Pricing the Future: Finance, Physics, and the 300-year Journey to the Black-Scholes Equation

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Basic Books, Nov 29, 2011 - Business & Economics - 298 pages
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Options have been traded for hundreds of years, but investment decisions were based on gut feelings until the Nobel Prize–winning discovery of the Black-Scholes options pricing model in 1973 ushered in the era of the “quants.” Wall Street would never be the same.

In Pricing the Future, financial economist George G. Szpiro tells the fascinating stories of the pioneers of mathematical finance who conducted the search for the elusive options pricing formula. From the broker's assistant who published the first mathematical explanation of financial markets to Albert Einstein and other scientists who looked for a way to explain the movement of atoms and molecules, Pricing the Future retraces the historical and intellectual developments that ultimately led to the widespread use of mathematical models to drive investment strategies on Wall Street.

 

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PRICING THE FUTURE: Finance, Physics, and the 300-Year Journey to the Black-Scholes Equation

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Mathematician and financial economist Szpiro (Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, From Plato to the Present, 2010, etc.) chronicles the co-evolution of modern finance, physics and ... Read full review

Contents

one Flowers and Spices
1
two In the Beginning
21
three From Rags to Riches
37
four The Bankers Secretary
55
seven Disco Dancers and Strobe Lights
109
eight The Overlooked Thesis
125
nine Another Pioneer
137
eleven Accounting for Randomness
161
thirteen The Utility ofLogarithms
181
fourteen The Nobelists
195
fifteen The Three Musketeers
211
seventeen The Harder They Fall
241
eighteen The Long Tail
255
Notes
263
Bibliography
277
Index
283

twelve The Sealed Envelope
169

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About the author (2011)

George G. Szpiro is a mathematician, financial economist, and journalist. He is the Israel correspondent of the Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung and has published in Science, Nature, and the Jerusalem Report. He is the author of Kepler's Conjecture, The Secret Life of Numbers, Poincaré's Prize, and Numbers Rule. He lives in Switzerland.

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