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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 17, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

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people who ran for the united states senate a confirming judges. thatis certainly something senate candidate observe is part of the responsibility of individual united states senators. the other part that is relevant here is we actually have a historicalrelevant analogy to draw. democrats in 1988 found themselves in the same position. they were in the majority in the senate and there was a republican in the white house. there was a vacancy on the supreme court, and there was a question they faced about if they were going to vote in a presidential election year to confirm the president's nominee to the supreme court. and even though they were not in
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the same party as the president, they fulfilled their constitutional responsibility and they did it even though it was an election year. our expectation is that senate republicans would do the same. the fact that senate democrats did it right in 1988 does not absolve the entire democratic party over the course of history from the role they to aplayed in construing politicized process. president obama acknowledged yesterday he played a part in that. the responsibility relies with the institution of the united states senate. and senator mcconnell and other republican leaders worked tirelessly campaigning across the country, raising money, giving stump speeches, holding rallies, working weekends to try
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to get back into the majority of the united states senate. on the day after they succeeded in that after, the day after the election, senator mcconnell wrote what is now probably in his mind and infamous op-ed in the wall street journal that was headlined, now we can get congress moving again. this is a basic function of congress. he was acknowledging the role that the majority has been getting congress moving again. he is in charge of that institution. that institution has a constitutional responsibility. that institution -- the american people have the expectation that institution will fulfill that duty. bob? reporter: we have her from relatively few rank-and-file republicans about how they feel about this issue. doesn't president believe -- that's funny how
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cell phones stuck it answer quite as quickly. reporter: does the president believe & there will be a softening among rank-and-file republicans regarding this nomination? does he think time may be on his side? mr. earnest: i think the president's expectation is that the institution of united states senate can and should fulfill its constitutional responsibility. there are no loopholes and that responsibility. there is no election-year loophole. there is no loophole for a situation in which the president may not share the judicial the previous supreme court justice. in thes no loophole constitution for a supreme court nominee who might have an impact on the balance of the supreme court. the constitution is clear about
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what the expectations are of the institution of the united states senate. that is consistent with the president's expectations and expectations of the american people. reporter: i'm not suggesting how they should act, but does the president think there may be should not be a rush to this? to name someone that quickly? pressure may mount on republicans to move forward. mr. earnest: mr. earnest -- mr. earnest: the amount of time the president and his team will devote to nominating an individual will be dedicated to making sure the right person has been chosen for this important job. bet is the factor that will driving the timeline for this decision. and as soon as the president and his team have concluded they chose the right person for the job we will make that nominee -- we will put for the nominee. senate will fulfill
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their responsibility to ensure that individual receives a fair hearing in a timely -- and a timely yes or no vote. houseer: does the white -- has the white house been in touch with the clinton and sanders campaigns as you move forward with the nominee? mr. earnest: i am not aware of any specific conversations that are taken place those far about who the president is going to choose with either the candidates for president on the democratic side. i think people are going to ask the democratic candidates what their views are on this process. they will ask them primarily because it's a relevant question to ask. they are running for the job, to be given the responsibility in january 2017 to fill vacancies on the supreme court. asked aator obama was
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lot in 2007 and 2008. reporter: we could easily foresee a scenario where this could spill over until next year. president or his staff plan to discuss this with the democratic campaigns? is that an important part of his strategy over the next few weeks? mr. earnest: i would not anticipate this would require discussions with the campaigns. this isrimarily because a responsibility of the sitting president of the united states. there are a whole host of individuals on the republican and democratic side running to have this responsibility given to them in january of 2017. right now this responsibility rests with the president. there will be a tendency and it's understandable that there will be politics that will have an influence on the process. that started a long time ago and i'm confident that will be the case here. the question is whether or not
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the united states senate, and i am talking about senate republicans who ever responsibility of running the institution of the united states senate, whether or not they are prepared to choose their constitutional duty over narrow partisan political considerations. it is an open question right now. early indications are not particularly good considering republicans suggested the president should not bother nominating somebody. but hopefully cooler heads will prevail. reporter: following up on her question on this. china -- we saw confirmation from the state department that china has moved missiles to the disputed island. they released a statement that was similar to what we've seen in the past. it did not specifically mention china. that the president want a stronger statement, potentially one that susan we mentioned china?
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-- specifically mentioned china? mr. earnest: we are more than satisfied. we are quite pleased to see the leaders of 10 or so southeast asian nations, many of whom do have claims on land features in the south china sea, put forward a coherent and unified explanation of what they are committing to. what they are committing to as a set of principles that will promote the peaceful resolution of disputes. that is clearly within the best interests of the united states, of our economy, of our national security. we also believe it benefits those countries in the same way. we are pleased to see there is a widespread agreement among united states and our partners for resolving these disputes. ok. rich? reporter: will the president this week signed the north korean sanctions bill? and discussing north korea early this month the washington post
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claimed the president's strategic patience has failed with north korea due to north korean provocations, even beyond if he does sign the sanctions bill. does that warned a greater response from the u.s. -- weren't a greater -- warrant a greater response from u.s.? mr. earnest: we are deeply concerned about the provocations. president doeshe plan to sign hr 757, which includes sanctions measures against north korea and will serve to increase pressure on north korea. that is a goal that congress stated and it's a goal we share. i don't know precisely when the president will sign the bill but we will let you know. our plan is to sign it. when it comes more broadly for approach to north korea, i think we've been clear about our strategy. to work effectively with our allies in the region.
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most importantly south korea and japan. but also with our partners in the region like russia and china that in the ruins over the north korean regime. influence over the north korean regime. president xi stood in the rose garden last fall and said china would not tolerate a nuclear rise could -- nuclearized korean peninsula. that certainly means that the north korean regime will continue to be isolated until they begin to take steps closer in the direction of not just united states and south korea, but even countries like china with whom they have a vital relationship. reporter: you said earlier that the white house will back up law enforcement. does that mean that law enforcement, when it comes to these arguments between security and national security, that law enforcement should get -- mr. earnest: i think it was clear about that applying to this particular situation.
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that the department of justice and fbi investigators have been given a serious responsibility which is to investigate an act of terrorism that occurred in california at the end of last year. they are conducting that investigation and they will do that independently. but they can count on the support of the white house and the president, who is identified that investigation is a priority. we will support them as a do their important independent work. i'm just reiterating what i said before which is that there is a debate, and intense debate right now about how to balance the need for encryption in cyber security and protecting privacy. and the need to protect the national security of the united states. i think the president has described approaches that question. for fortunately -- fortunately
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the question is much more narrow. i think taking a quick look at the judge's ruling, the judge thought it was a pretty straightforward answer. reporter: this is not create a marker for further cases? this one case could set an example very easily for cases in the future. mr. earnest: it does not require --le to change their redesigned some element of their software or create a new backdoor. is a very specific request the department of justice has made and a judge agreed with them. reporter: the fed president in minneapolis says possibly something he might push in the future would be breaking up the big banks. was that a missed opportunity with dodd frank? mr. earnest: well, we value the
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independence of the fed here. i'm a little limited and offering up a direct response to what he had to say. i can just tell you more generally the president was a meeting at the get of wall street reform and was happy to sign it in the law. and just as importantly was rigorous about the implementation of the regulations that law required. the reason for that as we saw an aggressive effort on the part of wall street banks and other large financial institutions to try to chip away at the loss protections and the -- laws, protections and regulatory process. it has contributed in some cases to the taking a little longer than expected to intimate the rules. the fact is we have put in place a financial architecture that does make sure that taxpayers will not be on the hook for bailing out banks to make risky bets that go bad.
