Say what? Yes, the old adage says that the chemist talks to the physicists who talks to the mathematicians who talks to G-d. This means, of course, that we all cannot be all-knowing (all, meaning, of course, that some claim such). And, in the adage, there is a hierarchy which, in many cases, implies a type of superiority (and accompanying hubris for the less inferior). Also, the invoking of another discipline (usually some type of incomplete punt) without proper assessment (remember the theme of the blog) is not proper though it works, many times.
Civilization requires that we all do whatever it is that we do well while not screwing people (hear this, financial people?).
From time to time, some priviledged class (meaning, of course, of high pay and status) let's us down. Of course, these folks are allowed to fail just like the rest of us. The difference? Their failures hurt bunches of folks, much more than can some failing by a 'joe smoe' (no aspersions here to anyone specificially - seemed to be a cute tag).
The recent tragedy of AF447 has caused a concept called the coffin corner (see Miles O'Brien's blog for a good explanation) to pop into general awareness. In this case, there are all sorts of experts involved that we leave alone to handle these type of issues.
One thing to consider is what other types of 'Say what?' situations are there that may require some type of public awareness beyond what the old adage (above) describes?
That is, the public as a knowing entity; ah, the new media as the potential enabler.
05/28/2011 -- The black box was recovered, via technology. Now, analysis shows that the air speed indicator did freeze causing a state of mis-readings which didn't allow proper control actions on part of the crew. There are a lot of lessons here which we'll get into. However, that computational frameworks and their executional events can get similarly into this type of state, and vertigo is not inappropriate to use here. This bears much discussion.
04/03/2011 -- Tis tranche and trash.
08/19/2009 -- A whole bunch of say what? events have appeared in the past year. One of these has been the airing of the enthusiasm of quant-crowd as expressed by those going through MFE events. Kudos to those who try and succeed. But, one word of caution is in order. What bubble is going to come about from this new interest? Let me count the ways (in the works).
08/14/2009 -- A whole new type of 'say-what?' is showing up, such as readings of the law that somehow give more rights to corporations' personhood than to real persons.
07/23/2009 -- After the bust and the rebound, toxic assets are still a problem due to tranche realities.
07/05/2009 -- Software, versus data/model, as a given (Lord, help us, if we believe the software vendors are as magical as they would like us to think).
06/20/2009 -- Yes, rent can go to labor (new look at capitalism), and finance can have a higher calling.
06/17/2009 -- Here's a 'say-what?'. Milken, whom we'll use as a focal point to discuss several things, talks about the myths about him and makes comment. Mike is lucky that the web exists so as to provide the means for this type of clarification. There are several comments which will be good to analyze and to relate to the topics of this blog. His comment #13 makes him out almost to be the stockholder's Robin Hood.
Remember, the theme here is that a lot of securitization is bunk, many times. Sheesh, talk about a perpetual motion machine, always moving monies from the pockets of the hapless to that of the fat cats.