Describes five great minds in finance that initiated the quant school of finance through their creation of models that can determine the appropriate price of a financial security
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This is the third in a series of books about the 'great minds' in the history and theory of finance. The first book in the series examines the role of returns in our personal financial decisions. The second book adds risk and uncertainty to the mix. In the third book, Colin Read looks at the innovators who took the simple finance models of the 1940s and 1950s and developed from them the tools we use today to analyze the value of securities. These tools also revolutionized the study of finance and heralded in a new and distinctly American quant school of finance and decision making over time.
This book chronicles the great minds who were transformational in taking the Ivory Tower to Wall Street. They answer the following questions: How do we measure risk? Can we standardize how our measure of risk affects a market-determined securities price? How does time affect the price path of a security? And, how does one determine the price of an option that derives its value based on the value of an underlying security? Finally, how can we use these tools to diversify our risk and optimize our portfolio? Their solutions to these questions transformed the static and theoretical world of economics into one that could cope with the quantification and time dynamic needs of modern finance.
The author examines the pricing of securities and the risk/reward tradeoff through the legends, contribution, and legacies of Jacob Marschak, William Sharpe, Fischer Black and Myron Scholes, and Robert Merton. These Pricing Analysts provided us with the first effective models that allow the practitioner to price risk and the value of individual securities. They effectively bridged significant advances from the life cyclists in the 1940s and the portfolio theorists of the 1950s, and brought theory into practice. In doing so, these great minds forever established the relevancy of financial theory on the functioning of global financial markets. They also forever changed finance the clearly established the discipline as distinct from economics. This profound influence on both theory and practice is a hallmark of great minds.
COLIN READ is a professor of Economics and Finance, former dean of the School of Business and Economics at SUNY College at Plattsburgh, USA, and a columnist for the Plattsburgh New York Press Republican newspaper. He has a PhD in Economics, JD in Law, MBA, Masters of Taxation, and has taught Environmental and Energy Economics and Finance for 25 years. Colin's recent books include BP and the Macondo Spill: The Complete Story, The Fear Factor, Global Financial Meltdown: How We Can Avoid the Next Economic Crisis, The Rise and Fall of an Economic Empire: With Lessons for Aspiring Nations, and a book on international taxation. He has written dozens of papers on market failure, volatility, and the finance of housing markets, writes a weekly newspaper column, and appears monthly on a local PBS television show to discuss the regional and national economy. He has worked as a research associate at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and served the Ministry of Finance in Indonesia under contract from the Harvard Institute for International Development.
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