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Inverse correlation between school education and trading?
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Inverse correlation between school education and trading?

  #31 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Zondor View Post
..... something is not right in a society where the penultimate goal of applied mathematics is to siphon money out of the capital markets. Sorry, just a thought... I apologize in advance. Slap... anticipating the sting of opprobrium!

(PhD, Honorary in Men's Neckwear Design and Zombie Eye Transplantation)

@Zondor: Interesting statement. The American culture has always been oriented towards making money. If an American confesses that the ultimate goal of the life is to make money, this is still politcally correct. In Europe, money is considered as something dirty, one of the necessary evils that comes with life, as nobody has yet invented something better to allow for exchanging goods and services.

Gamblers and traders - this is about the same thing, the mathematics of gambling must be applied to trading to allow for decent returns - are just the natural successors of prospectors and fortune seekers. This is deeply enrooted in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The latin word for luck - fortuna - has been incorporated into the English language as fortune. Somebody who has made a fortune has been lucky. In German language the word for fortune is Vermögen - derived from to be able to do something. This is a huge cultural difference, a fortune can be seen as the result of luck or as the result of knowledge and effort.

What a waste of talent and knowledge to lure the best applied mathematicians into hedge fonds! Trading is a non-productive occupation. Trading may generate returns locally, but overall it does not contribute. It shows the limits of the often cited invisble hand postulated by Adam Smith. Trading follows the logic of a Nash equilibrium, but will not lead to Pareto optimality. The latter is the result of cooperation - recommended read: The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod.

America was founded on the principle of cooperation which also made up for the success of the Quakers in Europe. Today their cultural heritage is the prey of politicians, lawyers and traders, who think that the world is nothing else than a self-service store, where the commons pay the bill. This is called the "Tragedy of the Commons". I am not astonished that the United Nations Climate Change Conference was a failure. The US and China are pursuing their own interests rather than taking their responsibility to contribute to common goals.

Who is talking about those poor mathematicians?

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