Credit Downgrade of USA and Triple A Whining

As a person trained , deployed and often asked to comment on macroeconomic shenanigans- I have the following observations to make on the downgrade of US Debt by S&P

1) Credit rating is both a mathematical exercise of debt versus net worth as well as intention to repay. Given the recent deadlock in United States legislature on debt ceiling, it is natural and correct to assume that holding US debt is slightly more risky in 2011 as compared to 2001. That means if the US debt was AAA in 2001 it sure is slightly more risky in 2011.

2) Politicians are criticized the world over in democracies including India, UK and US. This is natural , healthy and enforced by checks and balances by constitution of each country. At the time of writing this, there are protests in India on corruption, in UK on economic disparities, in US on debt vs tax vs spending, Israel on inflation. It is the maturity of the media as well as average educational level of citizenry that amplifies and inflames or dampens sentiment regarding policy and business.

3) Conspicuous consumption has failed both at an environmental and economic level. Cheap debt to buy things you do not need may have made good macro economic sense as long as the things were made by people locally but that is no longer the case. Outsourcing is not all evil, but it sure is not a perfect solution to economics and competitiveness. Outsourcing is good or outsourcing is bad- well it depends.

4) In 1944 , the US took debt to fight Nazism, build atomic power and generally wage a lot of war and lots of dual use inventions. In 2004-2010 the US took debt to fight wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and bail out banks and automobile companies. Some erosion in the values represented by a free democracy has taken place, much to the delight of authoritarian regimes (who have managed to survive Google and Facebook).

5) A Double A rating is still quite a good rating. Noone is moving out of the US Treasuries- I mean seriously what are your alternative financial resources to park your government or central bank assets, euro, gold, oil, rare earth futures, metals or yen??

6) Income disparity as a trigger for social unrest in UK, France and other parts is an ominous looming threat that may lead to more action than the poor maths of S &P. It has been some time since riots occured in the United States and I believe in time series and cycles especially given the rising Gini coefficients .

Gini indices for the United States at various times, according to the US Census Bureau:[8][9][10]

  • 1929: 45.0 (estimated)
  • 1947: 37.6 (estimated)
  • 1967: 39.7 (first year reported)
  • 1968: 38.6 (lowest index reported)
  • 1970: 39.4
  • 1980: 40.3
  • 1990: 42.8
    • (Recalculations made in 1992 added a significant upward shift for later values)
  • 2000: 46.2
  • 2005: 46.9
  • 2006: 47.0 (highest index reported)
  • 2007: 46.3
  • 2008: 46.69
  • 2009: 46.8

7) Again I am slightly suspicious of an American Corporation downgrading the American Governmental debt when it failed to reconcile numbers by 2 trillion and famously managed to avoid downgrading Lehman Brothers.  What are the political affiliations of the S &P board. What are their backgrounds. Check the facts, Watson.

The Chinese government should be concerned if it is holding >1000 tonnes of Gold and >1 trillion plus of US treasuries lest we have a third opium war (as either Gold or US Treasuries will burst)

. Opium in 1850 like the US Treasuries in 2010 have no inherent value except for those addicted to them.

8   ) Ron Paul and Paul Krugman are the two extremes of economic ideology in the US.

Reminds me of the old saying- Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Both the Pauls seem equally unhappy and biased.

I have to read both WSJ and NYT to make sense of what actually is happening in the US as opinionated journalism has managed to elbow out fact based journalism. Do we need analytics in journalism education/ reporting?

9) Panic buying and selling would lead to short term arbitrage positions. People like W Buffet made more money in the crash of 2008 than people did in the boom years of 2006-7

If stocks are cheap- buy. on the dips. Acquire companies before they go for IPOs. Go buy your own stock if you are sitting on  a pile of cash. Buy some technology patents in cloud , mobile, tablet and statistical computing if you have a lot of cash and need to buy some long term assets.

10) Follow all advice above at own risk and no liability to this author 😉

 

What is a White Paper?

