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Apple Defies Market Forces 5

Dave’s Store’s New Incentives 6

Desautels Mentorship Program 6

Occupy Wall Street Coverage 9

The Bull & Bear A publication of the

McGill’s Management news since 2003

MANAGEMENT UNDERGRADUATE SOCIETY

bullandbear.ca

November 2011 • Volume 9 • Issue 3

Oh Hype Week is here at last!

FINANCIAL TURMOIL MUS CORPORATE RELATIONS

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McGill Represents Canada at Asian Business Case Competition Sam Latham Rep to SSMU

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our undergraduates from the Desautels Faculty of Management – Sarah Chow, Chris Hartman, Sumira Jayabalan, and Sam Latham – recently took a trip to Singapore with their mentor and faculty lecturer Richard Donovan, to represent McGill as the only Canadian school at the Asian Business Case Competition (ABCC). ABCC is an annual event that was founded in 2007 by Nanyang Technological University (NTU). With a focus on sustainability, the competition involved social and academic activities to help the participants – all undergraduate students – meet and learn from their counterparts around the world. This year’s competition took place from October 2nd to the 5th and featured two parts: the presentation of a round-table case that was prepared prior to arrival, and the main comprehensive case itself, which the teams received only once the competition had begun. Comprehensive cases are written about a specific company in a particular industry that is faced with a real-life business challenge. These cases are usually between 30 to 40 pages in length and cover everything from company history, market trends, business strategy, competitive

Continued on Page 7 CHECK US OUT ONLINE TO STAY UP-TO-DATE WITH THE LATEST NEWS AND EVENTS! @MUSBullAndBear

Kunal Shah | The Bull & Bear

A protestor holds a sign at the Occupy Montreal protest in Square Victoria, October 16, 2011.

MUS Fee Increase Proposed in Referendum Elana Cipin News Writer

The MUS will be opening up polls on Thursday November 3rd for a referendum vote, both on and offline, where three questions will be posed to the Faculty of Management. Out of three questions being asked, the one that has created the most buzz around Bronfman is the proposed $5 increase to the current $20 MUS fee. In 2005 there was a $2 increase to the student fee, and a

further $2 increase was introduced in the Fall 2010 semester, making it the $20 it is today. The further $5 is being proposed to go towards improving sustainability initiatives, as well as a new Ambassador Fund, much like the one SSMU has, that would help fund students who are representing Desautels in case competitions. These are in line with two of the Board of Directors’ longterm visions: improving sustainability within Management in all respects and improving performance and competitiveness in

academic competitions. The VP Finance of the MUS, Gaby Abou Merhi, explained the allocation of the proposed $5, saying, “This year we’re paying about $10,000 funding external events, about $2,000 in sustainable funds, and giving clubs about $6,000- $8,000, so probably it will be broken down in that proportion.” Sustainability initiatives are becoming more common within the MUS, from having organic T-shirts at Frosh, to serving sustainable wine and cheeses at Fac-

The Brief 2 :: Markets 4-5 :: News 6-7 :: Lifestyle 8 :: Opinion 8-11

ulty events, to trying to reduce the Sinfully Asian footprint. Sustainable projects are usually more expensive than standard operations. In addition, a set amount for the proposed Ambassador Fund will be considered, to make case competitions more accessible to students wishing to participate. As MUS President Dave Fortin explained, “All the events that we have - social, academic and philanthropic - they all reflect well on McGill University, the Desautels Continued on Page 2

Always online at www.bullandbear.ca


The Brief

2 The Bull & Bear Alex Pajusi Executive Editor Ian Burke Cameron Lead News Editor Ivan Di News Editor David Lin Lead Opinion Editor Jessica Simmonds Opinion Editor Kristine Pinedo Lead Lifestyle Editor Chris Conery Lifestyle Editor Kunal Shah Photo Editor Manuella Djuric Advertising Director Michaela Hirsh Ad Coordinator Sean Alex Finnell Online Editor Michael Horowitz Layout Editor Olivia Siu Marketing Director

What not to miss in Management this month.

MUS FEE INCREASE (CONTD FROM PAGE 1) Faculty of Management and on all students who are members of those.” Fortin further explained that an active student life helps to improve the Faculty’s ratings. Although the referendum has yet to occur, the proposed increase has the student body divided. “I’m fully in favour of changes that the faculty is taking to make us more sustainable, especially since we’ll be taking the work habits we learn at McGill with us into our future careers,” said Laura Fraser, a U2 Marketing Major. Fraser continued, “If Desautels wants to produce students who are going to be leaders in their fields, I think that these changes are important.” Other students hold opposite positions. A U3 Management student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated, “If students want to do case competitions, they should figure out themselves how to pay. That’s how life works. It’s not my responsibility, I have other things I do that I need to pay for.”

Fortin and Abou Merhi explained that although they came into office with a budget surplus, they would still benefit from more funds. “Our goal is to break even all the time, and all the extra money will be invested in the students,” said Abou Merhi. Further concern about the referendum is lack of insight into the questions being asked, along with indifference. To raise awareness and increase voter attendance MUS has been circulating “Vote or Die” T-Shirts, mimicking the 2004 US Presidential Election voting campaign started by entertainer P. Diddy. The First-Year Street Team is also going around educating students on the issues and promoting the importance of having their voices heard. Fortin said “We’re not running active “Yes” campaign, but we want people to inform themselves about the issues at hand, both in regards to the constitution and with the levy. We want them to make informed choices.”

The two other questions being voted on are in regards to amending MUS constitution articles. The first is regarding voting rights, wherein they wish to extend the vote for all Academic Area Representatives to MUS members in any area of study. The second question addresses an article about the Board of Directors, and is asking that it be amended so as to put less restriction on Board of Directors positions in the Executive Council. First year students during orientation this year received information regarding how the MUS constitution and organizational structure work. For those who are unaware of how governance in the MUS works, there is a section on the website that explains it. Fortin supposed that although a small minority of students have likely read through the 27-page constitution, the amendments are easy to understand, and are less controversial than the $5 increase. To have the motions passed

requires 20% of the Faculty vote, along with a minimum of twothirds consensus. Fortin told The Bull & Bear, “Of course, in our view, we obviously want all these motions to succeed. We want everything to pass because it will improve the services we can offer to students. That’s always our goal, and what we want to accomplish.” It will be up to Management students to have their voices heard and vote in the referendum, to determine if the MUS goals are in line with those of Deasautels’ general student population.

Rodion Gusev Special Advisor

U2 Case Competition

Staff Writers Elana Cipin Dann Bibas Tarun Koshy Dan Sorek Dan Novick Andrea Zhu Yina Zhou April Wu Sameer Rizvi Max Waterous Alvira Rao Christian Sullivan Siddharth Mishra

Nov 4-5 U2 students, build your case skills in a 3-hour case crack followed by a 20-minute presentation and 5-minute Q&A.

CASCO: A Night at the Movies Nov 18 Come support the Montreal Children’s Hospital at the annual CASCO Fashion Show!

