or automatically reboot without me doing anything!). So I'm relatively happy with the Mac for those applications. And I can't even complain too much about the operation or learning curves of some of the Mac apps -- like Safari, etc. But I don't find those apps any EASIER, however, especially since the interface's logic is so different from what I'm used to on Windows machines.

But I must say that I'm not yet convinced that the Mac is in any way superior (or even comparable) to a Windows machine for any of the office-related (lower-case o) applications like word-processing, spreadsheets that I've tried on it, especially for the features that I use, nor do I believe a Mac is anywhere near as safe and reliable as all of my Mac-fan friends had led me to believe. In fact, I would dare say that my iMac has actually been just as unreliable and prone to problems as any Windows machine I've ever had. Not necessarily worse, but every bit as bad.

I know Mac users who will disagree, and I know Windows users who will also disagree, believing that nothing can be as problematic as Microsoft software. I'm going ONLY on my own personal experience. As my doctor told me only 29 hours ago, as his test diagnosed me with H1N1 with no symptoms whatsoever but a previously-unexplained fever, "hey, everybody is different... everybody is different."

David Fordham James Madison University

Interchangeable Files on a Mac versus a PC
Mac Version of Quicken is Inferior and Incompatible

From Walter S. Mossberg's Mailbox on May 7, 2009 ---

Q: I switched from PC to Mac a year ago, but now I am thinking of adding a Windows laptop. If I do, what kind of compatibility problem would I have? I would be using the laptop mostly to write, to send/receive email and to Web browse.

A: In the old days, there were compatibility problems, but most of those have gone away. Based on your simple predicted usage, I'd say that you should be fine. For instance, both Macs and PCs can interchangeably open and edit all of the major file types -- JPG pictures, MP3 music, Microsoft Office documents, Adobe PDF files, etc. Email and instant messages can, of course, be exchanged between the two platforms, even if you are using different programs. And Macs understand Windows file extensions. Also, you can use both platforms simultaneously on the same home network to access the Internet.

In some cases, you might need different programs to open the same files on the two platforms. But even that obstacle has greatly diminished. For instance, programs like the Firefox and Safari Web browsers, Adobe Reader, iTunes, Microsoft Office, Google Earth, Picasa, Photoshop and many others come in native versions for both platforms that can handle the same files. And, of course, Web-based programs like Gmail and Yahoo Mail work on both. Sometimes, the same programs have different features and user interfaces on Windows and Macs, but I haven't found these differences hard to master.

The biggest problems for average users are Quicken, whose Mac version is inferior and incompatible; Internet Explorer, which is no longer made for the Mac; and Microsoft Outlook, which is replaced on the Mac by a program called Entourage that is similar but uses a different file format. And networking can be tricky. In general, the Mac does a better job of seeing Windows PCs on a network than Windows does of seeing Macs.

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at

How does this compare with the value of your house?
"Detroit's Famous Pontiac Silverdome Sells For Just $583,000 (less than 1% of cost) ---

"Pontiac Silverdome, Home of SBXVI, Sold for $583K"--headline, Sports Illustrated Web site, Nov. 23, 2009

Detroit Sold for Scrap"--headline, Onion, April 5, 2006

How well does GM's Volt automobile test model work on a test track?
Very, very well ---
The ultimate test will be battery life/cost and years/miles of full warranty.

An unmentioned problem is the weight of the car that now requires specially made tires. Driving this tank down the road on a gas-fed generator can hardly get good mileage (my guess is less than five miles to the gallon). GM does not like to talk about this problem. Also not mentioned is the cost of the electricity needed to charge the battery when the car is in a garage. "You load 16 tons and what do you get?" Another 40 miles.

Harvard Study (with tongue in cheek) Predicts Wall Street and Dow Recovery
However, according to an only half-joking report released last week, the low numbers of Harvard MBAs landing Wall Street jobs could point to something else – an impending recovery. The “Harvard MBA Indicator” is a market predictor designed by HBS alum Ray Soifer. According to his somewhat facetious theory, the percentage of Harvard MBAs each year who take market-sensitive jobs, generally those closely tied to investing, is inversely related to the health of the stock market. In other words, the fewer HBS grads that take jobs in banking, venture capital, leveraged buyouts, etc., the better the Dow will do.
"Harvard MBA Indicator: Good Times Ahead for Finance Jobs?" by Geoff Gloeckler, Business Week, November 11, 2009 --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
I'm more inclined to attribute the rise in the Dow to the plunge in the value of the U.S. dollar, which of course does not bode well for real economic recovery. Menwhile the Fed continues to print free money for the big banks.

The Obamacare entitlement program may well add $40 trillion (anybody's guess not mentioned in Congress) or more to unfunded entitlements obligations even if politicians are claiming it will add much less than a ten-year trillion to the booked U.S. National Debt standing above $12 trillion ---

Here's the Doomsday Graphic being shown around the U.S. by David Walker (former Chief Accountant of the United States)
The Real National Debt (booked + unbooked entitlements without Obamacare) 2008
Source ---


IOUSA (the most frightening movie in American history) ---
(see a 30-minute version of the documentary at )

More on David Walker’s warnings of impending entitlements disasters ---

Hollywood Movies Featuring Accountants

From Jim Mahar's Blog on November 20, 2009 ---

YouTube - Other People's Money speech by Danny DeVito:
"Other People's Money speech by Danny DeVito"

If you want to feel old, mention this movie in class, virtually no one has heard of it. Fortunately some of it is still online. Here is Jorgy's speech, and here is Danny Devito's ---

"Is It Possible To Invent An Investment Product (purely fake satire) Too Stupid To Find Buyers?" by Jim Carney, Business Insider, November 19, 2009 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
And as academics we question how Wall Street could get away with gimmicks all these years.

"There's a sucker born every minute second ."

Makes you sort of wonder if auditors with their SOX on are just wasting time and money.

November 21, 2009 reply from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

Other People's Money is my favorite business movie. I've viewed it a dozen times or more. I think it is the best movie for showing students what is involved with a proxy fight.

The Deal, starring Christian Slater, is my recommendation for a movie focused on due diligence investigations.

The Devil Wears Prada is my recommendation for a movie dealing with an ethical dilemma. Although The Contender (Joan Allen), Dave, Working Girl (Melanie Griffith) aren't bad.

Only Devil will be familiar to today's students. Doesn't mean they can't learn from an old movie.

Stranger Than Fiction might be the best movie about an accountant. The Harold Crick character evolves through three of the stereotypes discussed in Dimnik and Feldon.

Dave Albrecht

November 21, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

Of course let's not forget Hollywood's Enron fraud documentary Enron:  The Smartest Guys in the Room.
And there's the best Enron movie in a sense that it's a home movie featuring the real Enron bad guys ---
Jeff Skilling plays himself when introducing HFA --- Hypothetical Future Accounting

In Carnal Knowledge Jack Nicholson plays a deeply dysfunctional CPA in this racy and depressing movie having zero accounting or business education but some education about Ann Margaret's body.

And there's Suze Orman's video The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life (also a 2003 book)

Click on the category "Movies and TV" at and feed in the search word "accounting."
It was at the above site that I stumbled on many non-Hollywood movies, including

And of course there are Bob Jensen's exciting free accounting tutorials on Excel, MS Access, Swap Valuations, XBRL. Camtasia, etc. ---

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials ---
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines ---
Edutainment and Learning Games ---
Open Sharing Courses ---

Coach Bill Belichick's Lessons on Probability and Innovation
He took Robert Frost's path least taken near the end of a game on November 16, 2009
Interestingly, a rookie coach cannot get away with gambles like a veteran Super Bowl coach can try

"What Innovators Can Learn from Bill Belichick," by Scott Anthony, Harvard Business School, November 20, 2009 ---
Click Here

Even non-football fans probably heard about Bill Belichick's "blunder" of a call on Sunday night. Believe it or not, the call — and the firestorm that followed — has important lessons for innovation managers.

A quick recap. The New England Patriots led the Indianapolis Colts by six points with two minutes to go. It was fourth down, the ball was on the New England 28 yard line, and the Patriots needed just two yards for a first down that would almost certainly have sealed a victory. Conventional wisdom called for a punt, but Coach Belichick decided to go for it. After the Patriots fell just short of the first down, the Colts marched into the end zone and won the game.

Reaction was swift and almost universally negative.

But there's statistical evidence that Belichick followed the right approach, that his move marginally increased the odds that the Patriots would win the game. Of course, the Patriots didn't win the game, but had the situation played out hundreds of times, a coach using Belichick's tactics would win more frequently than one who didn't.

What does this have to do with innovation?

First, the "Belichick incident" highlights the challenges facing a leader who makes the hard, right choices.

If Belichick had punted and the Patriots lost, no one would have complained. Following a seemingly non-conventional approach opened Belichick up to criticism. Successful innovation requires similar bravery. It isn't easy to go after non-existent markets or follow non-obvious approaches when analysts and investors are grilling you over minute-by-minute results. After all, naysayers tend not to criticize risks you don't take.

The other important implication relates to rewards. People moaned about Belichick's decision because the result was negative. Just like companies reward people who hit their numbers and penalize those who don't.

Getting world-class at innovation requires moving beyond rewarding results to rewarding behaviors.
Remember, the odds that an initial strategy is right are very low. If a team learns quickly and cheaply that initial assumptions won't pan out, they should be celebrated, not castigated. In the long run, those behaviors will lead to more successes than failures.

No one said leading innovation was easy. Getting uncommon results, however, sometimes requires following uncommon approaches.

Jensen Comment
I read somewhere that virtually all football teams punt way too often on fourth down with less than two yards to go. Unfortunately I cannot recall the recent reference to this. But often it's a bit like betting the farm --- our beloved Bill Belichick with zero PR skills is Exhibit A.

Also see
"Bill Belichick and the Cleveland Browns," by John R. Wells, Travis Haglock, Harvard Business School, August 10, 2005 --- 

"Professors of the Year Are Celebrated for Innovative Teaching," Chronicle of Higher Education, November 19, 2009 ---

Jensen Comment
Some of these remind me of the field trip experiments for basic accounting instigated by Karen Pincus first at the University of Southern California and later at the University of Arkansas. The field trips are great for motivation but often detract from scope of coverage of basic concepts and consume time with logistics.

Years ago I wrote the following at
I wrote this in the 1990s boom when accounting majors nationwide were plummeting in favor of IT and finance.

The BAM case method approach is an alternative "field learning" way of adding realism to learning without the logistical time hurdles of field trips ---
The BAM approach is probably too intense and difficult for a very basic accounting course. It has been used successfully in intermediate accounting at the University of Virginia, Villanova, and other universities.

Hi Yvonne ---

For what it is worth, my advice to new faculty is at 

One thing to remember is that the employers of our students (especially the public accounting firms) are very unhappy with our lecture/drill pedagogy at the introductory and intermediate levels. They believe that such pedagogy turns away top students, especially creative and conceptualizing students. Employers  believe that lecture/drill pedagogy attracts savant-like memorizers who can recite their lessons book and verse but have few creative talents and poor prospects for becoming leaders. The large accounting firms believed this so strongly that they donated several million dollars to the American Accounting Association for the purpose of motivating new pedagogy experimentation. This led to the Accounting Change Commission (AECC) and the mixed-outcome experiments that followed. See 

The easiest pedagogy for faculty is lecturing, and it is appealing to busy faculty who do not have time for students outside the classroom. When lecturing to large classes it is even easier because you don't have to get to know the students and have a great excuse for using multiple choice examinations and graduate student teaching assistants. I always remember an economics professor at Michigan State University who said that when teaching basic economics it did not matter whether he had a live class of 300 students or a televised class of 3,000 students. His full-time teaching load was three hours per week in front of a TV camera. He was a very good lecturer and truly loved his three-hour per week job!

Lecturing appeals to faculty because it often leads to the highest teaching evaluations.  Students love faculty who spoon feed and make learning seem easy.  It's much easier when mom or dad spoon the pudding out of the jar than when you have to hold your own spoon and/or find your own jar.

