Chicago Board of Trade

CBOT_PatioAfter the R/Finance conference, we had the opportunity to visit the Chicago Board of Trade Building. Brian Peterson, one of the conference committee members, gave us a tour of the building and took us up to the rooftop lounge for beers.


During the days of open outcry, the building housed the trading floor with pits for each commodity. With all trading being conducted electronically, the pits have been removed. Depictions of the Roman god of grain, Ceres, are displayed inside as well as a 31 ft statute on top of the building.

As you enter the building, there is the Ceres restaurant and an empty hallway where the


pits were located. WarholA wall of original Warhols is located further inside. I included some pictures of the Art Deco elevator doors and mailboxes but there is much more to see.

CBOT MailboxesCBOT_Elevator

Final Countdown

I have a thing for 1920’s jazz and Gunhild Carling but much of what draws people to music has nothing to do with what they hear. Musicians often say that the audience listens with their eyes which is difficult for musicians that focus on music rather than visual performance. The idea of hair bands making a comeback might seem ludicrous and I would say that the cabaret cover version sounds more modern now. I wonder which version will seem more authentic 40 years from now. If we only played the audio, would it change?

Divine Ecstasy

This program was not nearly as popular as Tristan and Iseult earlier this week but I was pleasantly surprised by the voicing of the Gabrieli pieces. I am not sure how much that should be attributed to the arranger versus the original since the brass instruments featured in the original are not longer commonly available. Of course, Iestyn Davies was very impressive as the countertenor in Bach’s Cantata No 170. Program

Ordinary Least Squares

Let’s estimate a stock’s beta and alpha using the CAPM. First prepare the data by calculating stock returns and market returns. Subtract the risk-free rate from both and form a data.frame called “urdata” where ExRet is the excess return on the stock and MktRP is the risk premium on the market. Next, specify the formula for the estimated model and call it “m2”. Use the lm() function to estimate the model and assign the results to a variable called “ols”. Finally, use summary() to see the regression results.


If you are using a lot of fixed effects, try using coef(ols)[1:5,] to get the first 5 rows of coefficients.


Another beautiful combination of aesthetics and athletics by French freediver, Julie Gautier. “Ama” is Japanese for “woman of the sea” and refers to Japanese pearl divers. Listen carefully to the time signature of the music.

Dvorak Symphony No. 8

Dvorak8I am always pleasantly surprised when I attend a Cleveland Orchestra concert for the featured piece and discover another piece to love even more. This evening, both the Watersprite by Dvorak and Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto were far more interesting than Symphony No. 8. I almost feel the need to look up the score for the Watersprite since conductor Alan Gilbert seemed to have trouble keeping woodwinds and strings together on some phrases. While I find it hard to believe such great musicians would mess this up, the resulting sound did not fit within the context of the piece so it is equally hard to believe that Dvorak meant for that interpretation. I do have to mention that during the Watersprite, Dvorak clearly had a fever and the only prescription was more triangle. The cello soloist, Alisa Weilerstein, was impressive as expected from musicians featured with the orchestra. Program