Showing posts from September, 2011

Event Recap: Networking 101

Another awesome week for the Finance Society. It was great to see many of the younger students come out and learn some of the key networking tips from our president Sameen Singh and senior advisor Michael Khanarian. Topics covered ranged from tips for Wassermen Events, to proper follow up email procedure. Thanks to Zeena for presenting this week's market update. Once again, we had over 100 students attend the event, and we hope to have the same turnout at next week's Morgan Stanley: What is Investment Banking presentation. It will be a great opportunity for many of you to utilize the skills you've learned in the last two workshops. Make sure you 'like' us at to receive any updates and download our presentations! The Finance Society

Barclays Bombarded by Complaints

In the United Kingdom, figures from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) show that Barclays is the “most-complained-about” bank by customers. There were 251,563 complaints filed against the bank, more than those against any other bank in the first half of this year across the entire UK. If you think this number is high, think again. Apparently, according to Barclays, the bank has already cut complaints by 14% compared to last year. We can only imagine what it was like last year for the bank. With these staggering numbers of complaints year after year, Barclays is finding itself in a difficult position trying to gain more customer satisfaction. But a look at the competitors reveals that Barclays really has to step up its game in order to move down from the crowned seat. Lloyds TSB, a local retail bank in the UK, has received 181,907 complaints in comparison, and Santander UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish Santander Group and the largest bank in the UK in terms of deposits

Cracker Barrel Under Attack

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is the latest company to experience an attempted hostile takeover. The attacker is Sardar Biglari, chief executive of Biglari Holdings. The company initiated its interest in Cracker Barrel in June when it acquired a 9.7% stake in the company. Despite the relatively large stake, Biglari Holdings did not provide a clear reason behind the acquisition at the time. Although such an action may not usually be considered suspicious, it is unusual when it involves Mr. Biglari. Biglari Holding’s primary subsidiary, Steak n’ Shake was acquired in a similar fashion: Mr. Biglari acquired a stake in the company, won an election to the board and eventually became chief executive. Similarly, after acquiring the stake in Cracker Barrel, Mr. Biglari attempted to wrangle a position on the Cracker Barrel board. However, he was not successful in this attempt and the Cracker Barrel board did not accept his nomination. Nevertheless, Cracker Barrel is not alone in hostile


This week-end I have the great honor and pleasure of driving to Raleigh to speak at the North Carolina Accounting Education Forum. There is nothing I enjoy more than speaking with a group of teachers about education—what works, what doesn’t work and how we can go about making a difference in the lives of our students. This morning I had a wake up warning about my presentation. As I ate my Special K, I read the comic strip Dilbert. In it, Dilbert is talking with the garbage man and he asks this very pertinent question: “Wise Garbage Man, why are Power Point slides so boring?” Well, that question certainly gets right to the point. Now, if you have followed this blog for long, you have heard me fuss about the use of Power Point in a college classroom. My main argument is that the slides encourage the students’ strong tendency to copy and memorize. Okay, I already know all the justifications for using Power Point. But, if we are going to be truthful, the number one reason t

Groupon's New Loyalty Program

Last weekend, Groupon Inc. cut its revenue for 2010 by more than half, from $713 million to down to $312.9 million. This is due to Groupon changing what it consider to be profit. Before, it used the amount of money each customer pays for the coupon that they are buying whereas now it is using the monetary amount that it keeps after its merchants receive their share. The company also lost its COO Margo Georgiadis, who has gone back to her former employer Google. Earlier today, Groupon announced that it would be launching a customer loyalty program. One of the complaints that many merchants had was that users who bought the coupon usually did not buy anything beyond what the coupon allowed and did not becoming returning customers. This customer loyalty program would make it so that users who buy a specific coupon multiple times would eventually receive an even bigger discount to purchase the coupon. With its IPO process still ongoing, Groupon hopes that this program will renew waning int

Take A Tour Of Bloomberg L.P. HQ!

Bloomberg Site Visit Finance Society will be hosting a site visit to the Bloomberg building on Friday, October 7th. The visit will include an office tour, a short presentation from Bloomberg HR about internship and career opportunities as well as an hour-long session of training for basic use of the BBG terminal. Limited spots are available so only RSVP if you are absolutely positive that you can go ! The deadline to RSVP is this Friday, September 30th at 11:59pm . We will be meeting at Stern at 10:30am sharp so please be on time. Date: Friday, October 7th, 2011 Time: 10:30 am - 1:00 pm Location: Meet at Stern

Come To Networking 101!

Come to Finance Society to learn the necessary networking skills that will give you an edge in securing your interview slot and job offers just in time for company visits in October! Date: Thursday, September 29th, 2011 Time: 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm Location: Tisch 200

RSVP For Our Wall Street Tour!

Take a tour of the Wall Street area with Finance Society on Friday, September 30th . We'll be visiting spots such as Trinity Church , the grave of Alexander Hamilton , the NYSE , the Wall Street Bull , the Federal Reserve and various other financial centers of downtown NY. Limited spots are available for this tour so RSVP on CampusGroups fast! We will be meeting at Stern at 1:15pm while the tour is scheduled to begin at 1:30pm and run for a little under 2 hours. Attendance will be confirmed a few days before the tour. Date: Friday, September 30, 2011 Time: 1:15 pm - 3:30 pm Location: Meet at Stern

Event Recap: Introduction to Finance Workshop

If the 100+ student's at this week's event isn't a testament to it's success, the 5 minute consumption of $100 worth of dumplings certainly is. The event began with our first market update of the year, led by Vikram and Nona. Following that, Vivek took the stage to begin our discussion of Time Value of Money, and some of the fundamental principles of finance. Though all the freshman weren't able to keep up with the entire presentation, they certainly indicated that they enjoyed the learning experience. At the end of the presentation, sophomores and juniors were able to meet some of the superstar senior mentors that are involved in this semesters mentor program. The application for the mentor program is being emailed out tonight, so be sure to check it out even if you missed our last meeting! Also, make sure you attend our event next week to learn some great tips and tricks for networking. Finance Society Board

