September 19, 2008

Trader Glenn Graham Gives a Shout-Out to BEL

Last week, Glenn Graham, a former SA for BEL, was honored by Trader Monthly, and was interviewed on Options News Network on Wednesday. Interviewer Kevin Cook asked him about his influences to become a trader, which for Glenn, began in high school. He said he got a job working in BEL and read as many books on trading that he could, and liked interacting with the Bloomberg machine. Glenn said BEL had a wealth of information for him.

Here's the link to the first part of the Interview, where BEL is mentioned.

The second part is here.

Thank you Glenn Graham for remembering your roots and for your service to BEL and the University Libraries.

Posted by Becky at 11:35 AM

September 2, 2008

BEL Salutes Glenn Graham


(pic courtesy of Trader Daily)

Glenn Graham was named one of Trader Daily's "Top 30 Under 30", meaning the top young traders under the age of 30. Glenn last attended classes in finance and accounting from the College of Business in 2006, and he was a student assistant in BEL. He once said that BEL was one of the best jobs in his life because we had so many databases and publications he could peruse for his career search and projects he had to do for classes.

Indeed, he used Investment Dealer's Digest and Futures magazine to do an independent job search for a summer internship, and landed a spot at Allston Investment in Chicago. He performed so well that he was offered a permanent position at the end of his internship.

Now, Glenn works for Dubai-based Casa Trading as director of its energy trading. One of his peers said this about Glenn:

"His trading prowess is unprecedented for someone his age," says one crude-oil broker. "He's a brilliant trader and a tremendous risk taker, but at the same time he knows how to calculate risk well."

Glenn is only 23 years old.

BEL salutes Glenn Graham and continues to wish him well in his endeavors.

Link to article (registration req'd, but free to anyone)

(h/t to Ashley Graham, his sibling, who also works in BEL as a student assistant)

Posted by Becky at 11:11 AM

September 20, 2007

Dubai to Buy Large Stake in Nasdaq

The New York Times reports this afternoon that Borse Dubai is buying a considerable stake in Nasdaq, approproximately 20-30%.

In exchange, Dubai would hand over to Nasdaq the OMX Group, a stock exchange based in Stockholm that also operates in Helsinki, Copenhagen and several other countries in Scandinavia and the Baltic States.

With a 17 percent share, Horizon Asset Management of Seattle is now Nasdaq’s largest investor, according to the exchange.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Becky at 2:21 PM

August 9, 2007

Dow Drops 387 Points

E-mail alert from the NYT:

Stocks on Wall Street today suffered their biggest one-day
decline since February after the turmoil in the home-loan
market caused renewed concerns about tightening credit

Biggest decline since February according to the article.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Becky at 3:39 PM

February 27, 2007

Wall Street Takes A Hit As Chinese Market Stumbles

From the NYT:

Stocks plunged in New York today after a sell-off in China rattled markets worldwide and surprisingly weak economic data fanned fears that the economy may be more vulnerable to a downturn than widely thought.

A wide sell-off had pushed the benchmark Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index and the Dow Jones industrial average down around 1 percent for most of the trading day. But minutes before 3 p.m., stock prices plummeted, sending the Dow briefly down more than 500 points, or 4 percent. The S&P also fell about 4 percent at the same time.


Posted by Becky at 2:50 PM

November 21, 2006

BEL Salutes: Professor William Bernhard

Bellog has discovered that U2IPERG (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign International Political Economy Research Group) Team member and Political Science professor William "Bill" Bernhard, along with co-author David Leblang at the University of Colorado, has a new book out, entitled Democratic Processes and Financial Markets: Pricing Politics.

To read more about the book, go here to read a prospectus. It will be available for circulation sometime next week in BEL.

Congratulations, Professor Bernhard. We look forward to seeing more research from you and other members of the U2IPERG community.

Posted by Becky at 3:08 PM

November 16, 2006

Passing of a Economics Giant: Milton Friedman

From today's Chicago Tribune:


Milton Friedman, the Nobel laureate economist who shaped the philosophies of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and successive Federal Reserve chairmen, has died, his daughter Janet said. He was 94.

Friedman's theory that inflation results from too much money chasing too few goods inspired a generation of central bankers, beginning with Paul Volcker, who was Fed chairman from 1979 until 1987. Alan Greenspan and Ben S. Bernanke also credit Friedman's work as a blueprint for policy making.

