Sunday, April 2, 2017

This Cotterill Fellow Is First Rate

But we knew that didn't we.

From FT Alphaville, February 2013
Holy Cow, Is This a Paragraph or What? (Poor Nassim Taleb Never Stood A Chance)
By Joseph Cotterill (his ranting gets raves):
...Anyway as I was saying, I’m not doing a full critique of either Antifragile, or skin in the game, here. I don’t care for the associated attack on journalists as cowards and parasites on the doers, I will say that much. (“…modern journalists are designed to be either cowards, or have a need to escape reality.”) Heard it all before – every week. Usually from someone powerful trying to push me off a story about some moral hazard or other, or that I’m a fraud, or that I don’t know what I’m talking about, because I won’t pick up a Bloomberg terminal and trade on it. It’s never ever about how wonderful it is to take risk, or something highfalutin about convexity. It is about money, power, and (in traderspeak) being married to the position. Nick Dunbar already put it well in his review of Antifragile, regarding experts, politicians, and the Fannie Mae car-crash....
The rest of his comments on  Nassim Taleb are here....
That 'Holy Cow' link also has some of my own scribbling, starting with an attempt to keep up with Mr. C. in the high stakes world of financial haiku, a Mandy Rice-Davies sighting at Alphaville and ending with a riff on a great name for a resident of the Murphy barony:
...Finally from our post, "The Economist on Safe Assets":
...Harking back to last week's post on the robotic ride to serfdom the villein occupied the social space between the freeman and the slave, below the thane but above the feudal cotter (cottage in return for labor).
Thus the alpha-villein would be top dog.
And of course, a cotter rill is the brook beside the cottage.
With that, it's time to bring in the professionals.
From Medium, March 19:

The news is a foreign country
This month I started tweeting about my home country as if its news was happening somewhere else — somewhere a bit closer to the region that I cover, as the Southern Africa bureau chief of the Financial Times.
Well, it’s a hobby.

But there is also a half-serious point behind it, about language and institutions in ‘Brexit Britain’. We’ll get to that point in a second.

But first, since an editor in Friday morning conference took some mild interest in the week’s rather intense political developments in this curious and far-off country, there was a commission to write a catch-up news analysis for the weekend world section…

In a Fractured British State, Separatists See Their Moment

Separatists in Britain’s oil-rich north said this week that they would hold a fresh independence vote only a few years after previously being narrowly defeated, in a major escalation of the political crisis consuming the divided Atlantic seaboard country.

Announcing the vote on Monday, the Scottish Popular Liberation Movement said that it could take place as soon as next year — openly defying the United Kingdom federal government in the far-off southern capital, London.

Preparations for a vote would underline the fragile authority at home of a revisionist power as it prepares for a simultaneous confrontation with 27 of its near neighbours over what it sees as the injustice of the regional order.

“Our efforts at compromise have instead been met with a brick wall of intransigence,” the separatist leader, Nicola Sturgeon, said from the provincial capital, Edinburgh.

She added that the vote would be held once the terms of the UK’s separation from regional bodies — where negotiations will soon begin — were known.

The move signals that a hard line recently taken on north-south power-sharing by Premier Theresa May, leader of the ruling English People’s Congress, has dramatically backfired — despite the separatists losing a similar vote only in 2014. While the EPC could block a new vote, such a move may only play into the separatists’ hands....MORE 
And the ghosts of foreign correspondents, in dive bars and FC clubs around the world, raise a glass and exclaim "Hear, Hear."