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Pricing the Future

Finance, Physics, and the 300-year Journey to the Black-Scholes Equation : A Story of Genius and Discovery

Szpiro, George, 1950-

(Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Pricing the Future
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Perseus Publishing
Options have been traded for hundreds of years, but investment decisions were based on gut feelings until the Nobel Prize?winning discovery of the Black-Scholes options pricing model in 1973 ushered in the era of the ?quants.” Wall Street would never be the same.

In Pricing the Future, financial economist George G. Szpiro tells the fascinating stories of the pioneers of mathematical finance who conducted the search for the elusive options pricing formula. From the broker’s assistant who published the first mathematical explanation of financial markets to Albert Einstein and other scientists who looked for a way to explain the movement of atoms and molecules, Pricing the Future retraces the historical and intellectual developments that ultimately led to the widespread use of mathematical models to drive investment strategies on Wall Street.



Book News
Mathematician-turned-journalist Szpiro narrates the intellectual history behind the options pricing formula found by economists Fischer Black, Myron Scholes, and Robert Merton in 1973. Describing developments from the middle of the 17th century onwards, his narrative discusses mathematical efforts to understand the value of options, while emphasizing the role of specific personalities such as Robert Brown, Albert Einstein, MIT mathematician Norbert Wiener, Russian theorist of probability Andrey Kolmogorov, and Japanese mathematician Kiyoshi Ito. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780465022489
0465022480
Branch Call Number: 332.6453 S
Characteristics: xiv, 298 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.

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Aug 13, 2012
  • uvmrao rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Extraordinary tale of how to value the most important derivative product (equity options) of financial markets of today. Fascinating how the problem of valuing options is similar to problems found in Biology and Physics / Chemistry. All these were handled in some form or other by scientists like Einstein, culminating in the final solution just a few decades ago. The author brings us upto date with what happened to LTCM and the ever so small gap between theory and reality!

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