Complexity, Risk and Financial Markets


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Life, Risk, and Uncertainty. UNCERTAINTY, COMPLEXITY, AND SPONTANEOUS ORGANIZATION. Imposing Order: Conspiracies and the Mathematics of Ignorance. Uncertainty, Vagueness, and Ambiguity: The Need for Information. Complexity and Time: The Dynamics of Uncertainty. FREE MARKETS AND THE NEED FOR UNCERTAINTY. Subjectivism: "The Economics of Time and Ignorance." Diversity and Knowledge. Crisis and Competition: Creative Destruction in Free Markets. Economic Evolution: Change in Real Time. Creativity: Uncertainty, Innovation, and Entrepreneurs. Rules and Law: Limits in Complexity. Degrees of Order: Balancing Rules, Freedom, and Uncertainty. The Need for Uncertainty. References. Index.

About the Author

EDGAR E. PETERS is Chief Investment Strategist and Director of Systematic Asset Allocation for PanAgora Asset Management, a global investment management firm. He is a frequent lecturer on market theory and has taught investment and portfolio management at Babson College, Boston College, and Bentley College. He is the author of Chaos and Order in the Capital Markets and Fractal Market Analysis, as well as numerous articles in professional journals.


Peters combines a chaos/complex systems framework with the Austrian school of economic thought to explain our lack of market understanding. He develops a strong case that the most pressing problem for investors is not a matter of specific models but of determining how to assess risk in a complex and uncertain world. Peters draws important distinctions between risk, uncertainty, ignorance, vagueness, and ambiguity, and in doing so, shows how the subtle meanings of words can provide immense value in explaining the market environment. He also resurrects the Austrian school's emphasis on subjectivism and makes it come alive within finance. (Financial Analyst's Journal)

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