Models. Behaving. Badly.

Models. Behaving. Badly. : Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life

3.39 (381 ratings by Goodreads)
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Now in paperback, "a compelling, accessible, and provocative piece of work that forces us to question many of our assumptions" (Gillian Tett, author of Fool's Gold). Quants, physicists working on Wall Street as quantitative analysts, have been widely blamed for triggering financial crises with their complex mathematical models. Their formulas were meant to allow Wall Street to prosper without risk. But in this penetrating insider's look at the recent economic collapse, Emanuel Derman--former head quant at Goldman Sachs--explains the collision between mathematical modeling and economics and what makes financial models so dangerous. Though such models imitate the style of physics and employ the language of mathematics, theories in physics aim for a description of reality--but in finance, models can shoot only for a very limited approximation of reality. Derman uses his firsthand experience in financial theory and practice to explain the complicated tangles that have paralyzed the economy. Models.Behaving.Badly. exposes Wall Street's love affair with models, and shows us why nobody will ever be able to write a model that can encapsulate human behavior.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 231 pages
  • 141 x 215 x 19mm | 209g
  • United States
  • English
  • Figures
  • 1439164991
  • 9781439164990
  • 109,465

Review quote

"This is a compelling, accessible and provocative piece of work, that forces us to question many of the assumptions that we work with. As Derman explains so clearly, models are not "bad" in themselves; on the contrary, they are crucial for modern society. However, they have been used in a dangerously sloppy and careless way, with sometimes terrible results. Derman explains this clearly, and draws heavily onhis own lifetime experiences - ranging from growing up in appartheid south africa, working in the scientific field and then as a financial engineer on wall street - to provide a moving and fascinating set of illustrations of these principles. The conclusion is unexpectedly otpimistic - if people choose to listen." --GillianTett, author of "Fool's Gold"
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About Emanuel Derman

Emanuel Derman is a professor at Columbia University and Director of the university's program in financial engineering. Until his retirement in 2002, he spent sixteen years at Goldman Sachs as a quant.
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Rating details

381 ratings
3.39 out of 5 stars
5 21% (80)
4 27% (102)
3 29% (109)
2 18% (67)
1 6% (23)
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