"Points to the over-reliance on financial models and quantitative techniques as what ultimately brought down the financial markets. Sure, many of us feel that we have heard enough on this topic-do we really need another book about the financial mess and how it all began? Yes, we do. . . Triana's impressive knowledge and experience allows him to dig deeper and go beyond the mere musings of his published peers."
—Risk Management Magazine
"Readers of this book may make quite a lot of noise. . . Some will cheer out loud; others will yelp as cherished beliefs are torn into. At times, the book is deliberately incendiary. Triana is trying to stimulate debate. . . On the whole, this is a good read."
—The Financial Times, July 23rd 2009
"...calls for a return to "good old fashioned commonsense decision making"."
—Daily Express, June 4th 2009
"This book explains how it is that theoretical finance can fail dramatically in the real world."
—Finanace & Management Faculty, June 2009
"The book is fizzing with ideas"
—The Economist, June 29th 2009
" Triana’s book will ruffle a lot of feathers, but it also will make many readers think hard."
"A deeply unsettling insider account of how bogus mathematics overtook finance and was a key contributor to the financial collapse of 2008-2009 . . . With deep insight, Triana deconstructs the "pillars" of mathematical finance . . . Like Nassim Taleb, celebrated author of The Black Swan (2007), Triana is calling for major surgical reform of such business schools' curricula. An important addition to our deeper understanding of how finance must be reformed."
—Hazel Henderson, Ethical Markets
"Should the Nobel Prize for economics be abolished? That is one of the suggestions in Pablo Triana's provocative book "Lecturing Birds on Flying: Can Mathematical Theories Destroy the Markets?" . . . As Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in his witty introduction to the book, giving someone the wrong map is worse than giving them no map at all. . . a good read. Some may find the elaborate prose closer to Cervantes than to, say, Nobel Prize winner Robert Merton -- annoying. But perhaps Cervantes is the right writer to emulate when tilting at windmills. "
"The highlight of Triana's book is his valuable insights into the problems with mathematical economic models, which make his argument quite forceful."
For the past few decades, the financial world has often displayed an unreasonable willingness to believe that "the model is right, the market is wrong," in spite of the fact that these theoretical machinations were largely responsible for the stock market crash of 1987, the LTCM crisis of 1998, the credit crisis of 2008, and many other blow-ups, large and small. Why have both financial insiders (traders, risk managers, executives) and outsiders (academics, journalists, regulators, the public) consistently demonstrated a willingness to treat quantifications as gospel? Nassim Taleb first addressed the conflicts between theoretical and real finance in his technical treatise on options, Dynamic Hedging. Now, in Lecturing Birds on Flying, Pablo Triana offers a powerful indictment on the trustworthiness of financial theory, explaining-in jargon-free plain English-how malfunctions in these quantitative machines have wreaked havoc in our real world.
Triana first analyzes the fundamental question of whether financial markets can in principle really be solved mathematically. He shows that the markets indeed cannot be tamed with equations, presenting a long and powerful list of obstacles to prove his point: maverick unlawful human actions rule the markets, unexpected and unimaginable events shape the markets, and historical data is not necessarily a trustworthy guide to the future of the markets. The author then examines the sources of origin of many prevalent theories and mathematical dictums. He details how the field of financial economics evolved from a descriptive discipline to an abstract one dedicated to technically concocting professors' own versions of how such a world should work. He goes on to explain how Wall Street and other financial centers became eager employers of scientists, and how scientists became eager employees of financial firms. Triana concludes with an in-depth discussion of the most significant historical episodes of theory-caused real-life market malaise, with a strong emphasis on the current credit crisis.
In the end, Lecturing Birds on Flying calls for the radical substitution of good old-fashioned common sense in place of mathematical decision-making and the restoration to financial power of those who are completely unchained to the iron ball of classroom-obtained qualifications.See all Editorial Reviews
It's all been said by the other reviewers, this HuffPo writer needs to stick to forums where no one pays to read him. (or better yet, no one reads him at all).Published 19 months ago by Reginald H. Henderson
Pablo Triana is a master finance wizard, he consorts with Nassim Talib, Espen Haug and is intimately familiar with other so called uber analysts, to present evidence of the market... Read morePublished on November 30, 2011 by don
Having read many of the negative reviews, I must agree with all the criticism. However, I've learned a lot qualitatively about quantitative finance reading this book and I am... Read morePublished on October 7, 2011 by Invisible Presence
As others before me, I was also led to Triana's book by the works of N.N.Taleb - that's how misleading an introduction is. Read morePublished on October 7, 2011 by Alessandro Forghieri
The writing is awful. Truly awful.
This book was obviously not edited at all. I'm amazed that the publisher (John Wiley & Sons) allowed it be released. Read more
I was, and continue to be, interested in the ideas presented in this book, but finished only about 75%. Read morePublished on September 19, 2010 by Diamante
i fell asleep trying to read this book, the writing can improve and the content is still quite useful
this pretty is about questioning the teacher,
it is... Read more
This book is the risk management equivalent of someone who says automobiles are useless because a few drivers crashed. Read morePublished on August 3, 2010 by Donald van Deventer