The physics of finance... or in defence of geeks
- February 14, 2013
- James Weatherall, logic & philosophy of science assistant professor, is featured in the London Evening Standard February 14, 2013
From the London Evening Standard:
The billionaire Sage of Omaha Warren Buffett famously warned in 2009 that the world should “beware of geeks bearing formulas”. More than five traumatic years on from the financial heart attack triggered by the mathematical geniuses behind a myriad of complex financial instruments - at first lucrative, then nearly fatal - many will think he has a point. Terms such as quants - those who use maths to predict stock prices - and derivatives (Buffett’s “weapons of mass destruction”) have become dirty words. But the popular perception is skewed. Many so-called geeks - such as Jim Simons, a mathematician revered by the brightest minds of Harvard and worth more than $10 billion - prospered through the carnage. His extraordinarily successful Renaissance Technologies ended 2008 up by 80% while Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway saw the worst year in its history. Enter the fearsomely intelligent US academic James Owen Weatherall, a physicist, mathematician and philosopher who in a new book, The Physics of Finance, has taken on the task of rehabilitating reputations battered by the excesses of Wall Street.
For the full story, please visit http://www.standard.co.uk/business/markets/the-physics-of-finance-or-in-....