Jan

19

From Marketwatch.

As it turns out, during so-called rate-hike cycles, which we seem set to enter into as early as March, the market tends to perform strongly, not poorly.

In fact, during a Fed rate-hike cycle the average return for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA is nearly 55%, that of the S&P 500 SPX is a gain of 62.9% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP has averaged a positive return of 102.7%, according to Dow Jones, using data going back to 1989 (see attached table). Fed interest rate cuts, perhaps unsurprisingly, also yield strong gains, with the Dow up 23%, the S&P 500 gaining 21% and the Nasdaq rising 32%, on average during a Fed rate hike cycle.

Penny Brown wonders:

Very surprising. I am wondering why there is a mantra: "don't fight the fed." And "three hikes and a stumble."

Vic adds:

not mentioned is that the average fed rate increase cycle lasts 5 years. there have only been 13 of them since the fed was founded in 1910. usually these is a run of 15 increases once they turn from red to black.

i believe that the fed will not raise until the S&P is much stronger. a very nice close today (18 Jan.)

Nils Poertner comments:

the more talk about rising rates (and neg impact on stocks) the better it is for stocks. to a point of course.

everything is taking to the extreme these days. said to my cousin "eating apples is good for health" - and he replied "eating 10 apples isn't." of course not, but for now it seems so wrt rates.

Paolo Pezzutti writes:

Over the next few days option expiration this month can be an issue for stocks in terms of volatility. Not rising rates in my humble view.

Jeffrey Hirsch agrees:

Performance during January’s option expiration week

Big Al writes:

The Fed has never been sitting on a balance sheet like this, along with the other major CB's. Plus, the aggregate amount of debt is quite high after all these years of ZIRP. This will not be a "normal" rate-hiking cycle.

Jan

19

a fairly unbiased and accurate review of a great book I read or listened to in my quest to duplicate Tyler Cowen's 2000 books in a year. bartelby the scrivener.

The Remains of the Day

Some of Tyler Cowen's book links:

Best non-fiction books of 2021

What I’ve been reading, December 28, 2021

What I’ve been reading, January 10, 2022

Vic's twitter feed

Jan

19

on occasion my opponent from the main stream or main line would try to kill me by hitting their shot with all their mite into the back of my head. this situation is comparable to the voting now.

it's time for my posterity to look back on my career. true, i had a glaring weakness or two, i sliced my backhand and i didn't volley enuf. however, i won 5 national singles and didn't play in 5 others when i would have won because of my ill-timed protest against prejudice.

however i won 3 nationals in a row in straight games holding my opponents to less than 10 pts a game and i was virtually undefeatable for 10 years from age 25 to 34 winning about 60 various major tournaments in a row. i wish i could do it over again but my problem was that i was so good that i didn't have to change and only beat Sharif 3 times out of 14 without adjusting or improving my game. in short, with all my defects, i was good.

the game is much better now than it was in my day. i was stiff after every tournament because i didn't train. i wish i had trained like Aubrey does for running. its amazing he's shooting for a 4 min. and 30 second mile. no one in my family can do under 8 minutes . my best is 8:30. i know.

yet these days the only way to get into an elite school with athletics if you're not diversity is to be a national jr. champ. you definitely have to be close to a 4 minute miler before they'll notice you especially if there's Asian pedigree somewhere.

Vic's twitter feed

Jan

16

like the stock market, the worse the news is, the better the stock market's future, especially relevant is the November 2022 elections. you don't have to be a savant to guess that all the powers of the fed along with the usual suspects will be attempting to build a higher S&P.

i once said that the army of fed people including the thousands they support with grants (used by 50% of all monetary economists) only worry about stock markets and now they leaven this with correct pronouns for which they get positive feedback from the universities. my point is that with all the bad news for Blues during past week, certainly a nadir, the chief capitalist Biden increases his odds of winning the presidency by 1%. imagine what he'll do coming around November with all the suspects from the masters 100 to the schools and swamp lined up.

as my learned brother says: "no way that interest rates will be against him come November." In my naive way, i agree with him that this is very bullish for crypto especially around the election.

[Admin: Learned brother Roy Niederhoffer interviewed about crypto and other issues.]

Steve Ellison responds:

Very insightful comments by the Chair's brother about how one might identify Fundamentals underlying cryptocurrency valuations.

Vic's twitter feed

Jan

14

nobody asked me but supreme court chief John Roberts always seems to compromise in decisions to keep face with the popular man and always votes in a way that furthers the Court. (I don't know anything about the law except that it doesn't function well)

nobody asked me but the nite moves in markets are ideally suited to prevent a person who needs sleep 4 hours a day to extricate good profitable positions that should be held with impunity.

nobody asked me but the new appointees of the new administration make me think of a G&S or Moliere play . Stay close to your desk and never go to sea and you may wind up a head of the Queen's navy, especially the DA's who refuse to arrest anyone.

Vic's twitter feed

Jan

14

Received a nice intro note from new spec Mr Ani Sachdev, and it elicits important advice I have for all specs. its not advanced calculus or Bayesian stats or higher. the most important is Finite Mathematics and Differential Equations.

my differential equations book is Differential Equations by Shepley Ross and my discrete math book is Discrete Mathematics with Combinatorics. both are highly recommend but they're both 20 years old. amazing how they've both held up.

Vic's twitter feed

Jan

3

More books

January 3, 2022 | Leave a Comment

books i have been reading or listening to that i recommend highly:

1. The Princeton Guide to Ecology

2. The Princeton Guide to Evolution

3. The Life And Time of Giuseppe Vedi

4. The Life and Time of Gilbert and Sullivan

5. The Life and Time of Johannes Brahms

6. Branch Rickey

7. 100 Statistical Tests

8. An Illlustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology

9. Mathematics in Action

10. Master and Commander

11. The Life and Operas of Verdi

12. The Long Ships

13. Americana

14. The Hunt for Red October

15. How Inovation Works

16. Life and Works of Mozart

17. every nite i listen again to The Time It Never Rained and Good Old Boys by Elmer Kelton (these keep me from brooding on all the mistakes I've made and put me to sleep)

Vic's twitter feed

Dec

28

Sexual selection

December 28, 2021 | Leave a Comment


whenever you see the latest self-serving item (invariably bear) from such luminaries as the sage, the palindrome, or the upside-down man, I think we are seeing male-versus-male competition and the bighorn sheep.

Vic's twitter feed

Dec

27

Test, test, test…

December 27, 2021 | Leave a Comment

after 3 straight years of above 10% rise, what are chances of rise next year? big article in wsj says that banks are skeptical. is this bull or bear? how can this be tested? after a big rise in last 3 months the S&P is neutral to bear 30 days later from 1996 to present.

Vic's twitter feed

Dec

27

Beating the Stock Market, by R. W. McNeel (1926), could have been written by Graham in 1950 and contains the worst advice for customers that could have been given 1000 years ago and is still being given today: "Stocks are to be bought at low price - and only by so doing can one make money." the idea is that when stocks are low, people get frightened and at these times they would not think of taking money out of their banks and buying stocks. the idea is to sell when stocks are high, get out of the market, wait for the inevitable decline and then get back in. This is almost like it was written by Alan Abelson and his current day followers except that even after the 1987 fall where stocks fell 30% to Dow 400 the former was still bearish and called the decline a start.

What are the problems with this approach? (1) the market is more bullish at a new high than at a new low. (2) the stocks that go up the most have a higher expectation than the stocks that are down the most. (3) the market has a 10,000 fold a century drift upwards and thus you can never never be successful if you get out and wait for the "inevitable drop". (4) growth stocks perform much better than value stocks.

Other bad advice in the book which reads like it was written today is never buy new flotations as Rockefeller and Morgan lost money. Rock and Morgan lost money when they didn't stick to their list and invested in railroads. New Haven and Colorado Fuel and Iron were their downfall.

all these counter to the terrible and destructive advice in the book and other uttered today in the media must be tested. I will endeavor to provide such tests here in the near future.

here's a more current version of McNeel but the original book that Alan Millhone gave me as present was written in 1926.

Vic's twitter feed

James Lackey writes:

My immediate question is why are these books sellable? We realized they get published because as Pam might say that’s what book sellers do. She’s one of the many book published experts on this list.

Perhaps Vic's advice which is granite rock solid is that it seems too easy! To be honest I thought that as a young spec. Now I realize this:

It’s hard to be bullish all the time.
Everyone calls us fools.
Then they point out our faults.

If we dare share logic and my goodness statistical data to prove why we are bullish all the time they weaponize our insecurities. The bears are smart and have very good arguments. They can be spiteful mean men. I’d be an old mean SOB too if I was wrong on average about everything.

Alex Castaldo adds:

It has been more than 25 years since I read this book in the reading room of the New York Public Library and I don't have a full recollection of it. I went to read it because it was mentioned in another book (or article) by Dean LeBaron and the library seemed to be the only place to find it. At the time I was reading as much as I could about investing, both recent works and what others considered "classics".

The main point of the book I thought was the importance of independent thinking in investment. The author points out that most people are like sheep and follow what they hear from others. A good investor should guard against this and try to come up with his own judgements. If I recall correctly the author coined the term "contrarian investing" to describe this. He explained that "contrarian investing" does not mean believing or doing the opposite of what everyone else does or believes. Rather it means doubting what others believe and being willing at times (but not all the time) to take a different position.

I did not dislike the book. I did think it perhaps a bit too obvious. If you are going to "outperform the market" almost by definition you have to do something different than what everyone else is doing. Also, it may be easier said than done. Some people, such as the Chair, seem to be good at coming up with their own opinions, but most people are somewhat conventional and it is not clear what they could do to change. Would just being aware of the need to think independently be enough?

I also thought the term contrarian does not seem the best choice for what McNeel is trying to describe. (It sounds like mulish opposition to what everyone believes). "Independent thinking" or the term coined by Michael Steinhardt "variant perception" seem more appropriate to me. But still it was interesting to see what the originator of the term thought it should mean.

Dec

20

Nhlanhla Mhlanga is a bright man. He will soon graduate from Swaziland's only university, speaks fluent English, and has taken many advanced courses in math and statistics. Unfortunately , he still has to work for less than $1/hr.

My son and I are looking to find him work online, his only hope to earn a living wage. If you are interested in his extremely affordable services, part or full time, please contact him. See his skills and contact info.

