Book Bits: 15 May 2021

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment
Daniel Kahneman, et al.
Summary via publisher (Little, Brown Spark)
In Noise, Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein show the detrimental effects of noise in many fields, including medicine, law, economic forecasting, forensic science, bail, child protection, strategy, performance reviews, and personnel selection. Wherever there is judgment, there is noise. Yet, most of the time, individuals and organizations alike are unaware of it. They neglect noise. With a few simple remedies, people can reduce both noise and bias, and so make far better decisions. Packed with original ideas, and offering the same kinds of research-based insights that made Thinking, Fast and Slow and Nudge groundbreaking New York Times bestsellers, Noise explains how and why humans are so susceptible to noise in judgment—and what we can do about it.

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Research Review | 14 May 2021 | Stock Returns

Long-Horizon Stock Returns Are Positively Skewed
Adam Farago and Erik Hjalmarsson (University of Gothenburg)
April 28, 2021
At long horizons, multiplicative compounding induces strong-to-extreme positive skewness into stock returns; the magnitude of the effect is primarily determined by single-period volatility. Consequently, at horizons greater than five years, returns –individual or portfolio– will be positively skewed under reasonable parametrizations. From an investor perspective, the strong positive skewness implies that the mean compound return will serve as a poor guide for typical long-horizon outcomes. Moreover, the large effects of compounding on higher-order moments are shown to affect the validity of Taylor expansions used to approximate preferences for skewness, when applied to returns of annual or longer horizons.

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Macro Briefing: 13 May 2021

* Deadly conflict continues between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza
* Colonial Pipeline restarts operations after ransomware attack closed system
* GOP Senate Leader: ‘good chance’ of deal with Biden on infrastructure
* US budget deficit jumps to record $1.9 trillion in first seven months of fiscal year
* Tesla CEO Elon Musk: car maker stops accepting bitcoin for car purchases
* Atlanta Fed business inflation expectations continue to rise in May
* How long does ‘transitory’ inflation last?
* US consumer inflation surged in April — 4.2% annual rate is highest since 2008:

Macro Briefing: 12 May 2021

* Israel-Palestine conflict continues to escalate, sparking fear of new war
* Today’s US inflation report for April is expected to show sharp increase
* Signs of panic buying of gas along East Coast after pipeline shuts down
* Major US fuel pipeline moving closer to reopening
* US detentions at border rose to highest in two decades in April
* UK economy fell 1.5% in the first quarter but rebounded in March
* Small business optimism rose in April but report trouble hiring workers
* US job openings soared in March, but hiring remained relatively subdued: