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Turbulent times for quant predictions

It is not a new theory (originally constructed and formulated by John Conway), that to have something born, you’ll need three, not two, parents. Besides the biological ones, which is obvious, the third one is supposed to be that someone, who helps us find our own way and shape our thinking.

Conway gave it the name of “The Game of Life”, as he took some ideas from observations of real life. He also claimed it to be the simplified version of it. As the author became the victim of the deadly virus that shook the world in 2020, it is only the remembering of his great works that will keep him alive.

Some of his fans and followers have dedicated Game of Life simulations to him. They would use his works to mathematically model the potential outcomes of the pandemic. We can’t be sure of the Covid-19 situation outcome, but it’s interesting, how people are trying to come up with new proposals of possibilities.

But who to follow?

But the Game of Life theory brings us to the “third parent” idea. It is common for young people to have idols from outside their personal friends and family. Most usually they are successful athletes, artists, or people of business. But in recent times there has been more and more controversy related to footballers’ personal life and wages, banker bonuses, and celebrity scandals. So who is left? Billionaires – the traditional influencers. 

And in contrary to the popular belief – it may not be that easy, managing those huge fortunes that they have gathered. Because of that, it is even nobler, that some of them had taken some huge steps and sacrificed a lot in order to save the economy. They had anonymously and openly donated millions of dollars towards fighting the effects of Covid-19. We are speaking of hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars in total.

We are still yet to find out the real impact of the coronavirus on the global economy, and also people’s lives. Some estimates say, that the virus will take the lives of over 2.2 million people. But predictions are not precise, and we can’t know if they will come true.

Frankly, this applies to almost every prediction – oil prices for example. The EIA’s predictions said, that by 2021 the barrel price would reach $46. In reality, it was well over $50. Others would argue, predicting it to be as little as $5 a barrel, which would be the lowest since 1973.

Generally, the growth of oil barrel price could be one of the hints, that we may be closer to the end of Coronavirus, and it may happen even before 2021 wraps up.

In the Disruption Banking piece, which touches on that topics and provides an even deeper analysis of it, Andy Samu brings up a few examples of how Covid-19 struck different companies and stock market. He uses the example of FTSE 100 which dropped from 7,457 points in mid-February to 4,993 in a little over the month. Almost a year later, in January 2021 it has gone back up to almost 6,700. How long will it actually take to eventually reach the level from February 2020? We are yet to find that out.

Later Andy Samu analyses Warren Buffet’s situation amid a financial crisis, as he took a big hit even before the pandemic struck. Businessinsider claims that he lost $5 billion in airline stocks in the first three months of 2020. And while Buffet is clearly not the best quant in the world, others manage somehow to make more or less accurate predictions.

To see the whole Disruption Banking piece, we have been referring to, please visit the following link: https://disruptionbanking.com/2020/04/30/turbulent-times-in-quant-land/

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