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that is progress. that is a good thing for our economy and a giving for middle-class families. at the same time we've been mindful of the need to have an architecture that would not. stifle innovation -- would not stifle innovation. one of the reasons the u.s. economy is the envy of the world is we have a dynamic financial institution -- system were a variety of institutions can get access to capital. that is a good thing. an important thing for innovation. and important thing for the economy. important for small business. we want to make sure we have regulators and institutions in washington dc that are looking out for the interests of middle-class families. that is a top priority. that is why the president, when historians look at his legacy, i am confident his success in passing and it limiting wall --eet reform will be implement and wall street reform will be among the prominent aspects of that legacy that will be widely discussed.
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tactwith the big banks in because of the reforms we put in place. things like higher capital requirements for banks, and other steps we have taken that have according to the stress tests that have been conducted that if of those institutions on more stable financial footing. if we get into a situation where weaker,stitutions get we have steps we can take to further insulate the american economy and the american people from the fallout. we have learned a lot of important lessons since the worst economic downturn since the great depression. many of them relate to the kinds of basic investments that are critical to discuss -- to the success of our economy. the way in which our financial system should be regulated to make it more stable and to not least taxpayers on the hook for financial
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institutions is risky bets go bad. last one. hourser: in about three the pope will be celebrating mass on the border between the u.s. and mexico. out andrump has come said that the pope is in the pocket of mexico. he was to keep the border the way it is, mexico does because they're making a fortune and we are losing. any comment? mr. earnest: i don't have any direct response to mr. trump's comments. i will say more generally that i was one of those who was fortunate enough to be on the south lawn of the white house when pope francis visited last fall. it was clear even from the brief remarks he delivered here that he is a man of deep faith and he is quite passionate about what
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he is called to do and what faith calls him to do. and certainly his commitment to social justice and looking out for those were less fortunate -- they arehat priorities he has set for himself. not just because he wants to cultivate his own image or score political points, but rather because he feels called to serve those people. i think it was pretty evident that his passion and his personal motivation through his faith were authentic. i certainly would not call it a question at all. thanks a lot everybody. we will see you tomorrow. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [indistinct chatter]
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>> coming up later today we have more road to the white house on the span. south carolina's republican presidential primary is coming saturday. this evening on c-span to republican candidates donald trump has a campaign rally. that starts at 5:00 p.m. eastern. later it is marco rubio, the we are less -- just learning look at the endorsement of southdale and a governor nikki haley tonight. senator rubio will hold a town hall meeting in chapin, south carolina. that happens tonight at 6:00 p.m. eastern. you'll be able to see both donald trump and marco rubio live here on c-span. also coming up tonight at 8:00, a discussion on guantanamo bay. here is a brief preview with an attorney representing detainees in court. >> guantanamo is terribly important in this country. i am worried about the people there.
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i want them treated well in a want them home. more than that i'm worried about what it means for the country. guantanamo was established to avoid the law. the whole purpose of guantanamo, the bush administration considered the law an impediment it had to avoid. it said if we put forerunners in a place that is technically outside our sovereign territory, we can avoid review by the courts and weekend of pride them of legal rights. case andwe won the they have the right for habeas corpus and they have a constitutional right, the d.c. circuit has said they still have the rights to due process. if the government can put them over there, they are beyond the reach of the constitution and other ways. that is a horrible thing for this country. a horrible loophole. i find it reprehensible. i want the law corrected so the united states can stand by its principles and be proud and not
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try to avoid them. >> that entire discussion on guantanamo bay tonight on c-span starting at 8:00 eastern. the c-spankend cities toward posting by our charter communications cable partners take you to greenville, south carolina to explore the city's history and literary culture. on book tv. 1939 1939, september of when europe went to war, our allies, primarily england and france, looked to washington dc for goods and materials they needed. looked down to. the textile capital of the world and all of a sudden government contracts came funneling into this area asking the mills to begin producing for the war effort. initially for the allies. and then for the united states as well. >> on american history tv -- >> we are standing right here.
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this was a pretty nasty spot. it's hard to believe now looking at it, one of the best parks in the country, but this was a very depressed, nasty place. it's a great story of how a parknity can get behind a and start to appreciate and cherish its river and its waterfall again. watch the c-span cities tour saturday at noon eastern on c-span two book tv. and on american history tv on c-span3. -- cityan's city store tour.-- cties >> nate silver talked about statistics, polling, data, and the elections at george mason university.
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this lasted about an hour and 20 minutes. [indistinct chatter] to our secondk round. thank you for coming back. fans sod nate are big is important for them to take some brakes and sneak outside. tyler has many interests, as you know for being here and being fans of tyler. i cannot tell you what tyler and nate are about to discuss. i can promise you this. it will be challenging. it will be fascinating. and above all it will be entertaining. so please join me in welcoming tyler: and nate silver -- tyler en and nate silver. >> they does not need much of an
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introduction. he is a phenomenon in the areas of data, sports, politics, online media. all the growth sectors. when i think of your work, i think of you is dedicated to the idea of numbers and data and wanting to apply that to as many different areas as possible. if you had to say of all the areas of human life, where can data bring the biggest improvements? mr. silver: that is a pretty heavy question. i think the answers are probably obvious in some sense i haveealth is an area not done a lot of work personally but i'm sure it's incredibly valuable. doctors are not known for being terribly analytics driven. i don't know the culture enough to know why. that i wouldreas like us to focus on a little
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more than we do now, criminality and criminal justice. you have lots of issues with data. if you want to know how many police officers are killed, or people killed by police officers, you don't know that very well. education is an area where i suspect you have a lot of data used poorly. as well as data used well. urban planning is something we are fascinated by. we did a big analysis of uber data that $2 million spent $2 million concluded. uber by and large was not adding cars to the streets of manhattan. mr. cohen: we are in a law school right now. what applied more data, kind of improvement might we come up with? mr. silver: i think that maybe the last field -- [laughter] i don't say that any bridge or
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to avoid -- in a pejorative way. of advantage of working with data sets are becoming more adept at it you get things that are approximately right. where as the legal sector i think relies more on precision. you want a very precise and possibly wrong answer, which is what you are trying to avoid sometimes when you are doing fiscal analysis. mr. cohen: i sometimes wonder how much data to people want. as part of my prep, i went back to your high school yearbook. i took a look at the quotation you left. is from macbeth. fools,ars and swears are for there are liars and swears enough to beat the honest man and hangup them." mr. silver: a little self-righteous but you are entitled to that in high school. mr. cohen: i have read papers
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that show would you give a lot of people the chance to view the quality of their hospital or doctor, they are not interested. has a citizenry -- as a citizenry, how much data do you think people want? sports betting, politics, it's fine. but real data. do they want to see how good or how honest they are? mr. silver: my partner really got into 23 and me. they don't actually tell you all that much. i don't want to have to stress about a bunch of things that i can't necessarily affect. i don't know. of empowering people to make better decisions with their own health is a noble notion. enough of a free marketer that i say you should give people the information whether they use it well or not. it is kind of the right to have it. i'm not sure i have a firm conclusion about it at least a
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better decisions were not. amongression is that doctors and hospital administrators that they are not terribly data proven either despite their obvious rigorous work in other respects. mr. cohen: i think of you as a super forecaster. beatu think you can prediction markets? mr. silver: not all the time. mr. cohen: a smidgen above average? if we were all investors at the end of 30 or 40 years you would have some excess returns, just like one of our earlier guests. mr. silver: i think maybe by a very small amount, but not by enough to make a variance. it depends what market you are talking about. the markets in politics are not all that liquid and not all that sophisticated necessarily. i know various sports we have at fivethirtyeight have tended to
