Haas NewsWire

Haas NewsWire, October 16, 2000

Recession Risk is Rising, According to Research by Professor Kenneth Rosen
FCC Commissioner to Speak at Workshop on "Regulating on the Technological Edge"
Thomas Siebel Inaugurates Second Year of Fisher Center Seminar Series
Former Oracle President and COO Ray Lane Predicts the Future for Dot-Coms
Dean Emeritus Earl "Budd" Cheit Honored by Cal Performances
New Faces at Haas
Haas in the News
Happening at Haas

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The risk that the US economy is headed for a recession is rising, according to new research by Prof. Kenneth Rosen, co-chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economies at the Haas School, and his co-author Amanda Howard, senior analyst at the consulting firm RCG. Rosen and Howard based their conclusion on a study of eight leading economic indicators.

"While advancements in technology have enabled notable productivity improvements, those gains are over-stated," say the authors about the argument that increased productivity levels will continue to ward off a recession. "The US sits on the high end of an economic seesaw, held up by a series of related -- and increasingly less sturdy -- imbalances."

High oil prices, a tight labor market, and a potentially weaker dollar will encourage price and wage inflation, and potentially even higher interest rates, say the authors. At the same time, likely declines in foreign investment and venture capital funding would encourage the stock market bubble to burst and thus reduce consumer spending.

As the technology sector continues to contract and without venture capital funding to support the large percentage of unprofitable Internet businesses, a substantial number of jobs will be lost, argue Howard and Rosen. Under these circumstances, the record level of private sector debt and the negative personal savings rate would become increasingly problematic.

"It is the interaction of all of these imbalances that make the risk of a recession so great," conclude the authors.

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Federal Communications Commissioner Michael K. Powell will give the keynote address to the "Regulating on the Technological Edge" workshop on Friday, October 20, at 4:00 p.m. in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium. All faculty, students, staff, and alumni are invited to attend this speech.

Powell has served as a commissioner since 1997. Prior to joining the FCC, Powell was chief of staff to the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. He earned his JD from Georgetown University and clerked for a judge on United States Court of Appeals before he joined the Washington DC law firm of O'Melveny & Meyers LLP. In his practice he focused on regulatory matters involving telecommunications, antitrust, and employment law.

This speech is the only event in the workshop series that is open to the public. The regulation workshop is an invitation-only event for academics, regulators, and industry leaders geared towards addressing the issue of regulation of emerging technologies. For more information, contact Anita Patterson at 510-642-4233.

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The founder of one of the fastest growing companies in America, Thomas Siebel, chairman and CEO of Siebel Systems, is coming to Haas to share the secrets of his success with the Haas community on Tuesday, October 31, as the first speaker in this year's Fisher Center E-Commerce Executives Seminar series.

All students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to attend the seminar, which takes place Tuesday, October 31, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Siebel Systems provides an integrated set of e-business application software that enables multi-channel sales, marketing, and customer service systems to be deployed over the Web, call centers, the field, resellers, retail, and dealer networks. Siebel Systems has grown from $50,000 in revenues in 1994 to $791 million in 1999.

Siebel was recognized as one of the top 25 managers in the world by BusinessWeek in January 2000 and Siebel Systems was named the fastest growing company in 1999 by Fortune magazine. Siebel has authored two books on selling. His current book Cyber Rules, which details his business principles, was published in April 1999.

Siebel began his career as employee number 50 at Oracle, after earning his bachelor's in History, a master's in Computer Science, and an MBA from the University of Illinois. In 1990, he left Oracle and became CEO of Cayenne Systems, which he renamed Gain Technology and merged with Sybase. In 1993 he founded Siebel Systems.

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Raymond J. Lane, former president of Oracle Corporation and new general partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), will give his vision of the future of the New Economy to the Haas community on Friday, November 3, at 4:00 p.m. This event is the first of the 2000-2001 Business Faculty Research Dialogue: Shakeout in Cyberspace: What's Next for the Dot Coms. The event is open to the entire Haas School community.

Since his change in positions, Lane has been quoted extensively that he believes the venture business is going to shift from just funding companies to playing an even larger role in building those companies. He told the Associated Press that KPCB will help to create the survivors in the impending dot-com shakeout.

Lane has stated that the changes at Oracle announced by founder Larry Ellison sped up his departure, which he announced just before the July 4th weekend. Lane left Oracle with no severance package and had to give up $300 million in unvested stock options. Lane originally joined Oracle as president of Oracle USA after working as a senior partner in the consulting firm of Booz Allen & Hamilton.

Lane has also stressed that his leaving Oracle was part of trying to create balance in his life, noting that the KPCB offices are just 5 minutes from his house. In addition, Lane and his wife have an 18-month-old son at home and a second child due in November. More information on Lane can be found at http://www.kpcb.com/.

The Business Faculty Research Dialogues will be sponsored again this year by the Clausen Center for International Business and Policy and California Management Review.

Lane will speak in the Haas School's Arthur Andersen Auditorium at 4:00 p.m. on Friday November 3. There will be a reception at 5:00 p.m. following the lecture in the School's Bank of America Forum. Please contact Meredith LaCorte in the dean's office to reserve a space at either the lecture or the reception. She can be reached at 510-643-2027 or in email at lacorte@haas.berkeley.edu.

