Posts filed under “Really, really bad calls”

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 to debate climate change; rather, I want to look at that argument to see if there are any statistical flaws in it.

My problem is whenever anyone uses a single, out of context, data point. What does this number actually mean? Is 31,486 alot or a little? How many scientists are there in the US? etc.

I heard this argument the other day, and went hunting down a visual way to express it, and found this via Information is Beautiful:

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This does not resolve the debate — there are more variations (Climate Change: A Consensus Among Scientists?) — at but it demonstrates an obvious flaw in the “dissenting scientist” argument.

Here is the breakdown of skeptics, by field:

Interesting stuff . . .

Category: Mathematics, Really, really bad calls, Science

Stiglitz: 6 Harsh lessons We Failed to Learn

Economics Nobel laureate and Columbia University professor Joseph E. Stiglitz has what very well be the best year end piece I have seen to date; “The best that can be said for 2009 is that it could have been worse, that we pulled back from the precipice on which we seemed to be perched in…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Politics, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

Luskin: Buy Stocks, Buy Citi (11/07) Sell Stocks (3/09)

Invictus is a bulge bracket asset manager with $100+ million AUM. He has no patience for money losers, hacks, partisans pretending to be financial analysts . . .  this is the first in a series of critical looks at analysts, media, economists, financial TV. Feel free to share any thoughts in comments. Here’s Invictus: ~~~…Read More

Category: Analysts, Media, Really, really bad calls, Research

Morgan Stanley’s Commercial Jingle Mail

Here is a fascinating twist on the underwater homeowner walking away fromt heir bad purchases: This time, its Morgan Stanley. They spent over $8 billion on commercial property in 2007 — the peak of commercial real estate in the US.  Now, they are going to preemptively “Walk Away” from five San Francisco office buildings, letting…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Real Estate, Really, really bad calls

Why Obama’s Poll Numbers Are Plummetting

The political buzz today is all about the President’s falling approval ratings. He has now fallen faster than President Bush did (prior to 09/11). The simple solution for the White House: Stop jerking around with Financial Reform. When there is high unemployment, people don’t want to see bailed out bankers making a killing. Fix what…Read More

Category: Politics, Really, really bad calls

THE TIGER (with apologies to William Blake)

A hedge fund manager in Tokyo sends this along: > Tiger, Tiger bonking bright in the fleshpots of the night what immortal eye or hand could restore your tarnished brand? On what porn star’s breasts and thighs, burnt the fire of your eyes on what course did your ball run as you sunk a hole in one? You always looked…Read More

Category: Humor, Really, really bad calls

Volcker’s anti-Geithner, anti-Summers World Tour

“Bankers and regulators have not come anywhere close to responding with necessary vigor” to the worst economic crisis in 70 years. There is a lot of evidence that financial weaknesses brought us to the brink of a great depression . . . The proposed changes are like a dimple.” -Paul A. Volcker, Dec. 8. at…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

The Folly Of Economic Forecasts

> Interesting discussion on one of my favorite subjects — The Folly Of Forecasts — on NPR with Chicago/Austrian economist Russ Roberts, now at George Mason University. click here for audio > Previously: Apprenticed Investor: The Folly of Forecasting Barry Ritholtz TheStreet.com, June 07, 2005 http://www.thestreet.com/story/10226887/apprenticed-investor-the-folly-of-forecasting.html Source: The Folly Of Economic Forecasts NPR, December 7,…Read More

Category: Analysts, Economy, Really, really bad calls

WSJ: Are Humans Responsible for Climate Change?

Wow, the results of this WSJ poll was surprising: > chart courtesy of WSJ > And they teed up the poll with this description: This decade is on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top-five warmest years, the U.N. weather agency reported on the second…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, UnScience

Michael Boskin on “The Obama Crash”

They never seem to learn, do they? The idealogues who use the ups and downs of markets to critique political figures. These, rigid, rabid partisans care not the least about your investing dollars; rather, the hardcore political junkies are more than happy to lose you money, so long as they can score political blood in…Read More

Category: Politics, Really, really bad calls