Posts filed under “Mathematics”

Bill Miller is Back? Hardly.

There has been a lot of recent chatter along the lines of Bill Miller is back in the WSJ, Investor’s Business Daily, Bloomberg, etc.

This turns out to be a simple case of bad mathematical analysis — like declaring Fannie Mae (FNM), AIG or Citibank (C) buy & hold owners were back because they were up 220% — after a 97% collapse.

Be sure to read James Bianco’s brilliantly simple dissection of why this meme is utter nonsense: 8,893 “Bill Millers”.

Category: Investing, Mathematics

Deeply Oversold Bounce, Not Green Shoots

Michael (Jeff Goldblum): I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex. Sam (Tom Berenger): Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex. Michael: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization? -The Big Chill > You can never underestimate the absurdity…Read More

Category: Employment, Mathematics, Psychology

Black Swan: We’re in the Middle of a Crash

Category: Bailouts, Mathematics, Video

Gödel, Escher, Bach: A Mental Space Odyssey

In college, I was pretty blown away by this book. So when I stumbled across the MIT openware course on Douglas Hofstadter’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, I just had to share it: Here’s the MIT course description: What do one mathematician, one artist, and one musician all have in…Read More

Category: Mathematics

Good/Surprising/Stunning Housing News

The good news is that Housing Starts and Building Permits each increased for the month of May. And in a statistical shocker, the monthly gains for May 2009 were (surprisingly) greater than the margin of error for both Starts at 17.2% (±14.4%) and Permits at 4.0% (±1.7%) over April. The stunning news was the 45.2%…Read More

Category: Mathematics, Real Estate

How Trillion-Dollar Deficits Were Created

Today’s must read article is a front page NYT story by David Leonhardt. It looks at the process by which boom time surpluses were turned into boom time deficits, and then even greater crash deficits. The two economic takeaways from the piece fits into some of the nonsense I have been criticizing here: 1) President…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Economy, Mathematics, Politics

Advertising Goes Quant

Interesting article about bringing “Wall Street-like analysis” to the advertising industry. That unfortunate choice of words does not mean what it appears to at first blush. By “Wall Street-like analysis,” I do not believe the writer meant to imply that 1) the analysis was conflicted, 2) there was in inherent bias in it; 3) the…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Mathematics, Web/Tech

Second Derivative Humor

Tom Toles via Washington Post Hat tip Prieur!

Category: Bailouts, Economy, Humor, Mathematics

Nassim Taleb’s Keynote at The Big Picture Conference

Nassim Taleb is going to open The Big Picture Conference: Capitalism After Crisis with his vision of what went wrong with the financial system and what needs to be done to create a new one that is no longer fragile and subject to the kind of shock we’re still living through. Capitalism 2.0: Building a…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Markets, Mathematics

How to Black Swan-proof the World

Nassim Taleb suggests ways to make economic life closer to our biological environment: smaller companies, richer ecology, no leverage. The risk takers of the economy should be entrepreneurs, not bankers; Companies shouls be born and die every day, without making the news. In other words, a place more resistant to black swans. Ten principles for…Read More

Category: Derivatives, Mathematics