Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Roundup, 8/14/2014

Thursday Roundup is back! Saddle up, blog junkies.

Me on BV

1. Silicon Valley is solving the big problems (warning: sappiness)

2. The trend is your friend til the bend at the end (or, why "put option illusion" fools investors)

3. Barack Obama is no foreign policy wimp

4. Why I don't mind if someone calls me "stupid"

5. How hedge funds can "sharpen their Sharpe ratios" at investors' expense (featuring cool papers by Goetzmann et al. and Agarwal & Naik)

From Around the Econ Blogosphere

1. Alex Tabarrok continues to sound the alarm on FDA over-regulation of biomed technology. See also here.

2. Mark Thoma: The perennial disagreement among macroeconomists is due to a toxic mix of bad data and politics. Old news, but useful to repeat.

3. Miles Kimballl on how to turn your kid into a math person. No cyborg enhancements involved.

4. Mencius Moldbug has quit blogging. Street protests explode in cites across the globe. Antidepressant use spikes. Just kidding.

5. Roger Farmer thinks Mike Woodford is wrong about the irrelevance of QE. Good to see people realizing that Mike Woodford is the world's most important macroeconomist.

6. Data scientists are out there earning more than econ profs. Actually, data scientists have similar skill sets to empirical econ researchers.

7. Brad DeLong thinks about the philosophical problems of Bayesianism. This is something I've wondered about for a while, and I'm still not satisfied.

8. Bryan Caplan wonders if economics is based on common sense or not. This is something I've often wondered about. Most sciences prize "counterintuitive" findings. Does econ? Should econ? Should the other sciences, for that matter?

9. Robert VerBruggen thinks helping poor women delay childbearing could be a way to fight poverty.

10. John Cochrane and Anat Admati continue to fight the good fight for increased bank capital requirements. Thought: How about making them dependent on bank size, as a way of discouraging TBTF? (Not a new thought, but still a thought.)


  1. student11:27 AM

    #3 on your BV stuff is excellent. Well said. My only beef is here: "he ones who charge forward firing their guns randomly -- as George W. Bush did".

    I don't think the problem was that he charged forward brashly with guns a blazing, firing at random rather than at a very precisely calculated moment. I think it was a very calculated move to methodically use an event that enraged and united the country to trick people into supporting a resource grab that favored a select few of his "boys". It seems to me that the war in iraq was being planned in some circles for decades (albeit quite poorly in hindsight) with a full on PR campaign that went on for about 2 years. They made a very carefully calculated move to act on it when given a once in a once in a generation opportunity.

    I see it more like something to the effect of:

    "It seems to me that the presidents who have done the most to advance U.S. power and prestige aren't the ones that work to sell the public on an offensive (in contrast to defensive) war to line the pockets of a select few -- but those who use military power to protect the general interests of the masses."

    I am not entirely sure this is even right tho, I mean I think the only wars that fit that description are WWI, WWII, Iraq I, and Afghanistan post 9/11. The french and indian war, the american revolution, the war of 1812, and the civil war were really about the interest of the elite (although the civil war eventually came to benefit the interests of a large chunk of oppressed people, its debatable that was the original intent). Korea and Vietnam were about the elite fearing that their property would be confiscated by the masses if communism wasn't beat down effectively.

    In any event, I completely agree that Obama is far from the wimp the right needs (not wants) to characterize him as.

  2. Anonymous12:04 PM

    you've owed me this for about 2 years now

  3. Anonymous7:27 PM

    Hi Noah,

    I'm a long time blog reader/lurker. I liked your posts on hedge fund returns and option/insurance-like strategies. That said your comments were accurate, but incomplete. The funny twist that you failed to point out is that shorting volatility is actually a highly successful strategy in the long run. Selling at the money 1-month puts on the S&P delivers superior returns to buying the index with equivalent downside risk.

    1. I'll have to look into you have a source? Of course I could go grab the data and check it myself, but I am lazy... ;-)

    2. Anonymous1:11 AM

      Hi Noah, I've sent you an email with the title "Selling Puts"