The Hour Between Dog and Wolf by John Coates
Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust

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Synopsis

A successful Wall Street trader turned neuroscientist reveals how risk taking and stress transform our body chemistry

Before he became a world-class scientist, John Coates ran a derivatives trading desk in New York City. He used the expression “the hour between dog and wolf” to refer to the moment of Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation traders passed through when under pressure. They became cocky and irrationally risk-seeking when on a winning streak, tentative and risk-averse when cowering from losses. In a series of groundbreaking experiments, Coates identified a feedback loop between testosterone and success—one that can cloud men’s judgment in high-pressure decision-making. Coates demonstrates how our bodies produce the fabled gut feelings we so often rely on, how stress in the workplace can impair our judgment and even damage our health, and how sports science can help us toughen our bodies against the ravages of stress. Revealing the biology behind bubbles and crashes, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf sheds new and surprising light on issues that affect us all.
 

About John Coates

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JOHN COATES is a senior research fellow in neuroscience and finance at the University of Cambridge. After completing his Ph.D., Coates worked for Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Deutsche Bank in New York, where he observed the powerful emotions driving traders. He returned to Cambridge in 2004 to research the effects of the endocrine system on financial risk taking. Coates's work has been cited in several publications, including The New York Times, Wired, and The Economist, and he has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, and the BBC. His writing has been published in the Financial Times and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among others.
 
Published June 14, 2012 by Penguin Books. 348 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Hour Between Dog and Wolf

Kirkus Reviews

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An in-depth look at how financial risk-taking is linked to human biology, especially to the testosterone levels of young male traders, and the implications of this phenomenon for financial markets and the wider economy.

May 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf...

Publishers Weekly

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As bond markets soar and slump, he notes, traders experience involuntary fight-or-flight reflexes, jolts of dopamine, and convulsions of the primal “gut brain.” In bull markets, the euphoric boost in testosterone from successful trades fuels ever crazier risk taking until the inevitable colla...

Apr 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf...

The Economist

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Sure enough, Mr Coates finds that cortisol levels in traders' bodies fluctuate in line with market volatility, even displaying a striking correlation with the prices of derivatives.

May 26 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf...

Dallas News

Coates sees testosterone as the buy, buy, buy “hormone of economic bubbles.”.

Sep 08 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf...

Macleans

Still, the vignettes of traders making and losing vast amounts of money under the thrall of hormonal drives are intelligible and sadly plausible, if overly intent on using biological processes to create faux drama.

Jun 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf...

Bookmarks Magazine

Coates understood instinctively that these dispositions were driven by body chemistry—and then he proved it.

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf expands on Coates's own research to offer lessons from the entire exploding new field—the biology of risk.

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf...

PolicyMic

Under its influence, we tend to feel invincible, and to put on such stupid trades, in such large size, that we end up losing more money on them than we made on the winning streak that kindled this feeling of omnipotence in the first place.

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The Loyola Law School Los Angeles, Faculty blog.

Testosterone released during the trade enhances risk appetite and confidence (which are in no small part ingredients for delusion!) When a winning trade closes, even more testosterone is produced, leading to still more confidence and greater appetite for risk.

Oct 31 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf...

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