sealPurdue Story Ideas

JOURNALISTS: Here are story ideas and a list of selected Purdue events during the next two weeks.

December 16, 2002


1. Finance experts can talk about Conseco bankruptcy
2. Purdue professors can comment on EPA concentrated feeding guidelines
3. International unknowns impact military families' holiday
4. Coke won't issue earnings guidance


Finance experts can talk about Conseco bankruptcy

Conseco Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in Chicago yesterday (Tuesday, 12/17). Two Purdue University finance professors can put the nation's third largest bankruptcy into context.

The company emphasized that the filing includes only Conseco Finance Corp., certain holding companies and non-operating subsidiaries. Conseco's insurance companies, Conseco Capital Management and other entities are not included in the filing.

The company also announced the sale of Conseco Finance after the bankruptcy filing.

A bankruptcy of this magnitude has an impact not only on the company and its employees, but also on creditors and customers.

Wilbur B. "Bill" Lewellen, Herman C. Krannert Professor of Finance, and David J. Denis, professor of finance, can discuss what the bankruptcy filing means and its implications.

CONTACT: Lewellen, (765) 494-4397,; Denis, (765) 494-4434,

Purdue professors can comment on EPA concentrated feeding guidelines

Some Indiana livestock producers are one step ahead of the rest of the nation in regard to the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation rules released Monday (12/16) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Don Jones, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University, said Indiana's Confined Feeding Operation rules, adopted earlier this year, already meet many of the new federal regulations.

Jones and Alan Sutton, a Purdue professor of animal science, served on the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's CFO Task Force, which crafted Indiana's confined feeding rules.

"The federal CAFO rule will require more detailed management on the handling, storage and land application of manures," Sutton said. "This will cost producers more time and dollars to remain in compliance with the new permit requirements.

"Many of these requirements are addressed in the new Indiana CFO rule," he said.

For instance, Indiana's confined feeding regulations already require producers to keep manure application records and nutrient management information. The new federal regulations call for similar records, but are more extensive, Jones said.

In Indiana, a farm requires a permit when it includes at least 300 cattle, 600 swine or sheep, or 30,000 chickens, Jones said. According to an EPA news release, federal regulations require operations with more than 1,000 cattle, 700 dairy cows, 2,500 swine, 10,000 sheep, 125,000 chickens, 82,000 laying hens or 55,000 turkeys to have a permit.

"The EPA has estimated that about 15,000 operations across the nation will need to apply for the new CAFO permit, but only about 500 in Indiana," Sutton said.

CONTACT: Don Jones, (765) 494-1178,; Alan Sutton, (765) 494-8012,

International unknowns impact military families' holiday

A Purdue family studies expert says families with loved ones in the military may experience more anxiety during this holiday season due to potential international conflict.

"Many military families don't know if they are going to be together this holiday season or if they will be separated right after the holidays," says Shelley MacDermid, co-director of the Military Family Research Institute and director for the Center for Families at Purdue University. "This level of uncertainty can make the holidays challenging and add pressure to make this the best holiday ever."

MacDermid says the anxiety and stress also can be experienced by civilian families who face uncertainty, such as a chronic illness in a family.

CONTACT: MacDermid, (765) 494-6026,

Coke won't issue earnings guidance

"Coke is the first major company to announce that in the future it would not provide quarterly or annual earnings guidance to Wall Street," says James Oakley, an assistant professor of marketing at Purdue's Krannert School of Management. The Wall Street Journal carried Coke's announcement on Friday (12/13).

"What this signals to the Street is that this marketing leader is focusing on long-term strategy, which is where they should be looking," Oakley says. "What was interesting about the Journal's report was that they quoted an analyst – whose bread and butter in the '90s were earnings reports – who looked on this shift favorably."

In Oakley's view, the shift from quarterly earnings announcements to the bigger picture represents the beginnings of what he and his marketing brethren call "market orientation" or "service-profit chain." Other terms could be "holistic marketing" or "total marketing."

For a complete release on Oakley's ideas, go to

CONTACT: Oakley, (765) 494-4445,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page