Alex Castaldo writes: 

Heres the skinny. from math puzzles volume 1, by  presh talwalkar. doc here. from nature walk. originally to stretch aubrey's mind . odds of a comebak victory

Consider 2 teams a and b that are completely evenly matched. given that a team is behind in score at half time, what is the prob that a team will overcome the deficit and win the game. assume the first halve and the second half are taken to be independent events. Presh solves it as follows logically:

Since the two teams are evenly matched, it is equally likely that the team will score enuf points to overcome the deficit or that it will not score enuf points. fo example the event of falling behind 6 pts in a half game happens with the same prob as gaining 6 pts in a half game. He concludes prob is 0.25

Now we posted the empirical resutls from basektaball games and many others have given the empiriclal results for football games … and i gave some results for the markets.. this seems to be of interest to everyone , had the most views of any posts, and it was good for 7 or 8 points today.. lets have your discussion and solution of this problem. presh says the answer is 0.25 both empirically (NFL in 1995) and logically.

Jared Albert writes: 

In a game with two teams where in the first round, the team 1 advantage varies from flat to all the points available in the second round, the probability of  team 0 coming from behind to win are in array with 20 available points in the second round:

[0.49, 0.306, 0.22, 0.129, 0.09, 0.03, 0.018, 0.011, 0.004, 0.002, 0.002, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0]

For example, if the teams are even going into the second round with 20 available points, .490 chance that team0 wins; with a one point advantage to team1 at the start of round2, team0 wins .306 of the time;

2 points to team1, team0 wins .220 of the time etc

Here's the montecarlo:

import numpy as np


out_list = []

out_list = []

count = 1000

win = 1

lose = 0

team0_start = 0

team1_start = 0


def runs():

z = np.sum(np.random.choice([win, lose], size=size, replace=True, p=None))

return z

def outcome(team1_start, count = count, team0_start=team0_start):

 l= []

 for _ in range(count):

 team0_end = runs() + team0_start 

 team1_end = runs() + team1_start 

 came_from_behind = team0_end > team1_end 


    #print(f'l: {l}')

    outcome = sum(i > 0 for i in l)


for i in range(size):


print(f'outlist: {out_list}') 

Victor Niederhoffer writes: 

up your alley i  think. we have done something similar for market with real empirical results. the  unconditional prob is much less than20%

Stephen Stigler writes: 

I am sure you know but I repeat anyway:

1) the simple calculations ignore correlation between teams.

2) they also ignore information on the distribution of changes

3) Calculations using the distribution of changes are not hard.

4) But the information about the probability of extreme events is not well determined so they can be inaccurate

5) In any case  markets unlike sports are not zero sum games.




July 11, 2020 | Leave a Comment

Victor Niederhoffer writes: 

are you doing  and how is millie doing…'2 what is your reaction to all the police violence lately .d o you feel it shoudl be defunded?  3 artie said  that during  his tenure it wa s     aomost mpossible to arrest a b lack personage because  eveyone was loookign at you a skew.

William McCarthy replies: 

Hello Victor,

How are you doing?  Millie and I are hanging in there.  Plenty of doctor visits for the both of us.  But all is well considering.

The only thing different about the police violence today compared to the past is media technology.  Cell phone video cameras and the internet.  These recorded criminal acts by police unfortunately have always occurred by some rogue police officers that were denied. There is no justification for what was witnessed in the Minneapolis incident.  I feel for the 2 rookie officers that were present who were also charged.  There lives were ruined before their law enforcement careers even got started.

It seems that physically resisting arrest has become an expected allowable standard practice on the part of the public.  Resisting even a unlawful arrest is against the law (at least in the New York State Penal Law). The citizen's recourse is to submit to the arrest and make their claim of false arrest in court.  

The police have little influence if they are not supported by the general public.  And without the public's support they are personally discouraged from self-initiating any enforcement activity.  No one can know in advance the outcome of an encounter.  The public has been falsely educated by all of the popular TV shows that depict the law enforcement main character's swift and facile physical actions.  In real life it can get ugly fast even when the actions of the police are lawful. Few ordinary officers are prepared to make it look easy. That requires constant physical training and technique. On television the "good guy" always wins.  That is not the case in real life.  

Can society survive without the acceptance of the rule of law by the public and its enforcement by the police?  There would be little to video if the public did not physically resist arrest!

Victor Niederhoffer writes: 

do yoou agree with me that the strength oof the unons makes it    almost impssiblet ofire ann officer, and no knock lawas and qualified  immunity and  oikuce nilitary equipment, and  juries favoritism to olice   needs reform. very glad to hear of  your consilience, we are abotu the same as y ou and Millie. moved out of ny. no good reason to stay for us without broadway and restaurants, just reread the Gofrather . wata is realistic?.

Victor Niederhoffer adds: 

billl mccarthy  was a friend   and student     of my father    andn chie fo the bomb and couter  intelligence dept, and  made more arrewts than anyone with his patented method. loved to biox. his book is the best crime book ever

Ken Drees writes: 

 The Godfather types will move into cities that let their police forces shutter and then there will be the peace



The learned ignoramus: "Anthony Fauci, the "Learned Ignoramus"

Who else should be put on this list in contrast to useful idiots. The Upside Down Man is on both.



An attractive woman feints and asks Grant who rescued her to lure Grant into a compromising position. Where have we seen that.

Jeff Watson writes: 

Or when Clews described an attempt to get President Grant out of the way so Jay Gould et al could corner the gold market without Grant selling government gold. It didn't work.

Stefan Jovanovich adds: 

Grant's first financial act as President in 1869 was to sign the Public Credit Act of 1869. His first choice for Treasurer had been Alexander Stewart, but Senator Sumner had blocked his nomination and offered his fellow abolitionist, George Boutwell, instead. Grant never wasted time fighting a losing battle so he accepted Boutwell. From the start Grant knew Boutwell would be too much of a financial Puritan. Boutwell accepted the Public Credit Act and shared Grant's understanding that the Congress and the United States Treasury had to return to the Constitutional pledge that the only U.S. money was gold and (for lesser denominations) silver coin. Grant was unshakeable in his determination that the Federal government would never again default on paying its obligations in international money. His own calculation was that the Treasury's deliberate default in the first year of the civil war had increased the total cost, through inflation and increased borrowing, by least a third.

What Grant could not get Boutwell to accept was the simple fact that the country was never going to return to its pre-war balance sheet. The abolitionist dream that the national debt could be largely wiped out if not totally eliminated through confiscation of Southern property was, in Grant's mind, illegal (the Confederate soldiers had been pardoned), immoral (the Constitution did not give Congress the authority to take people's property without compensation) and just plan stupid (it would destroy America's credit and property market for a generation). Boutwell and Sumner should accept the fact that the country now had a debt that would never be paid off. Hamilton's wish had finally been granted. The national debt would be there, in size, forever; and it would be the safe asset that speculators and investors, including foreign holders of dollars, would hold while they waited. In 1869 the interest alone on the Federal debt was TWICE the entire Federal budget in 1861: $130,694,000 vs. $66,547,000. In that period the debt itself has grown from $90,582,000 to $2,545,111,000. The debt could be reduced over time; but it would never again be calculated in millions as opposed to billions.

Black Friday is a big deal in the history books because Garfield and Congress had extensive hearings and the story of "the corner" fit everyone's favorite narrative: politicians were corrupt, the market was manipulated, Grant was a fool, etc. The numbers tell a different story. Jay Gould's bet, at its highest, was $60 million. For the 3 fiscal years since 1866 when the debt peaked at $2,755,764, the average net redemption of debt by the U.S. Treasury was $70 million annually - roughly $6 million a month. Through August 1869 Boutwell had bought in $50 million - the pace of regular redemption. The idea that bribing Grant to withhold $4 million in redemption in September was somehow the key to the corner is laughable. The key to the corner was the belief that Boutwell, Grant's sister's husband and others in the Grant administration could be bought. Boutwell could, in fact, be bought - by his fellow Massachusetts citizen, the King of Shovels, Oakes Ames. (Ames is a fascinating figure who deserves attention.)  Of course, the real story - the one that we will not know - is what were the positions and trades of the serious players on Wall Street during that week. The story Crews and others tell is the one Henry Adams wrote up in 1870; it is still the fundamental narrative that will become "history". That is, to my mind, the biggest laugh of all.



"Understanding Bayes Theory with Ratio"

In the old days we used to learn Bayes theorem in terms of odds ratios. I didn't pay much attention to it till recently until the odds of the invisible man winner reached 56 to 40, and the query is "Is he more likely to beat the incumbent than the incumbent is to beat the cattle trader?" The 40 to 1 in favor of incumbent is abut 25 times as likely as the invisible man is over the incumbent.



May 9th:

Why can't we all stay at home many unemployed receiving more money then when they were at work with the Fed buying the government debt needed to pay universal bailout and unemployment claims. The answer has something to do with you cant consume what you don't produce it is productivity and things that creates material well being. There is no inequality in a dead economy except for the 20 million gov employees who have permanent jobs. We can have universal equality and misery or incentives to create betterment for the individual and goods (perhaps I could have said this better. Would you help me pleases one thing for sure with universal basic income the dems will have a permanent and insurmountable lock on government.

The foregoing is what Mr. Vince is thinking of as to the economy. But he must realize as I have repeatedly said that the economy rise and fall is quite different from the stock markets. And he must be careful to maintain survivability and not to let one trade destroy the legacy that is his.

From @VicNiederhoffer on twitter



 Has anyone read any good books lately that they can recommend. I reiterate my rec for: The Time it Never Rained by Elmer Kelton and I'd add rec for books by Bernard Cornwell. I just read Waterloo with much learning its a good antidote to chapter on Waterloo in Les Miserables.

Pamela Van Giessen writes: 

Empire of Shadows by George Black about the people who explored the Yellowstone area, all of whom had an impact on the space being made a national park. Some were dark people who ended up doing great things; others were "good" people who did some terrible things, and some were just lame. We are a complex creature. Way too much detail but probably more fascinating American history than you ever got in school.

Indian Creek Chronicles
by Pete Fromm about a young man who takes the craziest job in the world on a lark, living for 7 (winter) months in the Idaho backcountry guarding salmon eggs. Great tale of isolation, resiliency, stamina, and ingenuity. 



May 3rd:

The keys to the game are particularly difficult and diffuse this week.

1. The earnings estimates are more disperse than ever.

2. The companies that reported so far the big five are much more buoyant than the remaining 45% of S&P 500 companies to report.

