For a brief history of financial mathematics watch the
Trillion Dollar Bet.
given by Robert C. Merton (Nobel Prize for Economics 1997)
on the role played by derivatives in the economic troubles of 2008.
On February 1, 2010 the radio talk show
Fresh Air interviewed Ed Thorpe and Scott Patterson about the
profession known as quant
(approximately 28MBytes in an MP3 file) and
about being a
mathematician on Wall Street.
On March 16, 2010 the radio talk show
interviewed Michael Lewis about the
financial downturn and the financial instrument known as the
credit default swap
(approximately 35MBytes in an MP3 file).
On April 11, 2010 the radio program
Life broadcast an episode entitled
Inside Job (approximately
20MBytes in an MP3 file) explaining the role of investment banks,
hedge funds, and financial instruments such as collateralized debt
obligations (CDOs) and credit default swaps (CDSs) in the financial
crisis of 2007-2008.
FX provides a nice introduction to hedge funds.
A good source of information on different stock and securities markets
can be found at
After looking up the current price for a security, you can click on
the link for historical prices presented in a table.