Sanctions on Russia Hit German Economy Hard

It wasn’t that long ago that Kremlin officials could hardly avoid laughing when asked about the economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the West. As long as every NATO member state jealously sought to protect its own business interests, things “weren’t all that bad,” they gloated.

But since last week, their moods have darkened. For months, the European Union in particular had been reluctant to enact effective penalties against Moscow. Last Wednesday, though, the 28 EU heads of state and government cleared a psychological hurdle: For the first time, they opted go beyond sanctions targeting individual political leaders in Moscow, adding prohibitions against doing business with specific Russian companies that contribute to the destabilization of the situation in Ukraine. A concrete list is to be presented by the end of the month. European development banks have also been banned from providing loans to Russian companies.

The US, for its part, penalized a dozen leading Russian conglomerates, including oil giant Rosneft, natural gas producer Novatek, Gazprombank and the weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov. From now on, they are forbidden from borrowing money from American monetary institutions and from issuing medium- and long-term debt to investors with ties to the

The Euro Crisis Is Not Yet Behind Us

SPIEGEL: Mr. Weidmann, you are notorious for being a tough critic of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. But the euro crisis seems to be over, largely thanks to ECB intervention. Has he not been proven right?

Weidmann: It’s not about being right or a personal confrontation. When it comes to extremely important monetary policy decisions, the ECB Governing Council does its utmost to find the correct path. And the decisions are so difficult because the crisis is not yet behind us, even if the current calm on the financial markets might suggest as much.

SPIEGEL: Yet Spain, once wracked by the euro-zone crisis, can today borrow money more cheaply than ever before in the history of the monetary union. Do you not think that is a consequence of Mario Draghi’s 2012 pledge to save the euro “whatever it takes”?

Weidmann: You shouldn’t mistake the thermometer for the illness. I have never disputed that the ECB could impress and move the markets with the announcement that it would make massive purchases of sovereign bonds if necessary. But such measures focus on the symptoms and don’t cure the causes of the crisis. As such, the current calm is

Europe Eyes Digital Agenda to Better Compete with the US

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To the competition regulators in Brussels, Google has something akin to frequent flier status. Hardly a week goes by that an injured company doesn’t deliver incriminating information about the Internet giant to the European Union capital.

The flood of complaints is coming from a growing number of markets where the company wasn’t previously active. On June 11, Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia wrote a letter to his colleagues on the European Commission, the EU’s executive, outlining some of these markets. The letter states that they include “social networks, video catalogue, streaming, mobile phone operating systems and apps.” Among the latest complainants, the letter notes, is an advertising platform, the alliance of European photo agencies known as CEPIC, the Open Internet Project, which unites European publishers, and Deutsche Telekom. It can be safely predicted that Google’s compliance with EU competition law will be closely monitored for a long time to come.

The competition commissioner claims the allegations are always in the same vein — that Google is using its dominant position to force competitors out of an increasing number of markets. It’s likely that Almunia will also have to tighten the conditions it is imposing on Google as

Engineering Services – Buy Direct, Reap the Rewards

Whichever way you look at it, working directly with the very best press tool manufacturing companies will always make so much more sense than dealing with third parties and middlemen. It’s the same case across pretty much every other area of engineering and generally makes good business sense across the board. Given the way most third-party resellers do business, buying direct more often than not means saving money, getting hold of what you need much quicker and knowing that the products you receive will be of the highest possible quality standards. Not only this, but you also inherently get the very best customer service standards by dealing with the manufacturer directly.

The thing is though, it’s not always abundantly clear whether the service provider you are looking at is the real deal, or something of a middleman. It’s technically pretty easy these days for anyone wishing to do so to build themselves a cheap yet professional looking website that gives the impression that they themselves are a direct service provider…when in fact, they aren’t. This makes it particularly easy to slip up and find yourself doing business with a middleman, but at the same

Growing old can be risky business

Managing money can be difficult at any age. For older adults, changes in physical condition and life circumstances can lead to changes for the worse in financial behavior, putting their well-being in danger. Now those changes have been given a name: age-associated financial vulnerability.

