Why Traders Blow Smoke: Air Pollution and Stock Returns

While all sorts of strange correlations have been found between the stock market and real world… [cont.]

[Full post at my Bloomberg blog]

Freshman Kinematics Question: The Jumper Upstairs

Fun question:

You live in the dorms and your upstairs neighbor, LeBrian Skinner, is a serious basketball player.  He is about to declare for the NBA draft, but he fears that his merely average height will put him at a disadvantage.  To compensate for his relative shortness, LeBrian decides that he needs to have a vertical jump of at least 36 inches.

In the evening you can hear LeBrian practicing his vertical leap, since he lives directly above you: you hear a loud creak when he first jumps followed by a loud thump when he lands again.  You use a stopwatch to time the interval between the moment he first leaves the floor and the moment when he lands again.  You measure this interval as 0.8 seconds.

Assuming that LeBrian lands with his legs fully extended (in the same position as when he leaves the floor), how high is he jumping?  Is it enough?

Give it some thought, and then find the answer here.


Vancouver and Hot Money Flows

One of the more remarkable unintended consequences of combining the commodity boom,… [cont.]

[Full post at my Bloomberg blog]

How to Hack Pharma News For Fun and Profit

The Speed Desk at Bloomberg has the quick-witted folks who read headlines in an eye-blink and… [cont.]

[Full post at my Bloomberg blog]

Most Marketable Athletes in the World: Usain Bolt #1

Interesting list of the most marketable athletes in the world. It’s led by sprinter Usain… [cont.]

[Full post at my Bloomberg blog]

The Adventures of Tintin Trailer 2011 HD

Declining Telecom Costs Worldwide

Field Notes: Food, Vancouver, Ira Sohn, Death, Crowds, Chess, etc.

  • Vancouver industrial property prices up 20-fold in six years (Source)
  • Ira Sohn conference contest (Source)
  • Death Derivatives Emerge From Longevity Risks(Source)
  • How social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect (Source)
  • Mystery life everyday (Source)
  • Commodity Prices and Paradigm Shifts (Source)
  • Bobby Fischer: from prodigy to pariah | Sport | The Observer (Source)
  • Food Like You’ve Never Seen Before  (Source)
  • Microsoft’s Bill Gates says he advocated Skype takeover (Source)
  • China’s sugar rush may be ending (Source)
  • The trouble with Bitcoin (Source)

Creative Destruction: Up and to the Right

Interesting new paper argues that the pace of creative destruction in the U.S. economy has accelerated and changed in last few decades:

Creative Destruction and Finance: Evidence from the Last Half Century


The rate of creative destruction among public firms increases in the U.S. during the period 1960-2009. We document statistically significant increases in big business turnover, changes in market share, the difference in growth rates between firms that gain and lose market share, and other measures that show an increasingly dynamic economy. The increase in economic dynamism is driven by increasingly fast-growing firms that exhibit increasingly high growths in total factor productivity, value-added, and profit margins, and have increasingly high R&D spending and patent grants. The type of firm that generates this creative destruction changes during the sample period. Creators are increasingly smaller and younger, and increasingly issue shares and debt; the average creator would have run out of cash by year-end had it not raised capital, and this financial dependence increases throughout the sample period.


Internet Bubbling