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Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 476

This is the best description evah ... of course this is only half the problem. The other is that large investors, ones whose trades would move the market, have to replace their "I'll buy that apple" orders with "I'll buy one 1-millionth of an apple" (repeated 1M times) to foil the fleet footed fekkers.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 476

The purpose of the market is to let firms raise capital for their use. The intermediate trading that occurs between IPO and buy-back is to reduce risk to the investor (who can move money to get out while the getting is good). HFT does not serve those purposes, it is the equivalent of scraping the edge of coins to gather the precious metal, which is why we used to put ridges on the edges of our coins (back when they were not fiat currency). The microtax will serve the same function, protecting the fundamentals.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 476

PROFIT IS THE ONLY THING ... but HFT does not support that, it supports bleeding out value that the system would like to bank, and it changes the dynamics of trading from "is this a good firm to invest in" to "is there a greater fool out there for me to sell to tomorrow (or in 3 seconds)". The first question serves the market system by making viability and good practice part of the business model while the latter simply tries to skim the tops of the bumps in a way that distorts the markets. The politicians who get this are the one who would be pushing back against HFT with every tool they can, including a microtax. The ones who don't, well, don't blame me, I didn't vote for them. And a 0.03% microtax collected hundreds of times a day on a single trader is completely sufficient to change the equation for a computer model that is trying for .02% return on each trade, but won't make traders working on fundamentals even blink, since they are trying for 10% on a long term dividends and growth basis.

Comment Questioning the ground rules (Score 1) 768

I wonder (without posing a scenario) if the problem is that there are two concerns that the 5th plays into. First, while the police cannot beat you into confessions they can exert a lot of pressure just by the ways they ask questions and many have suggested we have overcorrected with things like Miranda etc. Maybe. Second, the real benefit may to accrue to the guilty or innocent person who invokes the 5th, but to the rest of us, who enjoy a certain level of freedom because we can count on the 5th? Just posing questions.

Comment Re: every time i see "Ender's Game" (Score 1) 470

I would suggest we all take an English Lit course, Young Adult Ficiton, which teaches the monomyth as the foundation for all young adult fiction. Real "adult" fiction, on the other hand, seems to me to focus on feelings and internal struggles between ego, id, and all that clap-trap, with lots of emoting and angst, and I find the latter boringly tutorial and often preachy (sort of Pilgrim's Progress on Valium). But without both, what would we read ... user's guides and assembly instructions?

Comment Re:Ender's Game hasn't aged well, for me at least. (Score 1) 470

As a former military analyst (mathematician) with lots of experience using game theory to enlighten fellow analysts, I found aspects of Ender's Game to be superior to many other books, but perhaps that's because I was seeing depth that made the pulp over-cover less annoying. Perhaps. Or maybe I was just a FPS-loving warmonger cretin. Frankly I don't care which you think, my apologies if I offended you, effendi.

Comment Re:Do Canadian credit cards for sub $10? (Score 1) 248

Your not there to make their store profitable? How naive. They can't exist if they are not profitable. You aren't there just to rip them off, so the symbiosis of consumer and merchant requires that (1) you be willing to give them enough profit to make their investment worthwhile and (2) they not be trying to make so much money that you decide to not give them anything.

Comment Mean value theorem (Score 1) 476

Slashdotters are educated enough to apply the mean value theorem to convert this from a quesiton of "does it ..." to a question of "at what level ...", which changes it from an existence question to an at what level question. However, the real question is whether anyone with any political audience is doing these analyses while incorporating a strong demographics and growth component (of course there is, but is anyone listening DoD Systems 2020). It is one thing for a person to owe 4x their annual salary when they are buying a house at age 25, compared with a 60 yr old buying one at 1x annual salary. The 25yo has a major factor that works in their favor, which is that their income should (in theory) increase during the payoff period, making it ever easier to pay off that debt. The political equivalent to this is the growth-based economic model, which assumes that the economy will grow every year, forever. It is when this assumption fails that we suddenly get very uneasy about debt, just as you might be very uneasy extending "125% of value" mortgages to a 70yo (fair lending and FannieMae, FreddieMac aberrations not included). The Keynesian model sort of works in the exponential part of the economic growth curve, but it fails catastrophically in the Limits to Growth part of the economic universe. The Adam Smith model of economic growth does not fair much better in this region.

Comment Attention to details ! (Score 1) 400

Follow the history:
  • - in 1950's a highway patrolman had to follow you for a fixed distance (e.g., a quarter of a mile) to clock your speed. Human beings do all the work.
  • - in 1960's they used to paint markers along the road and a cop with a stopwatch would time you through those "gates" and compute your average over that distance.
  • - then came radar, and we accepted that an instantaneous measure was adequate, a subtle and unheralded change in philosophy. But at least no one worried about "repeat business"

Now we bring the discipline of the coder to the problem, and we really have a way to understand the rules. I love it!

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