An opposite but very effective pedagogy is the AECC (University of Virginia) BAM Pedagogy that entails live classrooms with no lectures. BAM instructors think it is more important for students to learn on their own instead of sitting through spoon-fed learning lectures. I think it takes a special kind of teacher to pull off the astoundingly successful BAM pedagogy. Interestingly, it is often some of our best lecturers who decided to stop lecturing because they experimented with the BAM and found it to be far more effective for long-term memory. The top BAM enthusiasts are Tony Catanach at Villanova University and David Croll at the University of Virginia. Note, however, that most BAM applications have been at the intermediate accounting level. I have my doubts (and I think BAM instructors will agree) that BAM will probably fail at the introductory level. You can read about the BAM pedagogy at 

At the introductory level we have what I like to call the Pincus (User Approach) Pedagogy. Karen Pincus is now at the University of Arkansas, but at the time that her first learning experiments were conducted, she taught basic accounting at the University of Southern California. The Pincus Pedagogy is a little like both the BAM and the case method pedagogies. However, instead of having prepared learning cases, the Pincus Pedagogy sends students to on-site field visitations where they observe on-site operations and are then assigned tasks to creatively suggest ways of improving existing accounting, internal control, and information systems. Like the BAM, the Pincus Pedagogy avoids lecturing and classroom drill. Therein lies the controversy. Students and faculty in subsequent courses often complain that the Pincus Pedagogy students do not know the fundamental prerequisites of basic accounting needed for intermediate and advanced-level accounting courses.  Two possible links of interest on the controversial Pincus Pedagogy are as follows:  

Where the Pincus Pedagogy and the BAM Pedagogy differ lies in subject matter itself and stress on creativity. The BAM focuses on traditional subject matter that is found in such textbooks as intermediate accounting textbooks. The BAM Pedagogy simply requires that students learn any way they want to learn on their own since students remember best what they learned by themselves. The Pincus Pedagogy does not focus on much of the debit and credit "rules" found in most traditional textbooks. Students are required to be more creative at the expense of memorizing the "rules."

The Pincus Pedagogy is motivated by the belief that traditional lecturing/drill pedagogy at the basic accounting and tax levels discourages the best and more-creative students to pursue careers in the accountancy profession. The BAM pedagogy is motivated more by the belief that lecturing is a poor pedagogy for long-term memory of technical details. What is interesting is that the leading proponents of getting away from the lecture/drill pedagogy (i.e., Karen Pincus and Anthony Catenach) were previously two of the very best lecturers in accountancy. If you have ever heard either of them lecture, I think you would agree that you wish all your lecturers had been only half as good. I am certain that both of these exceptional teachers would agree that lecturing is easier than any other alternatives. However, they do not feel that lecturing is the best alternative for top students.

Between lecturing and the BAM Pedagogy, we have case method teaching. Case method teaching is a little like lecturing and a little like the BAM with some instructors providing answers in case wrap ups versus some instructors forcing students to provide all the answers. Master case teachers at Harvard University seldom provide answers even in case wrap ups, and often the cases do not have any known answer-book-type solutions. The best Harvard cases have alternative solutions with success being based upon discovering and defending an alternative solution. Students sometimes interactively discover solutions that the case writers never envisioned. I generally find case teaching difficult at the undergraduate level if students do not yet have the tools and maturity to contribute to case discussions. Interestingly, it may be somewhat easier to use the BAM at the undergraduate level than Harvard-type cases. The reason is that BAM instructors are often dealing with more rule-based subject matter such as intermediate accounting or tax rather than conceptual subject matter such as strategic decision making, business valuation, and financial risk analysis.

The hardest pedagogy today is probably a Socratic pedagogy online with instant messaging communications where an instructor who's on call about 60 hours per week from his or her home. The online instructor monitors the chats and team communications between students in the course at most any time of day or night. Amy Dunbar can tell you about this tedious pedagogy since she's using it for tax courses and will be providing a workshop that tells about how to do it and how not to do it. The next scheduled workshop precedes the AAA Annual Meetings on August 1, 2003 in Hawaii. You can also hear Dr. Dunbar and view her PowerPoint show from a previous workshop at 

In conclusion, always remember that there is no optimal pedagogy in all circumstances. All learning is circumstantial based upon such key ingredients as student maturity, student motivation, instructor talent, instructor dedication, instructor time, library resources, technology resources, and many other factors that come to bear at each moment in time. And do keep in mind that how you teach may determine what students you keep as majors and what you turn away. 

I tend to agree with the accountancy firms that contend that traditional lecturing probably turns away many of the top students who might otherwise major in accountancy. 

At the same time, I tend to agree with students who contend that they took accounting courses to learn accounting rather than economics, computer engineering, and behavioral science.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Lou&Bonnie [mailto:gyp1@EARTHLINK.NET]  
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 5:03 PM

I am a beginning accounting instructor (part-time) at a local community college. I am applying for a full-time faculty position, but am having trouble with a question. Methodology in accounting--what works best for a diversified group of individuals. Some students work with accounting, but on a computer and have no understanding of what the information they are entering really means to some individuals who have no accounting experience whatsoever. What is the best methodology to use, lecture, overhead, classroom participation? I am not sure and I would like your feedback. Thank you in advance for your help. 


Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the trade in teaching are at

"Determining which employees are disabled under the new ADA regulations," AccountingWeb, November 19, 2009 ---

Wading into the depths of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to determine who is disabled and who is not has never been a simple task for employers or their employees. On January 1, 2009 amendments to the Act took effect but the new amendments left many unanswered questions. Now, as instructed by Congress, the U.S. Equal Employment Commission has proposed rules designed to bring some clarity to both employers and employees.

Whether that actually occurs remains to be seen, but it is imperative for companies to become familiar with the proposed rules, which represent some significant departures from the past. Why? Consider several scenarios and try to determine in which cases an employee is considered disabled and must be offered a reasonable accommodation:

A: An employee with post-traumatic stress disorder; B: An employee with cancer who is currently in remission; C: An employee with asthma that they treat with an inhaler; or D: An employee who wears contact lenses.

According to the EEOC's proposed rules, the answers are yes, yes, yes, and no. The rules are still being debated, but employers must make sure they understand which impairments may qualify as a disability, which may not and how to determine what falls into either category.

The Revised ADA Regulations

When the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) took effect at the beginning of 2009, it brought some significant changes to the way that disabilities could be interpreted, even though it made few changes to the definition of a disability.

Under the ADAAA, a disability remains "an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment."

However, the new law made several important changes, which have spurred the EEOC's proposed rules. Those changes include:

Expanding the definition of major life activities to include walking, reading, and many major bodily functions, such as the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. Ordering employers to not consider mitigating measures other than regular eyeglasses or contact lenses when determining whether an individual has a disability. Clarifying that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when the impairment is active – that is, employees are disabled even if they are not showing symptoms of their disease, if the disease would qualify as a disability when the employee is experiencing symptoms.

The EEOC Weighs In

When the law was passed, the EEOC was directed to evaluate how employers should interpret the changes in the ADAAA, employees, and job applicants. In September, the commission did so when it issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. According to the commission, the proposed rules – like the amended ADA – are meant to offer broad coverage to disabled individuals to the maximum extent allowed. The intent of the EEOC seems clear – the issue should be less about whether an employee or job applicant has a disability and more about whether discrimination has occurred.

The EEOC has also included a specific laundry list of impairments that "consistently meet" the definition of a disability – a list that is far more extensive than in the past. There are several other important aspects of the proposed rules, which are still being debated. Those aspects include:

Along with the list of impairments that consistently meet the definition of a disability, the proposed rules include examples of impairments that require more analysis to determine whether they are, in fact, disabilities, since these impairments may cause more difficulties for some than others. Impairments that are episodic or in remission, including epilepsy, cancer, and many kinds of psychiatric impairments, are disabilities if they would "substantially limit" major life activities when active. "Major life activities" include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, interacting with others, and working.

Three of these – reaching, interacting with others, and sitting – are seen for the first time in the proposed rules and are not listed in the ADAAA. This is not an exhaustive list, according to the commission.

The proposed rules also include a specific, non-exhaustive list of major bodily functions that constitute major life activities, including several – special sense organs and skin, genitourinary, cardiovascular, hemic, lymphatic, and musculoskeletal – that are new under the EEOC proposed rules.

· The proposed rules change the definition of "substantially limits." Under the new regulations, a person is regarded as disabled if an impairment substantially limits his or her ability to perform a major life activity compared to what "most people in the general population" could perform. This is a change from the old regulations, which define a disability as one that substantially limits how a person can perform a major life activity compared to "average person in the general population" can perform an activity.

According to the EEOC, an impairment doesn't need to prevent or severely restrict an individual from performing a major life activity. Those tests were too demanding, according to the proposed rules. Now, employers should rely on a common-sense assessment, based on how an employee's or applicant's ability to perform a major life function compares with most people in the general population.

In good news for employers, the proposed rules do say that temporary, non-chronic impairments that do not last long and that leave little or no residual effects are usually not considered disabilities. Prior factors for considering whether an impairment is substantially limiting, such as the nature, severity and duration of the impairment, as well as long-term and permanent effects, have been removed.

According to the EEOC, at most, an extra one million workers may consider themselves to be disabled under the proposed rules. While that may not seem like many to the commission, businesses must prepare themselves.

Education and communication are the most important steps employers can take to prevent discriminations lawsuits from those claiming disabilities. Employers must educate themselves about the proposed rules and how those may change when they are ultimately approved.

Employers must also educate their employees about changes to the ADA and the EEOC's interpretation of the act. Human resources personnel, managers, and supervisors should be trained to respond to employees who seek a reasonable accommodation to their impairment. Employees should receive training, so they know the correct channels to go through if they believe an impairment qualifies as a disability. Formalized training, with employee sign-offs, can help to protect employers from discrimination claims.

They should be working with legal counsel to update all of their training manuals and employee handbooks, in light of the new regulations and proposed rules.

With the shift to a broader definition of disability, employers must brace for the possibility of an increasing number of claims. They must also work to ensure that they are not inadvertently discriminating against anyone who now qualifies as disabled.

Bob Jensen's threads on unfunded entitlements ---

There is a way around "passing the trash" (high risk health insurance patients), but it's not being discussed in Washington or in town hall meetings.

"Why Health Care Reform Is Vulnerable to Smart Analytics," by Tom Davenport, Harvard Business School Publishing, November 19, 2009 --- Click Here

. . .

Increasingly, however, life and property & casualty insurers have attempted to increase their profits by predicting just how much risk a particular customer represents, and pricing the risk accordingly. You'll pay more for life insurance, for example, if you're a smoker or a private pilot. You'll pay more for automobile insurance in most states if your credit score is low. (A low credit score has been found to predict higher risk of dying or crashing your car.) Pooling the risk, it seems, is no longer an attractive proposition for life and property insurers.

It seems obvious that the same predictive approaches to segmenting risk would eventually move into health insurance. "But wait," you say. "Isn't information about my health confidential and secure?" It's true that HIPAA and other laws protect your medical history data in doctors' offices and hospitals. But with predictive analytics, you don't need to have access to anyone's medical records. All you need to know is how much someone weighs, what kind of food he or she eats, how much exercise they get, and so forth. Much of that information is publicly available, can be bought, or can be legally requested in insurance applications. One health insurance actuary told me that such "lifestyle" data is a much better predictor than age of who is going to contract, say, diabetes. Among 45-year olds, for example, there is an eightfold difference in annual medical spending between the highest-risk lifestyle group and the lowest.

Such predictions are already employed today by health insurance firms, who use them to enroll certain customers in "disease management" programs. In some cases, these programs recommend preventive therapies to try to head off diseases before they happen, which is usually good for both customer and insurer. However, it's a relatively short step to using the predictions to refuse coverage, or to price coverage at a much higher level.

Today most health insurance companies still practice risk pooling, either because they insure large organizations with group insurance coverage for many employees, or because their small group or individual insurance is heavily regulated at the state level.

However, if we adopt universal coverage in the United States with mandates to have insurance — as do most of the health care reform plans under discussion — selection of the lowest-risk customers may rise dramatically. Many more people will seek insurance as individuals, rather than as members of groups. It will then be possible for insurance firms to identify which customers will be profitable, and which will cost them too much money to insure. They will seek the healthy (and those likely to stay that way) and shun the sick (and those soon to become sick) as a result. Since 15% of patients in the U.S. account for 75% of health care costs, there will be plenty of financial incentives for insurers to do so.

