Monday, October 26, 2009


Seattle Times on Washington Mutual. Kerry Killinger moved headlong into riskier lending throughout the bubble. File under: management matters, possibly.

Why San Francisco is No. 1 for Young Professionals. Forbes.

Asian Leaders Focus on Freer Trade. NYTimes.

A few other pieces I read over the weekend.

Networks Too Big for Their Own Good. NYTimes. Build a network, but make it valuable.

Estimate Revisions and "The Earnings Season Racket". Bespoke. Are companies beating estimates or are estimates too low?

Abnormal Returns on Buy and Hold Investing. A great summary, and a great takeaway. Related: Do you think you can time the market? CWS.

Lab Rats, Michael Jordan, and Wall St Pay. Does more compensation always make people better at their jobs?

Friday, October 23, 2009

10.23.09 Shocking Friday Links

Shocking Cats

Okay, silliness aside (for now):

Insider Trading or Legitimate Market Research? Prof Bainbridge. The Galleon insider trading case intersects all of these issues, and this is a great summary of legal issues surrounding it and insider trading in general.

Jeffrey Chiang Will Be Receiving No New Offers Of Employment. Dealbreaker. A reminder as to the importance of ethics and truth telling. Also, the incestuous community of finance. We all know each other, or we can find out.

Too Big To Fail Policy. Economics of Contempt. for you aggressive readers out there.

Information is Stimulus. Interfluidity. This is a good point by Mr. Waldman. Namely that expectations and belief in actions/reaction will move the market. There was a lot of talk in September 08 about "making the rules of the game clear" because traders/investors can't make rational bets if they don't know the rules of the game.

How Freakonomics is Ruining the Dismal Science. TNR. For the record, I like the Freakonomics blog, if only because they had the "Thugs watch The Wire" series.

Toward a New Theory of the Cost of Equity Capital. Aleph Blog. I don't understand this enough to say anything smart about it, but hopefully in 7 weeks I will be able to look down my nose at it with derision.

And, in the our "Local News Posts", So You're Leaving San Francisco, which is in reality more a love song TO San Francisco.

Monday, October 19, 2009

10.19.09 “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner..."

John Cassidy's article in the New Yorker on the Behavioral basis for booms and busts. Related, from John Carney, Why Wall St Always Blows It.

Andrew Ross Sorkin on the financial collapse. NPR. He's doing the rounds for his most recent book, some of which is excerpted to vanity fair here.

Brazil Foreign Investment Tax Risks Harming Local Capital Markets, as was mentioned in our finance class today.

John Carney on shorting and naked shorting (reposted). Of course, short selling was banned for a few weeks at the height of the financial crisis last year. Barry Ritholtz has no kind words about it. And Paul Kedrosky examines some of the papers that came out analyzing the effect of the ban. In short "market quality decreased, spreads widened and volatility worsened in non-shortable names."

Friday, October 16, 2009

mental health break

I have been listening to this every morning before school.

I walk out of the house with a strut in my stuff.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10/07/09 I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song, That with no middle flight intends to soar Above th' Aonian Mount

A follow up to the short presentation today:

Going Private: Memoirs of a Sardonic Prive Equity Professional. This is a direct link to her "getting in" series of posts. Look at the faq and intro guide as well for more "grunt's view" of the PE industry.

PE Hub. Online forum for PE and PE issues.

Dealbreaker. Wall St gossip rag.

Cause its my Birthday. In which two nerds throw parties in cities to benefit malaria prevention. If you would like the Mitchell Friedman Cohort 2 mix CD, talk to me. A $5 donation will get you the mix CD of all the songs that Mitchell has mentioned throughout the class.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

10.06.09 unless The eyes reappear As the perpetual star Multifoliate rose

As if on cue for my presentation for communications class tomorrow, a whole slew of links over the weekend about Private Equity:

The NYTimes has a big piece on how private equity firms make profits even when their portfolio companies go under.

Quelle Surprise! New York Times Fails to Call Private Equity Looting by Its Proper Name. Naked Capitalism. Yves Smith is her usual restrained self regarding the practice.

Shareholder Value for Beginners. James Kwak. "Because acting in the best interest of the shareholders, in a time of crisis (or simply given inside information that the bond market doesn’t have), can lead to what Yves Smith, following Akerlof and Romer, calls looting." So perhaps lenders forgot their due diligence.

Next LBO Verse, Same As The First? PE Hub. So what with the easy money gone, what will the future look like for PE?

Regarding the fast implosion of CIT

Goldman's Image Problem. Felix.

In Defense of Goldman's $1 Billion Payoff From CIT. Atlantic Business Channel. Covenants and Hedges are important. If the Government didn't get those into their deal well, they need better lawyers and bankers, don't they?

Well, off to write the actual presentation.

Monday, October 5, 2009

10/05/09 Dire one and desired one, Savior, sentencer

Financial Innovation as a Tax. Modeled Behavior. More on the Financial Innovation problem, complexity tax, Lemons, and who assumes the long tail risk.

How I Became a Keynesian. TNR. Richard Posner. POSNER?!?! HT, Crooked Timber, I think. I am bad at this blogging thing.

Are the Humanities in a Bubble? Now, I love bashing my former bastion of the academe as much as the next MBA-with-three-feet-of-Foucault-on-the-bookshelf, but trying to tell me that a PHD in Classics is an unsecured liability and thus SUBPRIME! DERIVATE! SPECULATION! is well, a bit incongruous. Sure the terms are right but the deployment is wrong. I often return to the following: Market prices convey a whole lot of information. Sometimes they know more than you, sometimes they don't. The problem is just what information are they conveying, and how are actors valuing the importance of said information. Avoiding wearing a tie for 40 years may, for some, be an adequate medium of compensation for most of those involved in the current academe bubble. Lord knows it wasn't for me.

From the "when do sign ups for class begin" file: Fights broke out as law students queued for up to 11 hours last night to secure the dissertation supervisor of their choice at Brunel University.

From the "Marketing" file: Moo Cards.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

10/01/09 a skilful uncouth prison, a precise clumsy prison

Vanilla is a commodity. Interfluidity. I am confused as to if this applies to retail accounts, or merely loans and other things. We HAD a $10 per month account which was the hardest thing on earth to sell to people (though like silver tongued hucksters we did). The other thing that I would observe is that if we are supposed to be moving from the big mega banks to a "big enough to fail" model is that if you push margins down, you'll make it harder for the smaller institutions to exist.

Wrekin ruby’s £11m value falls like a stone. FT. (Hat Tip: CWS). File under: Assets, value of. Accounting, Hinky.

Goldman Sachs launches recruiting drive. If you dream, dream big, vampire squid wrapped around the face of America.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Naked Shorting But Were Afraid To Ask. Clusterstock. I rarely read Clusterstock anymore, mainly because they bury you in a quantity of posts of dubious quality. This I will never do to you, dear reader, in so far as I find it taxing enough to subject you to the tiny amount of substandard posts I currently do.

Sleep is a kludge. HT: Economists do it with models.

Never Say Never. The Epicurean Dealmaker. The ED is the cream of econoblogging: knowledgeable, witty, insightful, funny, biting. He has a billion post series on Compensation right now. Its . . . amazing.

I suspect I will sleep most all of friday, and then into accounting post haste.