Off Topic

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of Fooled by Randomness) was apparently linked to the Amaranth situation:

I did not directly hedge Amaranth?s books or exposure to blowups when I was in Greenwich ?I never worked directly with them though I shared offices with the group. I hedged a fund?s large exposure to Amaranth (or its predecessor) so long as it were exposed to their risks (before Amaranth got involved in commodities).

You can read more here (scroll down). I always find it interesting to see what people hire consultants for — in this case to help hedge a counterparty’s risk when dealing with exposure to Amaranth or Mother Rock.

I found a blog the other day that is worth a comment… StockCoach’s Corner is a guy’s blog where he is detailing his trading activity, including every position he has, and the current portfolio value ($742,000).

I also found a guy with a blog called Irregular Payments, who has a much more humble account size (~$45k), and is more geared towards him dealing with his personal finances than investing…

It’s actually not uncommon for Nijonjin to breakout spontaneously and wordlessly into Rock/Paper/Scissors when reaching for the same cab door or the last piece of ebi-zushi.? Who knew that it went all the way to the top?? Do companies need to disclose this kind of decisionmaking to the shareholders?? Is that really what all those traders on the floor of the CBOT are doing with their hands?

If you’re going to buy something with all your hedge fund profits, why not buy a congressperson?

Top hedge fund managers are pouring money into U.S. political campaigns ahead of November’s congressional elections as the government considers what to do about the lightly policed hedge fund industry.


Google has really gone downhill.? I tried a simple, straightforward search, “failure”, hoping to find some useful information to help me fix that thing I have that failed and what to I get as the top result?? Useless.? What good is Google?? I’m switching search engines for the next four years.? Wait.? Scratch that.? I’m not even going to search anymore.? My searches aren’t going to change the system.? They are all corrupt anyway.? Consider it a protest of silence…er…non-typingness.? That will teach them.? What we really need in this country is a third major search engine to finally put Google and Yahoo! in their place.? Our internet is a complete failure.

From Bloomberg:

Goldman, Wall Street’s most profitable firm, paid employees an average of $521,000 each last year. The firm earned more than either of its biggest rivals, Merrill Lynch & Co. or Morgan Stanley, with half as many employees. Bonuses are typically paid out at the start of the year and vary from about $50,000 for junior analysts to $5 million or more for investment bankers and star traders.

Damn there’s a lot of money sloshing around out there…

I was visiting my commercial mail drop today to collect my mail.? All my mail is sent there and all my accounts show that address as my home address.? Nowhere is my name linked to my home address except in the records of utility companies, something I couldn’t avoid easily (though it is possible).? As I was leaving the maildrop, the proprietor informed me that a Durham County Sheriff had come in looking to serve me with papers.? (more…)

I think we’ve mentioned it before in spoken conversations, but here is a definative source. TaxProf Blog: Gas Taxes Exceed Oil Companies’ Profits.

The government collects more in tax revenues applied to gas and oil than oil companies make in profits.

The next time Congress is pandering and trying to buy your vote, ask them to remove some of their legislated taxes instead.

It makes me wonder again why the CPI exclude taxes

A new (to me at least) popular trend in blogging seems to be the “linkfest”, a blog post that is essentially a long list of one liner links to other blogs that the person found interesting that day or week.? It’s a great way to get exposed to a lot of information really quickly and to learn about new blogs.? Some blogs in particular seem to use this method often, like Abnormal Returns and The Kirk Report.? By doing this, bloggers help create a tight web of references that allow for quick information flow so I hope it becomes common.? But if everyone starts doing it, who will write the articles?

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