Since some insurance companies will be better at predicting health risk than others, and since everyone must be insured by someone, this will lead to dramatic differences in performance between the more and less analytical health insurers. Some will go out of business, creating disruption for the entire industry and its consumers. If there is a "public option" that takes consumers no one else wants, it will undoubtedly get the citizens who are most likely to acquire expensive diseases. Taxpayers will foot the bill, while the private health insurers who are good at prediction will become much richer.

There is a way around this problem, but it's not being discussed in Washington or in town hall meetings. It's called "risk adjustment." Under such an approach, if one company (or public insurance payer) takes on more risky customers and suffers losses as a result, that company's losses would be paid for out of a risk adjustment pool into which all insurers would pay — a sort of FDIC for health insurance. That would dramatically reduce the incentive to select the least likely customers to get sick.

Risk adjustment is already incorporated today into Medicare Advantage — private plans that 10 million U.S. consumers use to augment their basic Medicare coverage — which may be one reason why Medicare Advantage is being criticized by some legislators as too costly.

The way to avoid all this complexity, of course, is to have a single-payer system. Then no insurance provider can skim off the best customers. We generally say we prefer competition between providers in this country, but that means we have to create approaches to deal with the fact that some competitors are much more clever than others.

To its credit, Newsweek includes this columnist's articles among what is otherwise unfailing support for the House version of massive spending for universal health care "reform."

"Obama's Malpractice: Why the health-care bill isn't reform," Robert J. Samuelson (economist), Newsweek Magazine, November 23, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the health care debate are at

The Greatest Swindle in the History of the World
Paulson and Geithner Lied Big Time

"The Ugly AIG Post-Mortem:  The TARP Inspector General's report has a lot more to say about the rating agencies than it does about Goldman Sachs," by Holman Jenkins, The Wall Street Journal, November 24m 2009 --- Click Here

A year later, the myrmidons of the media have gotten around to the question of why, after the government took over AIG, it paid 100 cents on the dollar to honor the collateral demands of AIG's subprime insurance counterparties.

By all means, read TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky's report on the AIG bailout—but read it honestly.

It does not say AIG's bailout was a "backdoor bailout" of Goldman Sachs. It does not say the Fed was remiss in failing to require Goldman and other counterparties to settle AIG claims for pennies on the dollar.

It does not for a moment doubt the veracity of officials who say their concern was to stem a systemic panic that might have done lasting damage to the U.S. standard of living.

To be sure, Mr. Barofsky has some criticisms to offer, but the biggest floats inchoate between the lines of a widely overlooked section headed "lessons learned," which focuses on the credit rating agencies. The section notes not only the role of the rating agencies, with their "inherently conflicted business model," in authoring the subprime mess in the first place—but also the role of their credit downgrades in tipping AIG into a liquidity crisis, in undermining the Fed's first attempt at an AIG rescue, and in the decision of government officials "not to pursue a more aggressive negotiating policy to seek concessions from" AIG's counterparties.

Though not quite spelling it out, Mr. Barofsky here brushes close to the last great unanswered question about the AIG bailout. Namely: With the government now standing behind AIG, why not just tell Goldman et al. to waive their collateral demands since they now had the world's best IOU—Uncle Sam's?

Congress might not technically have put its full faith and credit behind AIG, but if banks agreed to accept this argument, and Treasury and Fed insisted on it, and the SEC upheld it, the rating agencies would likely have gone along. No cash would have had to change hands at all.

This didn't happen, let's guess, because the officials—Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke—were reluctant to invent legal and policy authority out of whole cloth to overrule the ratings agencies—lo, the same considerations that also figured in their reluctance to dictate unilateral haircuts to holders of AIG subprime insurance.

Of course, the thinking now is that these officials, in bailing out AIG, woulda, shoulda, coulda used their political clout to force such haircuts, but quailed when the banks, evil Goldman most of all, insisted on 100 cents on the dollar.

This story, in its gross simplification, is certainly wrong. Goldman and others weren't in the business of voluntarily relinquishing valuable claims. But the reality is, in the heat of the crisis, they would have acceded to any terms the government dictated. Washington's game at the time, however, wasn't to nickel-and-dime the visible cash transfers to AIG. It was playing for bigger stakes—stopping a panic by asserting the government's bottomless resources to uphold the IOUs of financial institutions.

What's more, if successful, these efforts were certain to cause the AIG-guaranteed securities to rebound in value—as they have. Money has already flowed back to AIG and the Fed (which bought some of the subprime securities to dissolve the AIG insurance agreements) and is likely to continue to do so for the simple reason that the underlying payment streams are intact.

Never mind: The preoccupation with the Goldman payments amounts to a misguided kind of cash literalism. For the taxpayer has assumed much huger liabilities to keep homeowners in their homes, to keep mortgage payments flowing to investors, to fatten the earnings of financial firms, etc., etc. These liabilities dwarf the AIG collateral calls, inevitably benefit Goldman and other firms, and represent the real cost of our failure to create a financial system in which investors (a category that includes a lot more than just Goldman) live and die by the risks they voluntarily take without taxpayers standing behind them.

No, Moody's and S&P are not the cause of this policy failure—yet Mr. Barofsky's half-articulated choice to focus on them is profound. For the role the agencies have come to play in our financial system amounts to a direct, if feckless and weak, attempt to contain the incentives that flow from the government's guaranteeing of so many kinds of private liabilities, from the pension system and bank deposits to housing loans and student loans.

The rating agencies' role as gatekeepers to these guarantees is, and was, corrupting, but the solution surely is to pare back the guarantees themselves. Overreliance on rating agencies, with their "inherently conflicted business model," was ultimately a product of too much government interference in the allocation of credit in the first place.

The Mother of Future Lawsuits Directly Against Credit Rating Agencies and Indirectly Against Auditing Firms

It has been shown how Moody's and some other credit rating agencies sold AAA ratings for securities and tranches that did not deserve such ratings ---
Also see

My friend Larry sent me the following link indicating that a lawsuit in Ohio may shake up the credit rating fraudsters.
Will 49 other states and thousands of pension funds follow suit?
Already facing a spate of private lawsuits, the legal troubles of the country’s largest credit rating agencies deepened on Friday when the attorney general of Ohio sued Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, claiming that they had cost state retirement and pension funds some $457 million by approving high-risk Wall Street securities that went bust in the financial collapse.

Jensen Comment
The credit raters will rely heavily on the claim that they relied on the external auditors who, in turn, are being sued for playing along with fraudulent banks that grossly underestimated loan loss reserves on poisoned subprime loan portfolios and poisoned tranches sold to investors ---
Bad things happen in court where three or more parties start blaming each other for billions of dollars of losses that in many cases led to total bank failures and the wiping out of all the shareholders in those banks, including the pension funds that invested in those banks. A real test is the massive lawsuit against Deloitte's auditors in the huge Washington Mutual (WaMu) shareholder lawsuit.

"Ohio Sues Rating Firms for Losses in Funds," by David Segal, The New York Times, November 20m 2009 --- Click Here

Already facing a spate of private lawsuits, the legal troubles of the country’s largest credit rating agencies deepened on Friday when the attorney general of Ohio sued Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, claiming that they had cost state retirement and pension funds some $457 million by approving high-risk Wall Street securities that went bust in the financial collapse.

Already facing a spate of private lawsuits, the legal troubles of the country’s largest credit rating agencies deepened on Friday when the attorney general of Ohio sued Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, claiming that they had cost state retirement and pension funds some $457 million by approving high-risk Wall Street securities that went bust in the financial collapse.

The case could test whether the agencies’ ratings are constitutionally protected as a form of free speech.

The lawsuit asserts that Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch were in league with the banks and other issuers, helping to create an assortment of exotic financial instruments that led to a disastrous bubble in the housing market.

“We believe that the credit rating agencies, in exchange for fees, departed from their objective, neutral role as arbiters,” the attorney general, Richard Cordray, said at a news conference. “At minimum, they were aiding and abetting misconduct by issuers.”

He accused the companies of selling their integrity to the highest bidder.

Steven Weiss, a spokesman for McGraw-Hill, which owns S.& P., said that the lawsuit had no merit and that the company would vigorously defend itself.

“A recent Securities and Exchange Commission examination of our business practices found no evidence that decisions about rating methodologies or models were based on attracting market share,” he said.

Michael Adler, a spokesman for Moody’s, also disputed the claims. “It is unfortunate that the state attorney general, rather than engaging in an objective review and constructive dialogue regarding credit ratings, instead appears to be seeking new scapegoats for investment losses incurred during an unprecedented global market disruption,” he said.

A spokesman for Fitch said the company would not comment because it had not seen the lawsuit.

The litigation adds to a growing stack of lawsuits against the three largest credit rating agencies, which together command an 85 percent share of the market. Since the credit crisis began last year, dozens of investors have sought to recover billions of dollars from worthless or nearly worthless bonds on which the rating agencies had conferred their highest grades.

One of those groups is largest pension fund in the country, the California Public Employees Retirement System, which filed a lawsuit in state court in California in July, claiming that “wildly inaccurate ratings” had led to roughly $1 billion in losses.

And more litigation is likely. As part of a broader financial reform, Congress is considering provisions that make it easier for plaintiffs to sue rating agencies. And the Ohio attorney general’s action raises the possibility of similar filings from other states. California’s attorney general, Jerry Brown, said in September that his office was investigating the rating agencies, with an eye toward determining “how these agencies could get it so wrong and whether they violated California law in the process.”

As a group, the attorneys general have proved formidable opponents, most notably in the landmark litigation and multibillion-dollar settlement against tobacco makers in 1998.

To date, however, the rating agencies are undefeated in court, and aside from one modest settlement in a case 10 years ago, no one has forced them to hand over any money. Moody’s, S.& P. and Fitch have successfully argued that their ratings are essentially opinions about the future, and therefore subject to First Amendment protections identical to those of journalists.

But that was before billions of dollars in triple-A rated bonds went bad in the financial crisis that started last year, and before Congress extracted a number of internal e-mail messages from the companies, suggesting that employees were aware they were giving their blessing to bonds that were all but doomed. In one of those messages, an S.& P. analyst said that a deal “could be structured by cows and we’d rate it.”

Recent cases, like the suit filed Friday, are founded on the premise that the companies were aware that investments they said were sturdy were dangerously unsafe. And if analysts knew that they were overstating the quality of the products they rated, and did so because it was a path to profits, the ratings could forfeit First Amendment protections, legal experts say.

“If they hold themselves out to the marketplace as objective when in fact they are influenced by the fees they are receiving, then they are perpetrating a falsehood on the marketplace,” said Rodney A. Smolla, dean of the Washington and Lee University School of Law. “The First Amendment doesn’t extend to the deliberate manipulation of financial markets.”

The 73-page complaint, filed on behalf of Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and other groups, claims that in recent years the rating agencies abandoned their role as impartial referees as they began binging on fees from deals involving mortgage-backed securities.

At the root of the problem, according to the complaint, is the business model of rating agencies, which are paid by the issuers of the securities they are paid to appraise. The lawsuit, and many critics of the companies, have described that arrangement as a glaring conflict of interest.

“Given that the rating agencies did not receive their full fees for a deal unless the deal was completed and the requested rating was provided,” the attorney general’s suit maintains, “they had an acute financial incentive to relax their stated standards of ‘integrity’ and ‘objectivity’ to placate their clients.”

To complicate problems in the system of incentives, the lawsuit states, the methodologies used by the rating agencies were outdated and flawed. By the time those flaws were obvious, nearly half a billion dollars in pension and retirement funds had evaporated in Ohio, revealing the bonds to be “high-risk securities that both issuers and rating agencies knew to be little more than a house of cards,” the complaint states.

"Rating agencies lose free-speech claim," by Jonathon Stempel, Reuters, September 3, 2009 ---

There are two superpowers in the world today in my opinion. There’s the United States and there’s Moody’s Bond Rating Service. The United States can destroy you by dropping bombs, and Moody’s can destroy you by down grading your bonds. And believe me, it’s not clear sometimes who’s more powerful.  The most that we can safely assert about the evolutionary process underlying market equilibrium is that harmful heuristics, like harmful mutations in nature, will die out.
Martin Miller, Debt and Taxes as quoted by Frank Partnoy, "The Siskel and Ebert of Financial Matters:  Two Thumbs Down for Credit Reporting Agencies," Washington University Law Quarterly, Volume 77, No. 3, 1999 --- 

Credit rating agencies gave AAA ratings to mortgage-backed securities that didn't deserve them. "These ratings not only gave false comfort to investors, but also skewed the computer risk models and regulatory capital computations," Cox said in written testimony.
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox as quoted on October 23, 2008 at

"How Moody's sold its ratings - and sold out investors," by Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers, October 18, 2009 ---

Paulson and Geithner Lied Big Time:  The Greatest Swindle in the History of the World
What was their real motive in the greatest fraud conspiracy in the history of the world?