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beat vegas. not by a lot. we will win 52% of the time. mr. cohen: that is a lot. mr. silver: it is a lot. i spend a lot of my time thinking about it. the dynamics between how markets can be -- it's amazingly arrogant in some sense for anyone to think they can beat the markets. right? at the same time the more worshipful we become of markets, the less useful they become as well. a lot of times i have people say i know donald trump is going to win because he's up to 52%. 55% to win the gop nomination at that fair. that doesn't really add value to the conversation. i am more interested as a person and as a researcher in
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journalist in providing information that other people can aggregate i suppose. if were talking about how good our political market is, the question is how good our markets? i think the answer is pretty good. when the distribution of error is not very linear, they can be off by a lot. are you the person who knows when they are off? . that is harder to do potentially mr. cohen: what are the differences the between forecasting in futurism? he have predictions for the year 2050? they have to be better than the market. 52% production and go home and celebrate. i think i'm mildly pessimistic in some ways. tyler: what is the biggest source of your pessimism? nate: there's probably some
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survivorship bias in the united states and thinking about how our way will persevere forever and ever and ever. we were talking backstage about how you go to asia and i go to you, but as often as if you want to feel optimistic about civilization, go there. thinking frankly about this donald trump phenomenon, it made me consider a lot of assumptions a lot of people made about how american politics work are based on a relatively narrow, ,ost-world war ii, even refer 1980 through 2000, it's not really a lot of history and in many other contexts, there are
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all types of places around the world where nationalism is a much bigger phenomenon that it is -- than it is in the united states. race and racism is embedded in a great deal of clinical turmoil and i wondered after the great recession how come we haven't seen more upheaval, more social upheaval and maybe we are seeing that a little bit delayed. more of a revolution and rising expectations. at the same time, there's a know in to focus -- i politics, people can focus on a number of stories that are not representative of the big picture and there's a lot of wonderful news in the sense of poverty rates going down globally, income inequality going down and diseases being eradicated, but i wonder to some how much the media
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culture tends to focus on negative aspects of society and always types of things. tyler: how about love and sex? and data improve the matching if we follow the algorithms or is it a that in and all the algorithms do is choose you to force -- for shooting choose someone and get you out of your indecision? [laughter] i think the market would say people find online services fairly useful. maybe it removes some spontaneity. i met my partner at a bar which feels almost old-fashioned. tyler: but it could be like these hills that are sold -- nate: i feel there's a lot of over optimization. wherever data is being used, you are optimized for a short term
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it's hard to measure the long-term. couldn't measure anything at all, your heuristics are not that bad an what's going in mye me happy tomorrow business, what is going to get my website the most traffic 36 hours from now isn't necessarily the best decision in the long run. you can measure the short run and measure others that can make you quite myopic and is a bigger problem than people think, perhaps. donaldou mentioned trump. i've told quite a few people i didn't think trump could get far. it's not obvious i'm right. paul krugman said early on that he had a good chance. what is it paul krugman saw that i didn't? nate: i was one of trump's skip x also. trump's skeptics also.
2:34 pm important, i i got a little frustrated because a lot of people were saying trump is instantly going to evaporate in the polls. we said that could happen, but there are a lot of candidates like that began in, ron paul, rick santorum, who would get 25% or 30% of the electorate and have a high floor and low ceiling. that could still wind up being true, but with that said, for with ang, we are dealing fairly small sample of relevant elections. people look in the primaries 1972 and one basic lesson is when you have a sample size of roughly 15, there's nothing you can do to make it not a sample size of 15.
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how compelling you wee your rationalization, have theory as well as him. and 15 cases is 15 cases and making people more cautious about saying unlikely versus never. the record will show we said unlikely and not never and it's a lot to think about. but i don't know. what they are supposed to do, you start with priors and say the prior is candidates like donald trump tend not to win the nomination. thatat signs could i find would violate that assumption? it's not necessarily performing well in early polls. lots of candidates who are flashes in the pan, lots of unusual candidates have done
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well in early polls. lots of unusual candidates have one iowa or new hampshire, but usually one or the other. it's the ability to consolidate the field after that and make a consensus choice of the party that has been more unusual. that assumption might prove to be true. i did think i and let people overrated the ability of the republican party to stop what i think is a radical insurgency in the gop. tyler: so the party is weaker than you thought. what other judgments about the world should we revise question mark i think paul krugman would say republicans are more racist than many people believe. nate: to be honest, that's a little bit about -- that's a little bit of what i want to resist. in my thinking about trump that
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of paulhe reception krugman and norm ornstein have been consistent for a long time. but the people who are pro-trump are not people whose opinions that would wait of highly. and possiblys lazy quite dangerous. if he chooses to run, does michael bloomberg have a chance? if i go to the betting markets, i think i saw 2.8%. is that too high or too low? nate: of becoming president? it probably about right. in some ways, climate could be as fertile as ever for some type of third candidate running. not sure heg, i'm differentiates all that well from clinton with him he has a
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lot in common policy wise and trump, he is kind of the same character. sanders and trump or clinton and trump, everything is quite left of center. trump, when he was thinking about running had an eccentric platform that involved single-payer health care, a wealth tax, he was anti-immigration even then, but pro-choice. he said i'm not bound by any party. mysaid i would reconsider stance if i become the republican nominee. the more viable candidate would romney,a mitt condoleezza rice ticket. tyler: let's move past the esoterica and here -- and give the people what they want to hear. the manager of the detroit
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tigers took mickey stanley, pulled him out of centerfield and put him in at shortstop so jim could play center and the future hall of famer could play in right field. no one had ever done this before. you are advising at that time, how do you start thinking about that problem? nate: we know more about the value of defense and we did in the late 60's or even then we did 10 years ago. it turns out to be more important than people would have thought, that's an ironic way when some of the conventional wisdom was confirmed when data got more advanced answers to gated. maybe worry about defense and tiger stadium is a park conducive to low batting averages, high home run totals,
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but it is not obvious to me it was the best move. but all of the sudden, baseball teams and football teams become, correct whenore they have more online. inn you bring your best guy in the eighth inning and see the nfl teams will go for two more often in the playoffs and just a hint that when the stakes are low, culture tends to prevail and when the stakes are high and the outcome of the game is all that matters things are different. tyler: given your view on mickey stanley and the detroit tigers, who's the underrated candidate in the republican race this year? [laughter] just to impose a kind of consistency on you. i mean, i don't know.
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i think the markets are fairly close to correct right now. rubio optimist for a while on the theory that he's the only candidate who has appeal to all the various sectors and constituencies within the gop, which may be a fraying party, but he has the highest favorability ratings in the party. i think he speaks the language without being too extreme, but the big question is where is trump's feeling? iowa, start at 25% in that's one thing. but even now, you see in new hampshire, even though he won with 35% of the votes, half the republicans there said they would not want him as their nominee. the question is can the non-trump candidates organize
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does he stop at 35%? if he stops at 51, it doesn't i thinkbut i suppose one, he three till should be more at like to one. two to one. tyler: what about the ted cruz theory, that you need to bring out the silent conservatives that don't vote and cruise -- cruz is more electable than rubio. what is your opinion of that data? about occam's razor, if you look at lots of senate races over time, the reason it they arent because easier to measure because they
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legislate, you can see there is a price for extremism. that can't be overcome if we go into a recession of clinton or bernie has huge problems, but ted cruz would probably cost you three or to theints relative median generic republican. bernie haasi saw, share was at something like $.17. at that price, do you go long or short? nate: probably not short but it's not mispriced. where on the gop side trump has at least passed the first test and has people out there willing to vote for him -- there was some doubt after iowa, but sanders, we haven't seen can he win states that are not very white and not very liberal? maybe he can.
