The Markets are Mad: Is High-Frequency Trading Making Things Worse? (liquidlibrary) Thursday’s 423-point gain by the Dow marked the first time ever that the industrial average has posted four consecutive days of 400-point moves. Less than two weeks into August, there have already been six trading days that saw triple-digit swings this month. While the recent sell-off has been swift (the Dow is off more than 12% since July 21), it’s also been choppy. While your average investor generally hates volatility, there are those who feed off it, namely high-frequency traders. Now, it’s not quite fair to lump all high-frequency traders together. Ever since last year’s Flash Crash, there’s been a debate brewing over the utility of high-frequency trading. A pair of recent academic papers have taken a long look at the pros and cons of high-frequency trading, and together paint a not-so-nice picture. This study investigates the effect of high trading volume on observed stock volatility.
The Ecologist archive: Preface: A Blueprint for Survival. A Blueprint for Survival occupied the entire issue of The Ecologist Vol. 2 No. 1, January 1972, in advance of the world's first Environment Summit: the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm. The principal authors were Edward Goldsmith and Robert Allen, with additional help from Michael Allaby, John Davoll, and Sam Lawrence. So great was demand for A Blueprint for Survival that it was republished in book form later that year by Penguin Books, on 14 September 1972. This document has been drawn up by a small team of people, all of whom, in different capacities, are professionally involved in the study of global environmental problems. Four considerations have prompted us to do this: An examination of the relevant information available has impressed upon us the extreme gravity of the global situation today. The Ecologist Edward Goldsmith, Robert Allen, Michael Allaby, John Davoll, Sam Lawrence. We are grateful to
Club of Rome The Club of Rome is a global think tank that deals with a variety of international political issues. Founded in 1968 at Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, Italy, the CoR describes itself as "a group of world citizens, sharing a common concern for the future of humanity." It consists of current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders from around the globe. It raised considerable public attention in 1972 with its report The Limits to Growth. The club states that its mission is "to act as a global catalyst for change through the identification and analysis of the crucial problems facing humanity and the communication of such problems to the most important public and private decision makers as well as to the general public. Formation A study by Graham Turner of the research organisation CSIRO in Australia in 2008 found Organization National associations Worldviews
Les neuf vies du secret bancaire helvétique, par Sébastien Guex Au début de 2009, sous l’impulsion des principaux pays membres de l’Union européenne et des Etats-Unis, l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE) s’est décidée à faire un pas, après avoir longtemps résisté. Elle a menacé d’inscrire la Suisse sur une liste de paradis fiscaux — ce qui aurait impliqué de lourdes sanctions à son égard — si Berne ne révisait pas rapidement au moins douze conventions dites « de double imposition » (CDI) en souscrivant au principe d’entraide internationale en cas non seulement de fraude, mais aussi d’évasion fiscale. La législation helvétique opère en effet une distinction entre la fraude fiscale — c’est-à-dire la soustraction à l’impôt grâce à la falsification de documents, considérée comme un délit pénal — et l’évasion fiscale, passible de simples poursuites administratives, et donc n’autorisant pas la levée du secret bancaire. En parallèle de l’action de l’OCDE s’est développée celle des Etats-Unis. Vous êtes abonné(e) ?
Blueprint for Survival A Blueprint for Survival was an influential environmentalist text that drew attention to the urgency and magnitude of environmental problems. First published as a special edition of The Ecologist in January 1972, it was later published in book form and went on to sell over 750,000 copies. The Blueprint was signed by over thirty of the leading scientists of the day—including Sir Julian Huxley, Sir Frank Fraser Darling, Sir Peter Medawar, and Sir Peter Scott—but was written by Edward Goldsmith and Robert Allen (with contributions from John Davoll and Sam Lawrence of the Conservation Society, and Michael Allaby) who argued for a radically restructured society in order to prevent what the authors referred to as “the breakdown of society and the irreversible disruption of the life-support systems on this planet”. It recommended that people live in small, decentralised and largely de-industrialised communities. Some of the reasons given for this were that: See also References
Systems theory Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems in general, with the goal of elucidating principles that can be applied to all types of systems at all nesting levels in all fields of research. The term does not yet have a well-established, precise meaning, but systems theory can reasonably be considered a specialization of systems thinking; alternatively as a goal output of systems science and systems engineering, with an emphasis on generality useful across a broad range of systems (versus the particular models of individual fields). A central topic of systems theory is self-regulating systems, i.e. systems self-correcting through feedback. Self-regulating systems are found in nature, including the physiological systems of our body, in local and global ecosystems, and in climate—and in human learning processes (from the individual on up through international organizations like the UN). Overview Examples of applications Systems biology
Why Adult Adoption is Key to the Success of Japanese Family Firms (iStockphoto) What happens when the heir to a family business isn’t up to the job? Not great things, apparently. But the Japanese have a solution: adult adoption. Rather than hand the firm to a less-than-worthy blood heir, Japanese families often adopt an adult to take over. America and Japan have the highest rates of adoption in the world – with one big difference. Mehrotra explains that adopting a scion is similar to a hostile takeover. Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shogun of the Tokugawa period. The roots of Japanese adult adoption trace back to merchants of the Tokugawa era (1603-1867). Unlike China or India, where preference for baby boys is extreme to the point of gendercide, the Japanese have an adage that rejoices in the birth of a girl: You can’t choose your sons, but you can choose your sons-in-law. Today, it is preferred (though not required) for the adopted heir of a business dynasty to marry one of the family’s daughters, becoming a family member twice over.
