Against the gods peter bernstein
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. BernsteinWith the stock market breaking records almost daily, leaving longtime market analysts shaking their heads and revising their forecasts, a study of the concept of risk seems quite timely. Peter Bernstein has written a comprehensive history of mans efforts to understand risk and probability, beginning with early gamblers in ancient Greece, continuing through the 17th-century French mathematicians Pascal and Fermat and up to modern chaos theory. Along the way he demonstrates that understanding risk underlies everything from game theory to bridge-building to winemaking.
WealthTrack 503 - 07-17-09
My first thought, when I decided to read up on finance and money, was to dive into the deep end with one of the subprime mortgage crisis books. I decided to start, instead, with a couple of broader-perspective historical books. These choices, I have to admit, were a matter of laziness and convenience rather than careful and deliberate selection. Still they did the trick. Though they were somewhat random starting points, both books are pretty good, and they got me thinking about money in productive and stimulating ways. Instead, we only get a treatment of the early Black-Scholes options pricing work which won them the Nobel prize and made their reputations.
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Excellent narrative of the history of human attempts to find some order in life and how this became applicable to financial markets. There are no revelations here but rather it shows that we are still Excellent overview of probability and the development of financial markets. I take issue with a few points- prospect theory does not obviate the benefits of statistical analysis, for example- but overall a fantastic read. Peter L.
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Peter Lewyn Bernstein January 22, June 5, was an American financial historian, economist and educator whose development and refinement of the efficient-market hypothesis made him one of the country's best known authorities in popularizing and presenting investment economics to the general public. His primary education was at the Ethical Culture School where, in first grade, he became a lifelong friend of another renowned economics historian, Robert Heilbroner , with whom he later attended Horace Mann School and Harvard College , from which both received, in , bachelor's degrees in economics. Following Harvard, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude , came service as a member of the research staff at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and, in a civilian capacity, at the Office of Strategic Services in Washington. In the aftermath of the December 7, Pearl Harbor attack , he joined the Air Force and rose to the rank of captain, assigned to the Office of Strategic Services in the European theater. In , after teaching economics at Williams College and a five-year stint in commercial banking, Bernstein took over, at family insistence, the management of his late father's wealth management firm, Bernstein-Macaulay Inc. The assets under his management had grown more than tenfold by the time the firm was sold in and he resigned in to launch Peter L. Bernstein, Inc.
Peter Bernstein's latest book, Against the Gods The Remarkable Story of Risk, establishes his standing as America's preeminent scholar-practitioner in the field of finance. Together with his highly successful predecessor, Capital Ideas The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street The Free Press, New York, , Bernstein has laid out a remarkably insightful and entertaining history of the "science" of finance, including fascinating descriptions of the people who drove the development of modern financial economics. Bernstein's earlier work, Ideas, emphasized the advances emerging from the notion that investors are rational and security markets are efficient It focused on modern portfolio theory and its implications for security prices, and on the development of new instruments, like equity options. Gods serves as a prequel. It searches out the roots of modern finance and provides an interpretation of the history of that "science.