Emanuel Derman

A serious question

September 1, 2011

Capitalism depends on lending and borrowing, and hence on banks. In that sense banks are a utility, like Water Works or Electric Company.

PPE morphs to PNE

August 30, 2011

The internecine arguments by economists in the daily papers show that a good part of economics is about

No more time decay

August 28, 2011

The hurricane edition of the NY Times contains an article about a new British TV show on the downside of immortality. It reminded me of something similar I once contributed to Edge’s 2009 Question. The link to their 2009 Question — What Will Change Everything? — is broken, and so I reproduce my paragraphs here:

We the people

August 26, 2011

I have been reading a column in the Sydney Morning Herald by their Economics Writer Jessica Irvine. She writes:

Globalization: Intended and actual

August 24, 2011

I had thought globalization was a good idea. The developed world was rich, and it seemed as though outsourcing was going to diminish the wealth discrepancy between the rich and poor, decreasing the slope of the wealth line between the USA and the developing world.

Tobin or not Tobin?

August 18, 2011

If there’s one larger lesson one learns from options theory that transcends its technical details, it’s that there aren’t unmitigated goods. Every benefit thing has its price. Convexity/optionality is valuable, but its downside is rapid time decay.You can’t have your cake and eat it (unless you notice a kind of convexity that no one else has yet recognized).

My life with the Maladroid

August 16, 2011

Google’s big battle will be that they know (and care) nothing about customer support or user interface. I early-adopted and hated the clunky Motorola Droid and I’m intensely happy to be rid of it. Unlike Apple, there was no one responsible for the device as a device. And I couldn’t upgrade to newer ones when the hardware improved because Google’s own software wouldn’t successfully sync any newer Droid with Google’s own calendar.

Capitalism with a human face?

August 11, 2011

In the 1960s the key question for the East was: can you have Communism with a human face?

Karmic downgrades and upgrades

August 6, 2011

About once a year I end up writing something about karma, and, in these uninspiring times,  this is one of those days.

Sciences and nons(ci)ences

August 5, 2011

I have spent too much time on Twitter*.

Nevertheless, one of the things I did notice is how many of the economic tweets are arguments about statistics. One in particular, pointed at by @FelixSalmon and @JustinWolfers, is an article that stresses: