Fischer Black and the Revolutionary Idea of Finance
Why this book?
Since the global financial crisis of 2007-8, everyone knows about the transformation of financial markets that has taken place in recent decades. It also well known that developments in information technology have played a major role in that transformation. What is less well known is where the ideas that made it all possible came from. In this book, Perry Mehrling tells the story of Fischer Black, one of the creators of the Black-Scholes formula for pricing options (rights to buy or sell assets at a specified price at some point in the future) which are one of the foundations on which modern finance rests. The book shows how these ideas emerged out of a new type of community that spanned university economics departments and business schools as well private-sector financial firms, many of them founded in order to trade on the basis of the theories their founders had developed.