Friday, May 3

Olivier Blanchard’s Five Lessons for Economists From the Financial Crisis

I take no pleasure in being prescient but one of the reasons we are ahead is because I lived thorough 3 recessions now. Son what goes up must come down. Details matter. Value investing is always going to win out. There are no silver bullets in investing returns. Find undervalued companies and invest. Look for good growth stories and good management. You read the intelligent investor. 

Still as an economics student this article is worth reading son. The plumbing matters. The connections, the pipe width, the material, the angles all matter in the financial and economic world. And you can never be 100% right. 

What people don't understand is that they don't understand what the future of the economy and financial system will be. So when people don't understand what's happening they react in bad ways. Go pray to god. Or bite people's heads off like the reaction against bankers. Or throw more laws. Like more laws against rape are supposed to lead to less rape. The thinking goes like this. 

We have a problem. So something must be done. This is something. Thus this must be done. 

Weird ass thinking son. 



Olivier Blanchard’s Five Lessons for Economists From the Financial Crisis - Real Time Economics - WSJ

What did the worst financial crisis and deepest recession in 75 years teach academic economists and policymakers on whose watch it happened? At a recent London School of Economics forum, convened to honor Bank of England Governor Mervyn King,Olivier Blanchard offered some answers.

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Olivier Blanchard

Mr. Blanchard, 64 years old, is well positioned to offer such reconsideration. An internationally prominent macroeconomist, he spent 25 years on the MIT faculty before becoming chief economist at the International Monetary Fund in September 2008, just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Here are Mr. Blanchard¹s five lessons in his own words, lightly edited by The Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel:

#1: Humility is in order.

The Great Moderation [the economically tranquil period from 1987 to 2007] convinced too many of us that the large-economy crisis -­ a financial crisis, a banking crisis ­- was a thing of the past. It wasn’t going to happen again, except maybe in emerging markets. History was marching on.

My generation, which was born after World War II, lived with the notion that the world was getting to be a better and better place. We knew how to do things better, not only in economics but in other fields as well. What we have learned is that¹s not true. History repeats itself. We should have known.

Thursday, May 2

Why Still So Few Use Condoms

So many myths. So little facts. One interesting article son. I didn't realise the stats in the withdrawal method. Fascinating. I always believed that pre ejaculate had sperm. 

Lesson for you? Wear condoms for the first few times. It doesn't matter if you like it or not son, you have to be safe. Once you are comfortable, no issues, no diseases, etc etc, then you can go bareback. And plus your first objective is to ensure your partner enjoys and loves the act. Golden words son. If you make sure first and foremost that your partner enjoys, then you will enjoy more. 

Stay safe son. And have fun. 

Why Still So Few Use Condoms - David Masciotra - The Atlantic

Continue to the


With the “next-generation condom” initiative, Bill Gates is acknowledging that the practical reasons people don’t use condoms warrant honest conversation.

David Masciotra Apr 29 2013, 9:02 AM ET



As the late author Norman Mailer put it, “The only thing you can depend on with condoms is that they will take 20 to 50 percent off your f***.” In a conversation with Madonna on the topic, Mailer also condemned condoms for making people part of “the social machinery” and destroying “most of the joy of entrance.” Madonna argued that condoms are “essential in the age of AIDS,” but conceded, “they feel terrible.”

If we’re honest, many of us do see condoms as robbing us of pleasure, stealing some excitement and spontaneity from intimacy, and dulling the intensity of sexuality. It’s okay to say that. These factors are the primary reasons that still only 60 percent of teenagers claim to use condoms. These factors warrant acknowledging. From there, condom usage declines as people grow older. The number one reason we have seen given time and again for refusal to wear condoms is the reduction of pleasure.

Anyone who dares criticize the condom is typically made the subject of demonization and condemnation.

It is politically incorrect to acknowledge the truth and simplicity of the condom’s inadequacy. Criticism of the condom opens one to righteous demonization and condemnation. Condom defenders often stifle honest and helpful discussion about sexuality, unplanned pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections.

Wednesday, May 1

Shopping for Weed in the U.S


Here's a funny description of how weed shopping happens in some parts of the USA. I'm a firm believer in drug legalisation. As a libertarian I cannot understand this tendency of governments to ban drugs. As long as I'm dealing in things out of my free will what's the problem? The drug war has been the most spectacular failure. It's like prostitution. Cannot be stopped. 

Yes. You may or may not try it. I actually didn't like it. First is the loss of control. Second is that it's just weird. And more importantly I'm naturally high and optimistic. :) I have fun, have faith in myself and in the future and am fairly happy most of the time. Other than when Diya and you call me fat. Then I'm grumpy. :)

Anyway. Here's the story. Remember the society we are building. Learn it's characteristics as you will have to navigate it son. 



