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    Burr XII, Extreme Value, and a Fantasy The eight authors of a new study seek to add to “the existing literature of Bayesian VaR methods by … considering the … general class of Burr XII extreme value distributions “ and by estimating error bounds. After having a little fun we try to puzzle out what that means.

    “They used a Burr XII extreme value distribution?” “Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard.” “What the heck is that?” “My best guess: it implies that Aaron Burr has bene cloned at least 11 times in secret laboratories.” “Why would that have extreme value?” “Suppose you wanted to stop the nefarious creators of 11 Alexander Hamilton clones….” “I don’t think that theory deserves a very widespread distribution.” But Seriously Folks Several scholars, including one affiliated with the CME Group and one with Morgan Stanley, have together announced a new framework for quantifying the risk of an equity portfolio, a Bayesian framework that makes use of a Burr XII distribution. As readers of AllAboutAlpha may recall, from here and here: though Thomas Bayes himself lived and died in the 18th century, the way of thinking about probability theory that has come to be associated with his name remains a very powerful force in today’s financial world. The eight authors of the new study seek to add to “the existing literature of Bayesian VaR methods by … considering the … general class of ...

Featured Post


One Ordinary Week in the Life of Climate Change


We thought it would be instructive to share with you links and the odd quote from recent press reports on the subject of climate change.  As a professional investor,  you no doubt want to be ahead of trends in the investment world.   Investment opportunities arise when there is a divergence of opinion, as is uniquely the case in the United States (unlike the other nations on Earth) on the subject of climate change.  The headlines of a few days tell ...


China’s Oil Giant At Center Of Corruption Probe

Oilprice.com's Ky Krauthamer looks at corruption in China's oil industry.

By Ky Krauthamer Grins were on the faces of China National Petroleum executives this week as they celebrated a blockbuster 30-year deal for Russian gas. It was a good day for CNPC, the state-owned colossus at the center of China’s oil and gas webs and one of Eurasia’s biggest energy investors. For some, however, those grins could soon turn to grimaces, because the deal comes against a backdrop of a series of high profile corruption investigations by the state, and CNPC has ...

Guest Posts


The Skorina Report is Surfing the Age of Asset Management: Will the tide of global AUM lift all asset-management boats?
Charles Skorina looks at the future of CIOs and with rising AUM and sees a forecast calling for sunny and bright. Maybe it's finally time to break out the shades!

By Charles Skorina The future looks bright for investment-management professionals as global assets under management surge from the current estimated $87 trillion dollars to a projected $400 trillion in 2050. Andrew G. Haldane of the Bank of England recently declared that global assets under management presently stand at about $87 trillion and says they'll rise 15 percent to $100 trillion by 2020, just five years from now. Looking farther out, Mr. Haldane foresees global AUM quadrupling to $400 trillion by 2050, boosted by ...


Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Asset Allocation & the Practical Application of Time-Window Analysis
Guest columnist Andrew Smith, CAIA, on performance analysis and its effect on asset allocation.

By Andrew Smith, CAIA Time window analysis is a version of performance analysis that takes looks at the statistical distribution of returns over different time-windows or holding periods. For example, let us say we have a fund with a 10-year track record of returns. A time window analysis would look at the return distribution of 1 day returns, 1 month returns, 3 month returns, etc on a day to day basis. So 1 month returns, for example would look at January 1 to February 1, January 2 to February 2, etc. ...

Technology

Vindicating Austrians: The New ESMA Warning on Risks
In a new report, ESMA discovers that some investors may be guilty of "over-reliance on continued policy support." I gather that means that investors believe that central bankers and governments will play the role of Santa Claus indefinitely.

The European Securities and Markets Authority recently warned that valuation risks are on the rise on key markets. Some of the reasoning of the report must be giving Austrian economists, those much-despised Cassandras of central-bank-inspired bubbles, a sense of vindication. The good news is that in the first half of 2014, EU securities markets have witnessed “significant gains amid low volatility and notwithstanding a challenging economic and political environment.” The corollary is: low interest rates force a hunt for yield that has expanded across risk and asset classes. The problem, says ESMA, ...

Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Merger Arb: Getting Your Stick to Where the Puck Will Be
Christopher Faille speaks to Matt Porzio, the VP of Strategy and Product Marketing at Intralinks, about the data behind Intralinks' DFI.

This spring and summer’s excitement over Valeant and Allergan, and the former’s desire to acquire the latter, fed a broader trend: the day of the merger arb is upon us in earnest. You’ll remember that at least some of the dust in that dust-up had cleared by August 27th, when Valeant and its ally, Pershing Square[V/PS], won an important point in the Delaware Chancery. Allergan now says that it will hold a special meeting of its shareholders on December 18, 2014. V/PS hopes to use such a meeting to work around the ...

Retail Investing

Investing in the Investor
Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at what advisors think of hedge funds.

By Diane Harrison With the third quarter of 2014 coming to its close, and year-end allocation decisions taking precedence in the minds of advisors and managers both, it seems a good time to take a look at an interesting survey result recently appearing on WealthManagement.com. The publication asked over 300 advisors throughout the industry to share their views on hedge funds (Ten Charts That Explain What Advisors Think of Hedge Funds, by senior editor Megan Leonhardt, August 7, 2014). The survey answers are expected in their scope, but the prioritization of ...

Risk management

Custodians Helping Customers with Securities as Collateral
How address issues of supply/demand imbalance in the world of collateral requirements? Custodians can do a good deal on behalf of their customers here, and are exploring just how much.

Sometimes the early material in a report is so boring that even us dedicated expositors can do nothing better than to splash into the middle. This is one of those times. But there is important stuff in the middle and end of the recent report by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, a working group under the umbrella of the Bank for International Settlements. The CPMI has issued a report on collateral management services. ...

CAPM / Alpha Theory

Betting on Vice Doesn’t Really Pan Out
Christopher Faille, inspired by Greg Richey, of California State University, San Bernardino, has a few words about socially irresponsible investing, that is, the creation of a portfolio built around destructive human vices.

One venerable theory among alpha seekers is that one should bet on “vice,” that is, one ought to invest in companies that sell products widely regarded as anti-social, precisely because such companies are likely to have been heavily discounted. With all the regulatory and sociological artillery aimed over the years, over the decades now, at companies that sell liquor or tobacco, or allow gamblers to lose their money at felt tables, isn’t it plausible that investors ...

Insolvency

Judge Drain: Make That ‘Make Whole” Clause Explicit and Clear
Judge Drain didn't actually accept the Momentive plan, but it now seems likely he will accept some very similar plan in due course. What is key is that the objections that he found had unconvincing represented until then the conventional wisdom among much of the bar devoted to the service of event-driven litigators.

On August 27, the most actively traded corporate debt in the United States was that of a formerly obscure silicone maker, Momentive Performance Materials (MPM). MPM is 90% owned by Apollo Funds, the New York-based private equity concern. Why was this trading so active that day? Because the Hon. Robert Drain, of the U.S. bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York, had the day before come close to accepting MPM’s proposed restructuring plan for an exit ...

Regulatory

SEC Adopts Changes to Regulation AB: More Transparency
The SEC's new rules for asset backed securities require asset level disclosures both at the time of offering and later, on an ongoing basis. The disclosures are required to appear in a standardized XML format.

On Aug. 27, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted revisions to its rules concerning asset backed securities, changes inspired by the losses suffered by holders of ABS in 2008. As the SEC said in the press release that accompanied the new rules, the 2008 losses “revealed that many investors in the securitization market were not fully aware of the risks underlying the securitized assets and over-relied on ratings assigned by credit rating agencies….” These rules have been ...