Finance

Will the Fed Act?

Janet Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, has said that raising interest rates before the end of the year is "a live possibility," given the relatively strong performance by the economy. Other Fed governors, however, have said that low levels of inflation mean that a rate hike would be premature. A division over interest-rate policy was also evident in a recent panel discussion among finance experts at the Smith School. Read more...

A Consumer Goods Behemoth Faces Pressure

Is it time for the biggest consumer products group in the world to be broken up? Procter & Gamble may account for more than half of the market for laundry care in the United States (Tide, Gain, Downy), more than two-thirds of the market for razors and blades (Gillette), and 15.5 percent of the beauty and personal care market (Pantene, and on and on). That's added up to a market capitalization of more than $200 billion. But P&G’s sales have dropped by nearly 9 percent since 2012. Smith School professor David Kass shares insights. Read more...

Deutsch Bank ‘Cleaning Slate’ for $7B Loss

Europe’s biggest investment bank is bracing for a near-$7 billion third-quarter loss, and the fallout is taking shape. Deutsche Bank will sell a credit portfolio estimated at $250 billion. The bank’s board also will recommend "a reduction or possible elimination" of the stock's dividend. Smith School professor David Kass shares insights with Bloomberg and other media outlets. Read more...

Speaker Bios

Robert Almgren

Robert Almgren is co-founder of Quantitative Brokers, which provides agency algorithmic execution and cost measurement in futures and fixed income, and a Fellow in the Mathematics in Finance Program at New York University. He is also adjunct instructor in the Master of Science in Computational Finance at Carnegie Mellon University. Until 2008, Almgren was a managing director and head of Quantitative Strategies in the Electronic Trading Services group of Bank of America. From 2000-2005, he was a tenured associate professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of Toronto, and director of its Master of Mathematical Finance program. Before that, he was an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago and associate director of the Program on Financial Mathematics. Almgren holds a B.S. in physics and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in applied mathematics from Harvard University and a PhD in applied and computational mathematics from Princeton University. He has an extensive research record in applied mathematics, including papers on optimal trading, transaction cost measurement, and portfolio construction.

Pauline Barrieu

Pauline Barrieu is professor of statistics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she is also Deputy Head of the Statistics Department and co-director of the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (CATS). She joined the Department of Statistics in 2002 having obtained two doctorates: a PhD in Finance with highest honours, Doctorat H.E.C., France, H.E.C. Graduate Business School, awarded in October 2002; and a PhD in Applied Mathematics with highest honours, Laboratoire de Probabilités et Modéles aléatoires, University of Paris VI, France, awarded in December 2002. She received the Prize for the best Actuarial PhD dissertation, Prix Actuariat, in 2003. Her paper ‘Inf-convolution of risk measures and optimal risk transfer’ (Finance and Stochastics, 2005) was awarded the prize of the best research paper in quantitative finance by the Europlace Institute of Finance, and a subsequent paper, ‘On precautionary policies’ (Management Science, 2006) was awarded the prize of the best research paper “Finance and sustainable development” by the European Union (Responsible Investment Forum). Her research interests include model uncertainty, insurance-linked securitization, contract designing, micro-insurance, weather derivatives and environmental economics.

Erhan Bayraktar

Erhan Bayraktar is a full professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan, where he has been since 2004. He is the holder of the Susan Smith Chair since 2010 and also is the director of the Quantitative Finance and Risk Management Masters Program. Bayraktar’s research is in stochastic analysis, control, applied probability and mathematical finance. He has over 90 publications in prestigious journals in these areas. He is in the editorial boards of Mathematics of Operations Research, Mathematical Finance and the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization. His research has been continually funded by the National Science Foundation. In particular, he received a CAREER grant in 2010. He received the inaugural junior scientist prize of the SIAM Activity Group on Financial Mathematics and Engineering in 2010. Professor Bayraktar received his bachelor’s degree (a double major in electrical engineering and mathematics) from Middle East Technical University in Ankara in 2000. He received his PhD from Princeton in 2004.

