What other people want

Apparently, car thieves don’t want your pink car. It’s not because they don’t like the colour (although they probably don’t). It’s also not only that it’s too distinctive and will be easily spotted (see the discussion later about red cars). It’s that nobody else wants it. The resale value is much lower than other vehicles, …

The me, now peoples of the world

Humans, unlike other creatures, have theĀ  incredible ability to consciously think about tomorrow. We can imagine different scenarios playing out, and plan for them accordingly. The same approach also allows us to consider the impact of our actions on others in simple and sometimes complex ways. We’re not just squirrels hoarding nuts because we feel …

Hijacking risk measures

Statistics are dually known as useful and misleading. Another relevant saying is that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. photo credit: star5112 CAR magazine used to have a short section covering the number of complaints received from readers separated according to car brand. The problem with that sort of analysis is that it ignores …

Now that’s a property crash

CNN has a story on house price declines being at their highest in 30 years. Turns out the headline is misleading in two ways. Firstly it proclaims house prices at a 30-year low, which is fortunately not quite the reality. However, the largest decline in 30 years is still pretty shocking. The second item is …

UK leads the way down

From FT.com Official data showed the UK economy contracted 1.5 per cent in the last three months of 2008, the biggest quarterly slump in 28 years. The figures confirmed that Britain had entered its first recession since 1991. The figures, a preliminary official estimate of output, showed a contraction in services, manufacturing and construction. But …

Comedy and Tragedy

What do the names Oneway, Bull, Kansvatter, Inthemoney, The Bull! and Millionaire in the making have in common? They’re all optimistic, aggressive names used in the Make A Million competition. They’re also, as of right now, all in the bottom ten out of nearly 300 entrants and have all lost everything but a few rand …

Presentation to ACAL on GI Pricing

I gave a presentation on a holistic approach to ratemaking using predictive models yesterday to the Lebanese Insurance Association (ACAL, the acronym for the association in French). Over a hundred people attended, and there certainly seemed to be interest in the topic. A common response though was that Lebanon isn’t yet ready for that, because …

Country Foods, mushrooms and still not the Z

Would you lend money to Country Foods Limited? According to the Z score perhaps you should have participated in the listing in October 2007. Based on their prospectus and audited financial results for the year to September 2007, their Z-score was high within the grey zone, within reach of the coveted “safe zone”. As recently …