Monday, March 31, 2014

Market is rigged?

Moral: Market is rigged? Oh, confession time? It's been a problem from the beginning.

Money looks at the matter, talking to Michael Lewis. He was in insider, it is said.

Well, I am an outsider and ask why we need this insanity (I know, people like Cramer make a mint of money playing the system). Not only is it rigged, it is a chimera. Meaning what? Only a fraction will get the promises. The whole design is to milk the little guy.

60 Minutes talked to Michael and another guy who brags on beating the high-frequency people at
their own game. Big deal. Well, I should say, big money.

But, the issue of the Bens and the Janets feeding this crap shoot remains to be discussed rationally. Too, the whole framework is suspect from the get-go, except for those who are benefiting from playing the game.

The 60 Minutes guy mentions front running. Well, there was an agreement that we now have something like that. Yes, change the name and  computerize the thing, then, it's okay? Remember Made-off (Bernie)'s little gimmick?

House of cards. Does it need to be that way? No.

Remarks:  Modified: 03/15/2015

03/31/2014 -- Huff Post and Money weigh in. My comments on the Money article.

-- Most will not get their's. That is the whole scam which has been played time and again (and the poor souls coming in now will take a bath soon). The thing is to keep the people happy during their work years so that they keep ponying up. Then, when it comes time to draw out, what they get is not what was expected for the most. Why is this not understood?

The analog is what we're seeing with the un-kept pension promises.

Oh yes, some get and get big. That is the dog and pony part (ignoring that the elephants who run the system rake it in all along the pike) of this thing. Put forth enough examples to keep people's interest up. Oh yes, my 401K is up; I'll be a rich man someday the little guy thinks (ah yes, let's see what you really get).

Some get big. Most get less (much less). Many get naught. The worry of the boomers all trying to draw out, at the same time, are very much real even if the thing wasn't rigged, and the leeches were not sucking out feed, and those who run the system weren't pulling off the cream.

How can so many smart people buy into this crap? Ah yes, get it while the getting is good. Why did Ben (and now Janet) put so much effort in keeping this beast alive?
-- The middle class always gets screwed. The early sellers take the pie; the rest eat the crumbs. Time and again.

Somehow, this whole house of cards has been given credence by appealing to Adam Smith and others. Now, with the computer, it is even more of a problem.

All the while, we have a whole set of underpaid people putting themselves and their lives on the line for this type of chimera, thinking that down the pike, they, too, can get their just share (and then find cuts due to budget concerns and such).

Was anything learned from the last go-around?

03/31/2014 -- So, Yellen is supposed to keep slapping the savers silly while the monsters play in the so-called market, essentially screwing the public royally. 

04/01/2014 -- Yellen's defense of the Fed is hot-air, but then the markets are inflated from such. Yellen says that many see a recession still in place. Yes, only the market manipulators are rolling in the dough. Yellen goes and talks to the small folks. But, has she ever met a saver? Perhaps, she would rather have people spend even if it's from debt (an ever-growing onus than entraps people and their families). Ah, Yellen is worse than Bernanke? She must know that the training wheels have to come off for the markets to grow up and to become less addictive to Fed largess.

04/02/2014 --

03/15/2015 -- Finally, getting around to the pending business

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wake up, people, it's your right

Moral: While Janet is dancing in front of Congress and the world today (will she ever wake up to the plight of the savers?), let's look at something that really needs attention. Also, Janet, please. You and Ben have stoked the Cheshire multiple to the maximum (building, while doing so, a massive teat for the addicts who cannot grow up to a real economic status ... need we go on?).


So, what needs attention? The entrapment of we the people by the supposed smart. In particular, we'll focus on those with the computational wherewithal to effect such as there are whole sorts of variety of these enmeshing situations.

The Magna Charta will be celebrated next year, 800 years after the fact. The world and its people needs such for web/cloud (or however it can characterized) in order to keep the Lords (with huge pockets) in check.

But, people will have to wake up their minds and see that under the kimono (skirt, okay) of these technical giants is not much but crap of an exceedingly smelly nature. Why? Because they could do so (as in, have the users clean their diapers) without any oversight or concerted reaction by the users (many of who are running after silly apps as if those were the essential order of the world).


Now, the WSJ even had some code on its front page (of the later sections - here's an example). Can you believe it? I remember when the bosses kept themselves remote from anything having to do with computers. If they did have a terminal, it was hidden in their desk.

Then, people, Blackberry happened. The result? Those idiots, some world class, could not get themselves away from the idiot thing as if business required that (their addiction - talk to the families of these jerks - who have now morphed several which ways).