Vicky Henderson

Vicky Henderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Warwick where she is a member of the Stochastic Finance @ Warwick research group and directs the MSc in Financial Mathematics. Henderson’s research interests lie at the interface between financial economics, mathematical finance and probability. She is currently works in the area of behavioral finance where she builds stochastic models to better understand the behavior of agents with less than fully rational preferences. Her recent work highlights the importance of randomization in obtaining realistic behavior in the stopping strategies of naïve prospect theory agents. Her optimal stopping models under prospect theory have helped to better explain the disposition effect in financial markets. Henderson’s contributions to the theory and application of utility indifference pricing and notion of horizon unbiased utilities help to lay foundations for a large body of research in this area and she received an NSF Career Award to support some of this research whilst at Princeton. Henderson has held positions at world top-ten universities – in the Oxford-Man Institute and Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, in ORFE at Princeton University, and in RiskLab at ETH Zurich. She was a Quantitative Analyst at Westpac, Sydney, prior to obtaining her PhD at the University of Bath in 2000. Henderson has been involved in major conference and program organization at the Isaac Newton Institute and the Fields Institute. She has given numerous invited presentations including SIAM Financial Mathematics conference, workshops at Oberwolfach and BIRS, and also at the major finance and economics conferences of the AFA, EFA and EEA. She is an Associate Editor of SIAM Financial Mathematics, Mathematics and Financial Economics and Review of Derivatives Research.

Vadim Linetsky

Vadim Linetsky is the Orrington Lunt Professor and professor of industrial engineering and management sciences at McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University. He is currently co-editor of Mathematical Finance and associated editor of Management Science. His research focuses on mathematical modeling in financial markets.

Huyên Pham

Huyên Pham is distinguished professor of mathematics at University Paris Diderot, where he heads the Mathematical Finance research team of the Laboratoire de Probabilités et Modèles Aléatoires. He is also senior research fellow at the Center of Research in Economics and Statistics of ENSAE, and chair of Applied Mathematics at the John Von Neumann Institute of VNU-HCM. He leads research in quantitative finance, stochastic analysis and control, and numerical probabilities, and is the author of more than 80 publications, including the monograph Continuous time Stochastic Control and Optimization with Financial Applications. He serves on the editorial boards of several international journals, and is the co-editor in chief of the journal Applied Mathematics and Optimization. Pham was appointed member of the Institut Universitaire de France in 2006, and awarded the Louis Bachelier Prize by the French Academy of Sciences in 2007.

Mathieu Rosenbaum

Mathieu Rosenbaum obtained is PhD from University Paris-Est in 2007. After being assistant professor at Ecole Polytechnique Paris, he became a professor at University Marie and Pierre Curie (Paris 6) in 2011. In particular, he is now in charge with N. El Karoui, E. Gobet and G. Pagès of the Master 2 program in Probability and Finance, jointly run by these two institutions. His research mainly focuses on statistical finance problems, such as market microstructure modeling or designing statistical procedures for high frequency data. He is also interested in regulatory issues, especially in the context of high frequency trading. He has research collaborations with several financial institutions and is one of the organizers (with F. Abergel, J.P. Bouchaud, C.A. Lehalle and T. Foucault) of the conferences "Market Microstructure Confronting Many Viewpoints," which take place every two years in Paris. He is also co-editor in chief of Market Microstructure and Liquidity, managing editor of Quantitative Finance and associate editor for Electronic Journal of Statistics, Mathematics and Financial Economics, SIAM journal in Financial Mathematics, Statistical Inference for Stochastic Processes and Statistics and Risk Modeling.

Wim Schoutens

Wim Schoutens (Leuven, Belgium) is professor in financial engineering at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is well known for his consulting work to the banking industry and other institutions. He is an independent expert advisor to the European Commission (DG-COMP). He is the author of several books and is managing editor of the International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance and of Quantitative Finance, and associated editor of Mathematical Finance and Review of Derivatives Research. Further, he is series editor of the book series Financial Engineering Explained for Palgrave Macmillan.

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