Saturday, December 22, 2012

Open trading and the chimera

Moral: Wherein we stop to consider why 'chimera' might come to be. Things, in the exchanges, are booming because Ben continues to sack the savers and to give to the money'd set.

The 12/21/12 WSJ had an article (Open Trading Still Hallmark of a Fair Market) that quoted some who have been involved in trading prior to the advent of the more automated means. The article says: Many in the securities business would ... [maintain] that electronic trading and computers have made the business cleaner, more efficient and less prone to abuse.

I would maintain that these ones (the above 'some') are those who benefit from the new methods and are not those who are involved with the technical details. Let's take each of those and consider their belief.
  • cleaner business - There is less shouting, saliva spitting, and such. As well, the floor isn't covered, at the end of the day, with cast-off trade sheets and notes. The underlying basis, though, is very dirty, about as opaque as are the dark pools (representing almost 1/2 of the trades, daily) that some of these people love so much. When it comes to computation, things are more hairy than we allow ourselves to recognize (see FAQ at Princeton). There are those who manipulate the game (markets, et al) through knowledge that the underlying complexity will most likely shield their introduction of 'lemons' despite efforts by the vigilant to prevent such gaming of the system. 
  • more efficient - Trades can happen at the blink of an eye, and less. That is, when they're let go (you see, pre-looks hold things up until the manipulator figures out a paying position), trades happen fast. Yet, there is no accounting daily. How can there be when derivatives are piled one upon another? Too, those dark pools aren't giving us any accounting that is worth  much at the end of the day.  
  • [image]
    WSJ 12/21/12
    CSU Archives/Everett Collection
  • less prone to abuse - This is almost laughable if one considers lemons which are easier to foster on the investor and the public under the automated means than in any other way. The stage is being set for major exploitation of the markets far beyond what we believed was possible. 
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One ought not complain without having a solution. I have one and am ready to stomach the demands. Briefly, it would go like this. 
  • First of all, accept the reality of complexity (see FAQ at Princeton). The cards are stacked toward those who want to game the system (we'll gladly go through the history of this). 
  • Let the boys and girls play, but they have to account every day. Yes, the system doing the checking would be expensive, but, hey, it's just a matter of bringing the 'real' costs out (as in, seeing near zero for what it is). 
  • The checking system would be run in a non-profit sense with people who are smart and not after unworthy gains. Yes, there are plenty of these, folks. 
  • Have regular snaps of the entire system (of course, a quiescent point is necessary) with which ex post facto studies will improve the foundational issues. 
  • Quiescence? Possible? Yes, recently there were two days down. Post 9/11, there was an outage. We can schedule these. Then, we can turn loose analysis (actually, jobs, folks) to look for mischief. 
As I said, briefly. Taking this further awaits only the proper attention and emphasis. In the meantime, I'll continue to watch for the eventual move toward this type of oversight.

Remarks:

01/15/2013 -- Force quiescence on the thing, regularly.

12/31/2012 -- The high-frequency people are trying to get themselves seen as necessary, even beneficial. The prime benefit is to those who run such, since they're able to pull off from the top. What we need, actually, is some type of quiescent period, often (daily?) during which snapshots and analysis could be done.

12/27/2012 --  Businessworld graphic on the new market

Modified: 01/15/2013



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Summary, 2012

Moral: Wherein we take a look at 2012.

The blog got its start in August of 2009. As of today, there have been 165 posts with 22 categories.
Past 30 days                               All time
The image shows two lists of the most-read posts, for the Past 30 days and All time.

  • Of late (Past 30 days) - Secured payments in which we consider that there are problems with regard to supporting on-going payments or to obtaining such in the future even with all of the techniques that are available in a modern economy. The age-old urge to misappropriate from others may be one of the factors needing attention.
  • Since the beginning (All time) - Computation, finance and engineering is an early post that quotes from articles in the Communication of the ACM which is the voice of an organization dealing with the technology of computing. In other words, there are issues that we have learned, yet, to address. Given such, some of the chicanery behind failures to pay may be hidden under the guise of computing which is trusted more than it ought to be, perhaps due to its complexity. 

The count of posts by year has been the following: 2009 (57), 2010 (40), 2011 (43), and so far in 2012 (24).

Remarks:  Modified: 01/02/2014

01/02/2014 -- Summary for 2013


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The firm, and theories thereof

Moral: Wherein we just quietly nod to Ronald Coase (via Bloomberg's Businessweek).

He is 101 which means that he's been around for awhile. We need to consider his ideas, such as The Nature of the Firm, and to re-look at the earlier posts (Corporation, Corporation II) here in which we considered, briefly, the entity whose person-hood was established by the Supreme Court. As well, his take on quantification's grip, and the other than beneficial effects from the grip, does correspond, somewhat, with my own: Quants, et al.

Remarks:

07/31/2013 -- Ben cannot unwind or taper downhe has too many Doves. We'll have to get back to the king thing (yes, the divine rights of the CEO) and dampening of these types by a new outlook (Magna-Carta'√≠sh). By the way, if the company is a person, how do we jail it?

12/15/2012 -- We need to get back to thinking about the firm. It's given some type of "divine right" by some views (to wit, the Supreme Court's decision concerning the corporation as citizen). Kings took that notion (we'll have to look at this, to boot) for themselves. Evidently, the CEO represents the corporation, as if all is embodied in his/her self (sarcasm). Consider (partly motivated by reading about Thomas J, the slave owner, who allowed mistreatment, yet had his head in the clouds -- thank God he was not the first president as we would still have a king -- we cannot thank George enough for stepping down, --- the modern economic situation abounds in indentured slavery (oh yes, couched otherwise) -- and, Thomas would not listen to Lafayette on the matter):
  • Firms have an evolutionary, social nature and purpose. The people who work for any firm (yes, the rank and file) have as much right as do those in whose hands are all of the decisions and the assets (yes, including stockholders). It's the workers who provide the value (that sight morphed to idiocy in the latter part of the 20th century). ... Hence, getting to the basics, corporations (a type of firm) ought to have serious civil, social impediments against ill-behavior (such as, indentured slavery, bullying, ..., pollution, ..., out and out juvenile behavior, ..., et al) that are actively enforced. And, the whole thing would be coordinated across national boundaries (how?, ... ). Remember, people, capitalism built itself upon the backs of slaves and other workers (then claimed that some invisible hand was its chum - silly, indeed). 
Aside: Thomas, evidently, had kids by slaves. Then, he sold them off. Can anyone tell me any reason that we ought to hold this guy in any type of homage? Oh, great writer? We're still arguing about the issues. Kings, of course, had their illegitimate offspring (one example). Yet. many people today (even royals) descend from these folks who were, many times - not always, acknowledged by their sire as their progeny. We also know that people in economic stress sell off their kids ("sell off" has a general meaning, to boot, putting them out to hard labor, etc. -- our culture tries to get away from that, made a lot of progress at the turn of the 20th century), and we can cringe as we think of this type of behavior (by the way, farm labor on private farms is not, by definition or necessity, this type of thing). What was Thomas' excuse? 

Note one of Coase's counsels to the dismal scientists: get away from the efficient market theory (hypothesis that it is -- we'll get back to the subject).

Aside: We could argue that any accumulation of people spawns some entity (of course, the CEO thinks that he/she represents/manifests this?) that ought to have types of rights. And, these may even, in the accumulation, be more than is allowed to any individual (except, again, the star CEO?). But, science denies such types of things, as of yet. The legal profession may hint at something that needs attention (of course, the theory (and a very rational basis for such) behind such phenomena is not outside our preview, folks).

