It’s not me, it’s you, says Var

As a journalist, it is always gratifying to receive feedback on one’s stories. The response to my piece EU convergence strategy under threat on March 16, examining whether “value at risk” will continue to be an acceptable measure of risk for Ucits funds, was particularly voluminous and pleasing.

Pleasing yes but, in some cases, head-scratchingly puzzling as well. Readers were keen to tell me why Var was the best thing since sliced bread/the worst thing since marmite/somewhere nicely in between – providing the world uses their own unique variant of Var of course.

While one is, naturally, used to navigating the stormy waters of conflicting worldviews, fervently-held, arguments that include delights such as:

σ²t = (X²t-1 +λX²t-2 + λ²X²2t-3 + … +λn-1X²t-n) / (1 + λ + λ² + … + λn-1)

Are unfortunately wasted on this correspondent.

But one gratifyingly Greek (or geek)-free missive was from poor little put upon Var itself, via our friends at Algorithmics (see below). It seems we may have gone too far in our desire to find scapegoats for the current crisis. Like honest, hard-working Sir Fred Goodwin, Var was only doing its job.

One can but hope the mob of anti-everything protestors descending as I write on London’s houses of mammon find a place in their hearts to include a defence of this poor, timid, endangered beastie in their lengthy list of grievances.

It's not my fault, honest!


About the blog

FTfm is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

FTfm's specialist writing team offer their insights into the global fund management industry.

About the authors

Pauline Skypala has been editor of FTfm for four years having previously been deputy personal finance editor. She joined the FT in 1999 and has been writing on savings and investment issues throughout her career.

Steve Johnson, FTfm deputy editor, has been a journalist for 17 years, 10 of which have been with the FT.

Sophia Grene, reporter on FTfm, has been a financial journalist in print and online for 12 years.

Ruth Sullivan has worked as a financial/business journalist and foreign correspondent and for the past 10 years has been at the FT.