Friday, April 23, 2010

Cat and mouse

People like to play games. Some would like us to believe that such is the reality behind all things, as the most basic motivation. Cat and mouse, indeed!

So, given the game context, then things of which GS is accused are between the 'big boys' who ought to be able to handle themselves. Oh, yes, the GS guy says; doesn't he know that 'trust' is not something that he, and his kind, raises in this blogger's view? The old Goldman guy is rolling around in his grave, as is Adam Smith.

Yet, in the role that we've allowed these people, many of the big boys step all over the little peoples' lives, since their decisions affect more than their little selves (used advisedly, as the 'big' is mainly a chimera).

So, what are we to do? Turns out that science itself doesn't help; even there, malfeasance can be documented. Usually, though, it's driven by the ego of some maniac (oh, CEOs aren't in that class?) and is not directly related to the grand approach itself.

But, ever heard of underdetermination?

This blog got started looking at a particular program and then branched into that realm of the idiots, called finance. In things belonging to the original focus, you see, the engineers were eventually allowed to take over from the marketing view. For the most part, engineers do know how to solve problems. Why 'for the most part' here? Ah, our engineering brains breed hubris, many more times than not.

But, to err is human. And, we could re-focus the 'risk' game to be more mature.

So, luxury goods as a goal? What if there were a law, as follows: those with the diamond-studded watches must eat their diamonds for nourishment. Silly? Yet, in effect, that a whole generation and one-half ran off after those financial schemes tells us a lot. Have you not looked at Forbes Luxury and wondered who needs some of these items that have a $100 function but a $1M price tag?

And there were young guys/gals directly involved with creating these instruments of destruction. You don't see that? What old guy fat cat could do the computer modeling and operations that were required for these tranche'ing, and other derivative's (yes, folks, what these so-called higher forms do is stink to their essence and make a sane/healthy person want to puke)? Even Made-off had his technical help.

That the essentials have been farmed out (out-housed) or pushed to a seemingly lower realm of humanity or considered of no value (yes, trash the earth, by all means) ought to be of our concern.

So, let's talk about letting finance be run by those who, first, don't salivate when they see a buck (can it be eaten?) and who, then, know the values behind 'on the behalf' of' in their core.

By the way, what we saw with the one program, mentioned earlier, was a bunch of guys realizing that they couldn't make a baby collectively in a couple of months. Metaphor, folks.

Can engineering learn 'ethics' and a more informed type of 'value' soon enough to not run us collectively into the crapper? Oh, wait. political truth needs to (and will) be added to the first principles list. Defenders of GS are touting political motives. That may be, in part, yet the Street (Wall, if you must ask) has not really shined, of late. Oh, did it ever?


01/17/2013 -- Removed reference to Rand's fictional character. For various reasons.

04/27/2010 -- To quote Tourre of GS: Well, what if we created a 'thing', which had no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and nobody knows how to price?

Value? Oh, I reply. I've been arguing all along for a quasi-empirical approach that would respect our prowess yet know that these complications are easily manipulated into a shell-game look-alike. How did we let this happen? Where were the economists?

Modified: 01/17/2013

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