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More from @AnthonyLeeZhang

12 Feb
Random thought: there seems to be "hidden curriculum" stuff in many lines of work. Academia, of course, but also: how to schmooze your way into a tech internship/offer, how to get onto good projects, be visible, and get promoted quickly in tech,
What specific combination of extracurriculars gets you into Harvard without buying the fencing coach a house or winning the IMO, etc
My parents think this is a fairly "hidden curriculum-heavy" era. Perhaps they are biased by their experience, growing up in post-cultural-revolution China. Exams were newly re-established, basically meritocratic and without many loopholes. Maybe most eras look like our era
Read 14 tweets
30 Jan
Train headed towards 5 people, you can redirect it to one person by pulling a switch. Do you pull it?

The bureaucrat: I am not getting anywhere close to that switch. If I don't touch that switch it's someone else's problem. Touch the switch and it becomes my problem
I don't think this is necc the bureaucrats' fault, though. It's mostly incentives.

IMO the difference between a bureaucrat and, say, a CEO or product manager is that the bureaucrat doesn't have any/enough exposure to the upside from his actions
When you think of the FTC/DOJ/SEC/FDA/etc can you think of one single example where they are cast in a good light? Where an innovative policy worked out really well, magazine profiles/interviews of the ppl that built it out?
Read 16 tweets
26 Jan
I am still following r/wsb relatively closely, as this is a pretty incredible cultural phenomenon. WSB seems to view itself not only as a money machine, but also as a kind of righteous rebellion against the corrupt finance establishment (31.7k likes is huge)
All manner of guesswork/conspiracy about institutional collusion starting to get posted. The brokers are in on it, etc., not just the obvious explanation of jacking up margins in response to increased vol (I believe this is more likely?)
See for example this ongoing 3-part essay: quality of the narrative is really something…
Read 18 tweets
25 Jan
OK so: what is a gamma squeeze?

Suppose gamestop GME is trading at $20. You buy a bunch of call options with strike $30 from your market maker (MM)

You have a long call position on GME, so you profit if GME goes up
MM has a short call position, so MM loses money if GME goes up
MM, however, doesn't actually want to take bets on GME. MM's trick is that MM takes a position in the underlying stock which hedges the call option. MM thus buys a bunch of GME stock. If GME goes up, MM loses money on her option position, but gains on her stock position
Any security based on GME is, in a very short span of time, simply a bet on whether GME will go up or down. Hence, you can hedge any security just by taking a position in GME. This is called "delta hedging"

(there is some subtlety here which I'll gloss over for now)
Read 16 tweets
23 Jan
Some more thoughts on "do research you enjoy" vs "follow this advice to write 3 AERs":

I had a strong negative reaction to advice to simply "do research you enjoy" in grad school and I think I've finally figured out my main issue with this advice
Think about many enjoyable human activities: music, sports, videogames. These are done primarily for fun, but the nature of these is that for many people, they are just more fun when you are good at them than when you are not
Some component of this is subjective, but many people have more fun playing moonlight sonata than mary had a little lamb. Many people like landing 50 straight free throws, 70% headshot rate in counterstrike, etc., this materially changes the experience of the hobby
Read 19 tweets
18 Jan
While I don't completely agree with the sentiment, I think the median person - even perhaps the median econ grad student - would be more impactful, richer, and happier in industry than in academia
Nontrivial fraction of students never work a full-time job before grad school. Ofc not everyone has the luxury to do so, especially with grad admissions becoming more and more competitive, but I did and found it really useful for discovering my preferences
Knowing really what the industry option looks like helps a lot in keeping sane during grad school, and just helps you think clearly about your personal tradeoffs
Read 12 tweets

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