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Debt securities-would you buy today

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    Assignment ID: FG133134248

    Discussion 1. Debt Securities—Would you buy today

    Is this is a good time to invest in debt securities such as US government debt (Treasuries), municipals, corporates, foreign debt? What are the factors you would consider in making this investment (or not)? If you are willing to invest in debt, what are your preferences? Why?

    Discussion 2 Shareholder Activism

    We’ve seen a significant increase in shareholder activism in recent years, particularly from large institutional shareholders. One of these areas is that shareholders may now voice opinions on senior management compensation (though not a binding voice). However such activism extends much further to include proposed mergers, acquisitions or spinoffs. Provide some recent examples where shareholder activism has affected a company’s performance or actions, and discuss the consequences of this.

    Discussion 3 Derivatives as Risk Indicators

    A survey by Fitch Ratings found that capital market participants felt that Credit Default Swaps, a form of derivative contract that pays off if the named underlier defaults on its debt obligations, are both more important as indicators of counterparty risk and a more important tool for managing counterparty risk than are other means, such as stock prices or credit ratings. Please comment and discuss. For example, what advantages or disadvantages of market-based indicators for making investment (bonds, loans, stock) decisions?

    Discussion 4 Bank Consolidation

    Over the past 10-15 years or so, we’ve seen a rapid consolidation of banks with some of the largest institutions acquiring smaller local and regional banks. We’ve also seen some significantly larger banks (e.g. Countrywide, Wachovia, and National City) acquired as well. At the same time, we’ve seen a lot of new, smaller “small business and retail depositor friendly” banks being created. What has driven this and what does it portend for banking?

    Discussion 5 Large Insurance Companies

    Financial regulators have long claimed that MetLife is a systemically important financial institution, according to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The company disagrees with the designation, but in anticipation of greater capital requirements from regulators, in January 2016, it announced it is moving to ease the burden by divesting much of its U.S.-based life-insurance unit. The company said that doing so would allow it to compete more effectively and generate stronger returns.

    What are the ramifications for MetLife and other large insurance companies? What do you think about the impact that Dodd Frank has had so far on large financial institutions?

    Discussion 6 What’s the Correct Orientation of Monetary Policy?

    In some countries the central bank is mandated to use monetary policy to keep inflation to a reasonable, targeted range (say, between, 1% and 2.5%). In other countries the central bank is charged with maintaining growth and stability in the economy with a wider range of objectives – encourage economic growth, maintain low inflation, keep unemployment levels low, stabilize the value of the currency, etc. Comment on the relative virtues and problems of addressing a single (inflation) objective or multiple (growth, inflation, employment, currency value) objectives.

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