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  • Robert E Jensen

    Enhancing the Quality of Reporting in Corporate Social Responsibility Guidance Documents: The Roles of ISO 26000, Global Reporting Initiative and CSR‐Sustainability Monitor
    SSRN, June 3, 2017
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2979660

    Authors

    S. Prakash Sethi --- CUNY Baruch College

    Janet Rovenpor---  Manhattan College

    Mert Demir CUNY Baruch College

    Abstract

    The intent of this article is to review the phenomenal growth of Corporate Social Responsibility reports published by large corporations around the world. The reports provide companies with an opportunity to inform large segments of society about the impacts of their business operations on the environmental, socio‐political, and governmental (regulatory) aspects of a society. The mostly voluntary nature of these reports, however, places the burden on the corporations creating them to (a) provide an adequate amount of information, (b) cover all the major issues that are relevant to the company and industry, and (c) provide measures of assurance as to the accuracy of information. In this article, we compare and examine three institutional approaches that have played an important role toward improving the quality and consistency of these reports. The institutions involved are ISO 26000, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)‐Sustainability Monitor. We intend to show their different approaches to guiding CSR reporting, and assess their relative strengths and limitations.

  • Robert E Jensen

    The State of Personal Finance, Faculty-Staff Edition:
    Survey of campus employees finds professors focus on saving for retirement and doubt their financial literacy; administrative staff worry more about the near term
    ---
    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/28/professors-worry-about-retirement-staff-save-pay-debt?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=13ae309b00-DNU20170328&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-13ae309b00-197565045&mc_cid=13ae309b00&mc_eid=1e78f7c952

    Jensen Comment
    What many workers in general forget is that the Federal Reserve virtually eliminated low risk, safe financial savings that in the past paid upwards of six percent per year in interest and now pay very close to zero interest. This means that savers must take on more financial risk to get decent returns on savings, particularly now that employers are shying away from fixed-benefit retirement plans.

    Bob Jensen's free helpers on personal finance are at
    http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers

    I'm a long-time advocate that financial literacy should be added to the common core of skills in higher education. For example, the most common cause in breakdowns in relationships like marriage is ignorance about finance at the heart of relationships.

  • Robert E Jensen
  • Robert E Jensen
  • Robert E Jensen
  • Robert E Jensen

    Assessment often gets caught in a tug of war between accountability and improvement.
    The Next Great Hope for Measuring Learning ---
    http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Next-Great-Hope-for/238075?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en&elqTrackId=49382afe872f46a0b64064c090db9e53&elq=152fd248a4d244b6a1dfcf39b37cbd7c&elqaid=11117&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=4277

    Jensen Comment
    When it comes to assessment I tend to think of how I want my brain surgeon to be assessed before he sticks something hard and sharp into my gray matter. I guess the accountant in me leans toward accountability.

    Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm

  • Robert E Jensen

    How Credit Scores Work and five Lesser-Known Reasons Why Your Credit Score Drops ---
    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/money-finance/credit/5-lesser-known-reasons-why-your-credit-score-drops?utm_source=moneygirl&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MG20161013

    Bob Jensen's threads on personal finance ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers


    Kiplinger:  Three States to Avoid in Retirement ---
    http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T047-C000-S001-3-states-to-avoid-in-retirement.html

    Jensen Comment
    Millions of folks happily retired in what Kiplinger calls the "worst" retirement states. There are many reasons to retire, including a desire to be near family, opera, ballet, symphony orchestras, and the neighborhood you lived in for the past 35 years.
    Tax positives and negatives vary a lot with your particular situation. For example, most retirees don't have enough valuable assets to worry about estate taxes. In retirement income taxes may be negligible for many retirees.
    If you're on welfare blue states are generally more generous than red states but blue states are usually more expensive.

    Crime risks vary even within states. For example, I don't think our Village of Sugar Hill ever had a home invasion, but there've been some murderous ones 100 miles south in Manchester that is also part of New Hampshire.
    When choosing to leave San Antonio crime risk was one of our considerations. In San Antonio our house had heavy burglar bars for good reason. This, in part, possibly explains why we didn't get hit like some of our less-paranoid neighbors.