Later, the "pads" came to fore of varying size. That pushed the ensnaring web's influence out even further. In fact, some seem to have a worldview based upon these as the primary interface with reality. Or, to put it another way, truth is bound thusly.


So, big issues? Yes, one thing is that this is easier than people realize. We can talk an adage: know one, know them all. You see, one important step is to start to think in these terms which can be difficult, for many reasons.

First, there is the fact of abstraction. But, hey, if you could do high school algebra, then you can code. What if you are less oriented toward that? Well, part of enhancing the computational experience for us all would be creative use of technology. We have seen how content is of importance, albeit with a stable basis provided by the technological platforms underneath. It is this latter that has willy-nilly emerged with no seeming interest by users in any type of consistent experience. Ah, the changes that we have seen.

Second, things are cloaked, either by proprietary issues or by subterfuge. Not only do we need to see what is behind the kimonos, we need to lift things to the light of day. But, that concern of mine needs a little more elucidation. We'll get there under the guise of truth engineering.

Third. Ah, that's enough, for now.


Earlier, I ran across Codecademy, again. The first encounter was of the type of, hey that's nice. The second one was more involved and reminded me of the power felt back in the 80s, when complicated computing was advancing at an accelerated rate. What happened after that was the emergence of the cloud as perturbed by greedy folks bent upon big pockets and fame.

Nowhere have I seen any type of user focus (correct me if I'm wrong). Mind you, I'm not talking Congressional oversight, as those who ascend do not understand these things. On the other hand, do I know how these things out to play out? Not really. I'm only raising issues, laying down, so to speak, makers in abstract'd spaces that are supposed to point out areas of concern and potential focus points.

One thing would be to have a populace that knows code. Too, kudos cannot be exclaimed enough for the freebie folks. You know who they are, the Open Source, etc. Not so much for the advertisers who are entrappers by nature, though they do have some use (yes, my profile does not subsume by being, not even by a fraction - rather, it's an irritant - ah, hence the pearl?).

The image is my profile at Codecademy. I've done 25 straight days (which they call a "streak" - well, I have done literally 40 years) of coding of various types. Too, I have looked at a lot of lessons, found problems, learned to like the interface, and more. As well, I had one day of 136 points. It was interest that kept me going as I had spent several years consciously ignoring code (after decades and after accepting the notion that code is the basis of reality -- not so, folks, we have to talk being and to look at what we are). Essentially, I cannot praise Codecademy enough for their presentation (and interpreter).

One thing that this might show is that an old guy (72nd year with more in computing software than not - I did dabble in the electrical engineering department - but, code is more forgiving - after all sorts of developments that allowed conjectures - compile/test - okay? -- in my early years, you had to desk check - play computer, due to limits - resources, compiler technology, etc.) can do this stuff. We need to get the kids involved. But, at the same time, let's talk quality, control, and some things that seem to be without the scope (Zuck's stuff and more). That is a short list; one thing is that I was able to get several projects to SEI/CMMI Level 5 status, even those dealing with advanced subjects.

But, as the agile guys say (hey, I was there in the 80s, guys, so let me speak up about things, if you would), oppression diminished creativity. True. But, willy-nilly (oh, did I use that earlier?) makes for an untamed jungle (open for hacker, and other, types of malfeasance'd thinking).

Another thing is that I want to be technical. Note, please, I've used 50+ languages, in all sorts of environments that were critical, of certain types. So what? All along, I brought along older types. In fact, one older engineer did a conversion of a (nontrivial) system to a new language after only a few days of my tutoring.

All of the arguments of bringing in people since Americans cannot do the work is pure bunk (all of you technology companies are to blame - hell, I wrote up those justifications myself - mea culpa, mea culpa).

Too, we need the younger set to get into these things. For one, it'll straighten up their thinking. In this sense: the computer is purely logical, numeric and does not kowtow, play favorites, -- meaning, it's tediously corrective - like an idiot savant). But, older people need to as well.

Adage: From my decades of experience, I have seen the older crowd let the younger folk work the detail either through laziness, pride (ah, such arses, let us twiddle their brain with mathematics and see their real abilities), status (as if, the highers don't care - yes, arses, again - oh, DC and all of its ills is a prime example), or whatever reason (say, greed, as with the quants - yes guys - you and your algorithmic Smithíans - sheesh, Adam is rolling and rolling in his grave). Yes, it was a major capitulation with far reaching consequences.

So what? Well, these things deal with our future and the essential sustaining of an economy.

The WSJ articles itemize some of the ways that people can make money with code. That's nice. There are ways that we can have all sorts of remunerations from such work.


