Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Is quantitative finance and the people who perform it (often called, not necessarily with affection), "quants," to blame for our recent "Great Recession?" It's all according to who you ask. Still, many many articles, like this one from The Economist have clearly stated that "[t]his crisis stemmed from the obscure world of quantitative, or quant-based, finance." In the first months after the crisis started, quants (along with greedy and incompetent bankers) took a lot of heat. Now, with newly polished algorithms and tweaked computer models, we read in the general and business press that quantitative finance is making a "comeback" and a "rebound."
Rather than simply mutter "Heaven Help Us!," perhaps you'd like to learn more about this mystifying science. If so, a newly purchased encyclopedia from Wiley might help.
Termed "essential" by Choice, that ALA publication's review also said that "This four-volume encyclopedia is the first to provide comprehensive coverage of essential subjects in quantitative finance. It covers both theory and applications, along with the history of the field and the names associated with it. This valuable contribution to the field of mathematics and modeling techniques of modern financial markets features signed articles from 415 international academics and practitioners. Articles include formulas, charts, and/or graphs, along with references, recommendations for further reading, and, when applicable, cross-references to related articles elsewhere in the set. "
The publisher claims that this is a "multi-volume reference work aimed at quants, risk managers, graduate students, academic researchers and all those interested in quantitative modeling in finance. Published in 4 volumes of approximately 500 pages each," content ranges from biographies of ground-breaking quant theoreticians to "up-to-date surveys of the state of the art in computational finance: Monte Carlo simulation, partial differential equations (PDEs), Fourier transforms methods, model calibration" and the like.
Not exactly a fun read, but a useful one, we hope. At the Wiley landing page for the Encyclopedia, simply pick either the "Articles by Title" or the "Articles by Topic" option from the left frame, as shown below.
If you wish to do a keyword search instead, you may do so. Just don't put your search into the search box in the upper right, or you will search ALL of the Wiley Online Library, which is mostly journal articles. Instead, click the link below the search box to "Search in this book" (as highlighted below), and new search boxes will open in the middle of the page with various search options.
We hope anyone interested in this very important finance field will explore this "comprehensive" reference resource....and then to help protect the retirement accounts of us all!