    Avoiding crime, congestion, traffic, and everlasting road construction was on our mind when we decided to leave the ant hill of San Antonio. Up in these mountains seeing one other car means it must be rush hour (except in foliage season when it's bumper-to-bumper in front of our cottage) ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Tidbits/Lavin/2016Sept/2016FoliagePart1.htm

    When living in Tallahassee one our our friends was transplanted from Texas. He said what he missed most was Lone Star Beer and Texas swing music. In his case, none of his ex's lived in Texas. I never cared much for beer, but I really, really miss the swing music and line dancing.

    My neighbors down the road in these mountains are Boston Pops fanatics. But they also associate the Pops evenings with the five-star hotel that they love in downtown Boston. They would not retire In Massachusetts for all the tea in China. Furthermore, they would not enjoy the Boston Pops as much if the concerts were in the nearby Sugar Hill community center.

    Residents of Las Vegas are usually not addicted to gambling like frequent visitors from out of town. Residents in most places don't always deeply enjoy that which attracts their tourists.

    Home is where you hang your hat. Make the best of it and avoid the worst of it!
    A man probably would not be as happy as he thinks retired with a rich nymphomaniac who owns a chain of liquor stores. A woman may not be as happy with a retired eunuch who owns a chain of shoe stores.

    The marriage of George and Martha may not really be a "breakdown." George and Martha might actually prefer the challenges of this combative, albeit drunken, lifestyle ---
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who%27s_Afraid_of_Virginia_Woolf%3F

  • Marc Depree

    I wondered if Bob Jensen had read the article he's commented on above ("University and AACSB Diversity, Case Research"). So I asked him. He did not reply. Given his previous comments, I've wondered the same but didn't ask. I had some time today to consider Bob's behavior. If you read my article and Bob's comments, you'll agree that he has not read my article. He is working from the title, maybe the abstract, too, without reading the content. It seems silly to make comments that are totally unrelated to the content of the article. Keep in mind, Bob's comments are not critical of my article. They are simply irrelevant. The readers of Bob's comments should, and now have the author's view of the relation of his comments to the article.

    I'd like nevertheless to thank Bob for attempting to keep my article in the public view.

  • Robert E Jensen

    How little couples talk about money. It’s probably one of the last taboos except in heated arguments after it's too late.
    Suggestions for improving communications with partners about money
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2016/09/16/how-much-do-you-need-for-retirement-communication-is-the-key/#558a3fc514eb

    Jensen Comment
    I found the best way to communicate about money with Erika was to let her take over the checkbook years and years ago even before we retired. That way when I talked about long-range planning her knowledge of the short-range ins and outs made her much more sympathetic and understanding about the long run. In the short run, however, she still won't tell me how much money is in the account --- in fear that I might spend too much foolishly if I know how much is available. She let's me carry one check in my billfold --- but that's strictly for emergencies.

    And what a relief it was to put bill paying out of my mind.
    Erika actually reconciles the checkbook to the penny which is something that I rounded off to the nearest $100 give or take another $100. This task is difficult for her since, as a surgical nurse by training long before computers, she does not even use a calculator let alone a computer. She was very good at counting sponges and sometimes had to tell the surgeon that a sponge was unaccounted for and must still be hidden in the body. One time a surgeon ignored her. Three weeks later he had to go back into the patient's body to look for the (now infected) sponge.

    Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers

  • Robert E Jensen

    "Student Diversity at More Than 4,600 Institutions," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 18, 2016 ---
    http://www.chronicle.com/interactives/student-diversity-2016?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en&elqTrackId=0232a6c335f14a75a6c9c8de066dd14a&elq=600a2190e4de4e46bb287bb898fdf710&elqaid=10747&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=4072 

    Jensen Comment
    Some things got my attention like the prestigious Ivy League universities that have nearly 50% minority enrollments. “Total minority” is the percentage of all students who are not categorized as white, race unknown, or nonresident
    Keep in mind that some (most?) prestigious universities invite children of families earning less than USA average income ($54,500) to attend free if they meet admission standards. A high proportion of those children are minority, and the admissions bar may be lower for some or all minorities.

  • Robert E Jensen

    Bloomberg:  Why They Did It: Madoff and Enron’s Fastow Explain the Biggest Frauds in U.S. History ---
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-29/why-they-did-it-madoff-and-enron-s-fastow-explain-the-biggest-frauds-in-u-s-history?cmpid=BBD082916_BIZ
    Jensen Comment
    When con artists explain why they committed fraud can you believe them?
    Con artists are so convincing even when they are lying?

