Monday, March 08, 2010

The Popular Press & Salt Water Econs Are Wrong about Eugene Fama & The Chicago School!

A very nice retrospective piece from one of the GREATS of financial economics!

[Vindicating Mandelbrot, my thesis (Fama 1965a) shows (in nauseating detail) that distributions of stock returns are fat-tailed: there are far more outliers than would be expected from normal distributions - a fact reconfirmed in subsequent market episodes, including the most recent. Given the accusations of ignorance on this score recently thrown our way in the popular media, it is worth emphasizing that academics in finance have been aware of the fat tails phenomenon in asset returns for about 50 years.]

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Obamanoics Hurting The Economy

The Obama admin's economic policies are hurting the chances of a true recovery. Here is a nice analysis from Clusterstock.

'Over the next several months, thousands of individuals will face the end of their federal unemployment benefits. The typical interpretation of this reads these people as becoming the hopelessly jobless. Expect to see a lot of specualtion about whether the unemployment numbers are concealing the actual number of jobless people. That speculation is half-right. What's really happening, however, is that resources locked out of the jobs market start to re-enter the market. As long as unemployment benefits continue to pay people not to learn new skills or accept lower wage jobs, the recovery will remain anemic. The misallocation of human capital will remain stuck in place.

Of course, if the economy is not recovering, the loss of unemployment benefits can be devastating. We need to create new jobs in new businesses to soak up those now entering the jobs market. This is a tough task, especially since as many as 400,000 workers could be re-entering the jobs market. But it's a two-way street: employers who know that they will not face a labor crunch can more easily expand operations as the workforce expands due to the end of unemployment benefits.'