Photographers: Amélia Couture Holly Sherlock Kapil Mehra Jordana Cohen Nicole Himelfarb Theodora Meyers Soumia Zehri

The Bull & Bear is an editorially autonomous newspaper published by the Management Undergraduate Society of McGill University. Editorial opinions expressed in the Bull & Bear are the sole responsibility of the Bull & Bear’s Editorial Board, and are not necessarily those of the University, MUS or their officers. The Bull & Bear is not responsible for the delivery of any goods or services sold or advertised through its sponsors or Business Directory and is not liable for loss or damage of whatever nature and extent resulting directly or indirectly from any use of the information made available by the newspaper and sponsors.

November 2011

Grad Photos

Hype Week

HR Sympo

November 1-17

Nov 7-11

Nov 18-20

Graduating students, get your photo taken and get a free yearbook! 514-499-9999

Get ready for some crazy nights at this year’s Hype Week: Baywatch edition.

Show off your skills in OB and HR over a weekend of academic, athletic, and social events. The Bull & Bear


News

Ian Burke Cameron, Lead Editor ian@bullandbear.ca

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Corporate Relations Team Leaves MUS Clubs and Events Underfunded Citing growing pains, communication gaps, and hiring problems, the team sees disappointing performance in its first year of operations and leaves events and clubs to find sponsorship for themselves Ian Burke Cameron, Alex Pajusi & Kristine Pinedo

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he MUS’ newly formed Corporate Relations Team (CR Team) has undergone significant structural changes after its disappointing performance since the beginning of the school year. The team, led by U3 management student Manuella Djuric, has redefined its precise role and shrunk its staff in the wake of disappointing performance. The team – originally consisting of roughly 20 members – was charged at the beginning of the summer with centralizing the sponsorship and advertising responsibilities of MUS clubs, events, and publications. Under the system, the CR Team would pitch events, clubs, and the MUS as a whole to corporations. They were also responsible for collecting money and passing it along to the appropriate co-chairs and VP Sponsorships. However, the team has so far failed to bring sufficient funding to projects other than Frosh and the production of the MUS agenda. With little to no financial support having materialized for the Graduating Case Competition, U2 Case Competition, and CASCO, the direction of the Corporate Relations Team has taken a turn, leaving it with a reduced staff of seven and a narrower mandate. By mid-October – two weeks after the staff was cut to seven members – the team had not pulled in any revenue for CASCO, an annual and highlyanticipated philanthropic event for management students. At that point, Djuric emailed event co-chairs, notifying them that the responsibility of approaching firms to secure sponsorship was now shared between the event committee and members of the CR Team. This left several events months behind in fundraising planning. The email also specified that clubs were to resume full control of their own fundraising activities. In an email commenting on this shift of responsibility, Djuric said that “...once school started it became a lot harder to reach companies due to recruitment and their budgets already having been allocated during the sumNovember 2011

Design by Olivia Siu

The cover page for the Corporate Relations program.

mer months to other universities as well as our own lives as fulltime students.” CASCO co-chairs Dahlia Lam and Eric Elofsson also spoke with The Bull & Bear, expressing their frustration with their event’s lack of funds. Elofsson echoed Fortin’s comments regarding a lack of commitment. He also identified a lack of communication as a major issue for the team. Lam added, “We don’t think we’re going to donate as much as we hoped.” MUS VP External Gaziza Tolkimbayeva – whose portfolio includes oversight of the CR Team – acknowledged this lack of communication as a past issue for the team, but is optimis-

tic that the newly implemented changes will “close the communication gap,” helping the team proceed with its mandate more effectively. MUS President Dave Fortin described the team as a “constant learning experience,” pointing out that few initiatives are executed perfectly the first time around. The idea to centralize MUS sponsorship efforts originated several years ago. According to Djuric, “Corporate Relations is something that’s been brainstormed for a while within the MUS.” Last year’s Executive committee drafted a package and assembled a small CR team, but they ultimately decided they

were not satisfied with the results and did not move forward with the initiative. In April, the incoming MUS appointed Djuric as Director of Corporate Relations and formally proceeded with the initiative. Fortin explained that, at the outset, they “did not receive the level of commitment [they] expected of people,” and changes were necessary to make the system work. Some ex-members of the team point to the dysfunctional structure of the group as the reason for this lack of commitment. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one former member stated that, “We weren’t really sure of what exactly was

expected of us at times and [the] constant entry and exiting of new members was confusing and discouraging.” The new MUS appointment policy, adopted February 28, 2011, states that any applicant to an MUS position must be interviewed by a panel consisting of the responsible Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors or another Executive Council member. Several current and former members, speaking anonymously, claim they were not hired according to these new appointment procedures. These members describe the hiring process as a casual conversation where Djuric asked them to join the team. Tolkimbayeva admits that the appointment policy was not followed in some cases, citing the difficulty in hiring during the summer months and the initial lack of applicants. In these cases, Djuric pitched potential candidates to Tolkimbayeva, who then approved them. “I certainly acknowledge that improvements need to be made to the future hiring process,” Tolkimbayeva said. In conjunction with the smaller staff and diffusion of responsibilities, the CR Team will now work closer with the MUS to ensure greater accountability. This has already begun, with Tolkimbayeva and Djuric meeting weekly to discuss the latest Corporate Relations matters, and it will continue with an upcoming Board of Directors meeting at which Djuric will give a full update on the status of the team. Looking forward, the MUS is confident that the CR Team will succeed in its goal of centralizing sponsorship responsibilities and solidifying long-term relationships with local firms. While the final result may not be as originally conceived, Fortin insists that the central idea remains intact and the objectives will be achieved. In the meantime, however, certain MUS clubs and events will have to deal with the unexpected responsibility of fundraising for themselves.

The Bull & Bear


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Monthly Markets

Ivan Di, Editor ivan@bullandbear.ca

Oil: Why So Much Drama? Fei Qui

Markets Writer

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il has been one of the most important commodities since industrialization. If you understand the importance of oil, then you’d know why it is one of the widely discussed topics alongside politics and celebrity news stories. Right now the world consumes about 83 million barrels of oil per day. The US alone consumes around 19 mmbpd. Only 13% of oil reserves are accessible to international companies, the rest are state owned or controlled. The demand for energy is projected to be 60% to 100% higher in 25 years. It takes on average about 10 years to discover oil and get to full production. The EIA predicts that by 2030, we would need to find the equivalent of 5 new Saudi Arabia’s in order to satisfy demand just in the US. But what about emerging markets like China and India? Non-OECD countries’ incremental oil demand is 1.6 mmbpd. Given an average supply growth of only 0.6 mmpd, OECD countries will need to consume 7.1 mmbpd less. Total crude oil demand grew by 4.3 mmbpd while supply grew by only 2.7 mmbpd from 2005 to 2010. What this means is that the rest of the supply must come from biofuel production or natural gas liquids. Oil production from traditional sources is reducing, so what are our alternatives? Oil sands and oil shale. But these types of non-conventional oil are highly energy intensive and expensive to extract. The consensus is that oil prices will continue its upward trend in the long term, but to what extent and at what cost? We

