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Ritholtz, The Big Picture, Mainsteam Leaders: Blogs Are Valuable News Sources, here. Dude, I am saving the country.
President Obama said:
Blogs are best at debunking myths that can slip through a lot of the traditional media outlets.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke noted (according to Matt O’Brien, business and economics editor at the Atlantic):
I read blogs. Blogs have become pretty important source of intellectual exchange.
David Steele – former 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer – says that blogging is crucial for saving our country.
Benjamen Walker, Too Much Information, TMILY, here. Broadcast dedicated to IPOs in wake of FB. Sharply on target in parts – meanders a little in the middle.
Your host speeds three curves ahead of the curve others are behind to release TMILY: the too much information social app. TMILY is for those who need some entrepreneurial verve and innovational vim in their lives. And for the skeptics: Tim Hwang tells us about his Hype Up Weekend and Michael Wolffdiscusses the ridiculously popular piece he wrote on Facebook for MIT’s Technology Review PLUS TMILY’s IPO! Yes, that’s right I. P. O. !!!
Walker knows how to talk over music, best I know of. Try the John Singer Sargent monologue in the sly metaphysical Something Will Happen Soon or one in the long line of careful conspiracy theory deconstruction bits Doing it For the LULZ. Top shelf Treasure. This blog goes straight to my heroes bookmarks list.
At a run rate of 1,000 views a month we’re looking at about a 22 milliLipton web share in May 2012, see here at GLL. This is also equivalent to a 5.4 milliRitholtz web share in May 2012. Let’s check in with our nemesis Business Math blog, Mrs. Hooker’s Blog, here. Wisty sees the current Business Math Blog competitive landscape as favorable to Pink Iguana and is looking to build momentum to separate from the pack over fiscal 2012-3. Oh, now there is Mrs. Hooker’s Math and Nature, here as well. Let the Business Math learning begin.
The Awl, Roman Emperors, Up To AD 476 And Not Including Usurpers, In Order Of How Hardcore Their Deaths Were, here.
53. Tiberius (37): His entourage thought he died of old age, announced his death, then smothered him in a panic when he suddenly regained consciousness.
Admati, Fallacies, Irrelevant Facts, and Myths in the Discussion of Capital Regulation: Why Bank Equity is Not Expensive, here. Looks like a good collection of material on Accounting, Economics, and Finance from Stanford Business School. Also Huffington Post, What Jamie Dimon Won’t Tell You, here.
Baseline Scenario, Simon Johnson, JP Morgan Debacle Reveals Fatal Flaw In Federal Reserve Thinking, here.
Experienced Wall Street executives and traders concede, in private, that Bank of America is not well run and that Citigroup has long been a recipe for disaster. But they always insist that attempts to re-regulate Wall Street are misguided because risk-management has become more sophisticated – everyone, in this view, has become more like Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase, with his legendary attention to detail and concern about quantifying the downside.
NYT, Red Flags Said to Go Unheeded by Chase Bosses, here. Times gets statements from former JPM employees Re: London Whale’s positions. Wonder how that worked out?
In the years leading up to JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion trading loss, risk managers and some senior investment bankers raised concerns that the bank was making increasingly large investments involving complex trades that were hard to understand. But even as the size of the bets climbed steadily, these former employees say, their concerns about the dangers were ignored or dismissed.
Zerohedge, The “Fail-Whale” Fallout Begins: Three JPM Execs To Leave Prop-Trading, Pardon, Hedging Bank, here.
The prospect of Greece exiting the euro area is seldom viewed with the proper degree of fear and trepidation, in our view. Some commentators indeed believe that exit will be beneficial for Greece. The introduction of a new currency, the New Drachma (ND), and a prompt sharp reduction in its external value relative to the euro is considered a necessary, sometimes even a sufficient, condition for the restoration of Greece’s economic fortunes. Even when Greece’s exit is viewed as costly, possibly disastrous, for Greece, it is often considered a minor issue of the remaining 16 euro area member states, the rest of the EU and the world at large. A Greek exit is indeed often viewed as ‘euro-positive’ in the narrow sense of likely to be associated with a strengthening of the effective exchange rate of the euro – mainly because it eliminates the prospect that a sovereign default in Greece would entail the risk of part-monetisation of Greek government debt by the ECB.
