According to various distinguished sources including the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland — the central bankers’ bank — the amount of outstanding derivatives worldwide as of December 2007 crossed USD 1.144 Quadrillion, ie, USD 1,144 Trillion. The main categories of the USD 1.144 Quadrillion derivatives market were the following:
1. Listed credit derivatives stood at USD 548 trillion;
2. The Over-The-Counter (OTC) derivatives stood in notional or face value at USD 596 trillion and included:
a. Interest Rate Derivatives at about USD 393 trillion;
b. Credit Default Swaps at about USD 58 trillion;
c. Foreign Exchange Derivatives at about USD 56 trillion;
d. Commodity Derivatives at about USD 9 trillion;
e. Equity Linked Derivatives at about USD 8.5 trillion; and
f. Unallocated Derivatives at about USD 71 trillion.
Quadrillion? That is a number only super computing engineers and astronomers used to use, not economists and bankers! For example, the North star is “just” a couple of quadrillion miles away, ie, a few thousand trillion miles.
Whilst outstanding derivatives are notional amounts until they are crystallised, actual exposure is measured by the net credit equivalent. This is normally a lower figure unless many variables plot a locus in the wrong direction simultaneously. This could be because of catastrophic unpredictable events, ie, “Black Swans”, such as cascades of bankruptcies and nationalisations, when the net exposure can balloon and become considerably larger or indeed because some extremely dislocating geo-political or geo-physical events take place simultaneously. Also, the notional value becomes real value when either counterparty to the OTC derivative goes bankrupt. This means that no large OTC derivative house can be allowed to go broke without falling into the arms of another.
So the derivatives market alone represents about USD 190,000 per person on the planet.
The US House of Representatives just passed a resolution declaring March 14 “Pi Day.” Math nerds will understand why it’s on that particular date.
Ten Republicans voted against the resolution. What do they have against pi? Why don’t they want it to have its own day? Are they partial to some other ratio, that has not received an honorary day? Is pi somehow partisan in nature?
My guess is that they’ve read 1 Kings 7:23
“Then he made the sea of cast metal. It was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.
From this it clearly follows that pi is 3.
Bill Hicks died fifteen years ago and still he won’t shut up.
First they came for the teenagers. Could toddlers be far behind? Nope. Thanks to the good folks at YouTomb, we’ve learned that Warner Music’s automated takedown net has now caught two videos of little kids being little kids.
Of course we can’t show you the videos since they’re, well, censored, but the YouTomb snapshots tell most of the story. One showed a 4 year old lip-syncing to the old Foreigner hit, “Juke Box Hero.” The other apparently showed a baby smacking its lips to the tune of “I Love My Lips”—a song originally sung by a cucumber in an episode of “Veggie Tales.” Both videos are obvious fair uses (these are transformative, noncommercial videos that are not substitutes for the original songs, and there is no plausible market for “licensing” parents before they video their own children singing) and perfectly legal—just like the video of a baby dancing to a Prince song that Universal Music Group took down in 2007.
These are just a few of the thousands of videos Warner has instructed YouTube to block in the past few months. According to statistics kept by YouTomb, there were twice as many videos removed from YouTube in January 2009 as in the entire previous year combined. The numbers are all more appalling because, thanks to Warner’s reliance on YouTube’s automated, censorship-friendly Content I.D. tool, there is no reason to think that Warner even bothered to watch these videos to decide whether it actually objects them before blocking them.
Insurance giant American International Group will award hundreds of millions of dollars in employee bonuses and retention pay despite a confrontation Wednesday between the chief executive and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.
But the company agreed to revise some executive payments after what AIG’s leader, Edward M. Liddy, called a “difficult” conversation.
In a letter to Geithner yesterday, Liddy agreed to restructure some of the payments. But Liddy said he had “grave concerns” about the impact on the firm’s ability to retain talented staff “if employees believe that their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury.”
Liddy still doesn’t get it – if the sole reason those “talented” staff stay with you is because you offer even only one dollar more than your competitor, if that’s all there is to it, then you’re doing it wrong. Because these guys will be guaranteed to stab the company in the back if that increases their bonus by one dollar. You will not be able to build a healthy company with them on board, regardless of their talent.
There is of course a reason Liddy doesn’t get it – he’s one of them.