3. If there is one fly in the ointment. To me it is the fall in real estate prices. To an amazing extent almost all major declines in stocks have been associated with declines in real estate prices since the time of Henry George in the 1880's.

4. With a google of pics of Joe Biden being affectionate with others, it is likely that another victim besides Tara Reade will come forth.

5. Hillary is now 7% like to be the Democratic nominee.

6. With all these cross currents I have looked for one market that will be the canary. I find it in the Japanese Yen.

With every major pharmaceutical company racing to find a treatment or vaccine for the virus, it is likely that there will be other breakthroughs reported in the media. The last one caused the biggest overnight rally ever. Strangely the improvement over the placebo was only 3 days.

More generally many drug therapies provide only a few days or few months improvement over no treatment. Considering the damage to life from side effects of digestion and energy and life style disruption, the cost benefit of many of them has to be negative as is the treatment from Gilead. It is amateurish and typical of Dr. Fauci to say the improvement is statistically significant. And that he always will err on the side of excessive caution.

The pictures of him and the Prez always remind us of Czar Alexander and Rasputin and I still claim he plays the same role as Rasputin in his and his families hoped for demise of the Prez's family.

Others in his peer group are the 95% in the CDC and the swamp that contributed to the Democrats last election. As I asked about the cattle trader what happened to the other $500/ THE OTHER 5%? The news about Peter Strk trying to get Flynn to lie is a terrible example of the battle that the Prez has faced with the samp. What would have happened if during the impeachment trials the Prez had declared a more draconian ban on China? More generally what is the hidden cost of all the productive activities that were lost and not made by the handouts?

I received an urgent method from Mr. Vince. "The worst of the dri is still to come". He looks at volume and pain… I don't agree.

The statistics.

Every gentleman and woman knows that when you kiss someone on the face but not the lips the kiss conveys an invitation for further romance. Presumably that was not unknown to the VP and also that he wasn't always unsuccessful.

A prescient response from a WSJ subscriber: "I suspect that many of the 'reported' Corona Virus deaths in NY Hospitals were really those who died of other major underlying problems, such as obesity, diabetes, heart problems, etc, with CV-19 adding the last straw. A standard autopsy would show this, and the cause of death would not be CV-19. However, in the current panic, the NY Hospitals know they can get $39,000 from Medicare for a CV-19 death, and only $19,000 if the real underlying cause was listed. It's money that is driving the higher CV-19 stats in NYC."

Both Mr. Vince and I were right.

A more traditional version of "I am right and you are right"



 Twenty years ago one fourth of all goods sold by the biggest hardware companies in the US were horse, buggy and wagon companies. But how would you like to have remained these twenty years a heavy stockholder in a buggy whip man.

Many years ago the Canal stocks were much in demand the same way google is today. Canal stocks were among the most conservative of investments suitable for widows and orphans. Most people who owned canal stocks put them away and forget about them. These canal stocks shortly started a descent to zero.

Two other great books for seeing the importance of adjusting to the new times are The Time It Never Rained and Monte Walsh. The Kelly book was recommended by Mr. Avella.



One notes that the Dax was down 100 points around noon before the announcement of the unpower. It is amazing that the statistical tests are actually done for real in a case like this. It's a false sense of scientism…. but fortunately the flexions in Europe were able to get the news ahead of the 35 point drop.



It's a shame we don't have Mr. E around any more to put things in perspective. He loved to eat at the weaknesses of atheists and people of different romantic preferences and collectives of all stripe and he would have caught every move in the market the last two months while cornering the soybean crop. I remember I took him out to dinner one evening and there was an attractive younger female with us and he admitted that he controlled the entire soybean crop and had just visited all his holdings on a trip to the Midwest (with his girl friend whose fare back I paid) because she didn't want to wait 3 days for a reduced fare). The attractive female didn't even look at me the whole evening as she was totally fascinated with E.



"Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services Partner to Distribute More Than Half a Million Medical Supplies Confiscated from Price Gougers"

Victor Niederhoffer writes: 

The speculator as hero. The siege of Antwerp.

Rudolf Hauser writes: 

For the private sector to inventory supplies, etc. for potential future periods of shortages requires a return for their investment and the risk that such shortages will never happen. Someone or some organization should be able to charge higher prices during such a shortage so that they precautionary investment will be rewarded. That will encourage such future behavior to be warranted. There also is a worthwhile function when someone buys large amounts in areas with adequate supply in order to make then available in areas of shortages.

From a demand standpoint, pricing insures that those who get the most value from a scarce product will be buyers when it comes to most goods and services.

But things are different when after a crisis is clearly at hand, someone purchases large amounts with the intention of cornering a market and selling at inflated prices. Nor is price a fair distribution mechanism when it is a matter of life and death and it would have maximum utility for all and the ability to purchase is limited by the means to pay at one's disposal. The most basic human right is the right to survival in oth non-human animal world and in the human world. Any enforcement against price gouging should be limited to such agents, not those who purchased before a crisis situation was well known. Nor should agents who purchased before a crisis be forced to sell at any point in time. It is in their advantage to sell when the shortage is greater. If they hold off selling, it may be because they see an even greater need in the future, and they might just be right. In that case society would be better off if they hold off selling. When the future is so uncertain, better more judgements than fewer making such decisions. 



Happy to say that Mr. Greedometer Mr. Seymour is still going strong. He surprised me at a spec party when he came up to me and said that I said he shouldn't be on list. I said it couldn't be. then I realized it was him.

Steve Ellison writes: 

I still remember Sam Eisenstadt telling Mr. Seymour at the Spec Party that his work indicated a likely 10-15% increase in the S&P 500 during the following 6 months (this was in April 2014).



I suspect money from the Fed is at the root of this. Follow the money. I've been saying all along that they've been counting all death as coronas. That's why the other deaths in NY are down. The purpose is not only to get Fed money it's to embarrass the prez and increase the deep state. They're now saying he overstated vents needed was because of CDC estimates. It's a horse from the same garage. And has everybody seen the two love letters of Fauci to the cattle trader? How do you expect a 80 year old basketball player to change his stripes and inclination…I say it's the same as relying on the Chinese wall in merger negotiations at the big investment banks. Human nature never changes the incentive to make money or have sex.



 April 9th:

The best advice on the stock market during a "bear market" is contained in a book by Frank Kelly Why You Win or Lose: The Psychology of Speculation written in 1930 by a man who played the market during the 1929 crash and after and profited.

The advice is "the wrong behavior is almost sure to be seemingly logical behavior". Indeed one of the most charming things about the stock market is that one may prospect there by being illogical. The few who contrive to take more out of the market than they put into take more out by by going contrary to what would generally be accepted as logic. They do the opposite of what seemingly intelligent speculators are doing. Kelly gives many examples of this for the 1929 crash. Stocks go down on good news and up on bad news. A stock announces a dividend (earnings beat) and goes down but it rises when the dividend decreases (earnings masses) and goes up. Many other examples are given as to why the public buys stocks when the prices are near the top and sells them when prices are near the bottom.

No better example of the value of the illogical is given by the price behavior this week. For example, today. Friday March 7th, unemployment was at 8.5 million and 8 million more claims came in. What a time to take advantage of the coming carnage than that

At the beginning of the week the surgeon general reported that this would be a disastrous week or the hell of a week. Dr. Fauci in an interview give his usual prolonging the likely course of the recovery and downplaying the host of a cure within 4 months (why don't they confine him to jogging around a forlorn and distant track while others try to salvage any hopes of recovery). The drum beater of bad news continued during the week with headlines about retailers coming failure to meet debt payments and even online marketers were hurting because although views were up, advertising revenues were way down. Hardly a nook was spared. Typical was the highlight that airline leasing companies were in jeopardy to say nothing of the layoffs in Boeing and all travel companies.

No wonder the market has its best week in 48 years and that it is now 30% above its previous low. A content analysis of the negativity of news or headlines in the media this week would show this was the most negative on record. The WSJ was almost as negative as the NYT if that possible.

Is there any solution for succumbing to this all to human proclivity? Yes. A study of numbers will help. One example, it was 40 or so days without the stock market hitting a 20 day high. Such extended durations without a drink (or romance) are rare.

They have an expectation and Sharpe quite in line with what transpired. I could give many other examples. For example the big Friday decline that preceded the biggest rally ever. You have to be illogical and you can't assume that what happened in vivid memory continues.

Typical of all the bad news on the virus front was the number of new deaths and new reported incidents in NY reaching a maximum. (When will the common man understand that the more they test the greater than number of new virus will be found.

And the news that the after effect of ventilator cures are likely to be worse than shuffling off itself. As a benchmark the number tested is less than 10% of the population in almost all areas. The constant increase in the areas under lockdown and the extension everywhere. How illogical can you be?

T SUBSCRIBER 1 minute ago: "What we are doing is working," Dr. Fauci told reporters Thursday." Um, excuse me Dr. Fauci, you and your sidekick are strangling the economy of the US based on your euphoria over of this "pandemic". Mr. President, do what we elected you to do.

For all those against reopening the country until things are perfectly safe please educate yourself: (cont)

One more thing. Companies like Fedex and businesses like the professional sports have say 600,000 workers and the death rate is less than 10 deaths. How have they done it. They take care and use their common sense to distance.

Take manufacturing jobs 19 million or so. They are all used to tight work rules and restrictions on distancing. They would use choice and common sense to resume their jobs and pursuit of happiness. How did Mencken, Nock and Rand predict that we would give up all our liberties with a whimper.

What's amazing is that Kelly was able to profit by swing when commissions were so high unlike Livermore he was not born to commit himself in the Netherlands (never go near 62nd street). His swinging at least was with a several month holding period usually without margin.

Kelly didn't use margin and his average swing was 3 months hold so he didn't vig himself to death.

Follow @VicNiederhoffer on Twitter for more



 On a visit to Duke and Monticello we stopped off at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. The visit led to biographical data concerning a great business man of the gilded age, Lewis Ginter. He started out from Dutch ancestry in Brooklyn and moved to Richmond in 1846 when he was 22 years old. He established himself as a toy retailer with a gift for mechanical toys. He built his toy company into the most successful retailer in Richmond by 1846. His wide travels with market mechanism enabled him to predict the terrible recession of 1857. Seeing the potential devastations from the Civil War he put some of his earnings into cotton.

His business character was attention to detail and meticulous orderliness. This served him well as quartermaster where he became an admirable contributor to Southern efforts. In one particularly telling incident he had an interview with Lee in which he stated that solution to the starving Southerners was to commandeer all the railroad lien and supply depots that were doing frivolous things. Lee agreed with him that would be of great benefit but it would violate the laws of liberty and he wouldn't do it. He lost everything in 1864 when Richmond was burned by war.

