Friday, July 10, 2009

Fischer Black and the future

Rorty Bomb points us to Fischer Black and the development of derivatives.

“Thus a long term corporate bond could actually be sold to three separate persons. One would supply the money for the bond; one would bear the interest rate risk, and one would bear the risk of default. The last two would not have to put up any capital for the bond, though they might have to post some sort of collateral.”

- Fischer Black, “Fundamentals of Liquidity” (1970)

In case that doesn’t freak you out, let me explain why it should. That’s 1970 (!!!), and it predicts everything. It’s before the Black-Scholes Equation (same Black) is published and popularized, creating the derivative market, so it is during the first wave of thinking how derivatives would change everything.

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