The Old New Thing: Turning Static

Fifteen years ago, when I spun up what became, Movable Type was the de rigeur blogging platform, the CMS before any of us even really knew what a “CMS” was. It was Perl (with all the quirks that that implies); it was static (PHP-powered dynamic page generation was still TK); but it still meant that any idiot could post content on the web without having to learn to wrangle HTML.

Pounded By The Pound: Sports Direct’s Hedges and the Cable Flash Crash

Introduction Just after midnight London time on October 7th, 2016, GBPUSD (henceforth “cable”, henceforth “betty”1) abruptly plunged from 1.2620 to 1.1841 1.1938 1.1378 1.1500 1.14912 in the space of about three minutes, then just as quickly bounced back to the mid-1.20s. Explanations for the move ranged from “algorithms!” to “fat fingers!” to “stop-losses being executed in the typically thin, illiquid markets that prevail between NY and Tokyo timezones” to “hard Brexit” to, probably, “aliens landing on the grounds of Buckingham Palace!

What’s mine is yours; what’s yours is mined

(I was going to turn this into a tweetstorm, but it’s a bit over the line for what would be a reasonable-length tweetstorm and also I am an old fart who thinks tweetstorming is unwieldy. Am I the only one who thinks tweetstorms are kind of annoying? Apparently I am.) The big news in bitcoin-land today is the nine-figure-USD evaporation of the Mycoin exchange in Hong Kong (the SCMP article is paywalled but also worth a read) which turned out to have been a ponzi scheme.

A staggering failure of Economics 101

It’s not often that you find out about developments in the Aussie housing market from Canadian ex-finance-ministers, but Garth Turner ran an interesting piece yesterday about Senator Nick Xenophon’s proposals to make housing “more affordable”. In short, he says “we tried that and it backfired”:  I confess. Once I thought like you. I even supported realtors years ago when they cooked up this scheme to allow kids to dip into their retirement funds to buy a first home.

Blast you Chris Hayes why must you be so reasonable

When I found out Chris Hayes was interviewing Michael Lewis on his show tonight, and they were going to talk about Lewis’s controversial new book Flash Boys, I was jazzed - I was ready to unleash hell on them for peddling alarmist rubbish and scaring people away from equity markets. (It’s a slow Wednesday night, what else am I going to do?) But no. The interview was sensible (though can we stop using the word “rigging”?