Posts filed under “Mathematics”

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 Obama budgets are “responsible for only a sliver of the deficits” (despite what GOP critics say); and 2) Team Obama has no realistic plan to deal with the deficit (despite what DEM supporters say). This is simply the reality of the past 10 years.

Note that I am not a blind defender of this administration, and was named one of the 14 most strident critics of the Obama economic policies.

My favorite part of the article was the ginormous graphic that accompanied it.


Chart courtesy of NYT


Attention partisans: Try to be aware of your own selective perception here. Very dumb comments of a partisan nature on both sides will be deleted.


The 14 Most Strident Critics of Obama (April 30th, 2009)

For U.S., a Sea of Perilous Red Ink, Years in the Making
NYT, June 9, 2009

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

Numbers, Damn Lies & Statistics

Fascinating discussion on how basic math discussions have been bastardized: “Numbers lack warmth. Cold as last year’s love, they sit counting their fingers. Think of numbers and what do you see? Dust and ledgers and the yellow fingers of a parched accountant. No longer. Numbers have had the mother of makeovers. No ordinary scrubbing up,…Read More

Category: Mathematics, Psychology

Billion vs Trillion

We previously looked at a Billion vs 1,000 Million; This is a nice example of relative size of numbers: > > via NYT

Category: Digital Media, Mathematics

Billion vs 1,000 Million

Wryly amusing: > > Hat tip Bradman! via XKCD

Category: Bailouts, Financial Press, Humor, Mathematics


Some geek statistical humor: > > xkcd via Flowing Data

Category: Humor, Markets, Mathematics

QOTD: Statisticians are the New Sex Symbols

“I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the 1990s?” -Hal Varian, The McKinsey Quarterly, January 2009 > Well, not quite sex symbols. But as Google’s chief economist (and former NYT columnist)…Read More

Category: Markets, Mathematics, Quantitative