Didgeridoo There are no reliable sources stating the didgeridoo's exact age. Archaeological studies of rock art in Northern Australia suggest that the people of the Kakadu region of the Northern Territory have been using the didgeridoo for less than 1,000 years, based on the dating of paintings on cave walls and shelters from this period. A clear rock painting in Ginga Wardelirrhmeng, on the northern edge of the Arnhem Land plateau, from the freshwater period (that was begun 1500 years ago) shows a didgeridoo player and two songmen participating in an Ubarr Ceremony. Names & etymology There are numerous names for the instrument among the Aboriginal peoples of northern Australia, none of which closely resemble the word "didgeridoo" (see below). "Didgeridoo" is considered to be an onomatopoetic word of Western invention. There are numerous other, regional names for the didgeridoo. Construction A wax mouthpiece can soften during play, forming a better seal. Decoration
Twelve leverage points The twelve leverage points to intervene in a system were proposed by Donella Meadows, a scientist and system analyst focused on environmental limits to economic growth. The leverage points, first published in 1997, were inspired by her attendance at a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) meeting in the early 1990s where she realized that a very large new system was being proposed but the mechanisms to manage it were ineffective. Meadows, who worked in the field of systems analysis, proposed a scale of places to intervene in a system. Her observations are often cited in energy economics, green economics and human development theory. She started with the observation that there are levers, or places within a complex system (such as a firm, a city, an economy, a living being, an ecosystem, an ecoregion) where a "small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything" (compare: constraint in the sense of Theory of Constraints). Leverage points to intervene in a system 12.
Should Bad Predictions Be Punished? Government corn predictions are based on the work of people like Phil Friedrichs, gathering data in a corn field in Hiawatha, Kansas. (Photo: Stephen Koranda) What do Wall Street forecasters and Romanian witches have in common? But then there’s the U.S. This week on Marketplace, Stephen J. We’ll also hear from journalist Vlad Mixich in Bucharest, who tells us why those Romanian witches might not be getting away with bad fortune telling for much longer. Here’s where to find Marketplace on the radio near you. Sancai Sancai (Chinese: 三彩; pinyin: sāncǎi; literally "three colours") is a type of decoration on Chinese pottery using three intermingled colors for decoration. Technique Sancai follows the development of green-glazed pottery dating back to the Han period (25-220 AD). Predecessors to the sancai style can also be seen in some Northern Qi (550-577) ceramic works. Development The sancai technique dates back to the Tang Dynasty. Earthenware tomb figurine with sancai glaze, 7th-8th century, Tang DynastyForeigner on a camel, in sancai style, Tang Dynasty. Influences Sancai travelled along the Silk Road, to be later extensively used in Syrian, Cypriot, and then Italian pottery from the 13th to the middle of the 15th century. Syrian three-color ceramic, 13th century.Syrian three-color ceramic, 13th century.Three-color glazed ceramics, Cyprus, 14th century.Italian three-color Vase, Mid-15th century.Italian three-color Bowl, Mid-15th century. References External links
System dynamics Dynamic stock and flow diagram of model New product adoption (model from article by John Sterman 2001) System dynamics is an approach to understanding the behaviour of complex systems over time. It deals with internal feedback loops and time delays that affect the behaviour of the entire system. What makes using system dynamics different from other approaches to studying complex systems is the use of feedback loops and stocks and flows. These elements help describe how even seemingly simple systems display baffling nonlinearity. Overview System dynamics (SD) is a methodology and mathematical modeling technique for framing, understanding, and discussing complex issues and problems. Convenient GUI system dynamics software developed into user friendly versions by the 1990s and have been applied to diverse systems. System dynamics is an aspect of systems theory as a method for understanding the dynamic behavior of complex systems. History Topics in systems dynamics
Interpreting the Fed: How Did it Lower Rates This Time? I’ve found a lot of the recent discussion about the Fed to be, frankly, confused. So I thought it worth trying to put the issues into a broader context. Read the Fed’s latest statement, and you’ll see many of the themes I’ve talked about recently. They’ve learned that the economy is not only weak, but that—as I’ve been forecasting for some time—“economic growth so far this year has been considerably slower than the Committee had expected.” Turn to the labor market, and they somewhat dryly note “a deterioration in overall labor market conditions.” Typically, the Fed does this by reducing the Federal Funds Rate, which is an interest rate on overnight loans. So the key is for the Fed to reduce long-term rates. Recently, the Fed has been doing this by “Quantitative Easing.” Many market commentators are disappointed that the Fed didn’t announce “QE3”—a renewed round of quantitative easing. So yes, we got lower long-term interest rates.
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