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nevada seems to be close and we haven't seen that much information that would make you update your priors. he also has to win with little spare. clinton will probably win on the face of superdelegates. if you are an underdog in a football game and you lose unless you win by more than a field goal, that reduces your win probability quite a bit. if you are the favorite, maybe it wouldn't, but it is tricky. tend toerdogs win, they win narrowly. when clinton wins some of the races she should have won or after further review, we'll have overtime quarters 15%,ad, i think 10 or
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somewhere in that range is probably right. tyler: let's turn to a nobler endeavor, sports. you are a fan of baseball. of all the different baseball records, which is the one most impressive to you or the most statistical aberration. try to stay a bit modern. with wilson's 36 triples. statisticallyst impressive baseball record? i think the number of intentional walks very bonds drew. next closest players 50. no other place i can think of and sports with a recordholder has three times the sum total of the nearest highest player. tyler: do streaks impress you
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more or less than most people? joe dimaggio, cal ripken -- two no-hitters in a row, when will that be done again? simple answer may not have been correct, but there was a lot of talk for the the hot hand theory and how it was false and how basically, things are random. it's a classmate -- a classic mistake. you may mistake and ambiguous result for a negative result instead. is somers there streaking us -- some streakine ss. and now we are
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getting data that is less noisy, so we get data for major hitters -- how hard the ball comes off their back. unpublished research a colleague of mine is doing, but it looks like it may be can predict batting average up or down or they sever jumped 2030 points from a baseline, which in baseball terms is pretty relevant. if he is 340, he should maybe be demoted down instead. things true of a lot of where the first cut from data is overly simplified. what is the strongest piece of data based evidence we have that sports analytics work?
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is run by arockets s intensive guy and seems to be supersmart. which of their two star players should they trade and they may not even make the playoffs? how good is the best regression showing data analytics even work in sports? the golden state warriors might be one of the best examples. let's say it increases your variance so the good examples will look very good, but as a predict or, how hard should we be selling it? nate: you have talked about how hard it is to beat markets, so there's a little bit of this and sports. a colleague of mine just wrote a book that isn't published yet. miller were given
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ownership of a minor league team in sonoma, california and they had cart lunch but encountered baseball culture in a very head-on way. it was a very insecure if theeague, but baseline is making half your decisions right and you make 55% of your decisions right or 53% right because you are using analytics, that's a big gain at in a sport as noisy as baseball, it's going to take a lot of time to show up. basketball is less noisy, but friendly and the rockets and the warriors -- i think that's probably the best example. let me ask you about a sport i find totally baffling -- soccer. there's not much of a natural
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time unit and not many points. there are assists and they are not always well-defined. defenses more confusing than cricket to this american, yet market salaries are determined, the small amount of data we have seems to predict salaries very well. paves a that soccer normal ways, does this mean we could get it done with limited data or does it mean having data doesn't help us that much and all of sports is like soccer and we are just throwing up our hands saying that it might as well be cricket? nate: i feel like i'm answering all your questions the same way, which is analysis is far from perfect. you will make lots of mistakes. pretty good is hard to beat sometimes and the heuristics that develop about how to value players at different positions
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they don't value goalkeepers all that much, which the analytics seems to bear out. i think in soccer, we are at the very early stages and there hasn't been much data collected at all. it's like the nba where you have blocks and steals and crew defensive stats. for espnthe system where the only data that has been kept long-term is goals and bookings. assists like we have until recently or tackles. you could maybe get time on the hit -- time on the pitch if we parse, but there's a lot of room for up word improvement in soccer. we live in a global economy with -- why don't more
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learn the knuckleball? the pay is pre-. people put labor into a lot of endeavors, but why not more knuckleball's? why is that not a more regularized statistical process? there are diminishing returns for the number of knuckleballer's in the league. nickelu have a second ball when you already have ra dickey which affects the success of both pictures, i think there's a second thing which is that sports tends to engender conformism. a lot of walks of life do and that is the whole tension. usually pretty good. there are powerful biases to conform. tyler: so trump is like the
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knuckleballer of politics? nate: that's not bad. tyler: he throws the knuckleball at jeb bush and jeb bush gets half old. nate: the other way to think about is when you have something unusual, there's a bigger error bar around it. think trump is going to get less of the vote than someone who is higher than him in the polls, but he has a much longer tail on the other side, so that's not a reason to not the dismissive of him, at least when everyone else was a long shot. tyler: we do a little game called underrated versus overrated. i'm going to name a few things and you tell me if you think you are underrated -- if they are underrated or overrated. upper east side, overrated or underrated? are they really that happy in
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seinfeld and how do they afford that apartment anyway? [laughter] nate: i think a little overrated but look -- new york is extremely efficiently priced. in new york magazine, we tried to say what is the best neighborhood and the problem is with ourunts for .93 quality index. it is really hard to improve your lot in new york, at least at the neighborhood level. it's hard to find good hole in the wall places to eat. i judge everything by food. 4th avenue is six locks long. overrated or underrated? nate: underrated. it is short but it's in a dynamic section of town. tyler: even with all the used
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book stores closed down? nate: length isn't everything. tyler: the idea of legalizing drugs -- overrated or underrated? nate: by this crowd, probably rated properly. [laughter] i'm enough of a lowercase l libertarian where i think the government ought to have a stronger reason to intervene in choices people are making an set of a lesser reason. it clearly makes no sense to treat marijuana as being a more serious substance than alcohol, for example. i don't think in my heart of hearts, if i were running for office or in the senate, that i would vote for a bill to legalize heroin or cocaine, but decriminalize in it, perhaps. thei don't know --
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consequentialist case for a long overrated and may be too far in the other , yoution, if it is closed give people the choice. group, my musical bloody valentine. they put out an album in 2013 after a 20 year hiatus. overrated or underrated? nate: the group or the album? the group is one of my favorite bands. i think the elements properly rated. tyler: singapore? overrated or underrated? nate: underrated except by you. i saw exactly why you would like it. it has great food. it's like a laboratory experience. singapore, if you have a few
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constraints that might seem slightly strange, maybe having a few strange constraints is ?elpful my sister lived in germany for a while and was like if you are and they areshop going to close at 4:00, it doesn't matter if you have a huge line of groceries, the shop will close down and you have to put your stuff back and you can come back tomorrow, which kind of seems irrational. has weird quirks and constraints yet seems to be doing fairly well in certain ways. or scandinavia or something. if you give up a little freedom lyric -- i a bjork thought i could organize freedom, how scandinavian of may. tyler: i have a compound question. free up -- feel free to touch on what you want.
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one is sports, when his fantasy sports and one is gambling. they are all interrelated but what do these do for us? how socially productive are they? a comparable , but what is the externality on that? what is your view? one of the things about fantasy football is that you get a lot out of it. yourially as you get into 30's and 40's, you get to watch a lot of games with a routing interest, the thing about daily fantasy sports is a lot of that is taken away.
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basically it had a program that would generate high-scoring lineups. then you scrape the data and blow it up 200 lines at a time and it took all the joy out of it. but that's not what you are asking, right? tyler: right. [laughter] nate: i think -- tyler: what if people just watched sports? if it's a good game, i enjoy it. i don't deal i need rotisserie. i want to read you or your people at 538. if they are good players, i'm happy. what am i missing? gambling and fantasy sports are a good way to teach applied analytics. i think it has humbly immeasurable benefit to society.
