PhilStock

PhilStock: Bad news is bad news on Wall St. (rejected post)

stock picture smaillI’ve been asked for a PhilStock tip. Well, remember when it could be said that “bad news is good news on wall street“?

No longer. Now bad is bad. I call these “blood days” on the stock market, and the only statistical advice that has held up over the past turbulent years is: Never try to catch a falling knife*.

*For more, you’ll have to seek my stock blog.

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PhilStock: No-pain bull

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Bad statistics: crime or free speech (II)? Harkonen update: Phil Stat / Law /Stock

photo-on-12-17-12-at-3-43-pm-e1355777379998There’s an update (with overview) on the infamous Harkonen case in Nature with the dubious title “Uncertainty on Trial“, first discussed in my (11/13/12) post “Bad statistics: Crime or Free speech”, and continued here. The new Nature article quotes from Steven Goodman:

“You don’t want to have on the books a conviction for a practice that many scientists do, and in fact think is critical to medical research,” says Steven Goodman, an epidemiologist at Stanford University in California who has filed a brief in support of Harkonen……

Goodman, who was paid by Harkonen to consult on the case, contends that the government’s case is based on faulty reasoning, incorrectly equating an arbitrary threshold of statistical significance with truth. “How high does probability have to be before you’re thrown in jail?” he asks. “This would be a lot like throwing weathermen in jail if they predicted a 40% chance of rain, and it rained.”

I don’t think the case at hand is akin to the exploratory research that Goodman likely has in mind, and the rain analogy seems very far-fetched. (There’s much more to the context, but the links should suffice.) Lawyer Nathan Schachtmen also has an update on his blog today. He and I usually concur, but we largely disagree on this one[i]. I see no new information that would lead me to shift my earlier arguments on the evidential issues. From a Dec. 17, 2012 post on Schachtman (“multiplicity and duplicity”):

So what’s the allegation that the prosecutors are being duplicitous about statistical evidence in the case discussed in my two previous (‘Bad Statistics’) posts? As a non-lawyer, I will ponder only the evidential (and not the criminal) issues involved.

“After the conviction, Dr. Harkonen’s counsel moved for a new trial on grounds of newly discovered evidence. Dr. Harkonen’s counsel hoisted the prosecutors with their own petards, by quoting the government’s amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in Matrixx Initiatives Inc. v. Siracusano, 131 S. Ct. 1309 (2011).  In Matrixx, the securities fraud plaintiffs contended that they need not plead ‘statistically significant’ evidence for adverse drug effects.” (Schachtman’s part 2, ‘The Duplicity Problem – The Matrixx Motion’) 

The Matrixx case is another philstat/law/stock example taken up in this blog here, here, and here.  Why are the Harkonen prosecutors “hoisted with their own petards” (a great expression, by the way)? Continue reading

Categories: PhilStatLaw, PhilStock, statistical tests, Statistics | Tags: | 23 Comments

PhilStock: Bad news is good news on Wall St.

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PhilStock: Flash Freeze

imagesA mysterious outage on the Nasdaq stock market: Trading halted for over an hour now. I don’t know if it’s a computer glitch or hacking, but I know the complex, robot-run markets are frequently out of our control. Stay tuned…

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PhilStock: The Great Taper Caper

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PhilStock: Topsy-Turvy Game

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PhilStock: DO < $70

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New PhilStock

stock picture smaillSee Rejected Posts: Beyond luck or method.

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PhilStat/Law/Stock: more on “bad statistics”: Schachtman

NAS-3Nathan Schachtman has an update on the case of U.S. v. Harkonen discussed in my last 3 posts: here, here, and here.

United States of America v. W. Scott Harkonen, MD — Part III

Background

The recent oral argument in United States v. Harkonen (see “The (Clinical) Trial by Franz Kafka” (Dec. 11, 2012)), pushed me to revisit the brief filed by the Solicitor General’s office in Matrixx Initiatives Inc. v. Siracusano, 131 S. Ct. 1309 (2011).  One of Dr. Harkonen’s post-trial motions contended that the government’s failure to disclose its Matrixx amicus brief deprived him of a powerful argument that would have resulted from citing the language of the brief, which disparaged the necessity of statistical significance for “demonstrating” causal inferences. See “Multiplicity versus Duplicity – The Harkonen Conviction” (Dec. 11, 2012). Continue reading

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PhilStat/Law/Stock: multiplicity and duplicity

Photo on 12-17-12 at 3.43 PMSo what’s the allegation that the prosecutors are being duplicitous about statistical evidence in the case discussed in my two previous (‘Bad Statistics’) posts? As a non-lawyer, I will ponder only the evidential (and not the criminal) issues involved.

“After the conviction, Dr. Harkonen’s counsel moved for a new trial on grounds of newly discovered evidence. Dr. Harkonen’s counsel hoisted the prosecutors with their own petards, by quoting the government’s amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in Matrixx Initiatives Inc. v. Siracusano, 131 S. Ct. 1309 (2011).  In Matrixx, the securities fraud plaintiffs contended that they need not plead ‘statistically significant’ evidence for adverse drug effects.” (Schachtman’s part 2, ‘The Duplicity Problem – The Matrixx Motion’) 

The Matrixx case is another philstat/law/stock example taken up in this blog here, here, and here.  Why are the Harkonen prosecutors “hoisted with their own petards” (a great expression, by the way)? Continue reading

Categories: PhilStatLaw, PhilStock, Statistics | Tags: | 4 Comments

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