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

Front Cover
Crown Publishing Group, Feb 2, 2010 - Business & Economics - 352 pages
10 Reviews
In March of 2006, four of the world’s richest men sipped champagne in an opulent New York hotel. They were preparing to compete in a poker tournament with million-dollar stakes, but those numbers meant nothing to them. They were accustomed to risking billions.  
 
On that night in 2006, these four men and their cohorts were the new kings of Wall Street.  Muller, Griffin, Asness, and Weinstein were among the best and brightest of a new breed, the quants. Over the prior twenty years, this species of math whiz--technocrats who make billions not with gut calls or fundamental analysis but with formulas and high-speed computers--had usurped the testosterone-fueled, kill-or-be-killed risk-takers who’d long been the alpha males the world’s largest casino. The quants helped create a digitized money-trading machine that could shift billions around the globe with the click of a mouse.  
 
Few realized that night, though, that in creating this unprecedented machine, men like Muller, Griffin, Asness and Weinstein had sowed the seeds for history’s greatest financial disaster.  
 
Drawing on unprecedented access to these four number-crunching titans, The Quants tells the inside story of what they thought and felt in the days and weeks when they helplessly watched much of their net worth vaporize--and wondered just how their mind-bending formulas and genius-level IQ’s had led them so wrong, so fast. 
 
With the immediacy of today’s NASDAQ close and the timeless power of a Greek tragedy, The Quants is at once a masterpiece of explanatory journalism, a gripping tale of ambition and hubris, and an ominous warning about Wall Street’s future.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
2
3 stars
3
2 stars
2
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - richjj - LibraryThing

Seemed very well researched and thorough. These were the major players who took the sophisticated world of financial trading and made it vastly more complicated. Products under trade and market models ... Read full review

Too Much about The Quants

User Review  - G491268 - Borders

As an active investor and passable mathematician I was interested in the The Quants. I remembered the LTCM debacle of a few years back and was curious to to see what parallels Patterson might draw ... Read full review

Contents

ED THORP
15
THE VOLATILITY SMILE
47
FOUR OF A KIND
64
THE WOLF
102
THE MONEY GRID
118
LIVING THE DREAM
151
I KEEP MY FINGERS CROSSED
185
THE AUGUST FACTOR
209
THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK
242
A FLAW
262
THE DEVILS WORK
289
Notes
313
Aclmowledgments
327
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

SCOTT PATTERSON is a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal covering the latest cutting-edge technological advances on Wall Street. This is his first book.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information