12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.

Modified: 07/31/2013

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Secured payment

Moral: Wherein we just reiterate the chimera theme (as in, if all pulled their monies simultaneously, there would be payouts only to the first few in the line -- vapor, essentially, for the rest).

People, and businesses and governments and unions, cannot run themselves solely on gaming. Oh, I know, the intellectual view of the world says that we're all in this big game (in actuality, a fault of hyper-rationality). Now, of course, that game abstraction might have its usefulness, such as in discussing near-zero (briefly you win, I lose, which has morphed to this: heads, I win; tails, you lose) as the reality, with greed in the game, but it does not come near to the truth of the matter.

Truth? Yes, we'll defer this (remember, all modern arguments, like our debt, gets punted down the road), but every living human knows her/his being (wait! that's not entirely true in some senses, but it is from the sense that we'll expand upon in time -- pause, to nod to a niece's thoughts on Baruch: I feel, therefore I am).

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Intellectualism has thrown out intuition which is one of our best characteristics, in some senses (pun intended). It ought to be trained and is in special cases. But, we need it to be more generally used (nose to smart device is not it, folks). The role of intuition (think nose - so that we can smell rats and crap and such) has been subsumed under a mathematical cloak that leads us only to perdition-laden paths that are associated with uncontrolled, and uncontrollable, computational states (in the many senses, to boot).

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Anyway, we need some speculation as the limit of prediction. But, forecasting can be more robust than not. In terms of money (finance), we need to listen to Minsky's notions.

That is, speculation leads to froth (and the rich pulling off the top), by necessity (we need to understand these phase issues -- which seem to be like the physical types with which we are so familiar). For most of us, we need to know that we can get what we need when we need it, assuming the monies are ours or due (even something deferred from before (see comment on unions, below) -- we need to get the sticky fingers out of the pot, yes fat cats, namely you). And, the other side of that is a sure, small return beats a large uncertain return any time (except for the lucky (very few) who ought not be considered examples to follow, by any means). What did someone at golden sacks say? Paraphrase: I would rather lose my reputation than my money; I can regain the former; the latter is gone (meaning, harder to re-acquire) if I lose it.

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Speaking of the deferred, such as unions deal with, they ought to have a basis that can be actualized. You see, the fat cats get their take now (we'll explain why ad infinitum). Others hope that they can get their reward as promised (ah, so many issues here). It's something like this, now: promise the moon, but deliver a cow patty.

Pause, again, to reflect on 18K jobs lost. Too, the disappearance of a wonder bread, Nature's Pride.

Union guys/gals, tell me this: Why do your leaders live like the fat cat bosses? They ought to be in the trenches with the membership. Fact is, the bosses ought to be able to do the work that they direct, to boot (see below, about the O-series).

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Unfortunately, we've put many people into the boat of losing (their all) due to the ignorance (or greed) of others who are not following any notion of duty, fiscal or otherwise, other than to their little selves (I say, draft their asses into the service -- enlisted, not officer -- this is a subject that I'll debate -- all officers ought to spend a significant stint as enlisted prior to their being ordained as the best into the upper class/crust).

The crux, in part? Simple living, for one thing (why is it that General officers think that they are Pharaohs or something similar?). Those whose outflow (as in, outrageous expenditures on their lavish ways) is way beyond anything rational always need to  have a crooked system (with risk in their favor) in order to get their large returns (hence, book cooking, et al). With Kings and bullies, of course, it was taking from the hapless (usually way beyond the person's capability for sustenance - the result, one less peon).

Yes, living within reasonable means is important. For another, no debt unless it's combined with collateral (of a nature that is not froth -- sheesh). There are more, of course.

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It's crappy, people. Always has been. A mature human race would dampen that idiocy (along with a whole bunch more) which seems to be glorified. We'll get to that as there is more of this than those related to financial matters.

Remarks:

05/22/2013 -- Need to look at the cosmology of business (Remarks this day).

12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' as to whether Ben has helped.

11/30/2012 -- Baruch's views can be used to help found the necessary truth engineering framework.

Modified: 05/22/2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Social'd media


Moral: Wherein we sort of start a side thread that will eventually merge back in.

Ben is saying that banks are being too strict. Well, Ben, Bank of America can talk about the billions that it has spent bailing out mortgages. What was it? The average is about $150,000. You know, it's coming from BofA customers, like myself.

My hope is that, at least, this is considered income for the person by the IRS. Probably not, though (not that I'm going to see if it is or not).

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There are other things going on. The D.O.W. has been going down. How about 6,000? Well, as long as Ben keeps up with his free money, where else ought people go but to the ca-pital-sino? Is that not what Ben wants?

Speaking of which, savers are still being bullied about. Ben, Ben, ... We savers have another couple of years yoked into your team? We are the ones who are paying the real price. You see, we didn't ask for the financial community to go crazy silly. Ah, they are necessary; and, their computational prowess is enviable. Hah! They're gamers and extract far more value than is reasonable. Let's talk about that.

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We do celebrate the newer ways, such as we see with social media of which one is particularly interesting.

This a.m., I saw a story about the guys from whom Zuck took FB, or something like that. Well, they got millions of FB stock and are holding on. Then, the story mentions that they have enough to be VCers.

One investment mentioned was SumZero. Now, the story said that it was a social media sort, like FB (the thing, not the stock), and was for the financial crowd. That got my attention.

The name was either tongue-in-cheek or a Jungian. Or, it might just be the in-your-face truth as we see nowadays with the relaxing (or unlearning) of social graces.

You see, near-zero has been argued here, for a long while, as the reality. Hence, it takes more than the market to get away from zero sum. But, how ought we get to this type of thing?

Not an easy question to answer, but we'll continue to discuss the issues here.

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An aside: Earlier this am, I saw a story, a link to which I put on FB (since deleted). about this site at a news feeder. My first reaction had a ca-pital-sino flavor. Yes, the reality is that finance is more near-zero than anything that will support what we all think that we want (win-win). We know many make loads of money without contributing much (ah, I know, liquidity and other ephemeral goods) to progress. In fact, as we saw the past few years, bail outs are the norm because of a perceived necessity (that illusion is becoming greater with time) of things being the way that they are. But, there are many who contribute, real and concrete benefits, and who never get much help and cannot look to push their losses out to the rest. These things relate to an ongoing issue that is not simple, hence this link. Allows me quick access to material the analysis of which will help to describe better ways. Hint: near-zero's imperative nature.

Remarks:

12/12/2012 -- Yesterday, I read where a homeowner was forgiven over $370,000 (yes, three-hundred and seventy thousand dollars) on his mortgage. I think that it was BofA who did it. Being a customer, I want to know whose money went to that which has been multiplied many times. Thank you, Ben and all of your ilk who have sacked the savers. Now, Ben is saying 2015 or so, again. There is one added thing about the case: the homeowner is an immigrant. Ah, welcome to the great US. And, I'm still wondering how people can walk away from debt like this and start over. Used to be the albatross was there. That is, get into debt; then, pay it off. Not push the cost off onto others.

Modified: 12/12/2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chimera?

Moral: Wherein we say just a few words about the chimera behind the 'chimera' and its use.

