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November 27 , 2009

Why Aren't They Shouting?

How Computers Ate Banking


We're all familiar with the screaming headlines: greedy bankers destroyed banking. But is it really as simple as that? Kevin Rodgers has his doubts, and in this fascinating inside account of the financial world over the past three decades, he explains why. Taking us from the days when traders still shouted their deals down the phone to the silent modern world of computer trading, he shows how, far more than the pursuit of personal gain, it has been the pursuit of ever-more sophisticated systems, algorithms and financial models that has undermined banking and made it chronically unstable. He also shows how, by their very nature, the computers on which modern finance now so completely depend are hopelessly ill-equipped to forestall a future crash. Both a very personal and evocative account of how banking has changed since the 1980s, and a masterclass in how it actually works, Why Aren't They Shouting also offers a nuanced, if alarming, glimpse into its likely future.

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