John Minahan on Action Learning: How Master of Finance students apply classroom skills to real problems

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer John Minahan

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer John Minahan

How has the 2011 European sovereign credit crisis changed the pricing relationship between sovereign bonds and credit default swaps written on those bonds? Why do 401(k) investment options offer daily liquidity when such liquidity is expensive and unnecessary? If one wants to back-test a long-short investment process, how should the fall of 2008 – when shorting in many stocks was banned – be treated in the back-test?

These are just a few of the many fascinating questions our Master of Finance students will study in the 2012 Finance Research Practicum. The Practicum is an action learning course in which students work on research questions posed by external clients, clients for whom an answer to the question is a key element of an important business decision.

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Jackie Wilbur on the Master of Finance Program: Confronting Global Challenges

In the last few months, the Occupy Wall Street movement has brought a lot of attention to the finance industry. However, MIT’s Sloan School of Management has been focused on this area for over 40 years. Our finance faculty have been conducting cutting-edge research, and rigorously teaching our students, ensuring that our finance students are prepared—both in theory and practice—to take on the types of leadership roles required in this area, particularly in light of the recent economic crisis.

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Labor, business can unite as economic heroes

Thomas Kochan, MIT Sloan professor, co-founder of the Employment Policy Research Network

Source: The Boston Globe

BUSINESS GROUPS and labor have at least one thing in common right now: a frustration that our politics are producing more hot rhetoric than good jobs, even as crucial national needs go unaddressed. But if private industry and labor unions pool their money and their political influence, they can lead the way toward modernizing an aging national infrastructure that dulls America’s competitive edge. In doing so, they would also start building the kind of longer-term economic compact necessary to sustain the high-quality jobs that the nation desperately needs.

The United States needs some kind of national infrastructure bank – an entity that would provide the financing for long-overdue repairs and improvements to our roads, bridges, and other public works. There is a $2.2 trillion backlog of such projects. Amid rising concerns about federal spending, infrastructure investments are more efficient economic drivers than tax cuts or other stimulus spending in achieving these goals.

Moody’s Economy.com estimates every $1 spent on infrastructure generates a $1.59 increase in GDP. University of Massachusetts Professor Robert Pollin has shown these projects generate between 20 to 30 percent more jobs than equivalent tax cuts. Read More »