Short Books £12.99
Paperback review: The Physics of Finance, By James Owen Weatherall
Saturday 23 March 2013
For the last 100 years, a succession of scientists, from the French mathematician Louis Bachelier, to Benoit Mandelbrot, discoverer of fractals, have applied mathematical models developed in physics to financial markets.
These models have been used to predict economic rises and falls with considerable success, and the occasional spectacular failure, such as the meltdown of 2008. Weatherall argues that the correct response to such failures is not to give up on models but to continually refine them. He explains complex mathematical theories in a wonderfully lucid, readable style. The terminology has a curious poetry of its own: random walk, volatility smile, fat-tailed distributions, black-box models. However, the book didn't convince me that speculating in money markets is actually of any use to anyone, except those it enriches.
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Downton Abbey fans unimpressed by Kindle sponsorship adverts
Thomas Heatherwick creates gin palace with a fantastical Willy Wonka vibe
Cilla, episode 2, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith continues to shine
Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
The Lion King becomes biggest grossing musical ever
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God