dimecres, 15 de juny de 2011

Llibre recomanat: "The Quants" de Scott Patterson

Interessant llibre sobre la crisi financera: "The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It".

Els "quants" són les professionals dels mercats financers que basen les seves accions en fórmules matemàtiques extremadament complicades, obscures i complexes. De fet molts quants són doctors en física, matemàtiques o enginyeria.

Apart de l'impacte que els quants (i les hedge funds dirigits per quants) han tingut en la crisi financera aquest llibre donen una visió molt interessant sobre què fan i com ho fan. Llibre recomanat en especial per aquells que els interessa els mercats financers.

La sinopsis:

In a fast-moving narrative, Wall Street Journal reporter Patterson explores the coterie of mathematicians behind the Wall Street crash of 2008. The story's stars are "an unusual breed of investors" called quants, who "used brain-twisting math and super-powered computers to pluck billions in fleeting dollars out of the market." Following the first quant, Beat the Market author Ed Thorp, from his graduate school days in 1955, and introducing others like Peter Muller and Ken Griffin as they established funds at major investment firms, Patterson spins a fascinating story of riches amassed for a few and, inevitably, lost for many: a collapsing hedge fund, "imploding under the weight of toxic subprime assets," took down the system "like a massive avalanche started by a single loose boulder." Though his narrative is interesting and easy to follow, Patterson's explanations of investment terms are not for novices; a glossary would have helped. As he puts the excesses and failures of Wall Street into perspective, however, Patterson also offers evidence that Wall Street hasn't learned its lesson: as of spring 2009, "several banks reported stronger earnings numbers... in part due to clever accounting tricks... and other potentially dangerous quant gadgets being forged in the dark smithies of Wall Street."

Pots llegir la crítica del llibre al WSJ.

P.D. Segurament l'últim que recomano sobre aquest tema - els altres tres eren "The Big Short", "The Greatest Trade Ever" i "Too Big to Fail"