Average Upper End Lower End E&P’s Now

must remember that every time the price of oil reaches beyond the $120/barrel level, the US has been in a recession or at least face threats of growth or recovery. Some might wonder whether natural gas will have upward potential when oil prices rise; well, oil and natural gas are substitutes. Theoretically companies should switch to natural gas when it is more economical

than oil. But the required capital expenditure to make the switch would make most companies think twice. In the short run, oil prices track the market very closely. A general sense of uncertainty concerning global recovery and growth makes short-term oil prices highly volatile. Shortterm price movements are determined by investors’ expecta-

tions about the future state of the world economy. A good example is shown on October 28th, oil prices had its biggest gain since February, with the WTI spot rising to $93.31/barrel, after data showed that the U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in a year, and the European leaders has finally agreed on a plan to control its debt crisis. If you don’t want to invest

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) topped Wall Street targets, with net income and revenue up 17 and 29 percent respectively, pro-

In energy, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) reported that its earnings more than doubled with profits rising to $3.92 per share, compared to the $3.42 estimate, mainly due to rising oil prices. However America’s second largest oil company had its oil and gas output decrease to 2.6 million barrels per day and again lowered expectations for full year output. Large oil companies continue to have a problem with increasing production in the current economic environment. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) more than doubled its equipment mining sales

P/CF 5

EV/ EBITDAX 5.2

5.5

5.8

4.4

4.2

4.3

4.1

in oil futures or ETFs because of the short-term volatility or that you simply just don’t like them, you can always consider oil exploration or production companies. Let’s look at two valuation metrics for large cap E&P’s here: It seems that large cap oil E&P’s are undervalued relative to their historical level, but we should keep in mind that their price levels are still well above their 2008 lows. If we run into another recession, there is a huge possibility that we will see another dip in these companies’ stock prices. But for now, the word on the street is that analysts are expecting great earnings reports from oil levered E&P’s this quarter. Just for fun: The Republican candidates in the US is seriously attacking the EPA and emphasizing that the enforcements of clean air and water actually hurt employment. Without such institutions as the EPA, companies would have no more incentive to keep the air and water clean, but all the incentives to save costs by switching to coal from oil and natural gas. Less demand for oil would send prices downward, and many economists argue that low oil price levels stimulate the economy and promote growth. While all that is exactly what we need right now, what are the costs that will be incurred that we will have to pay for in the future?

Earnings Season Update Magid Awad Markets Writer

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ince 1980, the S&P 500 has been up 68 percent of the time in the month of October, this year being no exception with its biggest monthly rally since 1974. This was due to a variety of factors including a recent deal struck in Europe, but strong earnings certainly helped the situation. Up till now 20 percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported their results; here are a few highlights: IBM (NYSE:IBM) beat anaNovember 2011

lysts’ estimates for net income but fell short on the revenue targets, highlighting worries that due to economic weakness corpora-

Chevron reporter that its earnings more than doubled

tions and government organizations will continue to spend less on their products. In contrast,

viding some sense of ease for investors wary of the weak state of the global computer market.

this past quarter due to rising precious metal prices and saw its profits increase to $1.14 billion from last year’s $714 million. Elsewhere in industrials, United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) reported solid earnings with both top line and bottom line beats. While the past quarter saw legitimate bear markets for industrials, the sector’s strong performance doesn’t seem to justify the significant sell off that occurred, and also suggests that corporate America has found a way to continue to make money in this below average economic growth environment. The Bull & Bear


Monthly Markets

Ivan Di, Editor ivan@bullandbear.ca

5

Apple Inc.: Always The One To Defy Market Forces Sameer Rizvi Markets Writer

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n October 5th, 2011, Steve Jobs, one of the most brilliant visionaries of the modern era, passed away, leaving behind one of the world’s most valuable firm - Apple. Apple Inc. surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization in 2010 with an 84% increase to $153.3 billion. After exceeding Exxon Mobil during the trading day on August 9th, 2011, Apple briefly took over the number one spot as the world’s most valuable company before Exxon reclaimed the top spot following a decline in Apple’s stocks. However, this is all outdated news. What is most intriguing is how markets analysts, technology fanatics, and apple enthusiasts alike predicted that Apple would be in grave danger if Jobs’ cancer condition caused his demise. Similarly, it was predicted that if Apple released the iPhone 4S rather than the iPhone 5, the demand for the product would be adversely affected. Theoretically, these forecasts seem to be based on logical and deductive thinking. Nevertheless, all these projections proved to be wrong – Apple seemed to defy all the standard market forces that would have fractured any other XYZ firm. Not only did Apple seem to walk way unharmed, but also announced the “highest September quarter

revenue and earnings ever”. On October 18, 2011, Apple® announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended September 24, 2011 – revenue of $28.27 billion, quarterly net profit of $6.62 billion, and $7.05 per diluted share. Gross margin was 40.3% compared to 36.9% in the year-ago quarter. As a matter of fact, the company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 21% unit growth over the year-ago quarter. To top this off, the figure below shows that neither of the “predicted” events caused dips

in the share prices. In fact, share prices have risen 11.6% from October 3rd to the 18th – if this is not indicative of Apple’s extraordinary performance, then nothing is. Arguably, the most crucial takeaway from these recent financial happenings is that Steve Jobs’ contributions have already been so entrenched in the company’s culture that his presence no longer carries any significant corporate value. So much so that the markets have started to believe that Apple will still be strong without him.

Apple seemed to defy all the standard market forces that would have fractured any other XYZ firm

EFSF Update Christian Sullivan Markets Writer

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he European Commission, after a 10 hour meeting lasting until 4am on October 27, has agreed to expand the capacity of the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) to 1tn euro in response to the ongoing sovereign debt crisis. Shortly after the meeting, European President José Manuel Barroso stated that ”Europe has taken important steps forward... the package we have agreed tonight is a comprehensive package that confirms that Europe will do what it takes to safeguard financial stability...this is a marathon, not a sprint.” It is a marathon that has not been free from attempted mutiNovember 2011

ny. In the third week of October, the parliament of the Slovak Republic initially voted ”no” to enlarging the already €440 billion strong European Financial Stability Faculty (EFSF), which is the body tasked with overseeing loans and bailout funds distributed to eurozone members. Two days later, and after a reorganisation of the coalition government and allegiances within the Slovak parliament, the vote was easily passed. With unanimous consent of all Eurozone members affected, the EFSF will have its capital guarantee expanded to €780 billion. The EFSF saga doesn’t end there. After the meeting of October 27th, the European Council announced that the member states had come to an agreement to further expand the

fund to €1 trillion. This will be accomplished not by larger contributions from each Eurozone member as in the case of previous increases, but will done by offering insurance to purchasers of members’ debt—a practice that has been blamed as one of the causes of the crisis in the first place. Furthermore, Klaus Regling who is chief executive of the EFSF has entered into ”informal” talks with China amid suggestions that he will try and sell China on investing into the EFSF, and possibly boosting the fund by a further €70 billion. It is still too early to say what will become of this, but Mr Regling was quoted by the BBC last month saying that ”[he is] optimistic that [China and the EFSF] will have a longer term relationship”. The Bull & Bear


