1 Chesterton's actual remark was, “Life is a trap for logicians because it is almost, but not quite, reasonable.
2 Perhaps the most famous example of the Rothschild family trading on early knowledge of world events occurred in connection with the Battle of Waterloo. Nathan Rothschild, then head of the English branch of the family, learned early in the day that Wellington had defeated Napoleon and that English securities would rise dramatically when the news was broadly known. You might imagine that Rothschild would use that news to buy. But he knew that Waterloo was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and he intended to make the most of it. Therefore, he began quietly to sell. Word gradually spread across the floor of the exchange that the Rothschilds were pulling out of the market. Astute traders began to sell also, assuming that Wellington had lost. Rothschild accelerated his selling and soon the exchange was in a panic. Finally, with prices at preposterously low levels, Rothschild swept in and bought, making a vast fortune in a few hours.
3 “Portfolio Selection,” Journal of Finance 7, no. 1 (March, 1952): 77 ff. Markowitz's breakthrough ideas about portfolio design actually had their origin in his earlier insight about the possibility of applying mathematical methods to the capital markets. It was from this inspiration that all else followed.
4 Like Markowitz, Einstein was virtually unknown when he published his seminal papers on the photoelectric effect, the special theory ...