Bank of America in record payout

Description: Bank of America to pay a $16.65 billion settlement to the federal government and six states for mortgage securities fraud that lead to the financial crisis.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Aug 21, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/08/21/bank-of-america-settlement-17-billion-mortgage-securities-fraud-doj-holder.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Evaluate the settlement agreed to in this case.
  • Do you think jail time for individuals should be pursued?
  • How might that effort affect future management behavior?


Is it smooth sailing for Wall Street’s bulls?

Description: Stifel Nicolaus Portfolio Manger Chad Morganlander and JPMorgan Chief U.S. Economist Michael Feroli discuss markets, the economy and Fed rate policy. They speak on “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Source: Bloomberg .com – video report

Date: August 21, 2014

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/is-it-smooth-sailing-for-wall-street-s-bulls-KQPMTzQeQLCO7VQfYY0VHw.html

Questions for discussion:

  • What do the people interviewed in this report say that favors continued bull market activity?
  • Do you agree with the analysis and predictions?


Why Samsung Is Hoarding Its Cash

Description: Now that it’s selling Nooks to consumers, Samsung Electronics has a new way to compete with Apple and Amazon.com. The Korean company on Wednesday unveiled its new Samsung Galaxy Tab Nook, a 7-inch tablet that uses software for the Barnes & Noble electronic reader.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: August 22, 2014

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-22/why-samsung-is-hoarding-its-cash#r=hp-ls

Questions for Discussions:

  • What does this article say about financial planning needs at Samsung?
  • How should management approach the challenges facing the firm?


Too Much Corn With Nowhere to Go as U.S. Sees Record Crop

August 25, 2014 Edited by  
Filed under Economic Analysis, Industry Analysis

Description: The ripening corn and soybean fields stretch for miles in every direction from Dennis Wentworth’s farm in Downs, Illinois. As he marveled at his best-yielding crops ever, he wondered aloud where the heck he’ll put it all.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: Aug 22, 2014

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-22/too-much-corn-with-nowhere-to-go-as-u-s-sees-record-crop.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • How does this article illustrate the forces of supply and demand in the marketplace?
  • How would you expect the marketplace to deal with the excess supply “problem”?
  • How should investors deal with the opportunities here?


Why Target will pull out all the stops to save face in Canada

Description: It only took 15 months after Target Corp. made a wildly hyped venture into Canada before someone sounded a death knell for the mass merchant.

Source: FinancialPost.com

Date: Aug 22, 2014

Link: http://business.financialpost.com/2014/08/22/why-target-will-pull-out-all-the-stops-to-save-face-in-canada/

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the financial damage to Target due to its poor performance?
  • How would you deal with the current financial problems?


Blackstone CEO: Regulation making markets safer

Description: Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman says regulations have eliminated risk: ‘We probably have a safer world, but a world that will grow slower.’

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: August 06, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/investing/2014/08/06/stephen-schwarzman-blackstone-financial-regulations-safer-markets.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • What does Stephen Schwarzman have to say about the current environment with respect to risk and growth?
  • Do you agree with his assessment?


Zillow CEO: Why Trulia is worth it

Description: Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff explains why he wants to buy Trulia and talks about future growth for the combined company.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: July 28, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/07/28/zillow-ceo-trulia-deal.cnnmoney/

Questions for Discussions:

  • Summarize the reasons given for the deal.
  • Do you think they deal is a good one?
  • How will this deal affect the level of competition?


Arrogance Is Good: In Defense of Silicon Valley

Description: Sam Altman sits behind his desk with his knees pulled up to his chest, eating dried apricots. He’s 29, but even the most laissez-faire bartender would card him. His hand is forever grabbing his hair while he thinks, making it stick up in Einsteinian tufts.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: August 07, 2014

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-07/silicon-valley-tech-entrepreneurs-behind-the-stereotype#p1

Questions for Discussions:

  • What does this article say about management styles and success?
  • Do you agree with the arguments presented?


Two cheers for ‘too big to fail’

Description: Had the government not rescued the big banks during the 2008 financial crisis, the public’s expense would surely have been far greater.

Source: Fortune.com

Date: August 07, 2014

Link: http://fortune.com/2014/08/07/two-cheers-for-too-big-to-fail/

Questions for Discussions:

  • Summarize the arguments put forward in this article.
  • Do you agree?


Canada’s very own private-equity giant Onex quietly tops returns of big-name U.S. rivals

Description: The best performer of the biggest publicly traded private-equity firms this year won’t be found among U.S. giants such as Blackstone Group LP or KKR & Co. The leader is Canada’s own contender, the dark horse in the race, Gerry Schwartz’s Onex Corp. With a 15% stock gain, Onex is running well ahead of Blackstone’s 3.8%. KKR and Carlyle Group LP are both down more than 2% while Apollo Global Management LLC has dropped 15%.

Source: FinancialPost.com

Date: June 26, 2014

Link: http://business.financialpost.com/2014/06/26/onex-corp-gerry-schwartz/

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the formula used by Onex and other take-over firms?
  • Why do you suppose Onex has outperformed others in the same business?