The Predictors (Penguin Press Science)

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9780140232752: The Predictors (Penguin Press Science)
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How could a band of physicists in sandals and "Eat the Rich" T-shirts hope to take on the leading lights of high finance? They had never even read the "Journal". But they did know that global finance is an irrational, complex system bordering on chaos. Since two of them, Doyne Farmer and Norman Packard, happened to be among the founders of the new science of chaos and complexity, perhaps they could give it a try. Now, several years - and many millions of dollars - later, they continue one of the most significant winning streaks in the history of Wall Street. Thomas Bass first made readers aware of cult heroes Farmer and Packard when he chronicled their assult on the casinos of Las Vegas. Here Bass takes us inside their start-up company, at first a group of long haired PhDs with no furniture and no money, as they nervously test their computer forecasting models. As confidence builds, Farmer and Packard buy a company Italian suit and take turns travelling to the centres of financial power, where they find investors. Yet the real test is still to come: what will happen when they go live with real money? Funny and engaging, as well as a brisk education in chaos, complexity and world financial markets, Farmer and Packard's adventures gambling on Wall Street should delight anyone who has ever dreamed of finding that edge to beat the system.

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