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likehis is a case where on drug legalization, where there are not a lot of countries where drugs like marijuana are there even rarely, people are much more relaxed about gambling and it is normalized and you can go to the vetting shops and place a bet and it doesn't seem to ruin society. the occasional betting scandal, i think it's a way for people to enjoy sports and develop article thinking skills. if it is close, let people do it and i feel that way about gambling, but you do have examples of many westernized countries where spending on sports is legal and there seems
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not to be grave societal harm. website 538un the -- you found it and took it to espn. what would you say is the most important thing you've learned about managing? strategies are three of management when you have a disagreement with one of your employees. up.of which is you can give you can say i'm not going to pick this battle to fight because there's a consequence to lowering this person's morale, so you can capitulate. sorry, i'mt and say the one who signs your checks. this is a line of authority and we are not going to publish that article. and you can try to persuade
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instead. that sounds perfect except persuasion is time-consuming. figuring out which of those three asked to use and what , i foundimportant there's a little more value in micromanagement than i thought. going to spend a lot of time going into detail -- i guess mentoring is one way to put it. tyler: which sports coach or manager are you most like question mark who do you draw inspiration from? i'm laissez-faire, but when i weigh in on something, i way and pretty directly.
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you basically have two pick your battles a little bit and hire really well. it's a culture of journalists and journalists are strange and wonderful people. have to trust people to make their own decisions. a big thing is which of my in my staff, which -- what is my agreement ratio to them? agrees withone that you 80% of the time and 20% of the time they don't agree with you, they are right as often as not. if they are a sycophant, it is probably bad. 60%, you may as well do the work yourself.
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you mentioned food. let's take a dative -- a data intensive look at food. what is an underrated statistic about restaurants that you advocate others consult in this endeavor? nate: this is fairly basic, but if you are looking at yelp board trip advisor, the number of reviews is a better signal than the average star rating. especially relative to how long a place has been open. you are drawing from a diverse segment of people, every book on amazon gravitates toward having four stars. 9/11 conspiracy books are rated well on amazon because only the conspiracists bother to read them.
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fellow or mcbeth, everyone reads and a lot of kids had to read it for homework and will leave a bad review potentially. but that's more acute than people might realize when it they to restaurants, where may draw on people who may not ike that cuisine as much or used to do more yelping and stuff like that. if i go to a mom-and-pop place in a small town and it's not very good, there's almost no way i'm going to leave a negative review. i don't want to hurt anyone's healings -- and there are studies showing that yelp reviews, a one star yelp review can cost thousands of dollars in business for a restaurant with less than 50 reviews. tyler: in new york city, is there better food on the avenues were on the streets? nate: i read you on this -- new
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york is weird. there are three new york's from a culinary perspective. there are the rich, michelin starred new york, there's the hip soho and williamsburg new york, and there's ethnic new york for lack of a better turn -- lack of a better term. making sure you have a list from all three types, there are some rules that will work well in some of those planes that don't work well in the others. in the high-end restaurants, it's so competitive that your rule about ordering the weirdest thing on the menu, that's probably not true because it's so hyper competitive that the menu could not afford to lead people astray.
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it might not be true if you go to queens or something like that where pound for pound, the food is probably better than manhattan or brooklyn. you could write a whole book and maybe i will -- especially if election, i will write about the heuristics of eating in new york. write the quantitative history of new york eating and that would of my favorite books. forecast. over why is that end is this even true? it is true the further downstream you go. the local meteorologist here in virginia or washington on tv -- tyler: they are trying to scare us.
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governmentata that reduces is very well celebrated and doesn't have a wet bias. do, bute a few that going from someone who was a total outsider to someone who risk, to aputational first approximation, it might make someone a worse forecaster. another thing about the trump thing i have been taking about -- i have been thinking about, my early view that trump had a low chance, not zero, but very low, was not based on any formal model. bad model fairly thing is it good
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commits you to rules. instead of saying early polls aren't very addictive and trump , it pins yout win down and says early polls are not predictive but at one point, it will become more predictive. after paris and san bernardino, how significant is that? -- ive an answer set of think it's may more helpful than people would think. the long way of saying that is i'm not sure i'm any better than unless i havendit a model. doing your thinking in advance is probably quite important. i have a question about
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the economics and sociology of sports. you may have thought about this but i'm struck by the relatively small number of professional athletes who have come out as being gay. in hollywood, it's a lot of people and even in washington, which is a conservative town. i wouldn't say it's a lot of people, but it happens in a quiet way. in sports, why is there so little? if we applied some sort of mystical model, which sports would you expect to see the new breakthroughs come? nate: i'm sure there are a lot of athletes in the closet. i don't assume that it is 4% or 5%. i assume it is a fair amount lower than that. i think people forget about how much the economics change when you talk about people who are in
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.00% of something. recently, growing ifgay is something that was not traumatic, at least required a lot of bandwidth. it requires a lot of energy. that there's data about how hockey players who are born in january, just because they start a little earlier than their peer group, that's a very powerful effect versus being born in november or december instead. minor can haveat that profound a -- profound and effect? that is a competitive disadvantage.
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maybe there are correlations on what kind of skills people have, i don't know but we will see. is as it becomes people whoized, and are growing up in middle school and high school, where being gay is not as much of a disadvantage, you would there to be substantially more gay athletes. in which sport will that happen first? we see a bit of it in women's tennis. individual sports over team sports? would think in tennis and golf you might see it first. talent is soe manifest and one player can make such a difference. come out as could
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gay tomorrow and it probably would not hurt his contract at all. tyler: but it could hurt endorsements. hurt in dolls -- endorsements. not about the marketing sports is still a very conformist culture. morenk it's a little individualistic in the nba as a culture and guys are free to express themselves more. listen to baseball players talk. they are boring as hell. durant -- these guys are smart -- tyler: kareem abdul-jabbar. nate: i think that's where you may see it relatively soon. let me ask you a general question about forecasting. i see a lot of money managers.
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point about basic interest rates and made billions , but now it's not obvious he and his team could do better than anyone else. do you believe that in an age when a consumer stocks are taking off. warren buffett -- worked well for a while, a lot of failure in recent times. is it possible, like the true model is always shifting and there's a selection bias were forecasters are elevated and they have their run and in the true model shifts and what they are good at isn't valued and we replace them with other forecasters. as our best forecaster, do you worry about this? nate: sure. even if you are skeptical about the efficiency of markets, if you have a great gig and you are picking up $100 bills off the
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if you can extend that by three or five years adapting and evolving, that is on the extreme high-end, i think. long or five years is a and fortunate run. but that's part of why even though now we are immersed in the election cycle, i want to make sure 538 was not just an election site. are going to blow election center later and we might blow this one. to do a whole diverse array of things intellectually and commercially is important. are the people who have the skills to find the next under weighted opportunity and maybe that is trickier, but a lot of people have one or two really good insights. that can really take you a long way.
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clear that stock market volatility is correlated over time. saying another way of those returns are hard to forecast. it's already a big surprise to me and to a lot of people. could it be the case we are entering a new era where political volatility is high and all forecasters will be much worse than they are doing? nate: it is possible. what people take to be equilibrium baseline conditions .ay have been an outlier you have a relatively stable long been politics and economics from the 90's through the early 2000's and that could potentially reverse itself to looking at examples outside the united states is instructive.
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more a believer in american exceptionalism than i thought, but you see constituencies in different -- maybeeurope that america just got really lucky for 50 years. there's a hypothesis that in some ways, the world is getting weirder. like planes used to crash a lot more and we've invested more resources to make planes safer. i just read in the "wall street journal" that there were zero deaths in jetliner crashes except intel attacks. we have things like malaysian air disappears, so the event lefte talk about, we are with only the weird ones. are we headed toward a future
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where we are only talking about weird, very hard to forecast offense because we get good at avoiding a lot of problems and mistakes? for sure, right? as a metaphor i use in the book where one of the problems with isparing how shortstops play you evaluate players who are on the edge of their range. can they make a spectacular diving catch? everyone is equally good at the edge of their range, but how much territory do they cover in between? range we canacular miss. it's probably one reason why i like when we forecast sports. you have a chance to build up your sample size. the wizards versus cavaliers. counts and you get hundreds
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of those over the course of the season whereas in politics, you can have more drawn to the spectacular and weird events and a lot of models are good models arewhen fairly normal and don't deal with the edge cases because they are fully designed or you have small sample sizes or whatever else. with thedo models deal weird cases, i'm not sure. maybe the advantages and the baseline cases. tyler: other than skilled with data, what are the qualities of good predictors? i think you have to have a certain mistrust of conventional wisdom. that smart. i'm not
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this room is way smarter than me and the market is way smarter than me. at the same time, people are social beings and behave in herds sometimes. it's easier in politics than almost any other field because the political press corps literally is kind of a herd. you have a few hundred journalists who travel around and are talking to one another and reading each other, it's not like 500 really smart people, it is one or two really smart people and 489 followers instead. we get ourselves a little bit of we are at 538 because fairly combative. my personality and i otherthere are sides and sides of the same coin.
