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Comment What a BS article (Score 1) 358

The Black-Scholes Model is about one risky asset, (such as stock), and one riskless asset (such as cash). It also depends on asset returns to be normally distributed.

I don't know what model LTCM was using in their Fixed Income Arbitrage, but it was unlikely to be the Black-Scholes Model, and anyway also a big part of the LTCM downturn was when Russian government defaulted on their domestic local currency bonds, more of a "Black Swan" than a "Normal Distribution."

It has been written "Despite the presence of Nobel laureates closely identified with option theory it seems LTCM relied too much on theoretical market-risk models and not enough on stress-testing, gap risk and liquidity risk. There was an assumption that the portfolio was sufficiently diversified across world markets to produce low correlation. But in most markets LTCM was replicating basically the same credit spread trade. In August and September 1998 credit spreads widened in practically every market at the same time."

Comment Personal tax rate vs. corp rate in UK (Score 3, Informative) 250

UK corporate tax rate (on earnings, not income): 20%

(Note: US top Federal corporate tax rate is 35%, along with state corporate tax rates as high as 12%).

UK personal tax rate is 20% up to 42,385 pounds, 40% above that, and 45% above 150,000 pounds.

So frankly, the UK is receiving more tax money on income paid out as salaries above 43K pounds than if it simply retained earnings.

Comment Re:Why does EU need GM? (Score 1) 330

As it is we pay farmers to waste land. No need for GM.

The US has ended direct agricultural subsidies. Now subsidies take the form of crop insurance subsidies, and of course indirectly on corn through ethanol blending requirements on gasoline. There also is the imported sugar quota.

GMO crops like GTS 40-3-2 (Roundup-ready soy beans) are used to help farmers not only use less land, but also less water, less fuel and fewer pesticides/herbicides.

Organic fungicides such as copper and sulfur, are used at a rate of 4 and 34 pounds per acre. There also is the organic pesticide rotenone that causes Parkinson's Disease-like symptoms in rats. Organic farmers also directly apply Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin, which is precisely what is found in some GMO corn (although it is more efficiently delivered by the plant itself than through application where much of it washes off into the environment).

Comment Re:Public Healthcare / Mental Healthcare (Score 1) 1165

Australia is at 0, since 1994.

I think you meant to say 0 rampage shootings in Australia since 1996 when Martin Bryant shot 35 people to death. But it isn't quite correct.

In 2002 there was a shooting spree by Huan Yun Xiang, a student at Monash University, but he only killed 2 people.

And of course the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis where 3 people were shot to death and 4 others wounded.

Also in 2014, there were 8 dead in Lockhart, NSW from a murder-suicide shooting spree by Geoff Hunt who killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself.

Even without guns, in 2014, 8 children aged 18 months to 15 years were stabbed to death in Cairns by Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday.

Comment Re:Age discrimination is obvious (Score 1) 350

I interviewed with 2 companies last year that were very up front about my being mid-40's was a problem.

In the US, that is a specifically actionable event under the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. You could have sued all of them. Obviously these companies' HR people are doing a horrible job, competent HR people would tell all hiring managers never to discus someone's age, ESPECIALLY if you think they are over 40 and covered by ADEA.

Comment Re:duh (Score 1) 231

You said "the middle class is shrinking", which is not supported by the facts.

Your references support the fact that there are a small number of rich people in the US getting richer is true.

However you will also find that CBO numbers show income for the middle quintile rising from $61,200 in 1979 to $76,600 in 2010 (in 2010 dollars).

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1165

I was part of a college student group that sponsored a trip to the handgun range for those who wanted to do so for the first time. We had to pick up the students from the student union, then had to go off-campus (due the the Gun-Free School Zone Act) to a private house to have a basic handgun safety session before then going to the range. The outcome would had been no different than if we had the handgun safety session in the student union, but whatever.

Comment Re:Public Healthcare / Mental Healthcare (Score 1, Interesting) 1165

This situation will never really be fixed until the US wakes up to the fact that it is the only modern nation in the world that doesn't have a proper public healthcare system with guaranteed access to all, regardless of ability to pay.

Then how could a man stab 5 people to death in Japan?

You can make mental health care as free as you want, but it is not going to mean the mentally ill will come get care.

Comment Re:Is the NYT Racist? (Score 1, Interesting) 231

it takes away jobs from U.S. citizens

Jobs do not belong to U.S. citizens. Jobs are created by companies and can exist anywhere. If you are not competitive, you will not get the job, keep the job, etc.

Government can not protect you. In fact the "protection" that government tries to provide simply raises the unemployment rate and lowers incomes by harming the economy. The "protection" will be routed around like packets around an outage on the Internet.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen