Posted by & filed under Economic Analysis, Governments & Regulators.

Description: Stocks could see choppy trading next week with the latest batch of earnings and uncertainty over Ben Bernanke’s Senate confirmation for another term as Federal Reserve chairman.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 01/23/2010

Link:  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60M09920100123

Questions for discussion: 

  • Follow up this article with a summary of corporate earnings reported this week?
  • How did markets react?
  • Why is Ben Bernanke’s confirmation such an important factor for investors and reflected in the performance of markets?
  • What do you believe is the likely scenario for markets if he is confirmed and if he is not confirmed?

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Industry Analysis, Management Issues.

Description:  The elite Wall Street firm is criticized for doling out $21 billion in bonuses this year and having sold toxic assets.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 01/13/2010

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2010/01/13/n_goldman_public_attention.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • What are your impressions of the report with respect to the presentation of the culture of the firm and the industry in general?
  • Do you feel employee compensation is exaggerated at the firm or in line with performance?

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Financial analysis, Growth & Valuation.

Description: JPMorgan Chase showed it was close to making a full recovery from last year’s crisis after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly profits of $3.3 billion Friday.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 01/15/2010

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/15/news/companies/JPMorgan_Chase_earnings/index.htm

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the key points made in the report.
  • What does the recovery by JPMorgan suggest about the financial future other financial institutions and stock markets?

Posted by & filed under Company Analysis, Growth & Valuation, Industry Analysis.

Description:  Billionaire investor William Ackman bought a $950 million stake in Kraft Foods Inc. and urged its Chief Executive Officer Irene Rosenfeld to limit the amount of stock she uses to bid for Cadbury Plc.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 01/16/2010

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

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think Ackman’s decision is a smart move?
  • Do you agree that Rosenfeld should limit the use of Kraft stock in its effort to take-over Cadbury?
  • Do you think the current offer for Cadbury will be successful? Explain your thinking.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Description: First-round bids for the debt-ridden MGM studio were due Friday afternoon, but most of the bids are expected to trickle in through the weekend, sources familiar with the matter said.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 01/15/2010

Link:  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1517371220100116

Questions for discussion: 

  • Which of the possible bidders would enjoy the greatest degree of synergy with MGM?
  • Given the information provided in the article, what would you say bidders should be most concerned with, financially speaking?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

 Description:  Banking analyst Dick Bove thinks that this year will be a boon for battered banks.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 01/04/2010

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/markets/2010/01/04/mkts_dick_bove_2010.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Do you agree with the analysis and predictions presented by Dick Bove? Explain your thinking.
  • Would you be a buyer or seller of the banks? Explain your answer.
  • What would you suggest bank managers do at this time?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Description: In the strange but true department, a recent securities filing by Kraft Foods seems to stretch the value stock investors are willing to place on the company.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 01/08/2010

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/08/news/companies/kraft.proxy.fortune/index.htm

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think there is anything inappropriate going on in this situation? Explain your thinking.
  • Do you think Kraft’s strategy was a good one?
  • What would you do if you were Warren Buffett? Explain your thinking.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Description:  The former head of American International Group Inc is urging a closer look at the actions of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, claiming the investment bank contributed to the insurer’s near-collapse, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 01/09/2010

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6081IB20100109

Questions for discussion:

  • What is your view of this exchange between parties to the financial collapse?
  • Where do you believe the blame lies? Explain your answer.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Description: U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the biggest weekly gain in two months, as the nation’s manufacturing increased more than forecast and metal and oil prices surged.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 01/09/2010

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a.YfWoX7if4E

Questions for discussion: 

  • What does the article suggest is an important indicator of stock market performance?
  • Do you believe the news reports suggest more stock market increases over the next quarter? Explain your thinking.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Description: London’s investment banks are luring back traders and analysts they lost to brokerage firms during the credit crisis, compensating for lower bonuses by as much as doubling base salaries.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 01/08/2010

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aCYBE_nDS.Ys

Questions for discussion: 

  • What does the article suggest to you about the financial services industry’s dealings with compensation?
  • Do you think it is a correct approach? Explain your thinking.