Friday, January 27, 2012

Conflicting signs in the US housing market

Has the housing market stabilised in the United States? The question is hard to answer. Housing prices in the US for instance have maintained a downward slope since 2007. However, there are also signs of recovery where one could see that the delinquency rate for residential mortgages is no longer rising. These mixed signals suggest that one needs to maintain a close watch on the American Housing markets because market signals continue to contradict each other.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Forecaster of the year loses his job

Jim O’Sullivan is ranked the top forecaster of the year. He is credited with outperforming the consensus forecasts of other leading economists. However, the economic downturn sank his employer and Jim lost his job like the rest of the employees of MF Global Inc.

“When forecasting the data, in the end we are just trying to be the least inaccurate among our peers,” O’Sullivan said. No one can get them all, he admits. But he still tries to beat the consensus on every number he forecasts. “It is do-able if you do the homework, if you combine econometrics with judgment borne of experience.”

Read more at Marketwatch.com.

Forecasters of the year

2004 Maury Harris & Jim O'Sullivan, UBS

2005 Brian Jones, Citigroup

2006 Maury Harris & Jim O'Sullivan, UBS

2007 Stephen Stanley, RBS Greenwich Capital

2008 Maury Harris & Jim O'Sullivan, UBS

2009 Nigel Gault &  Brian Bethune, IHS Global Insight

2010 Spencer Staples, EconAlpha

2011 Jim O'Sullivan, MF Global

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Big media waking up to big data

imageA recent Globe and Mail column points out that by 2018 in the United States alone there will be a shortfall of 190,000 specialists with deep analytical talent. It is good to see that the mainstream media is waking up to the need for applied training in data analytics.

At the management faculty at Ryerson University in Toronto, we have risen to the challenge by teaching the state of the art in business and data analytics to ensure that our graduates could stay ahead of the curve. For instance, we have replaced the conventional stats software  with R, which is the analytic tool of choice of quants, statisticians, and analysts For details, visit:

“The lovely jobs are why we should all enroll our children immediately in statistics courses. Big data can only be unlocked by shamans with tremendous mathematical aptitude and training. McKinsey estimates that by 2018 in the United States alone, there will be a shortfall of between 140,000 and 190,000 graduates with “deep analytical talent.” If you are one of them, you will surely have a “lovely” well-paying job.”

The Globe and Mail, January 12, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

American Migration [Interactive Map] - Forbes

"Close to 40 million Americans move from one home to another every year. Click anywhere on the map below: blue counties send more migrants to the selected county than they take; red counties take more than they send."
Published on November 16, 2011