Mar
21
2010

When you are cute your questions tend to get answered.  Read the whole thing!

While unsure if we can stomach yet another book on the crisis, a killer thesis on the topic? Now that piqued our curiosity. We tracked down Barnett-Hart, a 24-year-old financial analyst at a large New York investment bank. She met us for coffee last week to discuss her thesis, “The Story of the CDO Market Meltdown: An Empirical Analysis.” Handed in a year ago this week at the depths of the market collapse, the paper was awarded summa cum laude and won virtually every thesis honor, including the Harvard Hoopes Prize for outstanding scholarly work.

Last October, Barnett-Hart, already pulling all-nighters at the bank (we agreed to not name her employer), received a call from Lewis, who had heard about her thesis from a Harvard doctoral student. Lewis was blown away.

“It was a classic example of the innocent going to Wall Street and asking the right questions,” said Mr. Lewis, who in his 20s wrote “Liar’s Poker,” considered a defining book on Wall Street culture. “Her thesis shows there were ways to discover things that everyone should have wanted to know. That it took a 22-year-old Harvard student to find them out is just outrageous.”

via Michael Lewis’s ‘The Big Short’? Read the Harvard Thesis Instead! – Deal Journal – WSJ.

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Mar
21
2010

No Comment. hehehe.

The community they look at is a public online forum with free registration, financed by advertisements, in which men grade and categorise their sexual encounters with female escorts. The community appears large with over 10,000 buyers and more than 6000 sellers all of whom use anonymous nicknames. The study covers a period of 6 years from when the community was set up in 2002 until 2008.

The study throws up both expected and unexpected results. Among the expected results is the discovery that the geographical connections between buyers and sellers vary as an inverse square law rather than a power law as in many other internet mediated networks. That’s not so hard to explain given that buyers or sellers have to travel to each other.

Another discovery is that a high rating for a particular sex worker is a good predictor of high ratings in the future. That’s the kind of rich get richer effect that is seen in many internet phenomena (also known as the Matthew effect). However, average or poor ratings don’t seem to affect future ratings either way.

via Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Patterns of Prostitution Captured in Social Network.

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