The Misbehavior of Markets

A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence

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By Benoit Mandelbrot

By Richard L. Hudson

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A groundbreaking mathematician presents a new model for understanding financial markets

Benoit B. Mandelbrot is world-famous for inventing fractal geometry, making mathematical sense of a fact everybody knows but that geometers from Euclid on down had never assimilated: Clouds are not round, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not smooth. To these insights we can now add another example: Markets are not the safe bet your broker may claim.

Mandelbrot, with co-author Richard L. Hudson, shows how the dominant way of thinking about the behavior of markets–a set of mathematical assumptions a century old and still learned by every MBA and financier in the world–simply does not work. He uses fractal geometry to propose a new, more accurate way of describing market behavior. From the gyrations of the Dow to the dollar-euro exchange rate, Mandlebrot shows how to understand the volatility of markets in far more accurate terms than the failed theories that have repeatedly brought the financial system to the brink of disaster. The result is no less than the foundation for a new science of finance.
 
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On Sale
Mar 22, 2007
Page Count
368 pages
Publisher
Basic Books
ISBN-13
9780465004683

Benoit Mandelbrot

About the Author

Benoit B. Mandelbrot is Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Yale University and a Fellow Emeritus at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Laboratory. He is the inventor of fractal geometry, whose most famous example, the Mandelbrot Set, has been replicated on millions of posters, T-shirts, and record albums. He was a leading figure in James Gleick’s Chaos and has received the Wolf Prize in Physics, the Japan Prize in science and technology, and awards from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the IEEE, and numerous universities in the U.S. and abroad. His books include Fractals: Form, Chance and Dimension, which was later expanded into the classic The Fractal Geometry of Nature, which has sold more than 200,000 copies. This is his first book for lay readers on finance, a subject he has studied since the 1960s. He lives in Scarsdale, New York.

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Richard L. Hudson

About the Author

Richard L. Hudson was the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal’sEuropean edition for six years, and a Journal reporter and editor for twenty-five years. He is a 1978 graduate of Harvard University and a 1991 Knight Fellow of MIT. He lives in Brussels, Belgium.

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