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Mark Etzkorn
Aaron Brown: Behind the Street's poker face by Mark Etzkorn
AT-July 2006-1
River economies, Scottish gamblers, trading posts — they’re all part of Aaron Brown’s story of how and why we trade the way we do. Part one of a two-part interview.
Price: $4.95

Detailed Description

Purchase Part 1 above; purchase Part 2 here.

The financial industry spends a lot of time downplaying risk, and it disassociates itself from gambling at all costs. You only mention risk when you absolutely have to (hence all that fine print on brokerage forms), and you don’t draw attention to the obvious parallels between games of chance and the markets unless you have a yearning to be tarred and feathered.

Aaron Brown, head of credit risk architecture at Morgan Stanley, has a slightly different take on things. A financial industry veteran and academician, he is not only comfortable touting the benefits of risk, but he argues that gambling — in various forms — is a positive economic force that plays a pivotal role in allocating capital in a dynamic economy.

Brown’s perspective on the connection between the markets and gambling is no doubt colored by the fact that he is a longtime serious poker player who has sat down at many a high–stakes table with his Wall Street brethren over the years. According to his new book, The Poker Face of Wall Street (2006, John Wiley & Sons), Brown has matched card skills with a future world’s richest man, a future U.S. president (hmm...who might that have been?), and three Nobel Prize winners.
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