In part, that's understandable, considering the bullying Silver endured from the Republican commentariat.
That's why also American lefty Cathy O'Neil's smackdown on Silver catches my attention powerfully.
I haven't read Silver's book on modelling (the object of O'Neil's fury). But O'Neil makes a quite negative review of it, not on the technical aspects (which she evaluates positively, in essence), but on the general political and philosophical orientation of Silver's work.
I can't say how fair are O'Neil's criticisms of Silver's politics (or his alleged "technocrato-philia"), but I sympathize with her when she says things like these:
"We didn't have a financial crisis because of a bad model or a few bad models. We had bad models because of a corrupt and criminally fraudulent financial system.I won't pretend that I know much about the mathematical details. But what O'Neil says is evident to anyone following the news. I don't know about you, but I still remember Goldman Sachs' Fabrice Tourre's emails to his then girlfriend, made public in 2010:
"That's an important distinction, because we could fix a few bad models with a few good mathematicians, but we can't fix the entire system so easily. There's no math band-aid that will cure these boo-boos."
"Darling you should take a look at this article... Very thoughtful... More and more leverage in the system, l'edifice entier risque de s'effondrer a tout moment... Seul survivant potentiel ['the whole building risks collapsing at any moment, the only potential survivor', my translation], the fabulous Fab (as Mitch would kindly call me, even though there is nothing fabulous abt me, just kindness, altruism and deep love for some gorgeous and super-smart French girl in London), standing in the middle of all these complex, highly levered, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all the implications of those monstruosities [sic]!!! Anyway, not feeling too guilty about this, the real purpose of my job is to make capital markets more efficient and ultimately provide the US consumer with more efficient ways to leverage and finance himself, so there is a humble, noble and ethical reason for my job ;) amazing how good I am in convincing myself !!!"
Unfortunately, O'Neil's criticism itself falls short of the mark. It's not just the financial system that stinks: it's the whole capitalist enchilada that is rotten to the core.
Let's put this "monstruosity" out of its misery, before it drags us all even deeper into shit.