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Something for Nothing: Arbitrage and Ethics on Wall Street

Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 4:00pm

Mann Library, Room 160
Cornell University Mann Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

In Something for Nothing, economist Maureen O’Hara, explains that one of the key innovations of modern finance is its reliance on arbitrage, the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets to generate profits and remove inefficiencies. When done correctly, arbitrage can create value at little or no cost, but it can also be an exploitative tool.

Join us in Mann Library for an insightful discussion about the still-legal yet highly unethical business practices that can occur in modern finance today. O’Hara will examine key cases, from the Goldman Greek transaction to Lehman Brothers’ attempt to cover up its debt, JPMorgan Chase’s maneuvers in California’s energy markets, Bernie Madoff’s trading strategies in the 1980s, and toxic loans in France.

Her new book, published by W. W. Norton and Company, takes a humanistic approach to ethics in the financial industry and is essential reading for people seeking an introduction to finance.

Maureen O’Hara is professor of finance and Robert W. Purcell Professor of Management at the Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell.

Buffalo Street Books will offer books for purchase and signing. Light refreshments served. 

This event is part of the Cornell University Library Chats in the Stacks series. The book talk series at Mann Library is supported by the Mary A. Morrison Public Education Fund.

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Event Type

Author Appearance, Lecture, Presentation


Cornell University Library, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, Mann Library, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management


CALScomm, economics, pawprint, Cornell University Library, Mann Library, CUL, book talk, policy, Finance


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Lynn Bertoia

Contact Phone

(607) 255-5406


Maureen O’Hara

Speaker Affiliation

Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Disability Access Information

Open To

Free and open to all

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