Quantitative finance and markets

Quantitative finance and markets: Question One

Economist columnist Ryan Avent stated in his book The Wealth of Humans that the average inflation-adjusted wage grew just under 1% per year in the period between 1980 and 2014, but only a paltry 0.1% per year when the median wage is considered.

Critically examine this issue by conducting your own research, and explain what this difference between mean and median wage growth means for income distribution in the U.S.

Question Two

David Viniar, Goldman Sachs’ chief financial officer, said in 2007 that the market conditions were 25 normal distribution from the expected mean, an event which normal distribution assigns a probability of only marginally above zero. Even though normal (Gaussian) distribution is often used in predicting future outcomes, its failure to anticipate extreme events is clearly very limiting.

Critically assess the implication of Mr. Viniar’s statement, and evaluate whether over-reliance on the Gaussian distribution in modelling of future volatility could have contributed to the market panic of 2007.

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