``Friedman's monetary framework has been so influential that, in its broad outlines at least, it has nearly become identical with modern monetary theory and practice,'' Bernanke said at a conference in October 2003 when he was a Fed governor. He became chairman in February 2006.

LINK to article

UIUC Finance Professor Virginia France and U of Chicago graduate, fondly remembers two quotes by Friedman (both from

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat


The government's solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.

Professor Friedman will be sorely missed, whether you are a Monetarist or not.

Posted by Becky at 2:28 PM

November 10, 2006

Hedge Fund Group Issues Public Stock

From Today's NYT:

The Fortress Investment Group plans to raise as much as $750 million in what is set to be the first initial public offering by a United States hedge fund.

Investors will own 10 percent of Fortress after the offering, the company said yesterday in a regulatory filing. The sale values Fortress at up to $7.5 billion

Fortress, which oversees $26 billion, was founded as a private equity firm in 1998 by Wesley Edens, Robert Kauffman and Randal Nardone. It later expanded into hedge funds, real estate and debt. Its assets have more than doubled since March 2005.

LINK (registration req'd) to article

Form 3 Filing by Fortress

Posted by Becky at 2:12 PM

October 9, 2006

Google to Purchase You Tube for $1.65 B

From the NYT:

Google Inc. agreed to buy YouTube Inc. for $1.65 billion Monday. The price makes YouTube, a still-unprofitable startup, by far the most expensive purchase made by Google during its eight-year history.


Wonder how the Harvard Business School folks will write this up on intangible financial valuation cases. Should be interesting.

And what will it mean for bloggers who place free videos on Google and You Tube. Will there be pricing later since bloggers do not own the content when they put their videos on You Tube? Google has begun to charge for views of certain talk shows beyond the same day. Example: Charlie Rose Show.

Posted by Becky at 3:46 PM

August 27, 2006

Measuredmarkets Study Reveals Abnormal Trading Before Buyout Announcements

From the NYT:

The boom in corporate mergers is creating concern that illicit trading ahead of deal announcements is becoming a systemic problem.
It is against the law to trade on inside information about an imminent merger, of course.

But an analysis of the nation’s biggest mergers over the last 12 months indicates that the securities of 41 percent of the companies receiving buyout bids exhibited abnormal and suspicious trading in the days and weeks before those deals became public. For those who bought shares during these periods of unusual trading, quick gains of as much as 40 percent were possible.

The study, conducted for The New York Times by Measuredmarkets Inc., an analytical research firm in Toronto, scrutinized mergers with a value of $1 billion or more that were announced in the 12-month period that ended in early July. The firm analyzed the price, the total number of shares traded and the number of individual trades in each stock during the weeks leading up to the announcement and looked for large deviations from trading patterns going back as far as four years.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Becky at 12:10 PM

August 4, 2006

NYT Has Deals Blog

Today while glancing at the headlines at NYT Online, I discovered there is a blog about deals. It's called Dealbook, and has some nice snippets about M & A's, LBOs, hedge funds (the most hit topic on bellog), and turnarounds.

Check it out--Dealbook.

Posted by Becky at 1:42 PM

June 20, 2006

Gulf urged to harmonise financial standards

By Shakir Husain, Staff Reporter, Gulf News:

Dubai: Cross-border investment in the Gulf will soar if members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) harmonise accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, a top econ-omist said yesterday.

Chief economist of Dubai International Financial Centre, Nasser Saidi, said International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) must be made mandatory for publicly listed firms.

"The GCC is moving towards market integration and countries must harmonise accounting standards. It will boost investor confidence and encourage cross-border investment," he told Gulf News.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Becky at 1:13 PM

May 5, 2006

Louis Rukeyser, Television Host, Dies at 73

From the NYT:
Louis Rukeyser, the exquisitely tailored and pun-loving television host who helped millions of Americans believe that they could get rich in the stock market, or at least begin to understand it, died yesterday at his home in Greenwich, Conn. He was 73.

He died of multiple myeloma, said his brother Bud Rukeyser.

When "Wall Street Week" was broadcast for the first time on Nov. 20, 1970, probably nobody, not even the always self-assured Mr. Rukeyser, dreamed that the show would run for 32 years while attracting the biggest audience on public television and making its host a celebrity in the improbable field of light-hearted, free-market-oriented financial commentary. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was then languishing, and the population of American mutual funds numbered a scant 323.


