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June 30, 2006

JFI (Journal of Fized Income)

Journal of Fized Income (JFI) by Institutional Investor.

Fixed Income Analysts Society (FIASI);
Fixed Income Securities: Tools for Today's Markets, Second Edition by Bruce Tuckman;
The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities, Edited by Frank Fabozzi.

June 29, 2006

Futures markets in home prices: Altos

Altos Research real estate price and market tracking.

Predicting home prices with futures' markets at Altos.

For a prospective homeowner, indicies based on regional
prices are nearly meaningless in real estate prices. Consider
that the median price in Los Altos, CA, lost 25% between 2000
and 2001 when the last bubble burst. 2006 has finally
moved prices back over their 2000 peak. But San Jose,
median priced at half that of Los Altos, never even dipped
in that period. For those of you from outside the Bay Area,
Los Altos is less than 10 miles from San Jose. The CME
housing market would have been an ineffective hedge
for my Los Altos home.

More: Altos Research's Mike Simonsen some maps

June 28, 2006

SAS v9 docs

SAS v9 docs.
The manual: both a solution and a product, it's support and documetation !

June 27, 2006

Zivot on time series

Zivot's class in time series econometrics notes.

June 26, 2006

NY Real Estate maps: Shark Bites

Curbed and Property Shark team for NY Property Map theme of the week at Shark Bites.

June 25, 2006

Capital Spectator

Capital Spectator on money, interest rates, and hedging the economy:
Examples: TIPS (inflation-indexed Treasury,10-year TIPS), market
watching fed funds

June 24, 2006

Ticker Sense

Tickersense monitors the stock market and trendspots:
first day of the month, GoogleTrends.

June 23, 2006

Investment Dealers' Digest on analyst earnings

IDD (Investment Dealers' Digest) looks an analyst earnings.

The consultancy(*) forecasts that pay of senior management on Wall Street
will rise 10-15% this year, in line with the average pay rise. Equities groups
may receive pay hikes of 20%, and prime brokerage employees are set for
15% increases, according to Johnson Associates. Professionals in the
fixed-income area, which fueled profits in past years, are now expected
to get pay raises of only 5-10%. Pay in commercial banking and retail
banking divisions is expected to climb 5%.

(*) Johnson Associates.

June 22, 2006

Las Vegas note: Mimi

Las Vegas note: Mimi does it all: Campaign digest and movie career.
No wrd yet on polling traction.

June 21, 2006

sf metblogs

sf.metblogs, the thinking man's sFist.

Example: film fest.

June 20, 2006

GraphPaper / Christopher Fahey

Graph Paper / Christopher Fahey.
Beautiful design, and observations about information architecuture.

Example: full-focus states.

June 19, 2006

Not Making this Up / Jeff Mathews

Jeff Mathews is not Making this up: Example:
criminal defence in the name of Jesus.

Dear Visitor:

Now that my trial has concluded, I would like to offer a few
brief comments.

Certainly, we are surprised at the verdict against me. Perhaps
it is more appropriate to say we are shocked, as this is not the
outcome we expected.

I firmly believe that I am innocent of the charges against me,
as I have said from day one. I still firmly believe that to this day.
I will continue to work diligently with my legal team to prove this.

In spite of what has happened, I am still a very blessed man.
I have a very warm, loving and Christian wife and family that
supports me, as well as many, many loving and supportive
friends. I’d like to thank all of the people who have shown their
concern, support and kept our family in their prayers.

Most of all, my family and I believe that God is in control
and, indeed, He does work all things for good for those
who love the Lord. And we love our Lord.

Thank you.

Kenneth L. Lay

June 18, 2006

LIE Conditions

L.I.E aka I-495, the Long Island Expressway conditions.
Queens, Nassau, Suffolk to Riverhead.

June 17, 2006

Law and tax: options dating

Chicago Law faculty finds a link between executive compensation,
performance, governance and tax law.

The purported goal of section 162(m) of the IRC (the provision
that limits deductibility) was to reduce total amounts of
executive compensation.

The problem cases involve the managers deceiving the board,
not the company deceiving the government.

The law also required disclosure of the exact amounts
and form of pay. One reason often cited for this is that
executives at rival firms now knew what others were
making. The Lake Woebegone effect then kicked in, as
all CEOs wanted to be paid more than average, and no
firm wanted to be considered paying below average.
The one-way ratchet here is obvious.

Because cash levels were now capped (for tax purposes),
firms had every reason to pay more with non-cash, either
perks or equity. Since performance-based pay (e.g., options)
was specifically exempted, firms could be expected to pay
more of this. The problem is, of course, that the use of
options doesn't make sense in all cases or at levels necessary
to attract and reward talent, especially given the heterogeneous
preferences and wealth profiles of potential candidates.
The law thus chose one form of compensation over another
per se, without recognizing that this choice – the pay mix of
cash and non-cash -- is something that cannot be made at
a general level. It should be/needs to be a firm choice, not
a government choice.

