Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Impact of Our Students' Research

(Thanks to politics.co.uk)

James Surowiecki, in the New Yorker, writes on business, the markets, and the economy. His article for September 21, 2009, concentrates on the power of credit rating agencies and the ways they are entangled in the financial regulatory system.

Of especial concern is the impact of a ratings downgrade. Surowiecki refers to a 2007 article in Business Week which describes how two mortgage-backed bonds were downgraded from AAA to CCC in a single day--a cataclysmic fall from top quality to junk.

Surowiecki goes on to say
As I mention in my column, one of the more curious aspects of the rating-agency controversy is that big investors, many of whom were arguably burned by the recent performance of the agencies, remain supportive of keeping them as regulatory gatekeepers. This study by academic Viktoria Baklanova explains why so many investors think the current system is superior to any that could replace it, and argues that the investors are right.
Viktoria is one our research students being supervised by Joe Tanega and myself. I'm sure her research on credit rating agencies will continue to have an impact and add to the discourse on their role in financial markets.

How Lawyers Work?

(Thanks to the New Yorker)

Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance - 31st Weekly Meeting

Dear all

You are kindly invited to the 31st research seminar on the Philosophical Foundations of Law & Finance this Friday, 2 October, at 6:00-8:00pm, in room 501, 309 Regent Street (University of Westminster).

Vincenzo Magagna will enchant us with a presentation on “Talent and Birth as Causes of Economic Advantage: Some Thoughts from Rawls’s Theory of Justice”. Vincenzo is an alumnus from the MA Philosophy of the University of London, formerly graduated at Bocconi in Economics. Thoughts of distributional justice shall offer a stimulating contrast to the rationality of finance, the efficiency-seeking management of funds… The forum is open for debate.

Joe shall also brief us about his formidable ventures in New York. You may have gotten a taste by perusing the posts published in the Blog below.

Of course the best tradition will be honoured: at 8:00pm we will reconvene at Vapiano (19-21 Great Portland Street, W1W 8QB) for refreshments.

I hope to see you then!



Saturday, 26 September 2009

Joe Tanega teams up with the Professional Risk Manager International Association

On Tuesday, September 22, 2009 Joe moderated a discussion panel at the meeting of the Professional Risk Manager International Association (PRMIA) "Risk Management in the Era of Global Turmoil.". The panel included high-profile risk professionals and financial industry experts.

David Rowe, EVP for Risk Management at SunGard-Adaptive and a member of PRMIA Board of Directors presented his view of the lessons learned through the crisis. His presentation followed by Marcus Cree of the same organization discussing the role of social media in promoting the best practices and establishing thought leadership in the risk management profession. In addition to David and Marcus, the event agenda featured a panel of distinguished speakers including Dean Christiansen, Principal at Acacia Capital and Joseph Langsam, Managing Director, from Morgan Stanley.

PRMIA (www.prmia.org) is a non-profit professional association of more than 62,000 members in 192 countries. PRMIA is represented globally by 60 chapters in major cities around the world, led by Regional Directors appointed by PRMIA's Board. Established in 2002 by a volunteer group of risk industry professionals, PRMIA's mission is to provide a free and open forum for the promotion of sound risk management standards and practices globally.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Columbia University welcomes Joe Tanega

Joe Tanega gave a lecture on the subject of Securitization Law to graduate students of the Department of Financial Mathematics at the Columbia University. Close to 200 future financial engineers learned about complexities that real life brings into even a perfectly calibrated financial model. Joe's view of the ongoing market dislocation causes and remedies sparkled heated discussions. Let's hope that one days someone from this group of inspired young mathematicians will develop and implement a better securitization product, more fair and free of the conflict of interests.


Thursday, 24 September 2009

New York Society of Security Analysts welcomes Joe Tanega

Joe's seminar at the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) turned out to be a smashing success.
Members of the NYSSA we instantly converted into enthusiastic supporters of Joe's ideas of "socially just" securitization!

Viktoria Baklanova organized and chaired the seminar.

NYSSA (www.nyssa.org) has been a leading forum for the investment community since 1937. That year, a small group of security analysts decided to turn their casual lunch gatherings into a series of regular meetings. They held an organizational luncheon in a private dining room of the New York Chamber of Commerce. It was there that NYSSA was conceived, with a membership of approximately 20 analysts, including Benjamin Graham, the “father of securities analysis” and one of the most influential men in the history of finance. In September of that year, the Society held its first formal program, at which Lawrence Klybert of Alexander Eisemann & Co. spoke on “Options – Their Effect on the Market Price of Stocks.” By 1939, the Society had grown to 82 members. Today, with more than 11,000 members, NYSSA is the largest of the more than 135 societies worldwide that comprise CFA Institute.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Interviews with Academics at the University of Westminster

Academics discuss what they do. I also talk about some of the things we do in the Advanced Legal Studies Department.


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance - 30th Weekly Meeting

Dear all

You are kindly invited to the 30th Session of the Philosophical Foundations of Law & Finance on Friday 18 September, at 6:00pm - 8:00pm, in room 501, 309 Regent Street (University of Westminster).

We shall continue with Aristotle's Metaphysics Book I. See http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.1.i.html

We shall also discuss Judge Rakoff's recent decision castigating the US SEC and throwing out the proposed settlement between BofA and the SEC:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/19738938/Judges-Rejection-of-SECBank-of-America-Settlement (This document was provided by courtesy of Edmond Curtin).

As it is our best tradition after the session we regenerate at Vapiano...

We hope to see you then!

Joe and Laura

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Global Reach of Students

The Department of Advanced Legal Studies has always tried to inculcate an enterprising spirit in its students. When we see manifestations of this we shall bring it to your attention.

Three of our International Commercial Law, and one Dispute Resolution, masters students have started this year a blog on commercial law: Commercial Law International ("Commercial Awareness is Global"). The students are Ainsley Brown (Canada), Carsten Lexa (Germany), and Stephane Apitha (Mauritius). There is also Charles Kamau Wanguhu (Kenya) who took our masters in International and Commercial Dispute Resolution.

Recent posts include articles on the Indian newsprint industry, Airbus state aid, and Lehman Brothers' internal struggle between its European and US arms.

Commercial Law International lives up to its name by virtue of its coverage and the global reach of its contributors. We applaud this venture.

We shall be reporting on other ventures by our students, former and present.