On a personal note, this belloger enjoyed Wall Street Week on the PBS. He had the worst puns, but Louis trusted his regulars on roundtable discussions and his guests to be truthful with his viewers. He will be missed.

Posted by Becky at 7:22 PM

May 4, 2006

Joining the Private Equity Club

From the NYT:
The exclusive private equity club, long restricted largely to financial institutions and high-rolling individuals, is looking a bit more egalitarian this week. That is because a unit of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the world’s largest buyout firm — as such investment companies were called before the term “private equity” came into vogue — has sold $5 billion in shares to the public through a stock listing in Amsterdam.

But is this a club that small-time investors should be rushing to join?

KKR’s offering was three times larger than originally expected, which demonstrates that the demand is certainly there. Many would also argue that individual investors, often called retail investors, should enjoy access to the impressive returns that many private equity investors have enjoyed in recent years.

LINK to NYT article

Related: International Tribune Herald picks up Bloomberg News' report, which entails more about meetings with Angela Merkel, Co-chancellor of Germany in NY today, who courting for more private equity investors:

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany will meet senior representatives of U.S. private equity groups in New York this week, as Europe's biggest economy lures investment from funds that were likened to locusts by some politicians last year.

Henry Kravis, a founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and John Edwards (former Senator and 2004 vice-Presidental candidate), senior adviser of Fortress Investment Group, will be among 12 company chiefs holding talks with Merkel on Thursday, said a German government aide. KKR, the world's biggest buyout firm, and Fortress have both invested in German companies.


Posted by Becky at 1:07 PM

April 12, 2006

2 Wall Street Employees Charged With Insider Trading

In light of UIUC's new Center for Professional Responsibilities, this article from NYT seemed timely:

Published: April 12, 2006
Ever since Michael Douglas declared that "greed is good" in the 1987 movie "Wall Street," the character he played, Gordon Gekko, has been the face of insider trading on Wall Street.

But it was $2 million in profits made by a 63-year-old retired seamstress in Croatia that tipped off the Securities and Exchange Commission about an ambitious and unusually creative insider trading ring, investigators say. That lead culminated in the arrests yesterday of two junior-level employees at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.

LINK (free, but must be signed up)

Posted by Becky at 11:46 AM

March 29, 2006

BEL Salutes: Professor David Ikenberry

Professor David Ikenberry is head of the Finance Department at UIUC's College of Business. Recently, UIUC News Bureau interviewed him and posted this story on their web site:

A Minute with David Ikenberry

David Ikenberry's research has focused on issues relating to stock-market returns as well as the informational efficiency of markets and the reasons why companies buy back their own stock. The growing influence of "activist stockholders" in corporate America has stirred fears that they are mostly speculators looking for quick profits at the expense of established companies. Ikenberry analyzes the background of these high-profile battles.

Read the rest here.

Professor Ikenberry is a good friend of BEL and has made it possible for our library to have Bloomberg.

Posted by Becky at 1:26 PM

March 24, 2006

Business News: Wal-Bank?

From today's NYT:

A Show of Hands for Wal-Mart
Published: March 24, 2006

Wal-Mart, says the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is a "generous and thoughtful" partner that has helped recover 140 missing children. Maybe so, but the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action argues that Wal-Mart is "socially irresponsible" for skimping on employee wages.

Protesters at a rally in Washington Thursday took issue with Wal-Mart's aspirations to get into the banking business. Some other groups, including the Salvation Army, support the nation's largest retailer.
A dispute over a new store? Not exactly. Instead, these two groups — and an eclectic collection of 69 more — have signed up to testify before federal regulators deciding, of all things, whether Wal-Mart can open a bank.

LINK to article (otherwise, UIUC users can locate article in LexisNexis when article is older than 30 days)

Posted by Becky at 9:57 AM

March 21, 2006

Google Finance Goes Live

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- Online search engine leader Google Inc. is devoting a section of its Web site to information about the stock market and corporate America, filling a gaping product hole as it continues to battle for Internet traffic with rivals Yahoo Inc., MSN and America Online.

Yahoo operates the Web's most visited finance site with 31.4 million unique visitors worldwide, according to comScore Media Metrix. MSN's Money section ranked second with 21.9 million worldwide visitors followe by AOL's finance section with 14.3 million visitors worldwide, comScore said.

