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Our popular course Introduction to QuantLib Development will be taking place June 18-20th, 2018.

 

Falkenblog's Blog

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Centralized vs. Decentralized Social Welfare Maximizers

May 17, 2018 Comments (0)

Faith in a select group of public servants to maximize social welfare is no better founded than the belief in the supernatural gifts of kings or noblemen. Just as misguided is the idea that good things, as decided by a majority, should be mandated. It should be remembered that our current prosperity and freedom have resulted from unwanted gradual changes in mores related to property rights, which when firmly established sparked the Industrial Revolution. Nobody planned that. Property rights...

The History of Individual Property Rights

May 10, 2018 Comments (0)

John LockeIt is important to understand that property rights are not grounded on logic, but no right is.The liberal ideas that gave rise to the Enlightenment are generally thought (eg, Steven Pinker) to be a break from a religious thinking. Yet the key liberal idea, individual rights, especially property rights, are an axiom with little justification outside Christian theology. As Feynman noted with regards to scientific laws, the process of finding new ones is not deriving them via logic, but...

Why My 1994 Low-Vol Dissertation Didn't Make Impact

April 16, 2018 Comments (0)

Pim van Vliet posted a link to my 1994 dissertation, noting it was an early documentation of the low-vol effect. One may wonder, why did this early evidence fall flat? Clearly, lots of things, but I'll try to highlight the keys.Here's my lead paragraph, which makes clear I saw the low vol effect before most everyone:This paper documents two new facts. First, over the past 30 years variance has been negatively correlated with expected return for NYSE&AMEX stocks and this relationship is...

How to Set Up Your Own Bitcoin/Ethereum IRA

August 20, 2017 Comments (0)

For the past couple of centuries technology empowered the state, put more things under its control. They have ultimate custody of all your financial assets, and custody is nine-tenths of the law. You simply can't hold $1M in financial assets in a form where 'The Man' can't grab it if he finds you an enemy of the state, which in many states includes righteous men.But like so many things the effect is not linear, in that now technology is putting power back in individuals. We can now...

Maxims

June 25, 2017 Comments (0)

My son is going to college this fall, and I wanted to give him a set of my favorite quotations. As his name is Max, I titled the book 'Maxims.' With only a little work in formatting, I was able to create a paperback and ebook on Amazon, so that I basically did this for the price of the New York Times.  I made it for him, but you can buy it on Amazon for $5, or $3 for the Kindle version (see here).Obviously, we want our kids to appreciate the things we think are really important. Whether...

Jordan Peterson's Business Cycle Theory

April 11, 2017 Comments (0)

University of Toronto psychologist Jordan Peterson has gained YouTube notoriety recently for speaking out against social justice warrior lunacy. However, it should be noted that his book, Maps of Meaning, is a very profound one. I heard him give a talk in which he mentioned initially that he was interested in economics, but was put off by the undefended assumption that people want to maximize their wealth. Most people want to be wealthy, of course, but they also want to have a fulfilling life,...

Robeco's Pim van Vliet has a new Low Vol book

January 9, 2017 Comments (0)

Pim van Vliet runs one of the oldest and most successful Low Volatility funds in the world, which has now flowered into Robeco’s Conservative Equities brand of funds. It is noteworthy that it is not referred to as “low volatility,” because when he began this strategy in 2006, low volatility was not a ‘thing.’ High Returns from Low Risk is targeted at airport readers and casual investors, and is a quick read—36k words—that makes a profound point: objectively, high volatility...

Why Are Libertarians Irrelevant?

October 11, 2016 Comments (0)

Classical liberalism was the foundation of the American Constitution and is based on utilitarian reasoning that is still popular academically. However, the major parties use libertarian principles selectively: Democrats are pro-choice with respect to abortion, drugs, and gay marriage, while Republicans are pro-choice with respect to business, guns, and schooling. The Libertarian Party, meanwhile, caters to the few who feel very strongly about the gold standard, open borders, or...

Finding Alpha pdf

August 21, 2016 Comments (0)

My book The Missing Risk Premium is a steal at only $15, but my first book, Finding Alpha, is a $65, which is a bit much for anyone not expensing their books. Finding Alpha goes over why the current asset pricing model fails, with lots of evidence, explains why economists still like it, and then in chapters 10-13 shows concrete examples of how investors have actually found alpha.The risk begets return theory is 100 degrees wrong: usually generates a wrong sign, often no correlation. When it...

An Economist's Rational Road to Christianity

February 18, 2016 Comments (0)

One bad thing about blogging, or writing a lot, is that it forces one into a foolish consistency. It is hard to really explore new ideas, because tentative steps will be clumsy. In my new position I'm not incented to blog about finance or politics, and that gave me a lot of time to read as opposed to write. Net result: I'm getting baptized this Sunday (Grace Church, 9 AM service), and everyone's invited. That is, I'm becoming a Christian, not just one who occasionally went to church as a kid,...