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What Are Quants?

numbers sign; stewf via Flickr

Question: What are ‘quants’?

Paul Solman: Quantitative experts, or if you prefer, “number jocks” or “math whizzes” who have gone to “Wall St.” (ie, the world of finance). They construct formulas for investing and packaging investments.

Take their prescriptions and products too seriously, it seems, and you can wind up with an overcomplicated, overextended, underregulated world financial system. Which appears to be just what we’ve had, perhaps due in large measure to the deification of…quants.

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