Saturday, January 31, 2009

Michael Milken on activism | Video on

Michael Milken on activism | Video on

I am not sure where to put this one. Milken is mentioned in my classes all the time, but this is not finance. Moreover, while posted only last month, it was filmed 8 years ago. He talks on everything from finance, to charity, to adding value. So I will put it on FinanceClass and the RandomTopics2 blogs. He talks about the difference people can make, which while not strictly a financial topic, it is a lesson that is VERY important. (oh and many of his solutions and language are financial which again shows that no matter what you want to do, having a good financial background will help immensely.)
"Michael Milken talks about using your own particular set of skills to make real change in the world. In his case, the energetic mind that once created exotic bonds is now driving the 'Manhattan Project of cancer' -- with lifesaving results."

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Element and Class ideas

I am reading The Element which is essentially based on the premise that we all learn differently and have different strengths and weaknesses. It has gotten me thinking (which is almost always a bad else could be do to make your learning experience better/more fulfilling?

So while I can not alter the syllabus, I have some ideas that could be used as a project for SIMM, used to up a poor case in 402 (or maybe as 20% bonus on the final), and/or a bonus/extra credit in 610.

This is not required and definitely not an exhaustive list. Just a few things that came to mind that sound fun.
  • A video presentation (at least 10 minutes) on anything tied to finance. For instance, do a case study but make it a video.
  • A summary of important finance papers that could be shared online with others not only in class but with anyone anywhere.
  • A presentation(?) that could be used locally at maybe the WW II Musuem (?) or on campus showing Wall Street at War? Or Wall Street during the Depression? or ???
  • A web-quality presentation on local finance jobs that could be shared with future classes (sort of a what do finance people do locally)
  • Other things??
If any of this sounds like something you would like to do, let me know.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Technology to the rescue again!

Given the large class size in a few of my classes I understand that you may not have the opportunity to ask everything you would like in class. Coupled with the inefficiencies involved with office hours (for instance you work then, it is snowy) and the fact that many students are afraid to ask questions, we are going to try to improve communication using this form.

If you have questions you can include them. You can also mention anything that I was not clear on. I will check the forms several times a week to see what I can do to make the class more beneficial for you.

And this is much better than weekly quizzes which seemingly is the alternative. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 Podcast Podcast--
In case you want to listen to the class via a podcast (where you can download each file), this is the link. I will continue to also post the lectures on this (the class) blog.

MBA 610 Class 2 After Break

Nexus of Contracts, Human Nature, Agency costs, BH-SH conflicts, Ethics

MBA 610 Class 2 Spring 2009 before break

This class is a fast review of valuation and leads up to a short introduction of the Nexus of Contracts.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Review topics

Ok, you have spoken....

review topics you asked for include in Finance 402 (in no order)

* Capital Structure after Modigliani and Miller
* Derivatives--what is available, how to use them, hedging vs Speculating
* Free Cash flow estimation
* Equity Valuation
* Yield to Maturity Calculations

So we will hit on these in coming classes. thanks for the input!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Updated websites


Slight modifications have been made to both the MBA 610 and Finance 402 pages.

Thain's Furniture Will Hold its Value

Close circuit to the 401 students and in particular Kevin: Not sure if you were joking or not, but you seemingly were right, Michael Smith is good I

Thain's Furniture Will Hold its Value:

Bloomberg: The antiques Thain reportedly purchased will probably hold their value over time, said Clinton Howell, a New York dealer in English furniture.

“Michael Smith is a very smart guy and he buys very good things,” said Howell. “It’s very likely that what he bought was worth the money if Merrill Lynch wants to get their money back.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

MBA 610 class 1 Spring 2009

MBA 610 is a upper level graduate class at St. Bonaventure University. This is a fast review of the financial system, the time value of money, and basic bond valuation from the first class of the semester.