Monthly Archives: August 2011

Good Luck With That

My brother posts 11 questions reporters should be asking Dick Cheney.

I doubt Cheney is going to go near any reporters with the guts to ask three of them.

Posted in Politics: US: GW Bush Scandals, Torture | 2 Comments

South Florida is Special

In today’s news:

Yes, really.

Posted in Miami | 3 Comments

Straight from Crazytown

Someone should be asking all Republican candidates for President if they agree, and if they don’t agree they should be asked whether someone who believes divine political instructions are delivered via the weather is a good choice for public office.

Posted in Politics: Tinfoil | 13 Comments

What Elective Courses Lawyers Wish They Had Taken in Law School, and What Courses Were Most Useful

Survey data reporting which elective courses lawyers wish they had taken in law school, and which were most useful, via Prof. Orin Kerr of GW Law.

Most useful:

1. Evidence — 156 respondents (27%)
2. Administrative Law — 120 respondents (21%)
3. Corporations — 105 respondents (18%)

Most wished had taken:

Of the wish list courses with more than 35 votes (6%), four were in the area of civil litigation, including the top of this list, Complex Litigation (50), plus Pre–Trial Advocacy (46), Trial Advocacy (44), and Alternative Dispute Resolution (36). Second highest on the overall wish list was Administrative Law (48), with many of those supporters listing other practice areas as their principal focus. Others high on this list were Corporate Finance (41) and Law & Accounting (38, including support outside the core practice areas). Some, but not all, of the observations based on the wish list can be explained because many of these courses were not offered when some of the respondents attended GW.

I’m glad, but not surprised, to see that Administrative Law made the top 3 for “most useful”. I highly recommend it. It also ranks highly on the “wish I had taken” scale, which fits what I hear from alums who have come back to visit. I’m somewhat surprised federal courts (aka federal jurisdiction) wasn’t ranked higher, especially in a DC school.

Posted in Law School | 3 Comments

Citibank Pays Lower Interest Rates to People With Florida State Mailing Addresses

People with a New York mailing addresses get a higher interest rate on “Savings Plus” savings accounts from Citibank than we here in Florida get.

So much for a national capital market, eh?

I learned this when I called Citibank to ask about rates and was accidentally given the New York one at first and then couldn’t find it on their web site.

In any case they are all low. Citibank, much like other big banks, offers less than 0.5% to savers — how much less depends on which product and where you are. In contrast some online banks, Sallie Mae for example, seem to go up to 1.15%, slightly edging out Costco’s 1.06%.

All these numbers compare poorly with the annualized rise in the Consumer Price index — 3.6%. Not to mention what banks charge for loans.

Posted in Econ & Money | 1 Comment

A Medical Student in Ireland Writes

In other Islam-related news, today I met my first Irishman who thinks Obama is secretly Muslim. I’d thought that sort of thing was confined to the US. But in this man’s defense, he was a paranoid schizophrenic I met with the psychiatric crisis team. What’s your excuse, Americans?

via Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz (eh?)

Posted in Politics: Tinfoil | 2 Comments

Unexpected Consequences of P ≠NP

Philip Maymin, Markets are Efficient if and Only if P = NP.

I prove that if markets are efficient, meaning current prices fully reflect all information available in past prices, then P = NP, meaning every computational problem whose solution can be verified in polynomial time can also be solved in polynomial time. I also prove the converse by showing how we can “program” the market to solve NP-complete problems. Since P probably does not equal NP, markets are probably not efficient. Specifically, markets become increasingly inefficient as the time series lengthens or becomes more frequent. An illustration by way of partitioning the excess returns to momentum strategies based on data availability confirms this prediction.

But if P = NP then that’s it for most of modern cryptography, especially public/private key encryption. We’ll have to send giant one-time pads to each other before we can have secure communications.

So it turns out (if this paper is correct) that the choice is not (national) security or privacy. It’s market efficiency or (data) security and privacy.

Then again, it’s hardly news that markets fail. Look outside your window.

Posted in Cryptography, Econ & Money | 8 Comments