In this episode of the Intelligent Investing Podcast, Eric Schleien sits down with WSJ Veteran Reporter, Gregory Zuckerman, to discuss his book, The Man Who Solved The Market.
“Leave it to the Wall Street Journal’s Greg Zuckerman to lay open the golden mysteries of quantitative investing. With this fine, humane, and eye-opening book, he’s well and truly broken the code.” —James Grant, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
“Captivating.” —New York Times
“A compelling read.” —The Economist
“Reads like a delicious page-turning novel.” —Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg
“One of the most important stories of our time.” —Financial Times
“Zuckerman brings the reader so close to the firm’s inner workings that you can almost catch a whiff of the billionaire’s Merit cigarette.” —Brandon Kochkodin, Bloomberg“A gripping biography of investment game changer Jim Simons… readers looking to understand how the economy got where it is should eat this up.” —Publishers Weekly
“Worthwhile reading for budding plutocrats and numerate investors alike.” —Kirkus
“Immensely enjoyable.” —Edward O. Thorp, author of A Man for All Markets
“An extremely well-written and engaging book . . . a must read, and a fun one at that.” —Mohamed A. El-Erian, author of The Only Game in Town
“Page-turning tale…bravura storytelling.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Lake Success
The Man Who Solved The Market: Summary
Jim Simons is the greatest money maker in modern financial history. No other investor–Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Ray Dalio, Steve Cohen, or George Soros–can touch his record. Since 1988, Renaissance’s signature Medallion fund has generated average annual returns of 66 percent. The firm has earned profits of more than $100 billion; Simons is worth twenty-three billion dollars.
Drawing on unprecedented access to Simons and dozens of current and former employees, Zuckerman, a veteran Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, tells the gripping story of how a world-class mathematician and former code breaker mastered the market. Simons pioneered a data-driven, algorithmic approach that’s sweeping the world.
As Renaissance became a market force, its executives began influencing the world beyond finance. Simons became a major figure in scientific research, education, and liberal politics. Senior executive Robert Mercer is more responsible than anyone else for the Trump presidency, placing Steve Bannon in the campaign and funding Trump’s victorious 2016 effort. Mercer also impacted the campaign behind Brexit.
The Man Who Solved the Market is a portrait of a modern-day Midas who remade markets in his own image, but failed to anticipate how his success would impact his firm and his country. It’s also a story of what Simons’s revolution means for the rest of us.
Greg is a Special Writer at The Wall Street Journal, a 20-year veteran of the paper and a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb award — the highest honor in business journalism.
Greg is the author of The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters, a national bestseller published October 2014 by Portfolio/Penguin Press. The book describes how several unlikely individuals created an American energy renaissance that brought OPEC to its knees. The Frackers was named among the best books of 2014 by The Financial Times and Forbes Magazine and book of the year by the New York Financial Writers Association.
Greg also wrote The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller published December 2010 by Crown Business/Random House. The book has been translated into 10 languages.
Greg and his two sons wrote Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in their Youth to Become Stars,” a book for young readers and adults published May 2016 by Philomel/Penguin that describes the remarkable stories of how stars in various sports overcame imposing setbacks in their youth. The book was chosen by Scholastic Teacher magazine as a top pick for 2016 and a top 2017 recommendation of the Texas Library Association. In February 2018, Rising Above-Inspiring Women in Sports, also written by Greg and his sons, will be published.
At the Journal, Greg writes about big financial firms, personalities and trades, hedge funds, the energy revolution and other investing and business topics. Previously, Greg was the lead writer of the widely read “Heard on the Street” column and covered the credit markets, among other beats.
In 2015, Greg won the Loeb Award for a series of stories revealing discord between Bill Gross, founder of bond powerhouse Pimco, and others at the firm, including Mohamed El-Erian. The stories led to Mr. Gross’s surprise departure from Pimco. In 2012, Greg broke news about huge, disastrous trades by the J.P. Morgan trader nicknamed the “London Whale.”
In 2007, Greg was part of a team that won the Gerald Loeb award for breaking news coverage of the collapse of hedge fund Amaranth Advisors and in 2003 he won the Loeb award for breaking news coverage of the demise of telecom provider WorldCom. Greg was part of a team that won the New York Press Club Journalism award in 2008. He was a finalist for the 2011 Gerald Loeb award for investigative news coverage of the insider trading scandal and a finalist for the 2008 Gerald Loeb award for coverage of the mortgage meltdown.
Greg appears regularly on CNBC, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg Television and various television networks. He makes regular appearances on National Public Radio, BBC, ABC Radio, Bloomberg Radio and radio stations around the globe.
Greg gives speeches to business groups on a variety of topics. Over the past year, he has spoken to groups in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Calgary, Montreal and Niagara Falls.
Greg joined the Journal in 1996 after writing about media companies for the New York Post. Previously, he was the managing editor of Mergers & Acquisitions Report, a newsletter published by Investment Dealers’ Digest. He graduated from Brandeis University in 1988, Magna Cum Laude.
A graduate of Brandeis University, Greg lives with his wife and two sons in West Orange, N.J., where they enjoy the Yankees in the summer, root for the Giants in the fall, and reminisce about Linsanity in the winter.
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