Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spitting into the wind

Moral: Wherein we consider, as Kevin reminds us (What Scares Google), one doesn't mess around when the odds are against one.


Some have made a career in testing the wind in order rake in money, yet we know that near zero is the reality when we look at the whole picture. So, the glory goes to the risky; yet, most actions of these types hurt others more than themselves.

Which brings us to value investing (same issue of the Atlantic). Buffett made oodles using value investing. Megan tells us of talks with Buffett followers who bemoan that the downturn may lead them to leveraging (the source of fictitious, and casino-fied, capitalism), almost by necessity.

She writes, "Value investors deride the efficient-market hypothesis, but they can't deny that stock-screening tools and analytics have taken away many of the best bargains." This brings up the question, could Buffett do it again if he were starting now?

That the horde has gone toward gaming tells us a lot. Too, though, all around are indications that people try to make the playing-field unlevel in order to get an advantage. Of course, some argue that that will always be the case.

Makes one think that the gaming ought to be isolated to some well-defined sandboxes so that effects are isolated. Then, those with more mature aspirations can build something sustainable.

Ah, how to get this discussion beyond such platitudes? Well, science and engineering, folks. And, it'll be more than what the dismal type has given us so far.

So, look at it this way. Minsky talks about the inevitability of speculation; it's a form of instability. Too, we see, almost always, that analogs of 'cooking the books' have been disguised as 'best business' practices.

As asked before, how does high-frequency trading help the commonweal? Actually, it could be an instrument of stability, with the proper measure; guess what, it would be near zero , to boot, if done right (yes, even if golden sacks doesn't see this).

So, to not play the games and to look for value, is that spitting into the wind?

A corollary: working in fields with real effects, meaning other than finance and its ilk, goes with, and not against, the grain (or, continuing with the theme, with the wind).


05/17/2011 -- Golden sacks (leftmost mug of the rogue table), by Rolling Stone and Daily Ticker.

03/16/2011 -- On the rise of the professional politician (will there ever be the citizen polico? that is, those who do not salivate when a buck is passed beneath the nose) toward robber barony. The M & Ms are apropos. As well, need to bring in Schervish's viewpoint.

01/06/2010 -- Poor Ben, getting grief and criticism.

01/03/2010 -- More news on Goldman Sachs as the uber example of 'not on the behalf' comes to fore regularly. It'll need to be a separate subject at some point. Thanks to McClatchy: Nov 1, 2009 & Jan 3, 2010 (update). Goldman has to respond, of course.

09/09/2009 -- To look at some issues addressed here, we'll need to consider Alan's reign.

09/02/2009 -- Several discussions have continued on issues for which this blog has an interest. And, computation is central to some of the problems and has changed the game. So, being rich now is not necessarily a permanent state. Nor is success ever guaranteed, except in fairy dusting and happy talk worlds.

Modified: 05/17/2011

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