Cornell Task: 2016' Xiaoyang Guo

Xiaoyang GUO
Professor Barry Ridings&Robert Symington
Wall Street Trek
April 27th-28th, 2017
Wall Street was not built in a day----Summary of the Visit to the Museum of American Finance

Wall Street, the most famous street of NYC, is located downtown near the Brooklyn Bridge. As the financial center of the United States, even the world, this narrow street is a mirror of the development of the financial industry. Therefore, it is no wonder that the Museum of American Finance is located at the heart of the Wall street.

One Person

The history of American Finance is connected tightly to a well-known person, who is Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury. He was the founder of American’s modern financial system and built up a realistic basis to support a young country like US to make steps toward capitalism and industrialization. It is such a pity that he was shot to death in a fight and the US lost a brilliant president candidate.

Two Animals

There used to have buffalos in Wall Street. But the representatives of the status of financial markets are two fighting animals, the bull and the bear. The bull market means the upward-sloping promising financial market while the bear market means the downward-sloping declining market. As a financial major, those two animals are often heard and it is interesting to learn how they originated. The famous bronze bull in the very beginning of the Wall Street shows the blessing wish of the financial industry to be in the bull market.

Three Markets

The US enhance the modern system of different financial markets, such as stock exchange, futures and options exchange and the bond trading. Visitors to the MOFA was impressed by the three big screen with illustrative videos standing in the middle of the hall.

It is very helpful to learn the financial history of the America systematically because the country became the world economy center since it was founded. The past stories are meaningful to the financial professionals till nowadays to be much wiser and more competent in the most complex industry.
Reflection Paper on Wall Street Trek

We are so lucky to have the Wall Street Trek course in New York with so many star lecturers. The presentations are all carefully prepared aiming to help us in the real world’s practice. As far as I was mentioned, it is extremely helpful for my future work and study. Here are some thoughts I have by the inspiration of the lectures.

The Big Data Era

I am a data guy and love to find the intrinsic value of the data. With the great development of the internet and technology, we can get the data more easily and faster. As the world names it, we come to an era of big data.

The most important characteristics of the big data are four Vs, which are volume, velocity, variety and voracity. Nowadays, we have so many ways to collect all kinds of data, such as the social media, the transportation, credit system and so on. If the data are collected legally and allowed to use, we can have tremendous amount of data. And the speed to get the data we need has been improved to a very high level. Remember the days we used pigeons to transfer the messages? Now, most of the transactions data can be achieved in several seconds. I will receive the alerting message of credit card transaction just after swiping the card. Faster speed makes the decision-making process greatly short and new opportunities arising thereby. Since the data are more and more, how to differentiate the data we need is quite critical especially for the financial people who earn the profit by making transactions based on mostly on the data. Still, the accuracy of the data is even more crucial to the users than it was before. What degree can we rely on the data we have to make the decisions and how will the results come? In the past, the flaws of the data were not so obvious because the frequency of the transactions and people could have time to correct the wrong ones. For the big data era, all the decisions and results will be in a very fast frequency and people may not have the chance to recall the wrong decisions and even worse, may not have chance to realize that the decisions are wrong.

The big data era has made great changes in the financial industry. As to the existing data, we can have better insights to analyze them by using more advanced algorithms. As to the new data, we can have new insights with them by artificial intelligence or the machine learning tools. The super technologies help us uncover new relationships between the data and the people, or the society.

The big data have dual effects of the world. The good ones are sales productivity enhanced and client interactions improved. The opportunities for the talents in the industry create lots of demands in fine tuning, analyzing, trends and predictions. On the other hand, there are challenges for the big data, such as how to treat the noises in the data which are commonly encountered. For the algorithms, how to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of them are big challenges for the talents.

In summary, the big data era has come and grow quickly no matter you want or not. People in the financial industry should embrace the changes and face the opportunities along with the challenges.
To show my respects to the esteemed chairman of Blackstone, Mr. Stephen Schwarzman, I would like to conclude my reflection by citing his words. “The capitalism and the efficiency are the everlasting core principles for the financial industry”, he said during our conversation. Big data are aligned with that principles and will make the financial world more capital-oriented and more efficient. I have confidence of that judgement and will take great efforts to make it happen.