After losing his fortune for the first time in 1864 he moved to New York. He became a flexion funneling money to the South from northern speculators who had capital to rebuild southern manufacturing especially iron manufacture. He lost everything a second time on Black Friday and was deeply in debt. He returned to Richmond and formed a partnership with Allen who had a tobacco factory. His marketing savvy turned the firm into cigarette man.

He became the largest cigarette man in the world using advertising at world's fairs as one of his prime outlets. He bought out his partner for 100,000. Subsequently he refused to produce cigarettes by machine and became the 2nd largest cigarette man with Duke. They formed the American Tobacco Company and Ginter had a 20% interest in it for about 15 million in 1890 dollars. Along the way they adopted a much younger worker named John Pope who he had admired as a hard worker in Horatio Alger fashion in New York when John was aged 10. He and John lived and traveled together for most of their lives. Using his Tobacco fortune he became the leading entrepreneur and industrialist in Richmond. He owned interest in banks, iron works, real estate development, potash plants, ship building and other enterprises.

He was a great admirer of Jefferson and followed in Jefferson's footsteps in his habits including an extensive library. He built Jefferson Hotel still standing in 1894. Duke died in 1892 from a respiratory disease and this took away Ginter's spirit and he passed away 2 years later. All in all, the story of Ginter spans the ascendancy of the South in the 1840 to 1860 era, the fall during the civil war, the attempt to come back during the reconstruction era, and the south's resurgence in the late 19th century. His niece who lived to 100 Grace Anent founded the botanical gardens in his memory with money he left in his will.



 March 22:

1. It is amazing to see Dr. Fauci and others in his 95% anti operation, an infiltrator in our midst, (Tom Wiswell's favorite move) decrying tests that are not double blind and will not take 3 months for results. Double blind testing and stifling: "How the CDC's Restrictive Testing Guidelines Hid the Coronavirus Epidemic"

2. I have been asked what predictive value the charts of color depicting earnings and bonds have now. In a period of declining earnings mass hysteria and interest rates near zero, I would say that their value is minimal. However as stocks revolve toward book value when earnings start climbing again they will become very relevant as the return on investment by businesses discounted into the future will provide a bullish foundation for stocks.

3. Mr. ag trader, a chronic bear (how's Soros?), points out that there are going to be a lot of dead people on tv shortly. The last figures I saw on this were 48 deaths in the US declining to 47 on Saturday (I presume this is new deaths).

In any case if deaths are declining forecast for all epidemiological models are they will continue to fall. More important, what is the loss of utility of happiness to the US because of travel, entertainments, meeting, dining restrictions, big layoffs, economy restrictions compared to the hypothetical gains from current.

As the statisticians have pointed out, following a random sample of people would be best to predict outcomes. I would presume the closest we have is the NBA (presumably all have been tested). Two or three weeks have gone by. Presumably 1000 have been tested and none have passed away (or else we would be been bombarded by the sad news). The death rate continues to be much less than the comparable death rate for flu as pointed out by many.

3. Mr. Davidson points out the the Princess is a better random sample than the NBA. The projections that is 1/8% based on 700 not as I mistakenly said 7000. But the confined conditions and inability to attempt to save lives may make NBA a better sample.

4. When a judge lets one side have the best of the motion the chances are the other side is going to win as the Judge is protecting for the appeal. (I remember a case where the judge and defendant had been partners before and the judge said ("let him have it") to a motion. I knew I lost then. Dr. Fauci is a master at this. He pretends to say exculpatory things to the Pres. ("without his banning flights from China the situation would be much worse"). This transparent self serving pretense of being fair should not prevent anyone from the total CDC bias.

5. What's the best random sample? Presumably all the pro sports player and congress and friends of CDC have managed to be tested. Let's say 5000. If any had died we would have heard and more shutdowns would have occurred. The death rate from a random sample must be <1/50 of 1% in the US.

6. "These Drugs Are Helping Our Coronavirus Patients": It wasn't invented or approved at CDC so as predicted. We better wait for double blind at least 3 months to be sure. As Mencken said the art of politics is to create a terrible situation and then come to the rescue. (Usually the secretary of the interior)

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary." Keep them scared and get the secretary of interior involved.

March 23rd:

1. A commenter points out that the number of new deaths from the virus is now decreasing on a daily basis for every state that doesn't border NY. One wonders if the New York totals are biased in some way to receive alms and hurt those of a different persuasion. Other biases CDC.

2. After 6 significant down days the regularities call for a rise. Ultimately the congress divided will come together on a stimulus package as to which one would be better for the market. They both will be kind to their constituents.

3. The many hateful responses I'm getting because I believe that it's very bullish on Tuesday and that the virus is receding in many places reminds one of the Keech doomsday cult. Note the hate when doomsday didn't look so likely.

March 24th: 

 1. Not yours to give: house bill includes 25 million for Kennedy Center.

2. Davey Crockett is stamping post cards in honor of Horatio Bump: "Not Yours to Give"

3. The Kennedy Center and what else: "House Dems' Emergency Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Includes $35M for Kennedy Center"

4. Quote of day: "It doesn't feel like there is massive relief and confidence out there" -David Coombs, Rathbone Management

5. Nothing special to closing.

March 24th: 

 1. What are the to the game today. The Prez has moved up from slightly below the challenger to reasonably ahead in one day. Thus, what everyone suspects empirically and theoretically the agrarians want the market down and the rest prefer more wealth than less.

2. Another key is that after a big up preceded by a big down, it's quite bearish since 1996 and recently only 6 or 7 observations with 1 up.

3. A third key is that thoughtful statisticians are more and more coming to conclusion which I received Hateful Keech type reprimands from: "Is the coronavirus as deadly as they say?"

4. The fourth key is Dr. Fauci and his colleagues. This is much evidence that the CDC scared u pl.. The WSJ had numerous examples of this mainly monopolizing the testing and sending out defective test kits. Naturally the CDC and all agencies wish to exaggerate the severity.

5. A fifth key is the Mencken quote that gov will always try to find hobgoblin of a crisis then come to our rescue by making sure that they get a 35 mill for Kennedy and Obama Care phones in their 1000 page bill which they will compromise. What are chances that the Center remains?

6. A responder asks me, "what about the Morgues outside of NY hospitals?" One would query when talking about the towering imcompetence of the Pres, The Mayor has every incentive to magnify and close the parks. I am reminded when the chief autopsy Dr. was fired for concluding that Governor Rockefeller had died form too much pressure and exertion.

 7. What does The Spy and the Traitor and Tom Wiswell infiltrating early to double corner and Dr. Fauci have in common?

8. You have a disputed call in your game of punch ball… Your own man says you were oooout. But then your own man who is always close to you (see the Pres press conferences) is not so fair to the other side on the next crucial call for a disputed point.

9. People are making fun of me for my invidious allusions to the Italian discover of the cure for HIV. To me he represents a Jungian Archetype of the weltanschauung in the government agencies that are 95% pro agrarian (it's no good if NIH)

March 25th

1. Could we have sell on the news buy on the rumors typical reaction to deal made by both houses?

2. Let's see if my prediction that the 35 million for the Kennedy center is still in bill in the right spirit.

March 26th

1. As predicted they kept the Kennedy center with 25 million in there. Davy Crockett and all who oppose crony capitalism and giving money for an institution in Washington that benefits the politicians and their staff when other institutions are equally worthy not in Washington.

 2. One wonders whether buried in the bill is several million for fancy sauce replenishment in Washington. Bechamel and bernaise sauce. Special allocation for farm to table restaurant near congress and agencies.

3. The good one forbid that all the average 125,000 and over salaries at CDC and other agencies would contribute their own money to Kennedy Center so that it could maintain the elevated aesthetic level of favorite performances. The special 25 million for employees of the House Rep would help.

4. One notes that your own man Dr. Fauci who is completely unbiased infiltrated the Pres conference to point out that we might have a relapse of the virus down the road (lest the shutdown and testing is too short) As Predicted.

5. The Horla: "Trump Throws His Support Behind Stimulus Bill in Senate as Fauci Warns of Other Coronavirus cycles"

 6. I have been asked why I brought up that the chief coroner was fired after the Rockefeller Megan incident. The reason is that the coroner's office is a political one like so many. There is every incentive when working for a socialist mayor anxious to highlight the towering incompetence of the Prez for the coroner to overstate the causes of death. Many people die with the virus but that doesn't mean it was the cause of death. Similarly the CDC having missed the ball on the virus has every reason to emphasize caution and their own importance in making sure that no untested treatments are accepted without a prolonged shut down supervised by the average 125,000 salaries without fear of losing their job at the agency.

7. As the statistician articles I've cited point out the # of people tested increases the of positive for the virus increases. The estimate that the death rate from the virus in the US is perhaps 1/100 as much as the 1% bruited about. There are about 1000 times as many undiagnosed with the virus as reported. Thus if there are 10,000 who are positive, actually there are 100,000 for the coroner to posit an agrarian cause of death.

8. I am asked if we could have a sell on the news decline when the announcment comes out. I don't think so. We've already had it. The prob of a deal is very high so any announcement of a deal will only provide scant information let say 1 bit. With it the dax poised to break through 1000, the extent of all in dax from Jan 1 is just 15% and soon it will be above the correction level of 10% but this will not be reported. Similarly for the S&P. 

9. A pretense of another down 100 close coming up as the S&P falls form 2583 to 25 65 and below in 15 minutes.

10. "Corona Virus Turning Point Will Be Earlier Than Expected, Nobel Laureate Says"

Follow @VicNiederhoffer for more tweets



The closest we have to a random sample is the 7000 on the Diamond Princess and the 1000 from the NBA. All have been tested and the death rate is less than that for the flu. We could predict bases on standard epidemiologial models that the death rate would be less than the flu. Many have compared the actual numbers of deaths in the US to flu and come to this conclusion empirically. More importantly what is the utility loss to human happiness of the shutdowns and restrictions compared to allowing people to fend for themselves.



Interesting to watch the limit offer size of epm at 255550 now at 6800… when it starts reducing?

