Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Boeing Sweats Under Trump Spotlight as SoftBank Feels Warmth - Bloomberg Politics

Boeing Sweats Under Trump Spotlight as SoftBank Feels Warmth - Bloomberg Politics: "This is extraordinary,” said Mohan Tatikonda, a professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “For a president to get involved at the level of spot locations, spot companies, spot plants, is I think unprecedented.”
Stock Moves
The president-elect’s moves had consequences for the market, with Boeing falling as much as 1.5 percent before regular trading Tuesday. The shares were little changed Wednesday in New York. SoftBank climbed 6.2 percent in Tokyo."

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Insider-Trading Prosecutions Backed by U.S. Supreme Court - Bloomberg Politics

Insider-Trading Prosecutions Backed by U.S. Supreme Court - Bloomberg Politics: "Ruling in its first insider-trading case in two decades, the justices unanimously said that people can be sent to prison for making trades even when the insider who provided the tip wasn’t trying to make money. The court said it’s enough if the insider gave the information as a gift to someone likely to trade on it."

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Podcast Episodes for Finance Classes

Podcast episodes for Finance classes.  Primarily for my own classes, but useful in any finance class.

For economics classes, here is a list I made as well.


A mule trader (finance is not new):

How finance has grown:

Finance at the University:

Contracts and CEO pay

  5. Very difficult to measure how much a manager matters

Time value of money (retirement & personal finance)

Retirement planning  ---start at 10 minutes

What rate of return should we assume?


Aswath Damodaran is simply the best valuation professor there is.

How to be less terrible at forecasting (Freakonomics):

Difficulty in reading accounting statements:


Small businesses and micro finance--

One the importance of small business finance:

Market efficiency:

The value of information from space:

From dumpsters: (also can learn about short selling):

Burton Malkiel

John Bogle on Passive vs Active investing:

An Insider Trader tells all:

Ok, so this is not really a podcast, but it's audio and since it is my page, I am including it.  A series of newscasts on insider trading from NPR:

Behavioral Finance

What is behavioral finance from IBM:

Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman:

Richard Thaler (he needs no introduction)

Does expensive wine taste better?

Dr. Daniel Crosby on making good financial decisions (target is advisors)

Maybe willpower is not enough:

Scarcity: I think this is most important thing going.  I see it/live it every day.

Fear of scarcity is a big thing.

IPOs and Corp Fin
Why firms are waiting longer to go public:


CEO transitions:

ESG from Masters in Business:

ESG investing goes mainstream
from Goldman Sachs:

Impact investing:

Market for Corporate Control:

* Horizontal deals and monopolies

* A look at Tesla and Solar City

10 years of Mergers and acquisitions (2006-2016)

Divestitures and carveouts (not the most exciting, but good content)


IPO and mergers/acquisitions (what it is like as an Investment banker)


Country level debt:



Derivatives and Hedging:

A look at one options contract (Soybeans) from the CME (my advice, skip the first few minutes):

ok, so this may not be super exciting, it is good material.

What is the VIX?

Your financial fragility matters

Low cost investing:

Bill McNabb is CEO of Vanguard.  Both of these are great (about a year apart) from Masters in Business




Friday, November 18, 2016

The rich outlive the poor by up to 9.5 years in the United States, study says | News & Observer

A must read!!

Yes a bit biased, but fascinating and telling.  The researchers rearranged the richest and poorest counties into "states" and then analyzed these new "states".

The rich outlive the poor by up to 9.5 years in the United States, study says | News & Observer:

"The poorest “state” was made up of actual counties from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

The richest “state” included real counties from Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. (It’s worth mentioning that five real states contributed counties to both the poorest and richest “states.” This shows that “some of the challenges associated with poverty in the United States are related to factors associated with unequal distribution of resources within states, as opposed to simple lack of resources,” the researchers wrote.)"

"In other words, they wrote, “the poorest ‘state’ is between 40 and 50 years behind the life expectancy achieved by the wealthiest ‘state.’ ”The study authors also compared the richest and poorest “states” to 222 actual countries with reliable data on life expectancy. They found that if the richest “state” were an independent country, it would rank eighth in the world in life expectancy for men and 25th for women. The poorest “state,” on the other hand, would rank 123rd for men and 116th for women."

