Image from fooledbyrandomness.
Nassim and Paul Wilmott are offering their “infamous” two-day seminar “Quantitative Risk Management: In Theory and In Practice” on March 12th and 13th, in London. Here are the points that will be addressed:
- What is risk?
- What are fat tails?
- The idea of fragility and how to measure it
- Size and scaling
- The law of large numbers in the real world
- What is complexity?
- How to price options using different distributions
- How to simulate fat tails
- How to measure model risk
- How not to measure model risk
- Sometimes it’s wrong to use probabilities
- The concept of delta-alpha
- The commonest quant mistakes
- The Greeks that give you false hope
- Why calibration does not work
- The dangers of correlation
- The importance of nonlinearity
- Volatility nonsense
- What commonsense tells you about volatility, and turning that into a model
- Why simple models are often the best and why too much math can be dangerous
- A summary of what to do and where the real world is different
To register, please visit the Wilmott Forums.
Nassim shares Chapter 1 of his work-in-progress, Silent Risk, which explains what the Black Swan problem is and is not. He comments that it is “still incomplete, but useful.”
From his Facebook Page.
Nassim shares his latest monograph (co-authored by Raphael Douady) and introduces his new venture in publishing at the same time:
Descartes Monographs accept only manuscripts that have been rigorously peer-
reviewed or contain material that has appeared in peer-reviewed journals or has
been sufficiently cited to merit inclusion in the series. Its aim is to “Überize”
academic publishing by cutting the middleperson and producing books of the
highest scientific quality at the most affordable price. Descartes engages in ethical
publishing, avoiding double-charging the public sector for books produced on
From his Facebook Page.
On GMOs: “A pound of algebra is worth a ton of verbal commentary”. I managed to fit the Precautionary Principle into a few lines. The GMO paid propagandists are pounding tons of verbalistic statements (even an incompetent smear campaign), but this simple summary should cancel about everything they are trying to say. In a single column. They need to refute my representation or show that f(breeding) has the same maximum as f(GMOs).
Nassim recently posted a document called “Skepticism” on Facebook.
He had this to say about it:
Something people don’t get: more skepticism about climate models should lead to more “green” ecological conservationist policies not more lax pro-pollution ones. Why? Simply, uncertainty about the models increases fragility (and thickens the left tail), no matter what the benefits can be in the right tail.
Added the section to the precautionary principle. Please discuss but stick to rigor and avoid buzzwords. (Also do not think that the idea is falling from the sky: it is a mere application of the fragility theorems).
Nassim Taleb is starting the new academic year with a new role. Along with Charles Tapiero, Taleb will be co-director of the EXTREME RISK INITIATIVE, which is expected to develop into an Extreme Risk Institute within the NYU School of Engineering. Here is the official description from his Facebook Page:
In spite of the importance of extreme/hidden risks, there has not been a rigorous methodology to deal with them; statistical or mathematical approaches have not been formally reconciled with real-world decision-making the way engineering has traditionally integrated mathematics and real world heuristics. Extreme risks require both more mathematical and more practical rigor.
The “Extreme Risks Initiative”, ERI, is an NYU-School of Engineering interdisciplinary open research agenda, based on research axes defined by its members and a global research collaborations. Its approaches are at the intersection of the technical and the practical, based on a rigorous merger of theory and practice across interdisciplinary lines. These may include financial and economic engineering, urban risk engineering, transportation-networks, bio-systems, as well as global and environmental problems. A selected series of research axes as well as publications drawing on members’ Initiatives are included in the ERI a working paper series as well as current research enterprises.
Nassim has completed his paper The Precautionary Principle: Fragility and Black Swans from Policy Actions with Yaneer Bar-Yam, Raphael Douady, Joseph Norman, & Rupert Read.
Link to the announcement on his Facebook Page here.