Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ben's blog II

Gosh, Ben is finally starting to sound like a blogger: Say it ain't so, Jack. In fact, I have to admit that I'm impressed.

Aside: I would be more so if he could see that some of us are "appalled" at some of his decisions from which we are still (and will be for awhile) suffering.

Now, you see, Ben's early things looked more like publications. How much help did he have? Well, actually, did he actually use the keyboard on this last effort?

From the beginning, here is the post count (all 2015): March (3), April (9), May (1), June (4). I read the first few (see my Remarks). In April, I had asked how long he would do this (well, he did wind down shortly after). But, as all bloggers know, this stuff takes work. Unless, one is just spouting off (to what audience?).


Wait! I started going back. He wrote on baseball, yesterday. Okay. But, then, the prior one is related to a story that I read. Yes, unfortunately, people have to spend oodles of time trying to second guess the oracle who has no clothes. What a sham!

But, he know the technicalities. Thanks for setting us straight, Ben.


Now, in the prior post, Ben talks inequality. Does he even know the word? I would argue that, from the position of near-zero, one cannot consider these matter without first addressing the conceptual basis of investor and stockholders as of primal concern. In my post, I skirted around many issues; with time, I will get to the proper discussion (for now, Ben says that he got stocks back to their trend; nice, Ben, but you did throw savers under the bus - this paragraph admits that).

In the meantime, keep converging toward blogger-ness, Ben.

Remarks:  Modified: 06/27/2015

06/27/2015 -- In his post on inequality, Ben gloats, almost, the he got stock back to their inflated state. Earlier, I had said that he liked his index fund, way back in April of 2011. But, surely, Ben knows of the chimeric nature of the ca-pital-sino; or, does he? With his remarks about savers losing (which he admitted), he said that the pain was relatively less. Oh gosh. Ben, if you have $1, it would hurt worse to give up $0.50 than if you had $10, or $100, or, like we see with the fat cats, $1,000,000. What does 1/2 a buck mean to them? Ben claimed that interest bearing income was a small percentage of a retirees mix. Given that, then he could make his policy take that little bit. But, Ben, the future? Heard of that? Nice steady returns can build (to wit, my experience with Savings BondsA set of savings bonds that was bought in the year of 1980 and cashed out in 2010 would have returned 422% based upon the purchase price of the bond. ). But, Ben nipped that. Fortunately, those bonds had been almost 30 years in existence before his ways drained, or started to drain, off the gains, minute as they were anyway -- Ben, gambling for the future? - Nash, you know, is not the oracle of all.) ... So much more to say. Ben really needs to consult with the likes of me (I know as much economics as does he - too, my world experiences are far beyond what he, nestled in the realms of power and academia, ever faced. --- Yes, the real world, Ben, that suffered under the downturn and then under your policies.).

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Yellen is thinking, mainly, of stockholders?

Moral: Wherein we consider how things unfolded to now.

Yellen speaks; the markets inflate. Someone is priming the pump today; the main problem is that mom and pops are getting screwed (will be burnt). ... And, savers? Oh Lord.


First, we'll collect material, by type and time. Actually, Drucker (2011 article) discusses how this bit of insanity came about.
    2004 - Tangible versus not - 62 to 38 vs 16 to 84? Change in percent of tangible to intangible from 1982 to 1999.
    2011- The Dumbest idea - make money or create a customer? No, cook the books (thanks, Jack).

    timeless - Investopedia - of course, we know, a priori, how their view will go.

We have to do more than just dampen the magical multiple.

Remarks:  Modified: 06/22/2015

06/18/2015 -- So, Yellen talks. No rate increase. Then, the markets jump up. Too, the wags (shrilly) start to say, come into the ca-pital-sino. We have several months of rise. ..., So, someone pumped (as in priming) up the system, today. And, we know that the huge leaps are the mere artifact of the accounting. ... Too, we have "investors" who are the focus (supposed). Good companies have gone toward a more balanced view in which customers get a lot of attention as do the workers who get things done and make the customers happy. What the hell does the investor do? Sit on their fat arses and give us attitude, as in, I'm entitled to this. Says who? Oh, Adam Smith (silly me)? ..., So, much to discuss in order to get a better framework. ... The WSJ recently quoted Friedman (the monetarist) who talked greed, this is the way, etc. Almost barfed, quite frankly.

