Bloomberg’s Tom Keene, the host of Bloomberg Surveillance and an industry legend, is out with a post on Wednesday recommending that all Wall Street interns read Peter Bernstein’s “Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk,” this summer.
As Keene writes, “It is a personal walk through our history of struggling from deep uncertainty to measured risk and then on to the wonderful ambiguity and doubt within our modern finance. Bonus: The Gods are against burying you with maths.”
First published in 1998, Bernstein’s classic served as a prescient book just ahead of that summer’s meltdown of Long-Term Capital Management, the hedge fund founded and operated on the idea that markets were rational and all price discrepancies could be arbitraged away.
That strategy failed miserable, as captured in Roger Lowenstein’s classic “When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management,” and “Against the Gods” walks readers through how humans came to understand distributions, probabilities, and how and why those things sometimes break down in markets.
And if you don’t want to read just one book this summer, here are JPMorgan’s 10 recommended summer reads.