Noahpinion, Cyclicalists should start talking about structural issues too, here.
I could count on my fingers the number of times Paul Krugman has obviously been wrong about something, and still have enough fingers left to type 60 words per minute. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of arguing with people, it’s that if you’re not in math or the natural sciences, being right on the merits is never good enough to win an argument. You have got to win hearts and minds.
Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday, here; or Clint Eastwood, here. Now we are going to have to endure a seemingly endless stream of Taleb’s gloating i-have-been-warning-you-about-VaR-for-years interviews; the FinQuant equivalent of the Icky Shuffle. Look Team Firm Risk, you all have seen It’s a Wonderful Life, right? Well every time a bank gets their bell rung, Taleb gets another Fox and Friends interview.
Naked Capitalism, JP Morgan Loss Bomb Confirms That It’s Time to Kill VaR, here.
One of the amusing bits of the hastily arranged JP Morgan conference call on its $2 billion and growing “hedge” losses and related first quarter earning release was the way the heretofore loud and proud bank was revealed to have feet of clay on the risk management front. Jamie Dimon said that the bank had determined that its value at risk model was “inadequate” and it would be using an older model. And no wonder. The Financial Times report contained this bombshell:
JPMorgan also restated its “value at risk”, a measure of maximum possible daily losses, of the CIO [the unit that executed the trading strategy that blew up] in the first quarter from $67m to $129m.
“Synthetic credit portfolio”. That’s the book where the $2bn in mark-to-market losses took place for JP Morgan, according to an announcement made on Thursday. A result which has now cost them a their AA- rating from Fitch and landed them on negative outlook with S&P, as announced late on Friday.
FT Alphaville has analysed the credit trades that might be in that portfolio, in an attempt to reason through what may have gone on. The fact, however, remains that we know precious little. Why is that? Is this acceptable that after the financial crisis that this can happen to a bank, let alone a systemically important one like JP Morgan?
Got a buck that says you cannot find a Firm Risk person on 13 May 2012 who knows substantially more about the positions than Lisa Pollack.
Zerohedge, Double or Nothing: How Wall Street is Destroying Itself, here.
This fragile business model is in fact descended from the Martingale roulette betting system. Martingale is the perfect example of the failure of theory, because in theory, Martingale is a system of guaranteed profit, which I think is probably what makes these kinds of practices so attractive to the arbitrageurs of Wall Street (and of course Wall Street often selects for this by recruiting and promoting the most wild-eyed and risk-hungry). Martingale works by betting, and then doubling your bet until you win. This — in theory, and given enough capital — delivers a profit of your initial stake every time. Historically, the problem has been that bettors run out of capital eventually, simply because they don’t have an infinite stock (of course, thanks to Ben Bernanke, that is no longer a problem). The key feature of this system— and the attribute which many institutions have copied — is that it delivers frequent small-to-moderate profits, and occasional huge losses (when the bettor runs out of money).
Extreme Tech, China plans national, unified CPU architecture, here. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
According to reports from various industry sources, the Chinese government has begun the process of picking a national computer chip instruction set architecture (ISA). This ISA would have to be used for any projects backed with government money — which, in a communist country such as China, is a fairly long list of public and private enterprises and institutions, including China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in the world. The primary reason for this move is to lessen China’s reliance on western intellectual property.
There are at least five existing ISAs on the table for consideration — MIPS, Alpha, ARM, Power, and the homegrown UPU — but the Chinese leadership has also mooted the idea of defining an entirely new architecture. The first meeting to decide on a nationwide ISA, attended by government officials and representatives from academic groups and companies such as Huawei and ZTE, was held in March. According to MIPS vice president Robert Bismuth, a final decision will be made in “a matter of months.”
No UltraSparc hmm.
Algorithms, Sedgewick and Wayne, 4th Edition, here. They’re covering the online free course trend starting in Aug 2012, here . They are going to sell some books, I think. First, they have the Princeton Logo for the course, that’s a big deal I suspect. Second, isn’t this a case where the dog and the tail are mixed up? We’re leading with the Book (the tail) and then mention there is this course thing (The Dog) you are probably not interested in. So where do we mention that course, the one that Bezos took before he went to Amazon? Somewhere toward the end of the announcement where people won’t see it. And lets make it two courses so they have to sign up for each one, in case they don’t like the first one. The Headline announcement should be:
Psst, Kid wanna do Algorithms with Sedgewick? Wouldja look at this? Here is a free internet course starting in August, direct from Pee – rince – ton Univer- si – tay. U in? …good! Oh, and there’s a book that will help you solve the homework problems at Amazon, buy it if you need it. Gotta go kid, see ya.