News

6

Ian Burke Cameron, Lead Editor ian@bullandbear.ca

Desautels Career Services Launches Mentoring Program Alvira Rao News Writer

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areer Services at Desautels launched the “Mentoring Program” this term, connecting several U3 students in the BCom program with recent graduates who have started using their management skills in the real world. The program is aimed at offering students who will soon be entering the working world another resource to guide them in their search for a job, develop their professional skill set as well as their networking abilities. The first seeds of the program were sown two summers ago, when a benchmarking study comparing Desautels’ BCom program with Management programs throughout Canadian universities such as Western, UBC and University of Toronto, as well as the Wharton School in the United States, showed that a closer relationship of the university with alumni often correlated with a higher placement rate of

graduating students. Thus arose the Mentoring Program, with twofold benefits: it would help students by offering them a useful new resource in the notoriously difficult jobsearch process, while at the same

sired field. “The mentor-mentee pairs are matched according to what the mentor is looking for in a mentee, and vice-versa,” says Johan Mady, the Business Development Manager co-leading the program, “it provides a safe place

relationships and find out about job search strategies and career planning, a medium through which to learn how people got to the place you want to be. Johan Mady describes the program as an “incubator”: a safe

The Mentoring Program ensures that students are connected with alumni that have relevant experience in the student’s desired field.

time allowing the university, and specifically the BCom program, to foster a closer relationship with its alumni. The Mentoring Program ensures that students are connected with alumni that have relevant experience in the student’s de-

for students to ask questions and sort out uncertainties.” And it does exactly that: who other than someone that has already been through the process to provide the most relevant information? This is the perfect platform through which to build

place for you to make mistakes that students wouldn’t want to make in the real world. A mentor can provide various thingsthey can guide students with the major “Do’s” and “Don’ts,” give them advice on the interview process, or simply tell them

about how they got to where they are now. U3 students in the program have now been paired with their mentors, most of whom are working in Montreal or Toronto. The information session on October 28th was a first meeting for many of the pairs, and it is expected that the relationships will be fostered over the coming year. “It’s up to the student to manage the relationship and ensure they gain as much from the opportunity as they can,” says Zahra Ladhani, a Career Advisor co-leading the program. Many of the world’s most renowned actors, musicians, writers and poets have had mentors to guide them along their way and inform them about their field. What would have become of Wallace Stegner if not for Robert Frost? Where would Harry be if not for Dumbledore? And would “Eminem” connote anything other than candy without Dr. Dre’s mentorship? It’s a tough world out there, and one more helping hand won’t hurt.

Dave’s Store Modifies Inventory, Services adding more variety to their merchandise means that they will also be selling stationary in the New Year; their paper, pens, highlighters, and pencils are all expected to be cheaper than what the McGill Bookstore currently offers. Students can still find McGill-labelled sweatshirts and sweatpants, which are currently on sale for $25 each.

David Lin Lead Opinion Editor

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ave’s Store, McGill’s only student-run retailer, has major plans for the coming semester. The popular Bronfman business plans to introduce new inventory and incentive programs to attract more customers from the McGill community. The incentive programs have just been implemented this week while new inventory is expected to arrive for January. Yu-Rong Fan and Edward Shapiro, Dave’s co-general managers, say that the store’s strengths lie in their excellent inventory management, amiable work culture, and competitive pricing schemes. The non-profit business reinvests all of their profits, and this year they plan to leverage these strengths and invest in new merchandise that will make their store more accessible and convenient for students. Course packs At Dave’s, “Everyday is a promotion,” says Shapiro. Starting this year Management course packs, most of which are sold exclusively at Dave’s, will become even cheaper as the 5% PST gets slashed. Because these course packs are now given ISBN’s by November 2011

Courtesy of Dave’s Store

Francisco Barrio, a Dave’s Store Sales Assistant

McGill, they are labelled as educational products and as such, are not PST taxable. Starting in January, Dave’s will implement a new inventory management system whereby course packs will be ordered according to not only the number of registered students per class, but will be reordered in sync with assignment deadlines. Students can therefore expect fresh copies to be in stock days prior to when assignments and cases are due. This strategy ensures that students can always obtain assignments from course packs when they need them most. The managers of Dave’s recommends that the best time

of the year to buy course packs is still the start of each semester and advise students to come between 6 pm and 8 pm to avoid the line-ups. New merchandise Dave’s best selling products by volume are currently their 5 cent candies. Notwithstanding their successes, the store plans to deviate from a snacks-only model to venture into selling quick meals, including instant noodles and frozen meals, the latter of which will be stored in a new freezer. Their line of new food products will also include healthier snacks. Their goal of

New incentive programs Starting this week Dave’s will introduce a new program to seek out spokespeople for the store. To become a Dave’s spokesperson, students need to have their picture taken in store, holding either Dave’s merchandise or a product featuring their logo. The new spokespeople will have their pictures put on Dave’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook. com/Daves.Store2290) and will be compensated with a bag of 5 cent candies. Each person may apply to become a spokesperson only once. Customers can also enter into a photo contest in which they would take a photo of themselves with the Dave’s Store logo featured in the picture and submit it directly to Dave’s Facebook page. The picture with the most “likes” by the end of the contest period wins, with the owner enjoying rewards in the form of a handsome store tab.

Community outreach Dave’s Store strives to be an active supporter of student organizations. This year Dave’s is encouraging student clubs to sell their event tickets through the store, in conjunction to regular tabling on campus. Clubs will then enjoy the benefits of an even larger customer pool, extended hours of sales (8 pm closing time as opposed to 5 pm for tabling in the Bronfman lobby), and more payment options, including cash, debit or credit. The store will then write a single check to the club once the sales period ends. Dave’s is also supporting student entrepreneurs by serving as a retail point for such businesses as “Like Muthins,” a local bakery run by two McGill students. Dave’s resells their muffins at a lower price than Sinfully Asian, the Bronfman cafeteria. Now hiring Dave’s Store is now hiring a junior book-keeper for the 20122013 school year, whose duties include keeping track of payrolls, managing inventory, and accounting for taxes. Students can apply online through Dave’s Facebook page. The store currently operates with 11 employees, including two co-managers.

