I Read Stuff, You Read Me
June 25, 2012, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
  • Where in this guy’s pop-song chord analysis does my new favorite catchy pop song “Beez In The Trap” fit in?
  • Quants, Models, and the Blame Game is an interesting piece but this claim, citing some ‘quants’ quoted in a paper, gives me pause:

    Next, it allowed traders to book P&L on the same day they made a trade:

    “The most important role of a correlation model, another quant told the first author in January 2007, is as ‘a device for being able to book P&L’,”

    I am trying to imagine how a trader of a mark-to-market book could possibly do a trade and Not Book P&L On The Same Day, and failing. They have to mark it somewhere, and that’s the P&L. I guess what this ‘quant’ is saying is that the copula allowed traders to book large positive P&L when doing a trade. True enough I guess. But this would be true of any model used to value Level 3 assets, and has nothing to do with the copula as such. Ultimately I guess the claim here really boils down to saying that the copula allowed traders to mis-mark. Mis-marking is a broader problem and while models might obscure valuation, making mis-marking easier/more likely, it’s far from clear that the solution to that problem is some more complicated, complex, and ‘more correct’ model. Actually it seems to me that simpler ‘wrong’ models have fewer potential fudge factors for risk managers to miss when traders tweak them, indeed the simpler and ‘wronger’ the better in that regard.

  • Via threedonia here’s one of these weird complaints we get about baseball from time to time. The author’s point seems to be that NFL players are tougher than baseball players – which I guess I won’t dispute – and so makes the NFL more entertaining to watch? But huh? Also in this vein is that basketball & soccer players are more athletic because they run continuously/jump/etc. However true these observations are, the gripe is kinda like saying that Jim Carrey is a better actor than Daniel Day Lewis because Jim Carrey is funnier than Daniel Day Lewis who, golly, really isn’t that funny at all. Can people please come to terms with the idea that baseball is a different sort of sport than these other sports, and thus its appeal can lie along different dimensions? Has any baseball fan, anywhere, ever considered baseball players’ Toughness as the main source of entertainment when watching that sport? This is not to say, of course, that I didn’t whine like a 4 year old whenever Barry Bonds would sit out the day game after a night game. But that was different. I had my reasons.
  • Dodd-Frank Causes Much More Harm than Help
  • South Bend Seven on amnesty
  • Good old video on the commerce clause at Reason. Watching this video (in particular, Erwin Chemerinsky, but also others shown there) made my mind boggle at a curious sort of species whose full implications I’m only beginning to consider: the “Constitutional Lawyer” who thinks everything the U.S. government could conceivably decide to do is Constitutional. I mean, just think of it: there’s a whole army of “Constitutional Lawyers” out there; they’re all highly educated and lovingly trained; they are treated like high sage priests of interpretation; they are exceedingly well-compensated; it is largely from their ranks that we’re basically required to draw most of our government. And yet, what is it they do, what is this “Constitutional Lawyering” that is their stock in trade? For the vast majority of them, it appears to consistently solely and exclusively of saying, in response to any and every constitutional objection to an act of US government: “Yup. Constitutional.” Wouldn’t you think that, if this topic were so worthy of so much ‘study’, they would sometimes find an actual boundary to draw outside of which government action wouldn’t be constitutional? Yet they never do. Never.

    At the very least let me just ask, why on earth do we need these people, these yes-man court-fawning ring-kissing “Constitutional Lawyers”? Let me just write a ‘hello world’ style program that accurately replicates their collective output (fprintf "Yes constitutional", e.g.) and we could save on all this money/social capital we’re lavishing on the useless lot of them.

  • Streetwise Professor is not convinced by Luigi Zingales’s version of the return-to-Glass-Steagall popular wisdom.
  • One of the reasons I love Tim Lincecum is he’s such a little kid:

    “I want to feel I’m at a comfortable weight but I know I fluctuate so easily,” Lincecum said. “I know I’m a picky eater, so that’s even harder. When you come into a room and there’s nothing but vegetables, you go, ‘I’ll just have a shake’ or something like that.’

    Heh. It’s like he’s in high school. Anyway, this does seem to go along with my theory (that maybe he’s struggling because he has, since his possession charge a couple years ago, cut down on the pot-smoking): how else did he get rid of the munchies? As a Giants fan though, I have to say, Let Timmy smoke up!

  • When Kevin Drum complains that “only $69 million has been spent on pro-Obamacare ads, most of it bland public-service spots from HHS”, it makes me wonder why we consider it unremarkable that a single cent of public money should be spent propagandizing in favor of a law that already passed. Why is our tax money being used to convince us of the greatness of a law on the books? Oh nevermind.
  • Heh: Breaking: Affluent, Well-Educated White Guys Dig Bicycle Subsidies for Affluent, Well-Educated White Guys. Well why not? Stimulus is stimulus. Actually let’s call it Yglesiastimulus.
  • Brave is the Pixar movie I have looked forward to the least in a long time, and that’s even before reading some of the criticisms. I am sure it is well done with much artistry, but come on, is the story really about a ‘strong girl role model’ who doesn’t like girl stuff and wants to compete with the big boys? For crying out loud, is it 1991?
  • Mish has some amusing consecutive financial headlines.
  • When David Henderson complains about a lousy government that makes a multibillion-dollar decision but doesn’t tell the country what it is for months, the only retort I can imagine coming up with is something about how it’s crucial to the Traditions and Majesty of the Supreme Court. And then I think about how stupid that sounds. And then I get sad.
  • PostLibertarian, Where is that hyperinflation, anyway?
  • Interesting passage from Scalia’s dissent in today’s immigration case:

    Today’s opinion […] deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there.

    The notion that the power to exclude people from its territory is the defining characteristic of the sovereign seems to have escaped many of the recent libertarian pro-immigrant commentators. Indeed, what is a sovereign that ‘doesn’t have the right to’ enforce its borders as it pleases? If you (like Bryan Caplan, et al) dispute that the sovereign has this right, you may as well dispute the sovereign has the right to exist full stop. That’s fine, but then you’re an anarchist, not a libertarian, so please think it through.

  • Matthew Yglesias displays a refreshing numeracy: It’s Very Hard for Cities Grow Without Turning White. I look forward to what I presume will be his related followup, “It’s Very Hard To Reduce Income Tax Rates Without The Net Reduction Going Disproportionately To Higher Earners”.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Someone should tell Scalia that the North won the Civil War. I’m pretty sure that ended the “debate” about whether states have sovereignty.

Comment by foseti

I guess. Well, there goes all those state medical-marijuana laws. Sometimes consistency is depressing.

Comment by Sonic Charmer

Re “Where is that hyperinflation, anyway?” There’s a comment over at (I didn’t know they even allowed URLs like ‘’ — is there a — wait, I’ll check: Yes, since 1998). Which gets me to wondering how old is ‘’? — checking — wow, 1995. I didn’t think babies had even started being born back that far. The internet preceded humans by that much! Has to be a typo. 1995. Good times.

I think that was my main point. But the commenter said, “I would have shorted WaMu, Countrywide, Freddie, and Fannie way too early. I would have gone broke. It would never have occurred to me that it could go on so long.”

Comment by JohnK

Brave is about a headstrong girl who rebels against the rules…but it doesn’t exactly champion her actions and subverts the usual cliches where the rebel is always right. It’s not perfect by any means–there is a little too much ‘Shrek-humor’ and it backs away from a total subversion near the end, but it’s a far cry from something like Mulan.

Comment by Matt

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