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Levitt and Chanos Speak Out On Important Investor Hot Button Issues

On Bloomberg radio this morning former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. categorically stated that he sees no value in reinstating the uptick rule. Levitt ruled the SEC from 1993 to 2001. Thus he was in charge of the regulatory agency for: the tech bubble, Wall Street Analyst scandals, Enron, WorldCom and Long Term Capital. Need I say more? Unfortunately I do because he is very well connected politically and is now a senior advisor to the Carlyle Group. Thus, his word carries weight with the current administration in Washington and the SEC. Thus, any hopes of the reinstatement of the uptick rule may now be dimmer than market participants would like. In the final analysis I hope Levitt is ignored because the elimination of the uptick rule has created much financial destruction.

On the other medium, TV, James Chanos successful hedge fund manager and famed short seller who manages Kynikos Associates was on CNBC Squawk Box. He categorically stated that the elimination of market to market rules would not solve our problems. He thinks that we should focus on the Basel II capital requirements. In his opinion we should lower the capital requirements for financial institutions. I would be concerned that lowering of those requirements would create even more moral hazard in a financial system that could not afford any more. Perhaps, we could do a bit of both – adjust both the market to market and the Basel II requirements. However, we should be careful on both accounts and not go too far. Again, moral hazard is the unintended consequence that we want to avoid.

Posted By Scott Rothbort at March 4, 2009

Pharmaceutical Takeovers and the New Jersey Economy

Pfizer (PFE) takes over Wyeth (WYE), a Madison, New Jersey company.  Merck (MRK) takes over Schering-Plough (SGP), a Kenilworth, NJ company. What happens if Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) takes over Bristol-Myers Squibb, headquartered in New York City with facilities spread out over New Jersey? Wall Street brokers and Money Centers banks losing jobs has to some extent been absorbed into the New Jersey economy. Merger and acquisitions in the pharmaceuticals space could push the state into further economic contraction. I am not saying that New Jersey becomes Michigan or Nevada or California but a manageable problem could get worse.

At the time of this Blog entry Scott Rothbort, his family and or clients of LakeView Asset Management, LLC was long shares of SGP convertible preferred stock --- although positions can change at any time.

Posted By Scott Rothbort at March 9, 2009

Euro Strength Could Be an Important Ingredient to a Sustained Market Rally

The Euro (EUR) broke $1.30 US Dollar (USD) for the first time since February 9. I am finally seeing some multinationals getting a nice bid as the USD weakens. Philip Morris International (PM) and McDonalds (MCD) both of which were hammered as the markets fell and the USD strengthened could get a jet propelled tailwind by strengthening global markets and EUR. As more US stocks rely on foreign income streams than those that don't, the EUR strength could be an important ingredient to a sustained market rally. 


At the time of this Blog entry Scott Rothbort, his family and or clients of LakeView Asset Management, LLC was long shares of MCD and PM --- although positions can change at any time.

For more information on investing with LakeView Asset Management, LLC please visit the company's website

You can subscribe to The LakeView Restaurant and Food Chain Report newsletter at



Posted By Scott Rothbort at March 17, 2009

The Finance Professor's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Survey

The unscientific survey amongst my three groups of students predict that the North Carolina Tar Heels will win the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The survey results:

North Carolina      32.4%

Louisville              29.7%

Pittsburgh             16.2%

Connecticut          10.8%

Memphis                8.1%

Syracuse               2.7%


My personal pick is Memphis. Enjoy the tournament. I have had the pleasure of attending 2 final 4's: 1981 & 1982

Posted By Scott Rothbort at March 19, 2009

Scott Rothbort

About Me :




Scott Rothbort has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 2002, Rothbort founded LakeView Asset Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor based in Millburn, N.J., which offers customized individually managed separate accounts, including proprietary long/short strategies to its high net worth clientele. He also is the founder and manager of the social networking educational website and a frequent contributor the where he also writes a weekly article as The Finance Professor

Immediately prior to that, Rothbort worked at Merrill Lynch for 10 years, where he was instrumental in building the global equity derivative business and managed the global equity swap business from its inception. Rothbort previously held international assignments in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London while working for Morgan Stanley and County NatWest Securities.

Rothbort holds an MBA in finance and international business from the Stern School of Business of New York University and a BS in economics and accounting from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Term Professor of Finance and the Chief Market Strategist for the Stillman School of Business of Seton Hall University.

For more information about Scott Rothbort and LakeView Asset Management, LLC, visit the company's Web site at


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