Daily Speculations

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The Chairman
Victor Niederhoffer

10/28/04
A New Idee

Occasionally a Popperian refutation of the idee fixe of a market occurs. When this occurs, a new idee fixe can develop. I find it helpful to look at such things in terms of statements like:

"There is no (a) market rise that occurs in conjunction with (b) strong evidence of wholesale market malfeasance a la Merck or the insurance industry."

Such a hypothesis was refuted by the market on Tuesday and Wednesday, and this can create a new market idee fixee. I don't mean this as a bullish forecast or to possibly add supporting evidence to a preconceived view. This is merely a descriptive technique that I found useful, and it's the only useful thing I learned from the 15 years of intimacy I had with a great palindromic personage that has gone astray.

10/28/04
Victor Niederhoffer adds: There Should Be a German Word for It, But...

Something like "uberschlagengegenseidtfartungheidt might describe my oversight, my haste, my lack of appreciation, my pettiness in saying that the only thing I learned from the Palindrome was the Popperian theory of inverse probability and refutability. There was a second thing, and it was even more useful. It was to always use two cans of new tennis balls when playing a game. This reduces the opportunity cost of playing by increasing time on court relative to chasing balls, and it spills over into lessons relating to concentrating portfolios in few stocks and few idee fixes.