Atlanta Monkeys: where should we hold a WSO meetup?

Following in the tradition of every other major city It'd be great to get a WSO meetup planned in Atlanta soon. I have a social chair that would like to be the host, he just wants some help figuring out a location. What are some ideas for where to hold a meetup/happy hour? (we're thinking to hold in sometime in early December)

How much can family connections help?

I'm a first semester freshman and I was just wondering how much family connections actually help in investment banking specifically? I have one connection at an excellent BB firm that I am very interested in working for post-graduation but was wondering how much it could help.

He's not my father but rather a pretty close relative (think uncle or a cousin) of mine. He is an MD at the firm, and will have been one for about 5 years by the time I start applying for internships. Could he basically get me the internship as long as I keep my grades up/build a decent resume OR will he not be able to help to much?

Generally to what factor is a family connection better than a networking connection?

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"Baby Berkshire" Leucadia buys Jefferies Group

On Nov. 12th Leucadia National (LUK) announced it was buying Jefferies Investment Bank (JEF) for $2.6 Bn in stock. They're paying about a 22% premium for what the stock was trading. Leucadia plans to swap 0.81 of its shares for each Jefferies share. Leucadia already owned 28.6% of Jefferies prior to this merger, and is paying ~ 1.2x of JEF book value.

Jefferies gets the use of Leucadia National larger balance sheet. Leucadia has a liquid B/S of $2.4 Bn, less $960 MM debt.

Is this a buy that makes sense ?

For Jobseekers, I've included a video with Jefferies job advice at the end>>>

The Permanent Recession

Mod Note (Andy): this was originally posted on 6/19/12

I was out to dinner the other night with a few friends. Each of us work in some variation of finance and have had a decent level of professional success in our young careers, on paper at least. I'm in PE, two of my friends are traders, and one is a consultant.

Despite our relatively good fortune, we all noted that we feel like we're living under a dark cloud that will never dissipate. The figurative cloud in question is, of course, the ongoing global recession.

I'm sure we're not alone in this feeling, In fact, I'm positive. The idea of a double-dip, or worse, comes up at just about every all-hands meeting we hold at my firm. Europe is falling apart, the US' fiscal situation isn't any better. There are no real signs that things will ever really improve.

Is this the new normal? Will it get better? Or are we totally screwed? I started to do some digging to see if there was anyone out there who could put all the pieces together for me to give an answer. I think I found someone with an answer.

Revisiting the Keystone Debate

With the elections over with and Obama firmly in his seat, a group of senators both Democrat and Republican have reminded the President of his decision to delay an important energy project – the Keystone XL pipeline. On Friday, the senators urged the President to quickly issue a permit for the northern leg of the pipeline that would have economic benefits to both the U.S. and Canada and would go a long way in assuring energy security for one of the world’s largest consumers of oil.

Of course, environmentalists haven’t forgotten about the pipeline either and have vowed to keep fighting its approval. Having been partially successful previously in moving the President to delay the project’s approval, environmental groups will continue to voice their opinions in opposition. But at this stage, should this still even be a debate?

Shorting Palo Alto Networks Inc. ($52) - Part 2

Mod Note (Andy): See Part 1 Here

Examining PANW's revenue and interesting timing - what's special about July?

PANW’s own sec filings are opaque with respect to revenue generation and recurrence. PANW’s markets itself as a game-changer, with the implication that it can pull and retain clients from existing competitors such as CHKP. Yet the revenue and (lack of renewal) data do not support this.

o Services after the initial sale is only 1 year, and PANW admits it cannot predict renewal rates – is PANW’s customer base churning? Even after launching their Next-Generation Firewall in 2007 and with 5 years’ worth of data, PANW does not disclose renewal rates:

“…existing end-customers that purchase our subscriptions have no contractual obligation to renew their contracts after the initial contract period, which is typically one year, and we cannot accurately predict renewal rates ”

Storms and Stocks: Dealing with Disruptive Shocks

Sandy, the super-storm that terrorized New York and its environs is now history, but it left a trail of destruction. As communities around the city and New Jersey dealt with power failures, gas shortage and transportation chaos, I was thinking about the lessons that I learned from the experience and their application to financial markets, which have been buffeted with their own storms for the last five years.

  1. Once is an accident, twice is bad luck, but three times is a pattern:

3 Social Changes You Should be Prepared to Face Before You Transition to Banking

Ah yes, you have received your Investment Banking Analyst offer for next summer. You have accomplished the impossible. Climbed the unscalable. Out-prestiged Prestigious Pete! You are AWESOME.

Except not everyone is going to react the same way when you proudly proclaim to them that in only a few shorts months you'll be a minted banker. Indeed, some will act offender, bewildered, or ignorantly when you tell them of your triumphs.

The interaction goes something like this...

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Professor accused me of plagiarism; best response?

Please understand that this isn't a question like "Help me lie about my GPA." The only reason I am coming on here is because I have legitimately been falsely accused and want to know if anyone else has ever had to deal with this and how they successfully proved their innocence.

I have a class this semester that's largely discussion based. Each week we turn in a short response paper to some prompt in the syllabus. A couple weeks ago I turned in a prompt that drew heavily on a short piece published online. I explicitly cited the web source in the footer. Author name, website, and publishing date.

Apparently the UK hates women

I didn't know this was even going on, but apparently the EU may soon require boards to be 40% female. Britain is against strict quotas, instead favoring a business-driven approach.

I actually can't believe this is an issue. The EU can actually get together to force diversity upon the private sector, but not to manage monetary policy. How exactly is this justified?

Frustrated macro HF analyst: Stay or go?

This is probably not relevant to most people here, but maybe some of you have been through a similar situation and have some light to shed.