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The physics of Wall Street: a brief history of predicting the unpredictable
(eBook)

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[United States] : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
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1 online resource
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After the economic meltdown of 2008, Warren Buffett famously warned, "beware of geeks bearing formulas." But while many of the mathematicians and software engineers on Wall Street failed when their abstractions turned ugly in practice, a special breed of physicists has a much deeper history of revolutionizing finance. Taking us from fin-de-siècle Paris to Rat Pack-era Las Vegas, from wartime government labs to Yippie communes on the Pacific coast, James Owen Weatherall shows how physicists successfully brought their science to bear on some of the thorniest problems in economics, from options pricing to bubbles. The crisis was partly a failure of mathematical modeling. But even more, it was a failure of some very sophisticated financial institutions to think like physicists. Models-whether in science or finance-have limitations; they break down under certain conditions. And in 2008, sophisticated models fell into the hands of people who didn't understand their purpose, and didn't care. It was a catastrophic misuse of science. The solution, however, is not to give up on models; it's to make them better. This book reveals the people and ideas on the cusp of a new era in finance, from a geophysicist using a model designed for earthquakes to predict a massive stock market crash to a physicist-run hedge fund earning 2,478.6% over the course of the 1990s. Weatherall shows how an obscure idea from quantum theory might soon be used to create a far more accurate Consumer Price Index. The Physics of Wall Street will change how we think about our economic future.

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Format:
eBook
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780547618296 (electronic bk.), 0547618298 (electronic bk.)

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After the economic meltdown of 2008, Warren Buffett famously warned, "beware of geeks bearing formulas." But while many of the mathematicians and software engineers on Wall Street failed when their abstractions turned ugly in practice, a special breed of physicists has a much deeper history of revolutionizing finance. Taking us from fin-de-siècle Paris to Rat Pack-era Las Vegas, from wartime government labs to Yippie communes on the Pacific coast, James Owen Weatherall shows how physicists successfully brought their science to bear on some of the thorniest problems in economics, from options pricing to bubbles. The crisis was partly a failure of mathematical modeling. But even more, it was a failure of some very sophisticated financial institutions to think like physicists. Models-whether in science or finance-have limitations; they break down under certain conditions. And in 2008, sophisticated models fell into the hands of people who didn't understand their purpose, and didn't care. It was a catastrophic misuse of science. The solution, however, is not to give up on models; it's to make them better. This book reveals the people and ideas on the cusp of a new era in finance, from a geophysicist using a model designed for earthquakes to predict a massive stock market crash to a physicist-run hedge fund earning 2,478.6% over the course of the 1990s. Weatherall shows how an obscure idea from quantum theory might soon be used to create a far more accurate Consumer Price Index. The Physics of Wall Street will change how we think about our economic future.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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APA Citation (style guide)

Weatherall, J. O. (2013). The physics of Wall Street: a brief history of predicting the unpredictable. [United States]: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Weatherall, James Owen. 2013. The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable. [United States]: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Weatherall, James Owen, The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable. [United States]: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Weatherall, James Owen. The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable. [United States]: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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