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December 4, 2012
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Business Finance Today 
  • Corporations lack cash in U.S. but hold money offshore
    Major U.S. companies are holding a large amount of cash offshore to avoid taxes while letting cash at home dwindle to a point of borrowing for basic functions such as paying dividends, buying back shares and paying taxes. The emerging picture of corporate cash abroad is in response to pressure on companies from the Securities and Exchange Commission to give investors an accurate evaluation of liquidity. The Wall Street Journal (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • "Fiscal cliff" fears blunt hiring, economists say
    Many employers who would ordinarily be hiring are refraining because of uncertainty over whether Congress will find a way to avert the U.S. "fiscal cliff," many economists say. Between July and September, worker productivity rose at an annualized rate of 1.9%, indicating that employers are squeezing as much from workers as they can realistically expect to get, some experts say. But hiring hasn't picked up. NBC News/Economy Watch blog (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Your Bottom Line 
  • How companies can start to tackle Big Data
    Companies are in the early stages of capitalizing on Big Data technologies. Many are foundering and will have to rethink internal processes, says Matt Fates of Ascent Venture Partners. "A number of things get in the way of taking advantage of Big Data," Fates says, such as a lack of enterprise commitment. (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
In the C-Suite 
  • Don't let your meetings get stuck in the bike shed
    Too many high-level meetings fall prey to "bike-shedding" -- the notion that smart, powerful people will quickly sign off on important issues they barely understand but will spend hours arguing over trivial issues they think they understand, such as whether to build a bike shed. Avoid this trap by giving your team the information they need to make big decisions and shielding them from the small ones, advises Dan McCarthy. "If you’re the leader, exercise your decision making authority on the trivial stuff," he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Let's party -- but not too hard, CEOs say
    Ninety percent of companies plan to throw a holiday party this year, the most since the recession hit and up from less than 75% last year, according to a Battalia Winston survey. Still, many parties will be low-key, low-budget affairs, with almost half held at lunchtime rather than in the evening. "You can't be Scrooge forever," says Battalia Winston CEO Dale Winston. "It's not that business is booming; it's just that [firms] don't want to keep skimming everything down." The Wall Street Journal/At Work blog (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
On the Move 
  • Mark Culhane has been hired as CFO for Lithium Technologies. Culhane has been CFO at three public companies. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Patricia Egan is Harris & Harris Group's new CFO. She has held a variety of executive positions at the company. RTT News (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Mark Schroeder is the new CFO for UniGroup, the parent of United Van Lines and Mayflower. Schroeder was CFO at Patriot Coal. St. Louis Post-Dispatch (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

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Off the Charts 
  • Michelob is out; light and specialty beers are in
    Light and specialty beers are popular with Americans these days, giving such brands as Budweiser Light Platinum and Blue Moon a boost. Several traditional, full-calorie beers, on the other hand, have fallen out of favor. Sales of Budweiser were down 7 million barrels in 2011 compared with five years prior, and Michelob sales were down more than 70% in the same period. 24/7 Wall St. (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
With the timeline for a decision by the current Congress drawing closer, CFOs are growing more uncertain that the U.S. economy will recover in the near term."
--Marie Hollein, CEO of Financial Executives International, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal's CFO Journal
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