He is currently reteaching me some concepts in statistics for $10/hr. It is incredible how much money he saves me compared to if I'd hired a similarly qualified tutor in the US. The free market is beautiful.

Vic's twitter feed

Dec

18

The Power of the Dog - typical of the denial of the adventurous spirit, the pathbreaking spirit that made the west a vibrant place. proves the point that any western that's made these days has to show the cowboys as weak and vile, drunk and taking advantage of the minorities. Any westerns these days have to be anti-westerns, showing cowboys and ranchers to be evil. perhaps transgender, mercenary, unfair wasting their life away. this one has the cowboy and dr. as the murderer. so woke. never waste your time.

power of dog– saw two good reviews in woke newspapers, was recommended to me. wasn't completely borrowed form 1902 trail drives like Larry McMurtry. Bronco Henry so contrived. to find out good Westerns of heroic nature, listen on Audible to Elmer Kelton - tells the truth.

NYT has acclaim for it because it dispels and shows the lie of america's foundational myths. that's a real review typical of our times.

Dec

14

the bonds were up as usual on the inflation number, -10 today but up 48 ticks yesterday. but stocks went down on the ppi number which presumably has wholesale prices of 1 month ago. as always the market goes where it wants regardless of the news.

James Lackey writes:

Mr Vic Wrote: "calumniate, traduce - wrongfully accuse." the 6.8% inflation rate announced on the cpi for friday was good enough to raise the S&P futures to an ATH on a 1% rise. as mentioned repeatedly the inflation is not a problem. bonds and mortgages predict a 5 year rate of 1.5%.

what's worse is that the current administration is being wrongfully accused of driving inflation up by miles to this rate. when it comes down as will be seen on all future cpi's and eci, one should not credit with the great miracle of driving it down. its was front page news about the horrible spike. its not the fault of bbb so much, what's wrong with all these programs is the opposite of capitalism (i dare not use the word for fear of total cancelation). in any case a great opportunity to go long sp on future releases like last friday.

There is something I need to say. This statement took 20 years to pass. Guys I have never agreed with Victor Neiderhoffer publicly because I had to or for any other reasons than this one: He’s correct.

If we need a reason inflation isn’t ever a problem outside of the printing press or the rigged short term rates set by the central’s for their 12 and only 12 clients, when businesses are left alone to do their thing it is this one which probably comes from Vics books but the gist is: Business men drive profit to Zero!

If you can’t wrap your head around that one think of Trucks in transportation services. There are times in history where Trucks have lost money. It’s not that truck drivers cost too much or fuel or repairs. It’s the business. A truck will take a lower load vs no load at all dead head.

That’s easy to understand. What is driving me more insane, more crazy or best stated by my bmx racing kids is your crazier than usual Mr Lack. Why do industries as a whole seemingly lose on purpose? An example is BBBY or cars in general like Autonation, Sonic et al? Why would any business not.

Text book "pure competition" was described as agriculture in my old books. Why? How why what in the world are they doing driving profit to zero? Please help with anecdotal evidence and stats if we get them.

Here is why: Covid rigged shortage some of these old line businesses like food service Carz and others are running 10% non levered margin profit or triple of what was stasis and as usual driven to zero.

My hypothesis is men never learn as a people. A person is smart but people can be toxic as hades and let’s not forget Every day is better than the years 1942 to 45 at least for Americans.

Duncan Coker observes:

5-year TIPS yield -1.6%, with 5-year Treasuries yield 1.2%, implies a 2.8% inflation rate over the period. Wake me up when it hits 5%.

Dec

14

some themes of the fray. where there is an absence of congealment, the situation is classified as an open game. where there is a binding element, the hudooing of certain pieces (chart patterns) in close proximity to the middle price, the situation is classified as an open position.

as a general rule the fundamental strategy in handling an open game is to make waiting moves taking care not to advance any piece to any square that mite be a liability. on the other hand in the closed game denoted by structural solidity of material, every move made by both withholding or waiting moves are not to be found. therefore it is much easier to lose a game of markets or checkers involving a solid formation through faulty structural developments than it is to lose an open game where it is so much easier to anticipate the results of moves. Champion players seldom lose an open game but they frequently err in the closed game.

if you want to stay out of trouble, keep away from complex arrangements of the market (your pieces with those of your opponent). when you have the choice, play the open and flexibly situated.

Willie Ryan, Championship Checkers Simplified (1951)

Read A Psychiatrist Looks at Checkers from The American Checkerist (1950). Scroll down about half way and click on the scanned pages from the magazine.

Vic's twitter feed

Dec

13

El-Erian Says Transitory Inflation Call Likely Fed’s Worst Ever

There seems to be much agreement on my post about the former partner of the Upside down man. Who are the other useful idiots and why are they predominantly wrong?

why is the big data provider and their major expert writers so wrong all the time? (1) they are always bearish. in line with their former hatred of 45 and now the institutions like the fed that are hold overs. (2) they don't realize that there is a drift in the stock market. (3) which ever market is down the most they come up with reasons to be woeful about it. (4) they have a political agenda that is very negative and very political for what's happening in the US. what other reasons can you think of? can the idea be generalized to the big options firm?

(5) most of their columnists like Mike Lewis and the useful ever wrong former partner of the upside man are highly progressive and tend to be distrustful and angry with what's happening. they fail to take into account regulatory capture and the return on capital investment.

the fed will do its thing and show its relevance. the hatred and shame for the US will be dissipated tomorrow perhaps.

at least the buttoned down pseudo academic former partner of upside down man gave a tell by telling us the low interest rates were much too low on a day when interest rates had one of the biggest declines.

Vic's twitter feed

Dec

12

calumniate, traduce - wrongfully accuse. the 6.8% inflation rate announced on the cpi for friday was good enough to raise the S&P futures to an ATH on a 1% rise. as mentioned repeatedly the inflation is not a problem. bonds and mortgages predict a 5 year rate of 1.5%.

what's worse is that the current administration is being wrongfully accused of driving inflation up by miles to this rate. when it comes down as will be seen on all future cpi's and eci, one should not credit with the great miracle of driving it down. its was front page news about the horrible spike. its not the fault of bbb so much, what's wrong with all these programs is the opposite of capitalism (i dare not use the word for fear of total cancelation). in any case a great opportunity to go long sp on future releases like last friday.

Vic's twitter feed

Dec

12

A music piece by Händel - the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. One could tell that the organ player is enjoying himself.

So many of us finance do terribly well - financially speaking. But then we see it as toil. Some go to the theater or listen to concert in the eve- but perhaps we got it all backward then?

Laurence Glazier writes:

Let’s remember that Handel was enjoying himself too.

Nils Poertner replies:

Wasn't he a pretty good investor as well?

Most (good) musicians experience life in greater fullness than ordinary folks (like us) and express it via their music, eg, the late US singer Johnny Cash…same thing with him. also good lyric with toil and feeling depressed and the sun comforting him etc. some of my more narrow minded friends are like: "I am rich, I can buy happiness." No, you can't. It is an illusion.

Vic adds:

i listen to verdi whenever i need cheer. every one of his arias and chorus pieces is bite sized to enjoy. verdi was a genius in all things like mozart and brahms. a great investor also was about the richest man in Italy when he passed. maintained amazing secrecy about his mistresses also.

Jeff Watson offers:

Whenever I need cheering up, I listen to Steve Fromholz sing his epic Texas Trilogy, and his Man With a Big Hat. (If that one doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, have someone check you for a pulse.)Beautiful music that celebrates real men, freedom, and the open range.

Adam Grimes writes:

Thank you for the share, Nils. This is a fun piece… I've played arrangements of it literally hundreds of times in church services and weddings, etc.

By the way, if any of you play piano, Handel's keyboard music is vastly underrated. Almost all of it is super accessible and a real joy to play. Worth checking out!

I've been more successful in the past few years finding a balance between my artistic, creative life as a musician and the markets. It's a terribly hard balance to maintain and I haven't quite got it right yet.

James Lackey writes:

The Blues Travelers Run Around, the blues brothers and the prison movies Shawshank Redemption, Clint Eastwood Alcatraz always cheer me.

Verdi is fantastic for its simple yet full and rich chord structure and the similar movie sound tracks. Or how about that chord and crescendo on the TDX patented movie surround sound vrrrrmph there is nothing like the sounds of a properly tuned full blown racing engine at idle then a single thump of the throttle and shut it down to silence.

Simon and Garfunkel the sound of silence is wonderful with the remakes of recent rockers.

The sound of silence trading is one thing, like sunshine itself that is either one of the most beautiful things a day or annoying. The sounds of a single fan on in a room across the hall, a car door, mumbled sounds of laughter on the next block. In a panic as your fingers cut plastic keyboard buttons and you search for an honorable retreat. A big rally, the escape with a proper reduction, back to even you laugh as your holding what you’ve got for the duration as we mumble we should have had the balls to hold all to close.

Then like the sun rising over a few covered manicured field of dreams. You whisper, Put some music on brother…Why is it so quiet in here?

Life without music is death.

Laurence Glazier responds:

Nicely put, Lack, with a great rhythm and turn of phrase. Music is a force of nature we cannot tame, but we can be its instrument.

A quote from the painter David Hockney's latest book, Spring Cannot Be Cancelled:

I intend to carry on with my work, which I now see as very important. We have lost touch with nature, rather foolishly as are a part of it, not outside it. This will in time be over and then what? What have we learned? I am almost 83 years old, I will die. The cause of death is birth. The only real things in life are food and love, in that order, just like our little dog Ruby, I really believe this and the source of art is love. I love life.

Larry Williams suggests:

Food and love?? How about air? How about something to be passionate about—like trading or whatever turns you on.

James Lackey :

Larry as you know "trading for a living" opens up self - I we me - to the world in a very simple output PnL and you can not fake it for long. To complete on the worlds stage full time is to immerse yourself. If you give the market 80% effort perhaps you’ll end up with a 20% loss. Give it 98% maybe you’ll get a 2% profit after expenses and paying yourself a working wage. Go all in and it’s literally limitless. All the money fame fortune a many can ever want.

Take back 2% of your time? The mistress of the market is a very jealous person. If she doesn’t kill you your cohorts running at 100% will.

Trading is one of the best things that has ever consumed me and mine. Yet it consumes me.

Laurence Glazier comments:

Better the passion is in the art than the artist.

