Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The next time you hear about hedge funds' sophisticated risk management algorithms...

A couple of great posts over at Felix Salmon's blog. First a sardonic take on the SALT conference in Vegas:

Well, yes. This is why SALT will always be in Vegas, and why Vegas will always welcome SALT with open arms. I’m sure the casinos made very good money on SALT even after accounting for Geismar’s winnings, and they’ll probably make money from Geismar too, on net, over time. If nobody ever won big money, no one would gamble at all. But in the end, the house always wins — and all of these hedge-fund managers are smart enough to know that. And still, left to their own devices, what they do is gamble, and they even layer on silly “risk management” techniques which don’t reduce risk at all — in this case, after a losing hand, Geismar would bet a little less, reckoning that somehow “laws of averages” would help him as a result.

And then from guest blogger Jonathan Adler, a nicely written explanation of just how silly this "risk management" was.

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