Interesting conference on money organized by our colleagues at the University of Basel, Department of Sociology, September 24-26, 2015.

Many great speakers, among whom for blog readers, perhaps most familiar are Nigel Dodd (The Social Life of Money) and Bill Maurer (mobile money, payments systems and IMTFI).

Details in the Call for Papers.

Abstracts of no more than 200 words may be sent by 22 March 2015 to philip.mader@unibas.ch.

Please join us at Cass Business School for a 1-day workshop of thought-provoking panel discussions, engaging presentations and constructive paper development roundtables. We will explore current theoretical perspectives and emerging research on the social construction of financial risk, with the aim of generating connections between approaches and highlighting areas for future research.
The workshop addresses four topics: risk objects and science and technology studies; the production of risk culturesrelationality in trading riskperformativity in financial markets. A leading scholar will present each topic, with commentary from a key discussant and group discussion.
The programme and confirmed speakers are as follows:
·       9.30-10:00am: coffee
·       10-11.00am: Risk Objects and Science and Technology Studies, Prof.  Stephen Hilgartner (S&TS, Cornell University).  Discussant: Dr Eugenia Cacciatori (Cass Business School)
·       11-12pm: The Production of Risk CultureProf. Mike Power (London School of Economics). Discussant: Prof Andre Spicer (Cass Business School)
·       12-12.30pm: lunch
·       12.30-1.30pm: Practice Theory & Relationality in Trading RiskProf. Paula Jarzabkowski (Cass Business School). Discussant: Anette Mikes (HEC Lausanne)
·       1.30-2.30pm: Performativity and Social Studies of Finance, Prof. Yuval Millo (Leicester University). Discussant: Juan Pablo Puardo-Guerra (London School of Economics)
·       2.30-3pm: coffee
·       3pm-4pm: Paper development round tables (2 papers/table)
·       4-5:00pm: Break out groups on building bridges between perspectives
·       5-5.30: Wrap up commentary on themes. Prof. Hugh Willmott (Cass Business School)
Date & time: 13th April 2015; 9.30am-5:30pm (followed by drinks and dinner)
Location: Cass Business School, London (Bunhill Row Campus)
Cost: The workshop & lunch are free. Transport and dinner are at your own expense.
Register: 3rd March 2015: Places are strictly limited – please apply early!
To submit a working paper please contact Konstantinos Chalkias with an abstract by 3rdMarch. Both early-stage and under-review papers are welcome. To attend the workshopwithout a paper please also contact <Konstantinos.Chalkias.1@city.ac.uk> by 3rdMarch. We will notify you regarding your place and, if applicable, your paper acceptance at the workshop by the 10th March. NB: Full papers will be due by a strict deadline of 27thMarch, for circulation to your allocated roundtable.
Cass Business School Organizing Committee: Professor Paula Jarzabkowski
with Rebecca Bednarek, Eugenia Cacciatori and Konstantinos Chalkias

A group of computer scientists, working mostly at Princeton, have developed a class to teach the nitty gritty of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. To sign up for a free version of the course online, starting February 16, see here.

A remarkable paradox pervades executive education in finance. Most courses provide rigorous training in formal models and economic theory, which is certainly a basic condition to participate in the capital markets. But as everyone who has ever stepped into a trading floor knows, getting ahead in a bank or fund typically entails a completely different set of skills: understanding the social networks at work, the culture of the company, or how to communicate with bosses and investors. This is even more so in a post-crisis world with new and growing regulatory requirements. Hence the paradox: instead of focusing on the soft skills that make or break an executive career, finance courses continue to teach the technical.

Given this gap, the LSE is launching a new Executive Summer School in Leadership in Financial Institutions. I am very pleased to serve as Instructor and Course Leader. Other instructors include heavyweights from the LSE such as Michael Power (LSE Accounting), Paul Willman (LSE Management), Sandy Pepper (LSE Management) and Connson Locke (LSE OB). Guest speakers will complement the academic sessions by lending their insights about best practices in the City of London.

The course aims at providing participants with the tools to lead and manage employees in financial organizations in an environment with unprecedented change. This change not only includes political risks such as last week’s fluctuations of the Swiss franc, but also regulatory trends such as changing European regulations on bonus caps.

The course is also designed to be an integral experience for participants. They will be expected to attend to lectures at our London campus, discuss case studies, gain experience with industry guest presenters and relate to the best practices with a field visit. It aims to explore three types of perspectives: a cultural perspective, a psychological perspective and a social network perspective that examines the role of financial intermediaries.

Participants can expect to:

• Access to cutting-edge research in a financial context on networking, managing through culture and effective communication.

• Learn how to translate leading management frameworks in areas such as compensation and promotion.

• Acquire experience with new tools to handle finance-specific problems such as a bonus-centric culture, the risks posed by financial models, and the challenges posed by global-scale operations.

• Engage with best practices in the City of London across trends such as responding to regulation, cultural transformation, and responsible investment.

• Improve their decision making capabilities through learning how to identify behavioural biases within themselves and their team/ organization.

For those interested in taking their financial career to the next level, this might be the place. For more information, dates and a longer description, see here. And for even more information, just drop me a line at d.beunza@lse.ac.uk

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks out on the power of the Citigroup lobby in Washington. See it here on HuffPo.

Live streaming right now!

December 10, 2014

The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion is live streaming its annual conference from California at this link. The event is being held today and tomorrow. On Twitter at #imtfi

What causes asset price bubbles? The paper below (just released) by Sheen Levine and David Stark looks into the issue in an original way. Findings: ethnic homogeneity promotes conformity and leads to misplacing; diversity disrupts conformity and leads to better information processing.

Here’s the longer summary:

In this paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sheen Levine and I (together with other co-authors) examine a prominent market failure: price bubbles. We propose that bubbles are affected by ethnic homogeneity in the market and can be thwarted by diversity. Using experimental markets in Southeast Asia and North America, we find that market prices fit true values 58% better in ethnically diverse markets. In homogenous markets, overpricing is higher and traders’ errors are more correlated than in diverse markets. The findings suggest that homogeneity promotes conformity. Price bubbles arise not only from individual errors or financial conditions, but also from the social context of decision making. Informing public discussion, our findings suggest that ethnic diversity disrupts conformity and leads to better information processing.

Congratulations, Sheen and David!

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