Brian's Reviews > Pricing the Future: The 300-Year Quest for the Equation That Changed Wall Street

Pricing the Future by George G. Szpiro
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's review
Jul 26, 12

bookshelves: from-the-economist
Recommended to Brian by: the economist
Read from July 22 to 26, 2012 — I own a copy

(3.5) Well-written history (emphasize history) of Black-Scholes

Traces the history of the formula to value stock options from the very beginning (issuing of stock, development of futures, tulipomania etc.). All good stuff, but for a few glaring typos, particularly in chapter 16 or 17 (missing words, use of a subscript instead of superscript on a particular term in text describing the formula). Some careless stuff in there.

So good history, well-told and enjoyable. But we're really light on the math here. I understand...we all want to sell books, so it's more accessible to the general public, but most of the math is at best hand-wavy. I enjoyed, but want something in between the original paper and this 'soft' version of the development of the formulation of the PDE and its solution.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by David (new)

David How do you get a recommendation from "the economist?" It's not a clickable link.

Brian That's a manually editable field on the review form (have to click to show more fields). I get them from the books the economist reviews each week.

message 3: by John E. (new)

John E. Branch Jr. Book reviews in The Economist are a good deal. I find more books I want to read reviewed there than I have time for, but at least I know about the books. I don't recall noticing this book, but I know what Black-Scholes is. Niall Ferguson included the equation itself in an article for Vanity Fair, for one thing.

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