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The surrealism of everyday life


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#15376 Behemoth

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:51 PM

What is going in the universe right now? First someone in HR asked me at length about my former research, then my mom emailed to ask me what my Erdös number was (in connection with the Sunflower problem), then two people I know showed up in that quanta interview on category theory, then my doctoral advisor randomly got in touch on LinkedIn, and then you people start talking about math careers that could have been. I'm feeling a little like I missed a boat somewhere...or in any case a much better paid career path... :unsure:


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#15377 Orik

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 11:41 PM

 

1. I know you're not an idiot ...

 

2. Do you really think turning illiquid assets into liquid instruments with good price discovery mechanism has no value? 3. constructing well designed convertible bonds that allow corporations to grow and reduce the drama around default? 4. correcting price anomalies? 5. offering risk management tools for pension funds? 6. saving tens of thousands of homes from foreclosure and neglect? 7. Teaching casinos what they're in the wrong line of business? (ok that last one might be better served by nuking vegas)

 

8. Not like we're talking about bitcoin here

 

1. Right off the bat, you're WRONG ! Need I even continue ?

 

2. This is not how we, I mean they, make the OVERWHELMING percentage of their returns. Sorry, that dog don't even come CLOSE to hunting. And this is done by Renaissance ? with no sales and no service component ?

 

3. This is done by Renaissance with No sales, no service, right ? How do people even know that these bonds exist ? 

 

4. Who benefits other than us, I mean them, by doing this ! Are you going to try to convince me about the tremendous societal value that the high-freq traders offer the world too ? You have a seriously uphill battle, mon ami

 

5. See 3. (swap bonds with tools)

 

6. See 3. How did they buy the home ? Are they maintaining the home ? Renting it ? Reselling ? Sounds like some sales and services to me, no ?

 

7. I have multiple very good friends who were banned from Casinos is more than 50 countries. The stories are mind blowing, hilarious and scary ... and what you learn is that casinos are NOT open places to gamble and potentially win in. They are private businesses that choose who they allow to enter and those who might desire to enter and who have the ability to win are banned ! Banned for no other reason than they are NOT welcome within this private business. That's their business ... catering to suckers and losers ... winners are NOT welcome

 

8. Mock my invention ... I'm laughing all the way to the virtual bank

 

Don't move the goalposts on Chambo. You were talking about ideas coming out of a skull with all those no's associated with them ... and in fact that is how they make the overwhelming share of their returns

 

There are some YouTube videos of Simons in a sit-down, detailed interview that came across my desk a few months ago for various and sundry reasons ... they are a fun view and give a good feel for the man ... check them out if you haven't already

 

Work break ... it's dinner time

 

 

I was including other points as you seemed dismissive of the whole genre, but I'll give you an anecdotal example that might give you an idea about the value of what rentech is doing, specifically.

 

After the crisis, the banks had to issue debt as part of their settlement with the govt and new capital requirements. Much of that debt was in the form of preferred stock, and all of a sudden instead of having, say, a couple of Citigroup preferreds, you had a couple of dozens.

 

Now, the market makers on these were generally fixed income shops with sub-par equity trading systems and not much interest in trading, and the spread was usually around 50bps (that's 0.5% for those of you reading at home) 

 

What we noticed was that the preferreds could be grouped into sets of 3 to 5 where the prices should follow an exact ratio (as all terms were identical over certain periods except for interest payments), so we slapped together something very quickly that made markets based on the best of price offered by the fixed income guys, and the price implied by the price ratio.

 

Over the next 6 months while this was relevant, I can tell you we saved individual investors about $100k/day in spreads, and we reduced the relative pricing error by 70%. I couldn't tell you how much we made because I'm sure that's confidential, but probably of the same order of magnitude. So just fixing a small problem in a marginal corner of the market saved investors $15mm over 6 months plus an improvement in unnecessary volatility. Multiply that by some huge number to figure how much better prices are with rentech than if markets were still made by some guy manually moving his mid price for each stock.


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#15378 Orik

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 11:47 PM

The other side of the social value is that to do this we had a guy we were teaching to read a prospectus read all of these as they were simple cases, someone find short locates, and of course a good trading system, so instead of someone being a Traffic Analyst, someone doing some backoffice work, and someone being a software developer at a socially damaging organization like the NSA, they were doing something useful with their time. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#15379 Wilfrid

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 12:02 AM

Can’t we focus on the correct pronunciation of Otto?

#15380 Steve R.

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 02:24 AM

What is going in the universe right now? First someone in HR asked me at length about my former research, then my mom emailed to ask me what my Erdös number was (in connection with the Sunflower problem), then two people I know showed up in that quanta interview on category theory, then my doctoral advisor randomly got in touch on LinkedIn, and then you people start talking about math careers that could have been. I'm feeling a little like I missed a boat somewhere...or in any case a much better paid career path... :unsure:


We could explore those feelings a couple of times per week for the foreseeable future. That way I could at least make some $$$ on the career path I did take.

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#15381 Orik

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 11:19 PM

The churro lady video - sort of everything that's wrong about twitter.


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#15382 small h

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 11:36 PM

Can you elaborate? Because I think I know what you mean, but I might not.



#15383 voyager

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 12:01 AM

Can you elaborate? Because I think I know what you mean, but I might not.

 

Away from this context, this is the story of my life.


It's not my circus,

not my monkeys.


#15384 small h

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 03:29 AM

Mine too. Sometimes I'm alright with it, other times not so much.