Two experts in elder abuse coin the term and explain the concept in an opinion article published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. They also call for research to identify and help older adults at risk from age-associated financial vulnerability, or AAFV for short.

They define the condition as “a pattern of financial behavior that places an older adult at substantial risk for a considerable loss of resources such that dramatic changes in quality of life would result.” To be considered AAFV, this behavior also must be a marked change from the kind of financial decisions a person made in younger years.

“For example, if an older adult gives his or her neighbor $10,000, this many be a sign of AAFV. However, if the older adult has given large sums of money to those in need throughout his or her adult lifetime, then the $10,000 gift in old age may not

Importance Of Having An Online Presence

In today’s business world it is extremely important to have some kind of online presence. Those who do not have an online presence look outdated and even less serious than competing businesses that do have presence online. With more and more business and leads coming from the internet it is more important than ever to have some sort of online presence. There are mistakes that people can make when trying to establish their business in the online marketplace.

The following are some reasons that you should invest in creating an online presence or improve the presence that you already have.

Making sure to respond to comments on online review sites is extremely important. Groupon has these types of reviews as well as having coupons that cover a variety of stores like Macy’s and others. Responding to reviews whether they are negative or positive shows that the business cares about what their customers think. Do not take any of these reviews to heart as there are people who work for competitors that might make fake reviews.

Having a website is the most important thing about having a web presence. This is important as many people search for services or products that they need

With the holiday season ahead, Wal-Mart posts declining profit and revenue

Wal-Mart said Tuesday that its operating income sank 8.8 percent in the most recent quarter as the big-box behemoth shoulders the cost of a wage increase for its workers and investments in boosting its e-commerce business. The world’s largest retailer said revenue was down 1.3 percent to $117.4 billion, including drag from currency fluctuations.

Wal-Mart managed to lure more shoppers to its U.S. stores and saw an increase in sales at its U.S. stores open more than a year, and yet the chain still won’t be heading into its most crucial season of the year from a position of particular strength. For the previous two quarters, the retailer saw essentially flat sales and sagging profits. Last month, the company slashed its profit outlook for next year.

While the holidays are a high-stakes time for every retailer to meet customer expectations, Wal-Mart has the added burden this year of trying to restore the confidence of investors who have driven its stock down 29 percent this year. It issued an updated outlook Tuesday that appeared to help with that, as it nudged up the lower end of its earnings guidance for the year.

Some of Wal-Mart’s success this season will hang on whether customers

The Best Time and Attendance System for Small Offices

Why uAttend?
Time Tracking

What makes uAttend such a valuable solution for very small businesses is that it offers nearly all of the bells and whistles of many of its larger competitors for just a fraction of the cost.

The system offers numerous ways to collect time and attendance data. Employees can use Web browsers, smartphones or telephones to enter their data. In addition, the system is also compatible with a variety of time clocks. You can choose between clocks that allow employees to punch in or out with a PIN code, ID badge, fingerprint or facial scan.

Many of the systems we looked at that were designed for very small businesses didn’t work with traditional time clocks. We like that with uAttend, you have that option if you want it.

Besides keeping track of when employees come and go each day, the system also manages paid time off by tracking accruals of vacation and sick time. In addition, uAttend allows employees to request time off within the system, with managers having the option to either approve or deny it. Although most of the other systems we investigated tracked vacation and sick time, not all of them included the tools to actually submit time-off

Best Time and Attendance System for Businesses with a Mobile Workforce

Why TSheets?
Mobile Tracking

What makes TSheets such an attractive system for businesses with employees who always, or sometimes, work outside the office is the variety of ways they can manage their time and attendance. Out of all of the services we examined, TSheets offers mobile employees the most options for clocking in and out. With this system, on-the-go employees can use laptop computers, mobile apps, telephones, text messages or Twitter to record their time each day.

