using spurious correlations to justify trades you just want to do anyway

via Eric Peters:

Stupid Questions: “An African contact sent a chart of bush-gold vs gold prices,” said the CIO. And having long since overcome my fear of asking stupid questions, I asked what the hell bush-gold is. “Gold ore arriving in African mkts from the bush.” I asked why he cares? “When African’s really want gold, the price discount is -1% but it’s now -15%.” So I asked if he thinks it matters. “Not really.” I asked if that kind of crap ever helps? “Not really.” So I asked why he told me. “Sorry mate, just making convo, drinks are on me.”

Stupid Questions II:
 “What?” asked the same CIO, as I waited for a real answer (I’m a cheap date, but one VT won’t buy me off). So I asked him to come clean; are things like bush-gold price spreads ever helpful? “Sometimes.” When? You see, the only thing more plentiful on Wall Street than Bernanke’s Benjamins are broker’s charts of supposedly meaningful random correlations. “Well, sometimes, I use things like bush-gold to help rationalize my intuition, and get me into trades that for some reason I know I should do.”

Josh here – Yeah, we do stuff like that. No one wants to admit it or ever will.

Source:

wknd notes (sub req)

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