Must Reads of the Week – January 9, 2019

Must Reads of the Week

Our favorite reads of the week and the quotes that make them worthy…

“All quantitative strategies can go through fallow or foul periods, but what is unusual about 2018 is that almost all major signals, or “factors” in the industry’s parlance, have failed to turn up, as markets were rocked by disparate cross-currents and sharp reversals throughout 2018.”
AQR founder says blaming quants for market turmoil is ‘insane’ | Financial Times

“If there is a problem with the stock market, the person in charge of fixing it is a former political science graduate student who once led student efforts against nuclear waste and took a year off from college to travel the world with his guitar.
If the Stock Market Has a Problem, His Job Is to Fix It by Stephen Gandel | Bloomberg

“But just because stocks have fallen hard doesn’t mean you should expect to see the Great Depression every time they go down. It’s important for investors to remember that these periods in the market are natural. Sometimes they just happen and no one really knows why, even after the fact.”
The Forgotten Bear Markets by Ben Carlson, CFA | A Wealth of Common Sense

“When it comes to central bank policy, those imploring the Fed to be more dovish should be careful what they wish for. Once the cycle has turned, easier policies are no panacea. The last two major Bear Markets showed us that much, with both featuring ongoing Fed rate cuts all the way down.”
The Long Pause by Charlie Bilello | Pension Partners

“”Black Monday,” which premieres on Showtime on Jan. 20, examines what happens when an ever-steeper climb of the financial markets is followed by a resounding crash, and the colorful group of traders who choose to ride that roller coaster.”
Showtime is set to air a dramatic comedy on the 87′ financial crash by Steven Zeitchik | The Washington Post

“Going into 2019, investors are clearly less upbeat than they were in 2018 about future growth and more worried about future crises, but companies are continuing to return cash at a pace that exceeds expectations.”
A reminder that equities are risky, in case you forgot! by Aswath Damodaran | Musings on Markets

“Then it started learning through self-play. Over the course of nine hours, the chess version of the program played forty-four million games against itself on a massive cluster of specialized Google hardware. After two hours, it began performing better than human players; after four, it was beating the best chess engine in the world.”
How the Artificial-Intelligence Program AlphaZero Mastered Its Games by James Somers | The New Yorker

“Opiates are riskier than cannabis, and the overdose deaths they cause are a more imminent crisis, so public and government attention have focused on them. Soon, the mental illness and violence that follow cannabis use also may be too widespread to ignore.” 
Marijuana Is More Dangerous Than you Think by Alex Berenson | The Wall Street Journal

“Melinda has helped broaden my thinking on this point. So has Warren Buffett, who says his measure of success is, “Do the people you care about love you back?” I think that is about as good a metric as you will find.” 
What I learned at work this year by Bill Gates | Gates Notes

“Scientists now understand that the information in the DNA code can only serve as a template for a protein. It cannot possibly serve as instructions for the more complex task of putting the proteins together into a fully functioning being, no more than the characters on a typewriter can produce a story.” 
It’s the End of the Gene As We Know It by Ken Richardson | Nautilus

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