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when you read "the new york times" or "the post" -- not basic factual statements where they say donald trump was in arizona, but when there is a piece of analysis that is not necessarily obvious to say, boy there might be a 40% chance that is basically wrong. that leaves you in a weird place. of skepticism that we have and they source of our failings sometimes. tyler: let me get to the question most folks want to hear. who will be the next president of the united arab emirates? [laughter] this is a trick question because it's a hereditary hierarchy. forecasting poorly the arab spring and did poorly
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forecasting isis. they call you in and say what variables should we be looking at to understand the middle east -- i know it is a tough will be thet who next president of the united arab emirates? a black swan or a regularized process? i don't know that much about international politics to flew via emirates airlines. that's the extent of my knowledge about the uae. tyler: four more years out, this nation, what is your best pick for who will be elected president? nate: who will be president in 2020? the boring pick is probably hillary clinton, still. tyler: and next best pick?
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betweenthink it's close donald trump and marco rubio. although i think trump might be a one term or. tyler: if that. who is the most likely next vice president? kasich seems tailor-made for the vice presidential. think hillary you clinton wins, he's the single most appropriate to be vice president? nate: hillary has a long list to pick from and tactical objectives, a shorter list for the gop. tyler: can we apply analytics to get to the next supreme court pick might be? nate: there are some fledgling attempts -- this is also a case
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where we are in a sample size of zero. you have a nominee very likely to be confirmed but there are high political stakes. be sriformed guess would srinavasan. this is just a hunch but neither -- in either open someone with unimpeachable credentials and makes republicans look very unreasonable or he makes a pick that trolls republicans and plays to the democratic base. i'm more of a believer in the former as obama's mode of doing things. i think he would have someone who just be at the risk of p issing off the liberal base but
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the republicans would look ridiculous opposing him as compared to the other way around. tyler: my last question -- we have a lot of the same interests , sports and in a broad sense, politics. you've taken a lot of trips, some for work and some for vacation. if you apply data analysis to learntrips, what do you about what makes for a good trip and what can you do or what can we all do to have better trips? i just love travel so much. i had an unintended experiment where i went to hawaii two christmases ago. for some reason, i sat on my phone and my phone didn't work. we were flying through portland for some reason. the day i was important -- the
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day i was in portland, we flew to this strip mall at the edge of town and you have to wait two hours to replace your phone. i didn't have a phone in hawaii and it was the most amazing thing. you have repeated that experience each subsequent trip? nate: no. [laughter] i was in thailand this past christmas and i hate to build the primary election models, so a little bit of work, working reduces yourme enjoyment by 70%. tyler: here's how we are going to do questions. we have two microphones, one on each side. nate toe questions for speak to, not statements. if you start making a speech or statement, i will cut you off, even though we do not have kareem abdul-jabbar here. please just ask a question.
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time to introduce yourself and nate will respond. i will start over here, first question, please. talked earlier about super forecasters and i'm wondering if you've ever considered incorporating the work of super forecasters into 538? nate: you mean the guys who wrote the book? >> getting a market of super forecasters to help you make your market. i guess i find crowdsourcing sort of boring. as a journalist, i find it during. even know if you are in a business setting, it is exactly what you should do. we are doing that a little bit with the oscars this year. we found eight different people who created different models and we are seeing how well they do.
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sufficientjust a sample size to deal with something like that. i'm very process driven as a person and a lot of the joys and thinking through the process of it, reading through pretty useless, but to publish the projections is almost besides the point in the sense that you are dealing with sample sizes that are too .mall to tell you all that much when you start to do that, it takes away from thinking about the process and heuristics for forecasting. it's an unsatisfying answer. tyler: we have printed out a lot here, so therens is plenty you can ask about. >> thank you for coming.
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if it winds up being clinton versus trump, is that the first time we've had to candidates with the highest unfavorables going against each other? nate: i would think so. romney was basically rake even when he was nominated, as obama was. is clinton is -10 and trump -25 or something like that. there will probably be some reversion to the mean in some cases. why, ir, one reason would -- remember, one reason why -- i would say trump is a fairly heavy underdog. but it is a conditional probability. conditional on having won the g.o.p. nomination, trump will
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have had to display some staying power and acumen. he will have to get beyond 35% to win 50% or so. and probably will have done something to improve his image with people who are not in his core constituency. it would be unprecedented certainly. i wonder if he has to adjust. in baseball, you have to adjust stats for the era. if you're in the home run or steroid era, the home run does not matter as much. like maybe now obama with the 48%, would be like 56% park adjusted rating. [laughter] nate silver: i am not sure, maybe. tyler: next question. >> my name is tom. he brought up the question about how much data people want. does the amount of data people want, is that influenced by the way data is presented? the second part would be, what advice would you give as far as presenting data or visualizing it? nate silver: visualizing it might be some of the advice. people seem to learn better from visualization. one thing i think a lot about as a journalist is preferring simple models to more complicated models. there are other virtues of simple models.
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people can also take it too far. as a journalist to have something i can say this is a benchmark and i understand what it is doing, and i can what it is doing, and i can also understand what the limitations of it might be. i kind of know which direction to lean relative to that baseline. i think that is more useful than to just say we fed some data into a random number generator or a magic machine, and here is what it spent out. for example, i highly prefer regression-based modeling to machine learning where you cannot really explain anything. to me, the whole value is in the explanation. i do think likewise when you explain and say we have the same
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interest in mind, to say this is pretty simple when you start peeling away the b.s. to me, that approach works a lot better in the long run than the approach of saying arguments from authority, this is rigorous and empirical. explain to people why it is not that complicated and why you're making defensible assumptions, how that leads you to an answer that might surprise some. tyler: next question. >> frank mannheim school of policy. could you put numbers on the criteria to elect presidents? for example, emotions, personal acquaintance, rational concepts, information, and so on.
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nate silver: the kind of classic political science answer is people are deeply concerned about the economy. the economy might make up 50% or so of what people vote about. there is room to dispute that. leaving that aside for now, i don't know. i guess one of the reasons why i was initially skeptical about trump is america has a history of not nominating candidates and electing candidates who are blatantly unfit for office. [laughter] >> i have a follow-up question to that. tyler: we are in the state of virginia. to the best of my knowledge, you are the only person to have calculated correctly the chance if you are a voter in virginia your vote will sway a presidential election. nate silver: individual voter?
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tyler: what is the chance your vote in the state of virginia will matter? if you don't remember, i do. it is from your paper. nate silver: 10% divided by 4 million. tyler: one out of 10 million, the highest of any state. if you are going to vote anywhere, vote here. next question. >> tyler o'neill, a reporter with p.j. media. you mentioned how difficult it is, the weakness of empirical models when predicting president elections. is it possible to look at congressional elections, house of representatives races, and draw more information and modeling from those? nate silver: yeah. i think we would say even though it is less sexy to predict senate races or congressional races that having larger quasi-independent samples would be the better test ultimately. even there, we saw in the senate races last year how the polls were off on average by three or four points, which is pretty bad.