The Bull & Bear


News

Ian Burke Cameron, Lead Editor ian@bullandbear.ca

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CASE COMPETITION (CONTD FROM PAGE 1) analysis, financial information and future forecasts. It is the students’ job to define the problem within the context of the case and consider alternative ways to proceed, eventually selecting one and building a recommendation around it. All the while, students must consider the financial implications and justification of their strategy. At Nanyang, all of this is done within 40 hours. Once 40 hours have elapsed, students have 15 minutes of presentation time to convince a panel of judges that their strategy is best suited to ensure the firm’s future success. Following the presentation, teams face fifteen minutes of questioning from the judges who push the teams on their strategy. These judges are typically representatives from the event’s sponsors. This year, McGill’s judges included the Chief Financial Officer of HSBC Asia and a Senior Partner of the accounting firm Deloitte, among others. ABCC features three divisions with three schools in each division. The top team from each division advances to the final round, where they present for a second time in front of a new panel of judges in an auditorium filled with participants, advisors, faculty, and other guests. Following the presentations, the judges deliberate and declare a winner. This year’s case was based on the pharmaceutical industry and was written about the Indian generic-drug manufacturer (Ranbaxy Ltd.) that has recently been acquired by the Japanese innovator-drug manufacturer (Daiichi-Sankyo Ltd.). Three important considerations arose in the case. First was the issue of Ranbaxy’s recent shutout of the US market at the hands of the US FDA because of poor quality control. The second issue was the lack of synergies created as a result of the acquisition of Ranbaxy by Daiichi. And third was the recent trend in the global pharmaceutical industry that showed an influx of innovator-drug companies acquiring generic-drug companies in order to sell their products through existing generic channels in the developing world. Based on these issues, the question of the case was: how should Ranbaxy’s management proceed? McGill’s strategy was aimed at helping the conglomerate achieve a higher level of synergy and sustainable growth while at

The McGill team at ABCC (left to right): Chris Hartman, Sarah Chow, Sumira Jayabalan, and Sam Latham.

the same time addressing quality control issues. McGill argued that this could be done by leveraging Ranbaxy’s extensive selling and distribution network in India to bring Daiichi’s innovator-drug products to market in a country with an exploding middle class; a middle class that is looking to purchase new innovator-drugs to treat a growing list of lifestyle diseases. Part of this strategy was aimed at consolidating the focus of each firm’s R&D departments into a centralized unit to achieve additional synergies in the value chain. Finally, McGill suggested addressing problems with the FDA in the United States by setting up internal quality control practices and entrenching “honesty and integrity” as part of Ranbaxy’s core values. McGill finished second in their division to the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) from Australia, who eventually went on to win the competition. In the end the judges were looking for a strategy that focused on the US market. QUT’s strategy was centered on the US, and implementing 6-Sigma to the business. Other established case-schools in attendance were NTU (the host school), Maastricht University of the Netherlands, and Thammasat University of Thailand. The University of Florida, and the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) rounded out the top three teams to reach the finals. Overall the McGill team was proud of the recommendation that developed out of their 40-

Photo courtesy of Sam Latham

hour crack. Said Sarah Chow: “We gave it our all, and we left it all out there. We tried to think outside the box and take a different approach to the classic ‘go to the US for everything’. All in all, we have absolutely no regrets.” The team would like to thank Professor Richard Donovan for all the work he has done in preparing them for competition. He has had a tremendous positive impact on the case program at McGill, and McGill would not have made it as far as they did without his constant support. More Case Competitions Coming Up for McGill: Each year the Desautels Faculty of Management sends students to case competitions around the world to learn in a unique and challenging environment while representing the university. The Nanyang trip is the first on the calendar, and it will be followed by trips to Georgetown University (to defend the first-place title won by McGill last year), Northeastern University in Boston, Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, USC in California, and Bronfman’s own McGill Management International Case Competition (MMICC) that is hosted at McGill every March. Students selected to represent McGill are all graduates of Professor Donovan’s Case Presentation and Analysis Class, which is open to BCom students. Questions regarding involvement with cases at McGill can be forwarded to Richard Donovan.

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November 2011

The Bull & Bear


Lifestyle

8

Kristine Pinedo, Lead Editor kristine@bullandbear.ca

The Hot Plate: Getting Steamy in the Kitchen Exclusive interview with creator of 2010 Dobson Cup Winner Dan A. Novick Lifestyle Writer

T

he Hot Plate, a cooking show website, launched by McGill students in 2009, provides delicious, fresh and cost effective meal ideas for students. Their goal? “To inspire culinary confidence.” The Hot Plate was first created and produced as a show on TVMcGill by April Engelberg and Amanda Garbutt. Engelberg admits, “I was not very good at cooking in second year. It became obvious after residence when I had to cook for myself. I noticed that Amanda was excellent at cooking and teaching people how to cook.” Engelberg, already a producer at TVMcGill, convinced Garbutt to host a new cooking show. This is when The Hot Plate was born. What began as a fun side project for Engelberg and Garbutt was eventually transformed

into a successful student-run business venture. In December 2009, Garbutt was included in a list of the top 100 home cooks by Saveur Magazine. In February 2010, The Hot Plate was featured in the Montreal Gazette and Globe and Mail on the same day. Garbutt was a special guest cook at a sold-out class at Loblaws Cavendish cooking school in April 2010, which resulted in The Hot Plate being featured on CTV Montreal. The Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, part of the Desautels Faculty of Management, provided Engelberg and Garbutt the tools to reinvent The Hot Plate as a for-profit business. The Dobson Cup is an annual opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas. According to the Dobson website, “Participants whose concepts demonstrate the most innovation, viability and growth potential are awarded over $15,000 in prize money along

with prestige that is associated with the accomplishment. All entrants benefit from the competition as the panel of distinguished judges, whom are all McGill alumni or faculty, offer helpful recommendations to help grow and advance each business idea.” After the preliminary round, Engelberg and Garbutt were given the opportunity to rework their business plan while taking into account the judges’ recommendations. “Having business experts give you the feedback to transform your business plan was instrumental,” Engelberg noted. After they reworked their entire business plan according to the judges’ advice, they returned for the final round. They were awarded the 2010 Dobson Cup, defeating many business plans created by MBA students. “This was an emotional and really big day for Amanda and I. Even though we had gotten press, we were not a business at that time.” The Hot Plate was registered as a

business right after they won the Dobson Cup. While they were both Arts students, Engelberg completed a Minor in Management, which allowed her to start a business not completely blind of the business world. Now, Engelberg and Garbutt make their profit “primarily through sponsorships, product placements on the show, and advertising on the website.” Engelberg has several recommendations for students interested in creating their own start-up. “Choose something that you enjoy. If you’re going to work with any one on it, choose someone that sees your passion and that you see yourself working well with. Think of what the goal of your business will be first, and then figure out how to monetize it after that.” While she loves all of The Hot Plate’s recipes, one of Engelberg’s favourites is trout baked in parchment paper. It takes only about 10 minutes to prepare. The

Photo courtesy of The Hot Plate

recipe, as well as around a hundred delicious others, are available on the website. The Gazette noted that “The Hot Plate offers higher learning in the kitchen, with fun, easy-to-make recipes at the university community and beyond.” These days, both Engelberg and Garbutt have graduated from McGill, but they still take The Hot Plate very seriously. “It’s now our number one focus.” They plan to continue to expand and become the leading source for all things regarding culinary confidence. www.thehotplate.com