Bombshell:  In 2008 and early 2009, Treasury Secretary leaders Paulson and Geithner told the media and Congress that AIG needed a global bailout due to not having cash reserves to meet credit default swap (systematic risk) obligations and insurance policy payoffs. On November 19, 2009 in Congressional testimony Geithner now admits that all this was a pack of lies. However, he refuses to resign as requested by some Senators.

"AIG and Systemic Risk Geithner says credit-default swaps weren't the problem, after all," Editors of The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2009 --- Click Here

TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky keeps committing flagrant acts of political transparency, which if nothing else ought to inform the debate going forward over financial reform. In his latest bombshell, the IG discloses that the New York Federal Reserve did not believe that AIG's credit-default swap (CDS) counterparties posed a systemic financial risk.


For the last year, the entire Beltway theory of the financial panic has been based on the claim that the "opaque," unregulated CDS market had forced the Fed to take over AIG and pay off its counterparties, lest the system collapse. Yet we now learn from Mr. Barofsky that saving the counterparties was not the reason for the bailout.

In the fall of 2008 the New York Fed drove a baby-soft bargain with AIG's credit-default-swap counterparties. The Fed's taxpayer-funded vehicle, Maiden Lane III, bought out the counterparties' mortgage-backed securities at 100 cents on the dollar, effectively canceling out the CDS contracts. This was miles above what those assets could have fetched in the market at that time, if they could have been sold at all.

The New York Fed president at the time was none other than Timothy Geithner, the current Treasury Secretary, and Mr. Geithner now tells Mr. Barofsky that in deciding to make the counterparties whole, "the financial condition of the counterparties was not a relevant factor."

This is startling. In April we noted in these columns that Goldman Sachs, a major AIG counterparty, would certainly have suffered from an AIG failure. And in his latest report, Mr. Barofsky comes to the same conclusion. But if Mr. Geithner now says the AIG bailout wasn't driven by a need to rescue CDS counterparties, then what was the point? Why pay Goldman and even foreign banks like Societe Generale billions of tax dollars to make them whole?

Both Treasury and the Fed say they think it would have been inappropriate for the government to muscle counterparties to accept haircuts, though the New York Fed tried to persuade them to accept less than par. Regulators say that having taxpayers buy out the counterparties improved AIG's liquidity position, but why was it important to keep AIG liquid if not to protect some class of creditors?

Yesterday, Mr. Geithner introduced a new explanation, which is that AIG might not have been able to pay claims to its insurance policy holders: "AIG was providing a range of insurance products to households across the country. And if AIG had defaulted, you would have seen a downgrade leading to the liquidation and failure of a set of insurance contracts that touched Americans across this country and, of course, savers around the world."

Yet, if there is one thing that all observers seemed to agree on last year, it was that AIG's money to pay policyholders was segregated and safe inside the regulated insurance subsidiaries. If the real systemic danger was the condition of these highly regulated subsidiaries—where there was no CDS trading—then the Beltway narrative implodes.

Interestingly, in Treasury's official response to the Barofsky report, Assistant Secretary Herbert Allison explains why the department acted to prevent an AIG bankruptcy. He mentions the "global scope of AIG, its importance to the American retirement system, and its presence in the commercial paper and other financial markets." He does not mention CDS.

All of this would seem to be relevant to the financial reform that Treasury wants to plow through Congress. For example, if AIG's CDS contracts were not the systemic risk, then what is the argument for restructuring the derivatives market? After Lehman's failure, CDS contracts were quickly settled according to the industry protocol. Despite fears of systemic risk, none of the large banks, either acting as a counterparty to Lehman or as a buyer of CDS on Lehman itself, turned out to have major exposure.

More broadly, lawmakers now have an opportunity to dig deeper into the nature of moral hazard and the restoration of a healthy financial system. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are pushing to give regulators "resolution authority" for struggling firms. Under both of their bills, this would mean unlimited ability to spend unlimited taxpayer sums to prevent an unlimited universe of firms from failing.

Americans know that's not the answer, but what is the best solution to the too-big-to-fail problem? And how exactly does one measure systemic risk? To answer these questions, it's essential that we first learn the lessons of 2008. This is where reports like Mr. Barofsky's are valuable, telling us things that the government doesn't want us to know.

In remarks Tuesday that were interpreted as a veiled response to Mr. Barofsky's report, Mr. Geithner said, "It's a great strength of our country, that you're going to have the chance for a range of people to look back at every decision made in every stage in this crisis, and look at the quality of judgments made and evaluate them with the benefit of hindsight." He added, "Now, you're going to see a lot of conviction in this, a lot of strong views—a lot of it untainted by experience."

Mr. Geithner has a point about Monday-morning quarterbacking. He and others had to make difficult choices in the autumn of 2008 with incomplete information and often with little time to think, much less to reflect. But that was last year. The task now is to learn the lessons of that crisis and minimize the moral hazard so we can reduce the chances that the panic and bailout happen again.

This means a more complete explanation from Mr. Geithner of what really drove his decisions last year, how he now defines systemic risk, and why he wants unlimited power to bail out creditors—before Congress grants the executive branch unlimited resolution authority that could lead to bailouts ad infinitum.

Jensen Comment
One of the first teller of lies was the highly respected Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times who was repeating the lies told to her and Congress by the Treasury and the Fed. This was when I first believed that the problem at AIG was failing to have capital reserves to meet CDS obligations. I really believed Morgenson's lies in 2008 ---

Here's what I wrote in 2008 ---
Credit Default Swap (CDS)
This is an insurance policy that essentially "guarantees" that if a CDO goes bad due to having turds mixed in with the chocolates, the "counterparty" who purchased the CDO will recover the value fraudulently invested in turds. On September 30, 2008 Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times aptly explained that the huge CDO underwriter of CDOs was the insurance firm called AIG. She also explained that the first $85 billion given in bailout money by Hank Paulson to AIG was to pay the counterparties to CDS swaps. She also explained that, unlike its casualty insurance operations, AIG had no capital reserves for paying the counterparties for the the turds they purchased from Wall Street investment banks.

"Your Money at Work, Fixing Others’ Mistakes," by Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times, September 20, 2008 ---
Also see "A.I.G., Where Taxpayers’ Dollars Go to Die," The New York Times, March 7, 2009 ---

What Ms. Morgenson failed to explain, when Paulson eventually gave over $100 billion for AIG's obligations to counterparties in CDS contracts, was who were the counterparties who received those bailout funds. It turns out that most of them were wealthy Arabs and some Asians who we were getting bailed out while Paulson was telling shareholders of WaMu, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch to eat their turds.

You tube had a lot of videos about a CDS. Go to YouTube and read in the phrase "credit default swap" ---
In particular note this video by Paddy Hirsch ---
Paddy has some other YouTube videos about the financial crisis.

Bob Jensen’s threads on accounting for credit default swaps are under the C-Terms at

The Greatest Swindle in the History of the World
"The Greatest Swindle Ever Sold," by Andy Kroll, The Nation, May 26, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on why the infamous "Bailout" won't work ---

Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads ---


Defining Higher Education Accountability

"Defining Accountability, by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, November 18, 2009 --- 

Given the sprawling terrain covered by the American Enterprise Institute's forum here on "Increasing Accountability in American Higher Education" Tuesday, it was probably inevitable that the conversation would touch on so many topics as to be almost incoherent.

Accreditation. Finance. Scholarly research productivity. College rankings. Governance. Tenure. Standardized tests. With papers and presentations on those topics and more, the daylong discussion was, not surprisingly, all over the map. But if a major theme emerged from the assembled speakers, most of whom fall clearly into the pro-accountability camp, it was that as policy makers turn up the pressure on colleges to perform, they should do so in ways that reinforce the behaviors they want to see -- and avoid the kinds of perverse incentives that are so evident in many policies today.

This is especially true, several speakers argued, on the thorniest of higher education accountability questions -- those related to improving student outcomes. While the event looked at times like a reunion of Margaret Spellings' Commission on the Future of Higher Education, with an agenda that featured not just its former chairman but several advisers to the panel, it unfolded very much focused on President Obama's call for increasing the proportion of Americans with a postsecondary credential.

Many of the speakers framed their remarks around changes that they saw as essential to helping the country ratchet up the number of young people and adults who not only enter higher education but emerge with what they need to enter the work force. (Oh, and one or two people actually talked about how nice it would be if policy makers still envisioned college as a place where people learn about citizenship or just become educated for education's sake.)

Peter Ewell, vice president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, focused his formal presentation on the growing network of state-based data systems that, in his eyes, present the best chance of producing good information on how students are faring in postsecondary education and beyond. Ewell has long been a leading advocate of such data systems, which will be most effective, he argued, if they are linked to databases of employment records and then stitched together to create regional networks.

But better data systems (which he acknowledged will take years to develop in this way, and are opposed in some quarters of higher education) will help only if the information they seek to collect is intelligently framed, which the most widely used current measure -- graduation rates -- is not, Ewell and others agreed. Ewell called for the development of a set of measures of "milestone events" in a student's academic path -- things like a "basic skills conversion rate" (capturing those who get to credit-worthy work after developmental courses), definitions of "transfer ready" and "work force ready" (to describe those who get meaningful academic or career skills but leave a community college short of an associate degree), etc.

And he said higher education leaders and state policy makers could make a shorter-term change that could start to alter the incentives for, and ultimately the behavior of, institutions: shifting state funding formulas so that colleges receive money based on how many students are still enrolled by the end of academic terms, rather than at the beginning.

"We have a performance funding scheme now -- it's called 'pay to enroll,' " he said. "One of the simplest things we can do is to reimburse for courses completed rather than courses attempted" by their students, he said. Added Stan Jones, former commissioner of higher education in Indiana and now president of the National Consortium on College Completion: "If we could make that change, counting courses at the end of the semester rather than the beginning, that would have powerful implications. Everybody would drag out their [list of] courses and say, 'Where are we having problems?' " (It was acknowledged that such an approach could create perverse incentives of its own, by discouraging institutions from enrolling academically underprepared students who might be unlikely to succeed -- a potential risk of the entire emphasis on "completion" that is increasingly in vogue.)

Many of the other speakers presented time-honored (read: familiar) approaches to what AEI called "the multifaceted accountability equation in higher education." Naomi Schaefer Riley, deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's Taste page and author of God on the Quad, argued for reining in tenure for groups of professors who she argued no longer warrant it -- including instructors in vocational fields who don't need the protection of academic freedom, gender and race studies professors with openly political agendas, and scientists who, she said, have forfeited their right to academic freedom by entering into corporate research arrangements that limit their ability to publish.

"Obviously we can‟t revoke the contracts of these professors now, but going forward, there is no justification for continuing to offer lifetime contracts to people in these fields." Riley said. "Whether because they have a political agenda or their subjects do not necessitate the freedom to ask big questions or because they seem happy to voluntarily give up their right to ask big questions for the right price, these professors do not need their academic freedom protected. And they don't need tenure.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen has several threads on these topics at

This Harvard article suggests that I "de-learn and de-graduate."
But it provides no examples of what I should de-learn.
Can you think of what I should be de-learning?
O.K. I should "shut up!" Can you think of other examples for me?

"When Was the Last Time You De-learned?" by Nayeet Nayer, Harvard Business School Publishing, November 19, 2009 --- Click Here

Students all over the world are hard at work in school at this time of year. There's a buzz on every campus as young women and men learn the rules of life, challenge them, and try to develop their own ideas, values, and principles.

For people in business, especially those who graduated a long time ago, it's time they went back to school in order to, for want of a better phrase, de-learn and un-graduate. That's the only way we will learn to challenge all that we have so far accepted as time-tested truths.

