Accounting’s 21st Century Challenge: How to Value Intangible Assets

22. March 2016

Date: 22-03-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Issue takes on growing significance as companies rely more on holdings like brands, data and algorithms

When RadioShack Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection last year, it raised more than $170 million by selling such holdings as real estate, leases and inventories of smartphones, computer cables and cameras.

But the retailer’s books didn’t acknowledge two of its most valuable assets: its brand and its customer data.

How do you attach a price tag to something you can’t see or touch?

The question is increasingly significant for investors as more companies collect information about their customers and use it to develop products and services. Some companies rely on the hipness of their brands to propel sales.

Assigning a value to a physical asset like a store or equipment is relatively easy. But, in the murky world of intangible assets, the calculations are squishy. The problem of how to value such assets has vexed accountants for decades. Read the rest of this entry »


From alpha to omega

14. August 2015

Date: 13-08-2015
Source: The Economist:

Conglomerates are back in fashion, but only the best will thrive

FEW management fashions have waxed and waned quite as dramatically as that for conglomerates. From the 1960s to the 1980s business gurus praised conglomerates such as ITT of America and Hanson Trust of Britain as the highest form of capitalism. Today they routinely dismiss them as bloated anachronisms. Companies should stick to their knitting; investors should minimise risk by investing in a portfolio of companies rather than backing corporate megalomaniacs. Peter Lynch, an investment guru, talks about “diworsification”. Stockmarkets routinely apply a sizeable “conglomerate discount” to diversified companies.
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To judge by this week’s events, the mood has shifted again. Warren Buffett has been steadily and almost single-handedly restoring the popular appeal of conglomerates. And the positive reception given to the latest deal by his investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway, shows how he has succeeded. On August 10th the group said it would buy Precision Castparts, a maker of aerospace components, for $37 billion, in the biggest deal in Berkshire’s 50-year history. Mr Buffett boasts of running a sprawling conglomerate that is “constantly trying to sprawl further”. Read the rest of this entry »


The IT cloud: Silver linings

22. July 2013

Date: 22-07-2013
Source: The Economist

Banks big and small are embracing cloud computing

“I’VE only got one IT guy,” says Segun Akintemi, the chief executive of Renaissance Credit, a Nigerian moneylender that opened for business in October 2012 and signed up about 3,000 customers in its first six months. “Whenever I walk past his desk he is surfing the web.” That the firm has just one bored computer specialist is not a sign of backwardness. On the contrary, Renaissance Credit is ahead of its time when it comes to technology. Its information processing takes place in the “cloud”, the term for software and services delivered over the internet.

The emergence of cloud-based banking promises to affect banks big and small. Banks are expected to spend almost $180 billion on IT this year, according to Celent, a consultancy. For the moment cloud-based services make up a tiny fraction of this amount, but by some estimates spending by financial-services firms on the cloud will total $26 billion in 2015. This increase should lower barriers to entry for newcomers, which can rent modern IT infrastructure at monthly fees of less than $10,000 rather than having to invest tens of millions of dollars upfront to build their own secure data centres. And it should also enable big banks to become much more cost-efficient. Read the rest of this entry »


Rebooting Business

7. July 2011

Date: 07-07-2011
Source: The Wall Street Journal

There are two kinds of business models: those that have been disrupted by technology, and those that have yet to be
Any business model that can be disrupted by technology will be, and probably should be.

According to author Don Tapscott for some firms it is already too late. Their business models have been rendered redundant by new technology, and their failure to respond has resulted in a rapid decline.

The reality that technology will leave no business – be it private or public – untouched is now firmly on every organization’s radar. New business models will be dictated by the technology that disrupted existing ones.

In this section, we focus on how businesses are using nascent concepts such as “anything-as-a-service”, “multisided business models”, “the co-creation of content” and “innovation from the bottom of the pyramid” to create successful and sustainable businesses in the face of disruption. Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review der neuesten Business Bücher

8. March 2010

aus H.F. Karner’s vierteljährlichem Beitrag in der slowenischen Manager-Zeitschrift “Zdruzenje”.

Über Organisation, Finanzwirtschaft, Innovation, Enterprise 2.0 und Innovationen im Gesundheitssystem.

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The New New Economy: More Startups, Fewer Giants, Infinite Opportunity

27. May 2009

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So now, in the graveyard of giants, it’s worth asking: Was Malone right? Was his age of nimble mammals simply delayed by the final march of corporate dinosaurs into the tar pits?

This crisis is not just the trough of a cycle but the end of an era. We will come out not just wiser but different.

Read the full article by Chris Anderson, Wired’s editor in chief.


MBAs: Public Enemy No. 1?

26. May 2009

BusinessWeek logoTop News May 20, 2009, 5:20PM EST

The debate over business schools’ culpability in the financial crisis rages on, with no clear end in sight

By Francesca Di Meglio

It’s easy to see why MBAs are getting blamed for the financial crisis. In the 1970s when Lehman Brothers’ Richard Fuld was attending NYU Stern School of Business (NYU Stern Full-Time MBA Profile) and Merrill Lynch’s Stan O’Neal was knocking around Harvard Business School (Harvard Full-Time MBA Profile), the gospel of shareholder value was gaining a stranglehold on the nation’s business schools. Fuld, O’Neal, and other newly minted MBAs of their generation would go on to inherit a world where following that gospel—by boosting shareholder returns in the short-term—left them exceedingly rich. Read the rest of this entry »