Home » Quants | The Alchemists of Wall Street | VPRO documentary financial history documentary

Quants | The Alchemists of Wall Street | VPRO documentary financial history documentary

Quants are the math wizards and computer programmers in the engine room of our global financial system who designed the financial products that almost crashed Wall street. The credit crunch has shown how the global financial system has become increasingly dependent on mathematical models trying to quantify human (economic) behaviour. Now the quants are at the heart of yet another technological revolution in finance: trading at the speed of light.

What are the risks of treating the economy and its markets as a complex machine? Will we be able to keep control of this model-based financial system, or have we created a monster? A story about greed, fear and randomness from the insides of Wall Street.

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Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2010.
© VPRO Backlight February 2010

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Director: Marije Meerman
Research: Gerko Wessel
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union. .

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Quants | The Alchemists of Wall Street | VPRO documentary

Quants | The Alchemists of Wall Street | VPRO documentary

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46 thoughts on “Quants | The Alchemists of Wall Street | VPRO documentary financial history documentary”

  1. The fraud  goes deep then you think, banks loan nothing charge interest on nothing, create a promissory note and make as many copies as they can and sell them to investors and then cash the original note  in for value at the FR window, force you to take out and pay  mortgage insurance so "bank" gets paid again if you default, force you to put up the home for collateral so they can  steal real property, While receiving a government bail out for all the fraud loans! They put us  in a system of bankruptcy so they can enslaves all the people steal all the natural resources and use them to  create wars and plunder sovereign nations that do not consent to the banking cabal. The Central banking system was a fraud from the beginning created for the gangsters in banking and not for the people. They actually  monetized all the people as if they owned them as chattel  and created trust accounts behind all of their backs as accounts so  they could  draw fiction funds from. Why do you think the courts always want to charge you? Because they have the authority to open your account with your identity!  It all starts with your NAME in all caps as the account.

  2. A fisherman or a construction worker can make 30k or 50k a year; a HFT or a hedge fund can make 30 millions a day – that just does not make any sense; we live in a sick society, ruled by the creators of money

  3. 3:23 That is wrong. It may be a hundred. If one goes to a branch of a supermarket chain, takes the products and checks-out, they will certainly not offer any discount (or make an effort to ask a manger) – they would rather ask in a friendly manner why I would like to buy that amount. It does not usually work with online shopping either, if one just adds products to the cart and concludes it then, it will be multiplied ciphers or numbers.

  4. Are the computers in these places protected from EMP's? Somebody with a "Pinch" as described on the movie Oceans Eleven could knock out the trading or disrupt it just enough to cause extreme inaccuracies. Are their computers enclosed in what's called a Faraday Cage that block EMF, and EMP's, and grounds the energy?

  5. Joel Tillinghast, fund manager at Fidelity, says the problem with quants can be too much abstraction. They get so caught up in the math they forget they're dealing with shares of a company and not just abstract numbers.

  6. I like how they defend the models, and bash the reality of the crashes. Oh no, the models were good, it's just the behavior of real people is "illogical." Well no shit; humor is illogical, I guess that's why they don't see the irony. Quants provided documentation to allow financial products that polluted the market they were modeling. The people that allowed these financial products are gullible and greedy, something illogical if you value the stability and long term growth of the economic system they regulate.

  7. I feel working from home is key to wealth creation, considering how remunerative investing on the online market can be. I begin to wonder what if I got into it much earlier on..

  8. All Scotch used to be made by Private Small Distilleries but not today under Queen Elizabeth . privatisation.
    Faulty Capitalism eve the Medicines and Anti-Biotics are made to kill.
    Is this Generation the Biggest Victims???

  9. The Stock market ( as it stands) is a ponzi scheme propped up by consumer cash. The market will "correct" when the next generation(my parent generation) get ready to start cashing in their retirement( three months ago). That money has already been spent on Manhattan Rent, Cab Rides ( they capitalize Uber, so I started capitalizing Cab Rides), booze and five star food.

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