Books

Dark Pools

Scott Patterson

Dark Pools is the pacy, revealing, and profoundly chilling tale of how global markets have been hijacked by trading robots – many so self-directed that humans can’t predict what they’ll do next.It’s the story of the blisteringly intelligent computer programmers behind the rise of these ‘bots’. And it’s a timely warning that as artificial intelligence gradually takes over, we could be on the verge of global meltdown.

‘Scott Patterson has the ability to see things you and I don’t notice.’ Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New York Times bestselling author of Antifragile, Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan

The Quants

Scott Patterson

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.

The Quants

Scott Patterson

How would you feel if you outperformed the market, year after year?
Would you become convinced that the good times were here to stay, that nothing could possibly go wrong?
And how would you then feel if everything suddenly collapsed around you?

Quants - quantitative analysts - were the maths geniuses let loose in Wall Street's candy store, and this gripping narrative of talent and ambition follows their dizzying rise from the bottom of the Street's pecking order to its pinnacle. Their ascent was predicated on the belief that they had invented - and were fine-tuning - brilliant and impregnable computer programs that would always beat the market. Unfortunately, as the events of 2007 and 2008 showed all too clearly, these programs turned out to be ticking timebombs.

The story actually begins in the early 1960s, when a successful maths-professor-turned-gambler named Ed Thorp realised that skills learned at the Vegas tables could also be applied to the financial markets. He soon acquired followers and imitators who, over the next few decades, assumed positions of ever-greater power and influence. Clever, eccentric, often larger than life, they achieved extraordinary success and massive wealth. The Quants follows them from obscurity to boom and then to bust, explaining why they were so self-confident, and how they got it so disastrously wrong.

Biography

Scott Patterson worked for several years as a financial reporter at the Wall Street Journal. He lives in New York.