Posts filed under “Really, really bad calls”

Question for Economic/Finance Students

At the recent Make Markets Be Markets conference, I got to ask a questions of the esteemed panel — Joseph Sitglitz, George Soros, Jim Chanos, Simon Johnson, Elizabeth Warren, etc.

That question was simply this:

Why do Bad Ideas seems to persist for so long? How do certain concepts hang around, long after they have been disproven?

The answers were unsatisfying.

Which brings me to this question for any graduate students, undergraduates and even college Professors: What bad economic or financial ideas are being currently taught in your departments?

Perhaps its the usual nonsense about the rational profit maximizing homo economicus; Maybe its the wonders of Deregulation, and its bastard cousin Self regulation. The Efficient Market Hypothesis is a perennial favorite amongst the tenured set. And any sort of deification of markets also qualifies.

So, college students of America (or their parents), what can you tell me?

Category: Really, really bad calls

Amazon Apologizes to Michael Lewis Over Kindle Flap

On Wednesday, I posted my disgust with the kindle fanboys trashing of Michael Lewis’ new book, The Big Short. I was surprised to hear from a number of literary agents who wrote to thank me for that. They have apparently been having all manner of issues with Amazon reviewers over the years, and the kindle…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Web/Tech

SEC: Regulatory Capture Hard at Work

The WSJ is reporting that back in 2003, the SEC tried to remove the restrictions on compromised security analysts that tried to prevent them from whoring out recommendations for banking business. Similar to the prostitution of the ratings agencies, the SEC somehow thought it was okay for iBanks to fuck their stock buying investors, just…Read More

Category: Legal, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

Smackdown! Tavakoli Calls Lewis a GirlieMan

I mentioned earlier how much I liked the 60 Minutes piece with Michael Lewis. Janet Tavakoli called foul this morning on Lewis assertions, pointing to a Bloomberg column he wrote in 2007, titled “Davos Is for Wimps, Ninnies, Pointless Skeptics.” Tavakoli specifically points to this paragraph: “None of them seemed to understand that when you…Read More

Category: Derivatives, Really, really bad calls, Television

Reaching, Once Again, For Yield

“People are starving for yield because rates are at zero. They’re taking more risk than they think.” -Paul Tramontano, Constellation Wealth Advisors, > One of the factors that caused the great credit crisis to spread far and wide was the “reach for yield.” This is one of the most expensive ways a fixed income investor…Read More

Category: Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Really, really bad calls

As previously noted, Verizon has been very obnoxiously spraying unwanted services and icons on my Blackberry desktop.

I am sure somewhere in the unreadable fine print we gave permission for this garbage, but that doesn’t make this any less obnoxious, and it doesn’t make Verizon any less of a giant telecom douchebag for doing this.

At the time we last mentioned this, the solution was to hide the icon. A better solution would be to leave Verizon, but for some of us (NYC), the alternatives are not better.

There seems to be a better solution, found by Ned — simply follow these steps:

1. Go to Options (the wrench on my BlackBerry)
2. Advanced options
3. Service Book
4. Select Bing or Slacker Radio, or whatever
5. Left Click (Blackberry button)
6. Delete

Your phone is now yours — until the next Verizon hijack . . .

Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Technology

Revisiting “The Obama Economy”

The rhetoric you use to make your point says a lot about a) the strength of your argument; 2) you personally. There is no better example of this then some of the OpEds about the current and past Presidents. They are rife with bad logic, political animus, and sheer partisanship. I don’t care id they…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Really, really bad calls, Weblogs

CNBC Shoutfest

Its as if Charlie Gasparino never left: Be sure to see the discussion — more of a yelling match — of Predatory Lending on CNBC. My issue isn’t the opinions of the various parties, its the unchecked ignorance that takes arrogant pride in ignoring facts. Its borderline unwatchable. Kudos to Janet Tavakoli for politely explaining…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Really, really bad calls, Television

Harry Markopolos, the Madoff whistleblower whose new book, No One Would Listen is out tomorrow, had a brief interview in the Sunday NYT magazine. This quote leapt out at me: > Q: Where did you learn about finance? A: You don’t learn much in grad school. Half the formulas they teach you are false. It’s…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls

Treasury Looks to Mandate Foreclosure Abatements, Mortgage Mods

One of the most disappointing policy initiatives of the Administration to date has been the expensive and ineffective attempts to fight foreclosures at all costs. The net impact of this is to artificially prop up home prices and reduce the number of real estate transactions. In the high foreclosures regions (California, South Florida, Arizona, Las…Read More

Category: Credit, Legal, Politics, Really, really bad calls