Cheap beer for stock market speculators

Skrevet af Iben Pedersen SonneTranslated by Felix Kasperek - Foto: Jørn Albertus - 10. februar 2012 - 6:340 kommentarer
The prices may have gone up and down, but the mood just went up and up in the FinanceLab ‘Stock Exchange Bar’ – Founder and chairman, Frederik Ploug Søgaard is flashing the cash.

FinanceLab organizers put on their top hats and sold beer, wine and cocktails at prices determined by supply and demand in the FUHU Lounge, Porcelænshaven.

Investing in good times
The organizers of FinanceLab’s monthly meetings have the goal of trying to outdo themselves with something new, different and inspiring every time. When the latest meeting, also the first in 2012, was coming to an end, the organizers let the crowd know that the evening would continue with a new concept – the ‘Stock Exchange Bar’’. Drinks would be sold at prices determined by supply and demand.

To illustrate the math behind the system, programming wiz Christian Kolding had developed a program that showed the market curves, which was set up behind the bar. Initially the interest of meeting’s participants was focused on the colorful curves on the screen, but thirst quickly took over and the monopoly money specially made for the event came into play.

That got the evening started. Beer prices fluctuated between lows of $6 and highs of $47, and the speculating students quickly gathered into little groups of managers and investors. The boys from FinanceLab were given plenty of work to keep them busy behind the bar, but they only saw the somewhat chaotic start as a good thing; an example of how the FinanceLab organization really works as a financial laboratory.

- The ’Stock Exchange Bar’ is a concept that needs to be developed and expanded, and we’ll only be able to learn how by having trials like tonight. FinanceLab wants to develop ‘Stock Exchange Bar’ and make it as much like the real markets as much as possible, hopefully creating unique events at both CBS and other universities and at company events, says FinanceLab chairman Frederik Ploug Søgaard.

Opportunistic IB-students cornered the market on beer
The participants making up the evenings’ market were pleased with the concept. Several of them had heard about the concept from similar bars in other countries, but had never tried speculating their way to getting hammered before themselves. After the first round had been served, the various groups gathered for a talk while they shared their ‘profits’, and the subject quickly turned to how the system would yield the highest possible alcohol intake for the least amount of money.

The different groups had different strategies. One group of foreign exchange students sitting closest to the bar studied the market curves intensely and created a quite a stir among the other participants when they purchased cheap beer in bulk. This forced the organizers to go for back-up beers, making the price skyrocket a whopping 600 percent.

A group of International Business-students, who had previously participated in FinanceLab’s Members’ Meetings, assumed the role of experienced traders and confidently sat down with their backs to the bar. Here they discussed cost/benefit, which led to the strategy of investing in the free-pour multi-color drinks, reasoning that they were a better deal, even though they were at a higher exchange rate than a Carlsberg.

A philosophical angle on economics
The night wasn’t all top hats and financial cocktails though. The meeting was kicked off with a bunch of Red Bulls for the tired students and an energetic presentation from the FinanceLab organizers themselves and a run-through of FinanceLab Magazine # 6.

FinanceLab had also invited Ole Bjerg, associate professor at the Department of Leadership, Politics and Philosophy, to give a presentation about his philosophical understanding of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, as an example of the new class struggle; a presentation that took a different philosophical and observing angle on the financial crisis and financial history. The attendants attentively listened to Ole Bjerg’s views and stories, which were kept in a humorous and accessible vein by his persistent use of sound effects and metaphors, such as religion, quantum physics, astronomy and game theory.

Even though some thought that 45 minutes was a bit long to sit and listen, many (especially the many foreign exchange students in attendance) eagerly participated with questions and ideas when the floor opened for questions and debate after the presentation. And there was sushi to be had, so people wouldn’t partake in the subsequent drinks offered, on an empty stomach.

FinanceLab experiments with financial concepts
Frederik Ploug Søgaard, founder and chairman of FinanceLab and instigator of the ’Stock Exchange Bar’ at CBS emphasizes that FinanceLab tries be a link between theory and practice and an intelligent forum for discussion and practical experiments with the economic and financial theories. These practical experiments can be ideas that member students are working with, such as the ’Stock Exchange Bar’; a brain child that Frederik himself had been playing around with for a while.

Do you have ideas you want to try out or questions to discuss? Or do you just want to check out one of FinanceLab’s events and network with people who share your interest in finance? You can read a lot more about the organization and its upcoming events, which include ‘Investment Banking Study Trip’, ‘Investment Camp’, ‘Nordic Trading Competition’ and Member’s Meetings either on their website or by joining their Facebook group.