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Mr. Read is an expert in valuation, risk management, and capital budgeting.

His consulting practice is focused on the energy industry, especially electric power and natural gas. He specializes in the application of option pricing methods to analyze the value and risk of securities, derivatives, non-financial contracts, and real assets.

Mr. Read’s consulting engagements have involved, among other subjects, energy trading, volatility modeling and forecasting, management of market and credit risks, hedging retail electric and gas services, power and fuel procurement, valuation of generation assets, and investment decision making. He has developed analytical methods and software tools for valuation and risk management of energy contracts and portfolios. He has also developed and taught professional training courses on these topics.

In addition to management consulting, Mr. Read has served as a consulting and testifying expert in litigation and regulatory matters involving securities, energy marketing and trading, tax, cost of capital, and commercial damages.

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