Thursday, May 14, 2009

Myron Scholes

- Nobel Prize-winning economist, and co-creator of the Black-Scholes equation for derivatives pricing!

- Known as the intellectual godfather of credit-default swaps -- perhaps the biggest culprit in the worst global economic crash since the Great Depression!

- Believes that all good things come from fewer rules and freer markets -- and that all bad things come from government!

- Apparently hasn't spent much time with government-employed cops ... or soldiers ... or firefighters ... or schoolteachers!

- Believes financial speculation is a good thing -- making markets more liquid and more efficient!

- The Black-Scholes equation claimed to be able to price complex derivative products -- scientifically!

- Black Scholes allowed investors to believe they could accurately measure the risk implicit in complex derivative products!

- Principal of the Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) hedge fund -- which made big bets on complex derivative products!

- LTCM employed 25 PhDs!

- In 1998, LTCM's formulas stopped working, and the fund's investment portfolio collapsed -- losing $4.6 billion in value in just four months!

- Because an LTCM bankruptcy might have caused seizures in global markets, the fund was bailed out -- to the tune of $3.6 billion!

- Busted by the government for illegal LTCM tax shelter shenanigans!

- Said, under oath, that he wasn't a legal expert -- then was confronted with a textbook he wrote, which indicated his detailed understanding of why those shenanigans were illegal!

- After the utter failure of LTCM, somehow continued to convince investors to hand over their cash -- this time to his Platinum Grove Asset Management hedge fund!

- Same old story: In October 2008, down 38 percent on the year, Platinum Grove suspended fund withdrawals!

- Idiot!

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