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  1. Sylvain Raynes

    Where are the Quants?

    Historical Preamble Around April of 1915, the Western Allies of WWI embarked on a campaign that would quickly turn into one of the costliest mistakes in modern warfare: the Battle of Gallipoli. This fiasco was largely motivated by a legitimate desire on the part of the Western Powers to...
  2. Sylvain Raynes

    Il Boit Pas

    Il boit pas, il fume pas, il drague pas, mais il gaffe! “Si on mettait les cons en orbite, il aurait pas fini de tourner!” Jean Gabin, presumably upon hearing (from his grave) of the AIG bailout The title of this piece was shamelessly plagiarized from the 1970 French hit-comedy with the almost...
  3. Sylvain Raynes

    The Flight of the Black Bear

    This is the untold story of “The Black Bear”, a mythical beast normally sighted on Wall Street and The City, but occasionally and regrettably, on Main Street too. The Black Bear doesn’t fly, or at least shouldn’t fly. Unfortunately, most of the time it does fly extremely well, especially in the...
  4. Sylvain Raynes

    A Dialogue Concerning Two Rating Systems

    The following is a hypothetical conversation between Constance “Connie” de Boudinville, the dashing and attractive spokesperson for the US credit rating industry, and Axel Raskolnikov, an eastern European banker on a fact-finding mission in the United States aimed at improving the practice of...
  5. Sylvain Raynes

    Immanuel Kant on Credit Ratings

    At first blush, it might appear utterly bizarre to invoke the name of Immanuel Kant in connection with credit ratings. However, we do so to make it clear that the argument we are about to make on the dynamics of credit assessments is neither new nor controversial. Hopefully, readers of this...
  6. Sylvain Raynes

    Dr. Strangeloan, or How I learned to Love the Bond and Not to Worry

    I would like to tell you about the recent Unites States long-term credit rating downgrade by S&P. Now surely, the Republic will stand regardless of the doom and gloom the S&P minions may see in their crystal ball. Rather than piling in right away with Hegelian negativity on steroids, please...
  7. Sylvain Raynes

    The Hollow Men of Financial Engineering

    As many of you know, my original post on the sorry state of Financial Engineering [FE] education in America attracted sharp criticism from all quarters, most of which aimed at putting a good face on an obviously dismal state of affairs. In passing, that article had lain dormant on my hard drive...
  8. Sylvain Raynes

    The Verger

    Dear MFE students, Please read this when you have time. It will teach you a lot about what truth means, and especially does not mean. Sylvain Raynes
  9. Sylvain Raynes

    The State of Financial Engineering

    We are the CDO makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Betting on lone loss triggers, and trading in eclectic teams. Spread losers and yield forsakers, for whom the pale bonus gleams. Yet we are the sole underwriters, of the deals, forever it seems! Fantasia on a Theme by William Blake All...
  10. Sylvain Raynes

    "MFE program profile evaluation" master thread

    What happened to that big "We do not evaluate admissions chances....etc etc" banner?
  11. Sylvain Raynes

    Voting is today

    You should weep. I didn't agree with those numbers when Bill Clinton was the president. What should I agree with them now? why increase the taxes for people who make $250K? Why that number? If somebody is able to get that income, I'm happy for them. Why shouldn't the gov increase the taxes the...
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