Although it isn't easy, executives should shed their fear of the unknown and display childlike enthusiasm for radical ideas. They need to ask tough questions even if there are no answers to them — yet. In business, unlearning entails changing the manner in which markets are defined and the way companies are run. It also involves rethinking perceptions about competition and collaboration.

As it is, executives tend to gravitate toward their zones of comfort as they grow older — and then wonder why the magic has disappeared from work.

Revisit your youth and ask yourself: Was I looking for simple and practical solutions then? Or did I ask tough questions that challenged people's assumptions, beliefs, and values? History suggests that people who challenge the status quo — like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein — often come up with great inventions.

Most important, executives have to change their approach to business and society. They usually believe they have all the answers and that their ways of doing things are the best. However, leaders must accept the fact that they don't have all the answers and re-program themselves for a world of infinite possibilities.

Great leaders are often lonely thinkers who ask uncomfortable questions, walk tough paths, and challenge popular perceptions. Only in retrospect are Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela — who faced criticism for most of their lives — regarded as great leaders who fought for the right causes. They loom large even now not because they had the answers, but because they dared to question. And by doing so, they achieved results whose value can't be questioned.

When was the last time you dared question the status quo?

Jensen Example
Here's one that should be re-learned or de-learned depending upon when you graduated.

If you graduated with an accounting, finance, or business degree before 1970 you were probably weaned on Benjamin Graham's proposition that investors like Warren Buffet can do in-depth fundamentals analysis and use their superior knowledge and take other investor's inferior knowledge. By the way Warren Buffet was a student of Professor Graham at Columbia and also worked for Graham ---

Between 1970 and 2008, Professors Fama and French at the University of Chicago and Dartmouth taught us that the market is efficient. Professor Fama even had the audacity to recently scream "I won." ---

After 2008, mathematician Janet Tavakoli in the tremendous book Dear Mr. Buffett explains that Professor Fama and his Chicago and Wharton School disciples got it wrong and explains why the Warren Buffet beat Wall Street's hot shot model builders out of billions of dollars.

Hence students graduating after 1970 have to de-learn efficient market theory and the worship of models that do not work well with missing variables and unrealistic assumptions of stationarity. Students graduating before 1970 have to relearn Graham.

"The Computer Stole My Homework -- and Sold It Through an Essay Mill," by Ben Terris, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 23, 2009 --- Click Here

Without her knowing it, a paper that Melinda Riebolt co-wrote while getting her M.B.A. was stolen and put up for sale. And, according to an article that USA Today reported last week, that same scenario has played out many times before.

The article discusses how some essay mills -- Web sites that provide written works for students -- surreptitiously steal work and then sell it for others to pass off as their own.

For the first time, however, those who find unauthorized postings of their work online may have a way to seek legal retribution. The article says a class-action lawsuit filed in 2006 is making its way through the courts, and one judge in Illinois has found a provider liable on six counts, including fraud and copyright infringement. That site is called RC2C Inc. and hosts at least nine sites that sell term papers.

Essay mills often provide their own written works.

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and cheating are at

If Google's Chrome is only available on some lightweight computers at the moment, why might you want to buy such a computer?

You may want a cheap computer to first explore the Web much more securely and download links or files that you might want for your heavier weight Windows machine. For the time being at least, Chrome is much more immune from malware viruses. Hackers will hate the Chrome plating, at least until they invent a way to corrode Chrome. As I recall from my 1955 Olds convertible, chrome is much more corrosion proof than the rest of the metal on my Olds.

One drawback is that you must be connected to the Internet to run Chrome.

"Google's Chrome OS to be ready for 2010 holidays," The Washington Post, November 19, 2009 ---

Google expects lightweight computers powered by its new operating system to be on sale in time for next year's holiday season.

The Internet search leader set the target date Thursday during the first preview of the operating system since Google announced its plans for the product in July.

The free operating system, named after Google's Chrome Web browser, is being designed for "netbooks." Those are inexpensive, stripped-down laptop computers that are becoming increasingly popular among consumers.

Google is positioning Chrome OS as a faster, more secure alternative to rival Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, the operating system that runs most of the world's computers.

Unlike Windows computers, Chrome OS machines will require Web access to run applications.

Jensen Comment
Of course Mac users are also much more immune to malware, but the learning curve to become a Mac user purportedly has a much more steep incline.

November 21, 2009 reply from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

While operating a Chrome OS netbook without a connection the Internet would not make a great deal of sense, you will be able to run at least some applications locally and a Chrome netbook will boot up OK without a connection to the Internet .. Google Docs run locally quite nicely using the Google Gears technology. I use Google Docs extensively with my research colleagues and on occasion will edit a Google docs document on my laptop when not connected to the Internet. Google syncs the document when it next connects.

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and network security are at

You maybe did not buy a GM or Chrysler car in 2009,
but you're going to pay for a big chunk of somebody else's new car.
According to the report, every American taxpayer has put up $12,200 for every General Motors car sold through the beginning of 2011 and $7,600 for every Chrysler sold.

"Study: Every GM Vehicle Sold Costs Taxpayers $12,200," National Taxpayers Union, November 18, 2009 ---

The American taxpayer has put up $12,200 for every General Motors vehicle sold through the beginning of 2011, and $7,600 for every Chrysler vehicle sold as well, according to a new report issued by the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).

The report, The Auto Bailout – A Taxpayer Quagmire, authored by NTU Adjunct Scholar Thomas D. Hopkins, Professor of Economics at the Rochester Institute of Technology, does the math on what the government bailout of the auto industry – including General Motors, Chrysler, and GMAC – actually means to American taxpayers, including how much each taxpayer has contributed to the auto industry since December 2008 and how much each vehicle is costing us.

Every time someone in your neighborhood drives home in a shiny new Chevy Silverado, remember that it cost American taxpayers more than $12,000,” said Pete Sepp, NTU Vice President for Policy and Communications. “Between this and GM's plan to payback their bailout debt with other taxpayer funds, I wonder if all those Americans without work right now could think of any better ways to spend that money. This is a play out of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme playbook, and would be the equivalent of paying your Master Card bill with your Visa.”

The study found that the average American taxpaying family has invested roughly $800 in the auto bailouts so far. Moreover, the study found, the government support poured into General Motors, Chrysler, and GMAC – the financing subsidiary that supports sales at both – now stands at a towering $78.9 billion. Given that figure, and an estimate of how many vehicles GM and Chrysler will sell through the end of 2010, the study finds that each vehicle one of the bailed-out companies sells costs taxpayers $10,700.

Finally, breaking down the costs by company, the study reports that every Chrysler vehicle sold costs taxpayers $7,600, and every GM vehicle sold costs taxpayers $12,200.

The research is based upon a November study released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), entitled Continued Stewardship Needed as Treasury Develops Strategies for Monitoring and Divesting Financial Interests in Chrysler and GM,a follow-up report on the “Troubled Asset Relief Program,” as well as statements and reports released from the U.S. Treasury. Additional Findings Include:

“[T]he bailout has created moral hazard problems, inadvertently handicapping the progress of stronger, non-subsidized producers,” Professor Hopkins concluded. “The problems extend beyond just the auto industry, as favored status for one financial company and its bank necessarily complicates prospects for non-subsidized rivals. The time has come to stop such bailouts, and in an orderly way, to seek at least some recovery for taxpayers.”

Note: To view the complete issue brief, The Auto Bailout – A Taxpayer Quagmire, click here.

About the Author

Thomas D. Hopkins is Professor of Economics at Rochester Institute of Technology. He served as Dean of the College of Business 1998-2005 and as President, U.S. Business School in Prague, Czech Republic, an RIT MBA program where he taught 1992-98. He was the Arthur J. Gosnell Professor of Economics in RIT's College of Liberal Arts, 1988-98. Hopkins held senior management positions in two White House agencies during the Ford, Carter and Reagan Administrations; in 1979 President Carter appointed him a charter member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service. In the early 1980s, he served as Deputy Administrator, Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, in the Office of Management & Budget. His research on business burdens of government regulation has been sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) in Paris and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Washington. He has testified on regulatory policy issues before committees of the U.S. Senate and House, and Canada’s House of Commons. He co-authored a 2001 SBA report, “The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms,” as well as National Research Council reports on marine transportation, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and trucking/rail/barge transportation. He previously was on the faculty of American University, University of Maryland, and Bowdoin College.


The Auto Bailout – A Taxpayer Quagmire is based on data obtained from the Government Accountability Office and Treasury reports on the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The study was sponsored by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, accountability from public officials, and economic freedom at all levels. For further information, visit .

Jensen Comment
Some of the money spent on GM and Chrysler to date might be returned, but then again more might be lost. Certainly if the GM and Chrysler experiments fail, the government will be paying the pension costs of tens of thousands of retirees.

The government is also guaranteeing the warranty coverage of both GM and Chrysler cars. In the case of Chrysler this includes the ridiculous lifetime warranty on power trains such that if a twenty year old kid buys a Chrysler, the power train is fully guaranteed for 80 or more years. How dumb can you get?

Bob Jensen's threads on the disastrous bailout are at

"Barnes & Noble Says Nook Reader Is Not Ideal for E-Textbooks," by Jeffrey Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 24, 2009 --- Click Here

Barnes & Noble says its Nook e-book device, to be released by the end of the month, was not built with college students in mind.

"Nook is not designed to be a textbook reader," said Jade Roth, the company's vice president of books. "Nook is really designed to be an e-reader for pleasure, for relaxation on the go -- not really for the educational space."

Amazon said the same thing about its first-generation Kindle, but a few months ago it unveiled a larger model that it says works well for e-textbooks. Amazon is running pilot projects at seven universities this semester to see how students and professors respond to the devices.

For now Barnes & Noble has no plans for similar classroom tests. It will, however, sell Nooks in 17 of the 624 college bookstores that the company operates, as an experiment to see how well they sell there, said Ms. Roth.

The company's college bookstores already sell electronic textbooks that students can read on their laptops or desktops.

Is the company planning a larger Nook to compete with Amazon's Kindle DX?

"This is an enormously evolving marketplace," said Ms. Roth. "Where it's going in the next few years will be more formats, more features, and more functions.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

According to the Attorney General of New York
"Homeless Organization Is Called a Fraud (with poor accounting)," by Nicholas Confessore, The New York Times, November 24, 2009 ---

They are a familiar sight on street corners across the five boroughs: Men and women standing behind folding card tables, urging passers-by to throw a little change into the empty plastic water jug marked “U.H.O.”

But an investigation by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo appears to have confirmed what many New Yorkers secretly (if somewhat guiltily) suspected all along: The United Homeless Organization, supposedly a nonprofit group set up to help feed and house the homeless, was actually an elaborate fraud.

According to a complaint filed by Mr. Cuomo [pdf] on Tuesday morning, U.H.O. does not operate a single shelter, soup kitchen or food pantry. It does not provide food or clothing to the homeless. It does not even donate money to other charities that do.

Most of those coins and bills, Mr. Cuomo contended, end up in the pockets of those working the donation tables, who paid a daily fee to the group’s founder and president, Stephen Riley, and its director, Myra Walker, for the right to use the U.H.O. tables, jugs and aprons. The rest of the money is kept by Mr. Riley and Ms. Walker, and has been used for a variety of expenses not related to U.H.O. business, including expenses at fees, Toys ‘R’ Us, PC Richards, Bed, Bath & Beyond, as well as premium cable and electricity bills at their homes.

Those papers that U.H.O.’s workers display on their card tables? Nothing more than copies of the group’s certification of incorporation, according to Mr. Cuomo, used to mislead the public into believing they are permits. Incorporation does not give any special right to solicit on the streets, the lawsuit notes.

“U.H.O. exploits the good intentions of people who thought that their charitable donations were helping to fund services for the homeless,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “Instead, their donations go directly to U.H.O.’s principals and workers, who abused the organization’s tax-exempt status to line their own pockets.”

Mr. Cuomo charged that U.H.O. had failed to maintain any records of donations or expenditures, including at least half of the cash withdrawn from the group’s bank account in 2007 and 2008. Mr. Riley and Ms. Walker also violated state law by operating U.H.O. without any board or independent oversight and the organization has not held an election for directors since its incorporation in 1993, according to Mr. Cuomo.

It’s been long known that the money in U.H.O. is pocketed by the people at the table. The New York Times wrote about it in 2001, when a program director said the best advocates for the homeless are the homeless themselves. The New York Post likewise wrote about the pocketed money in 2008.

