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Mr. Read, a Principal at The Brattle Group, has over 30 years of consulting experience in financial and energy economics.

James Read is an expert in valuation, risk management, and capital budgeting. He has been a testifying and/or consulting expert in litigation matters involving securities, energy trading, breach of contract, tax shelters, and transfer pricing. These include several high-profile cases of alleged manipulation of electricity and natural gas markets. They also include valuation of damages related to expropriation of overseas petroleum and mineral resources.

Mr. Read’s management consulting practice has focused on project evaluation and investment decisions; risk management of energy portfolios; and modeling commodity market prices and volatility. His consulting engagements have included, for example, several projects involving the management of risks associated with retail energy services. They have also included reviews of risk management policies and procedures. The following are among his recent consulting engagements:

  • He is advising counsel in connection with an internal investigation of foreign exchange sales and trading practices at a major financial institution.
  • He directed a study to optimize the operation of a pumped storage facility operating in an RTO with multiple energy and ancillary services markets.
  • He prepared an expert report in a dispute involving a long-term supply contract for proppants used in hydraulic fracturing.

Mr. Read is the author or coauthor of numerous publications on valuation, risk management, and capital budgeting. These include foundational papers on risk capital and capital allocation.

Representative Engagements
Utility hedging & risk management
Conducted several independent reviews of hedging policies for commodity price risk (and compliance with those policies) for public utilities in the United States and Canada.
Enterprise risk management
Analyzed historical outage data, developed a statistical model to describe those data, and designed computer code to estimate the uncertainty associated with the availability of power generation and transmission resources. This was developed for a client’s enterprise risk management and capital budgeting systems.
Tax shelter
Expert witness on the economic substance of a foreign exchange investment strategy ostensibly facilitated by a credit agreement with a major financial institution.
Securities class action
Prepared an expert report on the cost of capital obtained through the merger of a public company with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The merger involved a complex exchange of warrants and shares.
Taxation of energy transactions
Prepared an expert report that addressed the applicability of Section 1256 of the internal revenue code to wholesale power trading in the markets operated by a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO).
Testimony
In John Campbell v. The Talbots, Inc. et al., Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, C.A. No. 5199-VCS
February 2010
In Sempra Energy Resources v. California Department of Water Resources, No. GIC 789291, before the Superior Court in the State of California
November 2009
Rebuttal Testimony on behalf of National Grid, plc and Keyspan Corporation, Case 06-G-1185, State of New York Public Service Commission
March 7, 2007
In Klamath Strategic Investment Fund, LLC v. United States of America, Civil Action No. 5:04-cv-00278-TJW (lead case). United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division
October 2006
In re National Westminster Bank PLC v. The United States, United States Court of Federal Claims, No. 95-758 T
March 4, 2005 and July 12, 2005
In re Enron Corp., et al. v. Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York
February 23, 2005
In re Enron Power Marketing, Inc. and Enron Energy Services, Inc., Docket No. EL03-180-000 et al. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
February 27, 2004 and January 31, 2005
In re New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. v. Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., United States District Court, Southern District of New York
August 2004
Prepared Direct Testimony on behalf of New York State Electric & Gas, Case 01-E-0359, State of New York Public Service Commission
August 2, 2001, September 12, 2001
Publications
Article
Real Options, Taxes and Financial Leverage
2018
Published in Critical Finance Review (Forthcoming)
Report
Comments in Response to DOE's Request for Information DE-FOA-0001886
April 4, 2018
Prepared in Response to the DOE's Request for Information DE-FOA-0001886

The comments address hydropower participation in the current operations landscape. Specifically, the authors provide background information on the value of hydro plants, a discussion of market rules and software challenges and limitations, optimized energy and ancillary services market performance, additional benefits from making hydro plants more flexible, and transmission congestion relief.

Presentation
Maximizing the Market Value of Flexible Hydro Generation
March 29, 2018
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.

The study examines flexible hydro resources in wholesale power markets and finds that improving operational practices and market rules may be able to enhance the value of these resources by 200% to 500%.

