on 23 July 2011
I believe that this book accomplishes its intention: help students and users to get a quick entry into the subjects of use in finance.
One first impression that jumped out was the author's (PW) delightful sense of humor. ("Magicians and mathematicians!")
PW has taught and practiced this stuff, and it shows.
A big part is mathematical finance, and a big part of this is based on certain stochastic differential equations, the Black-Scholes equation for the computation of the value of options.
It uses the geometric Brownian motion which is also explained from a practical viewpoint.
The book takes both a narrow and a wide view.
Illustration: (i) It offers both short answers and long ones; the latter include mathematical formulae.
(ii) For the particular tasks at hand, the author offers an overview of the tools needed, mathematical tools figuring prominently.
(iii) List of keywords, with enlightening discussion and answers. Guides to the literature, etc.
(vi) There is a list of options and derivatives that are used: Accrual, American, European, Asian, Asset swap, Balloon option, Barrier option, Basket option, Bermuda option, Call and put options, Cap, Cliquet option, and more.
The book concludes with a list of tips for folks interviewing in banks and in the financial industry: typical questions! What to say, and what not! Review by Palle Jorgensen, July 2011.