Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Hedge Funds and Breakthrough Ideas Focus of May 2 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on May 2, 2011

Sebastian Mallaby, author of More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite, and Peter Sims, author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, are the guests on the May 2 edition of Economic Perspectives, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.  The interview with Mallaby is a rerun of an interview that originally broadcast on EP on July 19, 2010.

Based on Mallaby’s unprecedented access to the industry, including three hundred hours of interviews, More Money Than God tells the inside story of hedge funds, from their origins in the 1960s and 1970s to their role in the financial crisis of 2007-2009.

Finance professors have long argued that beating the market is impossible, and yet drawing on insights from physics, economics, and psychology, hedge fund moguls have cracked the market’s mysteries and gone on to earn fortunes. Their innovation has transformed the world, spawning new markets in exotic financial instruments and rewriting the rules of capitalism.

Mallaby has been a Washington Post columnist since 1999. From 1986 to 1999, he was on the staff of The Economist, serving in Zimbabwe, London, and Japan, and as the magazine’s Washington bureau chief. He spent 2003 as a Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and has written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, and The New Republic, among others.

Little Bets

What do Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Chris Rock, prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, and the story developers at Pixar films all have in common? Bestselling author Peter Sims found that all of them have achieved remarkable results using a surprisingly similar approach: methodically taking small, experimental steps. Rather than believing they have to start with a big idea or plan a whole project out in advance, trying to foresee the final outcome, they make a methodical series of little bets about what might be a good direction, learning critical information from lots of little failures and from small but significant wins that allow them to find unexpected avenues and arrive at extraordinary outcomes.

Based on deep and extensive research, Sims discovered that productive, creative thinkers and doers—from Ludwig van Beethoven to Thomas Edison and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos—practice a set of simple but often counterintuitive experimental methods—such as failing quickly to learn fast, trying imperfect ideas, and engaging in highly immersed observation—that free their minds, opening them up to making unexpected connections and perceiving invaluable insights. These methods also unshackle them from the constraints of conventional planning, analytical thinking, and linear problem solving that our educational system overemphasizes at the expense of creativity.

Peter Sims is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur.  He was the coauthor with Bill George of True North, the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best-selling book.  His next book is Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, from Simon & Schuster: Free Press.  Previously, he worked in venture capital with Summit Partners, a leading investment company, including as part of the team that established the firm’s London Office.

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