Jun 232017
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

In this month’s Letter, Bill Longbrake discusses whether the FED’s monetary policy intentions might turn out to be a major mistake that propels the U.S. economy into a premature recession. Based on employment, the U.S. economy is already operating at full capacity. But  inflation remains well below the Fed’s target of 2% and has declined over the past three months. The Fed expects to raise short-term interest rates from a range of 1.00-1.25% to 2.75-3.00% over the next two years. However, the market disagrees and only believes rates should be raised to a range of 1.50-1.75%. If the market is right, the FED may be on a policy course with disastrous consequences.  There is good reason to be concerned in light of imbalances in the U.S. economy unleashed by the Fed’s unprecedented and extended multi-year manipulation of interest rates to reflate the economy. Bill also discusses other risks (yellow flags) facing the U.S. economy and pending developments in health care legislation and fiscal policy, as well as providing updates on a variety of other economic developments.  Read the full letter.

Jun 212017

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (June 20, 2017) — A new ranking by the Financial Times, released yesterday, recognizes the Master of Finance program at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business as No. 4 in the nation and No. 38 in the world.

The Financial Times Global Masters in Finance rankings only includes accredited, full-time, cohort-based programs with a minimum of 30 graduates each year. This is the first time the Smith School participated and was ranked.

The rankings measure 17 criteria, gathered from school data and from two surveys, one completed by the business school and the second by alumni who graduated in 2014. Factors that go into the calculation include salary figures three years after graduation, salary increase, value for the money, career progress, employment after three months of completing the program, and data on the program’s diversity, international makeup, faculty, and courses.

According to the Financial Times report, demand for master’s of finance degrees is on the rise from companies looking for well-rounded finance graduates who can navigate “political uncertainty and the complex global economic environment.” The London-based newspaper reports that the number of people from around the world who want to study finance is increasing, especially from China. The rankings also point to a steady increase in the number of women enrolled in master’s of finance programs.

Launched in 2009, Smith’s MFin program is one of seven specialty programs currently offered by the school. For more information on specialty masters programs at Smith, visit: www.rhsmith.umd.edu/ms.


If you are interested in working with the Smith School’s Finance faculty and students on an experiential learning project, please email Kristen Fanarakis


About the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

– See more at: https://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/news/financial-times-ranks-smith-master-finance-4-us#sthash.OJCF9crY.dpuf


Jun 212017

This month’s GARP Risk Intelligence CRO Outlook column is on the importance of risk management training.  For many of us, our chosen profession in risk management was to some extent accidental, requiring years of on-the-job training in a number of risk-related roles. This article discusses the need for risk training to ensure risk readiness across the enterprise.

Read the full column.


May 302017
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

Good times prevail. In spite of the incessant noise coming from our nation’s capital, financial markets appear to be unphased, as stocks ascend to new heights almost daily. The current U.S. economic expansion has reached eight years. It is the third longest on record and in 18 months will capture the all-time longevity title. Although the expansion is mature and some “yellow flags” are emerging, there is a reasonably good chance that the record will be broken. In this month’s letter, Bill Longbrake provides updates on GDP and its components, employment, inflation, productivity, and interest rates.


Read the full letter.

Apr 272017
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

Expansion of economic activity in the U.S. began nearly eight years ago in July 2009. Expansions do not die simply of old age. They turn into recessions when the economy overheats. Markets usually tend to be myopic and underestimate the presence of recession-inducing excesses and, thus, are surprised when recession occurs. Today, there does not appear to be any single highly visible imbalance to interrupt the steady upward march of economic activity. However, when the economy is operating at full employment and the Federal Reserve is engaged in tightening monetary policy, risks inevitably build. In this month’s letter, Bill Longbrake examines risks – “yellow flags” – which, in addition to tightening monetary policy, are present in the U.S. economy and deserve attention and monitoring.  Read the full letter.