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Business moves fast in the 21st century. Smith Brain Trust can help you keep pace with bite-sized business insights on the latest headlines. With expertise in nearly every industry and region, we can point you to the news you need to know and explain why it matters. Check this feed for regular updates, and follow us on Twitter @SmithBrainTrust.

Jun 06, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Four of the top five companies in Barron's 2017 listing of the most-respected publicly traded firms in the United States share a common trait. They're technology companies. The Barron's 100 is drawn by surveying money managers, whose attraction to tech is simple to understand, says the Smith School's David Kass. "That is where there is growth — in the economy, in earnings per share, in revenue," Kass told the Washington Post. Read more...

Jun 04, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

MBA students at the Smith School practice their verbal, nonverbal and visual presentation skills in the new Smith Executive Communication Program. The one-year curriculum includes workshops, one-on-one coaching and creation of personalized development plans. Tricia Homer, an executive communication coach who helped launch the program through the school's Office of Transformational Learning, shares five tips that can help anyone deliver a powerful message. Read more...

Jun 02, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

At a time when robots and other forms of automation appear poised to edge out wide swaths of the global workforce, several pilot projects and at least one documentary film are exploring the idea of universal basic income – free money for everyone, enough to cover basic expenses. It's a big idea that dates back at least to 1795 in the United States, with revolutionary activist and author Thomas Paine. Martin Luther King, Jr. touted its merits in the 1960s, as did libertarian economist Milton Friedman, who lauded the virtues of a negative income tax. In 1971 President Richard Nixon wrote a proposal along those lines. But the notion of universal basic income has perhaps never been as relevant around the world as it...

Jun 01, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

What's next for the FBI after the recent ouster of director James Comey? And who should be chosen to follow him? The Smith School's Lauren C. Anderson shared her thoughts recently with a public radio station in Minnesota. Anderson teaches leadership through her own consultancy and via the Smith School's Executive Development Programs. She also has led FBI offices. She says the current political winds, plus related leaks to reporters, have "undermined some of the bureau's credibility in the public's eye." Here is what she says the bureau must do now. Read more

May 31, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Under Armour Erick HaskellU.S. expatriate Erick Haskell spoke no Mandarin when he moved to China in 2005, and none of his employees spoke English. He knew little about the country and had no experience in sports apparel or footwear. Yet within 10 years he was running Greater China operations for Under Armour, the fastest-growing brand in the region. Haskell describes his journey in episode 2 of "Beyond Business," a podcast series hosted by professor Gary Cohen at the Smith School. Read more...

May 26, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

When federal budgets are released from the White House Office of Management and Budget, there are typically a few holes here and there, some missing details, and perhaps some wishful thinking since the budget assumes that everything the president proposes will become enacted. That's never the case, which means the budget by design is a statement of intent rather than a legislative blueprint. The budget that recently emerged from the Trump's administration is notable for including more wishful thinking than is typical and leaving more details than most to be filled in, says Phillip L. Swagel, a senior fellow at Smith School's Center for Financial Policy....

May 24, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Colgate-Palmolive CEO Ian Cook earlier this month signaled interest in selling the company for $100 a share, suggesting a strong possibility that a friendly deal for the company could be struck reasonably soon, Smith School professor David Kass says. He predicted such a move in February. More recently, he described to TheStreet why Colgate-Palmolive could be attractive to Kraft Heinz, 3G Capital or Berkshire Hathaway. Read more...

May 24, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

The future arrived early for Ford’s new CEO, Jim Hackett, who replaced Mark Fields on Monday after the automobile giant lost patience with it former leader just three years into his tenure. Smith School professor David Kirsch says Ford will need its new chief executive to stay in the future as car manufacturers morph into technology companies. That might mean spending more time in Silicon Valley than Motor City. Hackett will also need to answer three basic questions. Read more...

May 24, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Groupon was once the fastest-growing company in the history of the web. Its stock reached a $28 initial public offering high mark in 2011, but now trades at about $4 per share. And despite diversifying its business, introducing Groupon Goods, for example, the company has seen its revenue steadily decline. It was down last quarter by about 4 percent from the year-ago period, at $673.6 million, a level that was well short of the $725 million analysts had expected. Meanwhile, similar coupon services in the U.S. and elsewhere have pulled the plug on daily deals. As observers ponder such developments as signaling a dying industry, Smith School marketing professor Lingling Zhang offers some insights. She says two factors...

May 19, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

The WannaCry ransomware that has affected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries now has largely halted its crawl across the globe, but experts say the attack's real impact might be yet to come. The assault could herald a turning point in cyber intrusions and in the way institutions handle cybersecurity, says the Smith School's Martin Loeb, and co-author, with with Smith School colleague Lawrence A. Gordon, of the Gordon-Loeb Model for Cybersecurity Investments. The widespread attack is exposing "the underinvestment in cybersecurity by many organizations," Loeb says. And the change it sparks could be one of the lasting legacies of the WannaCry attack....

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