|Focus on Finance|
|Corporate governance: AHEAD OF
Public concerns over good corporate governance and financial accuracy and transparency have spawned a host of new regulations and laws in recent months, as well as recommendations for others.
One of the most highly publicized events was last month's signing of sworn statements by CEOs and CFOs certifying their company's financial statements, as mandated by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. The SEC required sworn statements from the principal executive and financial officers of all publicly traded companies with revenues of more than $1.2 billion affirming the accuracy and transparency of financial reports for 2001 and the first half of 2002. Phil Condit and Mike Sears certified Boeing's financials on Aug. 12, along with the overwhelming majority of CEOs and CFOs at the nearly 700 companies who had a mid-August deadline from the SEC.
The bull, the bear and solar wind
Some astrophysicists actually have found something in the recent stock market swings to smile about.
By using data analysis methods to analyze the ups and downs of the market, astrophysicists at Great Britain's Warwick University discovered better ways to understand extreme events in solar wind.
They found the fluctuations in solar wind (the expanding atmosphere of the sun) follow the same kinds of patterns seen in the stock marketsparticularly when it comes to the number of extreme events or large fluctuations. Researchers used "finite size scaling" to look at the probability of fluctuations, or jumps in magnetic energy density in the solar wind, using data from the NASA-WIND spacecraft. They found that the solar wind fluctuations had a much higher probability for extreme events than for more familiar random processes (which follow a Gaussian or bell-shaped curve).
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