Perthblog

This is the official Perth blog site for posts, comments, and other contributions about leadership, behavioral finance and economics, and about management generally, as well as other related topics that take our fancy.

“The Big Short” – The Real Problem with Ratings


Did you see “The Big Short”? I’m sure Bernie Sanders is having a field day, his ticket to the big job he thinks. It’s worth seeing if only to reveal the zeitgeist in 2007, a fin de siècle moment. Naturally it paints the banks and the ratings companies in the darkest of colors. So what went wrong with the mortgage bonds and such-like? The film sugge...

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Behavioral Economics & Finance Need a Killer App (ahem)


So if you look at my LinkedIn profile you’ll see that I am billed (inter alia) as a thought leader in behavioral finance. So why would I be casting aspersions on my chosen field? A while back I was discussing behavioral economics and finance with a very senior executive (British btw) for strategy and innovation in a well-known and respected global ...

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Can we create irrational AI?


Did you notice that an AI program from Google just beat a top human player at Go? It’s a big deal; the chess problem was solved years ago but Go was still a challenge. So now that problem has fallen, AI has got to go to the next step. What will that be I wonder? The problem is getting more difficult as we come to understand that humans aren’t the o...

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e-Wallets – China is Winning


For all the angst about the problems in the US, at least we still lead the world in innovation, right? Not so fast, read on for this telling little story. The US Is still in the throes of deciding which e-wallet it will use. There’s a ton of them around so mass appeal is limited until John Q. Public makes up his tiny mind. Then retailers can finall...

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Blockchain – A Revolutionary New Way to Stop Corruption in its Tracks, Everywhere!


You’ve probably heard of bitcoins, which are now, once again a hot topic. A US company (Coinbase) has just started up the first bitcoin credit card in the US, so I guess if it has a piece of plastic behind it, it must be good. But bitcoin is getting to be old hat these days. The really hot ticket is the blockchain which is the technology model unde...

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Could a Cloud Attack Lead to a Global Depression?


Tech earnings were up significantly in the last quarter. This was at least partly due to significantly increased earnings from the Cloud by Microsoft, Amazon and Google. When Microsoft gets earnings from anything other than its legacy products it’s worth sitting up and taking notice. This time it aced the market for the first time in a long time. S...

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Should behavioral economics include animals?

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Behavioral economics is gradually winning over more converts. It’s now – justifiably - being applied to the most unlikely facets of human existence. So the natural (to me) question arises: should it be applied to animals too. I interpret animals broadly. Not just the warm-blooded ones we know and love like dogs, kittens, dolphins, elephants and oth...

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Insects have economies too: Is there a connection between climate change and global deflation?

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So we’ve got two megatrends going on in spaceship Earth. One is climate change. The other is global deflation. Are the two connected? The conventional view of deflation is that it is due to short term factors that lead to lower demand, absolutely or relatively. But there’s a growing suspicion that this may be a long term phenomenon spurred by what ...

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Are cognitive biases contagious?

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  So cognitive biases are the beating heart of behavioral economics and finance. But where do they come from? Are they innate or learned? Or are they epigenetic, some complex combination of the two where environmental factors trigger a gene for one or more of them? But there’s another possibility, namely that you catch them. Yep just like a co...

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Behavioral Accounting Transforms Green Eye-Shades into Empathic Intuitors?

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So you haven’t heard of behavioral accounting? Wow you haven’t lived! It does exist and it has generally been defined as accounting for the differential impact of behaviors on the value of an organization. But I have a different perspective on behavioral accounting. As in, how does the behavior of the preparer of an accounting document impact its r...

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Make Behavioral Finance Useful – Alternative Investment Application is the Next Big Thing

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So behavioral finance is hot these days. Authors such as Nouriel Roubini and Malcolm Gladwell have popularized it with the Great Unwashed. And academics are starting to catch on too, so that's progress. The problem is that for all its intellectual fecundity, behavioral finance suffers from a major problem. That is, that it hasn’t been useful from a...

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Is Deflation A Result of Exploding Global IQ?

Have just been reading more stuff about deflation in Europe, Russia and just about everywhere else, developed that is. The intelligentsia believes that it’s due to a number of factors especially the aging of the population and lack of policies to stimulate demand. Who knows, they might be right. But I have another wild idea. That deflation is due t...

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Are Animals the Next Mass Consumer Market?

Did you notice that Skype/Microsoft has just launched its simultaneous translation service for Spanish to English? Believe it or not, in a real-life man-bites dog story, Microsoft beat Google to the punch. Pretty soon we can expect simultaneous translation between most major and even many minor languages. Who could have predicted that just a few ye...

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The Calpers' Hedge Fund Fiasco: The Solution They Missed

I guess you noticed that Calpers has just ditched investing in hedge funds. The official line was that it was too complicated. The truth of the matter was that it didn’t work. .   That tells us a lot about hedge funds and investing generally and you know I am going to draw my own conclusions from that. First it’s been clear for a long tim...

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Are the Financial Guys in Private Equity Failing Due To Over-Reliance On Financials?

I guess you’ve noticed all the comment and analysis about private equity doing worse than the S&P or at least not doing better? Seems that while PE has done much better than the S&P over a 10 year period, over the past 5 years they have been way behind. But alternative investments are supposed to beat the pants off the old ways of doing thi...

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The Coming Super-Crash in NASDAQ? The Global Population Implosion and the Decline of Stock Markets

I guess you noticed the swoon last week in the NASDAQ. I’m not bright enough to figure out where it goes next in the short-term. But I do have a couple of ideas about what will happen in the longer-term. The beauty about long-term guesses is that if I’m wrong, I won’t be around to have to take the brickbats 20 years ago the global literati were all...

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Business Acumen and the Bitcoin Bubble

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The Emergence of Commissar Capitalism? – JP Morgan and the Settlement

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Fix the Deficit – Sell Alaska and Puerto Rico

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The Nobel in Economics: Another Bubble?

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