Article written by Matt Buchholz | IE Business School, Master In Finance, candidate, 2012-13 | e: |

It has been an exciting week at IE Business School. This week, the MIF and MIAF students took part in two presentations that only programs of IE’s reputation can attract. On April 16, Oliver Steinki, former IE Masters student and Ph.D. in Financial Mathematics, gave a complex introduction on algorithmic trading. Then, on April 18, Maria J Nieto, from the Bank of Spain, gave an intricate presentation on current financial regulation issues, as well as the general future of the Euro.

The topics that Oliver chose to cover reinforced the importance and value of IE’s finance programs. Topics such as iceberg orders and using algorithm nuances to differentiate between profit generation, capital hedging, or a combination of the two were topics that, after seven months of MIF training, IE’s students were able to actively engage in discussing and further understanding. The central theme of Oiliver’s presentation was his own “ensemble” method: Oliver acquires already-successful algorithms, with typical success rates of between 49 and 51 percent, and combines each program’s strongest programs into an amalgamation which, during testing, has achieved a  57 percent success rate!

Maria gave a presentation explaining the systemic interconnectivity between sovereign debt, government debt, and bank debt. Maria also explained that this difficult-to-reverse cycle is further exasperated by the fact that global companies have been less willing to hold new Euro-denominated debt as assets. Then, after giving IE students a technical understanding of how the ECB functions, Maria and the students in attendance discussed the viability of EU-wide deposit insurance and banking governance, and how these medium-term measures may lead to a complete fiscal union, which eventually may require closer political ties. Although many of the evening’s participants reached general agreement on the structural options available to the Europe’s financial leaders and its people, there was little agreement on the direction that would ultimately serve Europe and the world best in the long-term. Perhaps, on this evening, the IE classroom was a proxy for the ECB, the EU government, and the European people!

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