My name is Josh Morris-Levenson. I am an Economics Major in the University of Chicago Class of 2014. I interned at R&R Consulting during the summer of 2012. I worked closely with each member of the R&R team, while also completing significant projects independently. The...

Very loosely speaking, and in line with some of the analogies to physics given in this book, structured finance could be viewed as the "quantization of corporate finance". The authors succingtly give a hint to this viewpoint when they write in chapter 2 that structured...

In my presentation to NYSSA last Friday, I posed the question:
  • Are you playing Wall Street's game
  • Or is it playing yours?
The bittersweet truth is, Wall Street is itself a kind of infinite game but many games played on the Street are high stakes, finite games that turn people into unemployment statistics. To have success on Wall Street or anywhere else, it is important to stay in the game, no matter what. This is one of the first lessons I learned as a card-counter on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade....

No doubt Romney and Obama each sincerely believe the other has the wrong idea of how to restore America to economic health. But, most of the narrative about the economy (is better, is worse) is sheer nonsense. We voters know it, and they know we know it. The true cause of our economic woes is the decoupling of the real economy from the financial system. It has been nearly 40 years since the commercial banks morphed into investment banks, ceding their credit function to the credit rating agencies; and nearly 10 years since the credit rating agencies switched allegiances from the buy side to the sell side. Today, neither government investment nor QE can put the asset and liability sides of our private sector balance sheet (a.k.a. the economy) back together again.

I just spent two wonderful days in Singapore teaching a risk-management and valuation seminar to managers at CapitalLand, a leading Asian real estate and property management concern. CapitaLand has a strong knowledge culture, and Singaporeans are also consummate hosts--at least, my hosts were. Dr. Boaz Boon (head of CapitaLand’s corporate research department), John Pang (Managing Director of CapitaLand Financial) and Wen Khai Meng (CEO of CapitaLand Financial) made

Dear Students, past, present and future:

At this very moment, many of you are probably struggling with decisions that will affect your career over the next twenty years and beyond. The capital markets are in total disarray while most investment bankers have been reduced to glorified Maytag repairmen at best. Most of them have no choice but to believe that the future will look very much like the past, and in so doing are not completely wrong. Yes, the past is still the best predictor of the future, but this only means that somehow, deals will be done next year or the following. That’s true, but how will they be done, and by whom? This is no mere speculation. The rest of your life may hang in the balance. The fate of American finance, the one we know and love, depends on finding solutions to such seemingly unsolvable riddles.

Structured credit ratings spectacularly failed AAA and AA investors, and they also hollowed out the market for mezzanine risk. A healthy structured market needs investors willing to sacrifice yield for certainty. It also needs investors willing to sacrifice certainty for yield, without whom risk transfer in structured finance...

SIFMA's decision to exclude mortgages coming from a jurisdiction where the threat of eminent domain being exercised is material was a hot topic on Naked Capitalism on 7/20 (last Friday) where it turned into a wrangle about public policy that, IMHO, missed the point of...

Patrick Klaybor sent me an email, asking: I am trying to determine the value of a video that I shot of Les Paul at a dinner in Madison Wi. Wanna help? Since we finance portfolios using securitization but don't do single-asset valuations, I connected him to...

VSOP consists of long and short positions on 50 tranches from a variety of issuers and servicers. The deals come from a range of vintages going back before 2000 but most from 2006 or 2007. There is a high concentration of Class A tranches for...