Christine and Jimmy Wales
Image via Wikipedia

As per Jimmy Wales and his merry band at Wiki (pedia not leaky-ah)- The emphasis is mine

What is the best white paper you have read in the past 15 years.

Categories are-

  • Business benefits: Makes a business case for a certain technology or methodology.
  • Technical: Describes how a certain technology works.
  • Hybrid: Combines business benefits with technical details in a single document.
  • Policy: Makes a case for a certain political solution to a societal or economic challenge.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————



white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to documents used by businesses as a marketing or sales tool. Policy makers frequently request white papers from universities or academic personnel to inform policy developments with expert opinions or relevant research.

Government white papers

In the Commonwealth of Nations, “white paper” is an informal name for a parliamentary paper enunciating government policy; in the United Kingdom these are mostly issued as “Command papers“. White papers are issued by the government and lay out policy, or proposed action, on a topic of current concern. Although a white paper may on occasion be a consultation as to the details of new legislation, it does signify a clear intention on the part of a government to pass new law. White Papers are a “…. tool of participatory democracy … not [an] unalterable policy commitment.[1] “White Papers have tried to perform the dual role of presenting firm government policies while at the same time inviting opinions upon them.” [2]

In Canada, a white paper “is considered to be a policy document, approved by Cabinet, tabled in the House of Commons and made available to the general public.”[3] A Canadian author notes that the “provision of policy information through the use of white and green papers can help to create an awareness of policy issues among parliamentarians and the public and to encourage an exchange of information and analysis. They can also serve as educational techniques”.[4]

“White Papers are used as a means of presenting government policy preferences prior to the introduction of legislation”; as such, the “publication of a White Paper serves to test the climate of public opinion regarding a controversial policy issue and enables the government to gauge its probable impact”.[5]

By contrast, green papers, which are issued much more frequently, are more open ended. These green papers, also known as consultation documents, may merely propose a strategy to be implemented in the details of other legislation or they may set out proposals on which the government wishes to obtain public views and opinion.

White papers published by the European Commission are documents containing proposals for European Union action in a specific area. They sometimes follow a green paper released to launch a public consultation process.

For examples see the following:

 Commercial white papers

Since the early 1990s, the term white paper has also come to refer to documents used by businesses and so-called think tanks as marketing or sales tools. White papers of this sort argue that the benefits of a particular technologyproduct or policy are superior for solving a specific problem.

These types of white papers are almost always marketing communications documents designed to promote a specific company’s or group’s solutions or products. As a marketing tool, these papers will highlight information favorable to the company authorizing or sponsoring the paper. Such white papers are often used to generate sales leads, establish thought leadership, make a business case, or to educate customers or voters.

There are four main types of commercial white papers:

  • Business benefits: Makes a business case for a certain technology or methodology.
  • Technical: Describes how a certain technology works.
  • Hybrid: Combines business benefits with technical details in a single document.
  • Policy: Makes a case for a certain political solution to a societal or economic challenge.

Resources

  • Stelzner, Michael (2007). Writing White Papers: How to capture readers and keep them engaged. Poway, California: WhitePaperSource Publishing. pp. 214. ISBN 9780977716937.
  • Bly, Robert W. (2006). The White Paper Marketing Handbook. Florence, Kentucky: South-Western Educational Publishing. pp. 256. ISBN 9780324300826.
  • Kantor, Jonathan (2009). Crafting White Paper 2.0: Designing Information for Today’s Time and Attention Challenged Business Reader. Denver,Colorado: Lulu Publishing. pp. 167.ISBN 9780557163243.

