Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's a Research Day

It's a research day today. I have an exam tonight (and an alternate one earlier for those students who can't or don't want to take it tonight), so there's no teaching on the table today (except for the last-minute tide of panicked students who'll show up at my office). So, since I'm going in a bit later, I thought I'd put something up on the blog.

On today's research menu:
  • I have to get data to a student at my former school (I sit on her dissertation committee). As I mentioned before, she knew I was coming here, so she chose her topic to take advantage of the new resources I'd have access to (pretty smart on her part). So, I'll pull some of the data from the big Hansen data set and send it to her.
  • I'm still editing a paper that my coaters have send me. One knows the literature in the area phenomenally well (she's written a book), and the other's doing the empirical part. But I'm the only one who speaks (and writes) English as a cradle language. So I get to be the editor. They've actually written a very good first draft (as far as the basic story), but it needs polishing. So, I get to be what I call the "grammar & word nerd". I never thought I'd get so much mileage out of having my writing terrorized by nuns in my formative years.
  • Finally, I'm pulling data for another project. It involves merging data together from three different databases and then sending it off to my coauthors for further torture. We got the idea at a recent conference when the three of us had a few beers one night - they were colleagues of a classmate of mine, and I knew them only in passing. But that's the great thing about conferences (and having a few beers) - you start talking and the ideas start flowing. And before you know it, you have a new research project.
Anyway, here are the links of the day:
Corporate Dealmaker highlights a study by investment bank Houlihan Lokey.
The study finds that termination fees in mergers are slightly lower than they were in previous years. If it's a continuing trend (and not driven by a few data points), it might make for a good research topic -- it could have a lot of implications for the corporate control market.

Everyone's Illusion (a relatively new blog that looks like it's worth checking out) has a great, short post on hedge funds, tail risk, and loss aversion.

This week's Carnival of The Capitalists is up at Gongol. Posts of note include The Big Picture with links to the most influential of Milton Friedman's works
and James Hamilton of Econbrowser on how the yield curve indicates slower growth ahead but less chance of a recession.

Real Returns reports on a recent trend - share buybacks are increasing. He makes a good point-- that buybacks increase EPS even if earnings are flat.

The NY Times has an interesting piece titled Rewriting the Rules for Buyouts. It notes that minority shareholders don't share much in the gains to MBOs. However, one reason for the unequal sharing is that the managers in an MBO take on a great deal of risk. So, they might just be getting compensation for that risk. The article suggests some "cures", but I'm not sure they wouldn't do more harm than good. HT: Jim Mahar at FinanceProfessor.com.
Enough bloggery - it's time to head in to the office and get some research done. I've got data (and the English language) to torture!

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