CRE

CRE

Guest Post: The Limits Of Engineering

The entire premise of the engineering mindset is that problems can be broken down to a small set of quantifiable inputs, processes and outputs. This works fine when measuring and controlling water flow, flow of electrons, and other linear systems, but it is catastrophically mis-applied when Know-It-Alls besotted by their success in extremely limited linear systems attempt to "solve" non-linear problem-sets with linear "solutions." Case in point: war is highly non-linear. The "Whiz Kids" at the Pentagon did not even understand the problem-set, or the nature of war; how could their simplistic, Know-It-All "solutions" possibly work in the real world? Most of our problem-sets are non-linear, and are thus inaccessible to engineered solutions. If we consider the stock market a problem-set, then shouldn't it be possible to engineer 11 good trades in a row? After all, the data is all there for the taking. If a whiz kid could engineer 11 trades that doubled the capital invested--not that impossible when trading futures contracts or options--then in 11 iterations a mere $500 blossoms into $1 million. So go ahead and engineer a "solution" to the stock market "problem" which yields 11 good trades in a row. The problem is that the market--and most of life--is non-linear, and "solutions" cannot be conjured out of simplistic linear models and inputs which cannot be quantified except with a highly illusory accuracy.

Reggie Middleton's picture

NPAs and devalued sovereign debt infect bank balance sheets, which are bailed out by sovereigns who assume too much debt for the bailouts, thus dropping the value of their bonds, further stressing bank balance sheets, thereby increasing the need for bailouts. Wash-Rinse-Repeat. Hey, he who panics first, panics best!

Econophile's picture

Buried under the hysteria of a potential US default is the fact that we are stagnating but no one seems to grasp why that is. One of the reasons, a very important one, is that local and regional banks and their small business borrowers are bogged down with bad commercial real estate. In this article we discuss bank credit, banks and their real estate loans, the so-called "liquidity trap," and why the economy is not growing. It attempts to quantify the problem that local and regional banks have with their commercial real estate loans. We also explain how, why, and when the economy may grow again. 

Reggie Middleton's picture

As we get closer to that point where economic reality and financial fact override/overpower politics & concerted central financial planning that attempts to outlaw insitutional failure, we need to employ fact based strategies backed by research based in realism to not only capitalize, but even last through the coming storm.