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Though financial models imitate the style of physics and employ the language of mathematics, ultimately they deal with human beings. In physics, theories aim for a description of reality; in finance, at best, models can shoot only for a simplistic and very limited approximation to it. Physicists and economists have been too enthusiastic to acknowledge the limits of their equations in the sphere of human behavior--which of course is what economics is all about.
Describing the collapse of the subprime mortgage CDO market in 2007, Derman urges us to stop the naive reliance on these models, and offers suggestions for mending them. This is a fascinating, lyrical, and very human look behind the curtain at the intersection between mathematics and human nature.
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