About mforgan

International Business major originally from San Francisco. Interested in how financial markets create value for individual firms or vice versa and how consumer behavior plays into the equation.

Thesis Cornerstone: Sean Wong-Westbrooke on Amazon and Antitrust

In this edition of Thesis Corner I sat down with Sean Wong-Westbrooke to talk about his findings about Amazon and Antitrust laws. To understand Antitrust laws in the United States it’s important to start from a historical perspective. Standard oil had an overwhelming majority of the oil market during early 20th century and started using its size to fix prices and political influence to force deals. This eventually lead to the enforcement of Antitrust Laws and the company subsequently broke up into several segments, birthing companies like ExxonMobil. The perceived benefits of the break-up were essentially rendered void when an Continue reading Thesis Cornerstone: Sean Wong-Westbrooke on Amazon and Antitrust

Renewable Energies: What’s the Holdup

For those that believe in the reality of climate change and its implications, renewable energies are a necessity and the sooner they get here the better. The catch is that a switch from energy sources like natural gas would lead to a much higher utility bill and so hurt people especially from lower-income segments. It is important to understand where solar and wind sources stand from a cost perspective to better grasp how far they are from realistically competing with less sustainable sources like natural gas.  According to “The Economics of Renewable Energy” by David Timmons, Jonathan M. Harris, and Continue reading Renewable Energies: What’s the Holdup

Space as an Emerging Economy

Space has fueled some of the most ambitious stories and in recent years prompted some of the biggest names in business to take action. In 2018, a Harvard professor named Matthew Weinzierl wrote about the emerging space economy in a work titled “Space, The Final Economic Frontier”. In this writing, he presents a framework based on three economic principles, “1) establishing the market through decentralization of decision making and financing for human space activities; 2) refining the market through policies that address market failures and ensure a healthy market structure; and 3) tempering the market through regulation in pursuit of Continue reading Space as an Emerging Economy

From A Bird’s Eye View: Agri-Tech

Agricultural scandals like the 2019 e-coli infections of Romaine lettuce have led many to question what they eat, where it comes from, and how it’s farmed. This combined with the prediction that by 2050 Earth will be inhibited by 9 billion humans has got a lot of people thinking. One idea is the concept of vertical farming which increases output and decreases yield volatility because of its predictable nature. Vertical farming really hit the spotlight in 2017 when Softbank raised $200 million for a company called Plenty. This has led many people to ask questions like is something so capital-intensive Continue reading From A Bird’s Eye View: Agri-Tech

Initial Coin Offerings and Herd Behavior

The correlation between amount of capital raised in initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the price of bitcoin during 2017 and 2018 is a blatant displayal of herd behavior related to blockchain technologies like cryptocurrency. ICOs serve as a method of fundraising whereby the seeking project trades their underlying token for bitcoin or ether. Herd behavior is a widely accepted phenomenon where a group of people act collectively without a central source of direction. This means that the individual mimics group behavior, rational or not The first reason for such a behavior is linked to social pressure and the desire to Continue reading Initial Coin Offerings and Herd Behavior

The Price of Innovation: Medical Drugs

It’s no secret that the price of drugs in the United States is a touchy subject; wanting affordable drugs now versus the cost of developing presents a difficult dilemma. A lower price for drugs as soon as they’re developed could save lives, but money for expensive R&D also has to come from somewhere. Every year investors spend five times as much as government does on medical research (drugcostfacts.org, 2015), and they aren’t doing it out of the bottom of their heart. The assumption is that investors will only allocate capital to a biotech/pharmaceutical company if they believe they will be Continue reading The Price of Innovation: Medical Drugs

Say Thank You and Kiss the Traditional Economy Goodbye

It seems like everybody who watches Marie Kondo on Netflix ends up furiously cleaning out their room while mumbling, “does this bring me happiness?” It’s not hard to see that minimalism is a re-emerging trend hitting consumer behavior full force. It originated as an art movement during the 1960s and since then has developed to become a lifestyle; mainly because of financial trauma caused by the 2008 crisis. People were forced to reduce ownership of excessive goods and consciously reflect about their purchases. This is the whole minimalist purpose: to only keep truly useful, beneficial, and memorable items. But why has Continue reading Say Thank You and Kiss the Traditional Economy Goodbye