Scott Patterson, the author of the new book, "The Quants," was on "The Daily Show" last night to talk to Jon Stewart about the physicists and mathematicians who he says were a driving force behind Wall Street's downfall. These geniuses, whom Patterson calls "quants," created equations which allowed them to place huge bets on the stock market. "They completely revolutionized the way Wall Street works," Patterson said. The bets were usually successful, and the quants became extremely rich -- until they failed, and kicked off a huge financial meltdown.
Patterson acknowledged that the quants are still in power in Wall Street today, and that not a lot has changed since the start of the recession. "All of Wall Street is being run by quants, in my opinion," he said.