Wednesday, July 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Monkeys could teach bankers a thing or two, researchers say

By
From page A4 | February 12, 2014 |

All jokes about monkey business aside, primate social networks provide valuable lessons that could help predict and prevent catastrophes like the global financial crisis of 2008, report UC Davis researchers.

The behaviors of captive rhesus macaque monkeys and the banking industry both comprise complex networks. In this study, the researchers propose that crises are sometimes caused by breakdowns in these internal networks rather than by disabling external forces. Catastrophic collapses could be avoided by monitoring changes in these key internal networks, they suggest.

The researchers report their findings online in the January issue of the International Journal of Forecasting.

“Admittedly, comparing monkeys to a financial system is unconventional, however, we believe the comparison is compelling,” said Fushing Hsieh, a professor of statistics and the study’s lead author.

“We argue that it’s possible to detect when a crisis is likely to set in — whether in a primate social group or an industry like banking — by modeling the evolution of the breakdowns across the system’s networks,” said co-author Oscar Jordà, a UCD economics professor and research adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Hsieh and Jordà teamed up with UC Davis Professor Brenda McCowan and project scientist Brianne Beisner, both of the School of Veterinary Medicine and California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis, to compare the two network systems.

The network models, developed from data collected on the large breeding societies of rhesus macaques housed outdoors at the primate center, are intended to help understand and subsequently prevent societal collapse in these natural monkey systems. The models were then applied, in principle, to the banking system.

The researchers first examined the power structure and significant points, or nodes, that comprise the networks in the monkey social group and applied them to comparable points and networks in the banking industry.

For example, the networks in a community of captive monkeys are based on behaviors such as mutual grooming, fighting, assisting in fights and displaying status signals such as teeth-baring.

In the banking industry, the primary activities revolve around interbank lending, loan syndication, bond-issuing services and insurance.

The researchers determined that the most significant activities within each system are those that influence other relationships.

In monkey society, for instance, teeth-baring and other status behaviors that signal who is the boss of whom comprise the fundamental, or keystone, network because they govern close, long-term relationships and aggression between individual monkeys.

“There may not be much teeth-baring in the banking industry, however we did determine that interbank lending would be the network in that system that is of comparable importance to subordination signaling in a monkey colony,” McCowan said.

These keystone networks are critically important because they significantly influence the stability of other relationships or networks within each respective system, she said.

The researchers propose that by examining changes in the connectivity patterns within the keystone network as well as the dependence patterns between each keystone network and its subsidiary networks, it’s possible to measure growing disturbances within the system, detect a mounting problem and intervene before it reaches a catastrophic tipping point.

The National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health provided funding for the study.

— UC Davis News

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Family enterprise builds a home for music

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Mosquito districts sprays tonight

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Bob Dunning: Poll dancing, direct from Las Vegas

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
Davis native named a Schweitzer Fellow

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Share your love of nature with young wetlands visitors

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

 
Movies in the Park return this fall

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

 
Center for Families hosts Summer Carnival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Vintage car show planned this fall

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

DHS Class of ’94 set 20th reunion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Tips, techniques will give you a green thumb

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Grief support focuses on journaling

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
How the Bockler wasp got its name

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Kiwanis golf tournament supports local agencies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

UC Davis alumnus hopes to bring amateur radio to Nepal

By Rachel Uda | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Recycle old paint cans for free

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

Not sure which direction to go

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Gravel mining affects us all

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Violence as entertainment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Shocked at vampires story

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Paul Krugman: Corporate artful dodgers

By Paul Krugman | From Page: A6

 
Nicholas Kristof: The world’s coolest places

By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Fiona Buck pushes the limits in para-athletics

By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s rally to win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Morse homers but Giants lose 6th straight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Nightmare on Ballpark Drive for River Cats

By Will Bellamy | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Molten art on display at Davis Arts Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Brady earns top honors at State Fair

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Smither releases new CD Saturday at The Palms

By Kate Laddish | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
RootStock kicks off ‘Día de Albariño’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Folk musicians will jam in the Arboretum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
YoloArts to host a state of change exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

UCD professor Andy Jones named Davis’ new poet laureate

By Rachel Uda | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Calvin D. Rourke

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6