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First, here are the posts with 'chimera' in the name and the date: The big chimera (11/09/09), Chimera II (08/31/2010), Chimera, again (01/27/2011), Chimera IV (06/10/2011), Chimera explained (07/05/2011). For each of these, I'll have to do a recap (which ought to be fun to do as the posts parallel the climb out of the morass, helped along by Ben and his largess).

But, this post is basically to set (re-state) the tone.

Aside: chimera is mentioned in a whole lot (namely 64) of other posts. One has to wonder if it was an improper characterization. Well, wonder not. I knew what I was doing and will be explaining why we're still in deep dodo (Europe's PIGS are only one thing to point to).

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Today, the Dow is around the 13.6K mark which is close to the high point before the drop. How can this be considered a chimera?

Well, there is another market that might be approaching, similar to the Dow, its value of our, or so, years ago. Remember, please, that this exchange's value is one-half, or so, of its peak around the 2000 time frame, before what was called the tech bust. Oh, you forgot?

---

The Dow is at the current level since the taxpayers are propping it up. Ben's balance sheet is at ridiculously full. Too, he has stiffed people who are older and who need more stable financial instruments. Ben is holding, and wants to buy more, toxic stuff.

Where is his head?

---

Today, too, one can also find an article talking about people who are staying out of the stock market. This would be anyone who needs their basis (and does not want to get on the dole or reliant on other people for charity). We'll not belabor the FB point (Zuck got his money), but it could be used as an example (there are plenty of other examples, so FB is off the hook, for now).


Remarks:

06/11/2013 -- CDOs and tranching, once again.

03/22/2013 -- Imagine. WSJ using both chimerical and moral hazard in the same article, albeit with a twist that we'll respond to (that is, clarify what the notions mean -- has to come from outside the financial community).

03/21/2013 -- Ben on Cyprus as a type of archetypal situation, or not.

01/15/2013 -- Force quiescence on the thing, regularly.

12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.

11/15/2012 -- SumZero, and more.

10/24/2012 -- Ben is sticking to his guns. Lucy people like myself will continue to pay through the nose. Thanks, big guy.

10/16/2012 -- Chimera has had many uses, from mythology on. Basically, the connotations being applied here relate several ways. For one, though, consider Bookstaber's use of 'demon' as he characterized problems with markets, hedgies, and such. Of course, many demons might be apropos for use, but chimera is up there on top, or close to it. That, folks, relates to the reality behind the other use. There, no doubt, are physical, and process, entities that can be pointed to (yet, are these under control?). No, we cannot even have a daily accounting (to wit, the realization on the part of some that things like the unemployment rate are estimated (albeit, with supposedly sound basis) and never really pinned down). So, anyone building upon this first type of chimera is impaired as to practicality (yes, it's that bad, folks). How can we have a sustainable economy with such flimsy mechanisms (you see, they are only effective in so far as they allow those who run the game to pilfer - the only real expectations, in short). Hence, the use of the mirage is not off, either. Okay?  The real question is what can be done to make things better?

10/12/2012 -- Chimera has been used for that which the ca-pital-sino pushes, including the mechanisms involved. What are hedge funds? Another set of tools. What we have is too much money running after too few opportunities. To boot, there are too many looking to extract more than what they deserve (yes, I'll venture there - my gripe with Harvard, the first school in the US).

10/12/2012 -- Hedge fund mirage. Chimera works, too. Harvard. Its big endowment is the envy of all (but the rational - who see the naked emperor). ... Harvard, talk to us, please, about how you feel that you deserve big earnings (what? earned?) in terms of near-zero (quite graspable concept, even for the heavily endowed).

Modified: 06/11/2013

Thursday, September 13, 2012

After all these years

Moral: Wherein we consider what Ben's announcement means for those in the middle.

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What announcement? QE3, today, with low-level interest until 2015 or further.

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Gosh, Ben, you've been sacking the savers for years now. Why are you running off after the chimera? It still stinks, even as it scrapes the stratosphere. Why? You know, Ben, that there is daily raking off, like cream being skimmed from the top, by those who run the casino.

If you would try to establish a monetary basis that had steady growth, acknowledging that we cannot have sustained economic prosperity when the mode for all (but the few - thank God for the Occupy mindset) is to pile on more and more debt, then we could see some semblance of sanity come back to the financial fiasco. But, no, your sweet digs there, at the Fed, are not much different than that of the fat cats at the Street (of course, Wall not Main). Go ahead, cater to the few. Just remember, it's the accumulation of the little people who make the economy.

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By the way, Ben, to which of these Street realms will you go when you leave the Fed?

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FT image
Too, you guys run out and pollute the Jackson Hole area yearly. Boondoggle that it is! Ben, are you trashing the US dollar and building up the chimera for your friends in China? You sure are not helping the average American.

Now, what we're seeing is a flow from very many small pockets to a very few big pockets. You know, Ben, that flow eventually dries out those with small pockets who then become dehydrated shells. From whence can these have any energy to build back what your chimera overlays?

What future is based upon the chimera? At any point, those who can will pull out, leaving scrapings for the most. You know that.

---

Let's talk, please, about how earnings (returns) in this realm are really nothing more than movement of money between pockets. Okay. Some make out like bandits. All cannot do so, nor have they ever been able to do so. Yet, talking heads keep pushing the illusion. Publication of the success stories of the few (those who can take from the chimera) continues to lead more down the primrose path to perdition. What a debacle!

Remarks:

07/31/2013 -- Ben cannot unwind or taper downhe has too many Doves.

01/15/2013 -- Force quiescence on the thing, regularly.

11/15/2012 -- SumZero, and more.

09/19/2012 -- Added Truth Engineering link to 09/15/2012 Remark. Faults are one way to learn. The perfect reek with hubris and arrogance. Yet, systems are that which we ought to make perfect (measurable attribute, definitely amenable to scientific study and public agreement. And, in most cases, systems that we know were built upon people in positions (roles, essentially -- action, decision, etc.) pertaining to the system. Now, we have computers playing analogous roles. How do we handle this? Notice that computers (the artificial, at large) implies 'systems' as their motivating force. But, in the new roles, it's the computer as the performer that we're looking at, usually without concern for technicalities (left to the nerds). The quality efforts out of Japan looked to limit the scope of faults (prevent them, in other words) which is not perfection seeking. So, we'll just say, for now, that perfection, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. (wiki has a nice historical view)

09/15/2012 -- Laundrying? Yes, I know it ought to be laundering. However, it's on Facebook, to boot, so I'll let it stand. Why? Jungian, in nature, this type of oops comes about with technology (to wit, touch typing, fixups, et al) and will only get worse. I see it all the time in big-name, big-buck publications. But, this particular word brings to fore several interesting things. One is that 'labor' is seen to be like laundry. Get it to fit, use it, clean it, throw it out (almost like the proverbial tissue). Now, roles may be laundry-like; those who play the roles are not. In fact, that is one truism to bring forth. I've met a lot of smart people doing menial work. I've not met anyone of the upper crust that I would care to emulate (yes, indeed - I've seen a bunch). Of course, we're all human, with our faults. Yet, as history tries to do (or, that which is oriented toward indoctrination), we smooth over rough edges. Yes, those in power are without any sins; this is accepted for several reasons. From time to time, the human aspect shows. Why cannot it always be so? In the current context? No crapping human can ever attain the idealized state expected by voters (and dreamers and hopers). Faults ought to be celebrated. They keep us human and can help us be hubris-free.