Stefan Jovanovich writes: 

Based on the current futures, our family office should be have a YTD loss of 1.6% when markets open tomorrow.. On the equities - all small caps - that we bought with our first 5% bet of our capital, we will be down a third. So, of course, the logical thing to do is bet another 5%. These speculations are all public companies that might as well be privately owned. None of them is over $5B in market cap; and several are less than $100M. If they had any size, they might be considered "value" companies; the worst of them has a Z-Score higher than 3.30 and a Quick Ratio of 2. At the open tomorrow the portfolio's yield will probably be over 3% (it is 2.86% right now). None of those financial ratios will stand up to the collapse of the but I the current Mellon episode; but they are an indication that the businesses can survive and have enough cash that, if they are smart enough to cut their dividends by as much as half, they can begin looking around for assets to buy. That is what our private company is doing. On the same day we bought our first 5% batch of public common stocks, we suspended all distributions in our private company. If you work there, you continue to be paid; if you are a "capitalist", your income has gone to zero, just like the interest rates on "safe" Hamiltonian IOUs. We presume that, if our income is going to be nil either way, our capital is better wasted on companies that make and do things (none has anything to do with finance). Next week we will begin making calls to competitors to see who wants to liquidate part of their inventory. We know we will be buying too soon because we have never ever made a profit on any investment with a duration of less than several years; and we always lose money before we make any. But, precisely because we can't do what LW and so many of you all do, we have to apply with the careful monotony of the floor man whose job is to playing the nickel slot machine by the main aisle - the one that is set to pay 3 points above even. (Do they still have those? It has been 22 years since I saw the inside of a casino). In the next month or two we will feed in another batch of coins. By 1931 we should be fully-invested.



1. There is evidence that moves below key round numbers will be quickly reversed and met by sustained buying like the Japanese used to do to support their currency. As if there is a TEAM in waiting. The constructal numbers are not only rounds like 3000 or 2400 but Percentage declines like 4% or 2%.

2. While the Presidents away the Deepers will play like Dr. Messioner and Dr Faucil. This should be tested like all my 10 'guaranteed to happen' on Twitter.



Futures close 30 points below s index close at 24 80… reminiscent of Feb 2018 when sp index declined 150 points.

Alston Mabry writes:

Lots of stocks catching up in after-hours trading…

311.38  -45.55 (-12.76%)
At close: 4:06PM EDT

301.50  -9.88 (-3.17%)
After hours: 7:00PM EDT



 1. One of the fake mumbo ideas that has the market in its grip (a cousin of the idea that the purpose of life is self sacrifice) is the idea that if the Dow drops 20% from a high it's a Bear Market and this presages a dismal future and further drops (the prez's fault et al) but there is no evidence that a 20% drop is bearish. Indeed it is bullish. The subject is complicated by the intra-day and inter day moves. Using intra day moves you start off with a random x% move on the bearish side in favor. But many intra day moves below 10% end up well. The intra day moves end up well above the 20% level and never hit the level again and are not counted thereby making the 20% level (which it seems to be bouncing off) never reaching the stats. Thus the bullish moves aren't considered. It's all part of the attempt to create dis…

I am asked why I speak of 20% drop in the Dow. Note the WSJ page 1 today. Presumably they have been brainwashed into using Dow because it's not near 20% in S&P.

2. I am particularly sensitive to the mumbo ideas that have the world in its grip having two days ago visited Monticello. The tour and focus is on how the great man fathered and exploited Sally Hemmings rather than his authorship of Declaration, etc. The stories about Sally Hemmings were rampant during Jefferson's admin fomented by a political opponent who owed $200 to the admin and needed the money to get married. At Duke med school, the same idea is rampant and they are ashamed of their founder because he was President of American Tobacco.

3. One of the best approaches to the market these days aside from noting that the 50,000 a century drift couldn't occur without random moves like the preceding two weeks being highly bullish, and counting using all intra day moves that were once below 20% and ended up above 20%. 

4. The idea that has the market and tries to make you ashamed of your optimism and heritage ("The World in the Grip of an Idea Revisited") is the procuring cause of the market's 7% drop on Monday the firing of Kenny Atkinson from the Nets and what it says about the idea that has world in its grip and the shame we should feel about the Founders.

5. The spf is trading 2807 down 55 from Tues up 115 close. It is normal for a Wednesday open to be very bearish after a big down Monday and up Tuesday. One would not be surprised to see next Monday close way up from here. Perhaps by Friday's close also.

7. Some kind readers have been kind enough to thank me for sharing my views. I realize I look rather foolish now with my old man river or 50,000 fold a century drift. But then again I have been rolling with that drift from S&P 800 in 2008 as my book with Ms. Kenner (Aubrey's mother) memorizes. I would point out that looking foolish is not predictive of future foolishness and also that the difference between e/p and 10 year yields which is a maximum now has to be ultimately a key determinant of future returns. As Mr. Jia said, "this too will pass" and I will not look so foolish in the reasonable future.

8. Mr. Swaps points out that the differential between e/p and int rates should be expected future e/p - i. There are three objections to that view.

1. Empirically using past e/p with quarterly earnings its not true.

2. The e/p forecasted with 2021 is the normal 7-9 %.

3. The rate of all companies capital budget their investments and use a 15% or 20% cutoff. This is not likely to change. Thus the e/p whether using forecasted earnings or the internal rate of return than companies use is stable and bullish.

9. Several readers have kindly pointed the finger at what they see as my Johnny one note reason for eternal bull being e/p-i. As I pointed out to the triumphal trio and the Yale nobelist useful idiot, it's not the dividend yield that explains the drift. If there is one thing it's the return from holding a risky piece of capitalism. And the return gets higher the more pessimistic and riskier the market. That's an empirical fact. One's always fear is that socialism will triumph. But as Mr. Ellison and I have pointed out many times there's always a fantastic fear in the market. Every year it's something. And yet old man river keep flowing 50,000 fold a century.

Follow @VicNiederhoffer on twitter for more. 



I've been asked if there is one reason for the 50,000 fold a century drift, what is it? I am pleased to acknowledge that I was able to adjust the triumphal trio to forget about the useful idiot Yale view that it's dividends yields that explains the drift. If I had to say one thing its providing capital to firms through purchase of stock that lets you participate in the internal returns of capital that all good firms make i.e. 15-20%. After rake its come to 10-15% a year left for you but gets more in times of pessimism in line with risk return trade-off. What's your views as to a reason for drift or heaven forbid your views of lack of future drift. Imagine where we'd be if cattle trader was at helm.



 1. Since last Wednesday I had the pleasure of visiting at Duke with my med school daughter and Adrian Bejan. I asked Bejan what the most important principle of river flow is and he answered it keeps flowing forward until a dam blocks it. This is good advice for stock market traders.

2. One notes 8 occasions that the S&P futures were down 75 big points or more since 1996 and all were up by Tuesday close an average of 45 points or 3% by Tuesday close. One recalls the October 19th 1987 crash and noted a big decline from Wed close to Thurs opening and then clear sailing to new his.

3. The only thing worrisome now that those who were on margin were forced out is that the presidential odds show Biden almost 45% to win election now with only 55% for Trump.

4. One notes that Dr. Bejan won this prestigious award from France and the Pres and dep chair of Duke attended. It was the first time he had met with them in 38 years of teaching. Perhaps the reason is the idea that has the world in its grip.

5. This was 75 big points or more on Monday.

6. A note from Mr. Jia with the comment "this two will pass": "How Does This Compare to Ebola, SARS?"

6. Excellent article with many highways and byway relating to markets: "He's on Fire! What NBA Jam's Hot Hands Reveals About the Power of Streaks"

7. A note from Jeff Watson concerning the importance of maintaining proper margin: "Frank Crumit: A Tale of the Ticker (1929 Stock Market Song)"

8. Writing in 1935 Nock notes the proverbial pre-election rally. One should test this.



Allen Gillespie comments on this post from Feb 7th:

Having covered the gaming sector and written posthumously on the death of DARPA's Policy Analysis Market - I could not let this post pass without a more detailed consideration, for a few reasons: First, market structure matters in the predictive accuracy of a market. I also think the death of these projects has resulted in a mentality of more data, is better, so we are going to suck it all in regardless of personal liberties even if we cannot accurately analyze it. I personally think a better study of cross correlation analysis would lead to better and more timely insights without the violations to personal privacy we now experience - that is what I proposed to DARPA but they didn't seem interested.. After this latest Corona Virus - our biology will now be collected as well and full tracking will probably be mandatory. Gotta love Big Brother you know. In addition, certain projects have been pushed into private enterprises then the data repurchased data to get around restrictive laws.

1. Spot markets reflect a market's current discounting of future cashflow for stocks, however, a futures market would reflect the spot market at that future point in time. As a result, they both have predicative abilities but they are focused on different periods of time. This is why many do not understand how to use yield curve data, for example, because it reflects varies leads and lags. Spot data, because it is a discounting mechanism, also reflects futures events - anyone have an idea of the best sector in the 2016 election year or the 2008 election year - what about 200? I will give you a hint, what is good for government is bad for business and what is good for West Virginia may not fly in California both identified, and the low in defense spending dates back a few years. This year, China, biology, guns, HSA, student loan, and work and staying at home related names seem to be the themes - just be aware of the weather cycles. Informational warfare is a different game - as there are lots of potential cross-currents and beneficiaries this year - its the Strike You Know - how do you clear a street of protesters? Who says rates should be zero and we should not have sent manufacturing overseas? Who went on strike? What was the policy on Iran's nuclear program and what was the Stuxnet virus? What is the lab safety record in China? Does containing an outbreak lead to more money and nationalization of the healthcare systems? Many competing vested interests here.

2. Political markets are unique given that markets are designed to balance money to the real odds, but in political markets - every man can independently influence the final outcome through actions outside the market. In short, political markets are more likely to be imbalanced by the Palindrome's reflexive function - as a bettor is not only a bettor but potentially a participant with a single vote - different rule set than the markets. Therefore, the number of bets on a side may be more predictive than the money on a side provided each market participate can vote. This was the problem with the PAM and why after 9/11 certain rules were created - if one has inside knowledge - well then certain activities become self-financing. The insurance claims on the World Trade Center are an interesting financial case.

Victor Niederhoffer writes:

What evidence is there that future markets predict actual future events better than spot prices. This will be relevant now that polls give dems almost an even chance while betting markets are highly in favor of Rep. One expects a deluge of articles from newspapers showing that polls in recent years are just as good as betting markets.

Stefan Jovanovich writes:

The betting markets that are serious because they accept sized wagers–those of the bookies in Britain–are options. That is why you can get a quote on a bet that is clearly going to expire out-of-the-money.

If you use linear polling, the spot and futures prices converge nicely the nearer you get to an election.

"Linear polling" is what I call regular sampling over time of an unchanged initial sample–what the LA Times and the private Trump polls did in 2016. The USC Dornsife poll is my current favorite, and they are–not a surprise!–predicting Trump's re-election.

