One of the financial blogs I regularly read is Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed. He's got a great style, is funny, and frequently points at excellent resources and further reading.

Today I nearly fell off my chair laughing when I came across his use of a tag map to analyze hedge fund apology letters.

You see, he started by reading the letters...

The WSJ has done a nice job of collecting all the supposed apology letters to investors from various quant hedge fund managers concerning their recent crummy performance. Trouble is, a) it's way too much reading, and b) there aren't really any apologies to be found.

Which led to him using MS Word to summarize them. And then he applied a tag cloud.

And now, the top 40 words from the non-apology letters (with, once again, "apologize" and "sorry" again not being among them) in a tag cloud, with bigger and bolder corresponding to usage frequency:

paul's hedge fun apology letter tag map

I wish I knew why, but that really tickles my funny bone. Really.

Maybe it's the non-web 2.0 but still geeky way in which he's applying it. Maybe it's because "tag cloud" and "hedge fund" are so far apart in my brain. Or maybe it's just plain amusing.

Either way, well done, Paul. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at August 16, 2007 02:57 PM

Reader Comments
# Fred said:

It's funny, obviously, because "apologize" and "sorry" and "regret" don't appear on the list. Not even the official non-apology apologia from modern politics "mistakes were made".

on August 17, 2007 05:45 AM
# Eric Meyerson said:

It is funny, but only because hedge fund investors can afford the losses.

But what's up with the "black" tag?

on August 17, 2007 10:46 AM
# Bruce said:

Maybe the reason that hedgefund and apologize or sorry are linked is that the hedge funds have not exactly been doing that well lately. Making apologies in order.

on August 18, 2007 07:28 PM
# Bob Warfield said:

I love tag clouds for all sorts of things, and this one is an ideal use. While it is amusing, it also demonstrates the power they have to cut through the BS and deliver a clear view of what's really going on, which in this case seems to be that they had no clue right up until they liquidated.

See my blog for more crazy tag cloud uses:

on August 31, 2007 01:19 PM
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