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The Fear Index (Hardcover)

Author:  Robert Harris
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Format: Hardcover Large Print
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Product Details:

Format: Hardcover Large Print
ISBN-10: 161173326X
ISBN-13: 9781611733266
Sku: 226568636
Publish Date: 1/1/2012
Pages:  400
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From the Publisher:

Dr. Max Hoffman is a legend. A physicist once employed on the Large Hadron Collider, he now uses a revolutionary and highly secret system of computer algorithms to trade on the world's financial markets. None of his rivals is sure how he does it, but somehow Hoffman's hedge fund -- built around the standard measure of market volatility: the VIX or "Fear Index" -- generates astonishing returns for his investors.

But what if the algorithm is more like a mind than a computer? What if it could connive as well as place bets on Wall Street? What if it could worm its way into the records of Hoffman's hidden past and use it to destroy him? The Fear Index answers these questions in a fiendishly smart and powerfully gripping narrative -- a brilliant departure for Harris from his historical novels and perhaps his most spellbinding novel ever. Robert Harris is an international bestselling author whose work has been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Annotation:
In this thriller from Robert Harris, a scientist designs a computer program known as VIXAL, which is intended to guide hedge-fund decisions through the use of highly complex financial algorithms. In a plot twist reminiscent of the work of Philip K. Dick, VIXAL soon becomes too powerful, leading to an action-packed, cinematic climax.

Praise

"It's an energetically researched tale based on one of the back stories to the crash of 2008: bankers' hiring of physicists to devise hugely complex trading programs that few really understand, and those new strategies running dangerously amok. It's also a familiar story of hubris and its fallout." - Michiko Kakutani 01/27/2012

"If you're feeling paranoid about the future in general and the global economy in particular, you had better skip THE FEAR INDEX by Robert Harris. It could push you right over the edge.|But if you're looking for a timely, expertly executed bit of fiction, read on." - James Endrst 01/30/2012

"The climax of THE FEAR INDEX is so perfectly paced it should be read with a bag of popcorn....Like the hedge fund around which it revolves, the novel relies too heavily on formula. But like the algorithm that powers the fund, that formula works." - Sam Thielman 02/01/2012

"[t]he author revels in digressions on the operation of financial markets and Darwin's theory of natural selection. . . . Harris has done his homework on both, lifting several chilling quotations from Darwin and details of a one-day market panic from government reports on the real 'flash crash' in May 2010. Harris even goes for a touch of geek cred, showing us the first server for the World Wide Web." - John Schwartz 03/04/2012

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