Wed May 12, 2010
"The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It" (Encore presentation.)
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – (Please note: This show originally aired in February of this year.) On today's StudioTulsa, we speak with Wall Street Journal staff reporter Scott Patterson, whose new book is called "The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It." In this book, Patterson tells the story of Peter Muller, Ken Griffin, Cliff Asness, and Boaz Weinstein, four "best and brightest" young men from various backgrounds who all had genius-level IQ numbers --- and who all felt, in one way or another, that differential calculus, quantum physics, and advanced geometry held the key to reaping riches from the world's financial markets. These four men also helped to create a digitized money-trading machine that could shift billions around the planet with a single mouse-click --- a machine that nearly crashed and burned in the recent global financial crisis. "The Quants" is a book that's being praised as a brilliant work of explanatory journalism --- and as a gripping tale of ambition and hubris. It's also, as we learn on today's program, a warning about Wall Street's future.