Checks and Balances: Changes in MUS Governance An examination on how MUS is changing, and changing our lives Dann Bibas Opinion Writer

Several newly adopted reforms across all facets of the MUS are finally coming to fruition, with executives, board members and clubs working tirelessly to keep pace with the ever so busy back-to-school season. This year marks the first time a standard membership fee of $10 for any MUS affiliated club is required. These changes were implemented with the intention of levelling the playing field amongst clubs; some have long benefited fromm hefty membership fees while those choosing not to have often been plagued with financial setbacks. Also, MUS club policy now states that the number of club executives should not exceed 10% of its respective total membership. MUS President Dave Fortin is confident that such a benchmark would serve as a strong incentive for the existing executives to increase their club’s membership and deliver value to their members. Onto matters of constitutional proportions – a Fall 2010 committee of 13 students voiced concerns over the organizational structure of the MUS, and subsequently formulated a November 2011

prospective solution which was loosely inspired by the structure currently used by the Commerce Undergraduate Society at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. Aimed towards creating a model where the student-elected directors appoint the most suitable executives to “increase accountability of the executive council”, this council seeks to “establish long-term focus for MUS, and ensure adequate candidates are running the operations of MUS”. The student body showed very strong support for the suggested reforms in the winter semester referendum, as expressed by the 92.4% approval rate. The Désautels student body now votes for one President, nine Academic Area representatives, one SSMU representative, one Management Senator and a single representative to look over all the clubs. Thus, the thirteen members of the board of directors who are entitled to vote at MUS board meetings are also trusted as the student leaders responsible for establishing a more long-term strategy for the MUS. These thirteen board members will then vote for the executive council members to occupy the six available higher positions. Does this model sound familiar? Of course it does – it’s a cor-

Photos courtesy of Thuymi Do | www.thuymido.com

MUS executive Dave Fortin (left) and Gaby Abou Merhi (right) lead us through this period of change

poration. This new corporationesque governing scheme looks to wash away any operating inefficiencies that have been hindering to the long-term vision and effectiveness of our “firm”. These two distinct executive and board entities, although separate, can now work together to better the offerings available to students

within our faculty. Also, such a structure requires the involvement of more student leaders across the MUS than earlier formats, meaning more student input will influence decisionmaking than previously entailed. Most importantly, executive council members will now have to regularly respond to the board

members who appointed them, making executives far more accountable than ever before for their actions. This two-tiered system will ensure that the shareholder’s (or the Bronfmanite’s) best interest will always remain a priority. Well done MUS, you’re almost ready to go public! The Bull & Bear


Opinion

David Lin, Lead Editor david@bullandbear.ca

9

Online Vigilantism: The Legion of Anonymous Jessica Simmonds Opinion Editor

On Saturday, October 29, Anonymous released a video message calling for the release of one of its members from the grips of the Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel. The man in the video, masked and dressed in a suit, threatens to publish identities and addresses of businesses and individuals associated with the cartel. This threat appears as the most recent public statement put forth by Anonymous, a collective of individuals that operate online, hacking with the goal of spreading and protecting free speech and Internet freedom. As the members of Anonymous are unknown in size and location, the group is able to carry out untraceable denial of service attacks on the websites of organizations opposed to the group’s goals and general philosophy. In response to the censorship both of WikiLeaks documents and revolutionary protests, websites operated by the governments of Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco have been targets. While some sites are overloaded to the point of no longer functioning, Anonymous uses others as platforms to make statements and rally support. The Syrian Ministry of Defense website experienced a very public attack in August of 2011, in which Anonymous spoke out against the “brutal regime” of president Bashar Al-Assad through a graphic that replaced the normal contents of the site. When a group of women protestors at Occupy Wall Street were pepper-sprayed without provocation by NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, Anonymous was moved to identify him and publish his personal information online. While Anonymous has certainly earned a name for itself as the most noble, technology-en-

Anonymous | The Bull & Bear

Photo Caption

abled group to strike equal parts fear and annoyance in the hearts of these oppressive entities, there is much criticism surrounding the group’s capability and influence. Supported by legions of everyday computer users, there is no doubt that the skills of some of the most creative and computational minds are leveraged by Anonymous. Their messages of condemnation and hope are much needed in rough times characterized by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. We are at a point where governments and their subsidiaries should be advocating change rather than resisting it. With reports of police-

driven violence becoming more and more common, Anonymous is effective in actualizing its collective distrust of law enforcement officers by forcing online humiliation of quickly-identified offenders. However, what some find admirable, others find useless. U1 philosophy student Jordan Whitten purports, “Anonymous takes on important causes, but there isn’t much they can do beyond gathering information.” His critique is valid in how Anonymous truly is composed of teenagers at their keyboards, judging by the hackers that have been “caught” for their attacks.

Anonymous, the group that talks big, is reduced by some to a legion of computer nerds trying to start a fight through revealing government secrets and identities. With their latest operation against the Zetas – a cartel with guns, money, and power – publishing the syndicate’s information may lead to a battle no one is prepared for. It may lead to the persecution of individuals threatened with death, forced into compliance with the Zetas. It may lead to the Zetas kidnapping more innocents. What is regularly contained within the online sandbox is beginning to spill over into reality. While

seeking justice, free speech, and freedom is never a bad thing, hiding under the blanket of anonymity may make for people that claim no responsibility for the blood spilled due to their collective actions. That said, transparency is corruption’s greatest enemy. The decentralized nature of Anonymous makes its agents threatening in their ubiquity. It is clear that the Internet is this century’s most powerful social tool, and leveraging it to reveal truths about the world’s most significant political and religious institutions and leaders is one sure way to empower the people.

Occupy Wall Street protesters start preparing for a long winter. 2 hours ago

Follow @MUSBullAndBear on Twitter for breaking news and stories November 2011

The Bull & Bear


Opinion

10

David Lin, Lead Editor david@bullandbear.ca

Let Them Eat Pitch Books

A shot across the bows of the “Occupy Wall Street” madness Tarun Koshy Opinion Writer

There was once a time when the best way to scare your parents was to announce that you were going to be a lawyer or a politician. Now, it seems being a Wall Street banker does the trick. With the growing hysteria of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, the stigma of banking has been given a metaphorical face at which to direct public anger. Now, I find myself in the tough situation of recognizing the real plight of those hurt by the financial collapse while defending the career I choose to follow. I do not ignore the fact that many are now unfairly destitute because of the actions of the few, but as with most frenzied movements, I find that the mass protests are based on attention-grabbing, manipulated ideals that gather much support but little base – something I simply cannot gloss over. On their official website, Occupy Wall Street states they are a “horizontally organized resistance movement employing the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to restore democracy in America.” Aside from the mildly radical tone, this mission statement is as vague as George Bush’s reasons to invade Iraq. Just when exactly did America lose its democracy that it needed restoring? And what is revolutionary about the “Arab Spring” tactic of protesting? What is the difference between vertically and horizontally organized resistance movements? Change isn’t just some grand, all-encompassing movement that will suddenly happen after screaming in the town square; it needs to be precise and have clearly-defined outcomes. A recent CNN article suggests the contrary, that Occupy Wall Street has already achieved its goal of sparking anger as a symbol. However, while this type of movement makes a great metaphorical statement, it is also utterly ineffective. Without specific goals, change becomes some vague ideal that everyone loves to talk about but no one really knows how to approach. Furthermore, the lack of focus not only makes the movement vague, but also detracts from its strength. Without a defining point, every Tom, Dick and Harry can spout on about what he thinks is the real reason Occupy Wall Street is happening – and the media have a field day with this. “Broadcasters” like Fox News can go even further by implicitly suggesting the movement November 2011

