Professor Emeritus of Finance
My ideal job is one that allows for and indeed calls on me to be both an active, engaged teacher and a productive researcher. This dual commitment to one’s students and one’s scholarship is exactly what Notre Dame asks of its faculty, and the 30-plus years I have spent here have been a true blessing.
I love teaching, and doing it at Notre Dame is a privilege because of the young men and women who are incredibly bright and motivated to learn. What else could a teacher want? And perhaps not surprisingly, I have observed that many of the best teachers are also some of the most dynamic scholars.
The Mendoza College of Business has become a wonderful place for research due in part to the creation of an outstanding infrastructure that includes extensive databases and numerous research seminars. Even more important, though, is the fact that we are home to an outstanding collection of junior and seasoned faculty who interact for the benefit of each other and the University.
My own recent research has been concerned with high-yield bonds—also referred to as non-investment grade or “junk” bonds—and the yield spreads (yields compared to Treasury bonds) on them. Historically, these yield spreads range from about three percent to almost 20 percent over the business cycle. Our work examined the spreads in detail and indicated that they were heavily impacted by economic expansions and contractions and more specifically by high-yield bond default rates, the recovery rates when bonds defaulted, and the volatility of returns for bonds and stocks.