Apr

29

 How often does it occur in martial arts like the battle of King Arthur and King Pellinore that one combatant lets the other up for a breather out of chivalry or malevolence and then loses the battle as the other side takes the opportunity to turn the tables. What is the market analogy of this and can it be quantified before noon?

Ralph Vince comments:

Hmmm, letting your opponent up… constitutes a new fight altogether… and as I always say, "In any fight– anything can happen." (Not that I've ever been in a fight — I've just heard in passing…)

You can never be sure of anything, and all the planning and training in the world go out the window the moment it's on.

And scale doesn't matter — be it on the individual level (remember that bum who knocked out Lennox Lewis some years back, with just one lucky, little pop) or on the scale of nations (Iraq should have been a cakewalk, right?).

It's a new fight, and in any fight anything can happen — which is why fights should be avoided. There are those fights that will find their way to me that I won't be able to avoid, so I don't need to look for fights, and, if unavoidable, always take them very seriously.

Ralph Vince is the author of The Leverage Space Trading Model, Wiley, 2009

Art Cooper writes:

Mr. Sogi once recounted a personal experience of this: He represented the plaintiff in a lawsuit to recover money owed to it by the defendant. Just before the case was to be heard, defendant's attorney asked Mr. Sogi for a minute to use the restroom. Mr. Sogi obliged. (What reasonable person could refuse?) Defendant's attorney used the "bathroom break" to walk down the hall of the Courthouse and file for bankruptcy, thereby insulating his client against plaintiff's claim.

Sri Viswanath comments:

Jake LaMotta vs. Sugar Ray RobinsonA nice analogy for us sports fans… The Colts' undefeated season (would have been the first since the '73 Miami Dolphins) was "donated" as the coach benched starters much to their dismay against one the arguably worst teams and 'succeeded' in collecting a loss. This 'success' was later repeated a few weeks later in the Superbowl.

Also in pugalism, something I know a bit about as an amateur, often playing possum was a great success of Sugar Ray Robinson in his later career and many younger opponents eased up on the old man, who later took his payments with additional compounded interest. A similar thing happened in the amateur olympics in boxing in Beijing and most famously in pro football when a team removes its starters to rest its players and then proceeds to loose on a 'miraculous comeback.'

Another fake chivalry was observed yesterday at downtown building. A young man getting out of elevator made a huge gesture for a shapely young woman coming out of the elevator to proceed first. After you, my dear…But then as the woman proceeds out, the chivalrous young suitor goes in for the kill and checks out her assets and proceeds to make jokes with friends. The female turns around a then lands the knockout punch with a slap to the face and a 'how dare you'….. a lil lagniappe from the new south. female victorious again.

Max Greene replies:

I don't believe the patriots example quite fits what you were going for in the realm of chivalry. The pats were resting starters so that they would win it all, not out of courtesy or kindness. They were doing that as a strategy to win it all, not to succeed in losing that game. Often football players (injury risks) rest the big players before the playoffs because failure to protect a big player in an irrelevant game could cost a coach his job or the team their chances in the playoffs. Like the ropadope, this is a strategy tailored specifically for the situation to win (like a poison pawn). Mercy is not often found in football or the market.

The best sport to look for tradition and codes of the older guard (chivarly, honor, respect) was, is, and always will be baseball. The few examples I can think of off the top of my head in other sports and its not easy are in basketball it is customary to stop dunking and shooting 3's when up by a lot in someone else's house. That's courtesy, but on top of that the bench players usually enter the game or the starters go into cruise control (holding the ball long into the shot clock and not being as aggresive on offense or defense). So instead of driving the stake through, they leave the window open, as many great playoff games have shown, the opposing team can come back and win and have.

The 2nd example I can think of is when a great hitter is at the plate, and the opposing pitcher has the dignity and honor to go after him and "attack the zone" instead of simply throwing him garbage and hoping he swings. If the hitter's team were down and men on base, pitching to pujols could let them back in it. But not ever giving him pitches to hit is not dignified in the eyes of many.

The 3rd is when a hitter is down in the count maybe 0-2 (0 balls and 2 strikes). The pitcher may decide to throw 3 straight balls and see if he will chase or can do the honorable thing and continue to attack the zone the same as he would if the count were even. Often pitchers who do the honorable thing can get hurt badly by not stomping on the throat when they had the chance. The simplest analogy would be individual sports like tennis or boxing. Since it does not take a team decision to be chivalrous. I know all too well the pitfalls of not attacking an opponent when he's down (hence my notorious rep for coming like a mad bull from behind but losing even some of the biggest leads).

Thomas Brittain remarks:

Don’t be nice and testify in front of Congress. They will only card-stack all of the information available and try to make you look like a fool.

Victor Niederhoffer replies:

I may be excessively naïve but relative to the hearings, it seems more like the situation where a judge is definitely going to rule against you but he leans over backward to give you every benefit of the doubt in the trial so your appeal will not get to first base. The Dershowitz thing where he is asked to sit as the head of all the committees that are going to choose the establishment for the chairmanship so they can't say there was anti "scholarship" involved. The Zacharian thing "your own man says you were out." After giving the colleagues a few centi centis they are called in, "I'm going to have to give you a drubbing in public. Hope you don't mind. Otherwise we're both going to have egg on face." But I have no experience on this and certainly think this a very appropriate function of the legislative branch and related helpful executive entities.


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