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Comment Re:Curious how they did that ... (Score 1) 136

I don't disagree with you.

I was trying to point out that this being a trade on a futures contract, not a stock, the summary was wrong in saying the total value of the trade was 69 trillion USD. When I said this is the "maximum they could lose" this is a theoretical upper bound which - as you rightly point out - could never be reached in reality.

In any case all this is predicated on this being a genuine and intentional order which was filled and honoured by the exchange. I never claimed it was. It seems pretty to clear to me that this is unintentional (either a fat finger or a technical screw-up) and even if the exchange treated it as genuine order for 4 billion odd contracts, then there wouldn't have been any where near enough liquidity to fill the order. So I'm not "trying too hard to explain something" - I was merely picking up on a couple of factual issues around futures trading that most commenters seemed to have missed as they don't realise it's not the same thing as direct trading in stocks.

Comment Re:Curious how they did that ... (Score 2) 136

They were trading Futures contracts, and so trading -6 contracts is routine (it's called "shorting" or "going short"). Since a Futures contract is a promise to buy/sell at some point in the future you don't have to own the underlying stock/commodity/whatever at the time you go short.

Also, from the summary: "each valued at approximately 16,000 USD, giving a neat total of almost 69 trillion USD" is misleading. Futures are traded on margin so the total the total amount of cash they would have had to put up is orders of magnitude less. 69 trillion USD is simply the maximum they could lose.

Comment Re:Unfortunately, UK has become Uncle Sam's lapdog (Score 1) 1065

If THAT's the case, then CHANGE YOUR GOVERNMENT, for crying out loud !!

As has been pointed out in several replies, the most recent election delivered a coalition government that no-one voted for.

But more generally, our electoral and parliamentary system (whether by design or not) tends to preserve vested interests and limit democracy. Only a small proportion of the populace have a vote which is likely to influence the outcome of a general election, and over half our lawmakers are unelected.

The chance to change this was missed two years ago, and is unlikely to come around again for another generation: when the last election resulted in a hung parliament, the Lib-Dem kingmakers could have chosen to form a government with Labour, who are more sympathetic to their consitutional reform agenda. But pride would not let them, so instead they opted to go into the government with Tories, for most of whom the idea of consitutional reform goes against the fabric of their being. Several major Lib-Dem policy U-turns later, and (surpise!), the Tory backbenchers have put paid to any hope of upholding their leaders' promises on constitutional reform.

Comment Re:$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (Score 1) 136

My hunch is that at least some of the GP's post was computer generated nonsense and subsequently edited. There is certainly some superficially convincing computer generated nonsense out there, and plausibly some of this post this could have come from a similar algorithm using a more vitriolic set of training text - just seems to have that kinda feel.

Also, curiously, the style reminds me a little of the text of OT III.

Comment Re:Classy (Score 1) 402

You're correct. In general Scotch is matured in oak casks previously used for maturing American whiskey*, sherry or other kinds of fortified wine. I used to think this was actually a legal requirement, although apparently it's not. The exception to the rule is an organic single malt produced by the Benromach distillery, which is matured in new oak to help them secure the organic certification. This is the only example of a modern single malt matured in new oak that I'm aware of.

*Normally referred to (incorrectly) in the Scotch industry under the generic term "bourbon".

Comment Re: worth! (Score 1) 285

The dowdy English main palace, Westminster, gets fewer than 2 million, and that's with a royal family living there.

I don't think you mean the Palace of Westminster (i.e. the Houses of Parliament). It's not a royal residence, nor is it in any sense the "English main palace". Finally, I could see how people could find its neo-gothic architecture hideous or beautiful, but I don't see how it could be described as dowdy.

I think you meant to refer to Buck House.

Comment Re:Schools (Score 1) 305

I never said optimization wasn't important, only that for most applications it's less important than the maintainability of code - that's where we probably disagree. Of course, a lot of the time, there's no trade-off so it's possible to have fast working code that's also easy to maintain. Yes, "code that is slow, bulky and chugs along" is uselss but that's usually due to poor algorithm design / resource usage generally and not because efficiency has been specifically sacrificed for the sake of maintainability

Comment Re:Schools (Score 1) 305

you can't extract that because I don't care how I write that my code that it's unmaintainable or unreadable.

True, but I can't extract that it is maintainable either. I.e. because you've said you "only care about getting working, optimized code", implicitly you don't care about maintainability/readability. So there's no guarantee your code will be maintainable, and if it happens to be then it's not by design. My argument is that maintainability should be something programmers care about explicitly, and in most applications it should have higher priority than optimized code.

Comment Re:Schools (Score 1) 305

OK, I'll bite. Unintentional punctuation/spelling mistakes are understandable, yet you're clearly aware of what's correct and you still made the error. Your justification "I just don't care how I write" basically shows a complete lack of respect for those reading your text: you're essentially shifting the effort to correct your writing from you, the writer (once), onto the readers (multiple times). Plus, surely it takes less effort to write "schools" without the grocer's apostrophe, so I just don't get it.

programmers only care about getting working, optimized code outputted.

Speak for yourself. I care not only that my code is correct, but also that it is maintainable (optimization being important, but in most applications, less so than correctness/maintainability). Again, this is about having respect for those who are going to read what you write and not shifting work onto them because of your own laziness. It's not even just about altruism: a lot of the time it's your future self who will be maintaining the code, so you will be doing yourself a favour in the long run. What's that maxim? "Always write code as if the person who will maintain it is a psychopath who knows where you live."

Comment Re:I have made the jump... (Score 1) 181

Agree with parent, it's certainly possible but business knowledge is key.

You could try for a Quant Analyst or Quant Dev role in an investment bank, many of which have a presence in Hong Kong. Your maths will need to be top notch (especially for Analyst roles) and there will be serious competition; be aware that your lack of specific finance experience will put you at a disadvantage. So if you want to go this path, you need to get reading up. John C. Hull's "Options, Futures and Other Derivatives" has been mentioned. M. Baxter & A. Rennie's "Financial Calculus" is good too.

It definitely can be done: I landed a Quant Analyst role (London based) with zero experience pretty much straight after my Bachelor's degree in Maths & Comp Sci. While this was during an upswing for the sector (2004), I was still pretty lucky, as many banks won't even look at you for this kind of role unless you have experience or a PhD in Maths, Finance or a hard science (e.g. Physics).

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