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the problem is all those errors were in the same direction. republicans won a lot of races around the country they were underdogs in. virginia was almost a major upset. yeah. it is a much purer form of the exercise to do data mining on congressional elections versus fundamentals and whatever else. tyler: next question. >> my name is harold. you mentioned some things like limited data, limited observations, nonlinearity, and things of that nature that make traditional tools difficult. what are your thoughts on more computationally intensive methods for dealing with things like herd behavior that make some of these analyses more difficult?
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nate silver: agent-based modeling is interesting. if you can simulate the underlying mechanisms, this is how weather forecasting works by the way. weather forecasting is not statistically driven. they are creating a model of the atmosphere. if you have reason to know exactly how certain people would behave and how they behave as a system, agent-based modeling could give you insights you could not get from regression analysis. if you are wrong about those assumptions, things can go very haywire in a hurry. when i am building models myself now, i spend a lot more time thinking about the edge cases.
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let's put some really weird inputs in here on the edge of plausible and see how the model response to those. maybe you have a function approximately linear. for example, if you have a model saying hillary clinton will get 106% of the vote in washington, d.c., i used to think who really cares? she is going to win d.c. anyway. she may. you can vote twice in some parts of d.c. [laughter] nate silver: now, that bothers me more. i'm trying to think more about the correct functional form of a model that would apply when the going gets weird. when the going gets weird is when things are interesting. tyler: we have four minutes left. next question. >> my name is richard, i am an intern at the house of representatives. do you believe facebook and twitter has led to possible confirmation bias and led to people choosing more extreme views of political ideologies such as socialism, nationalism, marxism?
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nate silver: perhaps. the traditional two-dimensional political spectrum is a strange and contrived thing, too. it is the result of a very messy process of coalition building between parties. i mentioned reasons to be pessimistic earlier. a reason to be optimistic as a fan of democracy is you are seeing voice given to quirkier ideologies that are no less intellectually coherent in the democratic versus republican axis we have in the united states. i kind of believe in the notion of a filter bubble where people surround themselves where they are getting like information and not confronting themselves with unpleasant facts necessarily.
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you saw that a lot during the 2012 election where the polling was a lot more straightforward, and people still were kind of cherry picking data to tell themselves romney might win. you saw democrats do the reverse in the 2014 midterms more or less. as someone who is a critic of media, i think the way people consume media is important and has probably fairly large effects on our politics. tyler: last question. >> i am a law student here. i get my coverage of the election exclusively from fivethirtyeight. i do that largely because of the unbiased nature, except for terry's unabashedly for chris christie. i noticed specifically in your debate coverage, one of the things you always mention is the mainstream media's portrayal of the debate matters more than anything else.
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when they say someone wins, that coverage carries. at the end of those pieces, you and your staff put together grades for how the candidate did. you may see where i am going with this. you strike me as someone who would rather predict than influence. do you see yourself where you could carry some weight in this election? nate silver: that is why primaries are tricky. in the general election, people are fairly sensible and retreat to their quarters. primaries are so momentum driven it is a little bit weird. i am sure people do read what we say and so forth. it is not the type of influence i want. at the same time, the fact is all news coverage is influential.
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i would say at the very least, we promise some self-awareness. we are aware the way the events are covered by the press can affect voters' views. sometimes the press can be surprised it does not go the way they expect. you can have these big feedback loops. i am surprised how difficult it is. i'm glad you read us. i think one big edge we have over the "new york times" is we can talk about the media as a political actor. we are the media, too. and i am aware of the circularity of that. frankly i think one reason why during the primary sometimes the conservative fights are more interesting to read is that they also start out being more suspicious of the media. sometimes in ways that i think are wrong, like about the polls in 2012. i think having that skepticism of the media as a political
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actor instead of a benevolent thing is the right way to do things and is reflected in our coverage. i guess sometimes at the risk of being a little bit hypocritical potentially. but we do try and be very transparent about what we think is a fact, what is an opinion, what is an analysis. kind of what is a provocation. one reason i like your blog is you have a lot of provocations. it is clear what they are. it is clear they are provocations meant to incite discussion and debate. we will have a few of those at times. speaking in the first person i think is important and breaking from the voice of god where a storm cloud descended on new hampshire today. speaking as an individual trying
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to understand what the objective world is like this a lot of what we are all about. i think that should be reflected at least in the tone and approach of our coverage, even where we wind up getting things wrong in the end. tyler: here is nate's book. read nate's site. thank you for a great chat. [applause] announcer: c-span's coverage continues this week with campaign events in south carolina and nevada leading up to the south carolina gop primary in the nevada democratic februaryn saturday 20th our live coverage starts on saturday at 7:30 pm eastern with
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a candidate speeches and your reaction to the results. bets at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. later, senator marco rubio holds a rally in chicken, south carolina and this was an indoor town hall meeting but it has been moved outdoor since the weather so nice. the rubio campaign got a little momentum. haleysuspected that nikki will formally endorsed marco rubio tonight. you will be able to see it tonight at six him eastern. coming up tonight at 8:00 eastern -- you will be able to see it tonight at 6:00 p.m. eastern. coming up tonight at 8:00 eastern, the closing of guantanamo bay. >> guantanamo is extremely
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important to this country. -- i am worried about what it means for the country . guantanamo was established to avoid the law. the whole purpose, the bush administration considered the lot an impediment it had to avoid. if we put foreigners in a place that is technically outside of our sovereign territory, we can avoid review by the courts and we can deprive them of legal rights and unfortunately, although we won the previous corpus and the constitutional rights, the d.c. circuit has said they still don't have the rights of due process hearing if the government -- due process. if the government put them over there, they are outside of the region of the constitution in more ways. that is a horrible loophole. i find it reprehensible. i know you want the people home. i want the law corrected so the
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united states can stand by its principles and be proud of them and not try to avoid them. announcer: that entire discussion on guantanamo bay coming up tonight on c-span at 8:00 eastern. announcer: the c-span cities tour hosted by charter communications cable partners take you to greenville, south carolina to export the city's history and literary culture. on book tv. >> in september 1939, when europe went to war, our allies, primarily england and france, looked to washington, d.c. for goods and materials that they needed. so washington, d.c. looked down to the textile capital of the world. all of a sudden, government contracts came funneling in to this area asking the mills to begin producing for the war effort, initially for our
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allies. and then of course, for the united states as well. a nasa: and on american history tv -- >> we are ending right here at falls. his was a nasty spot. it is hard to believe looking at it, one of the best parks in the country. but this was really a very depressed, nasty place. it is a great story of how a community can get behind a park and start to appreciate and cherish its river and its waterfall again. announcer: watch the c-span c-span 2 book tv. sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span 3, the c-span cities tour, working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. announcer: neel kashkari, who oversaw the banking and automobile bailouts during the bush administration says that
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the big banks are still too big to fail. he is the federal reserve president of the -- of minneapolis. he says that government should break up the big banks. >> good morning, thank you all for coming. i am director of the center on fiscal and monetary policy. once upon a time, when people talk about fiscal and monetary policy, the phrase "financial stability" was either not mentioned or if it was mentioned, it was somebody else's job. but, we learned the hard way, during the global financial crisis and the great recession that global financial stability is a really important public good, and it like it or not, the federal reserve has some responsibility for at least minimizing the risk of financial instability.
