"With Yale’s endowment at an all-time high of $25.57 billion, the University’s investment success has been buoyed by startups like Uber, Airbnb and LinkedIn...
"Massachusetts Institute of Technology finance professor Andrew Lo ’80 said Yale’s portfolio has had better returns than other venture capitalists. He speculated that this is due to Yale’s extensive network of contacts, which includes alumni and seasoned portfolio managers."
"The investor of the future may already be incubating in a computer lab. Time to adapt to survive...
"A few years ago, Lo’s team was asked to explore the benefits of machine-learning tools within a commercial bank’s credit card business. The team’s 'recognition algorithms' processed 10 terabytes of data from half a million customers over five years. 'We were able to identify consumers who were likely to default or be delinquent on their credit card payments much more accurately than traditional tools,' Lo says. 'By addressing those particular hotspots in their credit card business, the bank was able to reduce the risk of the overall business but only by affecting 3% of its customers, as opposed to making broad credit reductions for the entire customer base.'"
"The MIT study looked at English-language tweets in 2007-14 about the Fed, measuring sentiment and adjusting for the reach of the tweeter.
"'We exploit a new dataset of tweets referencing the Federal Reserve and show that the content of tweets can be used to predict future returns, even after controlling for common asset pricing factors,' the authors, Andrew Lo, a professor at MIT, and Pablo Azar, a PhD student there, write."
"Has the investment industry’s marketing push outsmarted itself? For several years, huge effort has gone in to selling “smart beta” funds. It has worked, creating great excitement. Now, not at all surprisingly, the backlash has begun..."
"Americans pay some of the world's highest rates for health care coverage and drug therapies. Although these costs hurt consumers, drug companies point out that the U.S. system allows them to bring new therapies to market faster and sometimes exclusively for domestic patients. Still, tabs like $84,000 for a curative hepatitis C treatment price most people out, even those with the best insurance.
"Andrew Lo, a finance professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of its Laboratory for Financial Engineering, has proposed a fix of sorts. He and fellow researcher David Weinstock, a physician at the Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, recently published a paper in the journal of Science Translational Medicine that shows how capital markets could finance these costly treatments in the same way that consumers bankroll other large purchases, like mortgages."
"Consumers take out loans every day to purchase houses, cars, and college tuition. What if they could do the same for expensive medicines?
"It’s an idea that a group of Boston-area health economists floated last month in response to the rising cost of prescription drugs. And as envisioned, everyone involved in health care and finance could benefit from the availability of a health care loan..."
A new class of medications was recently approved that cures more than 95 percent of people with Hepatitis C in only six weeks at a cost of about $84,000 per person, and new therapies with price tags that are likely to exceed $1 million per person are now available or coming soon. How can patients possibly afford them?
"It was during the financial crisis that Andrew Lo had his epiphany: The way to save health care from ever-rising costs is by bringing in the banks. Specifically, by packaging drug development costs into securities to be bought and sold by Wall Street—the very, um, mortgage-bundling technique that blew up the economy in 2007. “The reason the financial crisis happened is not because securitization didn’t work. It happened because it worked way too well,” says Lo, a professor of financial engineering at MIT. Securitization injected a huge pool of money into mortgages—what if you could inject that pool of money into a worthwhile cause and, ahem, do it responsibly?
"So Lo, who has seen his mother and several friends die from cancer, wants to use the techniques of Wall Street to fix healthcare. In a new paper in Science Translational Medicine, he and his coauthors propose creating loans for patients whose insurance policies don’t cover ultra-expensive treatments like the cure for hepatitis C—loans that would be financed by bundling them and selling to Wall Street investors..."