Nils Poertner writes:

well said. there is nothing wrong with some healthy ego. but the ego that modern man (modern woman) has formed is perhaps way too narcissistic. We are co-creators in fife and that spirit is encapsulated in many religious books- even by Ralph Walter Emerson. one has to feel it - it has nothing to do with IQ.

In The Gospel of Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying:

"There is a principle which is the basis of things . . . a simple, quiet, undescribed, indescribable presence, dwelling very peacefully in us . . . we are not to do, but to let do; not to work, but to be worked upon."

James Lackey adds:

The gist of whatever m saying comes from my dad and army guys and y’all:
Give a smart man time he finds problems.
Give a real smart guy time he finds solutions.
Give a genius time they find the right questions.

With leadership all 3!work together and create the undiscovered unlimited human potential. Alone without leadership and a dose of pain you get what my dad called "lost souls". Time is the 21st century issue most have too much time to think of problems. Those with solutions have no voice as they live in fear. The genius sit alone talking to the connections.

The genius around the globe never before without a middle man or government wishing some one would take charge and get it done. What is it? That list is now so long it’s an infinity symbol. No begging. No end.

Alston Mabry suggest:

Speaking of music, the Fresh Air podcast has a 3-part Sondheim
retrospective. It's really interesting to hear somebody at that level
talk about his work.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Dec

3

three cheers for Lubabalo Kondlo from a shanty town in South Africa who just won (tied) for the world championships of checkers. he is a programmer but is very poor and is suppressed by the South Africa sports authority which is the old English in form. Alan Millhone is the pres of USA Checkers.

World champion checkers player visits Belpre

Lubabalo Kondlo came all the way from South Africa to meet with Alan Millhone, Belpre resident and president of the American Checkers Federation

just some facts: (1) checkers is at least as difficult as chess. it requires precise thinking often 50 moves ahead. with its binary aspect it is the closest game to computer logic. (2) Luba lives in a shanty town and often can't afford a computer or its connection.

(3) While Nelson Mandela was in Robben Island Prison his favorite game which he played often was checkers. there are an amazing number of top checker players living in shanty towns like Luba. (4) Luba is a fine gentleman with exemplary character who is a credit to humanity.

(5) Luba always carried a Wiswell book with him for study. (6) Luba can play 15 checker games blind folded. if i've made any errors in this Alan Millhone will gently correct me.

Arthur Niederhoffer (father of Victor and Roy and Diane) loved checkers. when we visited the first thing we did was to play a game. I never beat him until the day before he passed away. He purposely let me win by a block. he said it was like his body. the incident led to my book Edspec. He said to me at the time (you have a good move) and then i could give him 2 for none and he couldn't move (in checkers when you can't move you lose) the incident I wrote up, sent to my friends. they all said I should expand it. and thus, Education of a Speculator.

Nov

29

anomalous move fri with crude down second most ever down 800 and sp down 130, sixth worst ever. shows danger of politicians tampering with prices ( "baker did it"), a smiling capitalist move that will be blip on momentum of rising constructals.

idea that we will have inflation should be dead with bonds 1 big pt away from 6 month high. danger of tampering with new scare from virus before nov 2022 is rampant.

if only politicians would stop declaring that we have to stop handout and entitlements and pork because of inflation, and would concentrate on incentives and private property and takings and what causes prosperity - everything would be much better.

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

29

Elmer Kelton at 75 retired from writing and 50 years of newspaper work said he often wished to go back to newspaper work because he'd have some time to rest compared to current. His time was filled up with lectures to librarians and elder hostels.

at a school lecture one 12 yr boy was very shy, kept trying to wave his hand and then put it down. finally Elmer called on him: "Mr. Kelton, when you were my age, were you good with the girls?" — he had to think and then said, "No. Why I became a writer I guess."

Branch Rickey, like Stephen Sondheim, insisted on a strenuous journey to give a lecture honoring George Sisler. he said "I'd rather die two years early and have a good life then retire." he died at that speech and 100 tall men came to his funeral in Ohio. The Harlem Globetrotters.

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

28

after a day that went awry from my thinking and some of my followers, perhaps some retrospection. black friday is generally a bullish day with 8 of the last 10 up. bonds were up 200 at 1am with stocks up [Ed: actually down - see below]. that's happened 3 times in last 20 years. 1 of 3 up in stocks.

the european markets were at a low relative to us as of thur close. that's very bearish. the sp went from a 20 day on thur to 20day low on friday. that's never happened before. the big decline on friday the third biggest in last 20 years is very bull for mon. the decline in crude as of 1 am with a big rise of 2 pts in bonds has only happened once every 8 years so not predictive. in general were there any signals? the break of 2700 was the third constructal number in a row without a break. that's very rare and slitely bear.

in retro, there were signs but very rare similar so not overly predictive. the fact that it happened after holiday and it was apparently coordinated sticks out. gold was up before with bonds up 2 pts rite away, with crypto down about 10%. in retro signs but not predictive.

correction - stocks were way down at 1 am with bonds way up, that's bear for stocks but too rare for prediction. the central banks may have wanted to make the camp kindergard progressive and the pres look good — why? nothing stands out as predictive. sp broke a round.

sp broke constructal from above - that's bullish. in short there were too few similarities with enuf bull as bear to make a quant prediction. perhaps the progressive wanted to make the smiling capitalist look good. and the european markets had the thing in advance. that key another correction. the sp on friday went from a 20-day high on thur to a 20-day low on friday. that's never happened before. The robberies of home depot was somewhat telling if not predictive.

that the bird man's favorite store was robbed of hammers telling but not predictive. perhaps that's why p wasn't on duty. telling of thinking of bad country, taking from bad, undeserving people, had red friday instead of black. thanksgiving as day to disparage abundance.

the palindrome must have been happy. he likes a bear raid on vulnerable fridays and he's always bearish, yes for the record i'll answer many readers' query as to why palindrome severed relations with me 20 years ago. i wrote him and asked him and he said he couldnt answer.

4 reasons. i was insufficiently appreciative of his 70th birthday party which was very thoughtful and lavish with ship from cal brought in for after dinner cruise. 2. he knew in advance about vulnerability of the fab nobel trio who were short otm puts, and i was also.

he told me at his house "you're going to go bust but turn over position to me." 3. we disagreed on everything in politics especially government control of capital versus private. and the freedom philosophy. 4 i was poor dancer and was sat next to his Susan at dinner. 5. I am bad chess player and bad tennis player so he found much better than me to recreate wtih him. i gave bak money to his friends but not enuf to keep them happy. we were always opposite on market. he always bear, i always bull. he liked to go for big swings, i had to go for slite swings, since i handled part of his holdings and i had to be fast. i can't think of any more reasons. the aftermath. i met him at tennis tourn shortly thereafter and he wouldnt shake my hand. my family was invited to his home for 12th consec year, and his sec called 1 day before to cancel.

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

26

Markets, markets

November 26, 2021 | Leave a Comment

query: do turning pts in crypto lead and create an inordinate tendency for turning pts in gold? crypto had a turning point with etherium up 7%. gold straight down 60 bucks in 4 days before Thanksgiving.

there is a positive monthly correlation between consecutive months. when prev month is up, the next month is up 70 % of time versus 50% up when the previous month is down. the magnitudes are about 1/2% in the positive case and about 0 for next month when prev month down.

the force of destiny and the 12 inevitable forces. the 13th force is a rising stock market, say 10,000 sp in 2 years and 30000 nikkei very soon. the reasons are regulatory capture, power of compound interest, a 15% hurdle rate for invested capital versus a 2% bond rate, et al.

the triumphal trio - the greatest scholars providing periodic table of markets. i was first person to lionize their work - and hopefully they will abrogate their English Disease in future and will not be predicting a Galtonian regression as in past. [See also: GFD Guide to Global Stock Markets]

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

24

 Thanksgiving is about sharing prosperity, and it's a good time to think about where prosperity comes from. The Pilgrims figured it out in 1623. We'll retell that story as we celebrate the way it lives on in countless U.S. families and companies today. And in particular at one company, McDonald's (MCD, news, msgs), that in its humdrum way beautifully demonstrates the source of prosperity and the American way of life.

The Pilgrims started with so little. They had to hide in England because the authorities considered them dangerous. They fled to Holland but found themselves compelled to take menial jobs. On the way to America, many of the company died. They lost their way to Virginia and landed in Massachusetts just as winter set in. The Virginia Co., their backers in London, went bankrupt and couldn't send relief supplies.

To cope with want, the Pilgrims made the same mistake that so many countries do even today: They divided all their land, efforts, supplies and produce in common, to each according to his need.

As always in such systems, need surpassed supply.

The Pilgrims spent their first three years in America suffering from hunger, illness, cold and infighting. People stole from the common stores "despite being well whipped," according to William Bradford's "Of Plymouth Plantation."

Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony, records what happened next: "They began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, that they might not continue to languish in misery. After much debate, the Governor decided that each settler should plant corn for themselves."

Under the Land Division of 1623, each family received one acre per family member to farm. That year, three times as many acres were planted as the year before. Prosperity was not long in coming.

The Pilgrims turned from their Old World system of common ownership to incentives. They didn't go that way out of ideological conviction, but because they didn't have the luxury of waiting for support to come to them.

How many families in America tell the same tale? "When we came here, we worked hard and our lives were better."

But that wasn't the end of the story. Before the switch to incentives, the hungry settlers were at each other's throats. Hard workers resented receiving the same portions of food as those who were not able to do even a quarter of the work they did. Young men resented having to work without compensation to feed other men's wives and children. Mature men resented receiving the same allotments as did the younger and meaner sort. Women resented being forced to do laundry and other chores for men other than their husbands. Many people felt too sick to work.

But when they were allowed to farm their own plots, the most amazing thing happened. Everybody — the sick, the women and even the children — went out willingly into the fields to work. People started to respect and like one another again. It wasn't that they were bad people, Bradford explained; it's just human nature. Adam Smith came to the same conclusion later, and Friedrich Hayek updated Smith's ideas for the 20th century. But we don't need to go back to New England for understanding. Similar outcomes can be seen at McDonald's every day.

For centuries, people on the lower rungs of the social ladder weren't able to eat meat. They ate grains and beans. But people like beef. And chicken.

