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

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Pub. Date:
2013.
Language:
English
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After the economic meltdown of 2008, Warren Buffett famously warned, "beware of geeks bearing formulas." But as James Weatherall demonstrates, not all geeks are created equal. 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-sic̈le Paris to Rat Pack-era Las Vegas, from wartime government labs to Yippie communes on the Pacific coast, 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. Weatherall reveals the people and ideas on the cusp of a new era in finance. We see a geophysicist use a model designed for earthquakes to predict a massive stock market crash. We discover a physicist-run hedge fund that earned 2,478.6% over the course of the 1990s. And we see how an obscure idea from quantum theory might soon be used to create a far more accurate Consumer Price Index. Both persuasive and accessible, The Physics of Wall Street is riveting history that will change how we think about our economic future.
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ISBN:
9780547317274
9781452692272
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 56d9c9b2-1127-be37-b5fc-9348a7131beb
full_title physics of wall street a brief history of predicting the unpredictable
author weatherall james owen
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-06-03 04:50:03AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Griffith, Kaleo.
author Weatherall, James Owen.
author-letter Weatherall, James Owen.
author2 Griffith, Kaleo., hoopla digital.
author2-role Griffith, Kaleo.|Narrator, hoopla digital.
author_additional James Owen Weatherall.
author_display Weatherall, James Owen
availability_toggle_catalog Available Now, Available Online, Entire Collection
available_at_catalog Commerce City, Perl Mack
bisac_subject BUSINESS & ECONOMICS, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Investments & Securities / General, Business & Economics / Economics / General, SCIENCE / Chaotic Behavior in Systems, SCIENCE / Physics / Mathematical & Computational
callnumber-a HG4910
callnumber-first H - Social Science
callnumber-subject HG - Finance
callnumber_sort_catalog BUSINESS
date_added 2012-05-09T06:00:00Z
days_since_added 1931
detailed_location_catalog Commerce City - Adult Nonfiction, Perl Mack - Adult Nonfiction
display_description After the economic meltdown of 2008, Warren Buffett famously warned, "beware of geeks bearing formulas." But as James Weatherall demonstrates, not all geeks are created equal. 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-sic̈le Paris to Rat Pack-era Las Vegas, from wartime government labs to Yippie communes on the Pacific coast, 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. Weatherall reveals the people and ideas on the cusp of a new era in finance. We see a geophysicist use a model designed for earthquakes to predict a massive stock market crash. We discover a physicist-run hedge fund that earned 2,478.6% over the course of the 1990s. And we see how an obscure idea from quantum theory might soon be used to create a far more accurate Consumer Price Index. Both persuasive and accessible, The Physics of Wall Street is riveting history that will change how we think about our economic future.
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edition Unabridged.
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geographic Wall Street (New York, N.Y.)
geographic_facet United States, Wall Street (New York, N.Y.)
grouping_category book
id 56d9c9b2-1127-be37-b5fc-9348a7131beb
isbn 9780547317274, 9781452692272
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local_callnumber_catalog BUSINESS i
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local_days_since_added_catalog 1931
num_holdings 2
owning_library_catalog All Anythink Libraries
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physical 1 online resource (1 audio file (600 min.)) : digital., xviii, 286 p. ; 25 cm.
popularity 3
primary_isbn 9780547317274
publishDate 2013
publishDateSort 2013
publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, Tantor Audio ,
rating 2.5
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subject_facet BUSINESS & ECONOMICS -- Finance, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Investments & Securities / General, Business, Business & Economics / Economics / General, SCIENCE / Chaotic Behavior in Systems, SCIENCE / Physics / Mathematical & Computational, Securities -- United States, Wall Street (New York, N.Y.)
table_of_contents Primordial seeds -- Swimming upstream -- From coastlines to cotton prices -- Beating the dealer -- Physics hits the street -- The prediction company -- Tyranny of the dragon king -- A new manhattan project.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The physics of Wall Street : a brief history of predicting the unpredictable
title_display The physics of Wall Street : a brief history of predicting the unpredictable
title_full The physics of Wall Street : a brief history of predicting the unpredictable / James Owen Weatherall, The physics of wall street : a brief history of predicting the unpredictable [electronic resource] / James Owen Weatherall
title_short The physics of Wall Street :
title_sort physics of wall street a brief history of predicting the unpredictable
title_sub a brief history of predicting the unpredictable
topic BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Investments & Securities / General, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS Finance, Business, Business & Economics / Economics / General, SCIENCE / Chaotic Behavior in Systems, SCIENCE / Physics / Mathematical & Computational, Securities United States, Wall Street (New York, N.Y.)
topic_facet Business, Securities