Weekly Top 5 Papers – July 2, 2018

1. Psychopathy by U.S. State by Ryan Murphy (Southern Methodist University (SMU))

2. On the Rise of FinTechs – Credit Scoring Using Digital Footprints by Tobias Berg (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management) and Valentin Burg (Humboldt University) and Ana Gombovi? (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management gemeinnützige GmbH) and Manju Puri (Duke University – Fuqua School of Business)

3. A Brief Introduction to the Basics of Game Theory by Matthew O. Jackson (Stanford University – Department of Economics)

4. Pulling the Goalie: Hockey and Investment Implications by Clifford S. Asness (AQR Capital Management, LLC) and Aaron Brown (New York University (NYU) – Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences)

5Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered? by John M. Griffin (University of Texas at Austin – Department of Finance) and Amin Shams (University of Texas at Austin – Department of Finance)

I am excited about research that is practical and helps us understand the way our financial system work, and maybe make them better. I typically do research in forensic finance–on things that are potentially, illegal, illicit, or immoral in financial markets.

Although there have credible allegations and evidence that LIBOR, FX, swaps, gold, silver, ect., seem to have been gamed, there is surprisingly extremely little academic work in these fields, perhaps because academics like to work in areas where others are working. But, the gaming of financial markets through financial sophistry is financial thievery and quite harmful to the trust that our financial system depends on.

I think academics can help shed light on markets features that allow gaming and those that do not. A credible and robust non-result can also be interesting and I have published work showing no questionable activity as well. The downloads are interesting because a top academic told me that he didn’t find the topic academically interesting or worthwhile. The paper elicited very different views from other academics–some many were quite interested, but it depends on one’s views about academic research. I think financial research should have applications and not just be useful for ivory-tower lunch discussions.  I would like to encourage researchers to not just write papers to try to get tenure, but to pick areas they are passionate about, where one can hope to truly understand our world, and at least potentially, make a small difference. –  John M. Griffin


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