09/14/2012 -- Ben ought to read Rick. Labor laundrying. Ben's continued largess to the fat cats will mostly go toward this type of activity. Read Warehouse Slave and weap [Jungian - as in, weep and reap your reward for allowing this to emerge as the supposed culmination of evolution (this is where our glorious State and its technology is leading us?)]. Aside: I've had (in my youthful times) several jobs that were remunerated with room/board and stipend (any aspersions of menial, etc. will just run off the back like water off a duck -- all jobs (of a legal variety) and the persons doing those tasks are worthy of respect (a lost adage - as everyone runs after accumulating moolah (sounds like ...) as if its represents the smarts that we ought to have -- yes, politicians are characterized by how much they salivate at the thought of moolah.). The first put a roof over my head, and the second fed me. The third, small bits to buy and trade used books. Fourth? Fifth? (yes, luckily, no illnesses - too young to consider retirement - et al). Too, I've seen the boardroom, and the posturing idiots collected therein (as a visitor, of course), and all steps in-between. When I say, folks, that we can run this crap (which it is, even with academic frills added -- ah, the bastardization of the glorious realms of mathematics rankles, to boot) with monk-like mentality (as in, fame, money, etc. not being of essence), I do know what I'm talking about. But, it's my duty, and challenge, to define how this would work. Somehow, the dream of America (where is Winthrop's city?) has descended monotonically, and sometimes exponentially, into the crapper. From whence the energy to get it flying again? By the way, if 'monk' is too religiously laden for you, we can use other metaphors. Take the military. Do you think that those who are being called 'heros' are remunerated (except for the O-class) adequately to the level of their service and risk? If you do, then you're part of the problem. Yes, we could keep the discipline level proper and the thuggery minimized. Or, we could use games played under rules. The whole economic/financial realm needs leveling (as in establishing playing field quality) and inclusion of referees sufficient to keep those in-line who throughout our thousands of human years have trampled over others (yes, fat cats might, at some point, turn to philanthropy -- does that balance their karmic effluence?). New royalty, these? Indeed! We need a sandbox (and, again, we could put golden sand in the box) for these people, in which they can crap all they want (they do the cleaning, to boot).

Modified: 07/31/2013

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ben's precipice


Moral: Wherein we consider that Ben can claim a little victory with consequences that will only be known much later.

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We remember Alan's put and its effects (still being unwound and analyzed). What will we remember of Ben?

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Watching Bloomberg, with 1/4 attention, saw a momentary flash of a graph. On it, there was a sharp drop being displayed. What was being graphed? Well, it wasn't the coming chasm (or whatever is the label for what is pending coming next January). What was being displayed was the long-term rate for Treasuries.


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Well, Ben has been after that, for a while. So, does he have a sense of accomplishment? Does he have any qualms about putting a whole set of nails in the coffin of the middle class, and the savers? He's been putting it to the latter for a bunch of years now.

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As Ben pushes toward the chimera (yes, bulls notwithstanding), things become even more dire for a whole bunch of folks. Who is not in dire straits? Those (some) playing games with the chimera, usually from a position that has plenty of backup (including, ultimately, bailout from the FED -- namely, we the taxpayers).

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He wants things to be based upon this shaky platform that enriches the few and impoverishes the most. The notion of steady, and stable, seems to have gone with the wind. Yet, each who reaches effective maturity has had more elements of the stable than not. The rich know this (see 21 ways - at Business Insider); some try to keep the proper lessons from being learned by those who are most in need of the insights. Oh, find your own bootstraps is the message to one who doesn't even have boots, or if there are boots, the straps have been stolen.

---

On the 21 ways, it might be interesting to look at these in the context of the blog's viewpoint. Take #17, for instance, where the focus is on earnings versus savings. You see, the chimera, above, is thought of as earnings. Okay. Tell me truthfully, did those who rode on Zuck's coattails really earn anything (as in, what of value did they contribute besides big pockets, being at the right place at the right time, or some other pseudo-contributory role)? Yes, you guys, come explain this taking to us. What ought we call those 'gains' whose influence is mainly gaming that is meant to up the take of those who can (when the time to pull the plug arises) exploit these types of situations? Earnings? Remember, too, these 'gains' (even if very short term in nature) receive preferential tax treatment (thanks, those responsible for this). Ah, we'll have to look at that in more depth. 'earnings' can range from the hardscrabble income (can be characterized by so many examples -- from subsistence upward) to thievery (modern earnings, many times).

Ben, you really know better than to stoke this fire.

Remarks:

03/17/2013 -- The metaphor ought to be rats in the grain bin.

03/05/2013 -- Ben reigns, but the savers' faces are bruised from his slapping.

02/26/2013 -- What? Ben doesn't have any influence with his put?

12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.

10/24/2012 -- Ben is sticking to his guns. Lucy people like myself will continue to pay through the nose. Thanks, big guy.

09/13/2012 -- So, Ben, backed up by his cronies, is doing QE3. As well, they're talking low rates until mid-2015. Why? So that the casino will continue with its chimera! We're going to end up with savers being sacked for more than 1/2 a decade. Preposterous. The main tale? Those with are doing fine and growing larger. Those without are more dire. In the middle, squeezed. The first class is a small subset, as we all know.

09/08/2012 -- Thanks are owed to Larry for being one of the few who stayed on message.

Modified: 03/05/2013

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Middle class

Moral: Wherein we consider what Ben, and company, has done to a diminishing set.

---

Which is? The middle class. It's broke, a headline said at Yahoo Finance. Oh, really. The articles quotes a lot of other material, such as Joseph Stiglitz' thoughts on the myth of the American Dream. Too, a nice look at how to fix the economy is referenced.


---

Let's look at one example of Ben's help in putting the middle class to sleep. His minuscule rate has trashed the savers' little buckets. In fact, those with the smaller amount of funds are paying through the nose to support fat cats.

At the same time, anyone in an older mortgage, who has not refinanced (which can be for any of several reasons -- including a patriotic notion of being an asset, not a liability, to the country's economy) is paying exorbitant amounts into the pockets of the very bankers who caused the downturn and who, in many cases, are probably culprits.

---

As Ben chases the chimera, the instigators of the problems are running amok again. Losing game, folks?

Remarks:

09/13/2012 -- 21 points at Business Insider.

09/07/2012 -- Ben seems to be making inroads to leaving his mark on our history.

09/04/2012 -- Putting this article here, until I can respond to the 21 points. Essentially, the rich: no morals!, talk about entitlement!, ... We'll have to get back to whether 'richness' is the right measure for success. As in, if you're so smart, why aren't you rich? from five years ago.

Modified: 09/13/2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

LIBOR, a big fudge?

Moral: Wherein we consider, again, the ca-pital-sino's financial part's errant ways.

---

Is LIBOR a big lie? Well, it very much exemplifies the problems with finance. Why can't economics and finance be more scientific? It can be, but this will take more than the exploitation of advancements in mathematics and insight for the few (near-zero is real).

In the case of LIBOR, we're not far from the issue of 'mark to myth' (which Congress was told to favor by its financiers). Remember how stringent 'mark to market' seemed to be? Oh, you forgot? Well, the issue was not resolved in the appropriate way.

We'll keep going on about that, perhaps even using mathematical frameworks to lay out the argument. When? Again, hopefully, other than PTIME.