Peter Ringel writes: 

Whatever threatens the old information monopoly will be attacked.



I think it valuable to test the hypothesis that on certain days there are more crosses of the round number 50 as in 3250 in emini futures than is random.

Theo Athanasiadasis writes: 

This needs to be tested on intraday basis. On daily basis there is no statistical evidence. There is a small tendency to have more crossings than expected but in line with randomness. Happy to share the testing process/code. The idea is to compare the historical ES crossings of 50 (based on settlement prices) with random index moves that could have happened (bootstrapped delta estimated from adjusted prices). 

Since emini inception (10k simulations):
Historical Number of Crossings=1260
Expected Num Crossings (average of random bootstraps)=1246
Confidence Interval=[1196,1296]
Pval = .32
Similarly for the last 10years
Historical Number of Crossings=654
Expected Num Crossings (average of random bootstraps)=642
Confidence Interval=[608,677]
Pval = .29

What is perhaps more interesting from daily data is the 100point rounds. There is close to non-random tendency for ES to avoid crossing those levels frequently.

Since emini inception (10k simulations):
Historical Number of Crossings=620
Expected Num Crossings (average of random bootstraps)=649
Confidence Interval( 5,95) =[614,686]
Pval = .92
Similarly for the last 10years
Historical Number of Crossings=314
Expected Num Crossings (average of random bootstraps)=334
Confidence Interval( 5,95)=[308,361]
Pval = .91



An erudite spec corrected my error: it's the arc sine function.

Victor Niederhoffer writes:

But this is a statistical thing and not predictive other than randomness at any time of day for subsequent movements. There are reasons to hold till end of day relating to vig and margin calls but nothing relates to arc sign law.

Larry Williams writes: 

Large range days—up or down–are most apt top close at the extreme of the range. A good reason to hold to the close.

Jeffrey Hirsch writes: 

Super helpful today in the fund, Larry.

Larry Williams writes: 

Glad an old man can still be of assistance!



I am predicting one of best weeks in history next week starting with Mon. Reasons on twitter.

Ralph Vince writes: 

Yes indeed. Gold was down on the week last week, credit quality spreads didn't blow out — the coup e grace was the videos shot on smartphones supposedly of Chinese police chasing after guys with Covid19 (because, you know, they can tell the guy had Covid19, not the flu, those Chinese cops just "knew").

A month from now I suspect the foolishness we've witnessed will be apparent, which is not to say it's not deadly for one in 50 who catch it or less. Americans will be a country of total germaphobes by the time this weekend is over - a form of self-isolation which will further mitigate the viral spread.

March will be made in the first week I suspect, on a violent, rather disorderly lurch upwards. Then the volatility will return to normal, a process that will take time. After this quick, abrupt rebound (which no on will be able to get aboard if they aren't already, I further suspect) we'll go sideways, punctuated with head fakes, stutter-steps, and feints of breaking out to the upside or downside. But the ensuing move is well-over the horizon, the crowd needs to be ground down into total ennui. Eager to recover their losses and missed opportunities, the market will do the most perverse thing it can to the most players, as it always does.

Not until we feel like we're watching paint dry will the next move come.



What are the chances that Dr. Nancy, the messenger who delivered notice that the pandemic was likely the proximate cause of the 1000 Dow drop on Tuesday was hearing crawdads since from the deep swamp like so many of the avowed enemies of the pres who claim they can overcome their biases and deliver impartial decisions like no one that one has ever seen in a not uneventful life.



Adaptive evolution explains many aspects of ever changing cycles.



When Etrade was starting out, they had no market to test their infrastructure and no money for the test. My firm loaned them 400,000 to start their business and arranged for the comex to test their products in exchange for 40% of their business. About 7 years later they paid back the 400,000. They recently sold their business putative for 13 billion. Business people should learn from this example–especially mistakes made.

Peter Pinkhasov writes: 

I guess the bias in woulda shoulda coulda is asking is if E-Trade would have become a 14 billion company if that 40% was not bought back by the company.



 My son has to memorize an exact definition of about 10 words for 50 different vocab words. There are so many other things that are more useful to memorize and so many other things besides memorization that they should be learning, including learning how to learn. Especially in this changing environment for learning. I believe the education police will be hearing from me.

Henry Gifford writes: 

Education is like the field of saving energy in buildings.

In buildings, it is OK to save $1, but better to save about $0.50 and be able to prove it. But, the best of all is to be able to save $0.10 and measure it precisely, and have some accompanying graphs.

Teaching students to learn is hard to measure the results of, while asking them to memorize things produces results which can easily be measured. Many types of real learning cannot easily be tested for, which is one of many reasons to avoid teaching such things. 
Then there is the problem of some teachers being lazy. They can tell the students to go home and memorize the definitions, and expect to be tested on them. These teachers will likely end up with enough passing students, while better teachers will also have an acceptable number of passing students. When most everyone passes the test, pressure on the school administration to improve learning is eliminated. This goal can easily be achieved by making the definitions easy enough for most students to pass the test.

Then there are the opportunities for educational consultants to measure the results of different methods of teaching memorization, different lists of things to memorize, examining the word lists and the definitions for political correctness or racial bias, etc. Real learning would put a lot of consultants out of "business." As what they do stretches the definition of "business," suffice to say memorization and the data streams it generates opens up many opportunities to obtain "funding," which is the polite term for money in those circles. 
Note I never mentioned benefits to students or lack thereof.



1. Triangles on stock charts or in love, both are the most complex states & can resolve any which ways. Don't anticipate in such.

2. Rebounds in love as well as in the markets are so soothing but best faded.

3. The mistress gets the better of the other in both love and in the markets.

4. Only the wiser can prevail at love as well as in the markets, those who have realized the diminishing marginal utility of intellect.

5. Timing is everything in both love and markets. You got to say I love you at just the right time.

6. Love rises from trust & trust rises from respect. A trader who has tested his system to the point of trust often kisses the market better.

7. Stay out when in doubt, whether in love or in the markets.

8. Love is action, neither a feeling nor a reaction. A trade is an action, neither a feeling nor a reaction.

What more items would the specs add to this list?

Victor Niederhoffer writes:

Never tell anyone about your trades or your romantic life.



Some 50 years ago I received what I considered excellent advice from H. Everts, the vice chair of Cons Foods. I was trying to sell Tyco and they had a faster sleeker race slot car. Everts told me that he never liked to buy companies that had a tech advantage because it was only a matter of time until someone caught up with them. That advice was extremely wrong and harmful as Apple, Tesla and many others demonstrate.

Ken S writes:

Yep, many a dollar I missed securing by that thought, which I still hold true, but the riddle is when to use it.

I might just simply say go with the firstest with the mostest.

A themed etf is no replacement for better analysis. And I need remember that there are gains for win place and show. And disrupt will always be a viable verb, thanks be.

One only has to make a cursory review of the auto well over a hundred years ago til now. I remember you had mentioned the railroad evolution. 



It must be very rueful to the lott silver people that they post pari mutual odds and thus can't shade results now that they show Trump at 11 to 1 fav versus Biden. Talk about "your own man says you're out."



 The Invention of Enterprise by Landes, Moykyr and Baumol. An update on western culture and contributions to well being and growth and happiness from the fourth millennium BC to 2000.

Freedom and Evolution by Adrian Bejan. How design, rhythm and braking explain everyday things.

Models in Biology by D. Brown and P. Rothery. A complete rendition of models and computations and methods of testing of all dynamic systems with special reference to me on the mathematics of interaction.

An Introduction to Statistical Modeling by Krzanowski, an excellent introduction to practical applications of elementary models and a good review of statistics for the laymen

Fewer, Richer, Greener by Laurence Siegel. A graphical and anecdotal review of how well being and betterment and improvements and life expectancy have improved over the ages. A good supplement to the previous books and a guide for optimism and a caution to pessimism.

The Last Samurai by Helen Dewitt. A fantasy about raising a gifted child who loves Japanese looking for his father raised by a sexy musical and literary polymath

Books by Elmer Kelton, particularly recommended as perhaps the second best western ever The Time it Never Rained. A wonderful look at independence and adjusting to change throughout the ages. Tremendous insights on life and markets throughout. Also a great complement to Elmer Kelton is The Good Old Boys. A resonant story of life in the West in 1900 as the cowboys confront the automobile age and cling on to the old way.

Also recommended by Elmer Kelton, Joe Pepper a classic outlaw biography of a bad man who turns good and escapes the gallows at the last minute.

Sandhill Boys by Elmer Kelton, a beautiful biography of the author, voted the best western writer of all times, covering his time in World War 2, his marriage, his stints at the newspaper, his life as a sheep and goat reporter in the Wall Street Journal of the west.

Kim by Rudyard Kipling a tale of coming of age of a smart young Indian who is devoted to his Spiritual Master and turns out to be a successful spy while giving a great slice of life of India in 1890.

Many others to be continued.



This should be tested for our markets: "No Lead Will Be Safe in This Super Bowl"



 Our type of guy: Max Brand

Max Brand played tennis and squash every day and based much of his writing on Homer and Shakespeare. He wrote 212 novels and was the highest paid Pulp Magazine writer of the 30s. He was larger than life, and was exceedingly generous. He lived in a Florence Villa during the 1930s before moving to Hollywood where he is best known for Destry Rides Again. Having read the book and seen the movie the book is among the best Westerns ever written. It is modeled on The Count of Monte Cristo with a man of action wrongly accused and jailed for 6 years who devotes his life to ruining and killing the 12 jurors that didn't given him a fair chance. The book ends in an Achilles Patrocles type climax. It is common to fault Brand for his westerns but I find the insight into ordinary life which Brand learned from working in every place from the Bowery in NY to dropping out as prize winner



 Facial hair on 100% of Forbes top 30 under 30 millionaires as a predictor of individual stocks performance.

Ralph Vince writes: 

That facial hair on all these young guys (reminiscent of a rather 1850s look…hm), like those permanent cartoons on their skin…these things tell the world they never hitch-hiked from one end of I80 to the other.



 A Land Remembered is an excellent book I have read that describes the growth of Florida industry and heroic family interactions.

I find it very similar in its greatness to the Elmer Kelton histories of heroism in Texas The Good Old Boys and The Time it Never Rained.

I recommend the Audible version of all three books where the narrator George Goodell shows the harmony of these lives.





 Sports statistics all show that you should go for it on fourth and short but going for it three times led to the Ravens loss. It provides a caution to those who follow market regularities religiously. There is a good thread on this at VicNiederhoffer@twitter.com.