When McDonald's started popping up in every neighborhood, all of a sudden there was an affordable place for families to eat. Previously, one of the main differences between the upper and lower classes was that the rich could eat out. Even if the poor could afford the tab, they couldn't hire baby sitters, and they couldn't bring their kids to the elegant establishments designed for the rich because they would have disturbed the other diners.

Most kids don't like fancy restaurants anyway. They want fries, not polenta with wild mushrooms. They want fried codfish, not turbot. They want burgers, not lamb chops.

How many people has McDonald's made happy? How many families has it brought together? How many Happy Meals have been eaten there? How many kids have enjoyed the playgrounds? How many tired workers have been able to catch a quick meal? How many women are able to pursue careers and other productive activities and dreams because McDonald's has freed them from the task of having to cook every night?

The Pilgrims might have served 200 or 300 American Indians at their Thanksgiving feast. McDonald's serves 26 million customers a day at 13,700 U.S. restaurants.

For the traveler, McDonald's is a home away from home, offering so much for so little. The restrooms are clean. And McDonald's serves hot strong organic coffee in smooth cups of some wonderful material that keeps liquids hot without burning the hand, shaped to fit into the cup holders that just happen to be in your car, with carefully designed tops that permit just the right amount to be sipped.

No regulator, no fascist dictator, no socialist planner decreed sip tops or cup holders. But how many late-night drivers have died for the lack of a good cup of coffee? What could be more munificent than saving lives?

And the story doesn't end there. Consider the employees of McDonald's. How many people have worked there and learned the most important lesson in America: The customer is always right?

The anti-this-and-that people who demonstrate against profit incentives and free markets like to single out McDonald's as a symbol of modern capitalism. (They don't mean that in a nice way.) As the McLibel Support Campaign puts it: "(McDonald's) has pioneered many business practices that have been taken up by others, and have come to represent a symbol of the way that society is going –'McDonaldization.'" But when have you ever seen an unhappy customer at McDonald's? There couldn't be too many of them, because about 10% of America eats there each day. Given the choice of cooking at home or going to other restaurants — and competition ensures that there are other restaurants — people go to McDonald's because they trust they'll find good food, quick service and value for money. What could be more munificent, more representative of sharing the fruits of hard work than McDonald's?

McDonald's and the Pilgrims are the essence of America. The people work hard, motivated by the chance for profits. They provide a welcome to others, whether to Indians joining in harvest celebrations, or to customers looking to satisfy their hunger. Their work results in high quality, low costs and family togetherness.

Those humdrum, everyday attributes are what makes America great. That's what we should be celebrating. It's the source of all our munificence, from the first Thanksgiving to today.

Nov

20

The Speculator: 3 lessons from ace investor George Soros

Kim Zussman comments:

I don't think there is such a thing as an unconditional friend. Everyone wants something - what is friendship if you get nothing out of it?

The same with 'unconditional love'. I had a conditional friend who was a feminist, and she said that her cat loved her unconditionally. I told her to do this experiment: Every day when you come home, find the cat and kick it (obviously just a thought experiment because never be cruel to any animal). After a month tell me about your cat's unconditional love for you.

Stefan Jovanovich adds:

Friendship and love are exchanges, contracts of shared interest and sentiment. Those of us who have endured bad partnerships and been sustained by good ones know that the people who sink the ship are those who are incapable of sharing good sense because they want people to promise to sacrifice "everything" in the name of the perfect union.

Nov

20

Regularities

November 20, 2021 | Leave a Comment

With crude down 10% in a week, at the lowest level at $75.00 a barrel and bonds within one or two points of all time high, the idea that inflation is the big problem, and thanksgiving prices and black monday are going to cause great distress and inflation related things

inflation is going to be very mild and this should be good for the recent diagnosed president and his agenda

all around enterprises ane front running black friday by starting their bargains a week or two in advance. it should provide a lesson to traders as to how regularities get telescoped and dissipated well in advance of expected date

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

16

Stein’s Law

November 16, 2021 | Leave a Comment

p taking cold bath and doing stretching exercises

Rocky Humbert writes:

countless macro parallels - fiscal, monetary and social - to the 1960's. few of us remember that period, fewer of us were market participants during that period, and none of us kept our punched cards. rocky says good time to review Stein's Law.

Vic replies:

very nice to hear from rocky. a man of wisdom and poignancy and profits. p's law may augment.

i still have my punch cards and cassettes from the 60's. now i will look up steins law. from 25 years ago, whenever i heard from rocky who was named by a white shoe flexion many years ago, it was to point out how trend following was about to or had recently buried me.

stein's law appears to be that a big trend will stop because it can't go on forever. however, there is a law of consilience and beauty i will quote from p shortly and until the nikkei hits 30,000 there is no beauty.

thus i think that rocky's message to me form 25 years ago is resonant but different. i believe he warns me and my meager followers not to be overly bullish.

a quote from P's forthcoming book Time and Beauty. "the connection between beautiful images and ease of grasping and understanding serves as basis for the brain design known as cognition. this is why art occurred in cavemen."

It was robert rubin who gave rocky his name because he was part of the rocket scientists at that white shoe firm and even then the treasury secretary was flexionically in the clouds.

the boys on investicon have a system. buy to sell higher and sell to buy lower. one could wait a long time like 50 years for the latter to work. reminds me of the only time Lorie sold futures some time in 1986. he had a 200 point loss and bailed out on oct 19 1987. never sold short again.

the amazing thing was that the palindrome during the 12 years of our association was bearish on stocks 90% of the time. yet he made money. perhaps the two tennis cans and the back ache were the key.

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

15

Trading lessons

November 15, 2021 | Leave a Comment

thanks for the comment about being one of best traders of all time. many people including my wife and black swan acolytes think i am one of the worst. the idea is fanned by the new yorker article calling me the blow up artist. upon reflection, i couldn't defend myself during the new yorker article because i couldn't give my position away. as to why i lost so much from selling out-of-the-money puts, i now conclude that because of the small number of market makers who had positions against me, and who made the rules and margins, that left me vulnerable to "concerted" action from those with opposite positions to me. i did not have the wherewithal to withstand the moves that were dissipated as soon as margin forced me out, and prices started rising again. i should be tarred because i put myself into this position where i could be broken so easily by my adversaries. other than my forays into selling puts, i have done fine mainly because i have always been bullish following lorie and dimson and now p.

gave all the gross proceeds to my customers. one other thing i learned from the debacle was never to bring a legal action as the cost of pursuing it is always greater than the expected recovery. i wish i had followed this in my merger business where i stupidly insisted on full payment of my fees and brought action to recover the last 10% or so that my customers wished to chisel me on. as I am 80 yrs old, i am tired of being tarred and feathered for my lapses in 60 years of trading. thank goodness, i was able to recoup for my 7 kids and 13 grand children and they are free to pursue whatever career and education they wish because of the good trading i made to offset my lapses in selling otm puts. btw i've learned my lesson, and haven't sold any puts for 15 years and don't advise others to do so even though with point and click trading there are more than 2 market makers on other side these days.

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

14

why would someone buy a bond paying 2% interest for 30 years if the expected inflation was 5% or more a year? There is a growing fallacy among R's that inflation is going to ruin us. but the bond rate shows that expected and actual inflation is going way down.

This should provide a big boost to d's before the nov 2022 election. and a tremendous disconnect in the way the public is contemplating one of the hypothetical but transitory and ephemeral problems that they attribute to bbb and other boondoggles.

much more salient is the diversity, equity, inclusion tests that are explicit or implicit in all government and masters 100 regulatory capture firms.

it is distressing to see someone like victor hanson and so many other clear thinkers so wrong-headed about the problem of inflation. long term bonds are up in price about 4 pts since sep month end.

the problem with bbb is not increased inflation or deficits but replacement of private control of capital with government, socialism and pork.

Vic's twitter feed

Theodosis Athanasiadis comments:

I believe it is prudent to separate expected inflation and expected real rates when one looks at nominal rates. You can look at the tips and get those numbers. Right now expected inflation that the bond market is pricing is the highest it has been which means that rates have stayed low because of zeroish expected real rates. In other words the bond market is pricing a sort of stagflationary environment for the next 10-30yrs. How likely that is is an open question.

Some other things to keep in mind:
- 30 year rates are weighted averages of future expected inflation. At some point the fed will tighten and this will stabilize inflation creating a mean reversion. This is what drives the yield curve flattening
- bonds historically have offered a crisis protection which in theory means one can hold them even if he expects negative return as a cheaper alternative ie to buying puts

Nov

9

back from a trip seeing P. he believes that one of the reasons for consructal numbers is the ease of remembering and the beauty of the least effort in achieving a goal. 4700 very soon and then 5000.

p is the tony hawks of thermodynamics - not by chance the champion of predicting markets. while he is the most cited of all the professors in the engineering department of duke, he is treated like a pariah. not one of his 25 proposals for funding has been approved in last 5 yrs. is it sad to see him suppressed by the climate change boys at his school and the fed science institutes that provide all the funding for the school at the height of his powers, while 99% of universities are virtue signaling in order to regulatory capture. his univ is one of worst. one presumes that he would be anticipating a 100 on crude and a 100k on bitcoin.

a quote from P's forthcoming book "time and beauty" physics of why we are attracted to images that we grasp and understand easily and fast, we tend to remember these as beautiful. a beautiful body is said to be well-proportioned. proportioned are all the preferred objects presumably the round numbers fit in as beauty and fast

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

5

Jeff Watson writes:

Proposition bets have been around since the beginning of time. They capture the greed of the victim and put money in the pocket of the prop hustler. Proposition bets rely on the greed of the victim combined with the ignorance of the real probability of what they are betting on. Most good proposition bets are of the sort that will give the victim at least a small chance of winning, the bets that allow the victim no chance to win aren't really bets, but swindles. Although I'm not a fan of swindles, there are some very elegant swindles out there. The book only mentions a couple of them.

Owen O'Shea has presented 50 different proposition bets, mostly in the card, dice, or numbers categories. The real beauty of his short book is that the author kindly explains the math behind each of the prop bets in easy to follow detail. The math is very friendly to those math challenged individuals who might read the book.. The description of each wager and the subsequent true odds of the outcomes allows the reader to "see" what's under the hood for each bet.

The bets described in the book could be easily modified for different situations. For example, he describes the birthday problem wager, but also describes a wager that is a kissing cousin to the birthday problem. I could think of 15 different scenarios that one could apply the same principles of the birthday problem.. All of the other wagers mentioned the book could be expanded upon in this manner.

