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How Noise Matters to Finance

2016
Author:

Nicholas A. Knouf

How Noise Matters to Finance

The stock market is the background of how we begin to deal with the complex imbrication of humans, machines, and noise

Nicholas A. Knouf draws on historical and contemporary documents to show how noise—sonic, informatic, or otherwise—affects the ways in which financial markets function. How Noise Matters to Finance draws on different forms of financial noise, paying attention to how materiality and the interference of humans and machines causes the meanings of noise to shift over space and time.

As scores of crises over the past century have shown, the stock market is manipulable and manipulated. The market is composed of human-made machines, which are affected by a lack of predictability more fundamental than the human: the noise of the material world. Nicholas A. Knouf draws on historical and contemporary documents to show how noise—sonic, informatic, or otherwise—affects the ways in which financial markets function. How Noise Matters to Finance draws on different forms of financial noise, paying attention to how materiality and the interference of humans and machines causes the meanings of noise to shift over space and time.

Forerunners: Ideas First is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital publications. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.

How Noise Matters to Finance

Nicholas A. Knouf is assistant professor of cinema and media studies at Wellesley College.

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