Nerds on Wall Street: How Robots, Computers, and Mathematics Have Wired the Markets by David J. Leinweber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Nerds on Wall Street (NOWS, because nerds must obsessively abbreviate) is a fast, interesting read about the increasing use of computers on the Street. Its a good overview book: Leinweber draws on his vast experience doing stuff at the intersection of computers and finance for a long long time. Its really great if you are a nerd wondering what there is to do in the financial world or frankly how to get a piece of that trillion dollar pie that is the Street. Leinweber talks a bit (and just a bit) about pretty much everything that is computer related - from charting and visualization, data analysis and automated monitoring to algo trading.
There are two reasons for the mediocre rating:
1. Its thin on details: probably because the desire to disseminate information to a larger audience (every equation halves the number of copies that you can sell).
2. There is a lot of repetition. He draws on his experience building several software firms doing various things on or for wall street but repeats the same story several times. Maybe because the book is an agglomeration of various papers he has written (where the mention of his experience would be novel and non-repetitive). Regardless, it does not work for the book.
The good stuff:
1. Good overview. This can't be overstated. The book gets the job done.
2. For a non-fiction book, its a really easy read.
View all my reviews >>