Off shoring of knowledge? Crap back? What do you expect? The out-housed topic will be brought back to fore (opinion, yes, but not unfounded).

Remarks:  Modified: 09/06/2015

03/19/2014 -- As an aside, up until about four years ago, I always had development environments available which were problematic, for several reasons, but here's two of them. And, this applies whether they were bought or free. Either they were not interpretative and were not the easy mode that we had with the Lisp Machine. Or, even if they were, they were heavy (Visual Basic and python come to mind) and took effort to keep up (gosh, early Java was a nightmare, at times). Now, here comes Codecademy with their little interpretative thing. Okay, given, it is oriented toward courses, but it allows us to see the possibility. How many of these types of environments are there (not meaning language specific, rather the access to code handling)?

04/24/2014 -- Revisiting, again.

05/13/2104 - Using a website context to research and discuss issues related to this theme.

06/23/2014 -- Example of true cost being ignored: Phone app in eight hours.

09/06/2015 -- Quora and knowledge? In this case, someone was comparing now to the times of Northumberland before the Vikings came in and ruined the situation for all but themselves. Well, actually, for all. The culture finally settle down. ... Another modern way.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cheshire multiple

Moral: Wherein we re-look at a very old issue: only a few get it (many senses, but the dough, as in payout of note) - the most? losers (almost by definition).

A long while ago, I read Marilyn's and Investopedia's explanation of what happens when markets fall like they do (and will). Where did all of that money go? It just vanished, the presses reported. That question was back in 2009, when Ben was still feeling his way through the mess.

I railed then, and have since, about the "stupid" gaming (see chimera). Why is it stupid? Well, about now, when things have inflated (you see, Janet, look at how the financial assets have inflation - sheesh, also we have some costs of our living rising - her little chart is way off base), moms and pops are buying into the game. They are guaranteed losers (the late buyers). Then, we hear that people are borrowing to buy stock.

So, we have to revisit this again. An alternative? Yes, more stable approaches do exist.

One motivation for the revisit is looking at Dalio's take. He shows financial assets in his little model as something that money (and credit) can buy. And, he shows how financial assets can diminish in value. Also, leveraging came up in the video. But. the whole issue of why we have done it this way is ignored. You see, the game, as is, seems to provide a perpetual machine (which we know does not exist) that "feeds the multitude" but actually pays into the pockets of a few (most of them the game owners and controllers). Too, we have led other societies and countries into the same silliness.


Now, the title of the post comes from Marilyn's remark. What I have done is put the two responses side by side (Marilyn at Parade, Investopedia staff). Let's look at them and comment below.

You see, Marilyn says that the money disappears. Too, she says that only "a small percentage" can sell to get what they expect (my words, but not arguable except for angel counting). Yet, we have people putting their life's savings, and their retirement plans, upon such a stupid (there I go, again, and I would ask Marilyn, do you think this is how it ought to be?) system. Investopedia says "disappeared into thin air" without an adequate explanation. Yes, financial community, explain yourself, please?

Those who are takers always gloat (ala the 99% and such {explanation 02/18/15 - 99%? yes, as in, those of the 1% who are sitting over the rest - as in, over the 99% in the graphed density function}). Those not taking (but, being took) are multitude, who are mostly enslaved to care for, etc. the gloaters (those who are slowly enmeshing/entrapping reality and us, insidiously - we, the users, need our modernization of the Magna Charta - we'll get back to that).

Anyone care about sustainability into the future? Anyone care that we have indebted future generations?


All I can see is that these financial schemes expect an endless line of suckers. The past year or so has given us, once again, bubbles upon bubbles. Some, like the mortgage expert - what's his name? - who said the word but didn't go further. Janet seems to not notice, given her lessons from Alan and Ben.

Remarks:  Modified: 06/01/2015

03/07/2014 -- Not arguing that equity ownership is not necessary. Rather, it is the financial market's current state of evolution (madness, really) that is suspect; especially, the use of algorithms to game the system has no basis beyond merely mercenary motivations (resulting in useless churn accompanied by endless pilfering). ... One thing to notice is that these financial dealings have little to do with the operation of a business. And, as we will show, the modern configuration of these is very much like a casino (general adoption of gaming as the basis for ontology -- sheesh, I agree with my friend, Albert, on this - we'll get to that , too). ... We intend to get back to cosmology. And, the Wilshire 5000 looks like a better Index to use for our purposes. So, we will use it.   