O'Shea's book is brand new, July 2021, and I highly recommend it. It is an easy read, which is surprising, considering the level of explanation for each bet. This book should be included on the shelf of every library of those interested in gambling, probabilities, math, cards, dice….and for those with a touch of larceny in their hearts. For the beginning proposition hustler, this book could be a bible.

When I was a young man about to go out into the world, my father says to me a very valuable thing. He says to me like this… "Son," the old guy says, "I am sorry that I am not able to bank roll you to a very large start, but not having any potatoes which to give you, I am now going to stake you to some very valuable advice. One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to come to you and show you a nice, brand new deck of cards on which (Sky snaps fingers) the seal has not yet been broken. This man is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of that deck and squirt cider in your ear. Now son, you do not take this bet, for as sure as you stand there, you are going to wind up with an earful of cider."

- Sky Masterson "Guys and Dolls"

Stefan Jovanovich adds:

The prop bet was whether Mindy's (actually, Lindy's) sold more strudel or cheesecake.

Vic comments:

all prop bets on S&P from short side are losers. in sports betting you can win if 52% against the line. is that better or worse than markets? how can you beat the 52%?

Henry Gifford writes:

After hearing about the book on the list, I bought a copy. Thanks for the tip. I particularly looked forward to having the examples explained.

I started reading the introduction, which starts with an explanation of the Monty Hall paradox.

Now let’s get something straight – the problem described in the book is described as being a description of the game that was played on TV. All such explanations I have ever heard also say they describe the game that was played on TV.

A hustler offers a mark the option of choosing which one of three doors (cards in the book) is a winner, with the mark betting $10 for a chance to win $10 for choosing the winning door. The three choices are designated A, B, and C.

In the example given, the mark chooses A, then the hustler reveals that C is a losing option, then the hustler gives the mark the option of switching to choice B. The book then explains the mark’s situation as follows:

Here’s the thing. If you do not switch, your choice of picking the [winner] is 1/3, so think of the other unturned card as the “winning card” with probability of 2/3. Therefore, if you switch 2/3 of the time, you switch to the [closed winning door]. Consequently, by switching you double your chances from 1/3 to 2/3 of picking the [winner].

Suppose a con artist is offering this bet to various marks at various locations. At a bet of say, $10 a round, where the mark wins, they win $10. About 1/3 of the time the mark will choose the wrong card. If the mark decides not to switch from their original choice, they lose. This will occur about 1/3 of the time. But the hustler wins about 2/3 of the time and therefore for every $10 the mark wins, the hustler wins $20. Therefore, the con artist is winning this bet 2/3 of the time and in so doing, is making a tidy profit.

Then the book names a famous mathematician who was fooled by this bet, then changes the subject.

I don’t see any explanation of the paradox, and a lot of other things are not explained in any way I can understand.

For example, if switching improves the odds from 1/3 to 2/3, why would switching 2/3 of the time improve the odds to only 2/3? And what is the assumption of the mark switching 2/3 of the time based on?

And “If the mark decides not to switch from their original choice, they lose.” Huh? They lose all the time by not switching? But the previous sentence says the mark wins 1/3 of the time if not switching.

Another gem is “About 1/3 of the time the mark will choose the wrong card.” Really? I thought that with one choice out of three cards the mark will choose the wrong card 2/3 of the time.

And, at the core of the issue, the claim that switching improves the odds to 2/3 is not explained.

Of course the greatest paradox is that the book is about proposition bets that appear to be better bets than they really are, meanwhile the bet described says the mark is betting $10 to win $10 on a choice of one out of three options – a bet which does not appear to me to be a winning bet, as the hustler has a 2/3 chance of winning. Then, after the “paradox” is allegedly explained, the book explains that the hustler enjoys odds of winning of 2/3 because of the paradox. So, the hustler’s odds of winning improve from 2/3 to 2/3. Just how much did the hustler gain by improving his odds of winning from 2/3 to 2/3? This is another thing I don’t understand, and don’t see any explanation of.

This leaves me with zero faith in the accuracy of anything else in the book, and zero faith that anything else in the book will be adequately described. Or, at least, explained in a way I can understand it. My copy is in my garbage can, but I can retrieve it and mail it to any list member who asks for it.

Nov

3

this, versus never

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

1

an excellent read showing that motivations especially jealousies have not changed in 10,000 years

Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined

[The first two in the series are also excellent. -Ed.]

Mythos

Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Vic's twitter feed

Nov

1

…in the U.S. stock market

WSJ: U.S. Stock Market Faces Risk of Bumpy Autumn, Wall Street Analysts Warn
Investors have pushed the S&P 500 to 54 record closes in 2021, making some observers wary

After a record-breaking bull run for the U.S. stock market this year, many Wall Street analysts are starting to warn that investors could be in for a bumpy ride in the coming weeks and months.

Analysts at firms including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp. published notes this month cautioning about current risks in the U.S. equity market. With the S&P 500 already hitting 54 records this year through Thursday—the most during that period since 1995—several analysts said that they believe there is a growing possibility of a pullback or, at the least, flatter returns.

Vic's twitter feed

Oct

28

how much of masters 1000 and airline regulation and coke and walmart and sports leagues and the stock market in general can be explained by this:

George J. Stigler, "The Theory of Economic Regulation"

In the field of regulatory policy, few articles have achieved the impact of George Stigler’s "The Theory of Economic Regulation," published in 1971. Stigler punctured the idea that regulation arises solely to advance the overall public interest by correcting market failures. He forcefully argued that instead “regulation is acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefit” (p. 3). Although Stigler never used the phrase “regulatory capture” in “The Theory of Economic Regulation,” his article has nevertheless come to be so identified with the idea that regulation serves private interests that it is hard to find any serious discussion of regulatory capture in the last 40 years that does not at least cite Stigler’s work.

From WSJ, 2014:
Regulatory Capture 101
Impressionable journalists finally meet George Stigler.

The financial scandal du jour involves leaked audio recordings that purport to show that regulators at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York were soft on Goldman Sachs. Say it ain’t so.

The news is being treated as shocking by journalists who claim to be hard-headed students of financial markets. One especially impressionable columnist calls it “a jaw-dropping story about Wall Street regulation.” The real scandal here is the excessive faith that liberal journalists and politicians continue to put in financial regulation. The media pack is discovering regulatory capture—a mere 43 years after George Stigler published his landmark paper on the concept.

Willem H. Buiter and cognitive regulatory capture:
Lessons from the North Atlantic financial crisis

lets take the big Pharma that held back its announcement that it had a vaccine and it was effective for covid—-held back announcement for day after election. then received 100s of millions of orders and reg approval after election - as well as airlines receiving millions if they ageed to body tape all those that mite vote against who didnt maintain the semblance that masks worked. what other examples can you give besides big P and airlines?

For more examples:
Regulatory capture

Vic's twitter feed

Oct

24

Ideas That Changed the World, by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, contains the idea of universal force. is there a universal force in the stock market? how does it relate to constructal force?

the idea of the Mana, the universal force - is there a Mana in the stock market that causes it to go up 100,000 fold a century?

the book's idea that there is a purposeful universal force should be augmented to apply to the stock market. the studies of Jim Lorie, and Elroy Dimson et al, show the inevitable rise of the stock markets. how does it apply now?

i see about 30% of all days since the end of 2020 have been all-time highs. rite now we are 14 away from another all-time high and 29 days away from the last one of sep 06. how does it happen? one way now is for all the companies to submerse themselves in the current political system (ie, rumpelstiltskin) and realize the favoritism and emoluments of being with the force. how can the stock market go up 10% a year when profits don't grow that much? being with the force. what do you think?

Vic's twitter feed

Oct

12

Mr. Terminal Value

October 12, 2021 | Leave a Comment

mr. terminal value: i always used terminal value rather than discounted value on problems including my final exams for big things like phd. it's so much better than discounted value. but the professors never understood it. and I got graded down. so i had go to the dean for rectification of terminal value. the dean was George Stigler who was in the old days too good an economist to be canceled by the "committee". fortunately he was still able and sharp and understood it. he was able to hit 3 holes in 1 at 60 in his club in canada.

Vic's twitter feed

Oct

10

Uncle Howie

October 10, 2021 | Leave a Comment

My uncle Howie: (1) is notable for winning and losing 55 national handball Nationals, and (2) is the world's most apreciative person of father Artie (he lived across the steps from him)and (3) he always looks like he's going to punch you in the face if you disagree with him.

(4) he gave me that mix of 2 to 4 and insisted i take a whole body scan. its similar in its efficacy to the illumina story. I finally yielded in view of 2-4 and it saved my life when it found a 10-fold elevation in cea. David Brooks said I had about 6 months to live had he not operated on me. how many have passed away because of regulatory delays?

Vic's twitter feed

Oct

8

arthur niederhoffer my father was a police officer for 20 years and routinely did acts of kindness for others. everyone who knew him said they thought of him as their fondest elder brother.

banana ice cream: Artie encouraged many kids and police officers to go on from high school to college. At 12 midnite when his shift ended he led a regular group of 12 in going over the entrance exams using the Delehanty study guides.

At that time NY City creameries included the Breyers Ice Cream Factory. Artie treated all his students and me to banana ice cream from Breyers at 1 or 2 am after the study sessions ended. After 70 years i can never eat banana ice cream without crying as i'm doing now.

the slice backhand: as part of his acts of kindness, artie graded the Delehanty guides. indeed on the last day of his life he graded all his students at John Jay and gave them all an A. i studied these Delehanty guides and it helped me get into Harvard. it was there i learned the terrible slice backhand as i had never played squash before.

The life and career of Arthur Niederhoffer

At his memorial service, John Jay College President Gerald W. Lynch said:

"Arthur is the prototype of what John Jay College is; the practitioner who stood on the front line of police work; the thinker and explainer to us all of the reasons for social deviance and the proper responsibilities and limits of social control; the man of strong compassion for his fellow human beings who strove to help us understand police work and its stress, as well as the criminals the police must deal with.

"In loving tribute, his colleagues, friends, and relatives established the Arthur Niederhoffer Memorial Fellowship, awarded annually to students in the doctoral program in criminal justice at John Jay College who ”best epitomize in academic achievement and in the promise of future fulfillment the professional accomplishments of Arthur Niederhoffer.”

