Posts filed under “Mathematics”

Why Are So Many Traders Killing Themselves?

This column is not about working too hard, or the dangers of high cholesterol, or lack of exercise. It is about a rash of suicides within the financial community. What this actually means is less certain than the reporting on it might imply.

Yesterday, 47-year-old Edmund Reilly, a trader at the Vertical Group, jumped in front of a Long Island Rail Road Train, and was pronounced dead at the scene. That led to an article from the New York Post reporting that this was one of many recent suicides of people in the financial industry. IBT had a headline last fall “Suicide Among Bankers Appears To Be On The Rise Again As Pressures To Get Banks And Businesses Back In The Black Takes Its Toll.”

The Post was so kind as to include a list of a half dozen other suicides this year by people working in finance. A quick search reveals many other finance suicides in recent months. “Banker Suicides” even has its own Wikipedia page.

In the world of high finance, the latest problem is taking one’s own life.

Or is it?

Continues here

Category: Bad Math

Get Lucky: 5 Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, I made the luckiest market call of my career. A few details and some context first, than an explanation as to why this was so lucky. In 2005, I knew something was amiss in the global markets. The various metrics we track showed that credit had become a full on bubble,…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Investing, Markets, UnGuru

How We Understand Risk: What Kills Us

One of the things that baffles me about people is how they completely misunderstand risk. Lots of my friends panic about things that have no real chance of killing them, but ignore the things that will. This can lead us to make irrational decisions, and sometimes irrational policy. What really will kill us? Watch and learn.

What Kills Us? How We Understand Risk.

Category: Bad Math, Psychology, Science, Video

Global Gross Gambling Winnings = $440 Billion in 2013

Source: Economist

Category: Bad Math, Consumer Spending

How accurate is the groundhog?

Not so good – less than chance, in fact. Approximately 90% of the time, Phil sees his shadow. Records indicate he’s right just 39% of the time — worse than a coin flip. Phil and his ancestors have been doing this since 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. -Wit & Wisdom  

Category: Bad Math, UnScience

The Plural of Anecdote Is Not Data

Source: Nestler Analytics

Category: Bad Math, Data Analysis, Digital Media, Research

The Graying of America (Or Bad Demography)

I never really liked the classic definition of boomers as those born 1946 to 1964. Its overbroad, and well, wrong. That age cohort should really end in 1959. I see why they Demographers made up that range — its so there is a seamless, artificial flow right into to the Gen X group, born 1965…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Research

A Modest Proposal

@TBPInvictus Now for something completely different. That we have become a numbers (and statistics) obsessed society is beyond debate. I’m not sure when it started (Cosmo mag, maybe?), but it’s gotten out of hand. Websites everywhere tell me the X number of things I need to know about Y. Sports, particularly baseball, have gone totally…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Mathematics

Terry Jeffrey, Hack Extraordinaire (Fun with Numbers Again)

@TBPInvictus here. In yet another stunning display of journalistic malpractice, Terry Jeffrey put out the following piece after last Friday’s NFP release:     Because it suited his (political) purpose, Jeffrey jumped on the Household Survey; looking at the Establishment Survey would not have provided such a dramatic headline. Indeed, it would have provided, for…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Financial Press, Really, really bad calls

Media Hall of Shame: Black Friday Reporting

I am writing up my BBRG coverage of the innumerate business reporting of Black Friday and the holiday shopping weekend. The press as per usual got it wrong again this year. Here is the press release from the  NRF, pushing their usual survey silliness as if it were actual retail sales data: “More than 141…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Financial Press, Really, really bad calls