---

The motivations for continuing can be many. What idiocy is uncovered (ah, how can it be stupid, if it puts money into the pockets of the few?) every day? Why can't we find the proper insight to pull in those with power (who think that money defines truth - and smarts) before they crap on us? Surely, if we're to be mature, we'll have leaders who are capable of more than messing their diapers (requiring our cleaning up after them).

---

Let's look at a couple, namely the posts of note the past week or so.
  • 201k, 401k, 801k, ... -- October, 2009, in jest, in part. But, note the progression upward toward 25601k. Can you not see that the current model ends with way less than one percent with the moolah whilst the rest (a large majority of them) are no more than slaves? And, this is supposedly the country, and economy, that epitomizes the best of humanity? BTW, no sarcasm, or cynicism, exists in the bones of the blogger. Rather, looking at the scope of things from the 'ideal' (which is available to all) shows failings everywhere (almost dense -- yes, humans are better than this). 
  • Big chimera -- November, 2009, which was not in jest. One might ask how this can be so. We're about three years beyond, and the markets are up. For instance, the DOW, on Friday, went up 200 points after it had fallen for six days or so. Well, these things can be explained several ways which we'll get to. Remember, though, Ben pushing out of money, and his continuing efforts to cause markets to rise, are a big factor. Yet, the longer-term consequences are still there. This is a bubble (pure and simple) that will be pricked at some point (toxics are still there, ...).  
---

So much as happened the past month or so that it'll take some time to digest it all. I've been on a break, so to speak. The tone will change to one more academic and technical (how this transition will occur hasn't quite been worked out, as of yet).

It's probably comical that finance might think that LIBOR is a case of peer review (ah so!). If only. You know that it's more a continuation of self-audit (bankers are all angels).

Remarks:

12/06/2013 -- We all know how this panned out (with even more fudging coming to fore - the "f" in finance is for fudging?). If only Ben would put a shot across the bow. He's helped the chimera unfold in unhealthy ways. He could, at least, say a mea culpa.

12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.

08/01/2012 -- It's easy to point the finger at our Brit cousins. We have our own fudging (Ben, included).

07/30/2012 -- Timmy knew. Ben says he's powerless. They admit that it's close to fraud.

07/21/2012 -- This week, the USA Today, had a nice little article on LIBOR. Some are looking for a better alternative. Earlier, I had meant to point to comments about why potential fraud seems to be the consequence of the way that things are set up. As in, what is maximized is the ability to pirate. Why is this?

Modified: 12/06/2013

Monday, June 25, 2012

Playing for what? Insight?

Moral: Wherein we consider this: why does the banker (read, the new type as market player - where is there a real banker?) have so much power (besides having a pot load of money to buy power -- remember Jamie's recent little chat with friends?)?

---

I feel like old Rip again, except this time it was more disbelief (which can be outlined, in time). The Washington Post had an article on members of Congress using information that comes their way, evidently because of their position, to play the market (characterization based upon this point of view). As we know, the chimera of the ca-pital-sino has a very strong appeal, to many.

Not to all, and that is the message to expand here. But, Congress has given itself this right to play for a long time.

---

The dissonance comes from having worked for the government and for ethical companies. To see certain types (albeit stars in their own minds -- and in some others) keep their options (pun intended) open without regard to how it may be ethically is disconcerting, to say the least. As the one review says, Congress has seen to it that the Executive branch employees have had their scrutiny. Why not itself?

---

Well, in this case, there is justification due to ca-pital-sino's appeal. As we know, capitalism has descended to gaming, essentially.

The esteemed members of the Legislative branch can then claim that they will learn (about the lives of their constituents?) from playing the market. That might be partly true, after all the gamers are part of their citizen set. But, it sure looks like the classic example of pigs (ruling set, as one comment suggested) at a trough.

---

Of course, it's not the whole bunch, as the numbers seem to be less than a third. Since this group, for the most part, is open to public scrutiny, it's time for questions to be asked. Thanks to the WP for looking into the matter.

According to the comments, the article struck a chord with many. OWS ought to pay attention.

Remarks:

06/26/2012 -- We have citizens risking life and limb for the freedom of the few to game the system? A lot of the awry (obvious everywhere) can be directly attributed abuse of knowledge (power) and misuse of our mathematical advancements (actually, pushing them beyond their basis) in order to gain rewards for the few (meanwhile, spreading the loss to the most). The concept: near zero (any accumulation to one large pocket pulls from many more smaller ones).

Modified: 06/26/2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Banker?

Moral: Wherein we consider, just what does a banker do?

Gosh, we've been giving Ben so much grief that we've seem to have forgotten the real culprits. Jamie brings this back to focus.

---

So, let me tell a tale, somewhat disjointedly. We'll pull things together, in time.

There is a local bank with whom I've dealt for over 10 years, that is until a few years ago. It was a nice little bank, locally owned and all. Then, about 2004, they got new management and started on the merger and acquisition trail.

Now, remember that 'M&A' still is being pursued but recall, too, that these types of deals diminished when the 'boys' took their balls home (as in, they all knew that the games were crooked; who could they trust (they knew that if everyone was like themselves, then the answer would have been nobody (lemons, essentially) at all) to deal with?). Well, the main guy loomed large with his photo in the paper. They're grabbing more banks and approaching an entity that has over $1B in assets (yes, billion).

My reactions were severalfold. For one, this same guy was arguing that they would become a State bank in order to get out from under certain types of scrutiny. Oh yes, be part of the little guys. Too, they hired someone from OCC to be part of their staff.

Aside: I found out that this bank had their proverbial thumb on the scale in calculating returns. I was only a depositor at the bank. Didn't even have a checking account. Okay, I was making money using their bank, yet they are the ones who advertised the deal. Anyway, for a few months, I watched as divergence built in accumulative returns, compared to several other banks with whom I dealt. Note, please, that as a retiree, I was being cautious in scrutinizing returns in order to firm up projections. Lo and behold, these guys were playing unfairly. I called them on it. They threw me and my money out. Without any forewarning. I received an envelope with checks written on all accounts closing them out. Hey, debtors get better (have more rights) than that! I made the rounds of the institutions that are supposedly supportive of the consumer (before the new deal, okay). The state org, FDIC, and OCC. Now, OCC got from them some diatribe about me as a harasser. What? I banked with them for 10 years prior to their reaction to scrutiny of a customer. But, management had changed. So, the whole atmosphere was different. Then, OCC says (essentially, acknowledging the validity of my evidence), sue them. What (again)? Me, a small investor take on someone who has (at the time) multi-hundreds of millions in assets? So, I let it drop and have been quietly watching.

Oh yes, it was gleeful to see them line up to the TARP trough.

Then, I noticed this year the thing about being a State bank in order to have less scrutiny. Also, I hear that they want to merge with a bank in another state? That is, is not that interstate banking and beyond one state's purview?

---

Oh well, I read the boss' explanation. Oh yes, he says, merging has benefit from his level. What about his lowly depositor? You see, all sorts of 'M&A' has been going on because the best and brightest know that they can do it and can pull the wool over the eyes of the Feds (yes, Ben, you) and others. Yet, what benefit is there to the depositor?

Remember what happened to this depositor?

There are many questions of this sort. From where I sit, these guys are using banking as a playground to tweak their ego. I liked the bank better when they were almost a county bank with a few ATMs and little branches.

Now, the guy is trying to be Jamie II. What gives with this? I'm serious, folks, in my questioning.

