Attention, industry: Got a problem? Call UB mathematicians

Category: Home Equity Loans
Published: Monday, 11 January 2016
Written by Super User

UB mathematicians have received a $600,000 National Science Foundation grant to support an innovative collaboration between their department and companies in banking, security, aerospace technology and other fields.

For each of the next three years, six UB math PhD candidates will participate in a yearlong training program that culminates in a summer internship working on-site with a partner in industry or academia.

Firms that have already signed up to participate include IBM Buffalo Innovation Center, Mamp;T Bank, Moog Inc. and SecureRF Corporation.

The School of Management will also be a partner, enlisting the math departments help in researching topics that could include optimizing the way cloud service providers deploy computing resources and design availability-aware service contracts for customers.

The NSF-funded collaboration, called Experiential Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE@UB), kicks off in fall 2016.

Students will benefit by getting the chance to work on real industry problems, says David Hemmer, chair of the Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences. This could include analyzing how homeowners pay off home equity loans, or studying the math that governs mission-critical hardware in flight control systems.

Todays mathematicians have career options beyond just academia, notes Bill Menasco, professor and director of graduate studies in mathematics. This program helps us prepare our students by building up our departments institutional knowledge of what problems industry is facing.

Even for a pure mathematician who is planning to work in academia, I think its beneficial to learn and see how people out in the world are using what they know to generate business or improve peoples lives, Hemmer says.

For industry, the partnership is a chance to tap into UBs math expertise.

Sometimes a company will have a problem they want to solve, but they dont even know what kind of math they need to work with. Is it geometry? Is it differential equations? Menasco says. Thats where coming to a comprehensive math department like the one we have at UB can be helpful.

Menasco is leading the program with support from four fellow math faculty members: Hemmer; associate professor and undergraduate studies director Bernard Badzioch; assistant professor Joseph Hundley; and associate professor John Ringland.

The grant for EDGE@UB is from the NSFs Enriched Doctoral Training in the Mathematical Sciences (EDT) program, which aims to strengthen the nations scientific competitiveness by increasing the number of well-prepared US citizens, nationals and permanent residents who pursue careers in the mathematical sciences and in other professions in which expertise in the mathematical sciences plays an increasingly important role.

UB is only the fourth institution to be funded through the EDT program, according to the NSF awards website. The others are Princeton University, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Minnesota.

The grant supports PhD student training (which includes bringing in instructors from industry), a winter session boot camp focused on learning mathematical tools useful to solving industry problems, release time from teaching assistant duties and internships for all 18 students who will participate over the course of three years.

We mathematicians have a lot going on in our heads, but it turns out that these days, its hard to do math without finding an application for it, Menasco says. Whether youre working in geometry or topology or knot theory, there are real-world uses for it.

Green Bancorp Inc (GNBC) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to "Buy"

Category: Home Equity Loans
Published: Monday, 11 January 2016
Written by Super User

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Green Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:GNBC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Saturday morning, Market Beat reports. The firm currently has $10.00 target price on the financial services providers stock.

According to Zacks, Green Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company for Green Bank, NA The Bank is a nationally chartered commercial bank providing commercial and private banking services. It offers deposit accounts comprising demand, savings, money market, and time accounts. The Company also provides loans, including residential real estate loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, installment loans, unsecured and secured personal lines of credit, overdraft protection and letters of credit. It also provides a range of online banking solutions; and extended drive-through hours, and ATMs, as well as banking through telephone, mail, and personal appointment. Green Bancorp, Inc. is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

A number of other analysts have also commented on the company. RBC Capital dropped their price target on Green Bancorp from $17.00 to $16.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 29th. Jefferies Group dropped their price target on Green Bancorp from $14.00 to $13.50 in a report on Friday, October 30th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette Woods lowered Green Bancorp from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, October 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $14.17.