Vic's twitter feed

Oct

6

%$#@ Yankees

October 6, 2021 | Leave a Comment

to me the yankees play a pathetic game with no small ball and terrible defense, and the great majority of their batters with averages below 220. typical is their clean up batter gallo with a 190 average. compounding the misery for me is the terrible managing and the way the yankees use quant strategies unvarying and fixed. even worse than technical analysts in our field. no matter what, the yanks will take a pitcher out after 100 pitches even he's if pitching a no hitter.

worst of all are the promotional ads like kars and dear priscilla and the cancer and lotteries ads on the radio that destroy ones equanimity. in short the yankees don't deserve to win and good bye susan and john for 6 months.

stockholm syndrome at bronx baseball. the players, when asked about the good job that boone is doing, come up with "he shows up every day."

Vic's twitter feed

Oct

5

Vic notes:

an observer who seems as acute as andy:

SUBSCRIBER 6 minutes ago: We had a hot tip, in about 2010, about stock in a company that could do many different lab tests from a "drop" of finger stick blood! Knowing nothing about the company structure–just the excited promises–but being 30+ years into a Laboratory Medicine career, we realized that this was nothing new. We'd been doing a variety of chemistries & blood counts on finger stick and heel stick blood sample since at least the early 80's–actually 2 or 3 drops of blood in a thin glass capillary tube. The variety of tests, and the number of analytical systems doing these tests, expanded every year. It was routine–a standard of medical lab operations…nothing at all new except the excitement of a 20-something girl who had the market, a score of hyper-successful board members, and an uninformed public fascinated by her predictions. She was masterful at marketing–initially.

A reader adds:

I have heard several interviews with John Carreyou about his book, Bad Blood, but haven't read it yet.

Sep

30

nobody asked me but the yankees are a much worse coached team than any of the other contenders and are likely to lose in the wild card very quickly. they constantly take out pitchers and refuse to play small ball.

nobody asked me but the relation between susan and john on the yankees game would be indecorous if john weren't so old and susan weren't so nice. he refers to her as my dear and often says that he knows nothing and she knows everything. neither of them seems to have insights into the game but susan knows many anecdotes and john is often bewildered by the uncertainty of the game.

i enjoy listening to them while i'm watching prices but every ad on their radio program seems to be a promotion of one kind. the worst besides the kars for kids which seems to be a promotion all around is the sniff and shimmei for the ny lottery as it promises two wins daily.

the ads for cancer are particularly reprehensible as they indicate that someone has hope because a comprehensive cancer center will do research on their particular cancer.

Vic's twitter feed

Sep

28

Ken Burns Says Current Times ‘Equal’ to Civil War, Depression and World War II: ‘It’s Really Serious’

Historian and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns said that the present day is one of the worst times in American history.

Burns made the remark while on the “SmartLess” podcast, hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes, comparing current events with the Civil War, the Depression, and World War II.

“It’s really serious. There are three great crises before this: the Civil War, the Depression, and World War II. This is equal to it,” he said on Monday’s episode when asked about the direction the United States was headed.

Peter Saint-Andre offers:

Perhaps he's been reading The Fourth Turning by Strauss & Howe. Highly recommended.

It does strike me that the recent run of presidents rivals the likes of Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan. Stefan can provide a more informed perspective for us.

Leo Jia writes:

The Fourth Turning sounds very interesting, thanks for sharing. I had similar senses in recent years, hope I had read it earlier.

According to Wikipedia [Strauss–Howe generational theory], our current turning is crisis starting in 2008 and ending in 2020 (+a couple years perhaps). The last crisis was between 1929 and 1947 (depression and ww2 together for 17 years). The crisis before that was between 1860 and 1865 (civil war for 5 years).

As one turning generally lasts 20-22 years, the current one is coming to the final years.

The next turning following a crisis is termed high. It's like 1946 - 1964, and 1865 - 1886, for which we can be hopeful.

I am not sure if the authors discussed about the not fully synchronous nature of the turnings through the world. For instance, America didn't suffer ww2 so much as Europeans or some Asians. Europe didn't have the depression, though it had ww1 earlier. Also, even in the same crisis turning for instance, different groups or countries can take differently: winners get more benefits than losers for instance.

So the podcaster talks about a worst crisis we are in, well that may be true, but the good news is that not everyone has to suffer.

Vic adds:

presumably that fellow traveler who has never believed in american excetionalim is referring to the negative feelings about president biden which i happen to agree is bearish as the masters 1000 and the big tech and the bilious billionaires will have less chance of capturing the rake from being one with the lokis.

Henri Huws suggests:

If you’re enjoying The Fourth Turning have a look at Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler. He was a history teacher by trade that wrote extensively on the coming decline of the west. Spengler’s cyclical theory on history is very interesting. He famously predicted the fall of the third reich, 9 years before the end of the war. All of his work is fantastic, but has a much longer time horizon than the 4th turning. In vol1 he focuses on how culture in civilisations throughout history changed as their civilisations grew and declined. In vol 2 He puts more emphasis on politics and economics. Its a dense read, but well worth it.

Duncan Coker recommends:

For geopolitics I recommend Peter Zeihan. His latest is due out next year, and the title is provocative: The End of the World is Just the Beginning. It could be taken as negative or positive depending on your time frame. As much as I like Ken, his comparisons to other points in history seem way off the mark.

Stefan Jovanovich

Mr. Burns left out the wow finish with Jesus and George Washington - always Lincoln's favorite bit of stagecraft.

Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence.–Let those materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws: and, that we improved to the last; that we remained free to the last; that we revered his name to the last; that, during his long sleep, we permitted no hostile foot to pass over or desecrate his resting place; shall be that which to learn the last trump shall awaken our WASHINGTON. Upon these let the proud fabric of freedom rest, as the rock of its basis; and as truly as has been said of the only greater institution, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Sep

27

an important book like this deserves a proper reference

The Analysis of Economic Time Series, by Harold Thayer Davis (1941) [pdf]

Sep

26

Levels of the bias

September 26, 2021 | Leave a Comment

in john mcphee's book about the ashe-graebner match (Levels of the Game), he told me 100 people came up to him on the princeton train and berated him for it being biased against graebner and 100 came up to berate him for bias against ashe.

i am berated by the bears for being an ignoramous and having a bullish bias and others compliment me for being so smart. i am not so smart. and like all old people i have to change to adjust to modern times.

Vic's twitter feed

Sep

26

some shocking moves in bonds stocks gold last week. the frog jumped out of the water. will the flexions allow a debacle while infrastructure in play?

the study of circuit diagrams (Boolean algebra, logic gates) with the output depending on various consecutive combos of and, or, not, and +, gives good insights and possible uses for the color diagrams. for example let "stocks up" be p and "bonds down" be not q. we've had two p not q in a row.

it happened 44 times since 2019 - nothing special for either as an output.

by adding a + r, one can put a third variable in it. these extensions were strangely inspired by insights about checkers. the moves in checkers one forward or one backward with red and black have always seemed to me indicative of logic circuits with the output corresponding.

Vic's twitter feed

Sep

25

laurel writes that it's execrable to go on a date to a dance concert with someone who can't dance. i fear she is referring invidiously to me. all i can say is that my father was the best dancer in the police force and also the star of folk dancing from russia and latin american countries which were very hard to learn and perform which my dad performed every day with 50 women and 20 men daily in the baths at the beach.

also my daughter galt would have been a star of american dance machine if the director had lived.

all my daughters are great dancers and so is my wife. somehow i can't dance even though i have taken lessons from four different teachers. my favorite teacher was yuval hod.

Best Lindy Hop Dance Routine - Yuval Hod & Nathalie Gomes!

yuval had the same problem in winning 4 world championships that i did. all the judges at the international competitions were biased against Israel. the squash officials used to love it to make me lose and called around when i was losing.

fortunately they didn't see me losing that much but i would have won another n.a. championship if stew breauns had called one down on me that i was up. he had never called one down on me before. it was 14 all when he called it against me in the semis. i can still see him, a diabolical smile in letting sam howe win who had never beat me before.

funny how memories from 60 years ago are so resonant. i remember every match i lost. the funny thing was that even though i was practically undefeated for the 10 years of my prime. i should have been much better if i hadn't been taught that accursed slice backhand.

i wish i was 1/10 as good at markets as i was in racket sports. the slice backhand was particularly reprehensible in racquetball. marty hogan hit backhand 150 miles an hour. i was lucky to reach 60 mph. the funny thing is that i am the only player with a plus record against marty.

my father could do anything perfectly. he was a formist and did everything with perfect form. i do everything with terrible form. my wife is a formist also.

i violated larry wiliams rule about less than 1/2 age + 7 with my formist wife when she was 19 and I was 32. i'll never forget when i entered a rac tourney and 10 guys ran up to me and said "you have to see this girl's backhand perfect form and she's a looker also."

i taught her that backhand and she beat john hummer with it with my father watching. john was twice her height.

Vic's twitter feed

Sep

19

some comments on the big decline.

(1) it was a decline red in tooth and claw with bonds, stocks, and gold down.

(2) it was harbingered by the decline of 47 bucks in gold on thursday. a once in a decade decline. the main reason there was a status incongruence.

(3) everything bad for the US. the 70 billion of equipment left behind. and all the US could come up with was that the afghans and their allies aren't smart enuf to reverse engineer it.

(4) the foreigners have to decide on options expiration whether they should continue their US buying. with the US in decline from the withdrawal and everything related, why should they park in US.

(5) the status incongruence of the admission we killed 19 civilians in the drone strife. but this was clearly an attempt to come up with good talking points about our over the horizon capability. this was the only thing they coudn't blame on pele another incongruence.

(6) the incongruence of Milley worrying about sanity of Trump but not concerned about the montreal semantic test for other high officials. incongruence of no punishment for generals who worked for raytheon and g.d. but impeachment if pele did it.

(7) as the professor says, the market moves to every higher numbers with cataracts along the way.

Vic's twitter feed

Jeff Watson writes:

With many talking doom and gloom regarding the future, it is a noteworthy accomplishment for the S&P to only be 2.5% off it's ATH.

Mark Graham asks:

so what's next come monday?

