Robert Young's Blog – August 2015 Archive (10)

China Syndrome, Part the Fourth

Once again, reporting on the ground belies some/much of what quants think, or at least say, about the China situation. Many wear rose-colored glasses. A large part of the problem is that Beijing is well known to make up macro-economic data. While a fine practice from a political point of view, it leaves decision makers (Chinese citizens, foreigners, and Chinese bureaucrats) in the dark.

More reporting today:…

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Added by Robert Young on August 30, 2015 at 7:30pm — 2 Comments

Yet More Tyranny

Remember The Tyranny of Average Cost™? It exists just about everywhere in production. One the of major irritants of modern life is "paying" for cable channels "I don't want to watch". Interestingly, ESPN's many channels have been the major benefactors of this bundling.

Today brings a new analysis of Apple garroting the cable networks.

The thesis of the piece is somewhat on point,…

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Added by Robert Young on August 27, 2015 at 12:00pm — 9 Comments

I'm In Your Debt

You do remember The Joker (Rogoff) and Penguin (Rinehart) of quant econ? What quants and micros never seem to do is get beyond narrow, yet superficial, analytics. All the while spouting such rhetoric as "deep dive", "laser focus", and "it's the Damn Gummint's fault".

What the Right Wing apologists never do is look beyond affirming their agenda, that it's either the Damn Gummint or…

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Added by Robert Young on August 25, 2015 at 11:14am — 3 Comments

Krugman Finally Says It

Some time back, I invented (so far as I know) the phrase "Tyranny of Average Cost"™ to describe the problem faced by capital/fixed cost biased production: in order to make moolah from the investment, one has to shift a lot of widgets at a moderate price or shift just a few at unaffordable price. Apple has, sort of, taken the latter course. Without sufficient demand, the investment never pays off. Without sufficient payoff, investment in physical assets slows, even stops. Economies such as…

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Added by Robert Young on August 24, 2015 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

China Syndrome, Part the Third

Well, I guess one can conclude that, if China's domestic hiccup can cause a global financial panic, then it really is a first world country.  Sort of.

Added by Robert Young on August 24, 2015 at 5:58am — 2 Comments

A Well Rounded Education

As is well known, I've not been a fan of Jobs, his Reality Distortion Field, or Apple in general. The fact is, Apple has been an assembler of Other People's Parts from the get-go, just like most of the rest of the small computer (and compute device) sector. Unusually adept marketing is their value add.

The iPhone design patent is especially galling. Today it is reported that USPTO may be…

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Added by Robert Young on August 19, 2015 at 6:11am — 6 Comments

Just Like Ali

The financial quants must be getting tired of having their collective bell rung by Beijing's rope a dope.  Once again, as always, motive and incentive murder data.

To be honest, no one has a clue where the [Chinese] economy is, and I don't think that it's properly measured.
-- Viktor Szabo/2015

Added by Robert Young on August 13, 2015 at 6:02pm — 2 Comments

You Lazy Pigs

The climate change deniers have a thing or two to teach us. Mostly, if you've got the moolah, you can buy whatever data you want. The banksters did the same thing until the Great Recession made the scam impossible to continue.

Now comes Coke: "It's all your fault, not ours!". Read it, then come back. It'll curdle your blood.

Here's all you need…

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Added by Robert Young on August 10, 2015 at 10:00am — 10 Comments

No, They Ain't Worth It

Recently, the usually smart Neil Irwin defended CEO comp in a manner I find puzzling.



...the stewardship of large, complex companies is really important, and anyone who cares about the American economy should want the most capable people in charge of them.

As to why, he says,



There are competing…
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Added by Robert Young on August 8, 2015 at 10:56am — 5 Comments

A Question of Balance, Part the Second

Every now and again, the mainstream pundits catch up with these endeavors. Not often enough, evidently. The major theme has evolved to: when the process under discussion obeys God's Law then data reflects an unbiased reality, if one is careful collecting the data, and can predict the future; but when the process is some Human Endeavor, data means little to decision making while motive and incentive drive these decisions; humans will change the data generation process sub-rosa (to those not…

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Added by Robert Young on August 2, 2015 at 10:32am — 6 Comments

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