The TSheets mobile app, which is available for both iPhones and Android devices, allows employees to clock in and out, track the time they work on specific projects, view their time sheets and see which of their co-workers are also on the clock. Additionally, TSheets added a new feature to the app this year that lets employees create and submit paid-time-off requests.

The mobile app also allows managers to keep tabs on their mobile employees. Besides logging employees’ locations when they clock in and out, this system also records their specific locations every 10 minutes. With this, supervisors can see exactly where remote workers are spending their day. This added feature wasn’t offered by most of the other services we investigated.

Editor’s Note: Looking for a

Teams Work Better When Employees Care About Each Other

When employees work in groups, they are best served by focusing more on how they can benefit others, and not just themselves, new research finds.

When team members are motivated more to help others, even at the expense of their own performance, their teams perform better, a study recently published in the Academy of Management Journal found.

This type behavior is defined as prosocial motivation, which highlights the social aspect of work by emphasizing individuals’ concerns about how their actions can affect others’ well-being. Prosocially motivated individuals are described as givers who are primarily concerned with contributing benefits to others, rather than calculating personal returns, the research said.

“Extending this idea to the work-team context, when team members have a strong belief that they can work together to make a positive influence on the well-being of relevant others, such as their colleagues, clients, customers and community, they are likely to work together effectively over the long term,” Jasmine Hu, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business in Indiana, told Business News Daily

The research was based on a field study of 67 work teams from six companies in both the

Small Business Snapshot Prohibition Bakery

Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Leslie Feinberg, co-owner of Prohibition Bakery, a business she founded in 2011 with Brooke Siem that creates mini cupcakes with a boozy twist, explains how this image represents their business.

Feinberg explains…

These cupcakes actually were a result of a recent partnership we did with Alacran Mezcal. Partnerships like Alacran provide us with an opportunity to experiment with flavors and ingredients that people might not expect from a cupcake. For instance, with Alacran, we combined their delicious mezcal, which has a wonderful smoky flavor, with a little sweet and sour from blood oranges and a little spice with ancho chili seasoned salt. It’s always fun to introduce flavors to a cupcake audience that they might not be as familiar with or be skeptical of, and watch them absolutely love them.

Brooke (my fellow co-owner) and I met on a birthright trip in 2011. We were generally bored and not satisfied with the jobs we had. What started as a fun idea to entertain ourselves and make a little extra cash very quickly proved to be extremely interesting to people — including

Winter Is Coming 5 Businesses to Get You Through the Season

Winter’s just around the corner, but if you’re feeling ill-prepared for the season, don’t worry — there are plenty of businesses out there to suit your needs. Whether you want to create snow or make it disappear, store your summer clothes, decorate your home, or even enjoy a cozy night by the fireplace, these five businesses can help.
Clutter

When winter’s on its way, many people try to save space by storing their summer clothes, decorations and other items they don’t need in the cold weather. But if you live in an apartment or home that doesn’t have a lot of storage space, organizing for the season can get a little tricky. You can use a storage facility if you don’t have the space in your home, but what if you don’t have a car to travel back and forth, or the time to go to a storage unit every time you need something? Clutter takes all of the complications out of cleaning up your stuff. Use the company’s website to set up a storage pickup, and Clutter’s employees will bring you boxes and help you pack. Clutter’s Move & Pack specialists will pick up your items and bring them to

Influence Marketing How to Get Referrals from the In Crowd

Remember back in school when one of the popular kids came in with a new backpack or pair of sneakers, and soon, everyone in the class had the same ones? Influence marketing works the same way. When consumers see someone they admire talking about and using a product, they’re more inclined to want to check it out.

Although social media has certainly made influence marketing more prevalent, it is by no means a new concept. Marketers have been enlisting influential people to help sell their products and services for more than a century. As early as 1875, marketers gave out trading cards of celebrities and athletes that contained pictures and descriptions of the products they were marketing, said Paul Johnson, founder and CEO of social deals website Snagshout.

“With the growth of modern social networks and online publishing platforms, the number of potential influencers has increased dramatically,” Johnson said.

