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Description:  High frequency trading offers opportunities by the millisecond and a bundle of regulatory issues.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 12/30/2009

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/markets/2009/12/30/mkts_high_frequency_trading.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion: 

  • What are the primary reasons for the fast growth in market share for this software?
  • Do you believe that this sort of software presents any special problems for financial managers or regulators? Explain your thinking.

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Description: Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in September that the search leader will buy up to one company a month in 2010. Here’s a look at some of the leading contenders.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 01/02/2010

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/technology/0912/gallery.google_acquisitions/index.html

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you agree or disagree with the assessments made favouring these acquisitions? Explain your thinking.
  • Are there alternative acquisitions that you think are superior? Explain your choices.
  • In general terms, is the acquisition route a good way for Google to go? Explain your thinking.

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Description:  Kraft Foods (KFT.N) is preparing to sweeten its hostile 10 billion pound ($15.9 billion) takeover bid for British confectionery maker Cadbury (CBRY.L), reported the Sunday Times.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 01/03/2010

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE60207X20100103

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you believe the bid is overpriced? Explain your thinking.
  • How would you assess the bidding process thus far and how high do you think the price can go for Cadbury? Explain your answer.

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Description: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank’s low interest rates didn’t cause the past decade’s housing bubble and that better regulation would have been more effective in limiting the boom.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 01/03/2010

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=auCLZh_HZf9E&pos=1

Questions for discussion: 

  • Do you agree with Ben Bernanke’s views about the cause of the financial crisis? Explain your answer.
  • What do you believe caused the crisis?
  • What do you think financial managers can expect in 2010, with respect to interest rate movements and inflation?

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Description: The U.S. stock market is wrapping up what is likely to be its worst decade ever. In nearly 200 years of recorded stock-market history, no calendar decade has seen such a dismal performance as the 2000s.

Source: WSJ.com

Date: 12/20/2009

Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704786204574607993448916718.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Questions for discussion: 

Summarize the highlights of the story.

  • Do you think dividends will regain their earlier growth patterns? Explain your answer.
  • How do you think stocks will perform over the next ten years? Explain your answer.
  • Which stock sectors do you think will outperform the averages?
  • Which stock sectors do you think will perform less than the averages?

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Description:  PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian explains how collapse of Lehman Brothers destroyed confidence in the economy.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 12/10/2009

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/12/08/f_cs_pimco_food.fortune/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Summarize the reasons given for the financial crisis.
  • Do you believe the fear expressed by El-Erian was experienced by everyone? Explain your answer.
  • How do you think financial managers will handle risk in the future, now that we have experienced this period of unrest?

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Description: Kenneth Feinberg limits pay to 500,000 for hundreds of employees at AIG, General Motors, Citigroup and GMAC.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 12/11/2009

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/11/news/companies/feinberg_compensation/index.htm

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the arguments put forward that favour limiting the pay of executives at these firms?
  • Do you agree with these arguments?
  • What are possible consequences of this approach?
  • Do you believe this represents micro-managing by government? Explain your thinking.

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Description:  There is nothing wrong with the IPO market that a few quality companies could not cure. That is what analysts insisted after a week of disappointing offerings that seemed to deflate a budding recovery in the market.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 12/11/2009

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1126572920091212

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the arguments given for the weak response to recent IPOs.
  • Do you agree with the explanations? Explain your answer.
  • What financials would you look for in an IPO? Explain your thinking.

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Description: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which took $10 billion in U.S. bailout funds last year, shouldn’t get taxpayer support if the firm focuses on trading over banking, according to former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 12/12/2009

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a.O8G_pyd5ZE

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the highlights of the story.
  • How might this impact the operations of the financial services industry and regulatory bodies? Explain your thinking

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Description:  Fortune’s Andy Serwer is skeptical that the proposed Comcast-NBCU deal will work better than previous media mergers.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 12/02/2009

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/12/02/f_sl_nbc_comcast.fortune/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Summarize the reasons given for the acquisition of NBC by Comcast.
  • Do you believe this was a good financial deal? Explain your answer.