UnRisk 7

RIP Peter Bernstein

I still vividly remember reading his Capital Ideas on my Washington DC apartment´s couch almost fifteen years ago, being introduced for the first time to finance theory through his easygoing prose

I know that we (I) have criticized theory and theorists quite intensely in these blogs (mostly for good reasons I believe); but if I am honest I must admit that it was precisely those accomplishments (initially heard though the Bernstein grapevine) what originally ignited my interest in high finance and what inspired me to try to become a derivatives person. I very much doubt that I would have worked on a tradig floor, written financial books, and be penning this blog if I had not stumbled upon Capital Ideas all those years ago.

The advantage I had at the time is that, in my lovely innocent naivete, I didn´t know that the theories were wrong and all I saw through Berstein´s eyes were intelligent highly-credentialed people building rabidly sophisticated financial spacecrafts that promised to make tons of dough for their skippers. It was Capital Ideas that first made me want to become a financial astronaut. So in a big sense, and perhaps rather paradoxically for those who read my not-so-innocent current musings, I am in debt to theory-revering Peter Bernstein.

Not sure what he would have made of Lecturing Birds or my myriad of theory-doubting articles, but I hope that he would have found my arguments honest and truth-seeking, even if possibly not entirely his cup of tea. What I most certainly hope is that he wouldn´t have been taken completely aback by them. After all, without his initial inspiration it is a safe bet that those arguments would have never been transformed into printed ruminations.