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Comment Re:EU is EU Centric (Score 2, Insightful) 210

First, your arithmetic is atrocious. Work on that. Second, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "the Microsoft fine", seeing how Microsoft has been fined several times, since unlike those European companies, it just doesn't want to learn. Third, none of the companies I listed were stupid enough to try to string the commission along. But then, with profit margins reaching 81%(par. 464), perhaps it's not really a matter of "stupidity", ey.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 5, Informative) 105

OPEC has been cutting production, and the oil prices are still less than 30% of what they were half a year ago. Its stock market has lost 80% of its value. Russia has some reserves built up, but anticipates a budget deficit for next year (and possibly the years after that). They have a lot of spending to do, like the announced plans to raise pensions, retool the military, etc. Will the oil prices bounce up? Maybe -- it depends on how quickly we're heading towards recovery (and it doesn't look like we're in any hurry), and whether or not last year's high oil prices had been a bubble in the first place.

In light of this, it seems absolutely mad to cut off a pretty reliable source of funding. The only thing I can think of to explain the decision is that (as someone remarked above), they're simply playing hard-to-get, or that space tourism is not that profitable for them in the first place (which I frankly cannot imagine).

Comment Re:Taleb goes much farther than that (Score 1) 286

No, it's not. More precisely it is but only for 99.9% of days. That's Taleb's point. You look at the VaR for 3 years in a row and it's always right, you grow to trust it, and then the big whoop comes.

That's all in the game. This is the case with any risk measure, alone or in combination with others. The worst-case scenario is the Dies Irae; you cannot take it into account if you want to do any business at all.

Actually it's other way around. It's the property to diversify as much as you please that VaR provides. That's why improper calculation of risks involved caused such a wide spread of problems.

The point was (and I am sorry if it didn't come across clearly), that though banks are better diversified on the micro level, this leads to them holding similar portfolios, introducing systemic risk. That is, banks, as an aggregate, are difersified poorly as a result (among others) of Basel-induced VaR contsraints.

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