06/22/2015 -- However far from effective this post might be, the message will improve. Just as we see Ben moving toward blogginess.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Moral: Wherein we consider two seemingly disparate (but, not) views of current matters.

As an aside, Morgan Stanley is quoted as saying that it's tough to beat the S&P for several reasons. Their research says that only 20% of the actively managed little bundles of money were successful in 2014. ... You know, one might say that it's also a small percentage (overall) who can take out "gains" during boom times. When we have downturns, losses are general.

So, that may call for some dampening notions.
    -- Now, for the first issue, someone used "casino" in reference to the millennials. The article called them, the Ben Franklin Generation. Too, though, they will be the youngest set when things do return to normalcy (euphemism for a reversal). So, we need to keep them in mind, as a separate group, as we discuss matters. Their emphasis on technology is short-sighted, however, when things do fall apart, we will be able to, then, get some attention upon the important issues. Which are? Well, they're scattered, by reference, throughout these posts. In total, the view is coherent, albeit integrative work may be necessary to bridge what might seem disjoint to the casual view.  
    -- So, let's get to the real issue. Here and in the other blogs, we have used undecidability a lot (especially, in truth engineering). Basically, think of it as this issue: unless we have experienced a situation before, we have very little clue about things that are involved. Or, much of computing is repeat (actually, it's one of the big frames in science's process) - and, I am not talking, in particular, about issues related to deterministic views (an important concept). 
    Rather, there is this proclivity toward "vertigo" that is overlooked. Why? Cleverness, essentially (a really simple analog is error-correcting code). ... Now, computation has been more of a boon than a bane, until now, for many reasons which we will go into. But, the bane aspect will become more prevalent, and I am talking more than "data-driven" hell  (Janet needs to exude the "wizard's" aura). ... So, much to discuss. But, in modeling via computer, cleverness entails compactification of sorts. Call it closure, if you would. 
    The motivation is to allow decisions to be made (albeit, default reasoning can go a long way without contributing more problems) via various intricate means when normalcy will not allow itself to be found. ... In many cases, some type of thing (one might call it a node-it-all) finds itself as the basis - whether asserted or inserted, it does not matter. This "thing" has all sorts of looks; in some cases, it's hidden via a mathematical system definition. Using "node" is meant to imply an emphasis on logic and decisioning. 
    And, to equate (associate), in your mind, "node" with "knowed" (yes, true, simple past tense) is not off the mark (we have a whole lot to say about that - let's, for now, defer this discussion of blindness vs delusionality. Okay?             
Finally, there has been much allusion to Facebook (FB) playing all sorts of roles in the discussion. Now, we can offer some hints. FB cannot be a node-it-all; nor, can using FB allow one to attain this state - actually, we don't have to go far beyond the "feed'ing frenzy" examples. Nor, I might add, can anything created (ah, yes, infer here as you wish, we'll get to this). That we seem to have all of this success is due to a lack of proper insight (and hubris); some say that "karma" might apply, as a concept. I say, just wait, the unexpected will bite you on the arse (do we not want that for fairness many times, albeit that we see some who seem to "play with fire" without getting burnt - how many hapless might, though, suffer from the actions of those who play?).

Remarks:  Modified: 06/16/2015

06/16/2015 -- We will start to expand upon the theme as it relates to truth engineering (concepts essential to a balanced proliferation of AI - that is, safe for all of the people, especially the hapless). ... So, what is "eating the world" now? Marissa agrees with Marc that it's software (see Marc's slides at Slideshares - there is a transcript). Some say data. ... We'll weigh in from the viewpoint outside of the mobile mania. ... Eventually.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Dampening the magical multiple

Moral: Wherein we drop the first of several hints.