Ralph Vince writes: 

Football is peculiarly about making the wrong mathematical decisions. I'm not sure why it is, but I suspect the rapid turnover in coaches and the fact that there is an unavoidable second-guessing in the press and by fans, helps coerce these mistakes.

The most glaring example of this is the (lack of) 2 pt conversions. Mathematically, there are a host of times where this should be taken though you'll never see it. When was the last time a tea in the lead ever took one in the first half?

Russ Sears writes: 

Besides second guessing by the press and the fans there's second guessing by their own teammates. The defensive team doesn't like the offense to take risk because they feel they could have stopped the other teams offense given the chance. It's like couples deferring to their partner's lack of risk tolerance.

Ralph Vince writes: 

Team sports, by our definition, should ipso facto be more inherently risk-averse than individual sports.

Alston Mabry writes:

Just re the NFL, I was listening to a roundtable interview with players, and the question was, "What's harder to play, offense or defense?" And I was surprised when the unanimous verdict was defense. The explanation was that the offense knows what's going to happen, whereas the defense doesn't, which adds an extra level of stress and is one reason why you hear about the defense "getting tired" by the 4th quarter but you never hear that about the offense.

Ralph Vince writes:

In terms of expected yards per play, because players at the pro level are so good, it;s hard to argue against the fastest receivers getting out ahead of of coverage, and not throwing the ball short; the potential interference call makes the average yards per play considerably higher.

In football gambling, it is ALL about average yards per play.



 Alan Abelson's favorite adage was "the market hates uncertainty like nature the vacuum". Nothing could be more wrong and the current situation is a good example with the market succumbing 50 points to uncertainty and then bouncing back. Other useful idiots and friends of the Bad One are highlighted on my Twitter @VicNiederhoffer.

Ralph Vince writes: 


"The market is constantly seeking that point of equilibrium which induces the greatest uncertainty."

And that, at any given moment, is the greatest indicator I know of, along with drift.



 "A Clever New Strategy for Treating Cancer, Thanks to Darwin"

Relevant to big rises in a year in S&P?

Bill Rafter writes: 

This is a fantastic article for anyone with cancer, particularly prostate cancer. Thanks for posting.

K.K Law writes: 

A broader point is this is another excellent example of out-of-the-box thinkers and doers who create revolutionary innovations.

Dylan Distasio writes:

Unfortunately these innovations occur in spite of the current US system not because of it.

Gary Phillips writes: 

Not unlike market analysis, the key to effective clinical observation is how the scientist conceptualizes the problem, and how he uses the information gathered. The dilemma presented with molecular targeted therapy using chemotherapy, is the very process that induces cell death (aptosis) can also promote (chemo)-resistance.This is quite the recursive paradox. Chemo drugs activate multiple signal transduction pathways which can contribute to either aptosis or chemo-resistance. One of the ways to circumvent this problem is to use a combination of drugs; employing another drug that targets the signal pathways that contribute to resistance. Of course, treatment varies from one patient to another, and the major challenge is to develop individualized therapy options that are tailor made to the patient.

Ever changing cycles and evolving markets dictate that traders must be agnostic and and adaptive. A tested, multi-variate approach tailored to the intrinsic nature of the current market regime will provide the best assessment of the market's context and offer the best approach to trading that particular market.



What are the current presidential odds. I see estimates varying from 2 to 5 to 1:1. On the other hand the increase in tension recently is highly bullish as it throws the public off from the large differential that compound interest creates between the increase in book value from the rate of return on bus investments and interest rates.



 Romance before athletic contests lowers performance. I also believe that one reason the Knicks are so terrible is that they succumb often e.g. Smith and Carmelo.

Gary Phillips writes: 

A friend of mine from the Bond pit befriended Michael Jordan when he first arrived to Chicago while M.J. was looking for a golf partner at Evanston. C.C. Fitz used to accompany M.J. and Charles Barkley to the NBA All-Star game every year. Fitz would always return with some hilarious tales of their antics and quotes from the outspoken Sir Charles. I can remember one distinctly that I believe is emblematic of their attitude, at least at that point in their lives. "Fitz, if you aren't thinking about pussy all the time, you're not concentrating hard enough."

Mr. Isomorphisms writes: 

Do they succumb more often than the other side? ESPN had an article about the erosion of home/away advantage in the instragram era. Apparently instagram is where NBA players receive sexts and set up dates.

Jeff Rollert writes: 

There's a number of Greek and Roman stories supporting the no romance before a battle concept.



What are the chances by randomness that a market with 55% up days and 250 trading days will end at the high, and does that have any evolutionary significance e.g. the battle of males to be at a maximum relative to competitors in other fields?

Gary Phillips writes: 

The "unsinkable" S&P is reminiscent of Molly Brown. Her husband's fortune made in silver was lost, but resurrected in his discovery of gold. She even survived the sinking of the Titanic! If disaster were to befall the S&P, it would most certainly survive; and present one a buying opportunity, once again.

Ralph Vince writes: 

It will have 3 1/2 market days to recover what it will give up tomorrow in order to do that.

Alston Mabry writes: 

Just to see some stats on the SPY days YTD:

249 trading days
149 Up days, or 59.8%
mean Up day: +0.57%
mean Up day: 1.61 pts
sd: 1.32

mean Dwn day: -0.57%
mean Dwn day: -1.63 pts
sd: 1.83

Jared Albert writes:

Using  with gratitude Big Al's numbers:

up =np.random.normal(1.61, 1.32, 138)
down = np.random.normal(-1.63, 1.83, 112)
Total number of max high finishes divided by total runs:      0.1357 on 10,000 runs

from random import sample, seed
import numpy as np
seed = 10
#55% of 250 give 137.5, so to avoid half days went with 55.2% up days
'''249 trading days

149 Up days, or 59.8%
mean Up day: +0.57%
mean Up day: 1.61 pts
sd: 1.32
mean Dwn day: -0.57%
mean Dwn day: -1.63 pts

sd: 1.83'''
up =(np.random.normal(1.61, 1.32, 138))
down = np.random.normal(-1.63, 1.83, 112)
total_days = list(np.concatenate((up,down)))
win_count = 0
total_runs= 10000
for _ in range(total_runs):
    running_total = []
    test_population = sample(total_days, len(total_days))
    for i in test_population:
        m = m + i
    if max(running_total) == running_total[-1]:
        win_count += 1
        #print(f'win_count: {win_count}')
print(f'Total number of max high finishes divided by total runs: \



Here's a story I like almost as much as Stubby Pringle.



Given that the S&P is up big with approximately 7 days remaining and 2 that S&P has been up 10 of last 12 days, both events can be independently quantified with very positive expectations until end of year.

Gary Phillips writes: 

Difficult to argue against that kind of momentum. I would expect to see dealers come in buying tomorrow a.m., to hedge their deltas on options positions, rolled up-in-strike and out-in-time. But I also see a possible bearish divergence in Ralph's most-watched SVXY and an uptick in implied correlations.



Amazingly the probability of the Prez winning the election is still less than 50% according to betting markets. It's a bet of 100 that gives you 125 profit.



It often happens (although not tested) that a sports team (like the Knicks last night) makes a comeback only to lead to a heartbreaking loss. I tested this for S&P and found that moves from noon to 3:30 of 10 points or more, but still a deficit or small lead of 4 points or less, leads to victory in the market, i.e. continuation. Thus another seeming a dramatic comeback in the second half from a big deficit in the first half and moves out to close to a lead or a small lead. And then they lose. A comeback that leads to a loss just the same. I tested this for the market for comebacks of 10 or more points from noon leading to a small deficit of 4 or a small lead of 4. I found that in the market unlike my supposition of sports these comebacks lead to victories or continuations.



I recently ran some tests to see if using % adjustments were better than absolute. You will recall we had a heated debate on this. I found that the number of declines more than 10 S&P were as frequent during the early years of the last decade as during the recent years.



 There was a variation of "your own man says you're out" with Yovonavitch's testimony that The Pres could fire her at any time for any reason. Notice also that The Times ran an 8 column banner headline that she was devastated by the firing. Who wouldn't fire an ambassador that was actively working against you and said not to listen to boss now that there are about 3 banner headlines a year all of significance of outbreak of war or 9-11 or assassinations. But time banner was "she was devastated". I know I'm not hitting nail on head with "your own man". It's more like "I called the previous shot out" so don't accuse me of cheating. How would you describe the street game analogy of the crocodile tears for this corrupt ageist woman?

George Zachar writes: 

I'm reminded of the soccer players who are famous for pretending to be grievously injured by the slightest contact.




Just returned from a 10 day trip to Japan and the major insight I have I got from the wonderful book The Princeton Guide to Evolution [free pdf found here]. The market has developed some exquisite adaptions in last 50 years and anyone who doesn't take account of its evolution is a doomer. 



 A good multinomial probability problem assuming each color has a probability of 1/4 (for the moment), what are the chances of 6 blues and 6 oranges out of 14 occurrences? More important what does it portend for the future?

The preceding is how one of most sentient investors one has met in a not uneventful life sees it.

One is reminded of my pleasant interactions with Harry Browne and his excellent books underlining that most forecasts are equivocal and cant be proved right or wrong and they are spongey so that at the reckoning one can claim correctness even if wrong.

To say nothing about the way that the Oracle of Delphi fooled the movers and shakers into false belief for 5,000 years as covered in Edspec.

The sentiment of earlier in the month carries a momentum for the next two months at least. Volume yesterday and today, both big board and SVXY tell us we must be buying weakness tomorrow. It might be on or two more down days, but weakness must be bought tomorrow based on this.

The sentient investor is named Mr. Ralph Vince who is completely self taught and highly competent in academic and practical speculation. (Here is a link to Ralph Vince's self taught books.)

One approaches it from a different statistical standpoint and makes a 7 trading day prediction that market will be substantially higher than 2285 at the close of Friday, Nov 1.

One wonders how David Hand (see the improbability problem) would approach the multinomial of 6 blues and 6 oranges with 4 colors possible out of 14. Hint: (everything is probable to him).

Follow @VicNiederhoffer for more tweets



Thanks to Mr. Ellison for recommending a good source.



