Category Archives: investment theory

Nullius in Verba

Originally published 12/16/2009

In the Pine Barrens episode from the third season of The Sopranos, Paulie & Christopher think they have killed a Russian mobster and travel to the Pine Barrens of New Jersey to dispose of the body.  After arriving, they open the trunk to find him still alive.  Ultimately the Russian escapes while Paulie & Christopher become hopelessly lost in the woods.  Paulie calls Tony to report what has happened: Continue reading

Bulls, Bears and Eels

Originally published 2/23/2009

On June 28, 1914 Gavrilo Princip was one of seven assassins spaced along the Appel Quay in Sarajevo waiting for the motorcade of the Archduke Ferdinand.  The first of the seven lost his nerve as the cars passed.  The second rolled a grenade under the royal car, but the bomb had a long fuse and exploded under the next car in line.  Naturally, panic ensued and the rest of the motorcade sped off before another assassination attempt could be made. Continue reading

Game Theory

Originally published 1/29/09

Remember the “battle of wits” between Vizzini and Westley in The Princess Bride?

Man in black:  [turning his back, and adding the poison to one of the goblets]  Alright, where is the poison?  The battle of wits has begun.  It ends when you decide and we both drink – and find out who is right, and who is dead. Continue reading

Belt & Suspenders

Originally published 12/05/2008

Today (12/05/08), in Zurich, there is a hedge fund conference in session.  A gathering of scores of very smart investment minds against a backdrop of epic market turmoil is bound to produce some interesting quotes.  I kind of like this one from the CEO of a hedge fund consultancy: In response to a question regarding how he would adjust risk management systems in light of recent events, he responded; Continue reading

Things We Forget

In 1747, Scottish physician James Lind proved in a controlled medical experiment that citrus fruits were an effective cure for scurvy.  Citrus fruits had been used by sailors since at least 1497 to ward off the disease, but scurvy continued to be the leading killer of sailors on long ocean voyages, with some ships losing as many as 90% of their men.  Even after Lind’s discovery, it took an additional forty years of experiments and political lobbying for the cure to be institutionalized within the British Royal Navy.  In 1799, all Royal Navy ships in foreign service were ordered to serve 1 oz. of lemon (often called ‘lime’) juice with 1 oz. of sugar daily after two weeks at sea.  The result was startling.  In 1780, there were 1,457 cases of scurvy admitted to the Naval Hospital at Haslar.  From 1806 – 1810, there were two. Continue reading