More random stuff

  • Read this article about Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan. Strong fundaes are there in there. Particularly amazing is the fact that he made 97% of his lifetime earnings on “black monday” (oct 19 1987)
  • I’ve started reading “Traders, Guns and Money” by Satyajit Das. In the prologue, he talks about this swap between an investment bank and a supposedly fictitious Indonesian noodle company (my guess is that the bank is Barclays – it is shown to have offices both in Canary Wharf and Singapore. I’m not aware of any other bank with offices in these 2 places)

    Coming back to the swap, the agreement was that the Noodle Company would pay fixed on the swap, say? $1000 a month. Now, in return, the bank would pay the noodle maker in rupaiahs, based on a complicated formula which went approximately something like this

    payout = $1000 * USD/IDR * 5% * (Libor^4/Libor^3 – Libor^2*Libor^-1) * constant

    Read the formula carefully and you’ll know what the bank had to pay the noodle guy. Incredible

  • I somehow missed this news that came out a few days back. Karnataka has finally notified the APMC Amendment Act. The act itself had been passed by the JD(S)/BJP government which had fallen before it could be notified. While it’s definitely a step in the right direction, it doesn’t feel as good as the notification came under President’s Rule.

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