Practical analysis for investment professionals

Financial History


Three Charts That Will Rekindle Your Interest in Financial Market History

So what are you missing if — like many people — you've been ignoring financial history? Here are three things that may awaken your interest.

Book Review: Fortune Tellers: The Story of America’s First Economic Forecasters

Walter A. Friedman tells the captivating story of some pioneers of what many still call the “black art” of economic forecasting and credits them with inspiring succeeding generations of forecasters who may or may not have raised the art to a science.

Modern Finance Is Seeing Historic Levels of Speculation

Not surprisingly, the 2008–2009 global financial crisis sent many financial professionals looking to history for a sense of appropriate context and perspective to understand the magnitude of such a catastrophic financial shock. This, in turn, sparked a general interest in financial history, but with few professional sources to turn to. At the 2014 Middle East Investment Conference, professor Adrian Bell, head of the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading's Henley Business School considered the question of whether or not modern finance existed in the Middle Ages.

History Shows Ethics, Or Lack of It, Will Shape the Future of Finance

It seems that barely a month goes by without another headline about the ethical failure of an investment professional. Most recently, of course, was SAC Capital's decision to plead guilty to all five counts of insider trading violations and pay a record $1.2 billion penalty, becoming the first large Wall Street firm in a generation to confess to criminal conduct. While these record penalties seem to be broken fairly frequently, one is left wondering: Is there anything new about the nature of the ethical issues involved?

Financial History: What Are the Lessons for Investment Practitioners?

While experts agree that there are many lessons to be learned from the history of finance, sussing those lessons out and applying them to current events is no simple matter.

JPMorgan Chase and the London Whale: Understanding the Hedge That Wasn’t

How exactly does one "hedge" a book of commercial loans — JPMorgan’s traditional banking business — by writing protection on other companies’ paper, thereby gaining loss exposure to these other loans? Here's why calling the trades complex, poorly monitored, and poorly understood is an understatement.



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