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The Predictors: How a Band of Maverick Physicists Used Chaos Theory to Trade Their Way to a Fortune on Wall Street
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The Predictors: How a Band of Maverick Physicists Used Chaos Theory to Trade Their Way to a Fortune on Wall Street

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Excerpted in The New Yorker and hailed by the business press, The Predictors is destined to become a classic of its generation--an antic, subversive odyssey into a universe defined by the mystical convergence of physics and finance.

How could a couple of rumpled physicists in sandals and Eat-the-Rich T-shirts, piling computers into an adobe house in Santa Fe, hope to take o
Paperback, 309 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Holt McDougal (first published November 2nd 1999)
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3.85  · 
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 ·  138 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Tim O'Hearn
Dec 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, but the frontage of The Predictors somehow managed to encapsulate everything wrong with America’s perception of tech in the late nineties.

It contains a nefarious Inspector-Gadget-looking type staring at a laptop with a screensaver of the Wall Street signpost. For good measure, the author transposed the holographic backdrops of at least a dozen of the original 150 Pokemon cards and decided that the design looked really cool.

This is the main reason why I l
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Imagine--a small group of physicists from UC Santa Cruz who once tried to break Vegas by modeling roulette, turning their attention to the markets on Wall Street. Can they model stock market trends using physics (or at least their physics way of doing things)? Will they prove that scientists are better than the good ol' boy trading jocks at making money?

In this in-depth and exciting firsthand account of naïve Wall Street wannabes, Bass walks the reader carefully through the origins of the seemi
Erik Ferragut
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is in some sense an average of the simplistic character synopses of Patterson's Quants and the more in-depth (but still pop) mathematics of Mandlebrot's the Misbehavior of Markets. The main characters are interesting and help to tie the story together. The most interesting thing is the subtitle, which is just wrong. The subtitle is "How a band of maverick physicists used chaos theory to trade their way to a fortune on wall street." I will admit that it is about a band of physicists who ...more
Jeff Northrup
I love the idea. The book was OK but not great. If not for the endless descriptions of mundane offices and people in them between the action, the book could have been 25% shorter.

Just previous to reading this I read M. Mitchell Waldrop's Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos, which was about an overlapping group of very smart people from physics, economics and computer science who got together to form the Santa Fe Institute aimed at studying the emerging qualities of co
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book fascinated and frustrated me. Smart people figuring out how to beat the market fascinated me. The lack of a rounding off or triumphant ending frustrated me - but I guess life is not always like that. Prediction Company does still exist, however, which I take as a sign that they've done extremely well. Bass's writing style is very engaging.
Jun 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
I enjoyed much of this book, even though at times I felt it rather dense and technical. I think if you've enjoyed books like "When Genius Failed" this is one you'll enjoy too.
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting and engaging narrative - however some more detail into their actual trading systems would have been good (although there are probably good reasons why they did not want to release them).

Decent read, but would not say a must read.
Edward Monrad
Dec 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-read-trading
Not very well written and jumped around often. Also had a lot in there that could have easily been removed. Short on the details I wanted to read. But a decent read nonetheless. Some thought provoking stuff in it.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Without this book I don’t think I’d have stumbled onto quant finance, the Santa Fe institute, or complex systems for a good while. I remember this one very fondly.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important contribution to the history and evolution of the financialization of the economy. An entertaining and enlightening book.
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