Jeremy Josse

 

Dinosaur Derivatives and Other Trades

… the concepts of socialism and capitalism had very little meaning before the Industrial Revolution. They’re simply not ideas grounded in our primordial social past. … So at least when it comes to taxing wealth and trying to legislate distributive justice, perhaps all these concepts had a limited shelf life, and their moment has now past.

“[‘Dinosaur Derivatives’ is] a fascinating, interdisciplinary journey into the arcane world of finance. Josse takes a dry topic and through modern day stories and historical references deftly educates and entertains. Each topic is intricately analyzed and then all the thoughts are threaded into a coherent and unique perspective and understanding of finance as both a science and reflection of underlying societal norms. I strongly recommend this book to practitioners and students who wish to understand finance in the context of global business and its impact on society.”

Bruce Magid – Dean of International Business School, Brandeis University

“I didn’t know what to expect from Jeremy Josse’s ‘Dinosaur Derivatives and Other Trades’ but his exploration of the philosophical DNA of concepts of risk, value, contracts, fraud, and finance writ large starts like an itch that won’t go away and needs scratching, each vignette and chapter pulling the reader in more deeply into a discussion of the evolution of finance that I now find important and fascinating — thanks to this book. ”

Steve Clemens – Editor at Large, The Atlantic

 

BOOKS

Dinosaur Derivatives and Other Trades is an entertaining and compelling tour de force highlighting the paradoxes inherent to the modern financial system. Presented as a series of striking case studies, this book explores certain enigmatic or philosophical puzzles in the finance industry; some of these puzzles may seem slightly absurd at first glance, but all are very relevant to the way finance is conducted in the real world. Each story highlights specific hypocrisies or moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of the system, guiding readers through the challenges of finance by way of innovative and memorable paradigms. Written in clear, accessible language, this book doesn’t claim to offer original financial theory or philosophy as such, but instead deepens the reader’s understanding of the system and stimulates independent consideration of the current state of affairs.

The financial world, so often viewed as a rather dull place, is secretly alive with possibilities of strange and sometimes wonderful conundrums. There is the possibility, for instance, of a Manhattan auction house selling derivatives to buy swift-swimming predators known as Megalodons (thought to be extinct for millions of years). This book explores this and other curious propositions to point out the paradoxes of finance.

  • Explore the meaning of “value” in different contexts
  • Learn what the Old Testament can teach us about risk and uncertainty
  • Examine an alternative take on the 2007/2008 credit crisis
  • Consider how the “financial innovation” trend impacts the industry

To truly understand something, it is necessary to crawl deep into the metaphorical underbelly and have a look around. Dinosaur Derivatives and Other Trades provides the itinerary, and the insightful discussion that stimulates curiosity.

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