Dr. Keynes Was Right

It's the Distribution, Stupid
MARCH 9, 2015 9:16AM

Another Quandry

Hot off the presses:

Germany's trade surplus narrowed to EUR19.70 billion from EUR21.60 billion (expected surplus of EUR21.00 billion) as exports fell 2.1% month-over-month (consensus -1.5%; prior 2.8%) and imports declined 0.3% (expected 0.5%; last -0.7%)
The problem with killing your customers is…

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It's been quite a while since the last episode, but this one is too good to pass up.  A link in Yahoo! Finance, of all places has this graph, and the link to one of the intermediate (it's a Holmesian trail to follow) citers.
 
This is the original, original.  You may need… Read full post »

MARCH 1, 2015 3:29PM

It's Lonely At the Top

So, here we go again.  In essays past, I've made the point that being the globe's reserve currency, aka New Gold, has certain consequences.  One of those is the need to run trade deficits with the rest of the globe in order keep a growing supply of moolah available.  Without such,… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 27, 2015 9:59PM

Quantifiably Nuts

There's something of an open secret in the financial quant world:  it just doesn't work any better than passive investing.  Every now and again yet more data appears to bolster that truth.  Today's comes in James B. Stewart's column.  A mother lode of quotes; enough to last a year… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 25, 2015 9:07AM

Express Train to Hell

For those out in the audience who question the assertion that the "middle class" is being killed, then the tale of American Express should seal the deal.  Amex got tossed out of Costco (how downscale for an upscale card, in the first place?), and recently got told it couldn't coerce merchants… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 20, 2015 2:48PM

Your Money Or Your Life

One of the differences, if not the motivating difference, between micro-quants and macro-quants is the maximization function.  That last bit is econo-quant speak for "what's the source, amount, and purpose of profit"?  For the micro folks, it's just as much as the laws allow for my client c… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 15, 2015 9:49AM

Time Loves a Hero, Part the Second

Nick Carr's (got it right today) latest missive deals with machines, trains at the outset, and fits in with a nag I've had for years.  Which nag got prodded recently over the Greece thing, the Japan thing, and QE discussions generally.

The nag:  macros, especially, have a penchant for equati… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 11, 2015 11:41AM

I Sing The Body Electric

It was sometime in school, might have been junior high or as late as undergraduate, when the instructor in some class brought up the topic of electric cars.  Now, this was decades before Tesla, so it was somewhat abstract.  The question raised:  would an electric car be less polluting… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 9:24AM

Question of the Day, 2015-02-05

With all the talk of corporate tax rates and repatriation of foreign retained earnings, the question arises:  which US state is the most overtly Socialist?  That is, which state undertakes to "pay" each citizen from the proceeds of private use of public resources?  The answer, of cours… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 1, 2015 4:27PM

Red Riding Hood

Just a really short piece, dealing with the possibility, broached here a number of times, that demographics (both ethnicity and urbanization) doom the GOP.  At one time, I bought that it was just a matter of time until the GOP, led by Red State race baiters, would swirl to the bottom… Read full post »

JANUARY 30, 2015 9:46PM

Grist For The New Mill

My kindred soul amongst the highly paid curmugeons remains Nick Carr (not Cage, as my independent fingers sometimes say).  Had I started these endeavors long before I did, I might be he.  Sort of, of course, in a metaphorical sense.  Today brings further evidence.

Susan Pinker reports tRead full post »

JANUARY 23, 2015 9:39PM

The End of the Road, Part The Second

It was some time ago, in fact my SlickEdit told me I had already a file with the title (I had forgotten, and fortunately tried the same title.  phew.), that "The End of the Road" appeared in these endeavors.  And the last offering made reference to the subject with the words,… Read full post »

JANUARY 23, 2015 8:57PM

Under My Thumb

Since I live in South Butt Plug, CT and grew up in western MA, I'm supposed to cleave to all things sports of Boston.  Problem is, I can't stand the B boys of Foxborough.  But DeflateGate does offer the opportunity to chime in a bit.  So, three points.

