A Q&A with Gregory Zuckerman

May 09, 2024


Gregory Zuckerman answers some questions about the his book The Man Who Solved the Market (and other books) in our latest author Q&A.

TheManWhoSolvedTheMarket.jpgGregory Zuckerman is a Special Writer at The Wall Street Journal, ​a 20-year veteran of the paper and a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb award—the highest honor in business journalism. 

At the Journal, Greg writes about big financial firms, personalities and trades, hedge funds, the energy revolution and other investing and business topics. Previously, Greg was the lead writer of the widely read “Heard on the Street” column and covered the credit markets, among other beats.

He appears regularly on CNBC, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg Television and various television networks. He makes regular appearances on National Public Radio, BBC, ABC Radio, Bloomberg Radio and radio stations around the globe.

Greg recently took some time out of that bust schedule to answer some of our questions about his book The Man Who Solved the Market, and to sign some bookplates for the book.

If you order by June 1st, you'll receive a signed bookplate copy of the book before Father's Day.  


Porchlight Book Company: Writing a book is no small undertaking. What compelled you to write this one? 

Gregory Zuckerman: I always begin my books with a paradox that bothers me. With The Man, the paradox was this: Why was it a group of mathematicians and scientists, most with little interest in markets, investing or even the business world, who built the greatest trading firm in modern history? I set out to solve that riddle.  
PBC: Writing (and reading) always prompts as many new questions as it offers answers. What is one unanswered question you encountered as you wrote the book that you are most interested in answering? 

GZ: I realized halfway through that my book was as much a management book as a trading or finance book. Jim Simons solved the market because he figured out how to hire the most impressive brainpower in the world. His true genius is managing genius, which came as a surprise.  
PBC: If there is only one thing a reader takes away from reading this book, what would you hope it to be? 

GZ: I come from the Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David school, no lessons, just (hopefully) the pleasure of reading about some fascinating characters doing interesting and important things. But I do feel it's important to acknowledge that Jim Simons and his crew were true pioneers who changed the world—they were doing AI, machine learning and predictive algorithms before anyone, and their work paved the way for a revolution.  

PBC: One of the great things about books is that they tend to lead readers to other books. What book[s] related to this topic would you recommend people read after (or perhaps even before) reading your book? 

GZ: Ed Thorp's A Man For All Markets and The Soul of A New Machine. 
PBC: What is your personal favorite book?

GZ: Wow,  that's like picking my fav child. I'll answer it a bit differently: Catcher in the Rye was an early inspiration, and Indecent Exposure is an underrated one.  
PBC: What are you reading now? 

GZ: Snowball by Alice Schroader, it's just great. 
PBC: Do you have any future projects in the works that we can look forward to? 

GZ: YES! I'm in the middle of writing a book examining the drama behind the 10 greatest investments in modern financial history. I'm learning so much and having such a blast. 


About the Author

Gregory Zuckerman is the author of The Greatest Trade Ever, The Frackers, and The Man Who Solved the Market and is a Special Writer at the Wall Street Journal. At the Journal, Zuckerman writes about financial firms, personalities and trades, as well as hedge funds and other investing and business topics. He's a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb award, the highest honor in business journalism. Zuckerman also appears regularly on CNBC, Fox Business and other networks and radio stations around the globe.

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