Dogbert does Financial Planning:: applying myth or math?


Dogbert (flaw of large numbers)

Regulators want big, complex banks to hold larger buffers of capital to protect the financial system.

Big banks argue this is unnecessary because risk is diversified across their larger balance sheets.

Who is right? Natural sciences – especially epidemiology, ecology and genetics – provide clues…

 Complex systems: The FLAW of large numbers.

A “law of large numbers” is one of several theorems expressing the idea that as the number of trials of a random process increases, the percentage difference between the expected and actual values goes to zero.

If you REALLY want to get a deeper understanding of probability – and why it is wrong to assume too much from independent events (e.g. the roll of a dice) and apply that knowledge to the real world of inter-connected, non-linear systems – PLEASE check out the “Physics Envy…” presentation by Andrew Lo (link below).

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Nassim Taleb on “antifragility”:: non-sissy uncertainty


English: Escultura dedicada a la Entropía en l...

Taleb rarely disappoints. And here is a “new” word that most of us may understand better as resilience(ish)! For more reading on the subject I would recommend this piece: Antifragility — or— The Property Of Disorder-Loving Systems but I’m sure you will find the following of interest too.

Here’s a quote from the prologue of Antifragility, which should give you a sense of Taleb’s substance and style: “This book is about how to domesticate, even dominate, even conquer, the impenetrable, the unseen, the non-understood, the opaque, the perplexing, and the inexplicable. Wind extinguishes a candle and energizes fire. Likewise with randomness: you want to use it, not hide from it. You want to be the fire and wish for the wind. This summarizes my non-sissy attitude toward randomness and uncertainty.”

via Non-Sissy Uncertainty: Why I Inflict Nassim “Black Swan” Taleb on My Students | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network.