However, the lawsuit is charging improper use of the collected feeds, poor accounting, and false claims of how the money would be used.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at

This is a very personal message that Will Yancey allowed me to forward.

My tribute to him is at 

I did not request that he write the message below. He felt compelled on his own to do so.

Knowledge Transfer by Will Yancey

Hello Bob and John,

I am very pleased I was able to spend time visiting in person with Bob in October and John in November. I consider both of you outstanding accounting educators with years of service that can never be fully appreciated by outsiders. Thanks for sharing your time and talent.

When I was a university business school professor in 1992-1998, I recall faculty evaluations could be based on five categories: research publications, teaching, service, advising, and consulting. Every university has different weighting criteria. In my opinion these five categories are a reasonable way to evaluate how faculties contribute to the mission of knowledge transfer. I know some faculty will be better in some areas than others.

My concern is that the business schools as a whole are not delivering on all five categories at a high level. In the past 11 years since I left full-time academe, I have thought a lot about these five categories. Without venting too much I will say that many of the full-time business school faculty have become too inwardly directed. They compare themselves to other business schools in their same category without serious consideration of alternative suppliers in the knowledge transfer industries.

To what extent are the business school faculty regularly investigating the “competitors” such as community colleges, for-profits such as University of Phoenix, CPE providers, in-house training programs, web sites, and consulting firms? Not much. Instead too many faculty are inwardly focused on their university salaries, benefits, and teaching loads. Instead of trying to maintain universities “as they were”, consider that our society is undergoing fundamental change. Society cannot support as many full-time faculty doing what they have been doing.

In my humble opinion, universities are losing market share in the knowledge transfer world. There is no doubt that tenure-track faculty will become a smaller share of the knowledge transfer industry. A few faculty and deans will rise to the challenges of this new world and some will not. Some universities will thrive and some will not. Many bright young people are rationally choosing not to enter PhD programs and the trail to tenure. The process from entering a PhD program to receiving tenure takes 9 to 20 years and that is not what young people want. If business schools cannot attract a lot of bright young people, they will seek other outlets for their talents.

Allow me to share a few observations on my own practice. Since June 2000 I have been a full-time self-employed consultant working from my office in my home. I have almost no W-2 income, and live entirely on projects that range from a few hours to several years. I teach in many venues: for-profit and not-for-profit CPE providers, in-house training classes, and sometimes as a university guest lecturer. I do presentations before judges, attorneys, and accountants. I do publish in practitioner journals, maintain my website links, and have developed some new methods in applying statistical sampling to accounting data. I do advise young people and other professionals on the skills they need to advance their careers. As a nice side benefit my financial income is much higher than I could achieve as a full-time university professor. I also can chose when I want to work from my homes in Dallas or Maine or from a hotel anywhere in the world. My success was built from 40 years of education and consulting experience beginning when I was in high school and the Boy Scouts.

You are welcome to forward this email to others. If anyone would like to continue this dialogue, please email me at  or 


My tribute to him is at 

Is this fraud in the name of good?
A win (Bankers) - Win (Homeowners) - Lose (Taxpayers) New Gimmick on Wall Street?
If government wants to help the homeowners, why not cut out the middlemen bankers?

"Wall St. Finds Profits Again, Now by Reducing Mortgages," by Louise Story, The New York Times, November 21, 2009 ---

As millions of Americans struggle to hold on to their homes, Wall Street has found a way to make money from the mortgage mess.

Investment funds are buying billions of dollars’ worth of home loans, discounted from the loans’ original value. Then, in what might seem an act of charity, the funds are helping homeowners by reducing the size of the loans.

But as part of these deals, the mortgages are being refinanced through lenders that work with government agencies like the Federal Housing Administration. This enables the funds to pocket sizable profits by reselling new, government-insured loans to other federal agencies, which then bundle the mortgages into securities for sale to investors.

While homeowners save money, the arrangement shifts nearly all the risk for the loans to the federal government — and, ultimately, taxpayers — at a time when Americans are falling behind on their mortgage payments in record numbers.

For instance, a fund might offer to pay $40 million for a $100 million block of mortgages from a bank in distress. Then the fund could arrange to have some of those loans refinanced into mortgages backed by an agency like the F.H.A. and then sold to an agency like Ginnie Mae. The trick is to persuade the homeowners to refinance those mortgages, by offering to reduce the amounts the homeowners owe.

The profit comes when the refinancings reach more than the $40 million that the fund paid for the block of loans.

The strategy has created an unusual alliance between Wall Street funds that specialize in troubled investments — the industry calls them “vulture” funds — and American homeowners.

But the transactions also add to the potential burden on government agencies, particularly the F.H.A., which has lately taken on an outsize role in the housing market and, some fear, may eventually need to be bailed out at taxpayer expense.

These new mortgage investors thrive in the shadows. Typically, the funds employ intermediaries to contact homeowners and arrange for mortgages to be refinanced.

Homeowners often have no idea who their Wall Street benefactors are. Federal housing officials, too, are in the dark.

Policymakers have encouraged investors and banks to put more consumers into government-backed loans. The total value of these transactions from hedge funds is small compared with the overall housing market.

Housing experts warn that the financial players involved — the investment funds, their intermediaries and certain F.H.A. approved lenders — have a financial incentive to put as many loans as possible into the government’s hands.

“From the borrower’s point of view, landing in a hedge fund or private equity fund that’s willing to write down principal is a gift,” said Howard Glaser, a financial industry consultant and former official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

He went on: “From the systemic point of view, there is something disturbing about investors that had substantial short-term profit in backing toxic loans now swooping down to make another profit on cleaning up that mess.”

Steven and Marisela Alva say they do not know who helped them with their mortgage. All they know is that they feel blessed.

Last December, the couple got a letter saying that a firm had purchased the mortgage on their home in Pico Rivera, Calif., from Chase Home Finance for less than its original value. “We want to share this discount with you,” the letter said.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Mr. Alva, a 62-year-old janitor and father of three. “I kept thinking to myself, ‘Something is wrong, something is wrong. This sounds too good.’ ”

But it was true. The balance on the Alvas’ mortgage was ultimately reduced to $314,000 from $440,000.

The firm behind the reduction remains a mystery. The Alvas’ new loan, backed by the F.H.A., was made by Primary Residential Mortgage, a lender based in Utah. But the letter came from a company called MCM Capital Partners.

In the letter, MCM said the couple’s loan was owned by something called MCMCap Homeowners’ Advantage Trust III. But MCM’s co-founders said in an interview that MCM does not own any mortgages. They would not reveal the investor that owned the Alvas’ loan because they had agreed to keep that client’s identity confidential.

Michael Niccolini, an MCM founder, said, “We are changing people’s lives.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads are at

A Fundamentals Approach to Valuing a Business

In the great book Dear Mr. Buffett, Janet Tavakoli shows how Warren Buffet learned value (fundamentals) investing while taking Benjamin Graham's value investing course while earning a masters degree in economics from Columbia University. Buffet also worked for Professor Graham.

The following book supposedly takes the Graham approach to a new level (although I've not yet read the book). Certainly the book will be controversial among the efficient markets proponents like Professors Fama and French.

Purportedly a Great, Great Book on Value Investing
From Simoleon Sense, November 16, 2009 ---

OMG Did I Die & Go To heaven?
Just Read, Applied Value Investing, My Favorite Book of the Past 5 Years!!
Listen To This Interview!

I have a confession, I might have read the best value investing book published in the past 5 years!

The book is called Applied Value Investing By Joseph Calandro Jr. In the book Mr. Calandro applies the tenets of value investing via (real) case studies. Buffett, was once asked how he would teach a class on security analysis, he replied, “case studies”.  Unlike other books which are theoretical this book provides you with the actual steps for valuing businesses.

Without a doubt, this book ranks amongst the best value investing books (with SA, Margin of Safety, Buffett’s letters to corporate America, and Greenwald’s book) & you dont have to take my word for it. Seth Klarman, Mario Gabelli and many top investors have given the book a plug!

Here is an interview with the author of the book, Applied Value Investing ( I recommend listening to this). Who knows perhaps yours truly will interview him soon.



A fellow blogger and friend will soon post a review of this book (hint: Street Capitalist!).

Bob Jensen's threads on valuation are at

40% Down:  The Terrible Job Market for New Grads ---  Do you want fries with that order?
The job market for new college graduates has fallen by as much as 40 percent in the past year, according to new data from the Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research Institute. The Michigan State study is based on surveys of 2,500 companies and other hiring entities. Last year, the survey projected an 8 to 10 percent drop in hiring, but the final figures are closer to 40, and an additional 2 percent drop is anticipated on top of that.
Inside Higher Ed, November 18, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---

TIAA-CREF Goes Political:  Is it spending on political causes without informing its own members?
Message from my friend Larry

I ran across this entry in the Center for Public Integrity's investigation of the climate lobby. I fail to see why TIAA-CREF should be using participant's retirement funds to lobby Congress on climate change? Course, TIAA-CREF's CEO Roger Ferguson is on Obama's economic advisory committee. Maybe it's a payback?


Jensen Comment
Cap and Trade will create high costs and profit losses to many companies. Is this good for the CREF portfolio value in your lifetime?

TIAA-CREF offers "socially responsible" portfolio investing as an option, but this is entirely a different matter than spending member money on lobbying for political causes.

Nowhere in the TIAA-CREF Website could I find where your funds were being spent for the climate lobby.

From Stanford University
Don't Invest in Crime-Ridden Russia Says Investor Who Once Made a Fortune in Russia

Hermitage Capital Management went from $25 million to $4 billion by investing in undervalued Russian companies. Today, its founder, Bill Browder, Stanford MBA '89, says anyone investing in Russia long term "is out of their mind." . . . Today, Browder says it is Hermitage that has become a victim of the criminal activity and official corruption that still pervade Russia's economy. He has gone public with accusations that Russian fraud artists and high-level government officials colluded to steal companies owned by Hermitage, intimidate or jail Hermitage lawyers, and rob the Russian treasury of at least $230 million. Hermitage's saga is a cautionary tale of the risks of investing in Russia today, according to a video, posted on YouTube, that Browder showed the Stanford audience. "Anyone who would make a long-term investment in Russia right now, almost at any valuation, is completely out of their mind," declared Browder. "My situation is not unusual. For every me, there are 100 others suffering in silence."
"Don’t Invest in Russia Today, Warns Bill Browder," Stanford GSB News from Stanford University, November 2009 ---

Jensen Comment
Also many Russian Websites are lethal and send out computer/network destroying viruses and malware. The most dangerous sites are the so-called security sites that might send you a fake email that a virus has been found on your computer --- the virus will indeed find its way to your computer if you follow the link to the Web site or open an attachment. An overwhelming proportion of the porn sites are Russian, and these are often lethal to computers and networks. The same can be said for gambling sites. Even the so-called legitimate sites such as those run by native Americans in Canada frequently cheat according to an eye-opening module on CBS Sixty Minutes this year.

Organization and Development of Russian Business: A Firm-Level Analysis edited by Tatiana Dolgopyatova, Ichiro Iwasaki, and Andrei A. Yakovlev (Palgrave Macmillan; 326 pages; $95). Research that draws on data on joint-stock companies collected in a survey throughout Russia.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads are at

"File-sharing software ban sought in House," by Paul Kane, The Washington Post, November 18, 2009 ---
Click Here

Weeks after an embarrassing security breach revealed details of dozens of ethics investigations (by House members themselves), a House committee chairman introduced legislation Tuesday that would forbid federal employees to use popular file-sharing technology that was involved in the leak.

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, aims to outlaw federal workers from using networks such as LimeWire, through which network members can share computer and music files.

The Washington Post reported last month on the inner workings of the House Ethics Committee and the Office of Congressional Ethics. The information came from a committee document that a junior staffer had exposed on her home computer, which was using peer-to-peer technology. A non-congressional source with no connection to the committee accessed the document and gave a copy to The Post.

"We can no longer ignore the threat to sensitive government information that insecure peer-to-peer networks pose," Towns said in a statement. "Voluntary self-regulations have failed, so now is the time for Congress to act."

Other peer-to-peer security breaches in the last year have involved documents about the president's helicopter, financial information belonging to Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and the location of a Secret Service safe house for the first family.