Tom Davenport to Keynote at PAW New York

Unidentified building, Babson College - IMG 0443
Image via Wikipedia

message from Predictive Analytics World. If you are NY based you may want to drop in and listen.———————————————————————————-Tom Davenport to Keynote at
Predictive Analytics World New York

Take advantage of Super Early Bird Pricing by May 20th and recognize savings of $400. Additional savings when you bring the team*

Announcing Tom Davenport Keynote:
Thomas Davenport Every Day Analytics:
Making Leading Edge Commonplace
Thomas Davenport
President’s Distinguished Prof, Babson College
Author, Competing on Analytics & Analytics at Work

Join your peers October 17-21, 2011 at the Hilton New York for Predictive Analytics World, the business event for predictive analytics professionals, managers and commercial practitioners, covering today’s commercial deployment of predictive analytics, across industries and across software vendors.

PAW NYC
 promises to once again break records as the biggest cross-vendor predictive analytics event ever. The conference program is packed with the top predictive analytics experts, practitioners, authors and business thought leaders, including keynote addresses from Thomas Davenport, author of Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning, and PAW Program Chair Eric Siegel, plus special sessions from industry heavy-weights Usama Fayyad and John Elder.

RAVE REVIEWS:I came to PAW because it provides case studies relevant to my industry. It has lived up to the expectation and I think it’s the best analytics conference I’ve ever attended!

Shaohua Zhang, Senior Data Mining Analyst
Rogers Telecommunications

Hands down, best applied analytics conference I have ever attended. Great exposure to cutting-edge predictive techniques and I was able to turn around and apply some of those learnings to my work immediately. I’ve never been able to say that after any conference I’ve attended before!

Jon Francis, Senior Statistician
T-Mobile

PAW NYC’s agenda covers black box trading, churn modeling, crowdsourcing, demand forecasting, ensemble models, fraud detection, healthcare, insurance applications, law enforcement, litigation, market mix modeling, mobile analytics, online marketing, risk management, social data, supply chain management, targeting direct marketing, uplift modeling (net lift), and other innovative applications that benefit organizations in new and creative ways.


Take advantage of Super Early Bird Pricing and realize
$400 in savings before May 20, 2011.

Note:  Each additional attendee from the same company registered at the same time receives an extra $200 off the Conference Pass.

Register Now!


eMetrics New York

Predictive Analytics World Conference –New York City and London, UK

Please use the following code  to get a 15% discount on the 2 Day Conference Pass:  AJAYNY11.

Predictive Analytics World Conference –New York City and London, UK

October 17-21, 2011 – New York City, NY (pawcon.com/nyc)
Nov 30 – Dec 1, 2011 – London, UK (pawcon.com/london)

Predictive Analytics World (pawcon.com) is the business-focused event for predictive analytics
professionals, managers and commercial practitioners, covering today’s commercial deployment of
predictive analytics, across industries and across software vendors. The conference delivers case
studies, expertise, and resources to achieve two objectives:

1) Bigger wins: Strengthen the business impact delivered by predictive analytics

2) Broader capabilities: Establish new opportunities with predictive analytics

Case Studies: How the Leading Enterprises Do It

Predictive Analytics World focuses on concrete examples of deployed predictive analytics. The leading
enterprises have signed up to tell their stories, so you can hear from the horse’s mouth precisely how
Fortune 500 analytics competitors and other top practitioners deploy predictive modeling, and what
kind of business impact it delivers.

PAW NEW YORK CITY 2011

PAW’s NYC program is the richest and most diverse yet, featuring over 40 sessions across three tracks
– including both X and Y tracks, and an “Expert/Practitioner” track — so you can witness how predictive
analytics is applied at major companies.

PAW NYC’s agenda covers hot topics and advanced methods such as ensemble models, social data,
search marketing, crowdsourcing, blackbox trading, fraud detection, risk management, survey analysis,
and other innovative applications that benefit organizations in new and creative ways.

WORKSHOPS: PAW NYC also features five full-day pre- and post-conference workshops that
complement the core conference program. Workshop agendas include advanced predictive modeling
methods, hands-on training, an intro to R (the open source analytics system), and enterprise decision
management.

