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Lucas Wiman
Works at Counsyl
Attended UIUC
Lives in Mountain View, CA
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Lucas Wiman

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Today, the tech industry is apparently on track to destroy one of the world's most valuable cultural treasures, San Francisco, by pushing out the diverse..
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You finance and investment mavens out there, here's a major puzzler.  Goldman-Sachs is abandoning HFT (high frequency trading).  It is also dropping the NYSE and its profitable "dark pool" trading operation.  Clearly they know something you and I don't know! (Duh?)

Read up.  Any theories?
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-08/triple-whammy-shocker-goldman-shutting-down-sigma-x
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Lucas Wiman

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I'm not saying anything you don't know already. I'm just stating the obvious: people who obsessively exercise are super boring. They talk all the time about their times, and their workout progress,...
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Lucas Wiman

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From IRC at work.
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Lucas Wiman

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Schneier on Heartbleed: it's bad. Really bad. Here are the steps to take next...
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Have him in circles
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Lucas Wiman

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This "coincidence" is nothing to sneeze at.
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Lucas Wiman

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Prop 13 is slowly destroying the state.
 
Q: So, why is Silicon Valley studded with an implausibly large number of abandoned barns, shacks, and other things that don't look like they belong here?

A: Because this all used to be orchards. This all made sense, fifty years ago.

Q: Right, but shouldn't they have, like, torn them down by now?

A: No. Abandoned barns in Silicon Valley are a better investment than historical stock market returns.

Q: Wouldn't they be an even better investment if there were, like, usable buildings on the land?

A: No.

Q: You have got to be shitting me.

A: Proposition 13 makes abandoned barns an enormously lucrative investment. You see, the assessed value of a piece of property is capped at a rate well below the rate of increase in property values out here. So you can just get the price of the land reevaluated every year and take tax-free loans against the increase in equity. This is a huge amount of untaxable money. Especially if you're an abandoned shed that's worth seven figures, right smack dab in the middle of the Google campus.

Q: Right, but that's just about low taxes, right?

A: Yeah. Well. Uh. I was going to get to the "except" part.

Q: And what's that? 

A: The increase is capped except upon the sale or the completion of new improvements. Like an apartment building, for instance, to partially solve the housing crisis out here. Or a new building on the Google campus. This means that if the value of the improvement is less than the compounded increase in the value of the property absent the improvement, then it doesn't make any sense to actually build anything.

Q: That's horrible. Why aren't people, like, vandalizing abandoned buildings to get rid of them?

A: The only way you can vandalize anything in California that solves the problem is to literally build a new improvement on the property without the landowner finding out. That resets the tax basis and gives them an incentive to stop holding the land off the market.

Q: That's... double horrible.

A: Yeeeeeeah.
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It's unusual that I find myself in the position of defending Wall Street activities, but here goes. I just don't think HFT is that big of a deal relative to other Wall Street evils. I have written ...
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People
Have him in circles
118 people
Kevin O'Bryant's profile photo
Przemysław Uznański's profile photo
Jered Wierzbicki's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Software developer
Employment
  • Counsyl
    2013 - present
  • http://www.connexive.com
    Software developer, 2011 - 2013
  • wize.com
  • nextag.com
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Mountain View, CA
Previously
Normal, IL - Urbana, IL
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Software engineer
Introduction
I have a BS (2007) and an MS (2009) in mathematics, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 
Education
  • UIUC
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Male