Financial Market Reporting, Part 6: Derivatives

My series at the Reynold’s Center continues with thoughts on reporting the derivative markets. These are investment vehicles that are derived from others, appropriately called derivatives. Investors do not own the underlying asset, but bet on how that asset will perform.     Options are a common type of derivative. In 1973 the Chicago Board of Trade created the Chicago Board Options

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Lunch with Paul Kangas, Nightly Business Report

I remember one specific lunch with Paul Kangas. Silly, isn’t it? I spent a fair amount of time with Paul during the many years I was associated with public television’s Nightly Business Report. That included several meals with a man who, among many other things, appreciated good food and drink. Why would one particular lunch stand out? It was 1990. A year before

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Financial Market Reporting, Part 5: "Real Stuff," Commodities and Futures Contracts

The latest in my series on financial market reporting is live at the Reynold’s Center: Previous posts introduced the markets and the best-known investment vehicles, stocks and bonds. But even if you don’t own one of those investments, you probably have placed a considerable amount of money in a different asset class, although you may not consider these to be

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Financial Market Reporting, Part 4: Bonds and Bond Markets

Bonds gets no respect. It’s not clear why. For many companies, institutions and investors, bonds are the vehicle of choice. Companies generally issue stock to the public to raise money. In issuing stock, companies give up ownership of the firm to shareholders, who share in future profits and growth. They also share in the risk the company will fail, or

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Financial Market Reporting, Part 3: Stock Exchanges

Prior to an IPO, a company can offer its shares only to investors deemed to be “sophisticated” under the law and therefore able to handle their own due diligence. These are known as private placements. By process of elimination it is apparent that public stock exchanges serve “unsophisticated investors.” That means most of us. The law imposes fairly stringent reporting requirements

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