Street 101. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Blog, here. Head of IBM Research back in the day. Probably worth tracking to see where it goes. Salmon, The problem with Marc Andreessen, here. Felix says where’s the beef? Andreessen has a blog pmarca, here. Technology Review, Moore’s Law Lives Another Day, here. Confirms what was bugging me, the 3D lithography techniques have been around since the late 80s in Japan. Used to see it in DRAM manufacturing presentations. 22 years to volume production in 22nm process for x86. Wired, April 19, 1965: How Do You Like It? Moore, Moore, Moore, here. Puff piece, but it has a link to Moore’s 1965 paper in Electronics magazine.
Next-generation 20 nm processes can support optimized versions for low power and high performance, according to an IBM expert. GlobalFoundries will decide in August whether or not it will offer such variations.Those were just two data points from wide ranging discussions at the GSA Silicon Summit here. Separately, executives said a variety of 3-D ICs will hit the market in 2014 despite numerous challenges, and CMOS scaling is slowing down but still viable through a 7 nm node.“Recently TSMC said at 20 nm there are no significant differences [in process optimizations], but I don’t believe that,” said Subramanian Iyer, an IBM fellow and chief technologist in its microelectronics division. “I believe at same node you can have two [different variations],” he said in a keynote here. Indeed, GlobalFoundries is debating whether it wants to offer high performance and low power variants of a 20 nm process it is putting in place today.
Fabless FPGA vendor Achronix Semiconductor Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) has announced details of its Speedster22i HD and HP product families, claimed to be the first FPGAs to be built on a 22-nm manufacturing process technology.The devices are the result of a foundry agreement with Intel Corp. announced in November 2010 and the first devices are due to sample in the third quarter of 2012.Both the HD (high density) and HP (high performance) families come loaded with a variety of high-speed data communications interfaces hardwired. These include 10/40/100G Ethernet MACs, 100Gbit Interlaken channels, PCI Express and DDR3 memory channels that run at up to 2133 Mbps. In the case of the HD1000 device these are two, two, two and six respectively. This optimizes the Speedster22i FPGAs for work in networking and telecommunications equipment although the company stresses that the devices can find applications in servers, high-performance computing, military, industrial and scientific applications. The large number of high speed memory channels provides the industry’s highest bandwidth FPGAs, Achronix claimed.Achronix’ existing product range is based on 65-nm process technology and the move to Intel’s 22-nm FinFET process allows Speedster22i family to consume half the power at half the cost of high-end, 28-nm FPGAs.
Wired, How to Spot the Future, here.
This may sound like a paradox. Surely technology always promises something radically new, wholly unexpected, and unlike anything anybody has seen before. But in fact even when a product or service breaks new ground, it’s usually following a familiar trajectory. After all, the factors governing thermodynamics, economics, and human interaction don’t change that much. And they provide an intellectual platform that has allowed technology to succeed on a massive scale, to organize, to accelerate, to connect. So how do we spot the future—and how might you? The seven rules that follow are not a bad place to start. They are the principles that underlie many of our contemporary innovations. Odds are that any story in our pages, any idea we deem potentially transformative, any trend we think has legs, draws on one or more of these core principles. They have played a major part in creating the world we see today. And they’ll be the forces behind the world we’ll be living in tomorrow.
Noahpinion, Thursday Roundup, here, I need to know more about how money market funds and commercial paper broke in the credit crisis – he points to Cochrane on money markets which is a start. The idea is to sort out where bank runs can happen as confidence evaporates. What breaks first next time? Noah Smith could be the EcoFin summary guy after DeLong. HPC Wire, Some Thoughts on Intel’s Acquisition of Cray’s Interconnect Technology, here. They lead with:
The reasons for this deal, in my opinion, are as follows: The general trend to commodity components continues. For small companies like Cray (with about 800 employees), it is simply too expensive to innovate and develop sophisticated hardware such as an interconnect for exascale computing. And Intel is certainly able to take this on, especially now with all the expertise gained from the previous QLogic acquisition and now from the 74 interconnect experts moving from Cray to Intel.