Jeff Watson responds:

Who knows what the market is going to do on Monday. Who cares what I think? Who cares what anyone thinks should happen in the future? Why should one trust the "experts?" People might have an idea of what might happen, but that's about all it is. I can't count the times I've been perfectly convinced something would happen and it didn't. What happens tomorrow happens, and you will either be right or wrong. That's the case for every one of us. It doesn't matter what Chair, Bill, Sogi San, Larry, myself, or any other member of this list thinks the market is going to do. It only matters what you think and how you navigate the often treacherous currents, eddies and shoals of the markets. Opinions given for free, market tips, supposed insider info, etc are worth less than what you pay for them. LeFevre talked all about tips, and allowing others to do one's thinking for them, and his advice should be heeded.

Larry Williams joins in:

There are people I listen to intently; they have established they are worth listening to…some are on this list. An explanation of why a trader expects such and such to happen is not a “tip". Big difference.

Jeff Watson clarifies:

Since I obviously wiffed the ball in my previous reply, to clarify and make my point clear, the message was it's best to keep one's own counsel.

Larry Williams concurs:

Yup, listen to all but pull the trigger at the target you see.

Nils Poertner adds:

I think what is tricky for most people to understand that in many other parts of business life (in particular as an employee), one can do very well as long one is social enough, aggressive, disciplined enough, progressive etc… or went to the right school…

whereas maneuvering mkts (long-term - over decades) by oneself requires a different mindset altogether - and trading even more so than pure investing

Sep

19

Snitch Nation

September 19, 2021 | Leave a Comment

bill maher does Snitch Nation. of course we're all wondering what we can get from others and what the others are going to desire to take from us. a natural consequence of the road to socialism.

Vic's twitter feed

Sep

15

Yankee analytics

September 15, 2021 | Leave a Comment

forget the regularities and statistics. the yankees lost 7 in a row while s&p moves to 14 day low but won 13 in a row while the market broke 4500. yesterday they finally won one while following insane analytics that are set before the game and don't take account of recency.

incredibly an analytics that says that after 100 pitches the other side does better trumps an ERA on current pitches of 2 or less et al. does someone know about ever changing cycles there or are the analytics designed for losses the way yankees use them?

the yankee games are good predictor of the sp? why is this not chance? but the ads on the radio game are so biased and woke that they ruin ones enjoyment of the predictions. worst of all the the attempts at humor of the insurance ads and the hope for cancer and the lottery ads.

the kars for kids and the lawyer ads that have received a 6 million settlement are reprehensible also

Vic's twitter feed

Sep

15

i found this interview extraordinarily educational and revealing. self-loathing virtue signaling military defense generals at general dynamics and raytheon.

In this Direct interview, John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, is joined by Victor Davis Hanson. Dr. Hanson addresses Biden’s role in the Afghanistan crisis, increased tensions between China and the US, and the future of the US-Australia relationship.

Sep

13

Friday predicts next week?

September 13, 2021 | 1 Comment

friday was a most unusual day: down 50 big from the open and set an x-day low but not a 29-day low. all things considered should be a great bull week next week, regardless of the reduction of progressivism and the rise of pele in the odds.

Vic's twitter feed

Zubin al Genubi follows up:

Friday-Monday regularity kicked in nicely. Little bit of sogi coffee action this week?

Sep

11

Bookies and the vig

September 11, 2021 | Leave a Comment

remember that sports books are among the most profitable enterprises in the firmament and they let you choose a million interactions and/or splits, what used to be called the automatic interaction detector in my day. they dissect the data much more carefully than any technical analysts and they report statistics. they find that with all the expertise and all the advice that they can give, 1 in a million sports bettors can beat the 52% necessary to win.

the vig in trading is much more than the 5 1/2 % that the sports books take out.

Vic's twitter feed

Sep

8

possibility of pittsburgh phil bet with trump leading presidential odds by 30 to 20 with 30 milllion bet and dems still 53-46 to win the election. but bets on a republican to win are 55 to 45 in favor of republicans.

Current odds for the 2024 Presidential race

Vic's twitter feed

Sep

8


In the years before 1894, when the Daily Racing Form first started publishing, there was only one way to handicap horse races with past performance charts - you had to make the charts yourself. The number of people who were compiling data on horse races and making their own charts prior to the 1890s was most likely very small, but nobody was as successful at using racing data to inform his bets than a young man from outside of Pittsburgh named George E. Smith.

The Legend of Pittsburg Phil

Sep

3

his bio of the skateboard champion and entrepreneur in Americana is classic tom wolfe and makes life much better after a read:

The Birdman Drops In

“I don’t even think of Tony as an adult,” said Phil Jennings, a 12-year-old I met at the HuckJam. “He doesn’t act like the big man. He’s one of us.”

Sep

3

reading Hampton Sides meticulous and highly recommended military books Ghost Soldiers and On Desperate Ground, one is struck by systemic attention to detail with which the us military destroys all of their own weapons in their evacuations.

what could explain their leaving behind 70 billions of US weapons in their evacuation of Afghanistan? one posits a quid pro quo. loki must be behind this.

Sep

3

Is Our Military Woke, Broke or Both?

The Pentagon needs to stop virtue signaling about diversity days, culturally sensitive food for Afghan refugees, and rooting out supposed white conspiracists.

Instead, can it just explain why the Bagram Air Base was abandoned by night? Why suddenly are the terrorist Taliban our supposed “partners” in organizing our surrender and escape?

Sep

2

Music and Math: The Genius of Beethoven

Laurence Glazier comments:

Very nice, I would add that Bach was the engineer who enabled Beethoven and everyone else to write in lots of different keys. 1.5^12 and 2^7, in music 12 fifths and 7 octaves, are almost but not quite the same. Bach fixed this with a tuning system which averages out the difference.

Peter Saint-Andre adds:

Indeed, there were a lot of tuning systems developed around then: Neidhardt (seemingly Bach's preferred system), Werckmeister (he developed several), etc. Just last night I read all about them in The Esoteric Keyboard Temperaments of J. S. Bach. These folks were the quants of their day!

Peter Grieve comments:

Yes, the problem with getting good fifths and good octaves in the same scale is find a power of 3 that is equal to a power of 2. This is because a fifth is a ratio of 3/2, and an octave is a ratio of two.

Of course, there is no power of 3 that is exactly equal to a power of 2. There is a fairly good match at 3^5=243, and 2^8=256. The power of 5 on the 3 means that this corresponds to a pentatonic scale. And 3^12=531,441 while 2^19=524,288, (proportionately a better match) which as Laurence says is the basis of a diatonic scale.

Because the matches aren't exact, something's gotta give, and this is what Bach's temperment ideas addressed (as Laurence said).

There are other near matches at larger powers, but a scale with dozens or hundreds of notes has limited appeal.

Laurence Glazier writes:

Excellent attachment on the tunings, esoteric is the right word. The fact that this is being rediscovered after hundreds of years, is of special interest to me.

Adam Grimes adds:

I have built and played harpsichords for many years. When you play harpsichords, you also tune them. A lesser-known fact is how quickly this instrument goes out of tune… you can have it in tune for a concert and then it will need a touch up at intermission.

So, harpsichord players quickly become very familiar with these tunings. Some are much more useful than others, but it also explains what composers meant when they talked about affects or emotions associated with certain keys. This was a very real thing, in some of the older tuning systems, but has been completely lost (for better or worse) with modern equal temperament.

Another interesting aside is that I find these historical tunings don't work that well on the modern piano. Completely aside from the temperament issues, there's also the issue of inharmonicity (the deviation of a physical string from the theoretical ideal). All strings have this, but the piano has A LOT because of the thickness of the strings. (Certain types of harpischords (Italian) have scalings that are much closer to the theoretical ideals.) A piano is tuned ever-sharper in higher octaves so that it is in tune with its own overtones rather than the actual pitches. It's subtle, but it's real and important… and it also obliterates the precision of these historical tunings. (Another interesting aside is that once your ear learns to hear in these historical tunings, moving back to ET is a kick in the gut. You'll sit down at a piano, play a chord, and think "wow. everything really IS out of tune." which is the compromise of ET. (For the record, ET is a beautiful and useful thing, as well.)

What I don't see much value in are the microtonal modern experiments, but I understand what drives that line of thought.

For any musicians, if you haven't had the experience of singing pure-tempered intervals against a drone I'd highly encourage it. You can spend hours or even weeks exploring the beauty and power of these resonances… and you'll know musical materials as an EXPERIENCE of resonance rather than a sound or a theoretical construct.

One might imagine that it was these experiences of resonance that encouraged early humans to sing, to seek sound, and maybe even to seek language… maybe in those caves where they left us paintings of mystery and power… somewhere a very long time ago.

But, seriously, go get a bass drone sound and sing some pure octaves, fifths, and thirds against it. You'll never hear the same way again.

A reader adds:

Each open tuning has a special resonance that is different than the same notes played in concert. Similarly chord inversions carry different overtones from base fingering.

Jeff Watson adds:

I love Fripp’s New Standard Tuning, CGDAEG. The mnemonic for recalling it is “California guitarists drop acid every gig.”

Adam Grimes responds:

yeah but slightly different. Fretted instruments are ET. You could potentially bend some notes, but you're still working in an ET world. (Scordatura certainly changes the timbre of instrument, and resonance of open strings, etc., but is a substantially different thing from temperaments.)

Laurence Glazier writes:

Thanks Adam, fascinating thoughts.

When transcribing from inspiration, I am sometimes unable to use the note I hear in my mind, which lies somewhere between a pair of adjacent semitones. As my software uses ET tuning, I have on occasion resorted to using MIDI control instructions to nudge the pitch into place, but in the light of your post, I now see that the issue may be with the tuning system. On one of the historical keyboard instruments, the note I require might simply be there.

I have enjoyed writing music in the past for clavichord, because of the pressure sensitivity, but am now writing mainly for orchestra.

As you say, experience trumps academic construct. I personally consider music to be an elemental force of nature, and species evolve to sense it along with every other aspect of reality. It's also interesting that lunar and planetary orbits often lock into similar ratios. The Pythagorean Comma has a counterpart in the slight divergence between the lunar and solar calendars. The term live music, in my opinion, is literally true.

Adam Grimes responds:

Clavichord is a beautiful and intensely problematic (at least in my experience!) instrument.