David Shankbone

Protesters belonging to the “99%” demonstrate at Zuccotti Park, New York City

is ineffective simply by interviewing ten different people who say ten different reasons for what the movement stands for. Essentially, what Occupy Wall Street thinks gives it strength through diversity, really hinders its credibility as a genuine movement. Yes, there are real people out there who are jobless, indebted and poor. Yes, some of them got entirely and unfairly affected by the investment banks. Yes, this movement also represents those people who cannot afford to protest their conditions. It is, to quote the slogan, truly the 99% against the 1%. Very catchy, and it makes for a great rally-aroundthe-flag call, but like any attack, the slogan both dehumanizes and demonizes the victim by portraying it as a faceless evil; easy to despise but difficult to confront. The 1%, in essence, represents all the misfortune every American has ever experienced; every layoff, loan payment, and scam, all neatly packaged with the label “Wall Street.” That’s why everyone so loves to support the movement: it’s a glorified piñata and everyone gets to take a whack. The problem is that these mass anger-venting sessions have little future. From 1963 till 1973, anti-Vietnam War protests took place across the world. Hundreds of students took to New York’s Times Square on May 2nd, 1964 while 700 marched in San Francisco. Sure, these protests went on for 10 years but when did the war end? April 30th, 1975 – when Saigon fell. In parallel, the Occupy Wall Street protests have been going since September 17th and, while bearing consid-

erably more protesters, there is no real end in sight. Unlike the Vietnam protests which had an outcome of the US pulling out of the war, no one can seriously think the US will find its marbles and realize that they’ve been stupid all along. There is no “D’oh” moment where the US will cease unbridled capitalism and redistribute profits from the rich to the poor. The fact of the matter is that while unbridled capitalism is dangerous due to the potential for unregulated activity, it is also what made the US an economic powerhouse. Taking risk is what gave the US banks an edge over the world in selling commercial paper, it’s what gave companies the guts to go out on a limb and try that new type of operation or use the owner’s life savings to in-

vest in that technology that paid off. Risk is what allows many to obnoxiously chant “USA” over and over - it is fundamental to the American spirit. What the blissfully ignorant folks chanting outside Wall Street fail to realize, however, is that every pro has a countering con. What allowed the US to have skyrocketing profits in the past will also have magnified downsides – a fundamental concept of leverage that every business student understands. Of course, now that the honeymoon has ended and the downside has slapped everyone like a bad pickup line, the grass is suddenly greener on the other side and putting capitalism on a leash is the way to go. In a distinctly accusatory

piece by economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times, Mr. Krugman examines the current movement and suggests that Wall Street’s silence is the result of realizing how “morally indefensible” their position is. While I am inclined to agree to some extent with Mr. Krugman, I must ask: what more does one need? The world already has an admission of guilt, of deliberate choice to use client funds, of wrongdoing. Some have called for indictments. Really? Yes, Wall Street is wrong and the American people have a right to protest the unfair punishments given the effects. But rather than attack individuals and push for jail time, use the advantage to push for progress. There are completely valid reasons for anger against Wall Street. Over the past few years, investigations have shown the poor state of internal controls, improper oversight and major operational flaws. Furthermore, one cannot deny the iron tight influence Wall Street has over national finances and its impact over the past three years – if one industry can bring a country to its knees in a matter of months, no amount of denying can change the fact that something isn’t entirely right. But this article isn’t to deny the flaws; it’s to highlight the weakness of the accusations. Not once have I heard protesters demonstrate they understand the extent of those flaws. Rather than protesting about the ineffective banking and trading platforms, I’m inundated with cheap shots decrying bankers’ personal lives. I sincerely wish there will be positive change in Wall Street, but if Occupy Wall Street is trying to do the same, there needs to be cohesive and intelligent protests rather than schoolyard bullying antics. I support those people who are struggling with real problems and are making an effort to move up rather than blame an imaginary, metaphorical boogie-monster. The troubles you go through are something I can never fathom and hope others don’t have to experience. However, don’t be so eager to assume that staging grand protests without a defined outcome will change anything. I suggest Occupy Wall Street gets its act together. If the only interest and goal of the movement is to get a bunch of people screaming, banging drums and wearing bandanas without any distinct goal, then they’d better get used to being pigeonholed as immature and ineffective for a very long time. The Bull & Bear


The Last Word

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Hot or Not

Our guide to your next opinionated conversation

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Siri

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MUS Fee Increase

SUS Execs Get iPhones

Habs Dismal Season Opening

Halloween Walk of Shame

Adele Throat Surgery McGill Slips in Times Higher Education Ranking

Celine Junke Returns Herman Cain Smoking Ad

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Herman Cain 999 Plan

The Myth Of The 1 Percent Separating the rich from the wealthy Dan Sorek Opinion Writer

For years it’s been the focal point of American political debate. Whether at the local and state levels, Congress, or the White House, the rhetoric of the one percent has managed to sneak itself into the discourse of every politician on the left. And who can blame them? At first glance it is true, and very shocking to find out that the top 1 percent of income earners make more collectively than the bottom 90 percent. It’s even more surprising to learn from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that in the period from 1979-2007, the top 1 percent’s income rose 275 percent, outweighing the 18 percent growth rate felt among the bottom fifth of taxpayers. One can’t help but feel angry knowing that so much is concentrated among so few; the facts are clear, invigorating,

and they work to arouse people’s emotions. It’s precisely for those reasons that the Occupy Wall Street campaign has expanded so widely in so little time, and that President Barack Obama constantly references this group when trying to every great bailout of his. But those who care to think would look more deeply in to these statistics. Indeed, one must consider what exactly it means to be in the 1%. According to the Hoover Institution’s Thomas Sowell, an economist at a think tank under Stanford University’s wing, the income needed to join this prestigious group in the past five years was $90 000 and $150 000 for individuals and households respectively. These figures were generated and released directly by the Internal Revenue Service (The American tax authority), as were those detailing that more than half who were in the top 1 percent or the bot-