Poreh agreed, and said that social media has increased the scale of referral marketing. Word-of-mouth can now reach a much larger and more engaged audience than ever before, thanks to the various social platforms out there, he said.

One of the key reasons that

Acer Aspire Switch 11 V 2015 Is It Good for Business

Acer’s Aspire Switch 11 V is a versatile, affordable laptop-tablet hybrid for work, but it’s held back by short battery life. The midrange 2-in-1 delivers a comfortable keyboard and a sharp 11.6-inch display in an extremely portable package, all for about $500. However, the Switch 11 V’s disappointing endurance makes it a better pick for commuters than business travelers.

The Switch 11 V’s display can be fully detached from its snap-on keyboard dock, so you can use it as a tablet when you want. Business users might get more usage out of the ability to reattach the display in the reverse orientation, providing easier access to the touch screen in cramped quarters — for example, on an airplane tray table during a long business flight. That capability could be particularly useful if you pick up Acer’s active stylus, which lets you take notes and annotate documents right on the Switch 11 V’s screen.

Workers will also appreciate the notebook’s keyboard, which is head and shoulders above what you’ll find on many competing machines. The keys offer snappy feedback and about 1.6 millimeters of travel, which is deep enough to provide a really comfortable typing experience.

Other hardware highlights include an Intel Core

What’s Your Collaboration Style?

In every workplace, there are colleagues you naturally work well with, and others with whom you never seem to see eye-to-eye. That’s because everyone approaches teamwork differently — and your mindset isn’t always going to match up with others’.

Working well as a team means knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, and how they mesh or clash with those of your colleagues. To help workers discover their personal collaboration style, Web-conferencing software provider PGi created a list of five different “personalities” and what they bring to the table, along with tips on how to best work with other types on the team. Find your own style by reading the statements below and determining which ones you most closely identify with.
The Dictator

You feel you know what’s best for the good of the project and want to share that with your team members.
You like to monitor progress and constantly seek updates from the team.
You feel a project will fall apart without your vigilance.

Tip from PGi: Monitoring and managing are good things, but your team members need to be accountable for their own responsibilities to remain engaged. Give continuous, constructive feedback, and be as transparent as possible about processes and decision-making

The Top Reasons Employees Quit

A desire for more money and the chance to advance their careers are important to employees when changing jobs, but those reasons aren’t what motivates them the most.

The chance to work in a job that allows them to do what they do best is the top reason employees list for considering, or taking a new job, a Gallup study found.

The problem, however, is that many employees aren’t getting what they’re looking for. Research revealed that employees who have worked at their companies for less than three years are more engaged and think they have more opportunities to learn then those who have worked for their employers for at least 10 years. However, it’s the long-tenured workers who feel like they are doing what they do best, the study showed.

The Gallup analysis discovered that the highest percentage of employees who strongly agree that they have opportunities to do what they do best are those who have worked with their employers for at least a decade. [Why Frequent Job Hoppers Might Make Good Hires ]

These results show a major disconnect, the study authors said.

“If workers are switching jobs and companies because they think a new role will allow them to do what

Beyond Passion The Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Beyond Passion: The Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

With half of all small businesses closing their doors within five years of opening, it takes more than just passion to succeed, new research finds.

While being passionate is important, other traits typically end up separating entrepreneurs who succeed from those who fail, according to a study from cloud accounting-software provider Xero. Specifically, prospering small business owners learn from past mistakes, invest in technology, make time for family and friends, and build positive relationships with mentors.

The study revealed that nearly 60 percent of the current and former small business owners surveyed said spending time with family in the evenings is crucial to their effectiveness as business owners, while 53 percent think it’s important to keep their weekends free for loved ones.

“Contrary to the stereotype of a harried entrepreneur burning the midnight oil, our research showed that successful small-business owners not only value their personal time, [but also] they view stepping away from work as essential,” the study’s authors wrote.

To build a business that’s sustainable in the long term, entrepreneurs need to ensure the other areas of their life don’t get neglected, said Xero U.S. President Russ Fujioka.