For more see http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/newyork/2011/

PAW LONDON 2011

PAW London’s agenda covers hot topics and advanced methods such as risk management, uplift
(incremental lift) modeling, open source analytics, and crowdsourcing data mining. Case study
presentations cover campaign targeting, churn modeling, next-best-offer, selecting marketing channels,
global analytics deployment, email marketing, HR candidate search, and other innovative applications
that benefit organizations in new and creative ways.

Join PAW and access the best keynotes, sessions, workshops, exposition, expert panel, live demos,
networking coffee breaks, reception, birds-of-a-feather lunches, brand-name enterprise leaders, and

industry heavyweights in the business.

For more see http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/london

CROSS-INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS

Predictive Analytics World is the only conference of its kind, delivering vendor-neutral sessions across
verticals such as banking, financial services, e-commerce, education, government, healthcare, high
technology, insurance, non-profits, publishing, social gaming, retail and telecommunications

And PAW covers the gamut of commercial applications of predictive analytics, including response
modeling, customer retention with churn modeling, product recommendations, fraud detection, online
marketing optimization, human resource decision-making, law enforcement, sales forecasting, and
credit scoring.

Why bring together such a wide range of endeavors? No matter how you use predictive analytics, the
story is the same: Predicatively scoring customers optimizes business performance. Predictive analytics
initiatives across industries leverage the same core predictive modeling technology, share similar project
overhead and data requirements, and face common process challenges and analytical hurdles.

RAVE REVIEWS:

“Hands down, best applied, analytics conference I have ever attended. Great exposure to cutting-edge
predictive techniques and I was able to turn around and apply some of those learnings to my work
immediately. I’ve never been able to say that after any conference I’ve attended before!”

Jon Francis
Senior Statistician
T-Mobile

Read more: Articles and blog entries about PAW can be found at http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/
pressroom.php

VENDORS. Meet the vendors and learn about their solutions, software and service. Discover the best
predictive analytics vendors available to serve your needs – learn what they do and see how they
compare

COLLEAGUES. Mingle, network and hang out with your best and brightest colleagues. Exchange
experiences over lunch, coffee breaks and the conference reception connecting with those professionals
who face the same challenges as you.

GET STARTED. If you’re new to predictive analytics, kicking off a new initiative, or exploring new ways
to position it at your organization, there’s no better place to get your bearings than Predictive Analytics
World. See what other companies are doing, witness vendor demos, participate in discussions with the
experts, network with your colleagues and weigh your options!

For more information:
http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com

View videos of PAW Washington DC, Oct 2010 — now available on-demand:
http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/online-video.php

What is predictive analytics? See the Predictive Analytics Guide:
http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/predictive_analytics.php

If you’d like our informative event updates, sign up at:
http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/signup-us.php

To sign up for the PAW group on LinkedIn, see:
http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/1005097

For inquiries e-mail regsupport@risingmedia.com or call (717) 798-3495.

Protected: Whats behind that pretty SAS Blog?

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WPS Version 2.5.1 Released – can still run SAS language/data and R

However this is what Phil Rack the reseller is quoting on http://www.minequest.com/Pricing.html

Windows Desktop Price: $884 on 32-bit Windows and $1,149 on 64-bit Windows.

The Bridge to R is available on the Windows platforms and is available for free to customers who
license WPS through MineQuest,LLC. Companies and organizations outside of North America
may purchase a license for the Bridge to R which starts at $199 per desktop or $599 per server

Windows Server Price: $1,903 per logical CPU for 32-bit and $2,474 for 64-bit.

Note that Linux server versions are available but do not yet support the Eclipse IDE and are
command line only

WPS sure seems going well-but their pricing is no longer fixed and on the home website, you gotta fill a form. Ditt0 for the 30 day free evaluation

http://www.teamwpc.co.uk/products/wps/modules/core

Data File Formats

The table below provides a summary of data formats presently supported by the WPS Core module.

