Part of the furniture (990th post thread)

What do you think of the financial industry as a whole, and what is your opinion about the U.S. federal reserve? Would you ever invest in gold or silver? What do you think of day traders?
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
why is your avatar so great?
what do you think of my avatar?
what do you think of the questions you get asked in this thread?
I stole it from someone on the twoplustwo poker forum.

I am not sure who/what it is...

I am surprised at how impersonal they have generally been. There are some pretty big elephants in the room in terms of questions that I was braced for, but I have no complaints if they are not asked.

What do you think of the financial industry as a whole, and what is your opinion about the U.S. federal reserve? Would you ever invest in gold or silver? What do you think of day traders?
The financial industry is a cobweb of over regulation, moral hazard and opaqueness. Government and central bank interference are invariably the villains, but the private sector has done itself no favours with a lack of disclosure and transparency (though this is arguably the consequence of convoluted governance, the SEC and FINRA giving investors a false sense of security).

The original purpose of the Federal Reserve was to create elasticity within the money supply. That is, during a boom, its monetary policy would be inflationary and (conversely) deflationary during a contraction. However, what we have witnessed is incompetence and irresponsibility of the highest order as Bernanke (and Greenspan before him) has (have) created inflation even during a bust.

Gold and silver represent real money. They are not an investment; rather a hedge against fiat currency. They are not an investment because holding precious metals does not create wealth (you do not somehow earn more gold or silver over time). What changes is their price and this reflects the devaluation of paper money. I own gold and have owned silver in the past. I believe that both continue to be in a bull market. The Federal Reserve is manning the printing press and exporting inflation abroad. Anybody who can buy gold and silver should do so to protect their wealth.

Any trader who believes that they can beat the market by analysing arbitrary variables and patterns is a fool and/or a charlatan. However, I have a lot of time for those who actually understand economics and take advantage of low hanging fruit.
 

internet

no longer getting paid to moderate
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why do you see my little pony stuff ALL OVER THE WEB lately?
what is the meaning of the universe, life, and everything?
 

jrrrrrrr

wubwubwub
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Hi McGrrr, would you mind if I had my name changed to jrrrraw? It could be like a trade, like a pokemon trade

but with our names
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
what was your most "intense" moment on Smogon in terms of emotion
It involved a girl. That is all I'm saying.

do you believe that wealth is key to happiness
Wealth will open doors that you never knew were there, and the more doors you open, the greater your chance of finding happiness will be. But to find it, you first need to know what happiness looks like. The key to that is examining, understanding and accepting who you are.

Have you seen Andii lately?
Nope, but I still have his number.

do you like si chuan cuisine? can you eat ma la?
I don't mind spicy food, but ma la generally goes a bit too far for my liking.

what is the meaning of the universe, life, and everything?
Meaning is wherever you find it.

Hi McGrrr, would you mind if I had my name changed to jrrrraw?
Flip a coin. If heads, go for it. If tails, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not change your name to jrrrraw and your pokemon is now asleep.
 
What is your opinion on homosexual dictator flying zombies that eat little kittens and rape moms?

On a serious note, what is your favorite subject? and why?
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
On a serious note, what is your favorite subject? and why?
Mathematics through to year 11 (grade 11? I was 16). I have a natural affinity for numbers and logic so everything came easily to me. From year 12, I had to actually work in maths class and this was a rude awakening for me. Economics became my favourite subject thereafter and I would continue it at university. I consider economics to be a philosophy and my school of thought offers an intuitive and objective perspective to help me understand the world around me.

1. How did you get so good at word games and the like?

2. Do you consider yourself a 'city slicker'?

3. Why don't you play competitive pokemon anymore?

4. What was the most memorable moment during your time at university?
1. When I emigrated to England aged 6, I was not acquainted with the alphabet and I did not know a word of English. From an early stage, I realised that if my future were to be here, I needed to catch up to (and better) my peers. I listened to audio books at first and read a ton of fiction. I was reading the dictionary by the time I was 9 and my teachers encouraged my efforts (though this work ethic would not last). My enjoyment of problem solving, competitive nature and ability to identify patterns also help with word games.

2. No.

3. The competition is simply not as soft as it once was. While I believe that I would continue to command a significant edge over 99% of battlers and compete with the best, the chasing pack is much closer than ever before. Nowadays, more people understand the fundamentals and are increasingly thinking at level 2 ("I know that he knows") or better. It follows that I would lose more battles than I am comfortable with, and I really really hate losing. Secondly, I do not have the free time that I once did. Thirdly, I have lost a lot of interest in the game in general.

4. I made more of an effort during the month before my finals than the preceding 10 years combined. For the first time since year 8, I realised the value of hard work and the feeling was exhilarating. I was motivated every day and my outlook on life changed completely. During this period, I recall sitting in the sunshine and planning my future. I made a list of what I believed were my qualities and shortcomings, and asked myself "am I employable?". I scribbled a great big YES and I will never forget that moment.
 
I consider economics to be a philosophy and my school of thought offers an intuitive and objective perspective to help me understand the world around me.
What concepts or ideas do you "borrow" from economics that help you analyse the world around you, ie. the idea of utility or utility functions (in abstraction of course) to think about why smogon user x always makes troll posts ("He must have some perceived incentive/he derives satisfaction from that behavior. We can 100% for sure make him stop by removing all those incentives.")

To me, even the simplest economic concepts you learn in your first econ class (opportunity costs, utility, analysing things at the margin) are enormously valuable tools.
 

His Eminence Lord Poppington II

proverb:the fish who eats most dies still too
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if i were to take economics at university would there be any general advice you could offer? do you have relatives in china? do you visit here on a regular basis?

edit: what sort of combination would you recommend for economics at university? e.g. finance / retail / accounting, etc. in terms of interest and utility.
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
What concepts or ideas do you "borrow" from economics that help you analyse the world around you...
Opportunity cost is applicable to every situation that involves decision making and is all I really need. I think that the concept should be universally taught as a fundamental lesson comparable to basic grammar and arithmetic. Once a pupil grasps the significance of this idea, everything else falls into place. In "Economics in One Lesson", Henry Hazlitt writes that opportunity cost is essentially the only thing that an economist needs to understand. The remainder of the book is used to apply the concept.

if i were to take economics at university would there be any general advice you could offer? do you have relatives in china? do you visit here on a regular basis?

edit: what sort of combination would you recommend for economics at university? e.g. finance / retail / accounting, etc. in terms of interest and utility.
Having already done economics for two years before university, I was comfortable with the fundamentals and learned virtually nothing useful from my degree. Almost everything interesting and profound I learned by questioning the logic of what I was being taught; reading around the subject and finding arguments that were far more compelling. It is not necessary to read economics at university because you can achieve as much (or more) through self teaching. My advice would be to read and to think. Begin with Hayek and go wherever your interest may take you.

Only my parents are in England with me. The remainder of my family remain in Sichuan or Guangzhou. I visit approximately every two to three years.

A strong mathematical/statistical element is essential. Accounting is a waste of time and is often frowned upon by accountancy firms because you can pick up bad habits. Besides, the standard route into accounting involves a training contract where you will learn everything that you need to know anyway. Finance modules are more useful, but are rarely necessary for any particular career path. Take the classes that interest you and focus your attention elsewhere. University is less about the degree and more about you. Employers are not looking for a piece of paper (actually, maybe Chinese ones are).
 

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