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From Stanford Business magazine, Autumn, 2010 Surrounded by photos of himself with presidents and foreign dignitaries and all manner of award plaques and commendations, Richard Fisher, MBA ’75, looks every bit the patrician banker sitting in his palatial office on the 14th floor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. But on this day, he [...]

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Why Bank Equity is Not Expensive

STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS—When the financial markets crashed two years ago, Americans discovered that all too many banks and financial institutions became distressed because of their high degree of leverage. Since then, regulators, economists, and the banking industry have jousted over the question of how much equity capital banks should hold.  The prevailing argument [...]

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Is That CEO Telling the Truth?

STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS—How do you tell if CEOs are not being truthful during quarterly earnings conference calls? Stanford Graduate School of Business researchers have developed a model to analyze the words and phrases used during these calls and found some specific speech patterns that give clues. After studying Q&A sections of transcripts of [...]

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STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS — In a forthcoming book, Stanford Graduate School of Business finance expert Darrell Duffie goes behind the scenes to describe the financial network of incentives and financial contracts that lead to run-on-the-bank calamities during the financial crisis of 2007-2009. He argues that success in placing the global financial system on [...]

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California public employee pension systems are worse off than anyone previously projected, according to a new report generated by five graduate students in Stanford’s graduate Public Policy Program. The result could be greater pressure on the state budget and a shortage of pension funds in the future. “This is a really dire situation,” graduate student [...]

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Although the SEC’s complaint and press reports have painted Goldman Sachs[‘ massive bets on the mortgage market as negligent at best and fraudulent at worst, the facts are complex, and it appears that the Commission may well have a difficult time proving its case, according to two Stanford professors. “The less people know about the [...]

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Many retirees are advised to follow the 4% rule for managing spending and investing. Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor William F. Sharpe and his co-authors argue that following this advice can lead to overpayments and surpluses. To avoid these pitfalls, retirees also have to have a clear idea of how much risk they are [...]

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“Those who call for stamping out speculation may be confused between speculation and market manipulation,” Stanford business Professor Darrell Duffie wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Manipulation occurs when investors ‘attack’ a financial market in order to profit by changing the value of an investment. Profitable speculation occurs when investors accurately forecast an investment’s fundamental [...]

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It’s not memory loss or senility that leads to mistakes, but increased “noise” in parts of seniors’ brains. When it comes to making risky financial investments, an older mind is likely to make more mistakes than a younger one, Stanford psychologists say. Subjects played a game in which they repeatedly chose to invest in either [...]

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