Monday, April 6, 2009

I thought the pastor did it with the hand bell in the choirloft

I figured the clues pointed to the pastor with the hand bell in the choir loft; but I got it just as wrong as those folks who guessed that the First Lady did it with the rake in the garden. The notion that the President did it with the scimitar in the Oval Office always struck me as ridiculous.

It looks like the visitor shot him with the gun at home.

Meanwhile: new clues suggest that Al Gore was also just a bit wrong when he said we would be sunbathing in January up here in Collegeville by 2020.

When you play Clue you have to be careful to let enough clues accumulate to allow for a reasonable guess. And you have to remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Oh, and by the way, the sun is still very, very quiet. Don't donate all your winter clothes to charity just yet.


Anonymous said...

In case you are interested:


Sully said...

An interesting article by a very smart guy; but interestingly one of his solutions flies in the face of one of his sources of the problem.

He writes near the end, "Instead of trying to make the regulatory system harder to break, we might think in terms of making it easier to fix."

That's a good idea; but the problem is that smart people adapt to new regulations by developing new methods to maximize profits under them. Once the market players adopt those new ideas to adapt to regulations they become a constituency that have a stake in keeping the regulations in place. In a normal, non-crisis environment, that new constituency tends to win out with the politicians both because it contributes to them and also because politicians don't like to generate heat by disturbing people with a big stake in things as they are. Also, nobody has a stake in stopping the carnival ride of a bubble when it is running to everybody's seeming advantage.

And even very smart people can be fooled.

I'm currently listening to Alan Greenspan's new book which he wrote in about 2006 or 2007. I was especially struck by a section where he praises credit default swaps as a new way to make the financial system more efficient by spreading risk. So even he missed the one of the implications (that Warren Buffett actually noticed) of credit default swaps, namely that the insurance and risk spreading that they provided was useless if the insurance company (AIG) didn't have enough capital to cover its bets.

Greenspan wrote that very embarrassing line in his book even though he surely was aware that Buffett spoke about "financial weapons of mass destruction" in March of 2003.