1)  Both B boys… Read full post »

JANUARY 22, 2015 3:34PM

Ain't No Science Like Old Science

What has become a recurring theme, or warning, in these endeavors:  it is foolish to view the future as pure extension of the past.  This is particularly true of anything science or engineering related.  As I have described more than once (and referenced the writings of those more famo… Read full post »

JANUARY 10, 2015 5:43PM

In Praise of Free Enterprise

As reported today:

Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan cracked down on five airlines Friday, temporarily suspending 61 flights because they were flying routes on days without permits. Earlier, all AirAsia flights from Surabaya to Singapore were stopped after it was discovered that the l… Read full post »
JANUARY 7, 2015 2:05PM

Fly Like an Eagle

Plummet like a turd.  Too strong?  May be.  Here's another attempt to explain the bond and interest rate problem.

Here's what the Right Wing used to say, this from the St. Louis Fed:

The cost of government borrowing is the "crowding out effect": Investment funds mobilized by the governm… Read full post »
JANUARY 6, 2015 1:09PM

Early Adapters

No, that's not a typo.  It's a pun.  Here's the punch line.

The plummeting of oil shares, with the attendant fall in the price of crude, distillates, and such should give the quants, micros, and macros pause.  Yet again.

The notion of an unfettered Rand-ian society rests on a basic assum… Read full post »

DECEMBER 30, 2014 2:09PM

The Winning Incentive

Today's NYT has a bumper crop of new data/facts surrounding the overarching themes of these endeavours.  So, with minimal gloat, here they are.

First, there continues to be the Rightwing cabal trying to pin The Great Recession on the Dems.  For the record, once again, Bush was President, Reh… Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2014 4:26PM

Marky Mark

No, not Wahlberg, although you should see "The Departed" if you've neglected it.  No, this musing is all about real books, and how to really highlight them.

Years ago, I grew tired of the huge Marks-A-Lot type with the felt tip which broke down soon enough.  I used the Pentel Data CheckerRead full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2014 3:04PM

Baby You Drive My Car

Once in a while, a random comment on a random post on a random thread on a random site strikes me as worthy of a post here in these endeavors.  What follows is such.

IBM's (and American corps generally) problem is that they've lost their marbles. Corps managements (the CxO class) are… Read full post »

DECEMBER 20, 2014 7:19PM

Kicked to the Curb

In some businesses, it makes sense to kick to geezers to the curb when downsizing.  Newspapers isn't one of them since it takes a bit of time listening to the liars to figure out what a lie sounds like, but they do that nevertheless.  This is Floyd Norris' last piece forRead full post »

DECEMBER 18, 2014 8:23PM

I Loves Olive Oyl

The problem with being dependent on data to make decisions:  what do you do when there is no data?  Well, punt.  Let's turn our attention to the oil patch.  Crude is quoted at $61/barrel (and change) today, and the blue-eyed Arabs in the Red states are whining poor mouth.  Al… Read full post »

DECEMBER 17, 2014 12:55PM

Putin on the Schitz [update 2]

Incentive.
Incentive.
Incentive.

As always, when there's a disruption in the process which created the time series the quant relies on to forecast future values, ignore the time series and look to the changed incentive proposal.  

By now all but the most self-absorbed Fox News watcher is aware that… Read full post »

DECEMBER 15, 2014 9:39PM

Ides of December Nudge

Another in the desultory reminders that you need to read this guy.

DECEMBER 14, 2014 4:46PM

Matter Over Mind

It's deep into sports season.  NFL is winding down to the last few games, Heisman is today along with the Army-Navy game, NBA is at the ¼ mark.  Johnny Manziel is described as a midget.  Adrian Peterson doesn't get off Scott free for beating his kid.  Baseball teams swap pl… Read full post »