By: David Garret Mucha
At the end of the week the group began the day at Deutsche Boerse and finished at the ECB. The German stock exchange was a non-trivial distance from the Hotel, which we had to cover by foot in about 15 minutes. Upon arriving at DB we were asked to pass a security screening which was less comprehensive than what one would see in an airport terminal. A 50-minute lecture commenced thereafter, which was accompanied by a substantial ebb and flow of Q&A, both from students as well as via the presenter.
After this we were shown the trading floor from the observation deck. Many speculated as to whether the trade technicians away from sight were working diligently or rather playing the latest version of Angry Birds on one of their multi-panel workstations.
At roughly noon we split for lunch. Most stayed in the immediate area and enjoyed lunch at one of the many nearby restaurants; however, some returned to the hotel to rest. Across from the ECB was an Indian restaurant. Generally, I’m told the prices here were unjustifiably high as the food quality did not hold a candle to what could be experienced at even low-tier equivalents in Dallas.
Post-lunch we were herded into a security line at the ECB. In contrast to D-B, the security screening process was higher. Several unlucky students were subjected to a nice frisking by a very affectionate guard. Names will not be disclosed here.
The ECB event included two lectures. The first presentation was intended to convey a high level view of the history of the bank, EU, and provide insights into the bank’s decision making process. Following this a research staff member provided an overview of key macroeconomic indicators and discussed his expectations about the next year in terms of inflation rates, bond yields, and GDP growth. Sensing weakness in the lecturer’s thesis, the MBA’s did not forbear from asking tough questions. After this lecture and the following Q&A, one was left wondering whether the bank was correct in its view of expected macroeconomic outcomes.
That evening the group convened at assorted restaurants and venues near the hotel to unwind from the day. Recommended fare included O’reilly’s Irish and the soon to be updated ‘New Living Room’ perched alongside the river. At the latter the schnitzel was savory- and many discovered the German delicacy of cranberry jam atop a fresh field green salad.