Thursday, May 31, 2007
Today's Friday culture recommendation is Fischer Black and the Revolutionary Idea of Finance by Perry Mehrling. Fischer Black is famously known for developing the Black-Scholes formula for options pricing together with Robert C. Merton and Myron Scholes. Fischer died before he could be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for this achievement; instead it went to Merton and Scholes (Merton's consolation prize for not having his name on the formula). Fischer was also famously eccentric, a partner at Goldman Sachs, a professor at the University of Chicago and a central uniting figure in the history of finance. But this is more than just a biography of an impressive man. Mehrling uses Black's life as a vehicle to tell the story of the revolution in finance that took place between 1960 and 1990. And he does so in explainable terms.
Any good M&A lawyer or academic must also understand the financing side of a transaction as well as the underpinning architecture of our financial markets. This is a good way to start such an exploration or otherwise get a solid and interesting refresher. Have a good weekend!