June 16, 2006

Jimmy Carr

Best use of dramatic pause.
-- Jimmy Carr.

June 15, 2006

Morning person

If you sleep based on what your body tells you,
you’ll probably be sleeping more than you need
— in many cases a lot more, like 10-15 hours
more per week.

Why get up early?
The main reason is that you’ll have a lot more
time to do things that are more interesting
than sleeping.

Go to bed only when sleepy and get up with an
alarm clock at a fixed time (7 days per week).
So I always get up at the same time (in my case
5am), but I go to bed at different times every night.

I, II, III, 6 steps of Steve Pavlina.

See also sleep deprivation prevents learning.

June 14, 2006

Landholders, Residential Land Conversion, and Market Signals

In some metropolitan real estate markets, large land dealers
considerably influence the conversion of land for residential
use. Their activities may affect the timing, direction, and type
of new development. This study uses the Cleveland, Ohio
metropolitan region to consider whether large landholders
play a major role in residential land conversion in suburban
markets and the extent to which their actions are driven by
market signals.

The findings indicate that large holders of raw land targeted
to residential conversion do sell, subdivide, and develop
land parcels in response to definitive market signals that
foreshadow housing demand. They are most active in
jurisdictions that from 1990 to 2000 showed strong
population and housing growth. Increasing growth
rates have affected the zoning, platting, and densities
of residential development; increased the number of
permits issued for new construction; raised average
housing resale prices; and increased the average amounts
of home mortgages. Where favorable conditions prevail,
the price of raw land exceeds the holding price, justifying
sale and subdivision. Large land dealers respond to
market signals by releasing land in expectation of

Landholders, Residential Land Conversion, and Market Signals
Harry L. Margulis (2006)
Opolis: An International Journal of Suburban and Metropolitan Studies:
Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 2.

June 13, 2006

The Complexities of Mortgage Options (Prendergast)

Mortgage option prices behave quite differently than the prices of
options on underlying securities that do not exhibit significant
convexity. As a result, the intuition of many market participants
about option risk characteristics does not typically apply to
mortgage options.

The risk characteristics of these options: negative convexity of
the underlying mortgage and the positive gamma of the option
impact call option convexity in opposing directions. As a result,
call option convexity can be either positive or negative,
depending on the interest rate scenario and option specification.

On the other hand, a mortgage put option is always positively convex.
A quantitative understanding of these risk characteristics is critical
for money managers and broker/dealers who use mortgage options.

The Complexities of Mortgage Options
Prendergast, Joseph R.
March 2003

June 12, 2006

Light Rail North-South routing for Saint Louis City

North South reports and analysis of light rail North-South
routes begin in 2006 -- the 40th anniversary of the last
streetcar to operate in regular service in St. Louis, via the
excellent STL Urban Review.

June 11, 2006

Curbed: New York Real Estate / Lockhart Steele

Deflate real-estate hype. Update twice per shift. Former magazine
editor Lockhart Steele mocks overpriced condo listings and the
language brokers use to pump up and pimp out properties.

PriceChopper highlights grossly overpriced apartments and
takes credit when the asking price drops.

BubbleWatch links to optimistic market forecasts. Curbed's major
feature drawback is its New York-centric coverage and its
obsession with celebrity and luxury properties. Occasional
ganders at Los Angeles and Boston.

June 10, 2006

Silicon Valley is grown, not built. By Paul Graham

Shorter Silicon Valley.
Need nerds (smart creative fanoys, not computer operators)
and rich people (investors and mentors within an hour's drive),
nice place to live (San Fanciscso, Boston, Seattle, Buffalo, Pittsburgh)
Need free thinking ofbeat (Portland, Boulder, New York,
Los Angeles, Las Vegas
) not stodgy (Saint Louis, Detroit) bureaucrats.

Silicon Valley is grown, not built (comments).

-- Paul Graham

The defining quality of Silicon Valley is not that
Intel or Apple or Google have offices there, but that
they were started there.

June 9, 2006

Matte black on Autoblogging Friday

Matte black looks great on the new Honda Civic Type-R.
Analysis. Would look good on a new Bangled 5er or
Lexus IS, too, with their superflouos stealth
fighter curves.

Update 2006 Nov:

As show-stopping designs go, none proved more popular
with the paparazzi than a black 575-horsepower Mercedes
-Benz CLS55. This wicked witch was built by a noted
customizer, Matthew Figliola of Ai Design in Tuckahoe, N.Y.
The car’s buffed matte black paint looked like burnished
steel. Why did it work?