 One of the litmus tests of liberals is that they think that all individual differences are caused by nurture. They have to believe that all success is due to environment and circumstance and all people would be equal if they had the same environment. But the facts are similar to the influence of the market on individual stocks. About 50% of the variance in individual stocks is due to the market. The equation r(o) = a + b ( m(i) is more in its explanatory power to intel (i) = a + b (giq) where giq is general IQ. The studies of Galton, Burt, and Jensen clearly demonstrate this. Identical twins raised apart have the same difference in their scores as the same person tested twice. The more culture free the test, the greater the genetic component. A good review of this is in Jensen's books and papers and Herrenstein.

Here's an update of Burt and Galton's studies.

Stefan Jovanovich writes: 

Then there is baseball. Yogi Berra, who knew a bit about the game, always said that his older brothers Mike and Tony were much better athletes than he ever was. But, he was lucky enough to come later and have them teach him this American game.



 Let's have some more father sibling stories. My 6 daughters are very special although none of them had a natural left. All of them made their racket teams in secondary school and several turned out to be drs. and several of them can do pinky jams.

Steve Ellison writes: 

I may be better known on the List for my kids than for anything else. I taught both of them to read before their fourth birthdays using Siegfried Engelmann's book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. When my son was still in preschool, the kids liked to pick a book from the shelf and ask a teacher to read the story. If the teacher was too busy, they brought the book to my son and sat in a circle while he read the story.

In 2006, we moved to Reno, Nevada so they could attend the brand new Davidson Academy of Nevada, which billed itself as the first public high school in the US for profoundly gifted students. I have a fraternity brother who graduated from Stuyvesant High School, so I knew better.

My daughter matriculated at MIT at age 16. Today she is a team lead at Boston Consulting. She wears glasses and ties her hair back severely so none of her underlings will guess that she is only 26.

My son went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is now, at age 24, a developer for Amazon.

They live far away now, and I don't see them as often as I would like, but we had a fun weekend in Las Vegas earlier this month.



Will someone besides Rand Paul make the moral case for not taking accumulated wealth from people and then talk about the practical dimunition of incentives for everyone, and how if 5 people vote to take away from the richest among them it's stealing as in a democracy

With one democrat in the debate after another opining on taking away from the rich, against cap gains, and for a wealth tax it's a bad backdrop and could take a day or two for the market to countenance all the agrarian reformers without the agrarian

More important, the dead ball is effecting the Yankees already even before 2020

If the four poor ones take out a gun and shoot the wealthy one and steal his money everyone aside from the agrarians would say that it's wrong and evil and should not be allowed. But if the 5 of them vote on it, and take it away from the wealthy one, it's not wrong to most people

Guaranteed to happen "a variant of your own man says you were out" will soon transpire. Warren Buffet will say along with his fellow travelers that the wealth tax is good and fair and we fellows are in favor of it

With the republican so closely knit together we are really missing John McCain to be "your own man says that the wealth tax is good and his family of billionaires support him and the Sage in this 1000%"

Good for all and a nice answer to wealth taxes and socialism: "The March of History: Mises vs. Marx The Definitive Capitalism vs. Socialism Rap Battle"

Like night follows the day, the democrats have hauled out their first exampled of "your own man says you're out" as a refresher in street games all over, when a dispute arises the opposing team loves to haul out someone on your own team that agrees with them your team is hosed

The markets had a very dull day and it seems like a good time to apply the insight from sports betting and sports to markets. There is much complaining about the reffing in football. The face mask penalty even had a "your own man" on Greenbay saying it wasn't fair.

Sharps note that the home field advantage is going away. 75% of the NFL images had the visiting team beating the spread. One is reminded of the reffing on arbitrations involving market disputes. Many accounts will not be opened unless you agree to arbitrating with the NYSE arbs.

These arbitrators are on average 70 yrs old and are selected by the NYSE based on how they opine against the big firms. I had a lock case against a broker who backed out of a trade. With bravado I told the arbs that they should give me nothing if they agreed with broker

Fortunately they had pity on me and opined that I should get zilch but they didn't hold me responsible for costs. With all the brokers giving 0 commissions these days it is incumbent to look at the ways they have to insure the house always wins. Paying for orders ranks high

"Billionaire Tom Steyer says he'd tax the rich, roll back Trump-GOP cuts": here's the first of the flood of "your own man said you're out" that will be coming down the stream. How long will it be till the Sage from Neb joins in the chorus? Do I have a square on the other side of that?

As I look back on my 60 years in Wall Street I am reminded of many pleasant interludes. My remembrance of visiting the Sherry where the boy wonder committed suicide brought back the pleasant memory of Abe descending the stairs. (Hopefully I will revisit the stairs on my Tokyo visit)

My experiences in the arbitration brings back a scene from Nock's Memoirs of a Superflous Man. In Berkeley in the old days, it was common to buy votes (the great Herb London told me it is still very common. Nock noted a poor sinner outside the Wigwam who jauntily sang "Marching Through Georgia ". He always got through the first stanza and then lapsed into a drunken stupor

I listen to "Marching Through Georgia" in fond memory of Albert Jay Nock, Herb London, and rigged city elections all over

And I was reminded by the Hurrah that Granpa Martin was Irving Berlin's bookkeeper and asked his secretary to marry him on her first day, and all the Niederhoffers came out of that to say nothing about the many pleasant moments that Martin shared with the honeys of Jesse: "Collins and Harlan sing Irving Berlin' My Wife's Gone To The Country Hurrah! Hurrah!"

That's it on Tweets for the day. I will devote the rest of day to Niederhoffer analysis of Japanese prices. But at least one can give a good instrumental version of "Georgia" in hono



Good to listen to: "The March of History: Mises vs. Marx - The Definitive Capitalism vs. Socialism Rap Battle"



 "Baseball is Going Back to the Dead-Ball Era"

This trend brings one back to the useful idiot Paul Volker, the great scholar and lover of baseball Larry Ritter, and Kora Reddy's excellent study, and our own work proving that doc Greenspan was no doc.

Stefan Jovanovich writes: 

Jared Diamond knows as much about baseball as he does about "steel". The spirit of Larry Ritter–Bless Him–has to be laughing.

James Goldcamp writes: 

I still recall fondly reading a worn copy of The Glory of Their Times as a young boy in the car on the way to my cousins in eastern Ohio. The old timer stories were mesmerizing. A copy of a more recent edition of that book still sits buried somewhere on an end table in my living room. It was probably the first non-fiction book I ever read.

I recently finished reading The MVP Machine which centers on the tech wave of player development which has swept over baseball (down to the "Hit Traxx" at my son's 11 year old team's training facility and the now banned for patent infringement Zepp sensor at the end of my son's bat). This wave has finally fully swept up on my shore as the hero of the aforementioned book Trevor Bauer is the centerpiece of my hometown team's starting rotation and the founder of Driveline baseball has been hired to run pitching.

One hopes the wave of technology adopted by baseball ends better than the hordes of hedge fund-ists and investors who found system trading or smart beta just before the long extended bull run in stocks.

anonymous writes: 

Our daughter is an ambidextrous natural athlete who was accurately described, by the mother of a teammate on the 4×50 12 Under Relays as a "mound of muscle". By age 12, she was able to practice driving our "field car" by sitting in the passenger seat and steering with her left hand. We made her play basketball, run track and swim competitively because otherwise there was no living with her; to this day, if she does not have a 45-minute workout every morning, her excess of physical energy and the impatience that it brings with it is downright scary. For a few months earlier this year, we thought we had seen nature come to our rescue. Her now 9-month old son has the same internal combustion engine. His nickname, Whumpa, was acquired before birth; and, while other infants seem able to be awake without needing to do calisthenics, Whumpa has only two speeds: Full Throttle and Full Stop. For a while it looked like Walter was actually wearing his mother down. But that was only a phase. The two of them now happily go off to exercise together.

I mention this to give you all the background to my only disappointment as a father. It was the day, when she was 6, that, after playing catch with me with a tennis ball, using first the left and then the right hand, she announced, "this is no fun; let's go running." Like John Kruk I am not and never have been an athlete, I love baseball and I have always hated running.

Congratulations to JG on having a baseball player and an athlete and embracing the technology that is making modern baseball such a marvel. 

James Goldcamp writes: 

Anonymous, the last part (the Kruk quote with which I'm familiar and use sometimes) resonates with me. I'm one of the coaches on my son's team. At various tryouts for our teams I'm notorious for wanting to get past the timed running from home to 1st, 1st to third, etc. that is typically part of an evaluation and "just see them hit live pitching". I was pleasantly surprised while watching a Ted Williams biography hear recounted a story where some players or coaches were discussing the intricacies of a pickle or some such situation, apparently Williams was claimed to have said, when asked to ponder this, something like "#@#! it , let's go hit". Bill Beane was also purported to have said (as recounted in Moneyball) that we usually no player is too fat for us to draft, though we made an exception for Prince Fielder, and we were wrong.



 Where is John McCain when we need him to play "your own man says you were out" and be the moral conscience that the agrarians haul out to show the wealth tax is good.

The sage is losing his credibility on that front as he's on the other team.



 I also have a son. He doesn't listen to me about anything including squash as he says I'm like the buffalo. Extinct. And I don't know anything about the modern game. I think the racketball strokes have more to teach squash than the usual coaches. My son's recent distinction is he started an affinity group that he moderates that has one poster from every country. He is like the baseball savant I met at Cooperstown that knows the batting averages of every player who played the game. He likes to ask anyone to name any country and he will tell you 3 facts about the country most likely their GNP and their demography.

Larry Williams writes: 

We all have the same son.

Kim Zussman writes: 

Our "son", Snakie, (5 year old Gophersnake but don't tell him. He lives in a Russian apartment in the kitchen) has a large number of very small sharp teeth. They are not for chewing, but for gripping a murdered rodent. And guiding him back to his duty as nutrient to an anachronistic dinosaur who still knows how to make a living.

Carpe dentum.

Gyve Bones writes: 

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is/ To have a thankless child!

[Shakespeare, King Lear, I., iv., 280]



 I took off my hat when Tuesdays market decline surprised me taking a page out of Tom Wiswell's epitaph: "I've lived my life, I've done my work, now I'll take off my hat and go". The time has come to develop 50 more uses for a hat

I've found wearing a hat prevents head injuries, is good for carrying things, great for having people remember you, ideal for tipping in respect for a woman, good for covering the dead, great for shielding from dust and rain, excellent for keeping warm, great for hustling

I used the hat to hustle Bobby Riggs to a match, my hat against his sneaker with a pink ball, excellent for hailing taxis, good for letting kids and family know where you are, great for preventing injuries especially assaults on the head, fine for holding bets, showing you're in, great for fashion, showing you non-conform, excellent for meeting people (I like your hat), excellent for horseshoes, and pitch the penny. What other can you come up with?