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Earl F. Cheit, dean emeritus of the Haas School, was honored with a gala celebration at the Cal Performances Season opening in September. Cheit is the founding chair of Cal Performances. Cheit's involvement with Cal Performances began in the early 70s when he served on the Committee for Arts and Lectures, the organization that became Cal Performances. Now that his term has ended he is stepping down as chair, but will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees.

Cheit served as the Haas School dean from 1976 to 1982. Among his many achievements was establishing awards for outstanding teaching to faculty selected and presented by students. The first award was presented in 1976 to Andrew Shogan, now associate dean for instruction. When Cheit concluded his term as dean, the school, on student initiative, renamed the awards the Cheit Outstanding Teaching Awards.

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New Program Coordinator for Young Entrepreneurs at Haas

Ajuah Helton has been appointed the program coordinator for the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas. She graduated in 1997 from Clark Atlanta University and spent time in the Teach For America program and is a former Summer bridge program administrator. At the Haas School, she will support the two-year Young Entrepreneurs entrepreneurship training and college preparation program for East Bay high school youth. She can be reached at 510-643-0923 or via e-mail at helton@haas.berkeley.edu. Her office is located at F412.

New Student Services and Admissions Assistant for the Undergraduate Program

Alison Mae Thompson has joined the Undergraduate Program office as the Student Services and Admissions Assistant. She holds a bachelors degree in history from UC Berkeley. On a personal note, she says that she plans to attend veterinary school in a few years and that she makes very good mashed potatoes. She can be reached at 510-642-1421 or via e-mail at athompso@haas.berkeley.edu. Her office is in S450.

New Database Administrator for the Development and Alumni Affairs Database Team

Wendy A. Peter has joined the Development staff at the database administrator. She will help maintain data in the school's database, create reports, coordinate database consistency with the online alumni database, provide technical support, and track gift stewardship. Wendy was a pastry chef for ten years before coming to Haas. She also worked for the Boston New York AIDS ride from 1997 to 2000. On the home front, she reports that she has a dog named Ethel. She can be reached at 510-642-3235 or via e-mail at wpeter@haas.berkeley.edu. Her office is in S520.

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Severin Borenstein, the E.T. Grether Professor in Public Policy and Business Administration and the director of University of California Energy Institute, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle on October 16. In "Apparent Deal for Chevron to Buy Texaco," Borenstein commented that the increased consolidation in the refining business should raise alarm bells at the Federal Trade Commission.

Borenstein was on KRON TV on October 15. He discussed oil/gasoline and the electricity deregulation situation. Borenstein said that California electricity markets are not as competitive as they need to be. He also dispelled the myth that the growth in electricity demand is being driven by Internet or computer use (which accounts for only about 2% of electricity demand, not the 8-13% that the media sometimes report).

David Aaker, professor emeritus, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on October 14 in an article titled "Nike Takes Its Case to the Streets." Aaker said that Nike's new logo-free advertising campaign is worth it if creates buzz and connects with customers.

Borenstein was quoted on October 14 in the San Francisco Chronicle on the possible Chevron merger with Texaco, saying that it could give them deeper pockets to finance oil exploration.

Borenstein was quoted in the Contra Costa Times on October 13 on the effect the Middle East conflict could have on gasoline prices.

Borenstein appeared on KRON TV on October 13 on "Daybreak." Borenstein said that the decline in auto fuel efficiency has exacerbated the problem of rising oil prices.

Dean Laura Tyson appeared on the Nightly Business Report on KQED TV on October 12. She discussed the Social Security system and likened it to a pay-as-you-go social insurance system.

Greg Duffee, assistant professor in the Finance Group, was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News on the risks of investing in put options. Duffee explained that companies often sell put options when they have confidence that they are financially sound.

Tyson was quoted in USA Today on October 12 on UC Berkeley professor Daniel McFadden winning this year's Nobel Prize in economics.

The October 12 Independent of London mentioned Information Rules by Hal Varian, dean of the School of Information Management and Systems and Haas professor, and Carl Shapiro, Transamerica Professor of Business Strategy and director of the Institute of Business and Economics Research (IBER), in an article about high prices for consumers shopping on the Internet.

Pete Sealey, adjunct professor in the Marketing Group, was quoted on Red Herring.com on October 11. Sealey commented that if the AOL/Time Warner merger were approved, all media companies would have to rethink their strategies to take online markets into account.

Borenstein appeared on KTVU TV October 10 and spoke about the effect that the problems in the Middle East could have on oil and gasoline prices. He said that oil prices probably wouldn't go much higher, but if a full war broke out in the Middle East, they could go to $50/barrel.

Borenstein was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on October 9 in an article about Unocal patenting a new fuel. He commented that in a perfect world this patent wouldn't be allowed because it makes consumers worse off.

The study of online car buying done by Florian Zettelmeyer, assistant professor in the Marketing Group, was mentioned in the Raleigh North Carolina News and Observer on October 2.

Tyson's column in BusinessWeek on October 2, "Who has the Better Health Care Plan? Gore Does," argued that Vice President Gore's plan for Medicare is more fiscally sound than Governor Bush's plan.

Janet Yellen, the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business Administration and professor in the Department of Economics, was quoted in the October Inc. Magazine on the emergence of bartering among cash-crunched companies.

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