Attack of the Data Miners

High-water pants alert! The quants have arrived, but does anyone know what they're talking about?

BACK IN THE PALEOCAPITALISTIC ERA, as long ago as 10 years, anthropologists studying the breeding, feeding and plumage patterns of Wall Street concentrated on carnivores -- called gunslingers -- grownup frat boys in yellow ties and red suspenders who peddled junk bonds, drove BMWs and bought $2 million co-ops on Manhattan's East Side. Forget them: today they're fuddled old greedsters sitting around in their East Hampton beach houses wondering what happened.

What did? Well, yellow ties are out, but avarice remains popular, and the financial universe -- Is anyone surprised? -- still has masters. These new barbarians at the gates of...

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