Web surfers spent on average of 54 minutes per visit at Yahoo's finance section, giving the company more opporutnity to serve up ads.

Link to Google Finance

This blog entry is a summary from an AP article published in today's Lowell Sun Online.

Posted by Becky at 8:33 AM

March 20, 2006

Patent Valuations

Recently a corporate librarian asked for assistance in locating a resource that provides some semblance of what patents are valued by the market place or a company.

Two sites (not free) do this:

Patent Value Predictor

Sample report can be found here.

One of the owners of the Patent Value Predictor, Richard A. Neifeld, Ph.D., Patent Attorney, wrote a white paper on how he does this, entitled "A Macro-Economic Model Providing Patent Valuation and Patent Based Company Financial Indicators" located on

Posted by Becky at 10:15 AM

February 24, 2006

Market Research Publisher VNU May Be Acquired

From today's WSJ:

A group of seven private-equity firms is poised to submit a firm bid to acquire VNU NV for about 7.2 billion euros ($8.6 billion), beginning a tug-of-war over the Dutch publisher and market-research giant as the company's board weighs whether to recommend the buyout even though VNU's biggest shareholders say the bid is too low.

It isn't clear how VNU's board will react to the bid, as several of the company's biggest shareholders as well as Dutch institutional investors have said the company would be worth more if it were broken up and sold off in three pieces. VNU owns a range of media-related properties including the Nielsen Media Research television-ratings service, ACNielsen market research, the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard magazine.

Read the rest here (UIUC id and pw req'd)

Posted by Becky at 9:48 AM

February 22, 2006

Plenty Ventured, Plenty to Gain

From TCM Net, published a couple of days ago:

CHAMPAIGN -- An audit of IllinoisVentures shows that as of midyear 2005, most of its investments were concentrated in 10 companies.

IllinoisVentures, a private company formed by the University of Illinois to help start-up companies, had $2.35 million in investments as of June 30, according to an audit performed for the Illinois auditor general.

Of those investments, about $1.23 million were in the form of common or preferred stock in the fledgling companies. The remainder were in the form of debt instruments that can be converted to stock if and when IllinoisVentures chooses.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Becky at 11:39 AM

January 3, 2006

Year in Review: Hedge Funds

Annually, the WSJ does a "Year in Review" section in its first issue in January. For those searching all of the "review articles" this on our version of WSJ, the title starts with "Year-end Review of Markets and Finance:..."

Today, since hedge fund information seems to be the most popular with our readers thus far on bellog, we will feature the hedge funds article. From WSJ:

Hedge Funds Grow Popular With Investors

"An activist approach provided the catalyst" that helped increase returns at a number of hedge funds, says Carrie McCabe, U.S. chief executive at Financial Risk Management, which invests more than $12 billion in various hedge funds for its clients. "Some of the more niche-oriented strategies like energy trading and super-catastrophe bonds provided interesting opportunities as well." It is hard to find specific data for these strategies. Ms. McCabe says many hedge funds that focus on energy were up 20% for the year, though there isn't reliable data on all the funds that focus on these strategies.

Read the rest here. (UIUC id and pw required)


Chart courtesy of WSJ

Posted by Becky at 9:55 AM

December 12, 2005

Business News: Morningstar to Acquire Ibbotson

CHICAGO (AP) -- Morningstar Inc., the mutual-fund and stock research company, has agreed to buy financial consulting firm Ibbotson Associates for $83 million, the two companies announced Monday.
Privately held Ibbotson, which like Morningstar is based in Chicago, provides asset allocation and fund research to institutions and manages 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. It had $37 million in revenue for its 2005 fiscal year, making it about a quarter the size of Morningstar.

LINK to article

Posted by Becky at 2:55 PM

October 26, 2005

Business News: Vulture Finance? Not So, Says Wilbur L Ross, Jr

From the New York Times:

Lots of people call Wilbur L. Ross Jr. a vulture investor. He finds that ridiculous. If one must liken him to a bird, he says, then make it the phoenix, the mythical creature that repeatedly rises from its own ashes.

"Vultures pick off the flesh and leave the carcass to rot," he said, during a conversation in the Manhattan offices of W. L. Ross & Company, his investment firm. "We help dying companies survive and grow."

