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Download The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It Audiobook, by Scott Patterson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,910 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Scott Patterson Narrator: Mike Chamberlain Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2010 ISBN: 9781415966525
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In March 2006, the world's richest men sipped champagne in an opulent New York hotel. They were preparing to compete in a poker tournament with ­million-dollar stakes. At the card table that night was Peter Muller, who managed a fabulously successful hedge fund called PDT. With him was Ken Griffin, who was the tough-as-nails head of Citadel Investment Group. There, too, were Cliff Asness, the sharp-tongued, mercurial founder of the hedge fund AQR Capital Management, and Boaz Weinstein, chess "life master" and king of the credit-default swap.

Muller, Griffin, Asness, and Weinstein were among the best and brightest of a new breed, the quants. Over the past 20 years, this species of math whiz had usurped the testosterone-fueled, kill-or-be-killed risk takers who'd long been the alpha males of the world's largest casino. The quants believed that a cocktail of differential calculus, quantum physics, and advanced geometry held the key to reaping riches from the financial markets. And they helped create a digitized money-trading machine that could shift ­billions around the globe with the click of a mouse. Few realized that night, though, that in creating this extraordinary system, men like Muller, Griffin, Asness, and Weinstein had sown the seeds for history's greatest financial disaster.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Scott Patterson has the ability to see things you and I don’t notice. In The Quants he does an admirable job of debunking the myths of black box traders and provides a very entertaining narrative in the process. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New York Times bestselling author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan
  • Fascinating and deeply disturbing…Patterson gives faces and personalities to the quants, making their saga accessible and intriguing…[he’s] onto a big story that begs follow-up. New York Times
  • Valuable…makes [the quants’] secretive world comprehensible…the story radiates with hubris, high stakes and expensive toys. Bloomberg.com
  • A riveting account…there are many dramatic moments and a good dose of schadenfreude in Scott Patterson’s THE QUANTS. Financial Times
  • Read this book if you want to understand how the collapse of the global financial system was at its core a failure of modern financial theory and its most ardent disciples. Patterson is able to gracefully explain the complex ideas underpinning our financial system through an extraordinarily engaging and insightful story. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody’s Economy.com and author of Financial Shock
  • Enlightening and enjoyable...Patterson masterfully recounts how brilliant mathematicians and technologists ignored the human element...If you're serious about understanding the financial meltdown, you need to read this book. David Vise, Pulitzer Prize Winner, author of The Google Story, and Senior Advisor, New Mountain Capital
  • A  compelling tale of greed and conceit, The Quants tells the inside story of the Wall Street rocket scientists who could couldn’t resist playing with numbers and nearly blew themselves up. Michael J. Panzner, author of Financial Armageddon and When Giants Fail
  • The Quants will keep hedge fund managers on the edge of their Aeron chairs, while the rest of us read in horror about their greed and their impact on the wider economy. A gripping tale right until the last page...but I fear this is perhaps not yet the end of the story. Paul Wilmott, Oxford Ph.D., founding partner of Caissa Capital, and author of Paul Wilmott Introduces Quantitative Finance
  • A character-rich tale of how quirky geniuses cut their teeth on gambling, then moved on to the biggest casino of all, Wall Street. From blackjack to black swans, The Quants tells how we got where we are today. William Poundstone, author of Fortune’s Formula

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith Rackley | 2/16/2014

    " Peterson's perspective combines a compelling narrative of recent financial events while telling a history of contributions of some really amazing intellectuals (Thorpe, Mandelbrot, et. al,). In a way, the main subjects of the book, hedge funds and the people who ran them, can be summed up by a quote Peterson passes on from Paul Wilmott, "Banks and hedge funds employ mathematicians with no financial-market experience to build models that no one is testing scientifically for use in situations where they were not intended by traders who don't understand them." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Anders | 2/10/2014

    " good read....detailed background on how/when/where the financial industry became driven by quantitative mathmatics. an interesting read....did turn my stomach to realize full-on how wallstreet is a gambling apparatus, with large amounts of investments managed with no regard to company fundamentals at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 2/8/2014

    " It was an interesting read but I didn't understand half of it. For the non-stock trading people of the world it went over my head in some parts but it was still a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 2/6/2014