I own one. The intimacy of it is incredible… it puts the player's finger in almost direct, expressive contact with the vibrating string… but that brings up so many issues of control and it's such a different technique than any other keyboard instrument. To say nothing of the whisper-soft sound level (that defies amplification, which might seem to be the obvious answer.)

And you're right… all those "in between" notes exist as a possibility on that instrument. Not hard to imagine someone playing in a remote key and instinctively bending the out of tune notes into an acceptable range.

Zubin comments:

Guitar players always bend notes giving infinite micro tones. Squeezing the string to approach the note can give great feeling. Of course singers all do it too.

Vic is reminded of a Beethoven story:

During a performance of one of his piano concertos Beethoven was the soloist, and he got so carried away with conducting that at one point he forgot to play the piano. He flung his arms wide and knocked the candlesticks off each side of the piano. The audience burst out laughing, and Beethoven got so mad that he ordered the orchestra to start over again.

Two choirboys were enlisted to hold the candlesticks out of harm's way. One of them got increasingly intrigued by the piano score and came in closer and closer just as a loud passage broke forth. Out went Beethoven's arm, knocking the choirboy in the mouth so that he dropped his candlestick. The other choirboy, having followed Beethoven's motions more cautiously, ducked, to the complete delight of the audience.

Beethoven fell into such a rage that on the first chord of his solo he pounded the piano so forcefully that he broke half a dozen strings. Die-hard music lovers in the audience tried to restore order, but failed. After that debacle Beethoven became increasingly reluctant to give concerts.

From Wisconsin Public Radio: The Catastrophic Conductor

Aug

29

advice of Tom Wiswell to all (especially teenagers): "look and listen and learn — the secret of success lies in using your eyes and ears."

Wiswell's favorite and most important proverb for games and markets and life: "moves that disturb your position the least, disturb your opponent the most."

Vic's twitter feed

Aug

28

recommended article of the month "self cancellation, deplatforming, and censorship", nick gilespie Reason Magazine current issue (calls for a reality and extremism expert)

(Ed. note: Currently available only to digital subscribers of Reason Magazine.)
Self-cancellation, Deplatforming, and Censorship: A taxonomy of cancel culture.

Vic's twitter feed

Aug

27

Ghost Soldiers

August 27, 2021 | Leave a Comment

what a difference between the planning and the courage and the direction and the execution and the bravery of this mission in 1944 with world war 2 technology and ww2 spirit and direction. how these rescuers would look at the current situation. well worth reading, listen.

Ghost Soldiers, by Hampton Sides

Aug

24

one notes the use of the word progressive in many advertisements. what other hidden persuaders do you see in marketing?

The Hidden Persuaders, by Vance Packard

free associations of the day: loss of identity, masks, kamala harris proximity, changing of guard around holidays, infrastructure.

Vic's twitter feed

Aug

20

1. banks take about 1000 billion out of market.
2.the algos run in front of you at all times. see the recent enforcement actions against white shoe firm.
3. after worst decline in us prestige in decades, the us dollar is only down to 116.80 from 20 day high of 118.20.

why do new traders trade foreign exchange when they could trade stocks and why do results show the futility of same?

Vic's twitter feed

Aug

19

Checkers wisdom

August 19, 2021 | Leave a Comment

in these perilous times and in honor of allen millhone's recent visit here,   it seemms appropriate to turn to some of tom wiswell's proverbs.

- position in checkers as in life is everything.
- on some days the dark clouds gather and you have to expect a storm.

i can hear tom looking over games i played with master and saying "red is strong". rite now the afghans are strong. we are begging them for mercy.

in addition to the afghans…afghans are strong — and the dax is strong. presumably the professor is contemplating the broach of a constructal number.

the us abandons bagram airport. "we dont have the forces to protect the airport." another of tom's proverbs and mine also: "the mouse with one hole is quickly cornered."

Vic's twitter feed

Aug

15

why does big corp, big sports, big unions, big centrals, big media love progressives, and why does the market go up as the trend continues? some hypotheses:

1. the progressives and those who favor centralized versus individual action are in control. better to be with them than against them.

2. they appoint all the regulatory officials, and these officials constantly make decisions that favor their supporters.

3. the big tend to be educated at the iveys and stanford where the dangers of socialism are not taught and centralized planning is lionized.

what are your explanations for while the market keeps going up as woke increases?

for big players - especially formerly investment banks, now banks - can directly make profits by becoming more woke, and having their executives make the rules that profit them especially meshing with the Fed and fellow travelers in all branches of government.

the mass person always prefers a system of handout to working, and the pickadees that nock mentions and galton talks about who are born to herd and not lead. as the handwriting becomes clearer, that is a stampede of surrender as in afghanistan now. better to live than be executed.

Vic's twitter feed

Aug

12

ridiculous and naive editorials in the wsj talk about how the other side has an inflation problem. but bonds went up today on the inflation numbers and it's forcasting a 1% or so inflation rate in the next 10 years and about 1.5% in next 30 years. problem is socialism.

stocks refuse to go down and bonds after many a yellow and red day refuses to go down more than its 20 day rather harmonious low.

everythings progressive today stocks should harmonize with capture of profits by master 1000.

gold finaly not being displaced entirely by crypto, makes a comeback down 75$ in a week.

as usual stocks go down on inflation numbers but bonds go up. who is rite and who is topsy turvy?

Vic's twitter feed

Aug

10

with bonds forecasting inflation of 1/2% or so, one would hope that the other side mite concentrate on the dangers of socialism not inflation.

gold in uncharted territory never been down as much. swamp now aims at desantis. aggregated weekly figures to make him look bad. but he's gaining on pele.

the chronic bear says bonds stop forecasting inflation. but if market participants felt that bonds were not consistent with no inflation, they would sell bonds and make a sure profit. markets are very smart and don't allow an oppportunity like that to pass.

Vic's twitter feed

Jul

29

Branch Rickey

July 29, 2021 | Leave a Comment

nobody asked me but the professor is in the catbird seat and branch rickey is the founder of sabermetrics. tom wiswell had a weekly checker game with branch rickey.

Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman

Jul

29

at the B&N on Market Street in Philadelphia which i visited over the weekend, i explored the business section to augment my recap of chapter 6 of Quixote.  i found all the finance books to be about panic or the decline of capitalism or the need for regulation to reign enterprise in, except for a book by ellis which, like all the other finance books, espoused the out-of-place-and-time methods of the Sage and his philandering  mentor.

i bought a big selection of them but the fire department picked me up for unsteady walking. (i wasn't wearing shoes and had my sneakers in my book bag so i fell.) and i left my books on a bike and they were stolen within 5 minutes which made my story seem not valid.

thus i can't relate to all the titles that espoused the graham & dodd, sage line, or the hoped for destruction of capitalism.

Vic's twitter feed

Jul

28

i recommend Brett Steenbarger's book The Psychology of Trading. it contains all sorts of fixes for emotional trading and reads like a mystery novel.

Brett's book is like a Paul Harvey story. it starts with a life or death situation from his counseling. then it shows how he solved the problem by applying trading wisdom.

i like his technique of talking out all your trades — and moving away from the market when it's going in your favor. also, all the wise words about the function of markets

Dr. Steenbarger's other works

Jul

28

good article on what is ruining baseball and why the Yankees lose so much when ahead and turn to analytics. they don't take account of ever-changing cycles and rely on one metric rather than the panoply.

State Of Analytics: How The Movement Has Forever Changed Baseball – For Better Or Worse

Jul

25

the duckworth-tukey test for differences between medians is useful and interesting and novel. i will give an example later. test 93 from 100 Statistical Tests by Gopal K. Kanji is unusual, useful for testing diffs between medians. consider the smallest observation from one distribution and the largest observation from the other. then take the overlaps

Jul

25

lawyers have been effusive in cross examining the niceties of witnesses in political testimony but I wonder what the appropriate cross examining questions are when a witness says he doesn't know if laptop with dates and places and pictures are his own
 
one of dr. brett's techniques for better trading is to laugh at yourself.  ridicule. i am ridiculing myself for not racking up for new highs
 
anti-capitalism, anti-private-property, capture by the atlanta 100.  attempts at divisiveness and lockdown, pro marxism, agreed what could be worse?
 
let us not forget list of marxism that will lift the S&P to new constructal. the handling of the cuban revolt. they are not allowed to come to us (250000 fine for helping them) but the red carpet is laid out for those who likely vote blue for handouts
 
now while we're at it, the virtue signaling - no more cleveland indians and the general destruction and decryinig of our history

Jul

20

Vic's twitter feed

hopefully one side will have a better defense against marxism than that it creates  inflation
 
mentioned marxism in a bad way and lost subscribers.  the loss of subscribers had been much allayed since various suits and complaints
 
it's ironic to see masters 1000 and big tech rooting for marxism as in cuba or venezuala or russia — or are these just anomalies? presumably this idea is captured
 
keys to game. will sp make a dive before breaking the round, will crude turn around after 50-day low.  will compromise on infrastructure show complete nothingness of one side's agenda. how will big tech profit from the red herring of cancel and suppression
 
with all the anxiety and bearishness of the reacent declines, nasdaq is 1.5 from all time high after 3 down days in row
 
yesterday's move from 3:30 to 4:15 was 14th largest in history and the sixth largest from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. will it repeat or disappoint?
 
dare i say wihtout being canceled that news of pandemic increasing revals news of infrastructure as the fastest and most assured way of losing money to the bigs
 
one thing for sure is that the prodigal son is the perfect liar and is a model for the perfect lie

Jul

17

Vic's twitter feed

weak longs are margined out or scared out i think
 
why did not sogi have his day today after the 930 open? there was too much non-anti-government. the visceral reaction of every thinking person has to equate the suppression of views as a negative. the crime situation was non-anti also: a NYC attempted kidnapping
 
as the market refused to cross the sogi level after the open, one was reading bill browder's Red Notice and the situation is so similar
 
i have been inspired by chapter 6 of don quixote and wish to find the books that wanted to bring back the good old days of chivalry with don's critique of the bad old days. any suggestions as to which should be burned or saved would be appreciated
 
here's a pretty kettle of fish: bonds at a 5-month high, but stocks 4 days and 50  points from an all-time high. 1 day away from a non-quarterly expiration. becoming  clearer every day that suppression reigns supreme, and things are not what they seem in potomac
 
just a question of time until bonds pull stocks to new high. a guess: within 5 days
keep looking »

Archives

Resources & Links

Search