Read more here:"

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Podcast episodes for economics classes

Here are some great podcast episodes for economic classes.  I use them (either reference them or make them available to my students).

 Remember, my linking to them is not an endorsement of everything they say, but rather a way of getting us all to think about things a little differently)

Economic Podcast Episodes

* Why economics and politics don't mix:

*  Introducing GDP:

* Globalization:

* Textbook prices:

*   Externalities:

* A carbon tax (short):

* Sustainability and Economics:

* The afterlife of a t-shirt:

* The interconnectivity of Globalization:

* Protectionist policy and Canadian milk prices

* A look at an early strike (I do not think it was the FIRST strike :) )

* Forecasting is hard.

* What is inside TPP?

* The economics of education:

* Adam's Smith's Invisible Hand (gets two!)
  1. Pro:
 2. Con:

*  A look at price inelasticities: Why are weddings so expensive.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Black Monday Revisited: Lessons From 29 Years of Market History | PIMCO Blog

Just a great article from PIMCO:

Black Monday Revisited: Lessons From 29 Years of Market History | PIMCO Blog: "It was 29 years ago this month that world equity markets experienced a meltdown that became known as Black Monday (or Black Tuesday in Asian time zones). On 19 October, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 23%, its largest-ever one-day percentage decline.

As equity and bond markets fell, an anonymous bond trader sensed an opportunity. He sold a U.S. long bond (a 30-year Treasury bond yielding 8.875% and maturing in 2017) at a price of 86. Just two months earlier, the bond had been issued at par. The trader was hoping to buy it back a quarter of a point lower.

Yet a minute later the bond market reversed direction and has not looked back since.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Research: Index Funds Are Fueling Out-of-Whack CEO Pay Packages

Research: Index Funds Are Fueling Out-of-Whack CEO Pay Packages:

 "We found that when firms in an industry are more commonly owned, top managers receive pay packages that are much less performance-sensitive. In other words, these managers are rewarded less for outperforming their competitors. This difference in compensation has a sizeable effect. In industries with little common ownership, executive pay is about 50% more responsive to changes in their own firm’s shareholder wealth than in industries with high common ownership.

What’s more, in industries with high common ownership, top managers receive almost twice as much pay for the good performance of their competitors as managers do in industries with low common ownership. This effect is even more pronounced for CEOs alone. Essentially, CEOs are rewarded more for the good performance of their competitors than they are for the performance of the company they run.


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Monday, October 24, 2016

Shaking Up Boards Would Help Keep Corporations Honest - Hartford Courant

Shaking Up Boards Would Help Keep Corporations Honest - Hartford Courant:

While a somewhat extreme view, there is much truth in this.  Read the whole article not just this reading-bite:

 "Where do such directors come from? In U.S. companies they are typically chosen by shareholders, but in a system so rigged that it may be the closest Western analog to a Soviet election. The incumbent directors nominate all the candidates (usually themselves), severely limiting the voters' freedom of choice. Withholding votes in protest is both useless and dangerous, because it has no effect on the outcome and — if practiced by big investment firms — can even elicit retaliation from management (which has the power, for example, to decide who invests the company's pension money). Directors know that the quickest way to lose their well-paid positions is to criticize the CEO."

99% of actively managed US equity funds underperform

99% of actively managed US equity funds underperform:

Surprised only by the 99%, I expected closer to

"Amin Rajan, chief executive of Create Research, the consultancy, said: “These numbers are scary. Active managers need a root and branch look at their investment processes to retain their relevance in today’s surreal investment landscape.” According to the analysis, 99 per cent of actively managed US equity funds sold in Europe have failed to beat the S&P 500 over the past 10 years, while only two in every 100 global equity funds have outperformed the S&P Global 1200 since 2006. Almost 97 per cent of emerging market funds have underperformed."

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Friday, October 14, 2016

NYU professor explains how to value tech stocks

NYU professor explains how to value tech stocks: "Paint the technology sector with the same brush at your own peril, warns a finance professor.