Is not banking a mere utility mostly, to help us handle our beans and need for beans? Of course, 'our' can be at several levels, yet even commercial banking does not require the 'M&A' mania.

---

Enough for now.


Remarks:

01/14/2013 -- Will Jamie be taking a pay cut? He was the highest paid last time around. He also was the one saying that they could "police" themselves, that was no need for oversight. He got one thing right in a recent interview. He said that with the "whale" problem, people were running around like children. Their concern was not fixing some problem. No, the worry as about the problem's impact on their career. Ah, career. We'll have to go into that. Most people are not effective a most things. Unfortunately, those who are effective carry these folks along. Always has been like that. Jamie needs to consider that he is not, as he may think in him mind, of the effective set.

12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.

06/25/2012 -- Washington Post on Congressional non-ethics

Modified: 01/14/2013


Friday, June 8, 2012

Money and technology

Moral: Wherein we let the IEEE Special Report on the Future of Money get us back to looking at beans and money.

---

After all, those subjects being covered by the IEEE collection pertain to all of ours' future (to wit, the recent stumble). Not just those with massive accumulations (ostensibly, the best and brightest). I will need to revisit some of those articles here (later).

---

Meanwhile, a few thoughts on the matter suffice.
  • One oversight, about which I'll approach IEEE, is how to explain 'fiat money' and not. Yes, money is an abstraction. We modern folks like our abstraction-phile-ness. We have carried it to far, way beyond attachment to being (give me time, not a simple issue).
  • Yet, engineers abstract about real things (or about models that are eventually about real things). Ah, like leveraging? Not really. Why? Any point, their work gets back to nature (or Creation, if you would - it's an either/or issue, as Hitch knows). Money? Purely flim-flam (we're get there, too; it's a fact the big people do not want the populace to awaken).  
  • IEEE, why didn't you talk about some natural analog (for one thing)? Sheesh, you guys are engineers. Just because we now have computational modeling and higher-order gaming via technology behind our 'beans and money' (and the 'markets' based upon these) does not make it anything more than a very shaky chimera.
  • Stiglitz says that the American Dream is a myth. He's right on the bifurcation that has formed. See Rick's thoughts on the matter (and some consequences). 
  • Another dichotomous relationship is between those who want it all and those who can live within their means (evidently, we've seen that most of the modern countries cannot do this). Of course, from some angles, the former may look smarter as they play with the lives of the latter (ah, one definition of royalty?). 
  • One has to appreciate Tolstoy's remark: (see Remarks, 12/02/07) how much does one man need (by the way, Lev Nikolayevich was a class act as opposed to some)? 
  • It's good to see engineers (beyond those of the financial idiocy) think of these matter; perhaps, they'll bring in some needed rationality. 
  • Might add that one grating thing was that there was nothing about additional properties of 'money' (oh, you mean like? Can't buy me love, etc.). Wait, engineers don't deal with those things. Yet, they're willing to allow computer support for what is essentially pilfering (high-speed trading)?  
---

One thing about the modern age is that about every aspect of life has been superposition'd with some abstract'd thing which then goes back to Turing's foundation'l view (this is Alan's year). And, do not many consequences ensue (such as, the stress on STEM and numeracy as if that were what we need, solely)? Ah, so! The following may be beyond the pale of IEEE, but not of the scientific foundations that underlie the work. Ever wonder why the recent infatuation with zombie'ism (and states thereof)? Ever consider that it is our computational prowess that has led us down this path toward perdition?

Oh wait. The topic is money. Note, one article briefly touched upon was a role for 'money' (whatever is it) that was beyond the 'economic' usefulness. Yes, very briefly. That ought to be expanded upon, to boot.

Remarks:

07/25/2015 -- We're about six weeks after the June look back at 800 years ago (Magna Carta). Too, though, poster boys have popped out of the woodwork, including Zweig.

07/30/2013 -- The future: economy and technology.

12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.

08/04/2012 -- I can hear it: with the DOW over 13K, what are you talking about using 'chimera'? Well, look at the dire warnings, for one. Are you looking at FB as a poster boy? We'll get technical and explain the problem. Do we have a solution, at this time? Yes, essentially.

08/03/2012 -- So, the market pushers say that they need things like program trading, and whole bunch of other stuff that we'll get to. So, the idea is that we need computer-based 'gaming' in order to discover 'price' and to provide liquidity. Liquidity? Yes, like that put into the pockets of Zuck (see 7 points on FB) and his ilk after the IPO. You see, those who made money bailed when the price was high. It is estimated that if they sold now, the take would be 1/2. Notice that I didn't say return (for what? -- 'gains' obtained this way are near-zero). Whose to cheer that a few make some massive amount of bucks (well, beyond those personally involved -- even the bankers who put deals together)? This type of thing is capitalism? If so, do we really need this, folks?

07/21/2012 -- Another thing uncovered, gaming of LIBOR.

06/25/2012 -- Washington Post on Congressional non-ethics

Modified: 07/25/2015

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Got the crash wrong?

Moral: Wherein we try to see why tranche on tranche and bubbling did not attribute to the crash.

In particular, we'll use a The Atlantic article: How we got the crash wrong. William D. Cohan, the author, acknowledges, as do many of the comments, that the leverage ratio was high. However, he sees incentives as being more of a factor, as in providing a motivation for the 'gaming' which is so problematic.

---

Well, in a world of fiat money, what do we know anyway? The whole thing is mostly just blips on screens with databases as support. But, then, how do we get away from 'funny' money? Ben can't say.

Yet, even that the basis is nothing but 'promise' and such; we need to limit what types of limbs are defined and how far people go out them (as in, out on a limb).

---

This post is mainly for completion as we covered 'leverage' in all three blogs: here, 7oops7, truthengineering. It is the "perpetual motion machine" (in other words, farcically proposed and used to dupe).

So, the article provides another view to consider.


Remarks:


03/05/2013 -- Ben reigns, but the savers' faces are bruised from his slapping.


12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.


06/14/2012 -- The same issue had this article which we'll get back to (CSI: Housing Bust). It details some of the culprit'ry. Financiers are a whole other class. Evidently, the mania about risk forever hogtied left a lot of room for playing around (Jamie is still under its spell).

06/05/2012 -- Yes, something for nothing, essentially. Without limiting bounds (it seems), who can say this: stop, it's becoming unreal (meaning what?)? Fairy dusting. Except, we do see 'real' things being done despite all of the noise.

Modified: 03/05/2013

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Facebook, again

Moral: Wherein we let Jamie be for a bit and re-look at Facebook.

---

In another context, we started to consider Facebook's potential for showing us the future. Well, the context changed of late. Notwithstanding all of the hype and criticism, there are realities to consider. It looks as if FB might be a better poster boy (yes, Zuck) than is that old thing run by Jamie (but, maybe not, if we keep seeing things like this blog post -- 31 billion?).

---

All along, we've pointed to articles in posts. Many of these, as we all know by now, can become stale, disappear, or turn out to be bogus and much more. So, we'll take a different tack from now on. The image shows headlines, today, on the Yahoo Finance page. Notice that it talks about other-than-clear activities. Yes, FB might want our information; how much is there that we ought to see beneath its opaque 'face' (pun intended to mean that we are all  much more than our faces -- FB's basic shortcoming)?

Well, given the IPO, we'll have to watch how these things unfold. The young guy ought not to have followed that ca-pital-sino route. Oh well.