Jensen Comment
This is a bit like banning insider trading. Bureaucrat Bob will violate Federal law by file sharing anything, but Bureaucrat Bob's sister-in-law's second cousin's distant acquaintance John Smith can file share anything Bureaucrat Bob wants shared with the somebody in the outside world. Of course in the case of insider trading, the SEC does monitor who makes enormous profits such that the John Smith best not get too greedy.

What's next? Banning the sale and distribution of file sharing software entirely? Wave goodbye to YouTube lectures and other open knowledge sharing?

Do you want Comcast programming or Comcast pipe?

Note that if advertisers continue to pay billions for eyeballs, it probably does not matter that TV Networks produce the shows that they often buy on the market in the first place.

"The Economics of Jay Leno:  Television is the next form of content everyone will demand for free," Editors of the Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2009 --- Click Here

If Comcast takes over NBC Universal, will Jay Leno return to 11:35 pm?

That unimportant question is emblematic of the pending sale by GE of a controlling stake in its media properties to the cable giant. Mr. Leno was moved to 10 p.m. as a cost-saving gesture: Since his show is so cheap, GE can make money even after chasing away much of its audience for the high-end scripted shows that used to appear at that hour.

As Mr. Leno explained in a candid interview with trade bible Broadcasting & Cable: "If you are making buggy whips and no one is buying buggies anymore, do you keep making buggy whips? I don't know. This is an economic decision."

In Jack Welch's day, an employee perhaps would not have expounded so freely. Otherwise, however, GE is behaving like what it's always been, an unsentimental owner of a business that it no longer likes and doesn't know how to fix.

Yet, truth be told, Comcast's shareholders don't want the job of fixing NBC either. Only the controlling Roberts family does—and then because the alternative may be having no great future as a prominent American business family. Ergo, a deal merging "content" and "distribution" seems inevitable, even though the track record of such deals is unpropitious.

This would be a merger, after all, of two businesses that seem headed toward some combination of the fates of newspapers, music CDs and the old wireline telephone business. Customers want the product for free. Comcast's lifeblood, the $100-a-month cable bill and the $50-a-month broadband bill, increasingly look like duplicative expenses. And so on.

True, the number of households that have actually dropped their cable subscriptions in favor of subsisting on TV streamed or downloaded from the Internet is not yet large. But for the Roberts family and its Comcast property, their worst fears lurk just around the corner—being reduced to a "dumb pipe," subject to commodity pricing while somebody else (Google) makes all the money.

Yet an escape route is vexingly hard to envision. Time Warner and Comcast have been talking up plans to make their respective cable lineups available by computer—as long as you keep paying your cable bill. This is a stopgap, especially appealing to anyone who owns two homes but wants to pay only one cable bill. Never mind, too, that hundreds of shows are already available online for free, via Web sites operated by none other than Comcast and the TV networks themselves.

Yes, there's talk of dropping a tollgate next year to encourage customers to keep paying for traditional TV. Good luck with that—if the goal is still to discourage viewers from patronizing illegal file sharing.

No wonder Comcast shareholders say they wish the company would just Leno-ize its cable business—i.e., slash costs and extract cash from it. If there's a miracle out there, it probably resides in that unlikely and humble appliance, the set-top box, which also happens to be an untapped cornucopia of information about what you watch and when, recording every click of your remote.

Set-top data, when married with demographic information and purchasing histories, has long been touted as the foundation of a new kind and a better kind of advertising—personalized, less annoying, capable of commanding higher rates from marketers who lament that half their ad budgets are wasted (i.e., selling cat food to dog lovers), but they don't know which half.

For Comcast and other signal deliverers, then, the long-term trick may be inveigling households into keeping the set-top box at the center of their entertainment lives. Maybe the box will be offered free in the future with your broadband subscription. Maybe it will be offered free regardless of who supplies your broadband. The set-top box will morph into your personal "media computer," a gift from a programming aggregator, as long as you agree to surrender large amounts of personal data about your viewing, surfing and purchasing habits.

Of course, Google and others are already trying to create this business model on the open Internet, without proprietary hardware in your house. If that weren't enough, there's also regulatory risk. Control of popular NBC cable networks such as CNBC and The Weather Channel might seem to Comcast a good source of leverage to keep viewers wedded to Comcast's box—but this is exactly the sort of leverage regulators will be keen to take away as their pound of flesh for approving the deal. Washington's bias, since the Internet went commercial in the 1990s, has been to use every such opportunity to impose on carriers the dumb pipe scenario that carriers are trying to avoid. Just ask the late-great AOL Time Warner.

Bottom line, since a deal seems nearly certain to happen: Would a savvy media investor wish the Roberts family luck in their gamble? Absolutely. Would such an investor care to come along for the ride? Maybe not so much.

"Is American Education Neglecting Gifted Children?" by David Nagel, T.H.E. Journal, November 16, 2009 ---

America's 3 million gifted and talented students are getting the shaft in the vast majority of K-12 schools, according to a new report from the National Association for Gifted Children and the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted. The report found that gifted students are being neglected at all levels in the United States, from weak or non-existent policies at the state level to uneven funding at the district level to a lack of teacher preparation at the classroom level.

The report, "2008-2009 State of the States in Gifted Education," pointed to several failures on the part of U.S. education, from a a severe lack of commitment on a national level to spotty services and little or no support to get teachers trained to deal with gifted students.

Some of the findings included:

·         A full fourth of states provided zero funding for programs and resources for gifted students last year;

·         In states that did provide funding, there was little consistency, with per-pupil expenditures ranging from $2 to $750 last year;

·         Only five states require professional development for teachers who work in gifted programs;

·         Only five require any kind preparation for these teachers;

·         Gifted students spend most of their time in general classrooms and receive little specialized instruction;

·         Key policies are handled at the district level, when there are policies in place at all, rather than at the state level, creating "the potential for fractured approaches and limits on funding";

·         There is no coherent national strategy for dealing with gifted students.

Most of those interviewed for the report cited NCLB as a factor that has contributed to a decline in support and resources for gifted students. Participants pointed to a number of reasons for this, including a shift in focus away from academic excellence toward "bringing up lower-performing students and maintaining adequate yearly progress" and a shift in staffing away from gifted programs.

"At a time when other nations are redoubling their commitment to their highest potential students, the United States continues to neglect the needs of this student population, a policy failure that will cost us dearly in the years to come," said NAGC President Ann Robinson in a prepared statement. Robinson is also director of the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. "The solution to this problem must be a comprehensive national gifted and talented education policy in which federal, state, and local districts work together to ensure all gifted students are identified and served by properly trained teachers using appropriate curriculum."

The impact of this neglect is being felt now, according to the report, with "continued underperformance on international benchmarks, particularly in math, science, and engineering, and in the shortage of qualified workers able to enter professions that require advanced skills."

Jensen Comment
Accordingly this impacts on higher education in many areas, including the shortage of women in mathematics and science. To make matters worse, universities like the University of Texas are dropping their Merit Scholar programs that  fund gifted students.
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

From the Scout Report on November 20, 2009

WordPress 2.8.6 --- 

WordPress is perhaps best known for blogging, but its highly customizable format makes it ideal for creating personal websites as well. The content management system is easy to use and visitors will find that there's plenty of support via their online forums. This version makes adding extensions and plug-ins a bit simpler, and these devices can be used to transform WordPress into an online store or an art gallery. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 or newer.

FeedDemon 3.0.44 --- 

FeedDemon has embarked on some new changes in this latest release, and those who have enjoyed the application in the past will be most pleased. The application has been a popular RSS and Atom feed catcher for several years, and this version syncs up nicely with Google Reader to bring users the latest news from thousands of sources. In this version, users will also note that Twitter feed reading has been seamlessly added, and it's also easy to add tags and tag clouds. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer.

40 years later, an apology for the Lost Innocents Australian Leader Apologies for Child Migrants [Free registration may be required] 

Painful memories surface during apology 

It's a sorry state of affairs when forgiveness is not the main objective  --- Click Here

House of Commons: The Welfare of Former British Child Migrants  

Alliance for Forgotten Australians --- 

Home of the Forgotten Australians


Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics ---

Education Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Genetics Selection Evolution ---

Animal Science Image Gallery ---

Horse Genome Project ---

The Swingle Plant Anatomy Reference Collection --- 

Dartmouth Flood Observatory --- 

UC Davis: Institute of Transportation Studies ---

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute ---

"Hacked Emails Reveal: "Scientists" Faking Data to Establish Global Warming They Know Isn't There,"
by Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, November 20, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at ---

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

"A SURVEY OF BEHAVIORAL FINANCE," by Nicholas Barberis (Yale) and Richard Thaler (University of Chicago) ---


Other works of Professor Nicholas Barberis ---

This Week in the History of Psychology [iTunes] ---

The Economic Crisis and its Humanitarian Impact on Europe ---

The Supreme Court Database ---

American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915

Women's Parliamentary Radio ---

Women of Our Time 

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (American History) --- 

Caribbean Art and Visual Culture ---

UC Davis: Institute of Transportation Studies ---

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute ---

World Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Images --- 

UW Student Newspapers Archive ---

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers ---

Newseum: Today's Front Pages (of over 600 newspapers around the world) ---
Jensen Comment
This site is both useful and frustrating. It is useful because of the large number of newspapers covered in the daily free service. It is frustrating since the front pages shown are pictures such that selection, copying, and pasting text quotations as text is not possible. It is possible to use graphics capturing software such as Paintshop Pro or SnagIt, but pasting pictures of text adds greatly to file size and is not searchable when embedded among a lot of other text such as the text of a blog.

Globalization and Emerging Societies: Development and Inequality edited by Jan Nederveen Pieterse and Boike Rehbein (Palgrave Macmillan; 2009, 254 pages; $85). Focuses on China, India, and Brazil.

Interpreting Islamic Political Parties edited by M.A. Mohamed Salih (Palgrave Macmillan; 2009, 302 pages; $90). Presents case studies of parties in Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Somalia, South Africa, and Sudan.

Combating Transnational Terrorism: Searching for a New Paradigm edited by Steve Tsang (Praeger Publishers; 2009/ 169 pages; $49.95). Writings that advocate, among other things, a concerted campaign to win the hearts and minds of nonextremist Muslims.

Methodologies of Comparative Philosophy: The Pragmatist and Process Traditions by Robert W. Smid (State University of New York Press; 2009, 288 pages; $80). Evaluates the methodologies of William Ernest Hocking, F.S.C. Northrop, Robert Cummings Neville, and David L. Hall in collaboration with Roger T. Ames.

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at

Law and Legal Studies

The Supreme Court Database ---

UC Davis: Institute of Transportation Studies ---

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at

Math Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at

History Tutorials

The Supreme Court Database ---

OSU Multimedia History of History (especially American History) ---
eHistory at OSU: Multimedia Histories [Real Player]

Amicus (Civil Rights History) ---

Centre for Overseas History: E-cyclopaedia of Portuguese Expansion

History of Multiple Topics From War to Cooking
Virginia Tech: Special Collections' Digitized Manuscripts --- 

World Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Images --- 

The Erie Railroad Glass Plate Negative Collection

American History
DuBoisopedia --- 

Women's Parliamentary Radio ---

Women of Our Time 

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (American History) --- 

UW Student Newspapers Archive ---

This Week in the History of Psychology [iTunes] ---

An Unlikely African-American Music Historian (Polk Miller) ---

Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: Natural History in Early America by Lee Alan Dugatkin (University of Chicago Press; 2009, 166 pages; $26). Examines how the moose figured in Thomas Jefferson's efforts to refute European disparagements of American flora and fauna.

Interpreting Islamic Political Parties edited by M.A. Mohamed Salih (Palgrave Macmillan; 2009, 302 pages; $90). Presents case studies of parties in Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Somalia, South Africa, and Sudan.

Combating Transnational Terrorism: Searching for a New Paradigm edited by Steve Tsang (Praeger Publishers; 2009/ 169 pages; $49.95). Writings that advocate, among other things, a concerted campaign to win the hearts and minds of nonextremist Muslims.

Methodologies of Comparative Philosophy: The Pragmatist and Process Traditions by Robert W. Smid (State University of New York Press; 2009, 288 pages; $80). Evaluates the methodologies of William Ernest Hocking, F.S.C. Northrop, Robert Cummings Neville, and David L. Hall in collaboration with Roger T. Ames.

