Well, it's been a long time since I last updated this blog. Sorry about that.

Barclays Capital

I've taken up a position a Barclays Capital - working on their fixed income exotics risk system.

The Credit Crunch

Well, to say that this is an "interesting" time to be working in the city is an understatement!

I refer to the following blogs to keep me "up to speed" about what's going on and, more importantly, why:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/ - a really top notch analysis.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/ - much more frequently updated, and with a strong left-wing bias - but very readable and not so "dumbed down".

Alan Greenspan

I also recommend reading Alan Greenspan's "The Age of Turbulence". The first "half" is mostly a biography - very interesting and readable. For one thing, despite being a "Libertarian Republican", he is very critical of Bush, and praises Bill Clinton... (of course, in hindsight this is an easy choice)... He also praised Gordon Brown.

The second half is perhaps even more interesting because he outlines his own views on how the global economy etc. should work... and states as his main thesis that "free market economies are incredibly resilient"... oh, and yeah, all except the epilogue was published July 2007, just before the shit hit the fan.

A particularly interesting chapter ("The Condundrum") claims that the Fed didn't actually have anywhere near as much control over "real"interest rates (the rate people/banks *actually* had to borrow money at), as people normally thought...  He mentions several times when the Fed raised rates, but long term rates actually went down after an initial "jump up"... He credited this to "disinflationary forces" due to globalization... I find this argument actually easy to agree with (that the Fed doesn't have anywhere near as much control over real interest rates as people think) precisely because we're having the exact opposite problem now (The Fed is lowering rates but LIBOR etc. remain unchanged).

Gordon Brown

Personally, I'm in favour of high taxes and government spending, if it's done efficiently, and not too centralized. However, I don't think that Labour has done a very good job at all with tax payer's money - not compared to, say, Denmark.

I was pretty sure that Gordon Brown was doomed to lose the next election (I hope he does!) - but after hearing his sound bite: "No time for a novice" - I can see it for the political genius that it is. Both David Cameron and David Milliband come across as completely inexperienced naive "show pony's" given the scary problems we are facing right now. I think Brown could pull off a campaign with this premise...

Programming

I'm working on an article to describe how to write "parallelizable" scripting languages implemented on top of a "grid" of computers (such as Data Synapse)... but...

Maths

I'm also starting an undergraduate Maths degree at Birkbeck University... so I might not have much time for blogging for at least a couple of months (then again, this isn't much of a change from the last few months in any case ;-0)

 

 

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