Shopping for Weed in the U.S. - GQ May 2013: Newsmakers: GQ


    It happened. We legalized it! Pot is going to be the next great consumer product. Or so we all sort of believe. To commemorate, GQ’s critical shopper (marijuana division) travels to the most weed-friendly states in the union and offers GQ readers the first-ever authoritative guide to the lingo, the rules, the shops, and of course the many, many methods (lollipops! honey! wax! magical microwave popcorn! something called “dabs”?!) of getting high-legally! kind of!—in these United States

    By Devin Friedman

    Photographs by Maurcicio Alejo

    April 2013

    In November, they basically legalized marijuana. Even if you don’t pay attention to ballot initiatives or the like, you probably still possessed a fuzzy picture of where things stood. As of the past election cycle, marijuana is now totally street legal in Colorado and Washington. And possibly Oregon? And you’d been hearing for years about all those other places—there was a new state all the time—where you could buy it for medical purposes. Like California and Washington, D.C., and Connecticut and Rhode Island and, like, maybe New Mexico? Meanwhile, even in states where there is not yet a stipulation for those undergoing chemo to be able to blaze out, isn’t it functionally decriminalized? Isn’t it more or less okay to smoke weed right in front of a cop in New York City as long as you’re not killing someone with a tire iron while simultaneously being young and nonwhite? And conventional wisdom, at least from certain purviews, holds that the social taboo surrounding marijuana is now close to zero, whether you’re into older white women in Eileen fisher comfies (see: Steve Martin in It’s Complicated) or rap music (see: rap music).

    Tuesday, April 30

    How are your genes? Royal ones?

    The Habsburgs were a fascinating dynasty. But this paper was giving a very interesting perspective on this family.

    The European royal dynasties of the Early Modern Age provide a useful framework for human inbreeding research. In this article, consanguineous marriage, inbreeding depression and the purging of deleterious alleles within a consanguineous population are investigated in the Habsburgs, a royal dynasty with a long history of consanguinity over generations. Genealogical information from a number of historical sources was used to compute kinship and inbreeding coefficients for the Habsburgs. The marriages contracted by the Habsburgs from 1450 to 1750 presented an extremely high mean kinship (0.0628±0.009), which was the result of the matrimonial policy conducted by the dynasty to establish political alliances through marriage. A strong inbreeding depression for both infant and child survival was detected in the progeny of 71 Habsburg marriages in the period 1450–1800. The inbreeding load for child survival experienced a pronounced decrease from 3.98±0.87 in the period 1450–1600 to 0.93±0.62 in the period 1600–1800, but temporal changes in the inbreeding depression for infant survival were not detected. Such a reduction of inbreeding depression for child survival in a relatively small number of generations could be caused by elimination of deleterious alleles of a large effect according with predictions from purging models. The differential purging of the infant and child inbreeding loads suggest that the genetic basis of inbreeding depression was probably very different for infant and child survival in the Habsburg lineage. Our findings provide empirical support that human inbreeding depression for some fitness components might be purged by selection within consanguineous populations.

    very interesting. Quite a lot of cultures around the world marry into the family, this consanguineous business is quite interesting. Witnessed this in Saudi Arabia, India and in many places in the UK as well.

    Monday, April 29

    Can Google Data Help Predict French Youth Unemployment?

    Its an indication of how technology is changing our lives when Google data can help give some fascinating insights into unemployment. Here’s the paper.

    According to the rising “Google econometrics” literature, Google queries may help predict economic activity. The aim of our paper is to test if these data can enhance predictions
    for youth unemployment in France. As we have on the one hand weekly series on web search
    queries and on the other hand monthly series on unemployment for the 15 to 24-year-olds, we use the unobserved components approach in order to exploit all  available information. Our model is estimated with a  modified version of the Kalman filter taking into account the twofold issues of non-stationarity and multiple frequencies in our data. We find that including Google data improves unemployment predictions relatively to a competing model without search data queries

    Don't want to go too deep into the paper, you wouldn't be interested in my views of Kalman filtering, but the idea of “nowcasting” and “Google econometrics” is very interesting and new, no?

    I tried Google econometrics out with a bank name. Here’s what the results show

    Fascinating eh? Google searches rose steadily, peaked when the crisis was really hitting its peak and then slowly came down and has plateaued.

    where are the searches coming from?

    how curious. UK I can understand but from Mexico, India, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia?

    It also allows you to view by city

    here’s the listing by city in another graph

    Poplar?? lol

    some very interesting trends :)