Archive for September, 2007

Tweet Knackered Hackette swoons with nostalgia Now seems a good time, after Knackered Downunder’s disappointing airplane movie experience, to mention a recent book launch at our local bookshop, Topping Books. The new book in question was Fred and Ginger: The Astaire-Rogers Partnership 1934-1938by Hannah Hyam, published by Pen Press at £15. Grey hairs in the […]

Tweet Knackered Downunder loses the will to watch The boredom of long-haul flying is doing wonders highlighting the unimaginativeness and mediocrity of much of modern-day Hollywood, as well as reinforcing the old adage “100 channels and nothing to watch”. On a recent flight from Sydney to Tokyo — almost 10 hours — it occurred to […]

I don’t want to take full credit for coining the term “Magoo Finance”, because others have already attached the name to the person of former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan well before I did (see earlier). But I wonder if it might now serve as a useful shorthand for my colleagues in Big Media to characterise the kind of blind or short-sighted risk-taking that has been a feature of the past several years.

I thought it was noteworthy that the expression Value at Risk yields no useful information when punched into the BBC news archive, The [London] Times, or Daily Telegraph. The Guardian, Independent and New York Times all make mention of it, but in no systematic way, normally simply in relation to bank earnings. (The NYT yields a review of Taleb’s second book Fooled by Randomness, that is less than complementary.)

VaR is used by the banks to determine how much the bank would lose in a given day on its assets under management given a certain fall in the markets. Banks use it to calibrate their risk management. It is a pillar of the modern banking regulatory regime. Continue reading ‘magoo finance III’

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Tweet Dan Goldstein’s Decision Science News blog is publicising a seminar with The Black Swan author Nassim Taleb on Monday 24th September. Spaces are limited. The talk is entitled The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Taleb is working in London with Dan at the London Business School and the seminar is part of a series […]

Tweet A physical resemblance between Mr Magoo and Alan Greenspan has been noted. But does the likeness extend further? In a spirit of counterfactual journalism — inspired by the Niall Ferguson school of history — the Knackered Hack would like to invite readers to comment on what would have happened to the economy and business […]


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