Archive for the ‘Wall Street’ Category

Inside Wall Street's Black Hole

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Conde Nast Portfolio Magazine (March 2008 issue)

For years, investors have relied on a complex formula to manage risk. But what happens if the Black-Scholes model is wrong—and we’re in bigger trouble than ever?

via Inside Wall Street’s Black Hole – Portfolio.com

In Nature's Casino

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

New York Times Magazine (August 26, 2007)

If, after World War II, you had set out to redistribute wealth to maximize the sums that might be lost to nature, you couldn’t have done much better than Americans had done. And virtually no one — not even the weather bookies — fully understood the true odds.

But there was an exception: an American so improbably prepared for the havoc Tropical Depression 12 was about to wreak that he might as well have planned it. His name was John Seo, he was 39 years old and he ran a hedge fund in Westport, Conn., whose chief purpose was to persuade investors to think about catastrophe in the same peculiar way that he did.

via New Orleans – Hurricane Katrina – Housing – Insurance – Natural Disasters and Storms – Real Estate – New York Times

The Irresponsible Investor

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

New York Times (June 6, 2004)

In their recent letter to financial markets in which they lay out the ground rules for their public-share offering, the company’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, insist that Rule No.1 will be ”Don’t be evil.” This, they seem to think, will strike their audience as a radical idea. That is because the audience consists, mainly, of investors. Five long years in Silicon Valley have apparently taught the Google founders a great deal about the people who are about to make them billionaires.

via The Irresponsible Investor – New York Times

In Defense of the Boom

Sunday, October 27th, 2002

New York Times (October 27, 2002)

If the New York attorney general wanted to prove that the firm’s analysts had been wildly optimistic about the Internet, and that their optimism helped the firm’s investment bankers attract Internet business, and that there was, therefore, a deep conflict of interest on Wall Street, all he needed was an Internet search engine.

If you go back and read the public record, you can see clearly what people on Wall Street did between April 1995, when Netscape invented the Internet Initial Public Offering, or I.P.O., and the spring of 2000, when Internet stocks crashed. The story was never hidden, because Wall Street never tried to hide it. Indeed, you can pinpoint the very moment when Merrill Lynch signed on to the boom, and in what spirit they joined the party.

via In Defense of the Boom – New York Times