The Winton Papers: Speculation, Wise

While I have not seen it, apparently Gordon Gekko opines in the new ‘Wall Street’ that:

“The Mother of all evil is speculation.”

Let’s hope Oliver Stone doesn’t actually believe that (if he does, fantastic moron). The counter? An excerpt from the publication ‘The Winton Papers’:

“Speculari, the Latin root of the verb to speculate has the literal meaning ‘to observe’, and a study of speculation will show that most successful speculators can be well described as ‘observers’. To be successful this observation must of necessity be detached and unemotive and thus where great social and moral issues are at stake, it is perhaps not surprising that this view point should arouse some distrust and hostility among the general population (particularly when the speculator profits at a time of general discontent). Yet this detached observation is clearly in the spirit of the natural scientist and the act of speculating for money is in the spirit of the empirical scientist’s restless yearning to add to empirical knowledge and put theories to the test. Thus making money from mathematical models [systematic trend following] is in one sense less about the corruption of intellectual endeavor than about the appropriate statistical test of the utility of such models for the development of scientific theory.”

Note: ‘The Winton Papers’ were published by Winton Capital.

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