Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Brady Bonds

There are a few missing years of interest rates from many Latin American countries in the IMF database.  Ever wonder why?

The answer is many emergent economies - mostly Latin American but including some other regions as well - defaulted on their national debt in the early 1980s.  The remaining debt was reorganized, backed by U.S. treasury debt, and sold as a Brady Bonds, after the United States Treasury Secretary.

By the mid to late 1990s, most of the Brady bond debt was repurchased or repackaged so as not to damage investor confidence in these countries.

Recommended for anyone interested in an economic cycles or Latin America.

News articles:

Guide to Brady Bonds
Swapping Out Debt
Brady Bonds Fading
Brady Bonds Dying Out
Brazil Takes Step Away from Brady Bonds

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Hedge Fund That Also Made Cars

Porsche, The Hedge Fund That Also Made Cars

The luxury car manufacturer generated $13.5 BN in pre-tax profit, and sold a record 98,652 automobiles -- a staggering $136K profit per car sold. Even for a luxury brand, the numbers seemed nearly impossible. Upon closer inspection, $11.5 billion dollars of that profit wasn’t from selling cars -- it was from speculating on financial derivatives: Porsche was furtively amassing a sizable position in call options to buy up Volkswagen shares. As a report from the BBC put it, Porsche was “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.”

In 2008, the car business was good, but the financial engineering business was even better.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Alfred Marshall, Early Theorist Of Economic Development

All Alfred Marshall books here. 

From Gale:

The English economist Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) was the founder of the "new economics." He rejected the traditional definition of economics as the "science of wealth" to establish a discipline concerned with social welfare.

In 1890 Marshall's Principles of Economics was welcomed enthusiastically by economists and a popular audience as a revolutionary work in economics.

The content and method of Marshall's economics were largely original, but his basic assumptions were derived from the 19th-century belief that social reform depended initially upon the reform of character. He never doubted that every man sought his own, or at least his children's, best interest; that "work" purified human nature, stimulating personal and social progress; or that capitalism would be inherently progressive if it was made more efficient.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Yahoo Finance Gets Political and Touts Yahoo Stock

I've noticed a major change at Yahoo Finance recently. Very hard-edged political articles (a big no-no for good investing) and articles that, well, appear to push the boundaries of conflict of interest. See this here (picture below). 

Food for thought. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wikipedia Hoaxes News Roundup

Here are some recent articles documenting maliciously wrong Wikipedia information, and even some articles about entirely fictitious entities. In many cases, the wrong information stayed on Wikipedia for years and was cited by other sources. Food for thought if you are using Wikipedia.

I Accidentally Started a Wikipedia Hoax

The 10 Biggest Hoaxes In  Wikipedia's First 10 Years

Read About the Infamous Nonexistent Battle That Stayed on Wikipedia for Five Years

Wikipedia's own entry on Wikipedia Hoaxes (yes, we know)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Austin Startup Blog

Blog devoted to startups in Austin. These tend to be cool companies: social media, software companies, laboratories and more.

A great resource for finding out how companies attract funding based on their business model and also who's HIRING.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Resources for Bonds

Here's a round up of different ways to research bond issuance – both corporate and treasuries – and trading information.

From FRED, Historical data for US Treasuries:

Mergent Manuals Database has Current and historical data for the issuance of bonds.

Look up the company or municipality you're interested in and within that record there will be bond issuance information.

Standard and Poor's Database Has current price information for many years of corporate bonds with varying maturities.

Moody's.Bond Record (1977 to 1999)
Moody's Annual Bond Record (1990 to 1999)
Mergent Annual Bond Records (1999 to present; 2003, 2008-9 missing)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Water Wars in Texas

Good article about the coming mass privatization of water in Texas.

Yes, it takes an anti-privatization, pro-conversation stance.

Main book category for water economics.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Texas State Students Win Business Ethics Case Competition

reposted. Congratulations! 

Posted by Jayme Blaschke University News Service June 3, 2014

Three graduate students from Texas State brought home two first place trophies from the International Business Ethics Case Competition held May 7-9 in Tucson, Ariz.
The Texas State team of Shanna Shultz, Alejandro David Tamez and Coleen Watson bested teams from England, Canada, France, Hungary, Spain and the U.S. to win both the 30-minute and 10-minute presentation at the graduate level on the topic "Is That Blood on Your Shirt? Exploitation in Garment Manufacturing."

The International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) is the oldest and most recognized intercollegiate business ethics competition.  The event is held in conjunction with the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association’s  (ECOA) annual sponsoring partner leadership forum.
Each team selects a topic from any area of business ethics and prepares a presentation describing the problem and proposing a solution. Judges listen to the team’s presentation, question students and then give the team feedback. Presentations cover the legal, financial and ethical dimensions of the case, but special emphasis is placed on the strength of the ethical analysis of the problem and the ethical acceptability of the solution.

The Texas State team constructed a hypothetical situation in which they served as ethical consultants to GAP Inc. concerning the tragic events that occurred at the Rana Plaza, a GAP vendor, where more than 1,000 people were killed in a building collapse in April of last year. Using what they termed the "golden rule standard," they argued that GAP has an ethical obligation to sign the accord on fire and building safety in Bangladesh as a step toward expanding its value framework toward a sustainable capitalism that recognizes human rights and advances the common good while simultaneously meeting the demands of a profit-driven business.

Schultz is in the masters program in communication studies, and both Tamez and Watson are philosophy students in the master of applied philosophy and ethics program. Team advisor is Jo Ann Carson.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bag of Tricks on Hiatus

Due to professional commitments, Bag of Tricks is on hiatus for a few weeks. There's more than enough posts to keep you busy till we're back!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bar Rescue: Critical Analysis For Entrepreneurs

Here's the link to the popular reality show Bar Rescue.

Kind of interesting way to get you thinking critically about your business idea, even if it is not a bar.  The link above offer some full episodes