Okay, it was fun kicking quantitative investors — “quants” — for a while, but it’s getting tiresome. For starters, quants aren’t at all monolithic, so the whole category is a bit meaningless. Second, many of those tarred back in August have bounced back in September, so prattling on and on about Goldman’s Global Alpha continuing misadventures is just selective data fixation.
And finally, this isn’t about “stupid trades” (other than maybe in GA’s case) as some are suggesting. It’s much deeper and more interesting that that, having to do with tacit social networks, cheap computing power, over-exploited Compustat databases, vanishing financial biodiversity, and over-crowded strategies that worked surprisingly well for surprisingly long. Turning an important and multi-faceted story into The Attack of the Killer Quants! is shallow and unhelpful.