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The Quants How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It (Hardcover)

Author:  Scott Patterson
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The Quants Patterson, Scott 1 of 1

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Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0307453375
ISBN-13: 9780307453372
Sku: 211425481
Publish Date: 2/2/2010
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 10.25H x 6.5L x 1.5T
Pages:  337
A gripping narrative of brilliance and hubris, "The Quants" follows the rise of 1950s-era math geniuses let loose on Wall Street--who then set in motion ever widening market catastrophes.
From the Publisher:
Documents the contributions of a team of young math geniuses who set in motion widespread market collapses, tracing the story of a 1950s gambler who applied Vegas strategies to Wall Street and his present-day successors who the author believes used math formulas and technology to trigger catastrophic market downturns.
Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Patterson pulls back the curtain on the "Quants," a group of mathematical geniuses who have been using probability formulas and high-powered computers to consistently beat the stock market for decades. According to Patterson, the "Quants" phenomenon can be traced back to the mid-1960s, when math genius Ed Thorp, who is renowned in gambling circles for being the first person to demonstrate a reliable system for beating Blackjack by counting cards, turned his attention to Wall Street, and began applying his probability statistics to the market. Sure enough, Thorp found that he could produce guaranteed profits by investing in hedge funds, and his strategy was soon being copied by fellow math savants with bigger and better computers. By the 1980s, this exclusive group of genius investors was in charge of some of the largest firms and accounts in America, having accumulated billions of dollars with increasingly specialized investment systems. However, Patterson reveals that the "Quants" played an integral role in the recent collapse on Wall Street, as they failed to adequately calculate the extent of the market's reliance on exceptionally risky mortgages.

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