Posted by & filed under Economic Analysis.

Description: U.S. two-year notes had their first three-week winning streak since January as demand for the safest assets rose on speculation Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis will damp growth and lead to disintegration of the euro.

Source: Bloomberg.com
 
Date: 05/15/2010

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a3uJ_8cLNk.A

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the yield curve?
  • How is it used to interpret economic and investing conditions?
  • Given the information in the article, what would you advise investors and corporate financial planners to do?

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators.

Description:  NYSE Euronext CEO, Duncan L. Niederauer, says his exchange slowed trades of stocks including 3M, Accenture and P&G during the 998 point drop.

Source:  CNNMoney.com – video report
 
Date: 05/07/2010

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/markets/2010/05/06/mkts_nyse_ceo.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the description given of how the NYSE actually works in comparison to other competing markets.
  • Is there an inherent flaw in the design of trading during periods of high volatility?
  • Should anything else be done to deal with periods of volatility?

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators.

Description:  Greece was gripped by a nationwide general strike, in what is seen as a key test of the government’s ability to shepherd through tough austerity measures in exchange for a multibillion-euro bailout. Charles Forelle, Evan Newmark and Mike Reid discuss.

Source:  Marketwatch.com – video report
 
Date: 05/05/2010

Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/video/asset/am-report-strike-tests-greece-europe/58C75EFA-FA3A-4325-9531-E972A0FBC338

Questions for discussion:

  • How does the risk associated with the Euro affect investing in stock and bond markets around the world?
  • Do you believe the current bailout for Greece will be sufficient to stabilize currencies and investment markets?
  • Do you believe the Euro will eventually collapse? Explain your thinking?

Posted by & filed under Governments & Regulators.

Description: Theories about yesterday’s stock market swoon, where within a matter of 20 minutes, the stock market plunged by 1,000 points and then nearly completely recovered, are abounding. Fortune asked Rishi Narang, founder of the hedge fund Telesis Capital and author of Inside the Black Box, to share the theories he’s heard and handicap them in terms of likelihood and plausibility.

Source:  CNNMoney.com

Date: 05/08/2010

Link: http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/07/markets/market_swerve.fortune/index.htm
 
Questions for discussion:

  • What were the possible explanations given for the sudden stock market change in values?
  • Which one do you think is most likely correct?
  • Explain how liquidity influences the setting of prices?

Posted by & filed under Economic Analysis.

Description:  U.S. regulators closed four banks holding less than $740 million in total assets as this year’s failures climbed to 68. Lenders in Arizona, California, Minnesota and Florida were closed by regulators and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver, according to statements on the agency’s website. The failures cost the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund $213.7 million, a fraction of last week’s $7.3 billion total cost. City National Corp., the Los Angeles-based lender with $20.1 billion in assets, purchased one of the banks.

Source: Bloomberg.com
 
Date: 05/08/2010

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aRVsqkRolq1c

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the significance of failed banks being acquired by financially stronger banks that are willing to take over their business territory?
  • Are these good financial decisions by the acquiring banks?
  • Is this an orderly system of restructuring the banking business?

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis.

Description: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which reported a $3.6 billion first-quarter profit last week, said gains at private flight company NetJets Inc. and railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe bolstered results.

Source: Bloomberg.com
 
Date: 05/08/2010

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aPL.hvjH5srY

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you believe that the financial results for Berkshire are indicative of general economic improvement?
  • Would you be a buyer of shares?
  • Strategically speaking, how can the firm take advantage of the current financial situation and help build shareholder equity?

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Governments & Regulators, Management Issues.

Description:  Fortune’s Andy Serwer talks about how the Senate’s proposed financial reforms will affect Berkshire Hathaway’s derivatives holdings.

Source:  CNNMoney.com – video report
 
Date: 04/29/2010

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2010/04/29/f_sl_buffett_derivatives_berkshire.fortune/

 Questions for discussion:

  • How much influence do you think Buffett can have in the current debate about derivatives?
  • Would Buffett joining the management of Goldman be a good move? Explain your thinking?

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Industry Analysis.

Description: Hewlett-Packard’s bid to gobble up Palm Inc. could shake up alliances in the personal computer industry, as other players in the sector figure out their play in a rapidly-changing smartphone arena, analysts say.

Source:  Marketwatch.com

Date: 04/29/2010

Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/h-ps-palm-merger-seen-shaking-up-pc-alliances-2010-04-29?siteid=nwtwk
 
Questions for discussion:

  • Do you agree with the analysis presented?
  • Is this a good deal for stockholders of each firm?
  • From a financial management point of view, what will the consequences be for the newly structured organization?
  • Will there be cash flow concerns? Explain your thinking?

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Industry Analysis.

Description:  United Airlines and Continental Airlines are reportedly on track to announce a multibillion-dollar merger deal on Monday that would create the world’s biggest airline.

Source:  Marketwatch.com
 
Date: 04/29/2010

Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ual-continental-reportedly-close-in-on-deal-2010-04-29?siteid=nwtwk

Questions for discussion:

  • Is this a good deal for stockholders of each firm?
  • From a financial management point of view, what will the consequences be for the newly structured organization?
  • Will there be cash flow concerns? Explain your thinking?

Posted by & filed under Economic Analysis.

Description:  Consumer spending grew at the fastest pace in three years during the first quarter, a sign that the largest part of the economy is gaining speed while becoming less dependent on government stimulus.

Source: Bloomberg.com
 
Date: 05/01/2010

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

Questions for discussion:

  • Given the recent economic improvements, what changes should financial managers consider for the coming year?
  • How should financial managers be expected to interpret the recent results from the Institute for Supply Management?