---

One cartoon this weekend shows Zuck and his father gleefully filling a large bag of money. Didn't read the caption. Just thought about how so many (and, folks, these people have been arguing this idiocy for a couple of centuries now) see capitalism (and this type of thing as its greatest form) as the epitome. Of course, who says such nonsense (yes, Wall Street -- what you and your ilk propound) is 'capitalism' as it ought to be for a sustainable economy?

---

With FB as a focal point, we'll have a whole bunch of things to talk about.

  • infrastructure - people, if you look around, you'll see that the physical infrastructure has decayed. It's frightening, from several angles. Now, FB (Zuck's little thing) is part of a new type of infrastructural entity. Look, its role is really very similar to what we expect from banks. They handle our beans and pennies. The computational thingees will handle our information, communication, and much more. So, Zuck, you believe that your thing provides more than sur-face value to our needs?
  • IPO - or, milking the system. For any of these, those who are part of the system reap big rewards, usually (ought we hope that Morgan Stanley (yes, Peabody is on the ancestor list here, too) eats a little here?). Then, the hapless see the (legal, do I really need to explain this?) milking as justification for their type of mischief.   
  • so what?  - FB comes from a mind not far out of high school. What is that thing we've read? Cognitive holes don't fill in until later, and with experience (actually, some never seem to fill in). I can only wonder how little Zuck's mindset has been influenced by his first big project's dynamics. You see, Google was more an exercise of a graduate-school level mind. And, it does operate some fairly sophisticated algorithms. FB? Perhaps, with added visibility provided by the 'public' ownership, we'll see more. However, look for this theme being explored further.  
  • fictional money - nod here to an old guy from the 1800s who is vilified. But, Zuck's riches are paper, unless he can sell all of his holdings at his price to the lackless (hey, wait! -- didn't banks just do that to us the taxpayers?) who will then be left holding the bag. Think of the above-mentioned bag. First of all, the money is Ben's little faux set of beans. Secondly, even if it's removed by several degrees from reality, the 'money' represents some value that has 'reality' behind it. Just what is it about FB that draws so much of these bucks? That idiots and their money soon part, or such? 
  • computability - and, I might add, issues of the singularity. From a proper view, FB is only a little step in a very long trek. Of course, a survey of all of the capable thingees that are out and about nowadays makes one marvel (look at ieee.org and the contributors, please). Yet, a whole lot of promise has not been fulfilled. Can it without some type of architectural viewpoint (to be discussed) coming into focus?
  • yes, no - The USA Today editorial, and the opposing view, offer a nice look. Some things that FB provides: soapbox (love this), interaction (rather than passive consumption), representation (personal or even for an organization), ... We'll look at these things further.  
  • ...
---

These thoughts are offered within a framework of looking at how we can sustain ourselves while at the same time leaving a manageable world for our offspring, more than one generation out (okay?).

Remarks:

04/09/2015 -- We need to get back to the metaphor issue.

10/08/2014 -- Many, many metaphors.

11/15/2012 -- SumZero, and more.

10/13/2012 -- The FB experience is some analog of spectral (of the spectrum) experience that is beyond the visible. FB (and the delivering technology) handle the non-visible element. Or, do they?

10/04/2012 -- 1B users, give or take.

08/04/2012 -- So, the market pushers say that they need things like program trading, and whole bunch of other stuff that we'll get to. So, the idea is that we need computer-based 'gaming' in order to discover 'price' and to provide liquidity. Liquidity? Yes, like that put into the pockets of Zuck (see 7 points on FB) and his ilk after the IPO. You see, those who made money bailed when the price was high. It is estimated that if they sold now, the take would be 1/2. Notice that I didn't say return (for what? -- 'gains' obtained this way are near-zero). Whose to cheer that a few make some massive amount of bucks (well, beyond those personally involved -- even the bankers who put deals together)? This type of thing is capitalism? If so, do we really need this, folks?

05/27/2012 -- Cuban's take and $13.80 as the price

Modified: 04/09/2015


Thursday, May 10, 2012

First man (bank)

Moral: Wherein we re-look at Jamie (he deserves his own label) and his honesty.

---

Things have been quiet since Ben did his talking. But, you know that there is turmoil of several sorts going on. For one, a regional bank admitted that it sold mortgage-backed bonds for a big loss (millions). Better bite the bullet and let someone else have the 'toxic' asset, I suppose. And, the markets have been up and down, mostly due to Ben's largess and gaming. That whole scene (Chimera that it is) needs some toning down.

---

Earlier, Jamie bragged about being the last man standing. That raised some ire. Then, Jamie (see Jamie Posts) did an 'aw shucks' (see Remarks 01/16/2012) interview which seemed to brighten his image a little. At the time, was he looking for Timmy's job so he had to present other than his hot-shot, make-money-anyway-possible demeanor?

Then, today he steps up with some news. The tone was that they were going to look into this little problem of losing some money - heads will roll, he seems to imply. Jamie, why not use this as an opportunity to make Chase exemplary? Become the first bank to do so? Ah, bankers, class acts that they are.
Jamie and his peers at the rogue table

---

Let's look back at Jamie's bank and its history from another perspective. This is brief, but we need to deconstruct these modern (flim-flam) notions that are based upon an overly-confident attitude that we, through mathematics, science, and engineering (ah yes, STEM will save the world!), have made ourselves the master of the universe. Oh wait, it's only the finance types in their silly world, laying havoc for the rest, who think that?

Firstly, Jamie's bank (part of it) was named for a cousin-in-law (Salmon P. Chase). Wonder what the old guy would think of these modern shenanigans. Jamie talk his principles. What exactly are these (be first to the trough?, etc.)? Does he think that he could demonstrate these via Chase such that we can all marvel and exclaim Chase to be the paragon of banking virtue (yes, people, we need to run our money with monks, people of simple living, and the like -- betting, such as this news indicates, is adolescent -- wait, infantile is more appropriate -- did we not just clean up their dirty diapers?)?

Then, let's pick another old guy, cousin-in-law (George Peabody) who got the other part started. His piece of a common effort was taken over by J.P. Morgan after George retired. Of course, the Peabody connection went away (name, and all), but what else would we expect?

Again, what would George, who was beloved at death, think of the machinations that are allowed these days? And, this type of thing by what is, essentially, a utility (yeah, Jamie is the head of a service that is to provide for the commonweal)? Of course, even those utility types are acting up nowadays, too.

Both of these guys descend from early entrants to these shores. Are the dreams of their (our) ancestors (example) being fulfilled with the gaming of the chimera? Oh, some say, if we didn't, others would. Bogus argument, folks. American, the dream? Remember?

---

Again, why not make Chase the example of how banking ought to be done? These new instruments need to be under control and less opaque. Chase ought to help define the proper use (implying that there is an improper -- which is the current mode).

Jamie's little explanation hints at the casino aspect. Yes, hedges (on whose behalf?) gone awry. Where, pray tell, is the science of finance? Engineering? Looks more to be ad-hoc, playground activity albeit with the livelihoods, and savings, of those who most need a solid utility function (banking as infrastructure - not a source for exorbitant incomes leading to mansions, et al.).

Remarks:


12/13/2012 -- Don't know how long this page will be there, Daily Ticker. But, when I looked, 69% had said 'no' (hurt rather than helped) as to whether Ben has helped.


11/15/2012 -- SumZero, and more.