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at
Also see  

Language Tutorials

World Wide Words ---

101 Best Websites for Writers ---

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at

Music Tutorials

An Unlikely African-American Music Historian (Polk Miller) ---

Reading Musical Interpretation: Case Studies in Solo Piano Performance by Julian Hellaby (Ashgate Publishing Company; 2009, 199 pages; $99.95). Develops an analytic model termed an "interpretive tower" and applies it to performances of keyboard works by Bach, Brahms, and Messiaen.

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Writing Tutorials

"Medium Of Exchange Revisiting the quaint custom of writing letters and having something to say," by Charles Peterson, The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2009 --- Click Here \

Letters are a biographer's best friend—and worst enemy. They are a vivid way of tracking a subject's day-to-day thoughts and activities, but they can also have an up-staging effect. William Faulkner, in a letter to his parents, wrote about a ride on a New York subway: "The experiment showed me that we are not descended from monkeys, as some say, but from lice." No mere biographer's narrative, however conscientious, can compete with such personal confidences.

Thomas Mallon, a novelist and literary historian, does not shrink from this challenge and has instead made first-person writing the center of his critical attention. A quarter-century ago, with "A Book of One's Own," he took on that other great "frenemy" of biographers, the diary. Now, with "Yours Ever," his prose aims to illuminate not the juicy self-revelations of diarists but the best that the epistolary genre has to offer. Lord Byron, for instance, on his latest masterpiece: "It may be profligate but is it not life, is it not the thing? Could any man have written it who has not lived in the world?—and fooled in a post-chaise? in a hackney-coach? in a gondola? against a wall? in a court carriage? in a vis-à-vis? on a table? and under it?"

Or Colette, on her preferred style of living: "I have very often deprived myself of the necessities of life, but I have never consented to give up a luxury." And on her idea of luxury: "All I want to do is go on with the unbridled life I lead here: barefoot, my faded bathing suit, an old jacket, lots of garlic, and swimming at all hours of the day."

Reading through "Yours Ever," one can't help compiling one's own best-of list. Best Reply, H.L. Mencken, on receipt of a Christmas letter: "Christmas be damned." Best Disappointed Love Letter, George Bernard Shaw: "Infamous, vile, heartless, frivolous, wicked woman! Liar! lying lips, lying eyes, lying hands, promise breaker, cheat, confidence-trickster!" Best Valediction, Marcel Proust: "I was your truly sincere friend." Best Postscript, Theodore Roosevelt: "P.S.—I have just killed a bear." Beat that!

It is to Mr. Mallon's credit that he doesn't try to and presents his book as no more than a "long cover letter" to the "cornucopia" of collected-letters editions listed at the back. For younger readers, for whom putting pen to paper is a quaint and vague notion, "Yours Ever" may also serve as a letter of introduction to the joys of letter writing. Today, Mr. Mallon complains, we rarely see "the kind of considered exchange to which e-mail is . . . doing such chatty, hurry-up violence."

True enough, though it's not hard to imagine many versions of the examples quoted above showing up in email—or, echoing Byron, in instant messages or blog comments, where so much bombast and bragging can now be found. Indeed, one comfort of "Yours Ever" comes from seeing a few of the hallmarks of the electronic age in earlier correspondence. No less a writer than the poet Philip Larkin, it turns out, was a master of all caps, a technique that today's twenty-somethings may have thought they had invented. "The US edition of ["High Windows"] is out, with a photograph of me that cries out for the caption 'FAITH HEALER OR HEARTLESS FRAUD?' "

Old love letters, as Mr. Mallon notes, inevitably leave something to be desired. "Whenever the lovers do manage to get together," he writes, "the letters stop dead." By contrast, a collection of contemporary lovers' correspondence would likely overflow with daily emails and text messages, even if the beloved were a mere five minutes away by cab. This is where Mr. Mallon's argument about the death of "considered" communication finds its greatest force. A young woman sends a sweet photo of herself by cellphone and her boyfriend taps out a quick note to thank her; Héloïse, locked up in a nunnery in the 12th century, looks at her lonely portrait of Abelard and writes: "If a picture, which is but a mute representation of an object, can give such pleasure, what cannot letters inspire? They have souls; they can speak; they have in them all that force which expresses the transports of the heart."

As Mr. Mallon notes, "the small hardships of letter writing—having to think a moment longer before completing utterance; remaining in suspense while awaiting reply; having one's urgent letters cross in the mail—are the things that enrich it, emotionally and rhetorically." If the Internet age has seen the renewal of the written word—email, blog post, text message, "tweet"—it remains true that none of these forms naturally supports the soulful writing of Héloïse or, to take another example, of Keats, whose entire philosophy of life we find in his letters. "Do you not see how necessary a World of Pain and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a Soul?" Together with the many amusements of "Yours Ever"—Keats also wrote: "I never intend hereafter to spend any time with Ladies unless they are handsome"—Mr. Mallon's fine book shows how important it is that we take pains to continue writing soulful letters today, whether on paper or in pixels.

Mr. Petersen, an editor for n+1 magazine, lives in Montana.


Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at

Updates from WebMD ---


Love and Envy Linked by Same Hormone, Oxytocin
A new study carried out at the University of Haifa has found that the hormone oxytocin, the 'love hormone,' which affects behaviors such as trust, empathy and generosity, also affects opposite behaviors, such as jealousy and gloating.
Science Daily, November 13, 2009 ---

"Stanford's Robert Sapolsky: 'Depression is like the worst disease you can get'," Stanford Report, November 10, 2009 ---

We've all felt a little blue, down in the dumps, or just plain sad. But when a serious depression sets in, it could be weeks, months or even years before the feeling lifts.

During a recent workshop presented by Stanford's Faculty and Staff Help Center, biologist Robert Sapolsky talked about the biological and psychological causes of depression, how to recognize its symptoms and how to handle the disease.

Depression is the world's fourth leading cause of disability and is on track to be second only to obesity-related disorders by 2025, Sapolsky said.

"Depression is incredibly pervasive and thus important to talk about," he said. "Depression is like the worst disease you can get. It's devastating."

Watch the Video --- Click Here

"Potential Treatment for Down Syndrome:  Enhancing specific chemical signaling in the brain could help treat the disorder," by Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, November 19, 2009 ---

"Cybercrime Capitalizes on Swine-Flu Fears," by Marisa Taylor, The Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2009 ---

Cybercriminals are capitalizing on swine-flu fears by pitching sales of fake Tamiflu, security firm Sophos said.

Networks of fraudsters use spam and malware to direct Web traffic to phony pharmaceutical sites, wrote Graham Cluley, a technology consultant for Sophos.

“Although unwitting buyers do often receive some kind of drug as result of the transactional exchange, at best the drug doesn’t work and at worse it can pose serious health risks,” he added. Cybercriminals are “putting their customers’ health, personal information and credit card details at risk” with these counterfeit versions of Tamiflu.

Many of these fraudulent pharmaceutical sites originate in Russia, Sophos’s Dmitry Samosseiko noted in a paper on the topic. One network called GlavMed, for example, has more than 120,000 online pharmacy sites selling generic drugs under the name of Canadian Pharmacy. Each GlavMed spammer uses e-commerce software to create new domains or direct traffic to colleagues’ domains, and charge a 40% commission on each sale.

A log file of purchases made on Canadian Pharmacy showed about 200 drug purchases per day per site, meaning a domain owner can earn up to an estimated $16,000 in a day, Mr. Samosseiko wrote. The top five countries that have been purchasing Tamiflu and other drugs from so-called Canadian Pharmacy sites are the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and France.

The Federal Trade Commission said earlier this week that it issued warnings to 10 Web sites making questionable claims that their products could be used to treat swine flu. The FTC said that these remedies, which included homeopathic remedies and air-filtration systems, were violating federal law unless they can back up their claims with scientific proof.

The agency conducted a sweep in late September targeting Web operators who take advantage of natural disasters or financial crises. “As consumers grow increasingly anxious about obtaining the H1N1 vaccine for their children and other vulnerable family members, scam artists take advantage by selling them bogus remedies online,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, in a statement.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

Comedy: American Style by Jessie Redmon Fauset, edited by Cherene Sherrard-Johnson (Rutgers University Press; 2009, 270 pages; $72 hardcover, $27.95 paperback). Edition of the Harlem Renaissance writer's fourth and final novel, which was originally published in 1933.

Funny and Sexy Toyota Commercial ---

Video:  German Coast Guard Trainee ---

Forwarded by Paula


Two guys were discussing popular family trends on sex, marriage, and family values.
Stu said, 'I didn't sleep with my wife before we got married, did you?'

Leroy replied, 'I'm not sure, what was her
maiden name



A little boy went up to his father and asked:  'Dad, where did my intelligence come from?'
The father replied.  'Well, son, you must have got it from your mother, cause I still have mine.'


The Divorce Court  
'Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very carefully,'

Judge said, 'And I've decided to give your wife $775 a week,'
'That's very fair, your honor,' the husband said.

 'And every now and then I'll try to send her a few bucks myself.'

A doctor examining a woman who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, took
the husband aside, and said, 'I don't like the looks of your wife at all.'

'Me neither doc,' said the husband.
'But she's a great cook and really good with the kids.'

An old man goes to the Wizard to ask him if he can remove a curse he has been living with for the last 40 years.

The Wizard says, 'Maybe, but you will have to tell me the exact words that
were used to put the curse on you.'

The old man says without hesitation, 'I now pronounce you man and wife.'

Two Reasons Why It's So Hard To Solve A Redneck Murder:
1. The DNA all matches.
2. There are no dental records.

A blonde calls Delta Airlines and asks,
'Can you tell me how long it'll take
to fly from
San Francisco to New York City

The agent replies, 'Just a minute.'

'Thank you,' the blonde says, and hangs up.

Two Mexican detectives were investigating the murder of Juan Gonzalez.

'How was he killed?' asked one detective.
'With a golf gun,' the other detective replied.
'A golf gun!   What is a golf gun?'

'I don't know.  But it sure made a hole in Juan.'

Moe:  'My wife got me to believe in religion.'

Joe: 'Really?'

Moe: 'Yeah.  Until I married her I didn't
believe in Hell.'

A man is recovering from surgery when the
Surgical Nurse appears and asks
him how he is feeling.

'I'm OK but I didn't like the four letter-words the doctor used in surgery,' he answered.
'What did he say,' asked the nurse.


While shopping for vacation clothes, my

husband and I passed a display of bathing suits.   It had been at least ten years and twentypounds since I had even considered buying a bathing suit, so sought my husband's advice. 'What do you think?' I asked.   'Should I get a bikini or an all-in-one?'

'Better get a bikini,' he replied.   'You'd never get it all in one.'
He's still in intensive care.


The graveside service just barely finished, when there was massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even

more thunder rumbling in the distance.
The little old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, 'Well, she's there.'



Tidbits Archives ---

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at

World Clock ---
Facts about the earth in real time ---

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar ---
Time by Time Zones ---
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) ---
         Also see
Facts about population growth (video) ---
Projected U.S. Population Growth ---
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons ---
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Three Finance Blogs

Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog ---
FinancialRounds Blog ---
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) ---

Some Accounting Blogs

Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) ---
International Association of Accountants News --- and Double Entries ---
Gerald Trites'eBusiness and XBRL Blogs ---
AccountingWeb ---   
SmartPros ---

Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---

Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities ---

Free Textbooks and Cases ---

Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials ---

Free Science and Medicine Tutorials ---

Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials ---

Free Education Discipline Tutorials ---

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature ---

Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness ---

Teacher Source: Math ---

Teacher Source:  Science ---

Teacher Source:  PreK2 ---

Teacher Source:  Library Media ---

Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University ---

VYOM eBooks Directory ---

From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department ---

Online Mathematics Textbooks --- 

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---

Moodle  --- 

The word moodle is an acronym for "modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful. The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle, educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to
AECM (Educators) 
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc

Roles of a ListServ ---

CPAS-L (Practitioners) 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) ---


Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

Bob Jensen's Threads --- 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links ---

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) ---
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting ---

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History ---

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 ---
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- 

A nice timeline of accounting history ---

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline ---

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America ---
Also see



Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482