Chaos Kings: How Wall Street Traders Make Billions in the New Age of Crisis by Patterson, Scott

Chaos Kings: How Wall Street Traders Make Billions in the New Age of Crisis

Regular price $30.00
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Written by a veteran Wall Street Journal reporter, this is a fascinating deep dive into the world of billion-dollar traders and high-stakes crisis predictors who strive to turn extreme events into financial windfalls.

There's no doubt that our world has gotten more extreme. Pandemics, climate change, superpower rivalries, cyberattacks, political radicalization--virtually, everywhere we look there is mayhem bearing down on us, putting trillions of assets at risk.

And at least two factions have formed around how to respond. In Chaos Kings, Scott Patterson depicts how one faction, led by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, bestselling author of The Black Swan, believes humans can never see the big disaster coming. In their view, extreme events--so-called Black Swans--while inevitable, will always catch us by surprise. In 2007, Taleb's longtime collaborator, Mark Spitznagel, launched the Universa hedge fund, which would go on to make billions protecting investors against unforeseen chaos in the market.

A second faction, which relies on complex formulas, believes looming chaos can be detected. Chief among these risk prognosticators is Didier Sornette, a colorful French mathematician who enjoys riding his motorcycle at speeds in excess of 170 miles per hour. When Sornette looks out from what he calls his Financial Crisis Observatory in Zurich, Switzerland, what he sees are Dragon Kings--punishing events that are unlikely to occur but have probabilities that can be predicted...and defended against.

Which faction is right? All of our financial futures may depend on the answer.

Author: Scott Patterson
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Published: 06/06/2023
Pages: 336
Weight: 1.05lbs
Size: 9.00h x 5.90w x 1.20d
ISBN: 9781982179939

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 01/01/2023 pg. 11
Kirkus Reviews 04/15/2023
Publishers Weekly 04/24/2023

About the Author
Scott Patterson has been a reporter for nearly two decades, mostly at The Wall Street Journal in New York City; Washington, DC; and London. Most recently, he has been focused on the negative impacts of climate change and their effect on the financial system. His 2010 New York Times bestseller The Quants was about the rise of mathematical traders and their near destruction of the financial system. His second book, Dark Pools, exposed high-frequency trading risks and was lauded by a pantheon of financial writers, including James Stewart and Michael Lewis. A winner of the Loeb Breaking News Award, Patterson has made frequent appearances in the media, including on CNBC, The Daily Show, and Fresh Air. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and son.