The fraud of Diederik Stapel – teacher of social psychology at Tilburg University in the Netherlands – was enormous. For years – so we know – Diederik Stapel comprised all his data now. He’d review the literature carefully, design all the studies (along with his various co-authors), create the experiments, print all the questionnaires, and then, instead of actually doing the experiments and distributing the questionnaires, made it all up. He finally because got caught, eventually, he did not even bother any more to really make up newly faked data.
There are various things I find truly impressive and puzzling about the case of Diederik Stapel. • The first one is the sheer size and (eventually) outright clumsiness of his scams. It creates me recognize that there must be dozens also, maybe hundreds of others exactly like him. They do it a bit less just, less extreme, and are a little more sophisticated about it probably, but they’re at the mercy of the very same temptations and pressures as Diederik Stapel.
Surely others surrender to them as well. He got caught because he was traveling so high, it was done by him so much, therefore clumsily. But I am speculating that for every fraud that gets captured, credited to hubris, there are at least ten other ones that don’t. • The second the first is that it was done by him at all. Of course because it is fraud, unethical, and unacceptable, but also because it sort of seems he didn’t actually need it.
You have to realize that “getting the data” is just a very small percentage of all skills and capabilities one must get published. • That’s what I find puzzling as well; that at no point he appears to have become curious whether his tests could actually work without him making it all up.
They were interesting tests; wouldn’t you sooner or later be tempted to see if they might work…? • Truly amazing I find the actual fact that he never ceased also. I assume he was addicted; addicted to the status and aura of ongoing success. • Finally, what I find truly amazing is that he was teaching the Ethics course at Tilburg University. You merely don’t up make that one; that’s Dutch irony at its best.
Thus your swap is getting smashed. 3 million in market value. Had the swap continued to be an effective hedge, this wouldn’t be a problem, because Bumpkin Airport would be saving an equivalent sum of money on plummeting short-term rates. So the VRDN itself is killing you. You are being wiped out with the swap.
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Basically, you’re deceased unless something changes. What most municipalities do was refinance the Ambac-backed offer with a fresh VRDN without that stipulation. Aside from a short period in September and October 2008, the VRDN market has been quite healthy. So once you refinance the VRDN, then your swap goes back to being truly a decent hedge.
Everything works out just fine. But if you do a new VRDN deal even, you still need a LOC from a bank or investment company. Banks aren’t so thinking about tieing up their capital to make 25bps on muni LOCs. Instead, they’ve been picking carefully who they deal with, and charging a complete lot more to do it. Even if the municipality can restructure, it isn’t out of the woods entirely. If the swap is deeply underwater in nominal market value, the municipality must post additional guarantee probably. Think of it comparable to margin posting on the futures contract.