Wait: The Art and Science of Delay

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay

by Frank Partnoy


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Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

Warren Buffett compares stock trading to being at bat, except that you don’t have to swing until there’s a fat pitch. Great athletes agree, but with shorter time horizons. They excel, not because of fast neurological responses, but because of their ability to delay as long as possible before reacting, returning a serve or grabbing a rebound. Successful CEOs, fire fighters, and military officers all know how to manage delay.

In this provocative, entertaining book, Frank Partnoy provides a necessary rebuttal to the gurus of “go with your gut.” He shows that decisions of all kinds, whether “snap” or long-term strategic, benefit from being made at the last possible moment. The art of knowing how long you can afford to delay before committing is at the heart of many a great decision—whether in a corporate takeover or a marriage proposal. Exploring decisions from those made in half a second to those that take months and years, Partnoy demonstrates that procrastination is often virtuous, that the ability to wait is the path to happiness, and that our gut instincts often betray us. We do not always make smart choices in the blink of an eye, as this eye-opening book reveals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610390040
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.48(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Frank Partnoy is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance and is the director of the Center on Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the complexities of modern finance and financial market regulation. He is the author of F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street; Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets; and The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Hearts and Minds 1

2 Superfast Sports 19

3 High-Frequency Trading, Fast and Slow 33

4 Frontal Nudity in Fight Club 49

5 Bad Call 63

6 A Silce Too Thin 81


8 First Dates and Fighter Pilots 117

9 When to Eat Crow 131

10 At Last, Procrastination 147

11 Master Class 173

12 Get Off the Clock 197

13 A Lifetime of Innovation 211

14 Go Long 233

Acknowledgments 247

Notes 251

Index 277

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