Presentation
Valuation Controversies in Oil and Gas Bankruptcies
June 02, 2016
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.
Article
A Theory of Risk Capital
December 2015
Published in the December 2015 issue of Journal of Financial Economics
Report
Real Options, Taxes and Financial Leverage
June 2012
Published by National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 18148
Article
Hedge Timing: There’s No Magic in Dollar Cost Averaging
May 2012
Published in Public Utilities Fortnightly
Report
Advances in Volatility Modeling for Energy Markets: Methods for Reproducing Volatility Clustering, Fat Tails, Smiles, and Smirks in Energy Price Forecasts
December 2011
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), TR 1021812
Article
Smart Power and Evolution of Risk Management
December 2010
Published in Electric Light & Power
Presentation
Valuation of Wind Power
July 2009
Presentation to Wind Power Development Tutorial, InfoCast, San Diego, CA
Report
Just Lucky? A Statistical Test for Option Backdating
March 27, 2007
Published by Social Science Research Network, No. 977518
Report
Delta Hedging Energy Portfolios
2005
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), TR 1010686
Report
Resource Planning and Procurement in Evolving Electricity Markets
January 31, 2004
Prepared for the Edison Electric Institute
Report
Seasonal Volatility in Energy Prices: A Study of Natural Gas and Electricity Futures
2004
David A. Andrade, Richard E. Goldberg, and James A. Read, Jr.
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Report
Analytic Approximations for Generation Option Values
2003
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), TR 1002209
Report
Retail Risk Management: A Primer
2003
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), TR 1002225
Report
Financial Engineering in the Energy Book System - A Wind Turbine (technical update)
December 2002
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Article
Capital Allocation for Insurance Companies
December 2001
Published in Journal of Risk and Insurance
Report
Optimization and Valuation of Natural Gas Storage or How to Get More out of the Gas Piggy Bank
2001
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Article
Dealing with a Price-Spike World
May 2000
Published in Energy & Power Risk Management
Article
Energy Derivatives and Price Risk Management
2000
In Pricing in Competitive Electricity Markets, edited by Ahmad Faruqui and B. Kelly Eakin, and published by Springer
Report
Residual Obligations Following Industry Restructuring
2000
Prepared for Edison Electric Institute
Report
Valuation and Management of Nuclear Assets
1998
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), TR 107541
Report
Option Pricing for Project Evaluation: An Introduction
1995
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), TR-104755
Article
It's All Downstream From Here
June 1994
James A. Read, Jr. and S. Thomas
Published in Energy Risk
Article
Analysis for Changing Minds
April 1994
James A. Read, Jr. and S. Thomas
Published in Energy Risk
Report
The Utility Capital Budgeting Notebook
1994
A. Lawrence Kolbe, James A. Read, Jr., and Incentives Research Inc.
Published by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Article
Estimating the Cost of Switching Rights on Natural Gas Pipelines
October 1989
Published in The Energy Journal
Book
Option Pricing: A New Approach to Mine Valuation
1987
James A. Read, Jr., S. Palm, and N. Pearson
In Selected Readings in Mineral Economics, published by Pergamon Press
Book
The Cost of Capital: Estimating the Rate of Return for Public Utilities
1984
A. Lawrence Kolbe, James A. Read, Jr., and with George R. Hall
Published by MIT Press
News & Events
April 23, 2018
Brattle Experts' Paper on Real Options Forthcoming in Critical Finance Review

In a forthcoming paper in Critical Finance Review, Brattle Principals Stewart Myers and James Read derive a procedure for calculating after-tax values of real options, including the value of interest tax shields on debt supported or displaced by the options.

April 06, 2018
Brattle Economists Submit Comments in Response to the DOE's Request for Information on Expanding Hydropower and Pumped Storage's Contribution to Grid Resiliency and Reliability

Brattle economists recently submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Request for Information (RFI) on new research to maximize the value of hydropower’s contribution to grid resiliency and reliability today and into the future.

March 29, 2018
Brattle Economists: Some Hydro Plants Substantially Undervalued in Today's Power Markets

Economists at The Brattle Group released a study today that examines flexible hydro resources in wholesale power markets and finds that improving operational practices and market rules may be able to enhance the value of these resources by 200% to 500%.

May 03, 2016
Law360 Article by Brattle Economists Examines Considerations When Implementing Oil and Gas Contract Termination Payments

Principals Richard Goldberg and James Read have authored an article published in Law360 that examines potential points of contention when implementing oil and gas contract termination payments, in light of the ongoing decline of energy commodity prices.

April 13, 2016
Brattle Consultants Contribute to Significant Win for the State of California on Energy Crisis Long-Term Contracts

Based on evidence presented by Brattle consultants, a FERC Administrative Law Judge issued a ruling that found that the Mobile-Sierra doctrine does not protect two long-term wholesale electricity contracts entered into during the Western Energy Crisis in 2001.

January 08, 2016
Brattle Economists Author Article on Risk Capital for the Journal of Financial Economics

Brattle Principals Stewart Myers and James Read, along with Ohio State Professor Isil Erel, published an article on risk capital in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Financial Economics.