Data File Format Un-Compressed
Data
Compressed
Data
Read Write Read Write
SD2 (SAS version 6 data set)
SAS7BDAT (SAS version 7 data set)
SAS7BDAT (SAS version 8 data set)
SAS7BDAT (SAS version 9 data set)
SASSEQ (SAS version 8/9 sequential file)
V8SEQ (SAS version 8 sequential file)
V9SEQ (SAS version 9 sequential file)
WPD (WPS native data set)
WPDSEQ (WPS native sequential file)
XPORT (transport format)

Additional access to EXCEL, SPSS and dBASE files is supported by utilising the WPS Engine for DB Filesmodule.

and they have a new product release on Valentine Day 2011 (oh these Europeans!)

From the press release at http://www.teamwpc.co.uk/press/wps2_5_1_released

WPS Version 2.5.1 Released 

New language support, new data engines, larger datasets, improved scalability

LONDON, UK – 14 February 2011 – World Programming today released version 2.5.1 of their WPS software for workstations, servers and mainframes.

WPS is a competitively priced, high performance, highly scalable data processing and analytics software product that allows users to execute programs written in the language of SAS. WPS is supported on a wide variety of hardware and operating system platforms and can connect to and work with many types of data with ease. The WPS user interface (Workbench) is frequently praised for its ease of use and flexibility, with the option to include numerous third-party extensions.

This latest version of the software has the ability to manipulate even greater volumes of data, removing the previous 2^31 (2 billion) limit on number of observations.

Complimenting extended data processing capabilities, World Programming has worked hard to boost the performance, scalability and reliability of the WPS software to give users the confidence they need to run heavy workloads whilst delivering maximum value from available computer power.

WPS version 2.5.1 offers additional flexibility with the release of two new data engines for accessing Greenplum and SAND databases. WPS now comes with eleven data engines and can access a huge range of commonly used and industry-standard file-formats and databases.

Support in WPS for the language of SAS continues to expand with more statistical procedures, data step functions, graphing controls and many other language items and options.

WPS version 2.5.1 is available as a free upgrade to all licensed users of WPS.

Summary of Main New Features:

  • Supporting Even Larger Datasets
    WPS is now able to process very large data sets by lifting completely the previous size limit of 2^31 observations.
  • Performance and Scalability Boosted
    Performance and scalability improvements across the board combine to ensure even the most demanding large and concurrent workloads are processed efficiently and reliably.
  • More Language Support
    WPS 2.5.1 continues the expansion of it’s language support with over 70 new language items, including new Procedures, Data Step functions and many other language items and options.
  • Statistical Analysis
    The procedure support in WPS Statistics has been expanded to include PROC CLUSTER and PROC TREE.
  • Graphical Output
    The graphical output from WPS Graphing has been expanded to accommodate more configurable graphics.
  • Hash Tables
    Support is now provided for hash tables.
  • Greenplum®
    A new WPS Engine for Greenplum provides dedicated support for accessing the Greenplum database.
  • SAND®
    A new WPS Engine for SAND provides dedicated support for accessing the SAND database.
  • Oracle®
    Bulk loading support now available in the WPS Engine for Oracle.
  • SQL Server®
    To enhance existing SQL Server database access, a new SQLSERVR (please note spelling) facility in the ODBC engine.

More Information:

Existing Users should visit www.teamwpc.co.uk/support/wps/release where you can download a readme file containing more information about all the new features and fixes in WPS 2.5.1.

New Users should visit www.teamwpc.co.uk/products/wps where you can explore in more detail all the features available in WPS or request a free evaluation.

and from http://www.teamwpc.co.uk/products/wps/data it seems they are going on the BIG DATA submarine as well-

Data Support 

Extremely Large Data Size Handling

WPS is now able to handle extremely large data sets now that the previous limit of 2^31 observations has been lifted.

Access Standard Databases

Use I/O Features in WPS Core

  • CLIPBOARD (Windows only)
  • DDE (Windows only)
  • EMAIL (via SMTP or MAPI)
  • FTP
  • HTTP
  • PIPE (Windows and UNIX only)
  • SOCKET
  • STDIO
  • URL

Use Standard Data File Formats