One step toward a more balanced financial situation would be the following:
    Take some of the computer power that is being "wasted" on algorithm (and high frequency) trading and apply it to lowly bookkeeping (databasing). 
    That is, each financial entity would be addressed and tracked, individually. That is, for the millions of stock for a company, we would track the sale history of each item (piece of paper). 
    Oh, that would lift the transaction details so that we could see a history of who bought and sold? 
    The goal would be to remove the cheshire multiple's gaming effect which started before automation. At that time, the current peanut-butter way was all that they could do. 
    Since computation has come on the scene, it has basically been applied to serve the 1% (and less) in gaming the system rather than to do a proper accounting. The progression of increased assists by computing during the past thirty years can be related strongly to the emergence of troubles that are far more complicated than we saw in the earlier markets. 
    Vested interests argue for their necessity (job security in the longer term) of their convoluted schemes (say, dark pools). Do we need those who are big takers (say, upper east siders)? Do they not see the riches acquired via gaming the markets as an entitlement specifically for them?)? 

It is too revolutionary to (attempt to) do a proper accounting from the beginning? Can we say that the markets have not devolved with a continuation of age-old gaming the influence of which has worsened the economy? Is the bifurcation of haves and have-nots of an essential nature?


What is the cheshire multiple? Magical multiplierLet them eat cakeBeyond your wildest dream.

Remarks:  Modified: 06/18/2015

06/08/2015 -- Yes, the underwear of the benefact'ees of the bifurcation is showing. No, they're not naked; their exploitative ways are very much skyclad, though.

06/18/2015 -- We have to see how this insanity got its start. Then, we'll see why most do not get their money (the value is strained out daily by those who run the game). Everyone, it seems, has bought into the game (but, we're not tilting either at an illusion - despite having used chimera).

Sunday, May 31, 2015

John and his friends

Moral: Wherein we stop to consider, very briefly, the Magna Carta (WSJ overview).

Yes, the 800th anniversary of the first sealing comes soon. It will be a big deal for a lot of people.

For all? As the bifurcations that we see all around show us, many (most) have had minimal (or no) comfort from that long ago bit of activity and angst.

John and his friends
After all, a few generations later, we found major conflict between bickering cousins (one example of many).

Has that sort of thing become less common (has it been made worse by modernity, through means such as game theory?)? Did we learn from the war to end all wars?

Remarks:  Modified: 05/30/2015

05/30/2015 --

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

JFN, Jr.

Moral: Wherein we acknowledge that John Nash was a central figure in applying mathematics toward that which has over-laid our lives in ways that, perhaps, need to be (seriously) reconsidered.

Who?  John Forbes Nash, Jr.  There has been a lot written about him. There was a movie. This PBS page provides a brief bio, with photos.

For some reason, I, recently (before Saturday 5/23/15), re-looked at a book that I had on the shelf, for awhile. And, what was that? Siegfried's A Beautiful Math. I got it via a book club that required so many purchases a year. It went on a shelf after it arrived in the mail.

On the first look, on that day of re-acquaintance, I had to keep from barfing since the author was heaping praise on game theory and John, to the high heavens. In terms of the former, "game theory has applicability everywhere" was one theme. Okay? In terms of the latter, if you don't buy the ideas, you're dumb, essentially.  But, despite that visceral reaction, I did start to look at the book's message more closely that I would have a few years earlier.

Too, I pondered my state of Rip-Van-Wrinkle-ness. I have written elsewhere that with the downturn coming to light (say, 2007 timeframe) I started to look at the state of things. "What did the idiots do?," was my question. Everywhere I looked, more and more stupidity (then, we had Made-off). Well, we are far after that bit of things; the savers are still being flayed.

But, with John passing, I will have to pay even more attention to the whole affair, even to the technical aspects (which I started on Saturday, 5/23/15, with a respectful mindset - mind you, I was academically exposed quite well in the 70s, so no need for lectures - remember, autodidact). After all, the notions (in my blogs - they're there from the beginning) behind the arguments to consider quasi-empirical issues (much more involved here than many might think, see the Wikipedia page) are motivated by those ideas/concepts so much loved nowadays (without due regard, in too many instances - yeah, cloud'ers), part of which is the game-theoretic thread. So much to say, here.