The one downside. My grandfather Martin once traded with Jesse Livermore (who went bankrupt 4 times and who I hate to have my book EdSpec compared to Reminiscences since he was a born loser because of vig and big asked.)

After he served as bookkeeper for Irving Berlin's firm, he applied some of the Boy Wonder's techniques to trading and lost everything in the Oct 1929 crash. But he started me out in trading and bought me my first stock (it helped me get into Harvard as they mistakenly thought I would be a big contributor.)

In any case the first stock he bought for me was "Hat Corp of America". This was in 1950 and hat was about 30, "it's a staple and a necessity." Look at any crowd from the turn of century to now. It has so many uses it will always grow and hold its own.

Further, it has the unique equipment to give it comparative advantage in manufacture. It's integrated also with its own retail stores. From that time on, Hat slowly descended into 1 in price, and bankruptcy. No one wears a hat anymore outside of horse and rodeo riders and ropers from the West.

When I go into a restaurant chances are they'll ask me to remove it. I leave out of deference to Martin and Riggs and the 50 uses I still have for it. I hope to be buried with it at Mt. Auburn Cemetery. That's another use. My enemies will say "hurry up " and use the hat there.

Messrs. R Walton and Coconut Trader respectfully disagree that Livermore's book is a disaster and he was womanizing and drinking his life away and that the lessons from his book will ensure you go bankrupt if you follow them. The venerable Jon Markman wrote a great book on him

Let us ask Markman if it's true he left 5 million to his kids. Last I heard he violated the term of his trust with his fifth wife and bankrupted her also. Please someone contact Markman to settle the divergence.

I came across my review of Reminiscences including his suicide at the Sherry Netherland (I always cross the street to the park when passing it) and his debts of many millions when he died. (I sold my copy of his last unsuccessful book to Mr. Tudor Jones)

But there is a fourth part of the story, which happened after Lefevre wrote Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. Markman fills in the details. Livermore went bankrupt for at least the fourth time in 1934. His excess liabilities of $2 million included promised payments to the dancer

Mr. Walton and I rarely disagree and I admit his insights but on this we disagree. He committed suicide because there was nothing left and he owed money to one of his floozies Ms. Ballantine.

What I found particularly reprehensible was his womanizing and sailing while losing his fortune for the umpteenth time and that of others. To say nothing of his suicide in the men's room of Sherry Netherlands which I visited several times not without a ghostly feeling.

Follow @VicNiederhoffer on twitter for more



 Nobody asked me but the hat is the cowboy's best friend besides the
horse. And it has 100 uses for me. It protects from dust, rain and sun

Here's my fav 10 uses. You give me 100 more.

1. Protects from rain,
dust, sun.

2. signals cabs.

3. covers up old age.

4. protects from head

5. allows friends, family to find you.

6. good for drink of

7. carries things.

8. gallantry

Thank you to those who submitted additional uses of a hat on twitter. Your suggestions are compiled below:

9. Fan the flames

10. distract a bear

11. hold a drawing

12. collect donations

13. emergency pillow.

14. Surf in Texas.

15. Doff it when passing by some honeys

16. Fly Swatter

17. Can feed my horse out of it

18. Fan a bucking horse

19. Put on a stick and wave it to attract an antelope

20. The brim keeps bugs out of my eyes when riding a bike/motorcycle

21. Allows me to "read" the water better when sailing

22. Signal the dogs it’s time to walk (they know before you do, but hey, icing on the cake)

23. A good one will give you everything expressed in this fine song that all should take a a few minutes to listen to from one of the best

24. Keeps your head warm. Covers your eyes so you can sleep day or night. Keeps your sleeping bag and hood clean.

25. hair loss fake job.

Follow @VicNiederhoffer on twitter for more



Picture of 3 great board players: T. Wiswell, J. Leopold and A. Bisguier

Nobody asked me but the proverbs of Tom Wiswell reminds one of Beethoven or Jefferson

Nobody— here are four proverbs of Tom Wiswell that seem particularly relevant today

1. When your opponent offers you a free piece, it might be wise to "just say no"

2. Smart gamblers never gamble and when a master sacrifices a piece, you can prepare to resign

3. When your opponent (the market) allows you to make an inviting move, remember the story of the spider and the fly

4. Learning how to refuse proffered material is an art, cultivate it

I have posted a picture of Jules Leopold. He was a great man, a genius, and an inspiration to all games. One of his businesses was solving puzzles in newspapers. He'd go to the location of the paper, and then solve the problem and sell the answer to the subscribers.

In my day, these contests were very common. And I often bought what turned out to be Jules's solutions with an expectation similar to day trading against the hfq traders. He often played Tom Wiswell at my establishment. With very good results. He often played me also. 

Tom would hover over the board and after 40 moves or so. He would say to Leopold "give him a draw" but Leopold never yielded and if the game took an hour, he would refuse to give alms to a poor player like me. Jules was also an expert in electronics and ran a successful business

At the age of 80 Jules liked to race walk and while the traders jogged and raced for exercise after the market closed Jules would keep up with us. He was very generous to checker players and sponsored Derek Oldbury to take a tour of the US among other bequests

Here's one of Jules's books. Even non-checker players will see his genius in it. One of his favorites was a position he'd put on the board. It's your move, "I bet you you cant win or lose with it"

Tim wrote about 15,000 proverbs about checkers, markets and life. for our traders. He liked to say "I've written 22 books and this will be my best and last" "I've lived my life, I've done my work, now I'll take off my hat and go"

But before he'd go, he'd look at Susan hovering over the trading floor with a kid in tow. And he'd say "the one thing I'm most sorry about my life is that I didn't marry a girl like Susan." Strangely, many of the bachelor visitors to my house, often when they left said the same

but as Elmer Kelton said "sometimes I wish I didn't have a perfect wife, especially who always knew what I thinking or hoped"

but Tom as you'll see from the pic didn't take off his hat. He liked to wear a dodger hat. And he'd say "but then again if I married a girl like Susan, i wouldn't have written 22 books." He kept at it until 85 when he came up to our office the 2,000th time, and he said "Victor"

"I couldn't remember what floor you were on. I keep going back and forth." That was the beginning of the end as he liked to say

Follow @VicNiederhoffer on Twitter for more



Pseudoscience in Annals of Internal Medicine article debunking association between red meat and reduced longevity. Attitudes are taken into account. More important is report by Elmer Kelton that ranch men prefer goat meat to beef and mutton because it lies in the stomach easier and tastes better.



 Of all people those on spec list should be against the crazy idea that a double blind study is appropriate and necessary for decision making. That seems to be the long and short of the annals study. They throw out millions of observations that show tremendous differences of 20% in the hazard rate for all studies because they're not double blind. And the idea of forming 8 groups to debunk supposedly neutral in their conclusions is ridiculous. It's obviously a planned hatchet job on vegans and that's why the annals published it. The study reminds me of those who would throw out the studies of the triumphal trio and Lorie Fisher because of current turbulence in the market which leads them to the bear view. Like that crazy Doyne Farmer who's now publicizing himself at Oxford.



Intro to a great book: Dan Schneider on The Time It Never Rained by Elmer Kelton



 The movie Hustlers shows white men and wall street men as crooks and ridiculous innocents.

The women strippers are depicted as sisters and justified in stealing and humiliating their poor victims.

There were 5 coming attractions shown with this picture.

All depicted a woman of color justified in violence against people of no color.



 A query to Elmer Kelton at 80 by a kindergarten class he lectured at to make ends meet. A six yer old asked him, "when you were my age were you good with the girls?"

He was sheep and goat reporter and his said sheep were much more profitable for ranchers than cattle. He won the spur award from 1852 to 2007 as best western novelist. He admired Louis L'Amour who sold more westerns than all the western writers combined from beginning of time.

Highly recommend any of his 50 novels which he wrote in evenings and weekends. He liked to write about subjects where there was change in the air and the heroes and badmen had there were neither black or white.

Victor adds: 

If Elmer Kelton wrote easterns not westerns he would be lionized as one of our greatest writers. As it was he never made more money from his books than his sheep and goat reporting for a local news weekly. [Here is a New Yorker article on him].

Laurence Glazier writes: 

…but the world would have been the poorer.



Spiders are quite deceptive (the 8 legged arthropods) and the kind that track the S&P. Jim Lorie always said that if you try to time them you miss the drift which is now 50,000 fold a century but was not quite that much in his noble days. I owe everything to Jim and I grieve for him every day.



Brittany Runs a Marathon is right out of The Fountainhead. It’s the kind of movie that Dominique would have taken Gail Wynand to instead of no skin off my nose. The Asian girl is the only person of color not shown in a heroic light. The squad could use it as their theme song.



I relate a checker story with market implications on vicniederhoffer@twitter.com. The story is from Sea Biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, a very excellent book. Pollard the jockey saw a kid lose a checker game and the older jockey flipped over the board and started pummeling the kid. Pollard was also a boxer and made the offensive jockey promise never to do it again to a kid or opposing jockey.



 Some recent tweets from @VicNiederhoffer on being "aggro":

Nobody asked me but you can learn a lot from "aggro". Steve Irwin, google, and doomsdayers come to mind. 

Steve Irwin's favorite croc was named "aggro". He liked him because he was the feistiest and cageyist in the zoo. Steve had caught him and "aggro" remembered this and as always ready to hide and spring at him. 

As is well known crocs have great memory and because of this no fisherman fishes in the same spot twice. The crocs remember where the anglers were the last time they ate (about a month ago) and they come back for the kill. 

Because of this no spec should try to make money the same way twice in a row. Humans and the collective zeitgeist have good memories also. 

In a recent article in "Wired": they refer to amazon as "aggro" in contrast to google which is benevolent in all ways as you see the founder of Google was an adviser to Hillary's campaign so he couldn't be "aggro". 

But all fellow travelers are "aggro" when the market goes down big the hope for renewed panic selling as this would reduce wealth for everyone and this would be good for the agrarian reformers who did so much more for Hillary than the Russians did for Trump. 

The downside is hoping for a decrease in everyone's wealth creates a horrific sense of life. It also prevents you from participating in the drift which I have been emphasizing for the last 150 pts in S&P and elsewhere in my books.



There has recently been some gossip about treasury bills outperforming stocks. It is normal if you take the top x % of stocks away to come up with lack luster returns. It’s a property of random ensembles perhaps a pareto cross section. It is a worthless meaningful conjecture to take a 1% a year return and show how its higher than a 10% a year return compounded. Other worthless demonstrations for 1 being higher than 10 could be made.

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