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Peter Ritchken, Ph.D. - Kenneth Walter Haber Professor and Chair, Department of Banking and Finance, Case Western Reserve University

Friday April 3, 2009
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Inamori Center
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues,

So what is a credit default swap, anyway? How about a tranche? How is the current financial meltdown related to the Savings and Loan debacle of the 1980s? How did securitization get out of hand? How did some money market funds become unstable? Why is the current situation related to the period when it seemed like the United States might even pay off its federal debt?

These and other questions were addressed in a presentation that Professor Peter Ritchken gave for the Weatherhead School of Management, and that can be downloaded from youtube at For our discussion, he will select a few key points for understanding the current situation, and then we'll open it up for questions and discussion of what to do next.

As usual, we will gather in Room 9 of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, on the lower level of Crawford Hall, for free cookies, beverages, and brown bag lunch.

Best regards,
Joe White

About Our Guest

Peter Ritchken's current research interests are in pricing interest rate claims, implementing stochastic volatility option models, solving real option problems, asset pricing, banking regulation, and derivative contracts in supply chains. He has written several textbooks on derivatives, has served on the editorial board of a few journals and has published extensively in the risk management and derivatives area. He has consulted with large investment banks and brokerage firms, and has conducted executive education programs in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. Professor Ritchken teaches MBA classes in Derivatives, Fixed Income and PhD classes in Quantitative Finance.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

April 10: Exonerating the Innocent: The Impact of DNA Evidence. Paul Gianelli, Weatherhead Professor of Law, CWRU.

April 17: CWRU Students Report on the Election in El Salvador.

April 24: The Future of the Newspaper Industry. Lauren Rich Fine, Research Director for Content Next and formerly the lead analyst for publishing, information, advertising and online industries for Merrill Lynch.

The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of Crawford Hall. Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made. On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion. 

Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building. The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch. On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

March 30, 2009

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Upcoming Events

STATE-BUILDING IN IRAQ: U.S. Advisers & the Iraqi Budget

James Savage, Ph.D., Department of Politics, University of Virginia

Monday, April 6, 2009 4:00 p.m., Clark Hall Room 206, 11130 Bellflower Road, Cleveland. Free and open to the public. This program is made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin and is sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies

The U.S. government's efforts to help build a new Iraqi state have been widely, and in many cases justly, criticized. Yet a governing apparatus is, slowly, developing. One core function of governments is making and implementing budgets. Professor Savage, one of the world's experts on budgeting both in the United States and abroad, has been studying how the U.S. government has sought to aid the Iraqi Ministry of Finance in that process. His findings should shed new light on both the process of American involvement in Iraq, and perhaps the prospects for the future Iraqi state.

Institutional Investors in Corporate Governance: Heroes or Villains?

Edward B. Rock Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law University of Pennsylvania Law School, Robert B. Thompson Vanderbilt University School of Law, and John Wilcox Chairman, Sodali, Ltd. (international investor advisory consulting firm) former Senior VP and Head of Corporate Governance, TIAA-CREF, Friday April 17, 2009, 8:45 a.m.-3:00 p.m, Moot Court Room, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

The Symposium will address a wide range of issues in the corporate and securities field, including: Shareholder voting, SEC proxy rules on shareholder voting and shareholder proposals; the role of proxy advisory services; the validity of shareholder initiatives in corporate governance; the role of hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds in corporate governance; the role of tender offers and defenses against tender offers (including staggered boards and poison pills); the propriety of current levels of executive compensation, the effectiveness of various elements of executive compensation as appropriate incentives, the role of shareholders inapproving executive compensation; and the effects of devices that separate voting rights from the economic interests of common stock ownership.

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