- 37,99 zł
You're a genius. Nobody plays the financial markets better than you. What could possibly go wrong?
Quants - quantitative analysts - were the maths masterminds let loose on Wall Street in the belief that their brilliant, impregnable computer programs would always beat the market. But as the catastrophic events of 2007 and 2008 showed, their seemingly failproof methods were little more than ticking timebombs.
Inspired by the 'Godfather of Quants' - maths-professor-turned-gambler Ed Thorp, who began applying skills learned at the Vegas tables to the financial markets back in the 1950s - the quants achieved extraordinary success and massive wealth. This book charts their rise from obscurity to boom and then to bust, explaining why they were so confident - and how they got it so disastrously wrong.
In a fast-moving narrative, Wall Street Journal reporter Patterson explores the coterie of mathematicians behind the Wall Street crash of 2008. The story's stars are "an unusual breed of investors" called quants, who "used brain-twisting math and super-powered computers to pluck billions in fleeting dollars out of the market." Following the first quant, Beat the Market author Ed Thorp, from his graduate school days in 1955, and introducing others like Peter Muller and Ken Griffin as they established funds at major investment firms, Patterson spins a fascinating story of riches amassed for a few and, inevitably, lost for many: a collapsing hedge fund, "imploding under the weight of toxic subprime assets," took down the system "like a massive avalanche started by a single loose boulder." Though his narrative is interesting and easy to follow, Patterson's explanations of investment terms are not for novices; a glossary would have helped. As he puts the excesses and failures of Wall Street into perspective, however, Patterson also offers evidence that Wall Street hasn't learned its lesson: as of spring 2009, "several banks reported stronger earnings numbers... in part due to clever accounting tricks... and other potentially dangerous quant gadgets being forged in the dark smithies of Wall Street."