"Older technology companies are behaving very different from the younger technology companies," said Aswath Damodaran, professor of finance at the Stern School of Business at New York Univer"

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Swedroe: ‘Incredible Shrinking Alpha’ Continues |

Swedroe: ‘Incredible Shrinking Alpha’ Continues |

"Highlighting the problem of survivorship bias, over the five-year period, nearly 21% of domestic equity funds, 21% of global/international equity funds and 14% of fixed-income funds were merged or liquidated."

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Monday, April 11, 2016

The best microstructure example for class I have ever seen

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is really cool.

So most finance classes traditionally talk about how trading floors worked in the past.  You know the drill: open outcry, specialist, floor brokers, etc.  But trading has changed so much, that armed with that knowledge only one would barely recognize today's marketplace made up of many exchanges, OTC, and darkpools.

This week's Masters In Business Podcast  with Barry Ritholtz had the Keith Ross the CEO of PDQ on.  It was very enlightening.  They have a great model and it deserves to be shown in classes.

What do they do?

Instead of operating like a "normal" High-Frequency friendly exchange, they slow things down (milliseconds are a big deal in this space) and while waiting, pings other accounts for their quotes.  THIS IS KEY: they do not say if buying or selling, nor the size of order.  So they then get back the quotes from everyone and essentially have recreated the old specialists' book.  The customer then gets the best price.  This, in my mind, is pure genius.  Well worth listening to the podcast.

You can also read about PDQ here:

About PDQ ATS | PDQ ATS: "PDQ’s pioneering equity auction products were developed with a singular purpose – to provide a more effective market structure for all participants. As an independent equity market where modern technology benefits all, PDQ uniquely solves today’s market issues by putting control back in the hands of the trader and fostering competition to provide best prices among liquidity providers. When trading at PDQ, there is a short pause after entering an order. During the pause, liquidity seekers initiate an anonymous, symbol-only solicitation of trade responses from participating liquidity providers. The responses are aggregated and matched to the initial order in an auction framework that offers improved pricing opportunities and virtually eliminates gaming and spoofing."

Here is more with a picture that might explain it better:,_Inc.

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How can financial inclusion improve the lives of poor people? | International Development Journalism competition | The Guardian

How can financial inclusion improve the lives of poor people? | International Development Journalism competition | The Guardian:

There are no easy answers here:

"Can access to financial services, formal and informal help the poorest earn a living, grow their businesses and create new jobs, thereby pulling whole communities out of poverty? When the aim is to create jobs then what is more effective, lending to the very smallest businesses, often referred to as microenterprises, or lending to the slightly larger businesses commonly called Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who are likely to create jobs?
How can savings represent a route out of poverty? Is anyone too poor to save? Why have savings been so overlooked and what does saving-focussed microfinance look like?"

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

CEO Pay: What is what is sometimes hard to determine

Offers a fascinating look at CEO pay that notes the difficulty in determining exactly how (or why) the CEO is paid as (s)he is.

A look in:

"For researchers seeking to understand CEO pay, the
opacity of some of these instruments is of practical
interest. Salary and bonus payments are the least
opaque; they are just cash payments. But even with
these simple instruments, investors and researchers
do not fully understand the incentives involved
without better information. The way in which future
wage and bonus payments depend on the performance
of the executive is key, and such details are
not usually disclosed: What leads to a salary increase
or bonus payout, or the lack of one?"

Major Trends:
* more market-based pay
* within the market-based pay component, more restricted shares

(FYI This is perfect for my class and its regular assignment of analyzing two companies exectutive compensation practices)

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Buffett vs the Hedge Funds

This is the podcast I was speaking about in class the other day:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A class post for Mergers and Acquistions

I use this in class, so figured I might as well make it available to everyone.  We look at merger waves, and also some at premiums.

A look at Fat Tails and why they can be a problem

I have been putting together quite a few Helpifed paths for my classes.  Anyone can use them, but this one is on a topic that most finance textbooks (and seemingly most introductory stats classes do not cover (or at least the students do not remember by the time they reach my classes)

A look at Fat Tails: