The word’s the thing

Words are important in statistics. When statistician Ronald Fisher fought his famous war of ideaswith Karl Pearson in the 1920s, he was careful to attach loaded words to his newly coined technical definitions – words such as ‘efficient’, ‘sufficient’ and ‘consistent’. The language helped build support for the mathematical ideas. The modern world of cutting-edge financial statistics – the world of risk measures and capital allocation – is not that different.

The term ‘value-at-risk’ carried all

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