Since 2006, finance professor David Kass has led students from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business on an annual trek to Omaha, Nebraska, to partake in the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting. This year he and Smith School finance professor Elinda Kiss tried something different. They hosted more than 100 students, faculty and staff for a “Watch & Learn” event on May 5, 2018, at Van Munching Hall.
Dr. David Kass has published articles in corporate finance, industrial organization, and health economics. He currently teaches Advanced Financial Management and Business Finance, and is the Faculty Champion for the Sophomore Wall Street Fellows. Prior to joining the faculty of the Smith School in 2004, he held senior positions with the Federal Government (Federal Trade Commission, General Accounting Office, Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis). Kass has recently appeared on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, PBS Nightly Business Report, Maryland Public Television, Business News Network TV (Canada), American Public Media's Marketplace Radio, and WYPR Radio (Baltimore), and has been quoted on numerous occasions by Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal, where he has primarily discussed Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.
“What course of action would YOU recommend when confronted with a challenging and complicated business issue without clear-cut solutions?”
That is the question that more than 40 finance students from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business were recently asked to answer and defend when presented with a real-life situation while visiting the CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals, headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The students were led by David Kass, clinical professor of finance and faculty champion of the sophomore Finance Fellows program. The undergraduates were joined by several students in the Masters of Science in Finance program. The issue-solving challenge was presented by Glenn Doggett, CFA’s director of professional standards.
SMITH BRAIN TRUST – What’s the big deal about Spotify’s unconventional IPO? The music-streaming giant is set to come to market next without the help of some big investment bank. It’s a known brand, and it’s shown growth in its niche. So, why are investors so jittery about this initial public offering?
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“Being able to join a Fellows program as a sophomore is a marked advantage. The Sophomore Finance Fellows program truly resembled the intersection of theoretical classroom knowledge and real-world business acumen. Following markets, engaging in case-based discussion and contributing to a collective knowledge forum among your peers are just some of the great experiences I’ve had in this program,” said Adam Hostetter, a junior finance major recalling with appreciation his sophomore year in the program.
SMITH BRAIN TRUST — When influential analyst and Loup Venture co-founder Gene Munster made predictions for 2018, there was one that really had people chatting. It was a prediction that online retail juggernaut Amazon.com might cut a deal to buy the struggling Target. It was a mergers-and-acquisition idea that seemed to align with some of the things that Amazon.com has been doing – establishing a brick-and-mortar presence and competing head-to-head with Walmart.
SMITH BRAIN TRUST – For those who listen closely to what Warren Buffett says, the announcement that Berkshire Hathaway was hooking up with Amazon.com and JPMorgan Chase to create an independent healthcare company didn’t come as a big surprise. Buffett, the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO, has been lamenting the state of healthcare in the country and its corrosive effect on the economy for much of the past year.
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SMITH BRAIN TRUST – For stock markets, Jerome "Jay" Powell's nomination as Federal Reserve chair comes as fairly welcome news.