Friday, May 23, 2014

Prof Dr. Paul Cootner - Biography and Contribution - Capital and Commodity Markets

Paul Cootner worked as Professor of Finance in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He died of a heart attack on  April 16, 1978.

He was an internationally known scholar in the fields of investment and capital market theory and commodities futures markets.

Cootner was born in Logansport, Indiana, on May 25, 1930. He received his B.S (1949)
and M.A. (1950) degrees from the University of Florida. He received his PhD degree in
Industrial Economics from M.I.T. in 1953. His dissertation dealt with innovation and
economic development, based on an extensive analysis of railroads in the U.S. from 1826
through 1886.

After a year at Brown University and service in the Army, he went to Resources for the  Future. There he did the work which resulted in co-authorship of Water Demand for Steam  Electric Generation (1966).

In 1959 he joined  M.I.T.'s Sloan School as a member of the finance faculty. There he began his work and publications on the "random walk" theory of securities prices, which resulted in the preparation and editing of The Random Character of Stock Market Prices (1964).

His interests were remarkably wide-ranging.  He engaged in detailed studies of a variety of industries, including steam power generation, natural gas pipelines, copper, and pharmaceuticals. He developed a dee He developed a deep interest in commodity prices and the operation of  futures markets, in which he became both a leading theorist and practitioner. His 1967 paper on speculation and hedging provided a synthesis of earlier ideas and a number of new and important approaches to the subject.  He studied speculation in the
government securities market and related it to bank behavior. He coauthored detailed studies of commercial banking and of the savings and loan industry. He worked on issues  dealing with electronic funds transfer systems, and published 'Retail Banking in the Electronic Age (1977)', coauthored with two Stanford colleagues.

 His final paper "Capital Asset Pricing in a General Equilibrium Framework" (1978) contains a more complete theory than had previously been developed, and provides the base for further work in this area which is central to the entire field of finance.

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