    PS
    Some public sector frauds were bigger than these private sector frauds
    And some bigger frauds are joint public and private sector frauds (think Pentagon spending)

    Bob Jensen's threads on Fastow and Enron ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm
    By the way Andy Fastow was only one of the many fraudsters among Enron's executives and not the only one to go to prison

    Bob Jensen's threads on Madoff ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRottenPart2.htm#Ponzi

  • Robert E Jensen

    The Parable of the Talents
    SSRN, May 31, 2016
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2787452

    Author

    Stephen M. Bainbridge University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

    Abstract

    On its surface, Jesus’ Parable of the Talents is a simple story with four key plot elements: (1) A master is leaving on a long trip and entrusts substantial assets to three servants to manage during his absence. (2) Two of the servants invested the assets profitably, earning substantial returns, but a third servant — frightened of his master’s reputation as a hard taskmaster — put the money away for safekeeping and failed even to earn interest on it. (3) The master returns and demands an accounting from the servants. (4) The two servants who invested wisely were rewarded, but the servant who failed to do so is punished.

    Neither the master nor any of the servants make any appeal to legal standards, but it seems improbable that there was no background set of rules against which the story plays out. To the legal mind, the Parable thus raises some interesting questions: What was the relationship between the master and the servant? What were the servants’ duties? How do the likely answers to those questions map to modern relations, such as those of principal and agent? Curiously, however, there are almost no detailed analyses of these questions in Anglo-American legal scholarship.

    This project seeks to fill that gap.

  • Robert E Jensen

    The Parable of the Talents
    SSRN, May 31, 2016
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2787452

    Author

    Stephen M. Bainbridge University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

    Abstract

    On its surface, Jesus’ Parable of the Talents is a simple story with four key plot elements: (1) A master is leaving on a long trip and entrusts substantial assets to three servants to manage during his absence. (2) Two of the servants invested the assets profitably, earning substantial returns, but a third servant — frightened of his master’s reputation as a hard taskmaster — put the money away for safekeeping and failed even to earn interest on it. (3) The master returns and demands an accounting from the servants. (4) The two servants who invested wisely were rewarded, but the servant who failed to do so is punished.

    Neither the master nor any of the servants make any appeal to legal standards, but it seems improbable that there was no background set of rules against which the story plays out. To the legal mind, the Parable thus raises some interesting questions: What was the relationship between the master and the servant? What were the servants’ duties? How do the likely answers to those questions map to modern relations, such as those of principal and agent? Curiously, however, there are almost no detailed analyses of these questions in Anglo-American legal scholarship.

    This project seeks to fill that gap.

  • Robert E Jensen

    Critical Thinking --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

    Cynicism --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynic

    Critical Thinking versus Cynicism
    "Against Self-Criticism: Adam Phillips on How Our Internal Critics Enslave Us, the Stockholm Syndrome of the Superego, and the Power of Multiple Interpretations," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, May 23, 2016 ---
    https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/05/23/against-self-criticism-adam-phillips-unforbidden-pleasures/?mc_cid=5e19106c81&mc_eid=4d2bd13843

    I have thought and continued to think a great deal about the relationship between critical thinking and cynicism — what is the tipping point past which critical thinking, that centerpiece of reason so vital to human progress and intellectual life, stops mobilizing our constructive impulses and topples over into the destructiveness of impotent complaint and embittered resignation, begetting cynicism? In giving a commencement address on the subject, I found myself contemplating anew this fine but firm line between critical thinking and cynical complaint. To cross it is to exile ourselves from the land of active reason and enter a limbo of resigned inaction.

    But cross it we do, perhaps nowhere more readily than in our capacity for merciless self-criticism. We tend to go far beyond the self-corrective lucidity necessary for improving our shortcomings, instead berating and belittling ourselves for our foibles with a special kind of masochism.

    The undergirding psychology of that impulse is what the English psychoanalytical writer Adam Phillips explores in his magnificent essay “Against Self-Criticism”, found in his altogether terrific collection Unforbidden Pleasures (public library).

    Continued in article

    • "Critical Thinking:  Why It's So Hard to Teach," by Daniel T. Willingham ---
      http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/american_educator/issues/summer07/Crit_Thinking.pdf

      Also see Simorleon Sense --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/critical-thinking-why-is-it-so-hard-to-teach/

      “Critical thinking is not a set of skills that can be deployed at any time, in any context. It is a type of thought that even 3-year-olds can engage in—and even trained scientists can fail in.”

