Sunday, 15 May 2011

Arabian Financial Modelling

The Greeks gave the world modern rationalist, logic-based Platonic thinking - idealised models of real world phenomena.  What they didn't give us is a usable number system.   Ninth century India did that, together with thinking on algebra and fractional manipulation, and an emphasis on practical commerce-based puzzle-solving.  It was the dominance of the Arabs in southern Europe which allowed both worlds to come together forcefully.   There's a lot of be said for looting the libraries of Alexandria.  This culture has played a powerful role as the brains behind financial structuring and modelling ever since.  Their presence is all around in quant desks of major investment banks to this day.  Culture clash can have a lot of upside.