Saturday, October 27, 2012

Peter Elkind Examines Nu Skin and Romney in Fortune Magazine

Peter Elkind is making journalistic waves again with an article he co-wrote for the October 26 issue of Fortune magazine, titled, "Nu Skin and the Short Sellers."  The lead-in summarizes:

The $2 billion multilevel marketer in Utah -- with ties to Mitt Romney -- says its skin-care and nutritional products can delay aging. But short-sellers and a couple of angry ex-husbands are taking the company on, and they're not being quiet about it.

Joseph Nocera in the October 27 New York Times discusses the story and mentions Elkind. He writes,

In the case of Nu Skin, Elkind spoke to a number of scientists who scoffed at Nu Skin’s anti-aging claims. Because so many multilevel marketing companies are based in Utah, critics joke that the initials MLM stand for Mormons Losing Money. (Nu Skin executives insist that their products work as advertised, and that distributors are not taken advantage of.)

Elkind’s story is primarily a rollicking tale of the battle between Nu Skin and a handful of short-sellers, who are betting that the company’s products and practices are headed for trouble. (Herbalife is another multilevel marketing company the shorts have targeted.) 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ted Fishman on the Kalamazoo Promise

Ted Fishman takes a close look at a program in Kalamazoo, Mich., through which anonymous donors pay for the college education of local students -- no strings attached. The Sunday New York Times article appeared in September and discusses the struggles of the Midwestern city, its former industrial strength, and the surprising impact of the program on schools in the region. Fishman writes,

One of every three students in the Kalamazoo district falls below the national poverty level. One in 12 is homeless. Many of them are the first in their families to finish high school; many come from single-parent homes. Some are young parents themselves: Kalamazoo has one of the highest pregnancy rates among black teenagers in the state.
And yet, for the vast majority of the 500-plus students who graduate each year in Kalamazoo, a better future really does await after they collect their diplomas. The high-school degrees come with the biggest present most of them will ever receive: free college.

You can learn more about Fishman's other writing projects at his website.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kathryn Hall to Lead Search for New University President

In the wake of the September announcement that Princeton President Shirley Tilghman will step down at the end of the academic year, Kathryn Hall, chair of the Board of Trustees, will lead the search for a replacement. A long University statement about the change noted,

The search for Tilghman's successor will be led by Hall. The search committee will include nine members of the Board of Trustees (including Hall), four members of the faculty who will be elected by the faculty, two undergraduates, a graduate student and a member of the staff. "This search process is modeled after previous processes that have worked very well for Princeton and we look forward to active participation from all of Princeton's key constituencies, including faculty, students, alumni and others," Hall said. "We will provide further information soon about the process and the composition of the search committee. Obviously our highest priority will be to identify the best possible person to serve as Princeton's 20th president, and I hope very much that we will be ready to bring a recommendation to the Board of Trustees in the spring."
Hall served on the board from 2002 to 2006, then rejoined in 2007. She is chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Hall Capital Partners LLC.