Bryan Kibbe's Reviews > The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It

The Quants by Scott Patterson
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Jun 09, 2011

it was amazing
Read in June, 2011

As someone that does not normally traffic in world of high finance or the jargon associated with it, I found this book to be fascinating and eye-opening. Patterson crafts a compelling narrative about the rise and fall of an extremely talented set of mathematicians and economists that came to dominate stock markets with quantitative modeling, sophisticated computer algorithms, and rapid fire computer based trading. Indeed, Patterson's grim conclusion suggests that perhaps the recent stock market collapse of 2007-2008 is not so much the end of "the quants," as he calls them, but rather only the signal of a new iteration of quants that may soon come to dominate Wall Street once again, and bring with them new potential for catastrophic failure of the markets. Without pomp or bombastic language, Patterson has crafted a subtle and thoughtful warning about and critique of the state of modern finance, which he deftly weaves into the narrative of those individuals that he chronicles throughout this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who finds soundbite media coverage of the economy lacking, and instead would like a more in-depth account of precisely what might have gone wrong in our economic systems over the past 5 years, or past 50 years if we really start to interrogate the genealogy of the present problems.
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