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Next up: Illinois municipal bankruptcy?
Chicago Sun-Times
At its recent annual conference the Illinois Municipal League, a century old adviser and advocate for local government, took the unprecedented step of sponsoring an in-depth session on a volatile topic: hometown bankruptcies. The Sept. 18 session, entitled “Finance: Lessons from Detroit and Pension Cases,” couldn’t have been timelier. Many of Illinois’ municipal leaders are warily eyeing Motown’s bankruptcy proceeding while questioning whether their financially desperate and cash-crunched cities, suburbs and villages could face the same fate, a Rescuing Illinois investigation finds.
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Best practices for networking
CFA Chicago
Managing your career and searching for a new position brings many challenges to light. At this event you will gain valuable insight and recommendations from internal and external recruiters and HR professionals on how you can prepare for your career search, navigate successfully through negotiating and discussing compensation and best practices for networking. Other points for discussion will include what to expect during the interview process and how to effectively partner with internal and external recruiters. Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 3:30 for a discussion featuring panelists Katie J. Banks (Institutional Capital LLC), Danielle Dutcher (Northern Trust), Laura Pollock (strategic advisor to leading asset management firms) and Jim Schroeder (Executive VP - Financial Services sector).
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Are you ready for the 2015 CFA exam?
CFA Chicago
The June 2015 CFA exams will be here before you know it! You are invited to join leaders from CFA Chicago and members from Kaplan Schweser to find out how to best prepare for the CFA exam. Join CFA on Thursday, Dec. 11 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. for a CFA Exam study group kick-off party & open house. Those in attendance will have an opportunity to win a scholarship for a prep-course study package awarded by Kaplan Schweser.
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Bullard: St. Louis Fed president and FOMC member
CFA Chicago
James Bullard, as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, participates in the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and directs the activities of the Bank's head office in St. Louis and of its branches in Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Kentucky, and Memphis, Tennessee. An economist, Dr. Bullard joined the Bank in 1990. His research has appeared in numerous professional journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Monetary Economics, Macroeconomic Dynamics and the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. A peer reviewer for many periodicals, he currently serves as co-editor of the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. Join CFA on Jan. 16 at 12 p.m. for the Distinguished Speaker Series featuring James Bullard
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Assessing an allocation to global stocks
CFA Chicago's Enterprising Investor
You know your client’s portfolio is properly diversified when there is always a portion of it you hate. Right now, that hateful piece of the equity allocation is global stocks. The performance has been particularly frustrating for investors who compare performance with a domestic benchmark, such as the S&P 500 Index. It’s tempting to criticize a strategy based on recent performance, but using global equities as part of a diversified portfolio still makes sense.
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  M.S. Finance Among Top Programs

Ranked #25 by The Financial Engineer in their first annual ranking of U.S. finance programs, M.S. Finance at IIT Stuart School of Business is a top choice for professionals who pursue careers in the financial markets. Learn how a Master’s degree or Certificate program advances your career. More info

JPMorgan continues run as top ranked investment bank
U.S. bank JPMorgan retained its crown as the top performing investment bank in the first nine months of the year, having made revenue of $17.1 billion in the year-to-date, new data showed on Friday. In a ranking compiled by industry analytics firm Coalition, U.S. banks dominated the top spots, with Goldman Sachs coming second.
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Economists aren't as nonpartisan as we think
FiveThirtyEight Economics
According to purists, the field of economics it’s supposed to be free of political ideology. Economics views itself as a science and the prevailing consensus, best articulated by Nobel-winner and Chicago-school doyen George Stigler, is that “the dominant influence” in economics “is the set of internal values and pressures of the discipline” which help keep it nonpartisan. And yet most well-known economists achieve their star status in the political sphere.
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Resist the deep value ETF
Exchange-traded funds often seem like the Borg on Star Trek. They assimilate every investment strategy they encounter and make it their own with greater efficiency and lower cost. But are there strategies they can’t mimic? Consider deep-value investing. The words conjure up images of manager Bruce Berkowitz at Fairholme fund buying shares of American International Group when it was emerging from near-bankruptcy. Or Steve Romick at FPA Crescent (FPACX) holding 43 percent of his portfolio in cash because he can’t find stocks cheap enough to meet his stringent criteria.
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T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price offers a range of funds that provide yield or the opportunity for capital appreciation - along with the confidence that comes from partnering with a global investment leader. MORE
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Hedging with volatility is not just for stocks
Seeking Alpha
The CBOE Volatility Index, or what many investors have come to know as VIX, is the index many follow as a volatility indicator for the stock market. The benefit besides printing the "implied" or expected volatility for prices over the next 30 days, giving a range of expected prices 30 days from now, is that it has acted as a portfolio hedge. Luckily, for commodity investors, especially those in oil right now (and gold last year), there are volatility indices that may hedge losses like the VIX has done for the S&P 500.
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Pimco slows rush of cash out the door
The Wall Street Journal
Two months after Bill Gross quit Pacific Investment Management Co., the giant Pimco Total Return bond fund that he managed for 27 years is showing signs of stabilizing. Pimco said that investor outflows from the Total Return fund slowed sharply in November, to $9.5 billion, following mutual-fund-industry record withdrawals after Mr. Gross’s abrupt departure Sept. 26. Even after the investor redemptions, Pimco Total Return has $162.8 billion under management, making it the world’s largest bond fund.
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MB Financial to close 4 Chicago-area branches
Chicago Tribune
MB Financial has identified at least four Chicago-area branches it plans to close in the wake of its recent acquisition of Cole Taylor Bank. Chicago-based MB Financial, when it announced the Cole Taylor deal in July 2013, said it expected to close three to six branches as it merged the two institutions' retail operations. The deal closed in August.
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Hedge funds bet that OPEC-led oil rout is near end
Hedge funds are betting that the oil-price crash is close to ending. Speculators boosted their net-long position in West Texas Intermediate crude by 14 percent in the week ended Dec. 2, the most in 20 months, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Short bets contracted by 15 percent as long wagers expanded 4 percent. Oil’s collapse accelerated after the 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided Nov. 27 to maintain output levels, underscoring the price war in crude.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Chicago tech IPOs are aging well — except you-know-who (Crain's Chicago Business)
Rauner on Illinois pensions: 'Don't change history' (WMAQ-TV)
Are you ready to discuss compensation? (CFA Chicago)
Book review: The Lunacy of Modern Finance Theory and Regulation (CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor)
Most investors follow modified versions of buy-and-hold or valuation-informed indexing (Seeking Alpha)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

CFA Society Chicago NewsBrief

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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