tom 25 percent in 1996 were no longer there in 2005. Together, they paint a sobering landscape that stands in stark contrast to the epic scene of class conflict between corporations and organized labour, millionaires and regular folks, or university principals and readers of the McGill Daily. America has become the land where fears of income inequality have clouded the facts of how the middle-class is now considered the elite and that the majority of individuals paying the upper limit of taxes will not be permanently earning the most money. In other words, effective political imagery has taken centre stage over the reality of American income mobility. How did it get to this point? It all started with certain assumptions. Income is merely one source of earnings that contributes alongside others -such as the investment in, and ownerships of

assets like publicly traded stock or a house- to an individual’s collective wealth. It’s really only one piece of the pie. In fact, for investment oracle Warren Buffett, it forms a very small part of their pie. Indeed, in 2011 his income was a mere $65 million, compared to a $40 billion dollar fortune based primarily in stock holdings. To add, only $40 million of that income was eligible for tax collection. A similar situation would be that of a medical resident earning $30 000 a year for five years, or a retired couple living off $40 000 a year. Both appear to be poor, and destined for the bottom fifth, but the former will certainly earn more once he earns his full qualifications and the latter is well off considering the $300 000 of savings with which they could afford to live. The real problem is that the government, in all of the above instances, has created policies

in response to a faulty notion of inequality. Spending bills that will increase transfer payments to “those who need it most” and a tax code that will levy a burden at first-glance appearance is doomed to failure because benefits would be going to those who are capable of maintaining their independence. Furthermore, those who could use more help are now wrongly considered rich and undeserving of funds. If people are going to talk about the 1 percent, they should understand more fully who the group includes. For it might as well be students like us who, ten years after graduating, find ourselves wanting to start families with the average income of two white-collar workers only to see it taken away. Who are we? We are the 1 percent, and apparently we are being occupied.

The Second Floor a photo blog by Holly Sherlock bullandbear.ca November 2011

The Bull & Bear


Opinion

12

David Lin, Lead Editor david@bullandbear.ca

Editorial: Say No to the MUS Fee Increase

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he upcoming MUS referendum has created considerable controversy, particularly in regards to the proposed $5 levy. The fee hike would support the MUS’s new plans for making our faculty more sustainable and competitive. The MUS’s efforts at helping us become more sustainable are laudable and deserve the attention and participation of all Bronfmanites. However, a quick glance at the budget breakdown for this $5 levy shows that funds allocated for sustainability initiatives represent the smallest por-

tion of the fee increase, as the majority would go towards the creation of a new Ambassador Fund and the funding of MUS clubs. The proposed Ambassador Fund finances students’ participation in case competitions both locally (like JDC) and internationally (like the recent Asian Business Case Competition). Our student governing body clearly conceived this plan with the best intentions, but we believe they have incorrectly assigned the fundraising responsibility to the students.

VOTE or DIE!

The MUS has promoted the fee increase with the slogan “Give More, Get More.” Although all students would give more, only a select few would benefit from the fund. Such a small percentage of BCom students are interested in participating in these external events, and even fewer of us are actually selected to compete. Clearly there is a disproportionate balance of payments when so many of us are sponsoring events in which so few are direct benefactors of the rewards. It is true that higher rankings in case competitions from

McGill teams reflect well on the faculty’s reputation. In that sense, our case team representatives should be recognized and applauded. However, these students travel as McGill representatives and enhance the Desautels name; if their participation is to be subsidized, the responsibility lies with the McGill and Desautels administrations, not with the students. Moreover, to use an increased MUS fee to fund clubs is particularly troubling given the recent failure of the Corporate Relations Team to secure suffi-

cient funding for recent events. The MUS should redouble its efforts to stabilize this team and attract corporate funding rather than look to students to subsidize this funding deficiency. The MUS is right to encourage increased participation in case competitions and build greater international respect for Desautels students. But to ask the entire student body to contribute to a fund from which such a small percentage will benefit is the wrong approach. Therefore, The Bull & Bear does not endorse this fee increase.

Nov 3-10 ovs.ssmu.mcgill.ca

Counterpoint: Give More, Get More Dave Fortin MUS President

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ur slogan for the MUS Referendum, held Nov 3rd to Nov 10th, sums up a simple proposition for students: pay $5 more per semester to get better service. While this simplicity is effective in getting our main message across to the masses, it misses out on the real, substantive reasons you should for YES on the proposed levy increase. The proposed levy increase will allow the MUS to better achieve the goals of our longterm vision by providing additional funding to key areas. The following is a breakdown of where the levy increase will be allocated, which MUS goals it supports, and the approximate portion of the $5 increase that goes to fund each initiative:

November 2011

Ambassador Fund (~$2)

Sustainability Fund (~$1)

Clubs (~$2)

MUS Goal: To improve our academic competitiveness and performance in inter-university competition to levels consistent with top business schools

MUS Goal: To move towards a more environmentally sustainable academic curriculum, building and operations

MUS goal: To maximize the professional development offered to our students

The Ambassador Fund will provide financial assistance for hosting or participating in competitions and conferences of an academic nature, attended by students in the Desautels Faculty of Management. These “ambassadors” showcase the talent of Desautels students and strengthen the reputation of our university both locally and internationally. Unfortunately, the high cost of these competitions can be prohibitive to some students wishing to participate. The goal of the Ambassador Fund is to make these competitions more accessible to all students, regardless of their financial situation. Examples: Jeux Du Commerce, Happening Marketing, HR Symposium, Financial Open, Alberta Energy Challenge, EDGE Business Competition

The MUS has recognized the need to improve the sustainability of our operations. In line with this goal, we have assembled a team of students who act as environmental consultants to our events. While their focus is mostly on finding creative ways for events to become more sustainable without dramatically increasing costs, the reality is that there is often a price discrepancy in choosing more sustainable options. The Sustainability Fund pays for the difference in cost of choosing the more sustainable option over the alternative and funds other small projects. Examples: Organic cotton Frosh t-shirts, Sustainability Book Fair printing, Video to improve recycling in Bronfman building, Renting glassware over using disposables

As part of our structural reform, the MUS decided to take a more active role with in our club operations. We have required all clubs to prepare detailed budgets and write a constitution to ensure they remain focused on delivering value to their members. In exchange, the MUS has given clubs more financial support, as they are a key resource for the professional development of management students. The link between our clubs and the Career Services office has been strengthened, so students in all fields will benefit from jointly organized workshops, speaker panels and networking opportunities. The levy increase will help us fund clubs so they can continue to help students find careers in their areas of interest. Examples: MIC, MAS, MMN, MCA, MISA, MUSE, IMA, SN, OB/HR, OUTlook

The MUS believes that a YES vote on all 3 referendum questions (levy increase and 2 constitutional amendments) is in the best interest of all management students. It is now up to you to make an informed choice and cast your vote. If you have any questions, please visit the MUS office, a polling booth, or email me personally at president. mus@mail.mcgill.ca and I would be more than happy to go into additional detail. Remember to go to the polls between Nov 3rd – Nov 10th and VOTE OR DIE!

The Bull & Bear

The Bull & Bear November 2011  

The Bull & Bear November 2011 print issue. Featuring an investigative report on the new MUS Corporate Relations team, coverage of the Asian...

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