Class Acts: An innovation mindset

How Peter Delaney, who will graduate from Washington University with a degree in global health and the environment in Arts & Sciences, turned a passion for innovation and medicine into an emergency medical system for an African community. And that’s just some of what he did as a student here.

Computer-simulated soybeans

Where machine learning meets spring planting and big data intersects with farming big and small, two Olin Business School researchers have devised a computational model so farmers and seedmakers could take the guesswork out of which particular variety of, say, soybean to plant each year.

Insolvency, not liquidity, is the problem

Reviewing empirical and theoretical papers in the aftermath of the 2007-09 financial crisis, Olin Business School finance expert Anjan Thakor cites a twofold finding from his study. First, U.S. and European banks need to understand that insolvency was the issue that rocked the world, not liquidity; and second, the current standards for bank capital are all wrong and require adjustment.

Why customer-facing companies have happier workers

It’s possible the Keebler Elves aren’t as happy at work as they seem. Or SpongeBob SquarePants’ dour fast-food colleague Squidward might be a little cheerier than he lets on. New research from Olin Business School shows that people working in customer-facing companies, such as retailers (or cartoon burger joints), tend to be happier at work, while workers for companies further removed — manufacturing, for example (or treehouse cookie factories) — tend to be less happy.

WashU Experts: Retail giants Dick’s, Walmart regulate where politicians won’t

Two U.S. retailers made moves this week to regulate their gun sales based on principle — moves that legislators failed to make in recent years despite public outcry following each incident in a line of mass-shooting tragedies. A pair of Washington University in St. Louis experts say that these actions represent “an expansion of corporate social responsibility,” even if the retailers financially may suffer amid something of a consumer backlash.

What the size of a CFO signature may tell you

A new study out of Olin Business School found that CFOs with oversized signatures — a proxy for narcissism — were more likely to make over-aggressive choices, have a higher-than-expected level of restatements and partake in other questionable activities.