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About the Author

Includes the name: Gregory Zuckerman

Works by Gregory Zuckerman

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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Zuckerman, Gregory
Birthdate
1966-09-07
Gender
male
Nationality
USA
Occupations
Journalist
Short biography
Gregory Zuckerman is a Special Writer at The Wall Street Journal. He writes about big financial trades, firms and personalities, among other investing and business topics, and regularly pens the widely read "Heard on the Street" column.

He's a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb award, the highest honor in business journalism. Greg won the Loeb Award in 2015 for a series of stories revealing discord between Bill Gross, founder of bond powerhouse Pimco, and others at the firm, stories that led to his departure. In 2012, Greg broke news about huge, disastrous trades by the J.P. Morgan trader nicknamed the "London Whale," trades that resulted in $6.2 billion losses for the bank.

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Reviews

A Shot to Save the World is a group biography of the people and companies who developed or helped lay the groundwork for the COVID vaccines, specifically the mRNA type used by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. Most of the work was done by small companies, large pharma did not see the profit potential. or even viability of mRNA vaccines. The audacious and risky goal was a cure for AIDS or the flu. So when COVID hit (two-thirds into the book), they were best positioned to make a vaccine that could be rapidly replicated at high volume - unlike traditional vaccines - and overnight they went from small companies into billion dollar corporations. No one really knew if it would work, but the epidemiological results were stunning. It's a fairy tale, still playing out, how these small companies went from nothing to literally saving the world. This is the second book by Zuckerman I have read, the first about fracking pioneers. That was a better book, I had a hard time following this one, there are a lot of people, the subject matter can be banal - many advancements were simply lab accidents - and the biotech hard to follow. Still it's interesting learn about the people, most of them were motivated to enter into this risky line of research not for supposed riches but to help save lives.… (more)
½
 
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Stbalbach | Dec 4, 2021 |
This was an audiobook for me. The story was rather incredible especially considering some of the participants and the quite scientific approach they took, so different from traditional financial circles. But then again there in probably lies the answer to how the market was "solved." There is no doubt they were and seem to continue to be successful in pulling numbers from the market, but the roller coaster ride always seemed to put them on the precipice of disaster.

The book itself was enjoyable as the suspense and personalities involved in the drama of tackling the financial markets from a different strategy kept me interested in discovering the next turn. Almost like a real crime mystery book. The quants did seem to prevail and of course we still don't know exactly how they did it as the book does not really go there.

It winds up with the creator of the funds Jim Simon seemingly sailing off into the sunset as he approaches his 90's, a chain smoker at that! I found it amusing how he portrays this liberal bent of lets make everyone pays their fair share for the good of the down trodden. Yet they really didn't as the exploited every loophole they could to keep those riches in their own pockets. And well lived lives of luxury beyond luxury on the spoils of their gains.
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knightlight777 | 8 other reviews | Oct 26, 2021 |
An Excellent Biography, I enjoyed reading political factions within a company. It seems that it can be applied everywhere.

I would recommend this to people who are interested in Biographies, Investment, Wall-Street.

Deus Vult,
Gottfried
 
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gottfried_leibniz | 8 other reviews | Jun 25, 2021 |
I had always believed in the efficient market hypothesis. This book convinced me that I was wrong: it's not that there aren't inefficiencies to be exploited in financial markets, it's just that humans suck at seeing them. The same cognitive biases that create those inefficiencies in the first place also prevent us from exploiting them. We see signal where there is only noise, we anchor our expectations, we become emotionally invested in our choices. But the machine is immune to all that.

Zuckerman gets into a lot more detail about Renaissance's models than I expected him to. I guess by now there are enough ex-employees willing to share company secrets. Or maybe the company secrets they are willing to share are not that big anymore: using Markov chains to model price movements, looking for price ratios instead of absolute prices, etc. Whatever is happening at quant funds right now is probably way beyond any of that (convolutional neural networks that count cars in Walmart's parking lots, that sort of thing).

I was ready to roll up my sleeves and start modelling stuff, but fortunately I got to this point in the book first: "In the five years leading up to spring of 2019, quant-focused hedge funds gained about 4.2 percent a year on average, compared with a gain of 3.3 percent for the average hedge fund in the same period." Well, the S&P500 yields on average 9.8% a year (6% after inflation). For Simons to get his average 66% yearly return he had to hire a team of geniuses. I'm no genius, and I'm not in a position to hire any geniuses to work for me, so I guess I'm staying with index funds (except maybe for some "fun money").

Overall this is a well written, well researched book, and I got a lot out of it.
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marzagao | 8 other reviews | Jun 1, 2021 |

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Statistics

Works
7
Members
1,226
Popularity
#20,944
Rating
3.9
Reviews
27
ISBNs
57
Languages
4

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