Craig’s List, I will legally change my name to yours for a WWDC ticket, here. I like how Gruber posts stuff that induces Karl Denninger (here) to call a market top on AAPL, Gruber records it in Claim Chowder on Daring Fireball, and then Gruber spikes the unfortunate Karl Denninger 6 months later. It’s like who killed Kenny in South Park. I am worried however that John Gruber is just an alias for Karl Denninger, which would make the world a smaller, less predictable, and meaner place, so I won’t think about that.
Turing’s Invisible Hand, I grade grad AI, here. Nice slides from the course.
This semester I have been co-teaching (with the awesome Martial Hebert) CMU’sgraduate artificial intelligence (grad AI) course. It’s been a lot of fun teaching AI to a class where a significant fraction of the students build robots for a living (possibly some of the students are robots, especially the ones who got a perfect score on the midterm exam). Although the last class is on May 2, I already gave my last lecture, so this seems like a good time to share some thoughts.
My general impression is that many AI courses try to cover all of AI, broadly defined. Granted, you get Renaissance students who can write “hello world” in Prolog while reciting the advantages and disadvantages of iterative deepening depth-first search. On the down side, breadth comes at the expense of depth, and the students inevitably get the very wrong impression that AI is a shallow field. Another issue is that AI is so broad that some if its subdisciplines are only loosely related, and in particular someone specializing in, say, algorithmic economics, may not be passionate about teaching, say, logic (to give a completely hypothetical example).
Business Insider, BLANKFEIN: The Only Reason Goldman Got Into Trouble Is Because Our Competitors Sucked At Risk Management, here.
DealBreaker, Marvel At The Derivative On Its Derivatives That Credit Suisse Wrote To Itself, here. This looks like the mezz tranche CS awarded for end of year compensation a couple years back. I stopped reading Deal Breaker for a while, but Levine has been very solid recently.
Business Week, Stock Trading Is About to Get 5.2 Milliseconds Faster, here. 59.6 milliseconds NYC to Lon roundtrip latency.
HPC Wire, Intel Makes a Deal for Cray’s Interconnect Technology, here. So Cray wants out of the interconnect hardware business.
Supercomputer maker Cray is methodically and inevitably shifting its technology focus from hardware to software. Another step in that direction played itself out this week in the company’s sale of its highly treasured supercomputing interconnect technology. On Tuesday evening, Cray and Intel announced that they signed a “definitive agreement” that would transfer the interconnect program and expertise to the x86 chipmaker.
Cluster Monkey, Cluster Interconnects, here.
This article will focus on interconnects that aren’t tied to vendor specific node hardware, but can work in a variety of cluster nodes. While determining which interconnect to use is beyond the scope of this article, I can present what is available and make some basic comparisons. I’ll present information that I have obtained from the vendors websites, from information people have posted to the beowulf mailing list, the vendors, and various other places. I won’t make any judgments or conclusions about the various options because, simply, I can’t. The choice of an interconnect depends on your situation and there is no universal solution. I also intend to stay “vendor neutral” but will make observations where appropriate. Finally, I have created a table that presents various performance aspects of the interconnects. There is also a table with list prices for 8 nodes, 24 nodes, and 128 nodes to give you an idea of costs.
Slashdot, Travelling Salesman, Thriller Set in a World Where P=NP, here. Watch the trailer – it is the best thing you will see this week. Premieres 16 Jun. From the trailer it looks like Tom Cruise meets Mr. T to work a polynomial runtime algorithm to take over the world. Wonder what language the algorithm is coded up in? Please, please have it be standard ml of new jersey running on Xcode/Mountain Lion cross compiled to run on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. If these really are literally four of the smartest guys on earth you know right away there is going to be a problem checking out the right patch version from CVS so they know what to build and hide from the bad government drill-your-head guys. Maybe there are a bunch of grad students in the next room, with pizza and iPad2s or something. I’ll start you off with the relevant dialog:
Government Bad Guy: Hit Control-C now.
Smartest in the World 1: I can’t …
President: NOW! Abort!
Smartest in the World 2: What’s Control See?