“Running a business isn’t easy. By

Big data analytical advances from academia, business are enhancing exploration of universe

Statisticians have combined state-of-the-art analytical techniques from the academic and business worlds to tackle the Big Data challenges confronting astrophysicists and astronomers as they explore the mysteries of our universe, Lars K.S. Daldorff and Siavoush Mohammadi today told an audience at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM 2015) in Seattle.

These technical advances–called automatic explorative analysis of data–have the potential of greatly aiding these scientists as they seek to understand our universe, as well as researchers who work with Big Data in other fields, said Daldorff and Mohammadi while presenting a topic-contributed session titled “Novel Application of Statistical Tools for Big Data Analyses of Solar Physics” at JSM 2015.

Daldorff is an atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences research fellow in the college of engineering at the University of Michigan and a consultant for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and Mohammadi is a consultant with Infotrek, a Swedish business intelligence and data warehousing company.

The new analytical techniques Daldorff and Mohammadi described are being used in a study of giant magnetic loops generated by our solar system’s sun. When physicists use large supercomputers to simulate the sun, their research produces massive amounts of data, but the phenomenon of interest is usually

Growing old can be risky business

Managing money can be difficult at any age. For older adults, changes in physical condition and life circumstances can lead to changes for the worse in financial behavior, putting their well-being in danger. Now those changes have been given a name: age-associated financial vulnerability.

Two experts in elder abuse coin the term and explain the concept in an opinion article published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. They also call for research to identify and help older adults at risk from age-associated financial vulnerability, or AAFV for short.

They define the condition as “a pattern of financial behavior that places an older adult at substantial risk for a considerable loss of resources such that dramatic changes in quality of life would result.” To be considered AAFV, this behavior also must be a marked change from the kind of financial decisions a person made in younger years.

“For example, if an older adult gives his or her neighbor $10,000, this many be a sign of AAFV. However, if the older adult has given large sums of money to those in need throughout his or her adult lifetime, then the $10,000 gift in old age may not

Broad coalition of small businesses, working parents and seniors calls on Oregon legislature to stand up to Wall Street pressure on retirement security

(Salem, Ore.)— The Retirement in Reach coalition (a broad group of organizations representing approximately 900,000 Oregonians) today attacked “Wall Street financial interests” that are fighting HB 3436B. In a press conference held at the Oregon State Capitol, the coalition called on the Oregon Legislature to pass the bill to create a task force to study ways to increase retirement savings for working Oregonians.

“This is a classic battle between Main Street and Wall Street,” said Deborah Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press in Portland and Executive Team Member of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, an organization representing more than 1,200 small businesses around the state. “We support creating low-cost, simple ways for our employees to save for retirement, and HB 3436B is the first step. Opposition to this bill has been dominated by Wall Street lobbyists and big businesses and we want to be clear: they don’t speak for us.”

HB 3436B, passed by the Oregon House of Representatives on Monday, creates the Oregon Retirement Savings Investment Task Force, which includes representatives from employers, the financial services industry, the public and the State Treasurer. The task force is charged with developing recommendations for an Oregon Secure Retirement Plan—which would be available

What Business Integration Can Do For Your Business

If technology is a medium that you use to carry out your organization’s goals, having business integration is recommended. This is especially true in an industry that is driven by fierce competition. Being able to respond immediately to customer’s demands is crucial to success. Applications such as EBI, EAI, ELI, EDI and EII have proved helpful in allowing multi-tasking.

It is common for every growing organization to constantly update its technology. As we move on to the modern era, new demands call for new products and services. In order to cope in a fast-paced market, new applications are required. Hence, you install the latest software.

Though almost application is vital to your organization’s performance, it unintentionally gives birth to a gap. The gap widens every time a new application or software is introduced. This can pose threats to the organization since the gap slows down the process of productivity.

To address this issue, business integration provides not only a technical solution. It becomes a medium to sustain or even surpass your organization’s performance. With good business integration software, you are assured flexibility in properly delivering your product or service. This puts your organization on the front line of your industry.

There are many integrating