• On Tulips and Bitcoin: Financial Bubbles Then and Now

    The more I hear Bitcoin discussed in everyday conversation as I'm standing in line at the store, the more I am convinced we've gotten ourselves stuck in a crazy time machine and have been plunked down onto the streets of Amsterdam in the 17th...
  • Why the Weakening US Dollar?

    This Financial Times video shows that the US dollar (USD) has been declining significantly this year, but the reason for the decline is not straightforward. The video offers one possible reason for the weak dollar: the Fed's low probability of raising...
  • What Makes Markets Tick: The Rules of Adam Smith

    This Financial Times video reviews the rules of Adam Smith and what makes markets successful Rule #1. Markets work best when as many people as possible are involved Rule #2. Markets are most efficient when prices are transparent to many participants...
  • What is a Futures Contract

    A futures contract is an agreement between two parties to buy or sell some asset at a pre-specified price on a future settlement date. The video below provides a little more detail about what goes into a futures contract. For discussion 1. What is...
  • What Does The Big Mac Cost Over There?

    The Big Mac Index is published by the Economist magazine, and gives readers a sense of the differences in purchasing power across international markets. The idea is that a good or service will cost the same in different markets, once we account for exchange...
  • Functions of the Federal Reserve

    In the complex financial markets in which we operate, the central bank of the U.S., the Federal Reserve system, faces the great challenge of promoting the stability of the U.S. financial system. This video explains the primary responsibilities of the...
  • Why Buy Bonds with Negative Yields?

    Back in the old days, we taught finance assuming that zero was the lowest interest rate possible. Not so any longer. Today, interest rates are negative and investors are putting up with it. Why? Well, there are several reasons that investors are willing...
  • What is the IMF?

    From the IMF website: About the IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable...
  • The Financial Crisis: Ten Years Later

    The last ten years of financial history are quite a blur. First, the rise of borrowing and structured products, followed by the fall of hedge funds and financial credit markets. This video from the Financial Times shows the story of financial market...
  • The Financial Crisis: 10 Years Later

    This video is a series of snapshots of the financial crisis that shook the global financial markets in 2007. In it, you'll find sound bites of the failure of Northern Rock, the big British mortgage lender, Lehman Brothers, and more. From USA...
  • Black Swan Events in Recent History

    According to Nassim Taleb, people had always believed that swans were white. That is, until the discovery of Australia, when the first black swan was sighted. Taleb uses the metaphor of the bird to describe events that are so improbably, no one would...
  • Meet Janet Yellen, Chair of the U.S. Central Bank

    Janet Yellen is the first woman to hold the critical role of chair of the Federal Reserve. This Bloomberg video gives a very brief overview of her interesting and impressive background. From the Federal Reserve's website , Dr. Yellen's profile...
  • Global Economic Outlook from the IMF

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) produced this infographic that shows the outlook for 2017-18. For discussion : Based on the outlook below, what investment choices seem to be the most promising? Source: International Monetary Fund
  • The Price of Goods Around the World

    This infographic compares goods across the world and shows that the price is not necessarily the same as you cross borders. For discussion : Why do we believe that prices SHOULD be the same across the world? What causes prices to differ across the...
  • The Panic of 1907 and the Fed

    The financial markets after the end of the Civil War were characterized by a series of panics. The panic of 1907 and the fallout that followed led to the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913. The video below describes the creation of the Federal...
  • What is Forex?

    The foreign exchange or "forex" market is where foreign currencies are traded. From FXCM : Forex, also known as foreign exchange, FX or currency trading, is a decentralized global market where all the world's currencies trade. The forex...
  • Rates, They Are A-Rising

    In its widely anticipated move, the Federal Reserve announced that it would be raising interest rates by 25 basis points (or 0.25 percent) in December 2016. The market was fully expecting this move, and the question was not whether the Fed would raise...
  • Why Millenials' Retirement Options Aren't That Bad

    According to some experts, the financial outlook for millenials is bleak. A recent article in Forbes Magazine describes Mckinsey's outlook like this: But that vision is all but gone now, according to a Wednesday report from McKinsey and Company’s...
  • Trading the EUR USD Exchange Rate

    With all the political uncertainty we've faced in recent weeks and months, beginning with Brexit and ending most recently with the U.S. presidential election, the price of the U.S. dollar (USD) relative to other currencies such as the euro (EUR) have...
  • The Big Mac Index 30 Years Later

    The Economist began publishing the Big Mac index in 1986 as an informal way of showing purchasing power parity or PPP. The idea is that an item should cost the same in different countries once we adjust for the differences in currencies. From The Economist...
  • What is the Fed?

    Based on this video from the Federal Reserve: 1. What is the Fed and who runs it? 2. What does the Fed do and how does it do it? 3. Who does the Fed interact with?
  • Forex Trading

    With a new administration transitioning in the U.S., uncertainty in the currency markets is running high. The consensus that the Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates coupled with the possibility that a Trump administration will deregulate and...
  • What the Paris Climate Deal Means to Investors

    The Paris agreement on climate change went into effect this week, and governments around the world have agreed to limit global warming. From the Washington Post ( Bayer and Urpelainen, 14 Mar 2016 ): The most important reason for optimism is that...
  • Where is the Money?

    The infographic below compares the world's financial markets by size. Courtesy of: The Money Project For discussion : What surprises you the most about the data presented here?
  • The Multi-Million Dollar Map

    For the first time, a centuries-old map is for sale. The map depicts the known world in the 1531. It's on vellum and the color is vivid. Maps like this would have been purchased by kings to be used for treaties and exploration. Institutions such...