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i'm very pleased this morning to welcome the new president of the minneapolis -- to talk about the subject. he has more experience in this than the ordinary person on the street. as you know, he started as a mechanical engineer and ended up at goldman sachs. he left goldman sachs because he talked his way into a job at the treasury with hank paulson. he ended up running the tarp, the troubled asset relief program. it made him famous by being on tv defending it. because that was not enough fun, he went to pimco to start and equity fund there. pimco, as you know is one of those places where you were and how people get together well to make money. after that, you and for governor of california against jerry brown. jerry brown one, case you were wondering. 60-40. but he be quite a name for himself as a republican
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candidate who actually cared about people who make less than $3 million a year. he is the new president of the minneapolis fed, the minneapolis fed have a long tradition of thinking about financial stability and banking. you'll meet later, gary stern, who is the president of the minneapolis fed for more than two decades. and in 2004, with ron feldman, wrote a book called "too big to fail." which looks pretty good at the time and looks even better from hindsight. i write is say that it was published by the brookings press. and also, i would like to welcome bruce mcclory, a former president of the minneapolis fed, and a former president of brookings. the gentleman will speak for a bit and then be joined by gary stern and don cohen, my colleague and the former vice chair of the fed. i am sorry that the weather has prevented both betsy duque and another person from getting here. it turns out is easier to get here for minneapolis than from points out. here he is. neel kashkari.
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>> thank you, david, for the kind introduction. it is great to be here and thank you to the hutchinson center for hosting us here today. thank you all for coming out. i know that there is some tough weather, washington has been hit a lot. i appreciate you bringing elements. and artist in which fellow panelists, gary stern, don cohen, chairman bernanke, and bruce. thank you all for being here. i want to remind everybody that the views and exposing today are my own and i not speaking on behalf of the federal open market committee or the bird of governors which sets regulatory and supervision policy on behalf of the federal reserve system. today, i will offer my assessment of the current status and outlook for ending the problem of too big to fail banks. i come at this problem from the perspective of a policymaker who is on the front line, responding to the financial crisis in 2008. when congress moved quickly to pass the dodd frank act, in 2010, i strongly supported the need for financial reform.
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but, i wanted to see the act implemented, before i drew firm conclusions about whether or not it solved too big to fail. in the last six years, my colleagues across the federal reserve system have worked diligently, under the reform framework that congress established, and are fully utilizing the available tools under the act to address too big to fail. while significant progress has been made to strengthen the financial system, i believe that the act did not go far enough. i believe that the biggest banks are still too big to fail, and continue to pose an ongoing, large risk to our economy. enough time has passed that we better understand the causes of the crisis and yet, it is still fresh in our memories. now, is the right time for congress to consider going further than dodd frank, with bold, transformational solutions to solve this problem once and for all. the federal reserve bank of minneapolis is launching a major
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initiative to develop an actionable plan to end too big to fail. and we will deliver our plan to the public by the end of the year. ultimately, congress must decide whether such a transformational restructuring of our financial system is justified, in order to mitigate the ongoing risks posed by large banks. although too big to fail banks were not the sole cause of the recent financial crisis and the great recession, there is no question that their presence at the center of our financial system contributed significantly to the magnitude of the crisis, and to the extensive damage inflicted across the economy. given the scale of job losses, home foreclosures, lost his savings, and cost to taxpayers, regulators and main street of great with elected leaders that we must solve the too big to fail problem. we know that markets make mistakes. that is unavoidable and an innovative economy. but these mistakes cannot be allowed to endanger the rest of the country. when roughly 1000 savings and loans failed in the late 1980's, there was no risk of an economic
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collapse. when the technology bubble burst in 2000, it was very painful for silicon valley and for technology investors, but it did not pose a systemic risk to our economy. large banks must similarly be able to make mistakes, even very big mistakes, without requiring taxpayer bailouts and without triggering widespread economic damage. that must be our goal. since 2008, legislators and regulators have worked hard to address the too big to fail problem. my colleagues in the federal reserve system, working closely with other financial regulators, have implemented important tools and regulations that are making the financial system stronger. regulators have forced large banks to hold more capital, and have deeper, more resilient sources of liquidity. our stress test, check with the most systemically important institution, can withstand a serious shock to the economy. in some cases, institutions have responded to these higher regulatory requirements by
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reducing certain activities. considerable progress has been made and these are steps in the right direction. but regulators know that despite these best efforts, banks will still sometimes make mistakes and run into trouble. to ensure that banks can fail without requiring massive taxpayer bailouts, regulators are using the living will review process to try to address the hurdles that make large banks so hard to resolve. they are establishing a resolution approach intended to give regulators the ability to restructure large banks without massive spillovers, and they have for those requiring large banks to issue debt that would help recapitalize the firm if necessary. all of these measures are sensible. policymakers are committed to seeing this important efforts through. the question is, should we be satisfied with this approach, or should we do more? the lessons i learned during the 2008 financial crisis, strongly influenced my assessment of new regulatory measures to address the too big to fail problem. i learned in the crisis that
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determining which firms are systemically important, which are too big to fail, depends on economic and financial conditions. in a strong, stable economy, the failure of a given bank might not be systemic. the economy and financial firms and markets might be able to withstand a shock from such a failure without much harm to other institutions, or to families and businesses. that in a weak economy, with skittish markets, policymakers will be very worried about such a bank failure. after all, that failure might trigger contagion to other banks and causing widespread downturn. thus, although the size of an institution, its connections to other institutions, and its importance to the plumbing of the financial system, are all relevant in determining whether or not it is too big to fail. there is no simple formula that defines what is systemic. i wish there were.
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it requires judgment from policy to assess conditions of the time. i know this is unsatisfactory to many people, but it is the truth today. perhaps, one day we will have better tools to make this determination analytically. a second lesson for me from the 2008 crisis is that almost by definition, we will not see the next crisis coming. and it will not look like what we might be expecting. if we are recognizing an imbalance in the economy, market participants would likely take action to protect themselves. when i first went to the treasury in 2006, treasury secretary henry paulson directed his staff to work with financial regulators at the federal reserve and at the securities and exchange commission, to look for what might trigger the next crisis. based on his experience, we were due for a crisis because markets had been stable for several years. we look at a number of scenarios, including a large bank, an individual large bank running into trouble. or a hedge funds, suffering large losses. among other scenarios.
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we do not consider a nationwide housing downturn. we do not see it, it seems obvious now, but we do not see it and we were looking. we must assume that other policy makers in the future will not see future crises coming either. a finalist in from the crisis is that the externalities of large bank failures can be massive. i am not talking about just a fiscal cost of bailouts, even with the 2008 bailouts, the cost of society from the financial crisis in terms of lost jobs, lost income, and lost wealth, were staggering. many trillions of dollars and devastation for millions of families. failures of large financial institutions as massively asymmetric risks to society that policymakers must consider. we had a choice in 2008. spend taxpayer money to stabilize large banks, or don't. and potentially, trigger many trillions of additional cost to society. a very crude analogy is that of a nuclear reactor. the cost to society of letting a
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reactor meltdown is astronomical. given that cost, governments will do whatever they can to stabilize the reactor before they lose control. regulatory reforms since the crisis have focus both on making bank safer, so they are less likely to fail, and on grading tools to resolve troubled banks by imposing losses on accreditors without destabilizing the economy. based on lessons from the recent crisis, i evaluate these restructuring tools asking the following questions -- what policymakers responding to a future crisis actually use them? and how likely are they to be effective? to answer these questions, i consider to scenarios, first, an individual large bank runs into trouble while the economy and financial system are otherwise sound and strong. and number two, one or more large banks running into trouble, while there is broader weakness and risk in the global economy. my assessment of these tools under the first to, the healthy
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economy scenario, is that they do have the potential to deal with the failure of an individual, large financial institution without requiring a bailout, or triggering widespread economic damage. we must acknowledge the largest bank can fail. even then we won't know how effective these tools can be. i'm far more skeptical that these tools will be useful to li


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