Misstep by Netflix Benefits Competitors

Shares of Netflix, the company that changed the way millions of people watch films and TV shows, have plummeted 50 percent in the past two months. The company sparked consumer wrath with a price increase as high as 60 percent for some DVD subscribers and the decision to separate its DVD and streaming businesses. Last week, Netflix cuts its subscriber forecast by 1 million. The management has received much criticism for the failure to understand the market and explain decisions to investors and consumers adequately. Competitors are seeking to take advantage of the opportunity and win over disgruntled consumers. Blockbuster is expected to announce its jump into the streaming market this week. Amazon has also been beefing up its streaming offering and seeks to acquire Hulu. Read more here:

Don't Know Much About Finance? Join Us At Our Introduction to Finance!

Join the Finance Society this week for an "Introduction to Finance" workshop. Learn the fundamental terms and concepts that will prepare you for upcoming professional and professor presentations. We will cover valuation, accounting, and key finance topics. Also, for sophomores and juniors interested in the mentorship program we will be introducing our superstar senior mentors at the end of the event. This is a great chance to introduce yourselves and find out who you would like to be your mentor, as mentors and mentees are paired based on a mix of both people's preferences. Food will be served. We hope to see you there! Date: Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 Time: 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm Location: Tisch 200

UBS Trader Charged with $2 Billion Fraud

Kweki Adoboli, a trader at UBS AG, was arrested on September 15th after the firm discovered unauthorized trades that caused a $2 billion loss, and accounting fraud dating back to October 2008. Adoboli worked for UBS's investment bank at the Delta One desk, advising clients on trades that speculated the performance of a basket of securities. He was charged on three accounts. First, he falsified records of exchange traded fund transactions to gain personally. Second, he was charged with false accounting. Finally, he was also charged as acting against the interest of UBS and abusing the power given to someone in his position. Read more here:

Opposition regarding the AT&T/T-Mobile deal

A couple of weeks ago, AT&T announced its proposed purchase of T-Mobile. However, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit soon after the announcement, and now has the backing of seven other states. Since the cell phone industry is already dominated by four large companies, the $39 billion merger between two of the four large carriers could cause quite a stir by discouraging new competition and upsetting the current competition. The merger would put AT&T at the number 1 spot, pushing Verizon out of its coveted position, along with frustrating Sprint, the number 3 spot. It might also increase service prices, as T-Mobile is one of the lower-priced carriers. However, AT&T is trying to be cooperative and ensures that it will reach a favorable agreement. It claims that the merger will bring 5000 jobs back to America from overseas and it plans to extend high-speed internet access to 97% of all Americans.

Who Are YOU?

As we start a new semester, I think it is an important idea to stop and think about who we are as teachers. The word "teacher" can mean a lot of things -- as a teacher, who do you really want to be? Below is an essay from my teaching tips book that talks about making that determination. I've always thought it was helpful to actually know who you wanted to be. ** As a teacher, I think it is important to have a clear self-concept of your own “teaching personality.” Who are you? Maybe more to the point, who do you really want to be at key moments? Do you have what I occasionally refer to as a “personality role model?” That term does not allude to a teacher whom you have known, as in the preliminar exercise at the start of this book, but an actual role model for your teaching style. For example, when making presentations to fellow educators, I often distribute a list of names such as the following and ask the participants to select the one individual with whom they most

Welcome Back! Join Us At Our Kickoff Event

The Finance Society would like to welcome you back to a new semester here at NYU. We are very excited to present to you the brand new structure of the club, as well as many of the new initiatives the club has planned for the semester. Make sure you join us at our kickoff event this Thursday, September 15th, during common hour, to learn more about the club, exciting upcoming professional events, and all the benefits of being a member of NYU's Finance Society. Afterwards, you can meet the current Executive Board, and mingle with other members. Oh, there's also free food! Date: Thursday, September 15th, 2011 Time: 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm Location: Tisch 200

Open Letter to My Students

If you have followed this blog for long, you probably know that I use the Socratic Method to teach Financial Accounting (sophomores) and Intermediate Accounting (juniors). My students are stunned at first when I start asking them questions. Most of them have never experienced anything like this. My goal is to get them comfortable (but not too comfortable) after the first 2-3 classes. We have now had 8 classes (we start early). Class is moving along nicely (I think). I really want them to enjoy the give and take of learning. A roller coaster will scare you to death the first time you ride it but about the third time “scary” becomes “fun.” I am not interested in scaring anyone but I do want to help them develop their critical thinking skills. That is rarely easy. So, I like to get them to buy into what we are doing. I also believe in being totally honest and open with my students as to what I am doing and why. I think they deserve to know the why. After all, it is

An Idea from My Boss

If you read much about education, you will quickly see many of the same general ideas suggested over and over as beneficial. “Create teams” is one that many experts recommend. “Use the last few minutes of class to review and tie concepts together” is another. “Stress peer education – encourage students to teach each other” is a third that I often read. “End your class with a positive experience” is also common advice. However, one of the problems of teaching is that turning general ideas into practical classroom activities is often harder than it sounds. My boss here at the Robins School of Business is Dean Nancy Bagranoff. For the first time in a few years, Dean Bagranoff is teaching a class this semester. She has an “Introduction to Financial Accounting” section every Tuesday and Thursday morning with about 25 sophomores. Because she has been out of the classroom for a while, Dean Bagranoff and I have been having a few conversations about teaching and how to help studen