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As Janet Yellen makes Fed debut, expect theatre, not fireworks
LiveMint
Janet Yellen’s first test as chair of the US Federal Reserve comes Feb. 11 when she faces U.S. lawmakers, some hostile to the central bank, who will want to know how committed she is to winding down the Fed’s support for the economy. With the world’s financial markets watching, Yellen, who succeeded Ben Bernanke, will have a chance to set a mostly upbeat tone and point to signs of steady economic progress, despite some recent bumps in the road.
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Gluskin Sheff's fearless leader
CFA Chicago
Join CFA Chicago on Tues., April 29 from 12 - 1 p.m. for the Distinguished Speaker Series featuring David Rosenberg, Chief Economist and Strategist for Gluskin Sheff and Associates. Fees for members are $45 dollars, the student-members fee is $10, and non-members are welcome to join for $55. This series also qualifies for credit under the guidelines for the CFA Institute Professional Development Program.
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Believe in Bon — private equity recommendations with Adams Street's CEO
CFA Chicago
T. Bondurant "Bon" French, CFA, is responsible for the management of Adams Street Partners and actively participates as an investment professional. French has been with Adams Street Partners and its predecessor organizations since 1980 and has been instrumental in the development of its private equity investment strategies, fund management and client service. Join CFA Chicago on Feb. 25 for the T. Bondurant "Bon" French Distinguished Speaker Series.
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Top anecdotal signs of a market bubble
CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor
At the risk of further inflating the bubble in discussion about whether or not global equity markets are in a bubble, Jason Voss, CFA thinks it is worth discussing the topic from a qualitative point of view. Most of the talk of bubbles is data-driven analysis focusing on things like multiples, profit margins, revenue growth, historic equity market tops, equity risk premiums, and so forth. But having worked as a professional money manager through two market bubbles — dot-com and real estate — Voss can attest that qualitative signs are often more persuasive than the quantitative signs.
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Illinois' pension problem: How big is it, really?
WBEZ-FM
The controversial changes to Illinois’ public pension systems enacted in December came after years of fierce debate. And one of the key points of contention among academics and fund leaders was this fundamental question: Exactly how bad is the pension shortfall? The number kicked around by politicians and reporters is usually around $100 billion, based on estimates from the state’s five retirement systems. That is what is known as the state’s “unfunded liability” — a fancy way of saying the amount Illinois will owe state workers in future retirement benefits but will not be able to pay if the systems’ finances do not change.
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Report: Most startup businesses come from Chicago schools
The Southern Illinoisan
The Illinois Science and Technology Coalition has released its Illinois Innovation Index report that shows that 79 percent of the state’s university-generated startup businesses have come from Chicago-area schools in the last four years. A Coalition survey found that from 2010 to 2013, Illinois universities produced 354 startups, across a range of industries, and 283 are still in existence. Seventy-three percent of those have chosen to remain in the state.
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Rosenberg: Accelerating GDP growth could quickly turn into a big problem
Business Insider
This report contains the opening remarks of the testimony David Rosenberg delivered Feb. 4 before the United States Senate Budget Committee. Rosenberg had the pleasure to share the panel with Dr. Mark Zandi and Robert Greenstein. The topic the three were asked to address was "The 2014 Outlook: Moving from Constant Crises to Broad-Based Growth".
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Top markets official at SEC is long overdue
Financial Times
Recently Mary Jo White celebrated the first anniversary of her nomination to head the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A former prosecutor and a talented litigator, many cheered her as a hard-working, no-nonsense candidate for the job with a distinguished record of chasing down mobsters and cheats. Still, her nomination was controversial. Between stints in the government Ms. White got rich representing moneyed clients, including large investment banks. Though she was soon confirmed by the Senate, critics wondered about this latest turn of the well-oiled revolving door between Washington and Wall Street.
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Economy may be stuck in slow lane for long run
The Associated Press via Chicago Sun-Times
In the 4½ years since the Great Recession ended, millions of Americans who have gone without jobs or raises have found themselves wondering something about the economic recovery: Is this as good as it gets? Two straight weak job reports have raised doubts about economists’ predictions of breakout growth in 2014. The global economy is showing signs of slowing — again.
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VIX traders pile into S&P 500 rebound bets as puts jump
Bloomberg
Traders are making unprecedented use of the options market to bet on a rebound in U.S. stocks. Ownership of puts on the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index reached a record 3.2 million on Feb. 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Money poured into the bets against the VIX after the gauge, used by investors as insurance against share losses because it rises when equities fall, climbed to a 13-month high of 21.44 last week before collapsing to 15.29 by Feb. 7.
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As Janet Yellen makes Fed debut, expect theatre, not fireworks
LiveMint
Janet Yellen’s first test as chair of the US Federal Reserve comes Feb. 11 when she faces U.S. lawmakers, some hostile to the central bank, who will want to know how committed she is to winding down the Fed’s support for the economy.

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David Rosenberg on Fed's Ben Bernanke: He gets a C-
Financial Post
Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg spent a good chunk of his note assessing the legacy of Ben Bernanke as the FOMC announces its final monetary policy decision under his leadership.

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How the Fed learned to talk
The New York Times
In his nearly 19 years as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan was notorious for speaking in an elliptical, oracular, even mystifying style. Mindful that a single errant syllable might cause markets to soar — or tumble — Mr. Greenspan mastered a language, “Fed-speak.”

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Why Nuveen still isn't profitable
Crain's Chicago Business
For Nuveen Investments Inc., nabbing a top stock-picker like Bob Doll in late 2012, just ahead of the biggest bull market in 16 years, should have been a sure-fire remedy for the company's money-losing funk. But that hasn't been the case, at least not so far. For the first nine months of 2013, customers pulled out a net $13.5 billion from Nuveen equity funds, bringing the total down to $71.8 billion.
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CME's performance driven by interest rate products yet again
Forbes
CME Group released its quarterly earnings for Q4 2013 on Feb. 4. The company’s Q4 revenues were up 4 percent from the same period in 2012, though full year revenues of $2.9 billion were flat over the prior year. As expected, CME’s top line growth in the quarter was driven by a surge in trade volumes leading to a 6 percent growth in the company’s core transaction business. While interest-rate contracts were traded nearly 30 percent more in Q4 2013 than the year-ago period, the trade volumes of all other derivatives remained nearly flat during the quarter.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How the Fed learned to talk (The New York Times)
David Rosenberg on Fed's Ben Bernanke: He gets a C- (Financial Post)
Rosenberg — 'Institutional Investor All-Star' (CFA Chicago)
Issue's confronting fiduciaries today: Solving a '3-variable problem' (CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor)
The leadership behind Adams Street (CFA Chicago)

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