Michel Pireu Columnist

Traders and quants are different species. Traders pride themselves on being tough and forthright while quants are more circumspect and reticent. Traders are paid to act. All day long they watch screens, assimilate economic information, page frantically through spreadsheets, run programs written by quants, enter trades, talk to salespeople and brokers, and punch keys. It’s hard to have an extended conversation with a trader…. Part of what traders do has a video game quality. They learn to be opinionated, visceral and decisive, though not always right. — Emanuel Derman Not surprisingly, old-style traders hate the quants … there is a basic clash of cultures. Quants are not flash and, invariably, rather awkward socially. As one software salesman who deals with hedge funds relates on a blog: "They don’t do small talk. When one of them picks me up from reception and we ride the elevator, I have learnt not to start chatting away about, say, the weather. They simply don’t seem to understand...

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