Aspergers and the Stock Market

Wall-street-profiteers Steve and I laugh that now that we understand autism, we see it everywhere. We're like Haley Joel Osmond of autism. I see autistic people.

Steve works in the same row with the guys who come up with the quantitative formulas for the traders. The stock market is run by computer algorithms, which is a whole different topic to generate paranoia and panic. Steve's quite sure that all the quant dudes are on the autistic spectrum. They talk to themselves behind their computers. They take math textbooks with them to the bathroom for a little reading, while doing their business.

Andrew Sullivan pulls a quote from a Michael Lewis profile of Michael Burry, a hedge-fund manager. Burry has Aspergers and said that the market is perfectly suited to his mind.

When
he thought of it that way, he realized that complex modern financial
markets were as good as designed to reward a person with Asperger's who
took an interest in them. "Only someone who has Asperger's would read a
subprime-mortgage-bond prospectus," he said.

Read the whole Lewis article. Really amazing writing.

6 thoughts on “Aspergers and the Stock Market

  1. Oh, yes. Just like some historians I know who can recite entire segments of relevant primary sources from memory or work through the quantifiable variables of one event or another without a thought because they’ve internalized the data wholesale.

  2. They take math textbooks with them to the bathroom for a little reading, while doing their business.
    I hardly see how that is a sign of anything but wanting to keep people from borrowing your books.

  3. Just out of curiosity, what should I bring into the bathroom at work to read? The comics page? Printed journal articles?

  4. Have you been enjoying the new TV show “Parenthood”? They have a family with an asperger’s son, and the portrayals are great. THey’re so excited that perhaps there’s also an autistic cousin, but she turns out to be “just gifted”. The best episode was when they set up all these playdates with other aspie kids for Max, and they all had these weird Aspie parents that the normal parents just didn’t get.

  5. “The best episode was when they set up all these playdates with other aspie kids for Max, and they all had these weird Aspie parents that the normal parents just didn’t get.”
    I was impressed, too. Now, on the other hand, I didn’t get why a kid had to have a stomach ache and leave because Max was forcing him to talk about bugs. In the reverse scenario, Max was being squeezed by the other child/playdate (and Max”faked” a stomach ache in order to leave).
    But, really, my typically developing kids (mostly, I think) would not feel that they had to leave a house because their playdate talked too much about bugs. They could, at the very least, bear that for a few hours. They might not pick that kid for their best friend, but they could certainly deal with him for a number of hours at a family get together.

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