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You're a genius. Nobody plays the financial markets better than you. What could possibly go wrong? Quants - quantitative analysts - were the maths masterminds let loose on Wall Street in the belief that their brilliant, impregnable computer programs would always beat the market. But as the catastrophic events of 2007 and 2008 showed, their seemingly failproof methods were little more than ticking timebombs. Inspired by the 'Godfather of Quants' - maths-professor-turned-gambler Ed Thorp, who began applying skills learned at the Vegas tables to the financial markets back in the 1950s - the quants achieved extraordinary success and massive wealth. This book charts their rise from obscurity to boom and then to bust, explaining why they were so confident - and how they got it so disastrously wrong.
Scott Patterson worked for several years as a financial reporter at the Wall Street Journal. He lives in New York.