Fraud and statistics

Like most power tools, statistics can be dangerous if left in the hands of the ill-trained or inebriated. Unlike rotary saws and industrial angle grinders, when you abuse statistics you don’t damage the tool but you do damage the result. Fraud statistics This is a general observation, but I was reminded of it recently when […]

Pass me that nail would you

A frequent comment about why “property prices will keep going up” is that: They aren’t making land any more Building costs keep going up Our population is growing If these points are true, then this would provide a strong force to push property prices up. It still wouldn’t mean property prices couldn’t decline. Citizens still […]

The first of many BEE deals drowning

Moneyweb’s article on Barlow’s re-striking of BEE options echos my earlier post on the trouble of underwater incentive options. The sense of the article is that this sets a bad precedent. Of course, the precedent has been set years ago – I’ve personally calculated the additional costs under IFRS2 for BEE deals in danger of […]

Didn’t expect this? Then you were foolish.

FNB has confirmed that they will be pulling approvals for home loans on a large scale. Many seem to have been caught by surprise. Fools. To an outsider, it appears that FNB made a mistake in underestimating the trouble in the property market when they first gave these approvals. Their estimates of property price growth, […]

Airlines and hedging – now there is praise

Was watching CNN last week, and heard that at least one major US airline, South West, has been making significant use of hedging to manage their fuel costs. Many other US airlines have not been hedging significantly. Another article mentioned that Lufthansa hedged around 83% of their fuel requirements for this year. Air France-KLM hedged […]

We can’t forefast

GDP growth below expectations and Standard Bank is likely to miss it’s already previously downwards revised earnings target. We can’t forecast. Our biases, overconfidence, wild anchoring on anything out there, herding instincts so as not to be wrong and obvious about and general inability to understand how little we know about the future are clear. So if we can’t forecast, and so many of our decisions depend on knowing the future, who are we kididng?

The Economy – Worse Than You Think

Our economy barely grew in the first quarter of 2008. 2.1% real seasonally adjusted growth is shockingly low given the previous quarter’s 5.3% growth. One needs to stretch back to 2001 to find a lower point of economic growth. Mining down 22% A large part of the problem is the 22% decrease in the economic […]