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It emphasises the links between these three themes. The chapter on the Fourier theory of point processes and signals structured by point processes is a novel addition to the literature on Fourier analysis of stochastic processes. It also connects the theory with recent lines of research such as biological spike signals and ultrawide-band communications.
Although the treatment is mathematically rigorous, the convivial style makes the book accessible to a large audience. In particular, it will be interesting to anyone working in electrical engineering and communications, biology (point process signals) and econometrics (arma models). Each chapter has an exercise section, which makes Fourier Analysis and Stochastic Processes suitable for a graduate course in applied mathematics, as well as for self-study.
The old sections devoted to the smile issue in the LIBOR market model have been enlarged into several new chapters. New sections on local-volatility dynamics, and on stochastic volatility models have been added, with a thorough treatment of the recently developed uncertain-volatility approach. Examples of calibrations to real market data are now considered.
The fast-growing interest for hybrid products has led to new chapters. A special focus here is devoted to the pricing of inflation-linked derivatives.
The three final new chapters of this second edition are devoted to credit. Since Credit Derivatives are increasingly fundamental, and since in the reduced-form modeling framework much of the technique involved is analogous to interest-rate modeling, Credit Derivatives -- mostly Credit Default Swaps (CDS), CDS Options and Constant Maturity CDS - are discussed, building on the basic short rate-models and market models introduced earlier for the default-free market. Counterparty risk in interest rate payoff valuation is also considered, motivated by the recent Basel II framework developments.
Bachelier's thesis is a remarkable document on two counts. In mathematical terms Bachelier's achievement was to introduce many of the concepts of what is now known as stochastic analysis. His purpose, however, was to give a theory for the valuation of financial options. He came up with a formula that is both correct on its own terms and surprisingly close to the Nobel Prize-winning solution to the option pricing problem by Fischer Black, Myron Scholes, and Robert Merton in 1973, the first decisive advance since 1900.
Aside from providing an accurate and accessible translation, this book traces the twin-track intellectual history of stochastic analysis and financial economics, starting with Bachelier in 1900 and ending in the 1980s when the theory of option pricing was substantially complete. The story is a curious one. The economic side of Bachelier's work was ignored until its rediscovery by financial economists more than fifty years later. The results were spectacular: within twenty-five years the whole theory was worked out, and a multibillion-dollar global industry of option trading had emerged.
"Ambitious and readable . . . an engaging introduction to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as true humanists helping to release mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism."
—The New York Times
"An extraordinarily entertaining and informative book."
—The Wall Street Journal
"A lively panoramic book . . . Against the Gods sets up an ambitious premise and then delivers on it."
"Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read."
"[A] challenging book, one that may change forever the way people think about the world."
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—Robert Heilbroner author, The Worldly Philosophers
"With his wonderful knowledge of the history and current manifestations of risk, Peter Bernstein brings us Against the Gods. Nothing like it will come out of the financial world this year or ever. I speak carefully: no one should miss it."
—John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University
In this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the distant past. Against the Gods chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today.
"An extremely readable history of risk."
"Fascinating . . . this challenging volume will help you understand the uncertainties that every investor must face."
"A singular achievement."
—Times Literary Supplement
"There's a growing market for savants who can render the recondite intelligibly-witness Stephen Jay Gould (natural history), Oliver Sacks (disease), Richard Dawkins (heredity), James Gleick (physics), Paul Krugman (economics)-and Bernstein would mingle well in their company."