Site Activity

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: SEC: Defender of the Elite   7 months, 3 weeks ago · View

    ThumbnailYesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled a suite against New Jersey by issuing a cease and desist order, which the state accepted, neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing. Apparently the state had been misleading bond investors about its funding of pension liabilities, substituting an accounting gimmick for certain contributions to the plan over a period of [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Barney Frank: Gambling is a Financial Service.   8 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Thumbnail On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee approved two bills to legalize Internet gambling. The committee is supposed to oversee Wall Street. They are the same body that rubber stamped much of the financial deregulation that lead to the 2001 and 2008 stock market panics. These same people spearheaded the loophole-riddled financial regulatory reform Barack [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: “Savvy” as a Substitute for “Ethical”   9 months ago · View

    Thumbnail The SEC just announced that Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to settle charges of defrauding investors through sales of collateralized debt obligations. Not surprisingly, Goldman’s stock surged on the announcement. Can you believe this? What is more, the firm’s corporate and institutional clients have not abandoned it as the sordid findings of [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Washington Fumbles   2 years, 2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail In the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash, Congress took five years before they implemented landmark legislation to regulate Wall Street. During that time, they meticulously investigated the financial abuses that caused the crash and then carefully drafted legislation to address what they had learned. The 1933 and 1934 Acts created the SEC, implemented [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Don’t Blame the Modelers   2 years, 6 months ago · View

    Thumbnail With the markets in turmoil, I have little time to comment publicly, and breaking through to be heard above the clatter is all but impossible. Reporters seeking sound bites don’t help.  

    From: Tansy Harcourt To: Glyn Holton Sent: October 1, 2008 Subject: Consulting Hi Glyn, I’m a journalist in Australia for the Australian Financial Review. I’ve come across [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: The Case for Incoherence   2 years, 7 months ago · View

    Thumbnail Imagine you are stranded on a desert island. For fresh water, there are three natural springs, but it is possible one or more have been poisoned. To minimize your risk, what is your optimal strategy for drinking from the springs? You might: select one of the three springs at random and drink exclusively from it, select two [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: What Exactly is an Infinitesimal?   2 years, 10 months ago · View


    From: Albert To: Glyn Holton Sent: April 12 Subject: Consulting Hello, Your expertise and services, as laid out on your web site, are quite impressive. It would be an honor to be associated with a winner such as your company. I have been a professor of mathematics for some twenty (20) years in a community college. I have two [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: We Could Use a J. P. Morgan.   3 years, 1 month ago · View

    Thumbnail This week’s BusinessWeek reports on changes in risk management within financial institutions in the wake of the subprime meltdown and Societe Generale rogue trader fiasco. Merrill’s new CEO, John Thaine, has created two new high-level risk manager positions reporting directly to him—and he is going to meet with them weekly. Morgan Stanley has appointed a new [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Benford’s Law   3 years, 4 months ago · View

    ThumbnailBenford’s Law is a fascinating theorem from statistics that states, for most forms of data, the leading digits of numbers are not uniformly distributed among 1 through 9. Instead, any given data point has a 30.1% probability of having a 1 as its leading digit. There is a 17.6% probability of the leading digit being a [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Played On The Street – Part 2   3 years, 4 months ago · View

    Thumbnail Last week , I took the Wall Street Journal to task for publishing a “Heard on the Street” column that did little more than spread hedge fund industry hype. In that blog posting, I asked Journal staff to look into four questions related to the relevance and validity of the facts asserted in that column. On Saturday, the Wall [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Played On The Street   3 years, 4 months ago · View

    Thumbnail A free nation, not to mention free markets, depend on a free, independent press. How can voters make wise decisions—or investors allocate assets prudently—if the news they rely on is manipulated? Reporters struggle to inform their audiences, depending on sources for information while trying to avoid being played by those same sources. Day after day, [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Market Makers’ Dilemma   3 years, 6 months ago · View

    Thumbnail One of my clients deals in a specialty commodity. They source the commodity, process it, and then sell it in local markets around the world. In some local markets, my client is a two-bit player. In others, they are the market maker. In those markets, they largely set the price of that commodity. Unlike a [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Hedge Funds: Who’ll Take the Toxic Waste?   3 years, 8 months ago · View

    Thumbnail Long before Mark Twain stood on Wall Street and saw it was a “street with a river at one end and a graveyard at the other,” there has been financial manipulation and scams. During the Punic Wars against Carthage, businessmen offered to ship supplies to Rome’s army on condition the state insured their ships and [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: More Questions Than Answers   3 years, 9 months ago · View

    ThumbnailFor the past four years, I have been living with a mystery—a real-life mystery about some things that weren’t supposed to happen but did anyway. Today I will share with you what has been going on, at least to the extent my limited knowledge—and my fear of a libel suit—will allow. Like any good mystery, this [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Book Review: Demon of Our Own Design   3 years, 10 months ago · View

    ThumbnailRichard Bookstaber knows his way around Wall Street. Thirty years ago, he transitioned from academia to practice. He has worked in trading and risk management since. Along the way, he wrote one of the best introductions to options trading ever published. In this new book, he takes on multiple tasks. First and foremost, he offers a [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Peter Bernstein’s Evolving Thinking On Risk   3 years, 11 months ago · View

    ThumbnailPeter Bernstein is an elder statesman of finance. He served time in the rough-and-tumble world of portfolio management. He was the first editor of the Journal of Portfolio Management , and his diverse writings have made him somewhat the chronicler of twentieth century finance. He is best known for his book Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Race To the Bottom   3 years, 11 months ago · View

    Thumbnail In recent months, a number of studies have been released addressing the question of whether burdensome US financial regulations are making US financial markets less competitive—driving fledgling corporations to go public in other, more lightly regulated jurisdictions. The first study was released last November by a recently formed Committee on Capital Markets Regulation (CCMR). Another [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: I’ll Be Gone. You’ll Be Gone.   4 years, 2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail In his new book Accidental Investment Banker, Jonathan Knee introduces us to the phrase IBG YBG, which means “I’ll be gone. You’ll be gone.” This might be whispered between investment bankers when an inconvenient fact comes to light during due diligence on a company they are about to float. “Don’t sweat it” is the implication. [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Book Review: Valuing Fixed Income Futures   4 years, 3 months ago · View

    ThumbnailThis book’s title is wrong. It is not a book about valuing fixed income futures. It is a book for traders—and a wonderful book at that. It targets experienced traders who are familiar with concepts such as Libor or repo but may be new to trading fixed income futures. Anyone entering these markets for the first [...]

  • Glyn A. Holton wrote a new blog post: Book Review: Louis Bachelier’s Theory of Speculation   4 years, 4 months ago · View

    ThumbnailThis is one of the most satisfying finance books I have ever read. If you have any interest in the historical origins of quantitative finance, don’t waste your time reading my review. Just get a copy of this book. It is built around Louis Bachelier’s 1900 doctoral thesis on speculation and options trading in the French [...]

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