THE QUANT Comes to the Edinburgh Fringe
You're a trainee trader at the world's second biggest bank. How high will you rise? How far will you fall?
Audience members take on roles as graduate trainees at a major financial institution in a new solo-show exploring the personal cost of a career on the trading floor.
The show's protagonist - a physics PhD turned credit trader - presents a whirlwind tour of derivatives, systemic risk, leverage and chaos theory, utilising audience participation and a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the ever changing relationship between risk and reward.
But as we gain an experiential understanding of the pressures facing the City's newest recruits, The Quant's own story is revealed by increments. His journey from academia to analyst to trader turns traditional city boy stereotypes upside down. Simple greed is eschewed as more complex motivations for a career in finance are explored.
The Quant's fast-paced journey through the world of financial risk builds an ingredient list for financial disaster and it soon becomes apparent that perhaps he has more experience of the downside of a crisis than first impressions suggest.
Nick Leeson, Jerome Kerviel, Kweku Adeboli - every few years a new rogue trader takes the fall for dodgy deals. But can a single individual be to blame when a bank loses billions? And if not, who benefits from their downfall?
Writer-performer Jamie Griffiths has spent five years getting under the skin of the financial system, taking online courses and talking to city insiders to build a nuanced picture of trading that goes beyond mere banker bashing.