Sunday, September 13, 2009

Economic sandbox

Moral: Wherein we consider a sandbox. In several posts (see below list), 'sandbox' has been used to either characterize gaming that is risky (sandboxy) for more than just the players or to denote a better process, using as an analog the role that labs play for the test engineer. That is, filter out the toxic from the secure instruments.


Think of it this way. A new plane is seriously tested before people fly the thing. Even the test pilots don't just jump in and take off. Where is there some correspondence to this notion in economics?

What we've seen is creative spawning of instruments as if by necessity. Then, in the past year, we've seen 'shooting from the hip' by some cowboys (right and left, there have been processes changed and adopted, seemingly without caution); too, those in the position to rake in the dough are doing just that; the taxpayers, and savers, are being sacked.

One motivation: describe and establish a mechanism to put the game players where their impact is limited. We do not need this supposed 'creativity' of the best-and-brightest that seems to persist in creating dire consequences for the majority.

So, for starters, let's look at the posts that used 'sandbox' and start this necessary discussion. The following are three groups of links to post with some comment about how it relates to the sandbox imperative. The post are listed from latest to earliest in time.
  • Roles for schools (Sep 09) -- As mentioned earlier, labs are an accepted fact in institutes of higher learning.
  • Modern finance (Oct 08) -- Where did the notion arise that people could play games with other people's money using what are essentially untested processes? Does fiduciary duty mean anything?
  • Easy steps (Oct 08) -- Definitely derivatives (other usage) ought to be wrapped with some type of testing constraint. Minsky's notion of speculation leading to ponzi applies here.
  • Swarm proof (Sep 08) -- This type of proof, applying the wisdom of the crowd concept, would be interesting in several contexts.
  • The times (Sep 08) -- We need to accept our quasi-empirical limits as we apply some notion of testing. How do we agree on these is something to discuss.
  • Loops and truth (Feb 08) -- Getting an agreement on limits would help us to try to resolve issues related to the thrill of gaming where consequences go far beyond the player's own health and wealth.
  • Cult of me (Jul 09) -- We may already have some sandboxes that are being misused by the 300 lb bullies.
  • New type of colonialism (Sep 08) -- Sandboxes could help reduce the large influxes to some pockets, albeit that some of these come about from making bets that pay off (note, near zero allows us to know that the pay off was from pockets that diminish correspondingly).
  • Oops as poop (Sep 08) -- Not handling moral hazards leads to an increase in sandboxy ways (where the whole economy is seen as someone's sandbox).
  • Oops and more oops (Sep 08) -- We could show that hedging and speculation are natural control mechanisms to some point beyond which the game then is sandboxy and ought to be handled as such.
  • Miscellany (Jul 08) -- The sandbox notion applies to control of risky behavior, except that there has not appeared to be an easy way to resolve the issues. However, has any tried the sandbox? Oh yes! Engineering!
  • People matters (Mar 08) -- This was the first mention of the sandbox needed to control use of methods that have more potential than their current role of moving monies into a few pockets. After all, how people use their monies can be a type of voting. Allowing such a thing to evolve can be thwarted by the massive flows from the giants (un-level field).
Note: these posts paralleled the unfolding of the madness with several reactions, including from incredulity.

Note: 'sandbox' has found usage in computer security and software development. This usage is apropos to the discussion of an economic sandbox.


01/15/2015 -- This week, this post is getting read. Great! Nice little piece of work (kidding, in part) so many years ago. ... At last, a series that will establish the basis and extensions, as required. We are going to go back to some simple and come forward to the modern, complicated economy. Why? My long chain of ancestors (inherited via Prof. Lucio Arteaga) is one motivation.

12/22/2014 -- Nice to see the WSJ article use "sandboxed" in relation to the absence of "predict or control" within the context of computation (in a sense, we are already out of control). The issues raised in the article are central to truth engineering's core focus.

10/30/2014 -- Where are we?

10/16/2014 -- Need to get back to this, as the days of the downturn loom. No matter how much the Fed feeds the panhandlers, they will succumb to health issues at some point (when?, how long?, actually, for me, it does not matter, as I am an observer, only, who is one of those interested in building a better pie). The tragedy to all of this? Oodles of hapless folk will be drawn down with the players as their ca-pital-sino sinks. ... Does not have to be. There are better ways.

01/20/2013 -- Perhaps, the sandbox ought to be for play, dirty and otherwise. Which means, of course, outside of the mainstreams that handles things for the folks who care about their economic well-being.

09/14/2012 -- Ben just gave them, the runner amok'ers, the store

05/28/2011 -- Lemons problem, dark pools, ... Oh, so much to look at! Avatars, too.

04/03/2011 -- Need to look at some background issues. Sandbox, again.

03/22/2011 -- It's spring, and the garble uses gambling metaphors.

01/27/2011 -- The chimera shines.

05/25/2010 -- Who will (or can) lead out of the morass?

12/24/2009 -- What would Samuelson think of the concept?

11/29/2009 -- Rick is now with the SEC. Who will engineer (verb)?

10/05/2009 -- Ah, yes, on the behalf of.

09/13/2009 -- Need to pause for a bit, to look at Bookstaber's work.

Modified: 01/15/2015

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