LINK to rest of article

Graphic: Ross's opportunities in buying distressed companies

Posted by Becky at 10:19 AM

October 13, 2005

Business News: John Edwards Hits the Street

From Business Week:

The 2004 Democratic candidate for Vice-President joins Fortress Investment Group, where he will serve as a part-time global dealmaker

Wall Street has long provided a soft landing for out-of-work pols. But increasingly, the revolving door leads to private investment firms. The Street's latest recruit: John Edwards, the ex-North Carolina senator and Vice-Presidential standard bearer for the Democratic Party in the 2004 elections.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 9:37 AM

September 1, 2005

America's Largest Hedge Funds

From CNN/Money News:

Assets invested keep growing despite a tough year for industry; keeping tabs on $743 billion.
September 1, 2005: 3:15 PM EDT
By Amanda Cantrell, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Debates about the merits of hedge funds may never end, but one fact remains undisputed: Their coffers are swelling.

In its annual survey of hedge funds with $1 billion or more in assets, the hedge fund industry publication Absolute Return magazine found 196 hedge funds in that group with a combined $743 billion under management -- the vast majority of the industry's estimated $1 trillion in assets.

LINK to rest of article


Posted by Becky at 5:16 PM

August 26, 2005

China Extends Share Merger Reforms

From Asia Times:

Aug 27, 2005
China goes whole hog on share reforms

Government stock market regulators announced August 24 that the share merger reform would be extended to the whole market, sparking a smart rally on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses. Five departments of the national government announced guidelines pushing the reform process ahead, after the pilot projects on share mergers proved successful and were well received by the markets. This prepared the ground for expanding the reform, according to the official circular, which outlines the general direction of the process. The latest reform is the third attempt at share mergers; two previous efforts in 1999 and 2001 failed to address the problem.

According to the circular, the China Securities Regulatory Commission encourages all mainland-listed companies to choose a suitable time to merge their tradable and non-tradable shares. Listed companies which complete the merger would be given priority to raise new capital; and all shares in future initial public offerings will be tradable. However, details of the reform procedures have yet to be revealed to the companies, said Hua Sheng, a well-known economist based in Beijing.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 2:38 PM

August 23, 2005

Business News: SEC Alleges former K-Mart CEO and CFO Misled Investors

From the New York Times:

DETROIT (AP) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday accused two former Kmart executives with misleading investors about the company's financial condition before the retailer's bankruptcy filing in early 2002.

The civil charges filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit allege that former chairman and CEO Charles C. Conaway and former Chief Financial Officer John T. McDonald were responsible for disclosures that were ''materially false and misleading.''

The SEC's complaint charges Conaway and McDonald with securities fraud and aiding and abetting securities fraud. It also accuses them of aiding and abetting violations of rules that require publicly traded companies to file quarterly reports and to include material information in the reports so they are not misleading.

''Investors are entitled to both accurate financial data and an accurate description of the story behind the numbers,'' Peter H. Bresnan, an associate director in the SEC's Enforcement Division, said in a statement.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 1:28 PM

August 22, 2005

Business News:Google Plans New $4B Stock Offering

From the New York Times:

Where Does Google Plan to Spend $4 Billion?

Published: August 22, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 21 - In all the speculation that followed the announcement from Google on Thursday that it planned to raise an additional $4 billion by selling stock, no one seemed to recall the space elevator.

The elevator - a fanciful alternative to rocket boosters to reach earth orbit - is one of the dozens of business ideas that have been considered by the company's wide-eyed founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. It also is one of the ideas that the company's chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, has taken pride in keeping "below the line."

Of course, such fringe ventures could easily consume any number of billions of dollars that Google might raise on the stock market. It has been Mr. Schmidt's ability to keep the company focused on its stated mission of "organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful" that has so far made the company a powerful threat to larger rivals like Microsoft.

Indeed, that focus is so deeply interwoven in the company's culture that whatever direction Google turns, it is likely to disappoint those expecting a blockbuster acquisition. The 4,100-employee company that the three computer scientists have built has maintained a marked predisposition toward building and not buying its future. Indeed, its acquisitions to date have exclusively been of small technology start-ups led by designers whom Google wanted to hire.

That is a marked contrast to its two main competitors, the Microsoft Corporation and Yahoo, which have recently turned to high-profile acquisitions to enter new markets.

Google's preference has been instead to try to create new markets from scratch or to redefine existing ones when it enters them.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 10:46 AM