Silent Cal Profile picture
Fond of existentialism, Hayek, Friedman, Vonnegut, baseball and Wittgenstein. Libertarian, criminal justice reform, anti-war. Math person.
CRE Profile picture brainpicker Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
Feb 27 25 tweets 4 min read
My views on the Ukraine conflict, a narrative thread:

TL;DR - Russia invaded Ukraine because the West wouldn't give them what they want, ignoring their demands, and Putin prefers invasion to the status quo. But so does the US! The US sees this as inducing a strategic error. Russia and particularly Putin have grievances. They say them and mean them. Putin thinks the USSR made lots of mistakes, weakened Russia, and then the US took advantage of the collapsed USSR, treated Russia as an enemy rather than helping.
Feb 26 4 tweets 1 min read
2yrs ago, we were already in isolation, my wife had bought a deep freezer and lots of food. We're prepper types... but by late March it was clear the death rate was much lower than it could have been.

I wrote the following 23-Mar-2020: The same approach that says we could have 80k deaths with interventions would lead to well above 1.5m deaths in a no-intervention scenario. The unknown will be whether we could have kept the economy open,
Jan 29, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
@The_DTCC should clarify what actions they took around increasing margin for the short squeeze names many brokerages restricted yesterday.

If they raised the margin brokers have to post on GME to 100%, it raises legitimate questions. Another natural question is regulatory role. I tried to figure out what was happening yesterday but the size of capital @RobinhoodApp raised and the actions of other brokerages indicate that DTCC may have added specific margin add-ons for GME and other highly correlated stocks.

Jan 29, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read
You can get a sense for how much net stock @RobinhoodApp customers were buying from the size of capital RH just raised:… The $1bn is to cover future possible activity, so it doesn't matter for looking backwards.

It does confirm that solvency concerns drove the restriction. You don't raise 1bn of equity to cover your tracks if nefarious, nor if the restrictions were a tap from regulators.
Jan 29, 2021 28 tweets 7 min read
Ok - here's my best explanation of why @RobinhoodApp restricted trading in the short-squeeze stocks.

Spoiler: the story isn't the Ken Griffen called Janet Yellen who instructed DTCC to raise margin on Robinhood to force them to shut down the speculative buying.

Here goes ... Robinhood (RH) is a broker. They don't execute stock orders themselves. They sign up customers, route their orders to executing brokers, and keep track of who owns what. RH is also its own clearing broker, so they directly settle and custody their clients' securities.
Jan 26, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Just so bad.

If we had only hairdressers immigrate, it would depress hairdresser wages.

Also, we wouldn't become hairdresser to the world.

But does allowing software engineers in reduce incomes? Of course not because it's part of having the winning products and services. Immigration has a positive impact on wages in the long run. What would North American GDP per capita be if immigration had been forced to be zero in 1900, 1800, 1700, 1600, 1500?

About the only thing Cass gets right is that the level of immigration is a political decision.