Stillwater Investment Management Sells 1039 Shares of Wells Fargo (WFC)

Category: Home Equity Loans
Published: Sunday, 10 January 2016
Written by Super User

Wells Fargo Company is a financial services and bank holding company. The Companys segments are Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Brokerage and Retirement. The Companys Community Banking segment offers a range of financial products and services for consumers and small businesses, including checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, and auto, student and small business lending. The Community Banking segments products include investment, insurance and trust services, and mortgage and home equity loans. The Community Banking segments products and business segments include middle market commercial banking, government and institutional banking, corporate banking and commercial real estate, among others. The Companys Wholesale Banking segment provides a range of financial solutions to businesses across the United States and around the world. The Wealth and Brokerage and Retirement segment provides a range of financial advisory services.

The Rise Is Right

Category: Home Equity Loans
Published: Sunday, 10 January 2016
Written by Super User

That the Fed now feels comfortable raising rates off zero is a good sign, and is mostly a reflection of the fast-improving job market. About 200,000 jobs have been created each month, on average, for nearly four years. This is more than double the pace of job creation needed to employ those coming into the work force.

The result is quickly falling unemployment. The unemployment rate now stands at 5 percent, consistent with most estimates of full employment. It is important to note that there is always unemployment, even in the very best of times, given the large number of workers between jobs.

There are still too many underemployed, including part-timers who want more hours and discouraged workers who stopped looking for jobs and are not counted as unemployed. But at the current pace of job creation, even these underemployed will be working as much as they would like by mid-2016.

There is a reasonable concern that the Fed may be raising rates too soon, which could undermine the economy. This would be very worrisome, as the Fed would have no good options in response. However, there is the alternative mounting risk that the Fed may wait too long to raise rates, which could result in undesirably high inflation in the future.

Balancing these risks is a matter of judgment, and I think the Fed used good judgment in its decision to begin raising rates.

Americans who have most of their savings in money market funds, certificates of deposit, and other cash-like investments welcome the higher rates. These are mostly older households that shouldnt be taking any risks with their savings. Theyve suffered as the interest rates on their investments have declined, and although it will take a while before interest rates rise enough for their financial pain to subside, the worst is over.

Rising rates are bad news for those of us who own stocks. The stock market has essentially gone sideways this year as investors anticipated the Feds move. Stock owners were the biggest beneficiaries of the Feds aggressive policies since the recession, so it is not surprising that they will suffer the most as rates rise.

Those who own longer-term bonds will also take it on the chin. If you own risk-free Treasury bonds youll do OK, at least for a while, because nervous global investors like the safety of US government debt. However, if you are more of a risk-taker and have invested in the bonds of less creditworthy companies or those issued by the governments of emerging nations, you are hurting. That pain will continue.

Households with lots of debt, especially credit cards and home equity loans, will also feel it. Not much at first, as rates are still very low, but over time as rates increase the larger interest payments will become more of a burden. If you have card or home equity debt and can pay at least some of it off, this is a good time to do so.

Fortunately, most homeowners have taken advantage of the heretofore historically low rates by locking them in. Many have refinanced more than once as mortgage rates have steadily declined. The typical homeowner has a 30-year fixed rate loan with a 4.5 percent mortgage rate. The Fed can raise rates all it wants, but these households will be unaffected.

If you are in the market for a new loan to buy a car or an appliance, you will eventually have to pay a higher rate. However, it may take a while before you see it, as lenders will likely shoulder at least some of the burden of the Feds rate hikes to continue making loans. Lenders may also become less persnickety about your credit score or employment history when deciding whether to make you a loan.

How much of an impact higher rates will have depends on how high they rise. This is very uncertain, but if you buy into the Feds own forecast, which is probably prudent, short-term rates will rise from just over a quarter percentage point today to 3.5 percent by late 2018. This is the rate consistent with an economy operating at full-employment, growing at its potential, and with inflation at the Feds target of 2 percent.

This seems like a big increase in a short period, but it is more modest than the rate increases weve been through in times past. I think we are up for it. If Im right, it will mean the economy has finally fully recovered from the Great Recession.

Mark Zandi is chief economist at Moodys Analytics in West Chester. For questions and comments contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..