    " Same disappointment as in What Would Google Do - - - very intrusive profanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 2/1/2014

    " Not as good as Dark Pools, but still very interesting. I feel like I learned more about the personalities involved in the financial world, but not very much about the mechanics of the instruments and the math. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 1/19/2014

    " It's an interesting read if you are into the stock market and finance. It sheds some light on how the rich get richer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brad | 1/16/2014

    " Wildly fascinating and scary. A bit scattered and detailed with personal info but otherwise provides a solid "birds eye view" on the meltdown "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vaseem Khan | 1/2/2014

    " An informative book on wall street and 2008 meltdown..... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 12/6/2013

    " Back to the algorithems; no less arrogance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Philip Shing | 12/1/2013

    " Fun read. Agree that image of "quant" is somewhat inflated in the book. Maybe it should be called The Magicians. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 V | 9/24/2013

    " entertaining enough for fast and pleasant read on the history of hedge fund, while detailing ivy league backgrounds for those "whiz" does help to distract my attention from the storyline. Poker game math = finance modeling math? give me a break. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elisabeth | 9/19/2013

    " An interesting listen since I learned things about the way the pros speculate in stocks and securities, and how the current financial crisis was created. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trever | 9/17/2013

    " Great book behind great mathematical geniuses that took over Wall Street. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Garth Bishop | 1/19/2013

    " Most accounts of the financial crisis are focused on the CEOs and the big picture. None that I've read have discussed the impact of technical trading and this one was really enlightening as to the role they played. It wasn't all about sub-prime mortgages as I'd always assumed. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelly | 12/29/2012

    " Only good if you like to read about the boring lives of economists and their theories. I love math, but this was too difficult. I didn't even finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ethan | 8/8/2012

    " A thorough examination of the evolution of unemotional, mathematically based investing. The book does a great job of going over the basics of capital markets and their evolution, but the characters, rich nerds, all a bit eccentric in their own ways, fall a bit flat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 11/23/2011

    " i learned quite a bit from this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ajitabh Pandey | 9/14/2011

    " If you want to know how stocks are controlled by mathematicians and statisticians, read this. You need to posses some basic knowledge about how the market operates. A good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonas | 8/6/2011

    " Nice, easy read on a few selected wallstreet quants from the begining of their carriers to the crisis of 2008. The book would have benefited from a deeper look on the strategies that they use, but I liked it anyway. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne Donohoe | 6/25/2011

    " Took me a while - as a non financial person - but was both informative and scary! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 5/22/2011

    " Interesting insider views as to what was going on during the quant revolution on Wall Street. I wish that it was more in depth but an interesting overview, nonetheless "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dwight | 4/19/2011

    " Good companion to The Big Short by Michael Lewis. Goes into detail about how a small group of investors created products that they convinced themselves could never fail, and how their implosion nearly took down the entire financial system. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 4/17/2011

    " Maybe I'm being overly simplistic but if you could assign a value to (or quantify) risk with any degree of certainty it really would be "risk" any more ... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brad | 3/30/2011

    " Wildly fascinating and scary. A bit scattered and detailed with personal info but otherwise provides a solid "birds eye view" on the meltdown "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aditya | 3/22/2011

    " Provides a good profile of the people it covers and also some of their work. I only wish it wasn't as long winded as it is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nothanks | 3/2/2011

    " First half I liked. Second half reads like a hodgepodge of newspaper clippings. No crescendo, or aha moments here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy | 2/27/2011

    " Pretty cool read on how a bunch of mathematicians and CS geeks dominated (and potentially wrecked) international finance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lukasz | 1/27/2011

    " Great insight into what caused the 2007 Wall Street crash which in turn caused world crisis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 1/24/2011

    " Good overview of mathematical formula trading via high speed computer. Read it and begin to understand what went wrong in with the economy in 2008. "

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About the Narrator

Mike Chamberlain is an actor and voice-over performer in Los Angeles. His voice credits range from radio commercials and television narration to animation and video game characters. Stage trained at Boston College, he has performed works from Shakespeare and the classics to contemporary drama and comedy. His audiobook narration has won four AudioFile Earphones Awards.