Summary of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf

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Wall Street trader turned Cambridge neuroscientist John Coates is the first to research the physiology, as opposed to the psychology, of trading and risk taking. He does so with an insider’s familiarity. To communicate the vividness of his own experiences in the markets, Coates tells a fictionalized account of a group of traders caught between up-and-down extremes of bubble and crash. He illuminates these histories by explaining how a broad array of scientific disciplines can help explain trading activity. He blends biology, behavioral economics, neuroscience, medicine, sports physiology, and other disciplines to demystify economic activity in clear, even poetic prose. getAbstract recommends his work to those interested in understanding financial markets, mind-body interactions or themselves. 

About the Author

John Coates is a former University of Cambridge senior research fellow in neuroscience and finance. He has traded derivatives for Goldman Sachs and run a trading desk for Deutsche Bank in New York. He now runs Dewline Research, which provides wearable technology to companies and sports teams.



Risk, Mind and Body in the Market

The Western tradition of philosophical “dualism” – the belief in a split between mind and body – reaches back to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras. Plato and Saint Paul made it integral to the Western tradition. The mind-body split lingers in economics and finance. But body and mind cannot be separated; assuming they can be will provide a false self-understanding and impair people’s ability to reach peak performance.

Economics assumes human risk taking is the product of conscious thought. Believing in this model impairs observers’ ability to understand economic action. Start by understanding that people taking financial risk aren’t controlled by their conscious mind. They act as a result of a complex interplay between mind and body, only some of which is brought to consciousness. To understand economic activity, consider how the body influences the mind. This is especially important when people act irrationally. During the wild ride of a stock market bubble, previously rational traders forget risk and act as if they’re sure they’re right. Over-confidence spreads through their bodies. These traders walk more confidently, need less sleep...

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    R. S. 2 years ago
    See the message I received while opening the book page:

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