Because of the “flop”, said Mr. Foose, who is also host of a
customizing show, “Overhaulin’,” on the Learning Channel.
The flop is the break in light and dark shading across a vehicle’s
character lines.

“When you bring in a matte color, it may have a really beautiful
flop to it,” Mr. Foose explained. “You know, a light side and a dark
side, and your eye can focus on that surface. With all the polished
and reflected surfaces around it, it gives a quality texture.”

Mr. Foose uses matte or flat black surfaces to relieve the
“Christmas ball effect” that he says can overwhelm some of
today’s more extreme designs.

“When you have a full-polished surface, all you are looking at
are reflections,” he said. “When you open the hood of a car, and
you look at the beautiful reflective body forms, you are going
down to a chrome surface on the engine, and you’re looking
at a color right next to it that is all polished. It starts looking
like a Christmas ball next to another Christmas ball next to
another one.”

The danger of dull black finishes, Mr. Foose said, is that when
they are poorly executed “it doesn’t convey quality.”

“It’s kind of like, ‘O.K., we didn’t have enough money to finish
this car, so we just matte-finished it.’ ”

-- SEMA 2006.

Would like to see an orange

[Via AutoBlog and (and more photos at) WorldCarFans.]

June 8, 2006

Wilmotters' Quant Quantitative Finance notes

Paul Wilmott, Emanuel Derman and Domicic Dominic Connor (DCDC)
write Wilmotters: Paul, Emanuel, Dominic.

June 7, 2006

Fire Dog Lake / Jane Hamsher

Fire Dog Lake / Jane Hamsher. Example . With Christy Hardin Smith.

June 6, 2006

Bankers' Ball

Bankers' Ball, banking life, with CFA follies.

June 5, 2006

Chief Officer: CXO advisory

Chief Officer: CXO advisory.
Management Science digest.

June 4, 2006


Outsourcing plus The Wisdom of Crowds = Crowdsourcing.

June 3, 2006

hp 12c

HP 12c calculator goes platinum. Joy for CFA.

June 2, 2006

Blogging empires

The first—and most common so far—is the accidental tourist:
A lone writer who starts a blog as a mere hobby but then wakes
up one day to realize his audience is now as big as a small city
. The liberal journalist Joshua Micah Marshall went
this route: He started the Talking Points Memo blog during
the November 2000 election recount “just for fun,” and his
audience grew slowly, reaching 8,000 a day in the first two

A variation on this theme is when a lone blogger teams up
with the mainstream media. Andrew Sullivan is the first example
of an endgame strategy that may become quite common in the
future. In 2000, Sullivan started his blog, The Daily Dish, as a
part-time sideline, funding it via donations and ads for five
years. Then in January, Time magazine agreed to lease his URL
for one year, making it part of its online offerings. Though
Sullivan says “I didn’t get rich,” he figures the deal will earn
him almost half his income this year.

The second basic blogging business model is the
record-label approach
: Crank out dozens and
dozens of sites and hope that one or two will become
hits. The pioneer here is the new-media entrepreneur
Jason Calacanis, who founded Weblogs, Inc., in September
2003 and began rapidly shotgunning new blogs into
obscure niches: Tablet PCs, Microsoft Office, “telemedicine,”
and the like. It is not, many note, a recipe for quality writing.
Calacanis scored an enormous hit with Engadget, the second
most-linked-to site on Technorati. “AOL basically paid $25
million for Engadget”.

The third and final model? The boutique approach: a publisher
who crafts individual blogs the way Condé Nast crafts magazines
—each one carefully aimed at some ineffable, deluxe readership.
This is Nick Denton’s modus operandi. Though he set up shop
three and a half years ago, making his the oldest blog empire
around, he has launched a mere fourteen blogs. They are all,
however, in niches that target high-spending, well-educated
readers—such as gossip, sex, and politics. The aim is to hit the
sweet spot: big readerships, but not hoi polloi. Gawker even
claims to turn away advertisers that are too low-rent; the site’s
ad manager boasted to Mediaweek that it takes no Ford or Chevy
ads because “we hate American cars” and no pharmaceutical
ads because “our readers are healthy and beautiful.”

Denton is famous for spending months hunting for writers
with the snark and wit that his audience likes. He’s also equally
famous for being tight with a buck: His bloggers work from home,
get no equity, and make salaries that are by all accounts
unremarkable, even by the paltry standards of journalism.

For advertisers, the whole lure of blogs is that they’re
cheaper than regular newspapers and TV. Plus, blogs
offer tightly focused niches, which advertisers love.

[ * ]

June 1, 2006

Mortgage Low Down

mortgagelowdown: looks like automated private label mortgage
related content, but closer to squidoo than domain parking site. [ * ]