The Best Predictor Of How Someone Will Act Tomorrow Is How They Acted Today‏

This rule will not work every time (people do occasionally change their patterns of behavior), but persistence is the best guess: a person will most likely act tomorrow as they did today.

– If they did not go to the gym today, they likely will not tomorrow.

– If they cheated on you yesterday, they likely will tomorrow.

– If they did not get out of a losing trade yesterday, they likely will not tomorrow.

We are very good at telling ourselves that tomorrow will be different, that we will change our behavior tomorrow.

The odds suggest that we will not change, and that we will continue our familiar patterns.

The All-American Sandwich

Today, for lunch, I had a ham, chicken and cheese sandwich.

But this was not called a “ham, chicken and cheese sandwich”. This was called an “All-American Sandwich”.

And why did my sandwich deserve such a lofty promotional rebranding?

Because they also added… bacon.

America. Fuck yeah.

Boomer Retirement

All credit to www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2011/el2011-26.html

As graphs go, this is pretty compelling.

We construct the P/E ratio based on the year-end level of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index adjusted for inflation and average inflation-adjusted earnings over the past 12 months. We measure age distribution using the ratio of the middle-age cohort, age 40–49, to the old-age cohort, age 60–69. We call this the M/O ratio.

In short, stock valuations increased as the boomers grew into middle age and saved. As the boomers grow into old age and draw down their savings, stock valuations are likely to decrease.

P/E ratio and M/O ratio

The Wisdom Of Crowds

At least some of the justification for financial markets comes from the concept of the “Wisdom Of Crowds“: the idea that lots of people making informed guesses leads to an accurate valuation or prediction.

The problem is that the wisdom of the crowds only really applies when forecasts are genuinely independent, as when farmers are guessing the weight of a bull at a country fair.

In most financial markets, forecasts are not genuinely independent: everyone looks at everyone else’s views while they are forming their own, and there are feedback mechanisms (see Soros). Once you know what others are thinking, their views lead you into error.

It’s Arguably The Most Glaring Double Standard In American Life Today‏‏

I do not intend to do much political stuff on this blog, but this one was too good to pass up.

The WSJ opinion pages are worth a read. I find myself disagreeing with them more often that not, but they are usually well-informed, well-argued opinions.

This article discusses an apparent hypocrisy between how the media treats Rick Santorum and Barack Obama:

“When Barack Obama was campaigning for president in 2008, he declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. For the most part, his position was treated as a nonissue.

Now Rick Santorum is campaigning for president. He too says that marriage is between a man and a woman. What a different reaction he gets.”

The author has a point. You could suggest that it is a minor point, or that there are other issues to consider, but it logically hangs together. This sentence is what makes me spill my coffee:

“It’s arguably the most glaring double standard in American life today.”

Really? Media bias regarding Presidential Candidates views? That is the most glaring double standard in American life? In an article where you are discussing that gays can’t get married?

I have a principle that if I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, I choose to laugh…