10/16/2014 -- After a very lllooooonnnggggg upswing, we have seen six days of downward-ness. And, the falls are quick. Cheshire multiple goes both ways. But, we see, now, the coo-cooing of the Fed. Too, golden sacks is being a front man for the panhandlers that are the financial types. My query is who is priming the pump on these bottoms which funds the upswing. You see, that pulls in the hapless who feel as if they have lost out and want in. In reality: lambs being led to the slaughter. And, by the way, there is a better way to handle the whole affair. Let the ca-pital-sino folks play in a sandbox.

10/30/2014 -- Where are we? For one, let's talk how most are losers, okay (due to idiotically applied multiples)? This can be ignored when their reality is pushed outside of common awareness. So, we have the top tier (0.001 or less) gaining under the present scheme (even with it being stopped, QE, that is, the latest of it). The other? Dire straits, indeed. Yet. the talking heads chase the DOW daily, as if it has meaning (ah, why this?).

02/16/2015 -- We are elevating the discussion: see Wikipedia's Efficient-market hypothesis.(see the Talk page section on Cheshire multiple). The framework will use Minsky's thought. However, the importance goes broader and deeper. We will have to start from the beginning. The computer's value will (ought to) be a proper financial analysis (an analog of the old back office work, daily) that every day tells us the real value (to be defined).

02/18/2015 -- Same as illusion of liquidity (see Mohamed El-Erian's recent comment). ... With spring break coming up, here is a comment at another blog that used that occasion for a metaphor: June 9, 2014.

06/01/2015 -- A little late: Magical multiplier, Let them eat cake, Beyond your wildest dream.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Moral: Wherein we look at Ben, then and now.

"Then?" Yes, back during the downfall of finance. Those who play were sweating (many took their balls home as they knew the games were crooked and wanted to keep their cookies). Some lost a lot of money. For the most? It has been difficult for those whose lot is not to hold oodles of money; the FED has not made it any easier, since it is oriented toward making sure that the bankers get their take.

Take? Yes, in the sense of those running the game have guaranteed income (some might say, pilfering - note, I said some and did not say I said).

"Now?" We have to wait to see what Yellen will do. In the meantime, let's compare Ben's position. The image is a snap from a July 2009 article. It reports that Ben lost a bit due to the downturn. Notice that his wealth went from $2M to $1M (thereabouts, more on that below).

That was 2009. Now, fast forward to 2014. A search now will show that Ben is worth $2M+, again. But, he's also in the position to rake it in. There's a book coming. He made $0.25M, at  one talk, it is reported. So, expect his new wealth to go up dramatically.

That has been the normal state of affairs. After all, does he not need his rewards for being in a crummy government office (actually, wood trimmed) for so many years and for being driven around by the likes of government workers? And, is there not an open door into which the moneyed sashay into government work (many of them with the expectation of the rewards ex post facto?)?

Except, Ben started to slap the savers silly about this time; that torture has not abated. The savers? Who are those? In one sense, they're part of the whole lot that do not find themselves in the situation of getting while the getting is good (not that I'm saying that Ben is thusly positioned). In another sense, they are the ones who want a sustainable economy.

Ben? Some say that he left a toxic situation; he did roll the printing presses day and night, it seems; ah, need we do the litany, again?


Now, we could talk paper wealth and all that. You see, not everyone could sell out of the market and get their money. Granted, many do pull out enormous amounts. Ever notice how small that set is, comparatively?

But, there is real wealth. That it seems to concentrate into the hands of the few is a natural phenomenon. That world views (I could talk this with our guy) have emerged that could make a sustainable economy is well known. Yet, these, for the most part, are not given much attention.

Then, there is the wholesome view of wealth that many know is shortchanged as all seem to clamor after the chimera.

Remarks:  Modified: 03/06/2014

03/06/2014 -- For everyone who is ga-ga about the chimeras' rise (any one of them) on the backs of the taxpayers (Ben's and Janet's huge balance sheet, plus issues of near-zero being ignored), please consider this tale:

Call it, slapping savers more than silly. Ben made $250K with about 40 minutes of work (well, there was travel - he didn't pay - and preparation - he's using his notes from the past decade). That is equivalent to what he caused TWO savers to lose (give or take) with his policy (let's say they have 500K, each, in their savings for retirement purposes) over the past five years (give or take). And, that is a $100K+ loss for each saver which can be (is, in this case) figured with a very conservative interest rate differential (make this delta a little more reasonable, and the losses are indeed tragic). ...

Not get the message? Let's save 20 savers with $50K each. ...

The real tragedy? Ben has, as well, pushed US Savings Bonds (like you would expect the moms and pops to buy -- or, a patriot, got it?) returns down to minuscule amounts that are an insult in many senses and laughable in others.

Thanks, big guy. You did the savers a lot of favors. ...

More of this type of analysis will follow (we can all hope that Janet comes to her senses).