Trillion Dollar Bet
NOVA Season 27

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Episode Info

The Black-Scholes formula of economics promised to revolutionize Wall Street. It was a simple idea that determined the stock price according to mathematical principles. Yet when it hit the trading floor, it caused more damage than good. Nova reexamines the minds behind the money in Nova: The Trillion Dollar Bet. Fischer Black, Myron Scholes, and Robert Merton came up with the model that earned them a Nobel Prize in 1973. After basking in the acclaim and profit from a major award, Scholes and Merton joined a trading group. They intended to market the theory and shake up the marketplace. The success lasted a while until the machine crashed. While the formula took a pounding, the world economy trembled. Nova relives this close call as fortune-telling gets scientific.

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