Past Midway Ramblings on Business & Life

CategoryInvestment Banking

The Expanding Federal Reserve – Part 2

This is Part 2 of my three-part series on the Federal Reserve. Review In Part 1, I discussed the Fed’s massive financial intervention into the mortgage-backed security market during the last recession (2008+). This event provides a good benchmark to compare subsequent Fed interventions, notably 2020. I also analyzed the outcomes of the Fed’s mortgage-backed security purchases. Although I expected...

The Expanding Federal Reserve – Part 1

The Federal Reserve plays an ever-increasing, complex role in the U.S. economy. By significantly expanding its scope, the Fed is now the single most important economic factor influencing the financial markets. The Federal Reserve is, no doubt, a complex topic, perhaps one of the most challenging areas within finance. Few people know the Fed’s mandates. Fewer still understand how the Fed executes...

Why You Probably Won’t Make Money Trading

In the late 1990’s, a work colleague of mine in the engineering department at GE occupied much of his time trading financial instruments. In particular, he liked trading call options on the technology company 3COM. Although manufacturing engineering was his day job, he apparently thought day trading was more interesting. Understandable. It also seemed he had prescient timing with his trades...

Integrity in M&A

This update points to a story I wrote on my professional blog. It would have been better on this forum, which didn’t exist at the time. Years ago, a defining interaction happened around a large conference room table as we were negotiating the final points on an M&A deal. This is a story of unusual integrity and transparency in business. It was a beautiful moment and I learned from it. I...

Party Like an Investment Banker

Let’s say you’re an investment banker or work in private equity and you get invited to a cocktail party. While there, you get the dreaded question, “What do you do for a living?” (because very few people outside New York understand what investment bankers do). Although I worked as an investment banker for Bear Stearns in London (back when that was still a firm), I’m pretty sure my own...

Quality

The investment banking culture expects perfection. Mistakes are unforgivable. The logic – if you make mistakes on small details, the client will wonder if you also make mistakes on important points – like the valuation of their company. Story Time… While working at Bear Stearns, I arrived at my desk one morning to find two pages on my chair, ripped from the previous day’s...

From Engineering To Finance

After an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, a Master’s degree in acoustics (also engineering) and working as an engineer at General Electric for three and a half years, I realized I really didn’t enjoy engineering. While I learned a lot at my time at General Electric, especially in project management, engineering just didn’t excite me, at all. I was also discovering that I had an...

Past Midway Ramblings on Business & Life

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