Given that Siegfried's book is on-line, we can reference it and its sources. But, again, when this? Well, as said before, that is not known, as of now.

Remarks:  Modified: 05/30/2015

05/26/2015 -- For starters, Blaise (yes, a friend) needs to have his outlook updated so as to show how strong it is. Of course, in reference to Siegfried's look, we're talking Chapter 11. As an aside, I do like the tie in with Asimov's fictional sagas.

05/30/2015 -- We will get back to the technical issues.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Most cannot and never have been able to

Moral: Wherein we state the obvious: most (way above 50%) cannot (and never will) get their monies out of the ca-pital-sino due to many reasons which we will enumerate (ad infinitum).

Give us time. Essentially, the equity propaganda is based upon faulty models. The whole framework looks at the winners (one side of near-zero). In actuality, that very much larger set of non-winners (no, not losers - it is not a closed situation) is more important on the whole.


In essence, someone of Janet's ilk needs to realize the importance of a reasonable interest rate applied to instruments that are safe and sound (in so far as is humanly possible to attain). To bring that about will require a re-look at the current basis of belief (of course, the accouterments that accompany the big pockets and "winners" in the current system make it difficult to get the conversation going in a proper manner - worse than a catch-22, if you would).


Now, to be technical, for a moment, there are all sorts of analyses going on everyday. Much of this it yapped about ceaselessly all day (Lord, deliver us - yes, Cramer, you, too).

One that came to mind was Tobin's q (he is the Nobel winner). Skirting for the moment all of the questions of defining, and determining, value (about which we have been writing: 7oops7, Tru'eng, FEDareated), Tobin would have us relate the total sum of assets to the current market value. If the ratio is above 1, then things are (may be) puffy (as we see now, where bubble is more appropriate).

But, you know, the magical multiplier would have to be collapsed in order to get the proper market value. And, that, then, would settle the issue.

Tobin's q and
Market Cap / GDP
And, too, the whole notion of most not getting their claim comes from that little sleight of hand that has been accepted as the only way to do things (complete misuse of Adam).


The VectorGrader site provides a graph of Tobin's q since 1950. But, notice all of the other valuation charts that are offered, like Market Capital to GDP which looks similar. For each, there is a brief description of how the chart is calculated.

Also, dshort.com provides a nice summary and discussion.


So, let's back up. The motivation for this was a BloombergBusiness report about Tobin: Nobel Winner's Math is Showing S&P 500 Unhinged From Reality. The report discusses the case that the markets may be frothy. In doing so, it covers the following topics:
  • Dissenting Views - one of these says that worrying about the "q" would have kept one out of this market. Oh yes, that is the point being made here (if you got in, you have accumulated ill-begotten gains (enjoy them, quiet (if you can) your conscience) - not available to everyone).
  • Slow Spending - and we know about this; cutting costs (removing workers - working the remaining to an inch of their health) and hoarding money (also, buying your own stock to keep the price up) and ... What is equity for, anyway? The basis for gaming (financial manipulations) or a means to support real economic decisions?
  • Mean Reversion - Ah, investors? What about the people being screwed who are those with their hands in the dirt, who are keeping things afloat for the fat cats (riders of the system's magic carpet - coddled to the max), ...?
  • Bond Yields - oh yes, no where else to go but equity markets? Not. Somehow, a real economic view needs to be expressed here (Janet, et al, are too much of the game as defined to try to grasp the issues - Ben could not see the last downturn when it was starting to happen right under his nose -- but, he showed us that he had not run out of bullets - did we really say that?). 
All in all, it was a nice article, however it does not address the real issue. For that matter, who does (except for this blogger)?


Too, we need to look at whether markets can be fair or not. Oh, sure. that argument reverts back to the fantasy of "efficient" market. While people argue and nitpick about that, others slave away or starve.

Remarks:  Modified: 06/18/2015

06/18/2015 -- We have to see how this insanity got its start. Then, we'll see why most do not get their money (the value is strained out daily by those who run the game). Everyone, it seems, has bought into the game (but, we're not tilting either at an illusion - despite having used chimera).