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Unknown unknowns

September 19, 2011

After observing a pair of poorly-rebadged cars, a series of thoughts about Rumsfeld's "known knowns," "known unknowns," and "unknown unknowns."

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Sell low, buy high

August 13, 2011

The WSJ is running an article comparing today's second-by-second "iPad inverstors" to the day traders of the dot com bubble. The article's point, near as I can tell, is that volatility makes people worry more about the markets, and that people aren't comfortable without instant feedback. I have a suggestion for the WSJ: A decade […]

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Driver’s ed for finance

June 28, 2010

James Surowiecki writes an excellent piece for the New Yorker on the state of financial illiteracy, concluding 1) we have it and 2) we have to get rid of it. Ultimately, he concludes that some form of basic financial education should be mandated before people can partake in purchasing financial products. The government’s new consumer-protection […]

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The emperor's clothes

April 29, 2010

One of the problems with the latest mess is that the financial press and more specifically financial bloggers have built up a considerable amount of “[wall] street cred” through accurate and intelligent reporting on the financial crisis. In one sense, it’s amazing that they were able to gain such a foothold (I humbly include TGR) […]

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We don't want no interest-free loans!

November 18, 2009

A long time ago, when I was first learning to manage my finances, my dad instructed me to prepay my credit card. This effectively transformed the credit card into a debit card by running a positive balance on the account. It was a great learning mechanism because it still required me to make monthly payments, […]

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The regulation bubble

November 10, 2009

Breaking down Senator Dodd's financial reform bill.

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Negative swap spreads

June 2, 2009

Felix Salmon writes about the negative swap spread - a fascinating turn of events. Or at least, it was when the swap spread went negative almost a year ago. The swap spread is the extra amount that an interest rate swap yields over a similar Treasury bond. Typically, a swap yields a few basis points […]

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Interviewing Myron Scholes

May 16, 2009

Speaking of LTCM (and of this Sunday's Times Magazine, for that matter), here's an interview that's going to run with Myron Scholes, who comes off like a bad comedian. The questions are poor and the answers arguably worse. Let's take a look, shall we? The second question: "You're known as the intellectual father of the […]

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On the age of empiricism

May 1, 2009

Caught this on Rortybomb - Barry Eichengreen has penned an excellent piece on the role of models in academia and finance, as well as the growing importance of empiricism (a point with which I particularly empathize).  An excerpt: Maybe so. But amid the pervading sense of gloom and doom, there is at least one reason for […]

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March 11, 2009

On a comics roll:

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Is this the bottom?

February 23, 2009

It's sort of like when little kids ask, "Are we there yet?" over and over and over:

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Just answer the questions, Mr. Chairman

February 12, 2009

Barney Frank (D - MA) is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which means he plays quite a role in analyzing the meltdown of 2008.  Yesterday, he led the interrogation of the bank CEO's.  Today, Caroline Baum's Bloomberg column hypothesized what would transpire if the situation were reversed: Chairman Frank, on July 14, 2008, you made […]

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All that glitters...

January 26, 2009

The Wall Street Journal published an article this morning called "What You Need To Know About Gold" which epitomizes the dangers of financial journalism (or friends, family, Bernie Madoff) which may appear to recommend, encourage or in any other way invite investment in a product one is not an expert in. Consider, for a minute, […]

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Bear Stearns is worth slightly less than A-Rod

March 16, 2008

Obviously the news of the hour is that J.P. Morgan is buying Bear Stearns for $236mm, or just $2 a share, meaning the firm is worth only a fifth of the value of its own midtown headquarters.  The Yankees paid more for their third baseman. More gravely, despite the WSJ headline, there is no "rescue" […]

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The burger's good, too

February 20, 2008

Tonight after squash I started to cook dinner, but after setting off the smoke alarm for what I must confess was the second time since I moved here, I headed over to Harry's Steakhouse/Cafe (I'm not sure which one I go to. I think it's the cafe. Whichever one is downstairs.). After a late match, […]

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The anti-ETrade

February 19, 2008
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GM reports $722mm loss [227]

February 12, 2008

Interesting number, though. WSJ article (subscription required)

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Not if Jerome Kerviel has anything to say about it

February 9, 2008

SocGen is Risk Magazine's Equity Derivatives House of the Year.

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