      “Knowing that one should think critically is not the same as being able to do so. That requires domain knowledge and practice.”

      So,  Why Is Thinking Critically So Hard?
      Educators have long noted that school attendance and even academic success are no guarantee that a student will graduate an effective thinker in all situations. There is an odd tendency for rigorous thinking to cling to particular examples or types of problems. Thus, a student may have learned to estimate the answer to a math problem before beginning calculations as a way of checking the accuracy of his answer, but in the chemistry lab, the same student calculates the components of a compound without noticing that his estimates sum to more than 100 percent. And a student who has learned to thoughtfully discuss the causes of the American Revolution from both the British and American perspectives doesn’t even think to question how the Germans viewed World War II. Why are students able to think critically in one situation, but not in another? The brief answer is: Thought processes are intertwined with what is being thought about. Let’s explore this in depth by looking at a particular kind of critical thinking that has been studied extensively: problem solving.

      Imagine a seventh-grade math class immersed in word problems. How is it that students will be able to answer one problem, but not the next, even though mathematically both word problems are the same, that is, they rely on the same mathematical knowledge? Typically, the students are focusing on the scenario that the word problem describes (its surface structure) instead of on the mathematics required to solve it (its deep structure). So even though students have been taught how to solve a particular type of word problem, when the teacher or textbook changes the scenario, students still struggle to apply the solution because they don’t recognize that the problems are mathematically the same.

      Thinking Tends to Focus on a Problem’s “Surface Structure”
      To understand why the surface structure of a problem is so distracting and, as a result, why it’s so hard to apply familiar solutions to problems that appear new, let’s first consider how you understand what’s being asked when you are given a problem. Anything you hear or read is automatically interpreted in light of what you already know about similar subjects. For example, suppose you read these two sentences: “After years of pressure from the film and television industry, the President has filed a formal complaint with China over what U.S. firms say is copyright infringement. These firms assert that the Chinese government sets stringent trade restrictions for U.S. entertainment products, even as it turns a blind eye to Chinese companies that copy American movies and television shows and sell them on the black market.”

      With Deep Knowledge, Thinking Can Penetrate Beyond Surface Structure
      If knowledge of how to solve a problem never transferred to problems with new surface structures, schooling would be inefficient or even futile—but of course, such transfer does occur. When and why is complex,5 but two factors are especially relevant for educators: familiarity with a problem’s deep structure and the knowledge that one should look for a deep structure. I’ll address each in turn. When one is very familiar with a problem’s deep-structure, knowledge about how to solve it transfers well. That familiarity can come from long-term, repeated experience with one problem, or with various manifestations of one type of problem (i.e., many problems that have different surface structures, but the same deep structure). After repeated exposure to either or both, the subject simply perceives the deep structure as part of the problem description.

    Bob Jensen's threads on critical thinking ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#CriticalThinking

  • Robert E Jensen

    Helpers for Student Loan Forgiveness and Cancellation ---
    https://www.moneygeek.com/education/college/resources/student-loan-forgiveness-cancellation/

    Jensen Comment
    If you do not qualify for student loan forgiveness you should probably compare your current annual loan payments with payments if you privately refinance at the present low interest rates. However, you may lose some protections and options in doing so. Be careful about refinancing that sounds too good to be true. You might be able to refinance with your parents in a win-win situation if your parents consider you a good investment risk and you pay a higher interest rate than their safe investment alternatives. Read that as meaning you have a good job in a good profession and are not an unemployed aspiring artist or writer or getting a Ph.D. in a discipline where Ph.D. graduates are a dime a dozen.

    Whether or not you pay your student loan off aggressively by making above the minimum amounts due each year depends much upon what you would otherwise do with the money. Savings rates are so low that you are probably better off paying the loan off aggressively relative to saving. Risky investments are not the same as gambling, but you should probably be very cautious with putting money into risky investments like tech stocks until you have your student loans paid off. Also remember that there are transactions costs for buying and selling land, houses, and stocks. Short-term ownership (called flipping) of a house/condo is risky unless the buying deal was very good in a very hot housing market such as near a college or medical center. It helps in house flipping markets if you do the fixing up of a house yourself.

    My advice is to avoid buying new cars until your loan is paid off, although you may have to invest in a quality pre-owned car or lease modest cars at low rates. Think public transportation if you live in an urban area that has good public transportation. You can always rent an occasional car if needed for a trip.

    Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#InvestmentHelpers