Sunday, May 23, 2010

Economics 23/05/2010: To Infinity & Beyond

As a harbinger of good news I bring to you all... Ah, what the hell, here is the announcement:
And actually this is the good news - Infinity is the leading international finance academic/practitioner conference in Ireland and it is great to see it back in town this year. It is a truly international venue (as in actually attracting real, not invited & paid-for, experts and speakers, with real - not imaginary or self-appointed - clout in global finance) and it carries hundreds of latest research papers with the focus on different areas of international finance.

Few notes of worth:
  • Patrick Honohan will open the proceedings - Patrick, of course, has spoken at Infinity before, in his academic capacity, reviewing papers and presenting them. Two years ago he launched a session that introduced the book myself, together with Sharon Jackson and Colm Kearney edited and co-authored on the issue of Global Debt problems. He will, undoubtedly, engage with the audience of peers this time around.
  • Bill Megginson, the University of Oklahoma will present on “The Value of Investment Banking Relationships: Evidence from the Collapse of Lehman Brothers”. We should ask him few questions as to his view of the Irish Government claims that Lehmans' collapse was responsible for our gravely ill banking sector, instead of the homemade hash of senile lending practices.
  • Simon Stevenson, Director, Center for Real Estate Finance, City University London; Derek Brawn, Property Economist and Author; Peter Matthews, Banking Consultant and myself will be talking about Real Estate Finance - so expect myself and Peter getting stuck into long term effects of Nama on this vital (for Ireland Inc) sector, while Simon - one of the world's preeminent and prolific researchers in the area (and a good friend and co-author) - will be on hand to tie it all into international markets framework. Simon, by the way, has really first class knowledge of Irish markets as well - just one example of his recent work includes the paper that James Young and myself co-authored with him on property auctions in Ireland, forthcoming in the Journal of Housing Economics (number one venue for academic research in the field of property).
  • Edward J Kane, Boston College, USA will speak about the “Post-Crisis Financial Reform as Denial and Coverup” - a salient topic given the current state of regulatory reforms proposals coming out of the EU. Judging by the strong title, this is not going to be one of them placid academic discourses on how to find a "balancing act" or "resolve the problems of injustice and equity in financial services"...
  • On a practitioner interface side: “Investments in the Post-Crisis World” a roundtable organised by CFA Ireland and moderated by Aleksander Sevic of Trinity College Dublin, will be dealing with: “An Update on Latest Trends in Fund Offerings” by David Hammond, CFA, Bridge Consulting; “Major Challenges in Allocations to Irish and Emerging Markets’ Equities, Liquidity Risk and Product Innovation: The Perspective of a Pension Fund Trust” by Stephanie Condra, CFA, Invesco Pension Consultants; “An Update on Current Issues in the EU Government Bond Market” by Catherine McLaughlin, CFA, Irish Life;
  • For those interested in CDS bond spreads - the hot potato in today's media and politicos discussions - Brian Lucey will be presenting a paper (in which yours truly is one of the co-authors) "CDS Bond Spreads among the PIIGS 2006-2010"
Ok, enough of praise singing - couple of links: programme for Infinity is available here. I intend to blog and twitter on it during the proceedings. I also intend to do one or two interviews with top participants - hopefully might convince Business & Finance to run something on this.


Finally, in a note of custom for this blog - Infinity is a fully self-financed conference, built on work of Brian Lucey, Linda Sorinton and others in TCD School of Business, excellent researchers like Elaine Hutson of UCD and many others. Many involved are co-authors in academic life, so all discussions are frank, open and usually free of agendas. Infinity has no reliance on subsidies of any sort. Unlike many other 'specialist' or 'futurist' conferences out there, richly sprinkled across Irish calendars. So no taxpayers funds will be harmed in the preparation of this event - an example of real academic sustainability!
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