The Allure of Africa: Why I am Passionate about Opportunities on the Continent

When I graduated from college in 2007, I moved to Beijing hoping to find exciting opportunities within emerging markets. In my off-hand discussions with American expatriates, family friends, and my own observations, I got the feeling I had arrived in China 20 years too late. The major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai were already booming, and while there were opportunities in the lesser-known cities in the interior of China, I didn’t have the language skills or stomach to move there.

When I returned to the United States, I started looking for job opportunities in frontier markets like Africa. As a naive 23-year old, I assumed there were only three sectors that I could work in: commodities, teaching English, or international development. Since I knew nothing about extractive industries and had already taught English in China, I targeted not-for-profit organizations. I interned for the Clinton Foundation in Boston for a year and was subsequently offered employment working in West Africa.

"Bad times for investment bankers are here to stay"

Sorry had to post this, but would like to hear some criticism of the article..

From the ever-reliable Forbes:
The profession’s recent indignities aren’t just a post-recession hangover.

Investment bankers used to rule the world. Now J.P. Morgan chief Jamie Dimon has to explain to investors why the bank is even in that business anymore. (It’s still a service that clients need, he said during a call in January.)

How times have changed. Over the past year the indignities mounted for banks’ onetime profit centers. The leading person to succeed Dimon at J.P. Morgan, Gordon Smith, runs consumer banking. Swiss giant Credit Suisse’s new CEO comes from insurance. Many large European banks are getting out of investment banking completely. And the ultimate insult: Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, once derided for sticking to straight lending, are now more profitable than lords of finance Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The irony is that these should be good times for Wall Street. Mergers and IPOs are back. Stock indexes are at all-time highs. Activist investors are launching hostile takeovers. And yet the Street’s profit machine seems broken. The average bank has a return on equity of 8% these days, down from 18% before the financial crisis, according to RBC Capital Markets. Much of the drop has been in investment banking.

Learn How to Decode Body Language from an FBI Guru

This is the next book review in a series of installments that will be coming from See my other book summaries on WSO here. If you find my summaries to be useful, sign up at the website here to make sure you don't miss any.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for books you'd like to see summarized.


Influence of socioeconomic demographic

I have friends from non-target and target schools who have gone to wall Street and the one consistent pattern I see is the fact that they all come from super wealthy families; their parents are rich enough to send their kids to private schools all their lives and afford education at ivy leagues or comparable Universities with no financial aid. Done but not many of these parents also have deep connections on Wall St. (in which case it's easy to see how they works out) working in the industry themselves, or both.

College Debt Inquiry

Hello Monkeys,

I am a high school senior who has recently been admitted into a decent semi target(UT McCombs). The only problem is that my parents cant afford $50k/year. All in all, I will approximately have ~$60-80k in loans when I graduate.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Also, if any of you have similar stories, please share. Did you have college debt? If so, how much? How long did it take to pay it off? Would you have done anything differently?

I really appreciate your help, guys.

Best Regards,
A Stranger who is Spicy

Be a Wall Street Oasis Contributing Blogger

Project description: Finance / Wall Street / Business Blogger
We are looking for several talented writers (professionals in the finance industry preferred) to blog for WallStreetOasis. There is a list of suggested topics you can choose from but if there is an area of interest/specialization you would prefer to write on we are very open to hear your ideas (ie trading/markets, street culture, advice/mentoring etc).

There are two options for contributing:

1) Become a regular weekly contributor. We only ask that you commit to 8 quality posts over 8-12 weeks (400 word minimum) More details will be provided during the training process. See instructions below for how to start our training (videos, doc, short quiz, phone call with Andy). Emails during the training may go into your spam and/or promotions folder, please make sure to check these.

OR 2) if you cannot commit to a regular schedule we are open to guest posts (either one post, AMA/interview, or a short series) on a particular topic, if you would prefer this way email me at [email protected].

Click inside the post for more information, testimonials, and to formally apply >>>

The Best IBD SA OCR, Interviews and FT Offer Conversion Posts on WSO

Thanks to my content intern @"Lucas_m" for another great compilation post. This one covers on campus recruiting, interviews, and converting SA internships into FT offers. Enjoy! -Andy

1. Acing the investment banking analyst interview
posted by @"frgna"

Wrapping up an interview
1. Before you ask us questions it’s nice to say “I’ve done lots of research on your firm and talked to a lot of people so I know your firm pretty well, so I really want to hear more about your own personal experiences here.”

2. Some good questions to ask your interviewers: 1) Tell me about a recent deal you’ve worked on that you liked. 2) What are the next steps from here? 3) How have you liked your experience here so far? Anything surprise you, good or bad? 4) Tell me about what you guys do for fun.

3. Some questions to avoid: 1) What are the hours like here? (get that info later from an insider that you know better) 2) Anything related to compensation 3) What are your plans after banking? (we can’t answer that and we’ll all say we’re planning on staying in the near term…duh…)

4. Don’t stand up until I stand up.

- 126 silver bananas

Advice Need from other Consultants

Hi WSO, I created a new login to protect my identity. I took an offer within a Big 4 MC group in January. I was recruited into a product group from industry as a Sr Asso, ( I'm post-MBA).

I still haven't been staffed on a project, to make matters,worst my group sucks at winning work. I spend all my time working on RFPs waiting to get staffed. The other members in my group SA and Managers aren't staffed either and are just spending time writing white papers. But, for whatever reason we keep hiring, we just hired a few more SAs into my group. Needless to say there is no way I'm reaching my utilization target for this year. What should I do?

I feel like my skills are slowing dying (modeling, talking with clients, etc.) I got into consulting to travel Mon-Th and learn new skills but I'm not getting any of that. I sit on my sofa every day and work on RFPs.

What do you do on the train to work?

Obviously a lot of people in finance travel into the city from the suburbs. I was just wondering what do you guys do on the train to and from work?

Music to pump yourself up and combat sleepiness before interviews

Any suggestions?

Got Sweatpants (Gambino), January 28th (J. Cole) and NYC (Brolin) so far...

Shock and Awe vs. Forward Guidance... role of forward guidance in steering monetary policy and subsequently consumer/business expectations had emerged to be of primary importance as the FED struggled to cope with economic downturn witnessed at the aftermath of the financial crisis. With interest rates hovering about the zero lower bound this was the only channel of formulating short term rate expectations and by iteration long term rate trajectory.

However with the US continuing to move on a sustainable growth trajectory amidst global imbalances, the role of forward guidance in moving the economy from artificially low interest rates might be nearing its end. The debate of conducting monetary policy via commitment as opposed to ‘time inconsistency’ is an age old one with commitment winning by delivering the same output growth as compared to time inconsistent policy however with lower inflation. Forward guidance can be viewed as an offspring of the policy of commitment.

While economists have always advocated the policy of commitment, the relevance and effectiveness is challenged by the present global economic scenario. With impeccable technological progress ushering in an era of ‘productive disinflation’ (like development in horizontal fracking technology leading to lower oil prices). Price dampening of this kind can coexist peacefully with stagnating wages while simultaneously improving consumer welfare and perhaps lowering long term inflation expectations.

Market Commentary by: James Investment Research (3/23 - 3/27)

Stock Market Analysis

Last week stocks sagged with nearly 1,200 advancing against about 1,700 declining. Volume mostly declined on the pullback, but when stocks tried to rally Friday, volume fell off sharply. New highs were achieved by 367 NYSE issues, only 77 set new lows. Notwithstanding the relative number of new highs, it was, on the surface, a discouraging picture.

Margin debt declined again, and so did customer free credit, both thought of as negatives. Overall, the entire economic picture includes element of weakness as well as strength.