05/22/2012 -- We can let Jamie off the hook a little and for awhile.

05/14/2012 -- From several reports, it seems that Jamie is a talker, as in pulls the wool over "populist's" eyes. Too, he probably back-slaps, as well. That is one characteristic trait needed for those who would be 'kings' as we see with the CEOs. And, there was justification for the idiocy. Ah, they wanted to get returns greater than the cost of capital. Idiots. Ben is giving them almost free money. So, that's no excuse. As well, any take larger than a reasonable amount (already discussed and to be discussed further) is onerous to the 'populace' over whose eyes the wool has been pulled. 'near zero' is what it has been called here.

05/11/2012 -- Supposedly, the futures show some impact from the revelation. Yet, the big bucks (hedge funds, et al -- yes, Mitt needs to awaken to the issues) want opaque (they seem to love lemons - except for when these come back to bite, like this) dealings, and  more. Cover for shenanigans if truth were known (yes, fictitious - thank you, Karl -- too, Warren steps warily around these stupidities).

Modified: 01/02/2016

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Response I: Ah, Ben!

Moral: Wherein we start a response series to Ben's (Ben, Ben, ..., yes, opinion from over a year ago - prescience?) re-look at the crisis (Lecture 1Lecture 2Lecture 3, Lecture 4) that he cast'd in the light of his own image and likeness.

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Thanks to George Washington University for hosting the talks. The four talks were very instructive in that they allowed Ben to lay out his thinking for us to see.

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So, it's time to begin a response sequence. The thing is that Ben has no idea from whence comes my criticism as I'm too far removed from his world. Perhaps, though, my efforts can help explain the issues in a manner that is amenable to most and in a way that is too much overlooked as the larger-than-life pursue what is more illusion than many would allow.

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So, Ben, your little joke (Lecture 4) about the printing press not being used (there are moments, Ben, captured on video of you, yourself, joking about your virtual press) as if to argue that those who dislike his largess are off the wall (it wasn't amusing, Ben). You see, people, Ben does not have real money anyway. Look at your buck. It's merely a promise for the Fed, and Ben, to pay something. Of what value is that little piece of paper? Well, considering that Ben opened the flood gates for a credit deluge, it's worth a whole lot less than a few years ago.

Too, Ben waved his hands about 'unwinding' (response to a question, Lecture 4). Oh yes, he knows that he can force those with the money to comply. At what cost to the rest of us, though, is the question.

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Ben, too, tells us that he'll continue the 'put' made famous by King Alan. He says that we can't overlay all of this creative finance with anything rational (beyond bastardized game theory). No, there is no chance to try to be scientific (of course, we all know how 'dismal' is economics) he seems to suggest. Ben, you need to reconsider that matter. Of course, in doing so, would you go beyond the little world of the Fed and its funny money?

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There is a lot to cover, but, for starters, let's just go back to three and one-half years ago. It was before the elections. Bailouts had started. Things were strange. Yet, the writing was clear on the wall. All three of these were written during September of 2008.

  • Fraud and truth -- based upon an external view, as in, other than finance. As well, a view from the trenches, with an engineering focus. So, there was none of the mucky-muck influence. In essence, there is reason to 'hedge' (we all do it, in one form or other). Speculation, on the other hand, is grossly inequitable and is not necessary (except for the fat cats who need to continue to line their pockets, mainly so that they can farm out handling their necessities -- as in, those who sh** on the world, and its inhabitants).
  • Doers and speculators -- there is more than one way to partition this thing. The point? Somehow, the modern way with  money (whatever it is) has allowed very unhealthy, and very unsustainable, ways to develop. Actually, they have gone way too far (and for way too long), most likely due to people not knowing what was happening. Some of the rhetoric of the 'occupy' set, though, seems to suggest that there is a type of cognizance. Yet, we deal with the 'lords' (all types) and their power in these matters. The 2012 elections, with open-ended influence by the richer, are going to be telling to observe (to wit, these posts were written prior to the last election). 
  • The times -- yes, a brief list that is not so hard to understand. Nor, are these items without some means for their accomplishment. The real barriers come from those who are already entrenched in their goodies (and ways to sustain them) and their machinations to prevent what is required to come forth. 
The other day, Ben just winked, somewhat, at the idiocies that he sees. I would like to be a fly on the wall to hear his real thoughts. Ben, admit it. Alan loved the glory of the realm's guidance. I sense that you see a bunch of nitwits acting in a manner that is unconscionable. You know, you'll need to bail them out again (student loans -- sheesh, what a mess!).

Why don't you sponsor some town meetings related to why the Fed needs to change? It was nice that you talked to students. What about you talking to people who are not within those professional ranks that are responsible for the failing? Well, not talking. Discussing (quasi-academically, as we're not talking prof to prof, either -- autodidacts know as much as you guys do).

Remarks:

04/01/2013 -- Ben as the new Central Planner.

02/26/2013 -- What? Ben doesn't have any influence with his put?

05/11/2012 -- Then, we have Jamie.

05/05/2012 -- Related theme to explore.

04/27/2012 -- Obviously, Ben is on a roll. In his latest statement, he said that he'll continue his ways until late in 2014. That, folks, is another couple of years of savers being sacked. Again, who are savers? Mainly, those who have lived within their means, have means, use their means wisely, look to have something for a rainy day, and all of those other good things. In short, those whose efforts are needed for an economy much more than the services (ah, from him?) from the likes of Jamie. Now, how do we wake up in this new world to the fact that an age-old ideal has been trashed? Ben, give me time, and I'll explain this issue to you.

04/10/2012 -- The thing that Ben is after is the 'multiplier effect' taken to an unreasonable extreme. Let's say that fiat money allows a 'buck' to be re-used multiple times in order to provide a base for an economy. This type of thing is especially easy when the underlying framework is computationally-founded aeration. The 'shadow' (depending upon the focus) amounts to trillions (yes) of bucks founded upon a speculation-motivated game (with little accounting to map to anything of substance - you see, it's the playing that is the thing). So, we have trillions of book-based 'value' under which is mere billions of something that could be considered real.

The real sign of insanity is that Ben has to argue for those responsible to pull back from the precipice to which they push all who are more reasonable. Somehow, these supposed adults have atrophied cognition (yet, those who 'win' lounge in 'wealth' that is beyond estimation - yes, we really have no way now to assess, in these matters, what is real from not).

Yet, Ben helped the game by inflating his balance sheet with fictional credit. Ben, ever heard of the thing called hypo-critical?

04/06/2012 -- Yes, keep that debt window open. Here is a post, from Phil G' blog, that has a link to a comical video related to our current situation. Trouble is that the window was closed for the common folk, after they were heavily laden with several lifetimes of debt. In some cases, people walked away from their debt (allowed, it seems, for some types of housing finance). But, the window was cast'd open, on a broader scale, for finance types (see Ben's Lecture 4). Earlier, there were remarks about largess.

04/05/2012 --  Jamie got $23M. Savers got sacked. Yeah, Ben. His credit expansion has debt as its balance. The goal is to expand debt (and, nationally, we've hit the bell there), yet we've seen what that does to the individual. In short, it's indentured-ness, almost ad infinitum. Talk about 'clever' (as Ben called those of the finance ilk). The ultimate 'perpetual' machine that keeps peoples' noses to the grindstone and monetarily handcuff'd.

On Jamie, we may have him replacing Timmy. Scary, indeed. 

Modified: 04/01/2013