Posts filed under “Mathematics”

Tax Burden on Various Americans

David Leonhardt has two good tax related pieces (an article, and a blog post) that shed some light on who pays how much taxes in the US.

The full article, Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer., is noteworthy for this truism about the tax burden.  It is rather informative:

“There is no question that the wealthy pay a higher overall tax rate than any other group. That is an American tradition. But there is also no question that their tax rates have fallen more than any other group’s over the last three decades. The only reason they are paying more taxes than in the past is that their pretax incomes have risen so rapidly — which hardly seems a great rationale for a further tax cut.”

The blog post, Taxing the Rich, Over Time, is noteworthy for this supporting chart, looking at taxpayers by quintile, as well as the tax burden on the top 0.1%:

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Chart courtesy of Economix

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Sources:
Taxing the Rich, Over Time
DAVID LEONHARDT
Economix, April 13, 2010
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/taxing-the-rich-over-time

Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer.
DAVID LEONHARDT
NYT, April 13, 2010 
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html

Category: Mathematics, Taxes and Policy

Government’s Share of Economy, 1950 to 2075

Peter Boockvar dug up these fascinating charts from this CBO report from 2002.

What really surprised me is how consistent the US economy has been for most the latter half of the 20th century: About 20% of GDP. It starts about 19%, peaks at about 23% then falls back to about 18 and a half%.

Note that this data is before the Bush’s Prescription Drug Act or Obama’s Health Care bill.

Federal Outlays, 1962 to 2001

(As a percentage of GDP)
Table


Chart


Charts via CBO, Perot Charts

More charts after the jump . . .


Read More

Category: Economy, Mathematics

Long Term Growth in US Labor Force

Despite my association with the Bear camp, and my belief that we are most likely in a long term secular bear market, I actually am an optimistic guy. The future is never as dire looking as the survivalists make it out to be. Even though I know the cyclical bull rally within the longer bear…Read More

Category: Economy, Mathematics

Vanguard’s Broken Discipline: The Buy & Hold Model

Yesterday, my buddy Paul showed this Vanguard interactive chart. Vanguard was trying to show the superiority of Buy & Hold versus “emotional investing.”  I have many issues with their argument. First, I have to challenge the use of that term — emotional investing — to describe what is a fixed mathematical exit and entry strategy….Read More

Category: Mathematics, Quantitative, Technical Analysis

Why a Consumer Protection Agency Is Necessary

What a splendid idea: A Consumer Finance Protection Agency whose sole purpose is to provide a set of standards for the finance industry when it comes to marketing their products to otherwise naive US consumers. The original plan was to have a standard form for major finance purchases — mortgages, cars, revolving credit. This would…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Mathematics, Regulation

What Were the Actual Losses in Madoff’s Fraud?

Here is a deceptively complex and subtle legal question involving Ponzi schemes and fraud: What are “losses” in the legal sense of the word? The question arises in the case of Bernie Madoff, whose offices cranked out account statements like they were junk mail. As it turns out after the fact, that was all they…Read More

Category: Legal, Mathematics, Psychology

More WSJ Errors: This Time, Its Math

Last week, we discussed a highly politicized, misleading front page article about new bank rules (WSJ Jumps the Shark). If you recall, that story included a large chart showing much various banks declined, in dollar and percentage terms. Turns out the data was wildly wrong. The Journal ran a milquetoast correction, under the heading “Corrections…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Mathematics

How Many Quants Does It Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?

Matthew Greenfield of StoneWork Capital answers the above question thusly: “Using ten racks of co-located blade servers, one quant can detect a janitorial inefficiency, step in between janitor and light fixture, and screw in 49,500 bulbs in less than a millisecond, keeping five hundred lightbulbs of profit. Two quants competing with each other can screw…Read More

Category: Humor, Mathematics, Weekend

Help Wanted: Quant for Model Development

A successful fund manager friend is developing a new Model for running assets. He has a solid math background, but needs a good quant to help him develop and refine his approach. He is looking for two people — a college grad/student, and a PHD mathematician. They run a variety of different types of long…Read More

Category: Mathematics

Statistics: Scientific Consensus on Climate Change?

One of the memes I’ve heard recently in the climate debate is that there is no scientific consensus — that there is actually strong disagreement. The main basis of this argument is that 31,486 dissenting scientists have signed a petition against the belief that Global Warming is man made at the PetitionProject.org. I don’t want…Read More

Category: Mathematics, Really, really bad calls, Science